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There's been a lot of ink about Ringo Starr in the last week or so, spurred on by yet another return engagement of Mr. Starkey's All Starr Band. The opinions shared in these digital pages have been split. My colleague Rich Abdill recently gave the ex-Beatle some love relative to his role in A Hard Day's Night, but lamenting the fact that Ringo seemed all but overshadowed by his All Starrs in concert. 

But as Rich so rightly pointed out, Ringo's always been diminished in every historical perspective. That's not so much through his own doing, mind you -- he was, in retrospect, a damn decent drummer -- but because anyone would naturally pale in comparison to the combined genius of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. He himself noted this sarcastically the other night following a run through of "Don't Pass Me By," the first song he ever wrote: "Lennon and McCartney, here I come!" 

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Ringo Starr turns 72 on Saturday. But another mile marker - 50 years since he became a Beatle - is also being celebrated this year - just not necessarily by Starr. He told CBS News he hasn't thought about the milestone at all.

 

"It's just another number, isn't it? You know, that's how it is. ... It used to be just two years. Ooh, now five. Now 40," Starr said.

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In 2011, Sir George Martin, who signed the Beatles to his Parlophone label and produced all but one of their albums, was the subject of a BBC documentary, ‘Produced by George Martin.’ The film will be released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats on Sept. 11, 2012.

In the 90-minute film, Martin, whose influence on the group makes him one of the few people who could genuinely lay claim to the title of the ‘Fifth Beatle,’ tells his own story. ‘Produced by George Martin’ uses rarely-seen archival footage as well as new interviews from, among others, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Monty Python’s Michael Palin and Jeff Beck.

Martin signed the Beatles in 1962 and became their guiding hand in the studio. His skill as an arranger and willingness to experiment contributed heavily to songs like ‘Eleanor Rigby,&rsqu details

The locals know it as "Beatle Island' -- and now it can be yours for €300,000, writes Ken Sweeney.


It might have been where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived out their retirement.

Asked shortly before he was gunned down in 1980 what the couple would be doing when they were 64, Lennon said: "I hope we're a nice old couple living off the coast of Ireland, looking at our scrapbook of madness."

It was not to be, but the isolated island with which John Lennon once fell in love could now be yours as Dorinish Island has been put up for sale.

One of the most westerly of Clew Bay's reputed 365 islands, Dorinish is made up of two small island details

Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney will close out the Olympics Games opening ceremony with a performance of Hey Jude - and he'll ask the stadium's 60,000 spectators to sing along with him.

One billion people are expected to tune in to watch the spectacular three-hour show, which is being directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle and is costing £27 million to produce.

The largest harmonically tuned bell in the world will ring to mark the start of the ceremony at 9pm on July 27 - and the pop legend will bring it to a rousing finale at midnight.

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Everybody loves beating on Ringo Starr -- he's got a weird face, they say, and isn't he the one who wrote that song about the submarine? Don't forget too that apocryphal tale of someone asking John Lennon if Ringo was the best drummer in the world, to which he allegedly replied, "He isn't even the best drummer in the Beatles."

There's also the very real quote from longtime  details

 

 

Sir Paul McCartney believes in the "healing power" of music.
 
The Beatles legend insists song has a "powerful" effect and even claims to have cured a headache by listening to one of his favourite records.
 
Speaking on 'The Ronnie Wood Show', he said: "All it is, its little vibrations reaching your heart. Music, you know, it's only little vibrations, little words and little things, but it has this powerful effect.
 
"And the healing power of music is serious. I remember I had a mate called Ian James, just my little teenage mate, school mate, and we used to go down the fairs together and things.
 
"I remember one day I went back to his house and I had a headache, steaming headache, and I thought 'Oh God', but we put on 'All Shook Up' by Elvis. By the time that record details

 

Ringo Starr has shot down reports that the sons of The Beatles are set to form a band together.

Earlier this year, Paul McCartney's son James said he and the rest of the Fab Four's offspring could pay tribute to their dads by creating a second-generation incarnation of the group. 

James, who has released two EPs titled 'Available Light' and 'Close At Hand', admitted that he had discussed working with Sean Lennon and Dhani Harrison, although he did that it seemed as if Ringo Starr's son, Zak Starkey, isn't keen on the idea. 

When asked if he had ever thought about forming a band with the rest of the Beatles' children, he replied: "I don't think it's something that Zak wants to do. Maybe Jason [drummer and one of Starr's o details

 

On a rainy Monday night in New York, Ringo Starr is opening the latest show of his rock-star art, and he’s looking great. In skinny black pants, an Edwardian jacket and a stylish cropped beard, he seems more like 50 than 71, as everyone around him remarks. He still has his laddish Liverpudlian wit, throwing back his head in a deep throaty laugh as a crowd of reporters joins in. His creative streak is still streaking: He’s on yet another U.S. tour with his All Starr Band, while Pop International, a SoHo gallery that sells celebrity art, is crammed with his computer-printed creations, greeted with oohs and aahs (and checks) by the throng of fans in attendance.

  
But Ringo’s got a problem. He gets such automatic praise and attention, just for being the Fourth Beatle, that it doesn’t much matter what he does or makes, the effect on the crowd is the same. His jokes aren’t as funny as he details

 

 

Paul McCartney has recorded a video message promoting the Meat Free Monday campaign he’s long supported that’s intended to convince schoolchildren to decrease how much meat they eat.  The eight-plus-minute clip premiered on Saturday at The Sunday Times Festival of Education in Crowthorne, England, and shows the rock legend and longtime vegetarian talking in-depth about the positive environmental and health effects of reducing the world’s meat consumption.

In the video, the former Beatle calls Meat Free Monday, which simply asks people to refrain from eating meat at least one day a week, “an accessible idea that it isn’t that difficult to do.”  He also points out that a United Nations study has shown that the meat industry is responsible creating an elevation in gases that, in turn, causes a destructive increase in global temperature.

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