Sir Ringo Starr

In case you didn’t know, Ringo Starr (nee Richard Starkey), one-quarter of the most influential and arguably greatest musical group of all time was knighted the other day by HRH Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

In a day filled with much poignancy for this one-time street urchin from Liverpool, the British nation took notice of this modest man who led a tumultuous life. Not for the first time, mind you: he (along with the other Beatles) had been awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) 77 years ago. (I look forward to next season’s mini-series The Crown to see how the producers will handle that event.)

If you’re so inclined, please take the time to view a snippet from the ceremony.

Below is probably one of my favorite songs of all time:

Anyway, I think we all needed a break. Blessed Lent to one and all!


  1. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    I well remember a Russian couple back in the 70s who complained that the Beatles were responsible for the corruption of their children and the destruction of our culture! Many thought they, the Stones, and other pop stars were evidence of the destruction of Christian values in the West. I wonder if Putin preaches that now as a political line? Maybe in another 50 years a future “Monomakhos” will praise Madonna and LGBTers as well!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Point taken, Your Grace. I stand accused as being a hypocrite in that I glorify the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, etc, but have nothing but disdain for Madonna and her ilk. Maybe it’s sexism. I dunno. And while I don’t “praise” the LGBTers, I did like Elton John, Queen and David Bowie.

      For me, the personal is not political. I can appreciate great art wherever I see it. Hence my appreciation for Michaelangelo’s, Pieta, David, the Sistine Chapel, etc. A case can certainly be made that his David was informed by his fascination with the masculine form.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Actually, Your Grace, Putin really liked the Beatles. His favorite was/is Paul and his favorite song is “Yesterday,” which, of course, Paul wrote. It looks like the Russian people like him, too. I suspect not too many parents worried about the impact the Beatles had on the “corruption of their children and the destruction of our culture” or the “destruction of Christian values in the West” in the 70s. Those who did were woefully out of touch. The Beatles broke up in April 1970.

      I think the thing that separates the Beatles from the Madonnas of the world is that Beatles wrote about love, peace and good will where the Madonnas wrote about oververt sexual acts, sometimes mixing them with religious messages. Even the name Madonna was a play on the name of her first song, “Like a Virgin.” She later came out with something called, “Like a Prayer,” equating being on one’s knees in prayer with being on one’s knees to perform oral sex. There is a WORLD of difference between these artists and their lifestyles helped shape them.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I didn’t know that about Putin liking the Beatles. Thanks for the info!

  2. Constaninos says

    Pete Best was the man, not Richard Starkey. The Beatles got rid of him because he was too good looking. Paul McCartney was jealous of the fact that all the teeny boppers drooled all over him.

    • George Michalopulos says

      That is true, Costa. Pete Best will go down in history as the unluckiest rock star of all time. Still, he will go down in history as being the Beatle the others got rid of.

      You got me to thinking: what would the Beatles have been like with him instead of Ringo? Sure he was very good looking (better than even George Harrison) but would that have made the Beatles even more of a novelty? Is it possible that Ringo’s homely looks added a “spark” to the Fab Four that endeared them even more to their fans? Who knows?

      Regardless, they were a phenomenon that happened only once for all time. For Pete to have been in their orbit, even closer than Stu Sutcliffe, Klaus Voorman, Brian Epstein, Billy Preston, et al, will redound to his historical legacy I imagine.

    • Lennon and McCartney were focused and George he was good looking
      however Beatles to go from their Hamburg days needed .. talent .. equivalent
      and they got that with Ringo. Their original US No.1 hit “hold your hand” has
      that drum beat very fast very dynamic Ringo Watts Moon Bonham top 4 rock
      drummers a friend from work took me to a WHO concert at San Jose pavilion
      you had Daltrey and Townshend and Ringo’s son drums. There was a big projection
      of a guy that really flat out looked like “opposite Jesus” they opened their show
      with “can’t explain” and then all the light effects for “Baba O’Reilly” really lot of
      anti Christian lyrics “don’t need to be forgiven” if you want to just go to hell but
      those guys must have ate healthy ..

    • cynthia curran says

      Pete Best I heard about as an adult, I’m only 61 years old, I liked Ringo’s nose as a kid,

  3. His best performance was the movie Caveman. Worth the knighthood in my view.

  4. Billy Jack Sunday says

    I, too, really like the Beatles

    Ringo is great

    One of the last physical CD’s I purchased (before my lady brought me into the 21st Century with downloading/streaming) was a Beatles collection

    Ringo’s song, “Yellow Submarine” is a funny favorite of mine and I tend to blast it occasionally while driving

    I’ve never been one to be star struck or a collector of autographs and memorabilia

    However, the only time in my adult life where I seriously felt a strong impulse to steal was related to the Beatles

    I once worked at the main headquarters for a famous business (not typical for me and quite a while ago). The product is much celebrated around the world. As such, the gentleman who is the face and historical force behind the success of the product – in his own way – is a celebrity.

    Part of my job was to drop off his newspaper to his admin’ s desk early every morning – before hardly anyone was around.

    In my time at that job, periodically there were visits from very famous A-list celebrities, foreign presidents and royalty, ECT. Basically, the who’s who of the global elites all clamored to see this man.

    I, personally, didn’t care. I frequently walked by him in the early morning – while he was walking the floors exercising – on the way to deliver his newspaper. On occasion, we would briefly make eye contact and acknowledge each other in passing, but mostly I ignored him. Cool guy, but so what. He’s just a dude.

    But everybody else in the world it seemed, really wanted his attention

    People would send him elaborate gifts and messages on the best stationary with the most professionally produced letterheads – you get the picture.

    So I won’t say who or why – as context would give away, so I won’t either say exactly what I saw written, but –

    One early morning, as I was dropping off the newspaper on the admin’s desk, I saw on the front ledge a handwritten note – on a quarter sheet of paper

    Signed simply as “Paul.”

    But if you saw the short written message, and knew some context, you would know, as I immediately did, that it was none other than Sir Paul McCartney

    Holy crap

    I knew I could put the newspaper down and swipe up the note in a single motion, tuck it away, and most likely not get caught. Even so, it was worth the risk.

    I didn’t. I left it. Would have been wrong to take for several reasons. But I felt the steal impulse like I’ve never felt before!

    You know why?

    Everybody who thought they were cool – and I’m talking the cool of the cool – the important of the important – tried to impress this business man and get some time with him

    But Paul McCartney left him a nice and polite hand scratched note on scrap paper

    I’m sure PM thought nothing of it

    But he did it

    Because this business guy was important and cool, indeed

    But Paul’s a Beatle

    And it doesn’t get any cooler than that

    • Number 9 number 9 number 9 numr 9 numr 9 side B Yellow Submarine album little foray of theirs into Classical Music kinda “Vivaldi” esque. So are we talking about Donald Trump or Steve Jobs? Think even Paul had something unflattering recently, he was in that gun March organized with school kids lunch money. I can relate, glad for you since you got to read the message know the story and remembered your several reasons not to snatch the thing. I one time shop lifted just to see if I could do it some artist paints and I did and got away with it and to this day always feel like I took advantage of honesty and openness and not guilty as much as remorse and feeling that I hurt an honest innocent business. I was self-influenced trying to see if I could be slick like some of the friends I knew they dropped acid and did their shoplifting sprees tripping on strong LSD in their earlier childhood years very adventurous but they were mostly of divorced parents so probably better I was playing sports and even learning some Orthodoxy from Fr. Seraphim Rose literature had a handful of visits there up in Platina with mom Fr. Seraphim sized me up I had attitude but I read his books. Some of them.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      BJS, that’s very cool, indeed! But actually it was THIS lady who brought the 21st Century with downloading/streaming into your life. It was my idea to download songs like a “Jukebox.” My former husband, Dan, will attest to this. Just saying, . . . !

  5. Michael Bauman says

    Never did like the Beatles. Long and Winding Road was the only song of theirs I liked. The rest were sometimes clever advertising jingles that triggered a mass hysteria, not real music. The fact that today’s stuff is worse does not make them good.

    I have never understood knighting folks because of commercial success. Sir General Bullmoose anyone?

  6. Ever been asked your favorite Beatle tune? Mine is “Polythene Pam.” What other one “Back in the USSR” rocks! “She’s a woman who understand, I know, she’s a woman, sheeees a woman” Shea stadium McCartney. Only three Beatle tunes come to mind, maybe “I’m looking through you” Rubber Soul. “Everybody gots something to hide except me and my Monkey”


      “From me to you” was a request song of mine at the Gold Dust lounge Powell St. with Cable Cars running by. (one of) My favorite old Beatle tune(s).

    • George Michalopulos says

      Side 2 of Abbey Road is quite possibly the greatest, most profound conglomeration of music ever composed by the hand of man. The arc of emotion and sublimity that begin with “Here Comes the Sun” and ends with “Her Majesty” will never –can never–be repeated.

      In my opinion, only the reprise of “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band” leading into “A Day in the Life” approaches it.

      • Constaninos says

        George, I think Mr. Bach might disagree with you. I’ll take Love is Blue by Paul Mauriat any day of the week over any of the crap the Beatles ever produced. In my opinion, Mr. Mauraiat’s use of the harpsichord made that song great. Let me ask you this: what do you think is going to get a chick in the mood for love? She Loves You yeah, yeah, yeah or Love is Blue?

        • Constaninos says
        • This one was always better than love is blue:

        • George Michalopulos says

          Now Bach (or possibly Beethoven) is probably the greatest of all time. With Mozart a close second.

          What I meant to say is that the Beatles were the most influential and phenomenal musical combo of all time. In other words, four musicians who were stratospherically successful on so many levels all the while being hugely popular at the same time.

          I mean, literally, they came out of nowhere and then they were being feted by heads of state. Their impact on culture was incalculable. Etc.

          • Michael Bauman says

            You see George, I instinctually distrust mass movements. It is like the whole world took a laxative.

            • Constaninos says

              Mr. Bauman,
              The thing baseball needs the most is another .400 hitter; as you know, Teddy Ballgame was the last to achieve this feat in 1941. By the way, what a great hitter! As you know, he would stand in front of a mirror, and practice his illustrious swing for hours. 521 home runs and a career batting average of .344.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Constaninos: Won’t happen, would not even stir the PR meter if it did. Tony Gwynn was the last to come close in 1994(strike year). Ground balls do not find holes like they used to. With what seems like 9 man infields it makes it a little difficult. Even without the shifts, shortstops have a range that makes the shortstops of Williams era look like high school guys. They routinely field balls on the first base side of second without a shift and throw runners out. 90% of those plays would be hits when I was growing up. Plus, Williams would be shifted to death these days. Fans do not care if you hit .300 these days let alone .400.

                Players get paid by teams and advertisers if they hit home runs. Can most baseball fans name the top guy in average in each league last year? I did not follow NL ball at all last year so I had to look him up. I did know the top AL guy. He is a celebrated player but mostly because he is short with the question, “How can a guy so short hit so many home runs?” There are also a lot of pictures of him next to Aaron Judge who is not short. Hard to get them in the same frame (5’6″ vs 6’7″)

                But everybody knows Aaron Judge who hit .280 and struck out over 200 times because he hit home runs and Giancarlo Stanton who hit more home runs with about the same average but did not strike out as much.

                My Royals guy, Eric Hosmer, was in the top 10 in average last year for all of baseball at .308 for Pete’s sake and people were saying all off season he should not get a long term contract because he was not a good enough hitter–only hit 25 home runs and isn’t short.

                Hitting for average is boring, the Stratcast stats are not sexy and it will get you bad contracts.

                Still you have to admire a game when the absolute best hitters in the game fail 70% to 80% of the time and get the hits that count far less than 5% to 10% of the time.

                Besides, hitting for average is “sooooo overrated” any more. You have to have a good WAR and your BAIP is far more important plus your HHBR.

                I will always remember the hardest hit ball I ever saw. Frank Howard of the Dodgers playing in the old Yankee Stadium where the left centerfield wall was 457′ from home plate. He hit a screaming line drive off the 457′ mark and got a single because the ball bounced about 50′ back to the outfielder who was trying to run it down and Mr. Howard was a little slow.

                Still the 2105 Royals should not have won the World Series. By any statistical measure they were not a particularly good team. They statistically should not have even been in the post season in either 2014 or 2015. They just refused to loose. Only a truly historical pitching performance by Madison Baumgartner in 2014 prevented them from being back to back World Champs. In 2015, they came from behind by two runs or more six times in 16 post season games, often in the late innings against the opposing team’s top closer.

                If Loyola of Chicago wins the NCAA Basketball Tournament this year, it will be roughly equivalent.

      • Billy Jack Sunday says


        The best song ever produced is:

        Hoo Ba Ba Kanda

        By Pogo

        Perhaps the best music video of all time as well

      • Naww, mean Mr. Mustard better song than anything on Peppers.

        The good one in Sgt. Pepper is that rooster crow, “good morning good morning” that tune then “ARKK HHwonn two for we’re Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band we hope you enjoy the show ..

  7. Antiochene Son says

    Off-topic, aside from being pop-culture: I recommend seeing the “Paul the Apostle” film that’s out right now. Excellent, excellent film. I’m not just saying that as a cheerleader; “we have to support ‘our’ movies.” It left me in awe at St. Paul and the early Christians, and wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life.

  8. Michael Bauman says

    Creedance Clearwater Revival.