In the news · Music

An 80-year-old Beatle

Back in 2018 I wrote this piece (“An 80-year-old punk”) about Jet Black, drummer in punk-era band The Stranglers. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday. I mentioned that he was older than Neil Sedaka, Judy Collins and Ringo Starr. Ringo, drummer in The Beatles (I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that) has just turned 80 himself. Many happy returns.

He is the first Beatle, dead or alive, to reach this milestone. John Lennon (9 October 1940) was born three months after Ringo. All being well Paul McCartney will turn 80 in June 2022. George Harrison, the baby of the group, was born on 25 February 1943. For the record, even Pete Best (who was replaced as drummer in the band in 1962) is nearly 18 months younger than Ringo.

I have written about The Beatles from time to time on this Blog. No surprise there: the band have been a part of my life for my entire life. Two years ago, I wrote about Beatles album covers, here, and mentioned going through a boxed set of Beatles CDs with my son, who was 13 at the time. I noted: “He has heard much of the music, but was unfamiliar with most of the artwork. He couldn’t distinguish between John, Paul, George and Ringo, which is understandable. How many 13-year-olds could?” I am happy to report that, two years on, he is now able to identify each member of The Fab Four. There have been enough appearances on music shows and old episodes of “Top of the Pops” for him to tell the difference.

We have also been watching some of the “Anthology” DVD collection that I bought for my wife just before my son was born, around the time we bought our first DVD player. (Remember them?) There’s over 12 hours’ worth of viewing there and we’re not even halfway through it, but we have enjoyed seeing local beauty spot Chiswick House Grounds featured in the videos for “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”. Here’s an alternate video for the latter (over 9 minutes long) which is not included in the “Anthology”. Note the pedestal that Ringo is sitting on for the first minute or so. I stood on that same spot many times in my childhood. And the branch that the rest of the band are sitting on was where we all played, bouncing up and down on it just like the Beatles did. That branch is long gone, but happily Ringo is still with us.




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