Ringo, The Forgotten Beatle
In entertainment news (I feel so dirty,) Ringo Starr walked off the Regis & Geddy Lee Show (or whatever the hell it’s called) on January 22 (see article here.) Apparently, they asked the former Beatle (I’ll say that again: former Beatle) if he could, you know, shorten his new song, “Liverpool 8” a smidge so as not to run over time. I’m guessing they needed to cut to commercial so the Swiffer people could push their crappy wanna-brooms on an increasingly dusty buying public.
Now, I know that it is common for artists to perform edited versions of their songs for talk-shows, but I also know that exceptions have been made for artists like Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen. You would think that a former Beatle would warrant some latitude. I mean, it’s not like he’s Peter Noone for God’s sake. I don’t think we can blame Regis or Buffi, though; it’s probably the fault of the producers (everyone knows they’re all Pete Best fans anyway.) In fact, I like Regis Philbin. I hope I have half his energy when I’m 85.
I think Ringo was perfectly justified in walking off the set. I think any artist would be justified. I mean, if you want Ringo to perform, then let him perform. I can understand shortening a long song like “Hey Jude,” or forbidding him from performing “You’re Sixteen.” (mostly because it’s just creepy.) Admittedly, I don’t really know if the producers promised he could play the full four minutes, then changed their minds, or if Ringo is just being obstinate. When I have my own crappy talk-show (and God willing, someday I will,) the bands can play “Layla” for all I care. They could even interrupt themselves and start playing “Radio Radio” instead. I’m cool with that.
I wish more musicians would be like Ringo and stand up for themselves. For starters, stop accepting $100 so your 5-piece band can play “Mustang Sally” at Whitey’s Blooze Hut & Chuckle Lounge for the umpteenth time. Especially considering you could use the time to learn other songs or work on your own music. I’m occasionally asked if I can recommend a really good band who will play for “really cheap.” I invariably ask, “well, do you want good, or do you want cheap?”
The usual reply? “Well, I want both.”
Yeah, good luck with that. Damn communist.