Videos by American Songwriter
Now in the tenth year of a happy annual Hollywood tradition, Ringo Starr celebrated his 75th birthday on a stage in front of Capitol Records in Hollywood surrounded by famous friends. At exactly noon he urged the massive crowd, many of whom had waited there for hours for this proximity to a Beatle, and fans tuned in from around the globe, to proclaim “Peace and Love.”
Though this was the first day of his 75th year, Ringo looked as spry and joyful ever, dancing out on the stage filming himself with a phone, leading one member of the crowd to yell, “Ringo – you look 21!”
“21?” he said. “I’m 24!”
Luminaries who joined in the festivities included members of Ringo’s All-Starr band, such as Edgar Winter, Greg Bissonette, Jim Keltner and Richard Page, as well as other famous friends including Joe Walsh, Matt Sorum, Glen Ballard, Richard Lewis, Ed Begley and David Lynch. Also Ringo’s wife of more than three decades, Barbara Bach was there, as was her sister Marjorie Bach, who is married to Joe Walsh.
Richard Lewis was the first to speak, thanking Ringo for letting him be “the token Jew here,” and then saying that, like most Americans, he grew up utterly enthralled and entranced by The Beatles, and was thrilled and amazed that Ringo would invite him to be at the party.
The legendary director David Lynch praised his pal Ringo for championing Transcendental Meditation long before most people in this country knew what the words meant. “He was leading the way,” Lynch said of Ringo, “in meditating with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi back in the ’60s,” which set Lynch on a path to bring TM to the masses. He spoke of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, which brings lessons of TM and stress-reduction to students, prisoners and others around the world.
Ringo singled out Keltner as “my favorite drummer,” and noted that Ed Begley is “out there in the crowd, a man of the people.”
After the noontime “peace and love” proclamations and urgings for all to tag photos #PeaceandLove (which went viral globally in his honor), a giant cake was wheeled out. David Lynch lit the candles, Joe Walsh led the crowd in “Happy Birthday,” and the Beatle blew out his candles.
Afterwards, there was a party in the famous basement studios of Capitol, down there where Sinatra used to sing in all-night sessions. Guests were served a British favorite, fish & chips, as well as slices of Ringo’s giant cake. A famous vegetarian of many decades now, Ringo ate no fish.
“It started by accident,” Ringo answered when asked about the origins of this event. “We got lucky, somebody asked me what I wanted for my birthday, so I said I wanted people to say ‘peace and love’ at noon on the 7th. We got lucky and it keeps carrying on and getting bigger. It’s in Japan and Russia, and, of course, England.”