Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I wandered over to my buddy Ivan’s site this morning, where I discovered that today is Ringo Starr’s seventieth birthday.

How terribly strange to be seventy! (Whoops! Wrong artist.)

Back when I was still in high school - and the Beatles were still a functioning enterprise - my then-girlfriend gifted me with a copy of the original edition of Alan Aldridge’s wonderful book, The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics. Aldridge, a talented graphic artist and illustrator (among other things, he designed the record jackets for Elton John’s Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy and The Who’s A Quick One), had assembled a remarkable collection of images - his and other artists’ work - that managed to capture the essence of every published Beatles song.

Elderly Beatles
The Beatles as oldsters: painting ­©1969 Michael Leonard.

One of the images in the back pages of the book was the above illustration by one Michael Leonard, a speculative portrait of the Beatles as elderly men.

Alas, John Lennon and George Harrison never made it to “elderly.” But Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are still walking the planet with us, and they are, with today’s Happy Occasion as witness, Getting On Up There. As are, I suppose, many of us.

Ringo and Paul look pretty good, though... a stark contrast to, say, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, both of whom look as though their blood was replaced by a blend of embalming fluid, caffeine, and Reanimator Juice years ago.

Happy birthday, Mr. Starr! Long life and good health to you.


Houston Steve said...

Happy BD Ringo. And for all of us who have enjoyed his irreverence over the years, these two q and a’s are excerpted from an interview with David Itzkoff published in yesterday’s NY Times:

Q: A few weeks ago the Vatican finally gave its approval to the Beatles. How did you feel about that?
A: It didn’t affect me in any way, but I do believe that the Vatican have better things to deal with than forgiving the Beatles. I don’t remember what it actually said — it had some weird piece in it, too. That they’ve forgiven us for being, what, satanic? Whoever wrote it was thinking about the Stones.

(Since my company is now owned by Sony I have to say I am a bit ambivalent about the next one.)

Q: Do you get much chance to listen to all the Beatles covers that continue be produced?
A: You have to talk to Sony about that. They have the publishing and they’ll give it to anyone.

Stephen Gard said...

Thank you for posting the 'Beatles As Old Men' pic! I have been searching for it since forever. I remember seeing it when it first appeared, I think in Time Magazine.