Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

Today is Ringo Starr’s 69th birthday.

I wouldn’t have known this if my dad hadn’t come to town and had dinner with me. He walked into the newsroom and said something like "I’ve got a quiz for you. Whose 69th birthday is it?" Nobody got it right away, so he quoted two lines from "Don’t Pass Me By" and then of course I got it right away: Ringo Starr, the fourth, generally-unappreciated Beatle.

Ringo is the only Beatle you could honestly think would actually hang out with you in your garage and maybe have a nice chilled beverage. You’d probably end up talking about your kids, or these days, your grandkids. Ringo seemed like a normal, albeit very talented guy, not an eccentric genius like Lennon or a somber artist like Harrison, or even a hit-making master of pop like McCartney.

But Ringo, too, had his hits and masterpieces. In fact, he may have more hits, since he’s still performing and doing quite well. Here’s "With a Little Help from My Friends."

My dad brought this encomium* for Starr in to the office, and it’s very well written, entertaining and also analytical.

And here’s Ringo’s post-Beatles tune, "It Don’t Come Easy."

Also, check out "King of Broken Hearts" or "Act Naturally," and of course, Ringo’s big solo in "The End."

*Encomium: A formal expression of high praise.