Story by Shawn Perry
Photos by Erin Perry
Photos by Erin Perry
On Friday, July 7, 2017, Ringo Starr celebrated his 77th birthday at Capitol Records, the label that helped launched the Beatles in America. Every year since 2008, the drummer has had what he calls “Peace & Love” events on his birthday. It started in Chicago, then New York City, Hamburg, Nashville, and Los Angeles, where it’s been for the last three years.
Before he posed for pictures, talked to the press, cut the cake and had everyone join in for a bit of “Peace & Love,” Starr released a snippet of the title track of his upcoming 19th solo album, Give More Love, online. The record drops September 19, and features lots of the drummer’s friends, including Paul McCartney, Steve Lukather, Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton, Don Was, Edgar Winter and many others over 10 brand new tracks.
If you know anything about Ringo Starr, you know he has no shortage of friends. When it comes to his annual birthday celebration at Capitol’s famed tower in Hollywood, now in its third year at this location, the stars turned out.
Joe Walsh (also Starr’s brother-in-law), Don Was, Edgar Winter, Van Dyke Parks, Nils Lofgren, Richard Page, Matt Sorum, Zak Starkey (Starr’s son), Ed Begley, Jr, Gregg Bissonette, Jenny Lewis, Jim Keltner, Richard Lewis, David Lynch and Chris Carter were all on hand for the birthday celebrations and noontime #PeaceAndLove salute.
Before the main event, Don Was, Jenny Lewis, Van Dyke Parks, Michael Bearden, Haitian singer Emmanuel Jal and South Sudanese rapper Paul Beaubrun came up for smooth takes of Starr’s 1971 hit “It Don’t Come Easy.” They followed with a version of Starr’s 2010 song “Peace Dream,” with a heavy rap from Beaubrun.
Meanwhile, Ringo Starr’s Facebook page posted live videos of #PeaceAndLove celebrations from all over the world. Here in Los Angeles in front of the Capitol Records building. Starr stepped up to the stage, counted down to 12:00, and had his invited guests and the assembled crowd standing on Vine Street to shout out "Peace and Love."
Afterwards, “Peace & Love” wristbands were thrown out to friends and anxious onlookers, alike. If you were lucky, you got a “Peace & Love” cookie. Starr and his friends adjourned to the Capitol Records Tower for more Peace & Love. The oldest member of the Beatles knows the world is a violent place. He was born just before the Germans unleashed a “blitz” of several bombings upon his hometown of Liverpool. Seemingly levelheaded and grateful for his success, Ringo Starr has always conveyed a positive image. As he said to one reporter, “All I can do is my part…to keep saying, ‘Peace and love.’”