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Wednesday, 07 July 2010


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That sign is the V for Victory sign, surely? As used extensively by Churchill in the second World War.

Anyway, happy birthday Ringo.

Stands to reason, though. He was ten years older than I when I was sixteen, happily singing along with Act Naturally...

It took a couple of tries, but I think I got the V thing.

I assume that I speak for all TOP readers when I congratulate Mr Starr on reaching this milepost, and, more generally, on his rich, deep auburn thatch and healthy complexion (though his taste in his chest furniture is somewhat upsetting). Clearly, good living and thinking nice thoughts do wonders for one's outer self, something that Keith Richards might take on board before he loses his looks.

Is the second photo one of the publicity stills from A Hard Day's Night? Kinda looks like it might be.
A Hard Day's Night was a great movie. At least for a music obsessed 13ys old such as I was. Want to know where the quick cut style of MTV originated? Might be with that movie.

Yes, appropriated by hippies during Viet Nam war protests as "the peace sign." See (among other sources), "V sign" at Wikipedia.


Ugh. (Yes, the "V" is "Peace"...from my era.)

I've not been a pop music follower or groupie since I was a teen. But the Beatles have always been my all-time favorite band. I was among those kids who were bordering on being obsessed with these guys when they first landed in the U.S. charts. It's just my one little music passion, mercifully no longer an obsession.

But one of my life laments was that I was never able to see the Beatles perform in-person during the few years that they did perform. Shrug.

Then two years ago my wife and I were strolling along the Chicago lakefront near the 12th Street beach on a hot July afternoon. Suddenly, strains of Ringo music came wafting from Northerly Island, just behind us. It was Ringo -- in the flesh! He was rehearsing for an evening performance with his All-Starr Band. And good seats were still available!

So that evening, which was just a beautiful summer evening along the Chicago lakefront, I finally got to see at least one of the Beatles perform...40+ years late. It was a real thrill for me. And I have to say that Ringo looked to be in fabulous shape for a 68 year-old.

Keep truckin' Ringo! Happy birthday!

Is he an old soccer player or something?
(two fingers for to goals maybe?)

The Beatles have always had meaning for me beyond just their great music. I don't know what it is about that band, but the music still has the same effect on me that it did 45 years ago. One of the most traumatic things I can remember from my childhood was when my father changed the channel right in the middle of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. It was one of the rare things he did that was unkind. He said we wouldn't remember the Beatles in 6 months.

I did have the opportunity to see them live. It was mostly screaming (from the audience), but very exciting. I took a very young woman with me (I was only 12 or 13 myself) who tried to rush the stage, and I never found her again that night. She did get home safely.

I used to imagine that I would go meet them when they weren't famous anymore - so much for that idea.

I admit, I am always a little jealous when someone famous spends a bit of time with Paul or Ringo. (Like when Barack's kids are singing Hey Jude with Paul). Their music and their movement mean so much to me, but I will never have the chance.

Anyway, many don't realize it, but those four guys changed the world in so many ways.

Edward Taylor

Thanks Mike for educating me about the Peace movement symbol - I did not know about that. My only contact with Americans in the Vietnam area was in Bangkok, on a holiday with an aunt who lived there. Her apartment block was mostly taken over by US soldiers enjoying some R&R from Vietnam (about '71 or '72 I think) - aged 6 or 7 I was fascinated, and they certainly were enjoying themselves with music and partying. Having myself later been a soldier, I now appreciate their need to unwind.

Thanks also for the wikipedia hint. As a proud Brit, I'm delighted to know of the origins of the 2-fingered insult coming from English archers at Agincourt. So much so that I've just delivered a long-distance 2-fingered insult myself in the general direction of France. And, for afficionados of Monty Python (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V7zbWNznbs), that's a return for the Gallic sentry's "I f**t in your general direction..." They're our favourite enemy.

We should all look so good at 70!

For Beatles lovers. Catch the videos on the Fab Faux website. Try the Abby Road side Two and go from there. http://www.thefabfaux.com/

The Fab Faux are the creme de la creme of Beatles tribute bands, (no hair or costumes) and play the entire Beatles songbook. Concerts always include strings and brass.

They love to play the most complicated Beatles music; much of which was never played live by the Beatles.

The website is worthy of a couple of hours of exploration. Read the articles from Rolling Stone.

Ringo and his band just played at the State Theatre in Easton, Pa and killed!

Um... Doesn't the "peace sign" translate to the bloody V in England? Hmmm. Quite a different meaning I methinks.

July 7 2010 also would have been Mahler's 150th birthday (he died aged 50 in 1911). Wiesengrund once wrote of Mahler that his music was "the cardiogram of a breaking heart", but I doubt he'd have understood the peace sign.


My grandfather was born on July 7, 1904, in or near Heilbronn, Germany. He died 92 years later, I think in Connecticut. He saw as much change in his lifetime as anyone ever has, I think.

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