With a little help from his friends, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was set to hold an online 80th birthday bash Tuesday featuring former bandmate Paul McCartney, in aid of charities including Black Lives Matter.
Normally the British musician marks each passing year with performances including fellow musicians and hundreds of fans — but the pandemic forced a rethink this time.
“I love birthdays,” Starr told Rolling Stone recently. “This year is going to be a little different. There’s no big get-together, there’s no brunch for 100.
“But we’re putting this show together — an hour of music and chat. It’s quite a big birthday.”
The show will see a virtual reunion between Starr and McCartney, who play together on occasion and last year united for a surprise performance in Los Angeles as part of McCartney’s “Freshen Up” tour.
“I love playing with Paul,” Starr told the magazine in an interview published Tuesday. “He’s still for me, the finest, most melodic bass player in the world, and I love what he does.
“But, you see, this is when you realize I’ve said that for 40 years. I’m still saying the same line!”
Ben Harper, Dave Grohl, Sheila E. and Sheryl Crow also are set to be among the celebrities joining Starr — who lives in Los Angeles — at 5 p.m. local time (0000 GMT) for the online party.
The event is encouraging donations to the Black Lives Matter Global Network, The David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and WaterAid, according to Starr’s website.
Ahead of the bash NASA’s Curiosity Rover tweeted Starr birthday wishes from space.
– ‘Peace and Love’ –
“Happy 80th, Ringo! Here’s my view of Earth (and Venus) from the surface of Mars where I’m thinking about your message of Peace and Love, and how in good times and in tough ones, we all get by with a little help from our friends,” it said.
Known for his easy-going personality and humor, Starr rocketed to global fame in the early 1960s and helped change the face of pop music forever as part of the Beatles — still perhaps the world’s most famous band.
After the group’s break-up, Starr emerged as a band leader in the late 1980s with his All Starr Band, a collaboration that is still active today with various artists that played hits from the Beatles and other ensembles.
In his wide-ranging discussion with Rolling Stone, the newly-minted octogenarian talked about his recent turn to health as he heads into his ninth decade.
Starr said he works out anywhere from three to six times a week, goes for long walks and maintains a vegetarian diet — eating “broccoli with everything and blueberries every morning.”
He said he hasn’t really left his LA home in some 11 weeks during the pandemic, inviting an engineer over just once for a jam session.
“I do a bit of that and I have a paint room, a little art room. And I’m going in there, painting and doing stuff. And I love to sit in the sun. I love LA. I love the brightness and hanging out.
“That’s all we’re doing.”
© 2020 AFP
What we know so far about COVID-19 and children
President Donald Trump has been censored on Facebook and Twitter after saying children are "almost immune" from COVID-19. What do the facts say?
We know for sure children are less likely to fall seriously ill from the coronavirus, and emerging evidence suggests they're less likely to be infected too.
What's less clear is how much they spread the virus once infected.
- Children rarely become seriously ill -
Under-18s have accounted for just two percent of hospitalized COVID-19 cases and less than 0.1 percent of all deaths in the United States, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Trump’s latest attack on Joe Biden is stunningly delusional — even for him
Few ever accuse President Donald Trump of subtlety. But in a new speech in Cleveland on Thursday, he let loose with a particularly wild rant against his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, that was over-the-top, even for him.
It’s worth just quoting in full:
He’s following the radical left agenda. Take away your guns. Destroy your Second Amendment. No religion! No anything! Hurt the Bible! Hurt God! He’s against God! He’s against guns! He’s against energy, our kind of energy. Uh, I don’t think he’s going to do too well in Ohio.
Many people pointed out that there’s much more evidence that Biden is a committed Christian than there is for Trump. But almost that seems to miss several key points about how wild this is:
Angst-ridden Republicans should have acted when Trump put his reelection above national security concerns: conservative columnist
Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, columnist Jennifer Rubin says that Senate Republicans are in serious trouble, especially in light of the stimulus bill they rolled out this week.
According to Rubin, the Senate GOP is in dire straits because "they have allowed the anti-government, anti-science Trump sycophants to disclaim any interest in the bill, thereby handing the reins to Democrats."
Rubin writes that some Republicans saying they want to see essential workers being taken care of in the bill are speaking up too late. "If only they they had some power in February to remove the unfit and corrupt president from office, instead of leaving him there to purge witnesses from his administration, seek vengeance on foes, force out inspectors general and botch the response to the coronavirus," Rubin writes.