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Author Topic: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?  (Read 6389 times)

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Loco Mo

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Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« on: December 25, 2006, 03:08:36 PM »

When Epstein booted Best, he revealed that Ringo had already signed on.  Pete felt betrayed by Ringo because they'd been friends and Ringo offered him no clue of the behind-the-back deal that was being made.

Later in 1965, Ringo blasted Best with the statement that "he took little pills to make him ill."  Best responded with a lawsuit for libel.

To date, Best states that no Beatles's ever spoken to him.

I recall at one point that Ringo nastily said that "he didn't owe this guy anything or particularly give a crap about him and his misfortune."  Ringo implied that the canning of Pete was simply business and he was not to be troubled by it in any sense.   Even though Pete ultimately stuck his head inside a gas oven and not for the purpose of checking the turkey, Ringo displayed a profound lack of empathy for the man.

Even so, Ringo is quite lovable and charming.  And, too, he was indeed the key to the Beatles immeasurable success.  

But really, Ringo, don't you think it's time to send a salvo in Pete's direction?  Perhaps, in a conciliatory gesture, you could offer him a turn of drums on your next album.  This way, Pete'd get some royalties in the process to help soothe his injured soul and bruised ego.  Perhaps you could even tour together and bill it as the Best Starr Show.  Maybe Paul could join and it could then be called "Paul and his Stickers" or maybe even "Paul's Beaters."

How's about it, Ringo?  Everyone - do you think there's any merit to this idea?  I, indeed, the world, appreciates your feedback on this important BEATLES matter.  Perhaps it would help soften some the sordid BEATLES history that we prefer be suppressed lest our pristine image of a high-borne BEATLES iconography be smirched, however slightly.

Merry Mas, all!
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tkitna

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2006, 12:58:10 AM »

I dont think Ringo has anything to apologize for. He wasnt involved in the decision making for the lineup change. Whats he supposed to apologize for,,,,,because Pete was a worse drummer? I dont get it.

Loco Mo

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2006, 12:09:40 PM »

I'm trying to approach this from Pete's point of view.  

Should Ringo have tipped Pete off that the boys had asked him to join?

Did Ringo really have to make the remark that "he took little pills to make him ill?"

I think Pete's lost many many nights of sleep over these issues.
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Studio2

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2006, 05:41:28 PM »

I'm sure he has, but you gotta remember, old Ringo's from the Dingle where apologies are few and far between.

Oh... and he probably doesn't give a monkey's.

I undertsand, Loco Mo, that tongue is firmly in cheek here (well, I hope so anyway) but the question about an apology doesn't even need to be asked kids. Well, as far as I can tell anyway. Unfortunately none of us (myself included) were there at the time, enabling us to put together a well enough informed opinon to answer this little hypothetical.
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tkitna

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2006, 12:14:12 AM »

I like Pete Best, I really do, but damn. Ringo should not have to apologize because others made the decision to boot an inferior drummer. It happens in bands all the time. Was Ringo expected to be the one to go and tell Pete he was being shelved because the other band members and higher ups found Pete to be inadequate? I dont think so.

As for Ringo saying that Pete was taking little pills or whatever,,,hell, we dont know what was said by either party prior to that remark. I'm sure there was a little bad blood there, but cripes, I didnt apologize to the other three people that interviewed for the position I hold now that they didnt get.

Pete needs to get over it if he hasnt already.

Loco Mo

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2006, 01:42:33 AM »

On August 16th, 1962, during the course of an otherwise routine Thursday morning "business" meeting with Brian Epstein, at Whitechapel, sometime shortly after 10 a.m., Pete Best met his fate.  Time froze for him at that moment.  He was 20 years old; he'd be 21 in 3 months.  In 3 months & 1 month, Love Me Do would reach No. 17 on the UK charts.  Another month later, Please Please Me would reach No. 1.

Pete Best has, to this day, remained frozen in time in Whitechapel, sometime shortly after 10 a.m.  His body has aged since then but his mind forever lives in the moment of his dismissal.  The looming petite figure of Brian Epstein is etched vividly in his brain.  It is an indelible image.  

Pete never left Whitechapel that fateful morning.  It wasn't possible for him to do so.  That is where the movie ended for him.  That is where the credits roll - over and over into eternity.  

We should weep for him.  For he is where no man wishes to be in a place where he is yet a Beatle - in that singular moment preceding Brian Epstein's incomprehensible statement:  "The boys want you out and Ringo in ...."  Yes, time stopped for Pete with that utterance.  He now sits in perpetual shock and remains 20 years and 270 days old .. forever!

My friends and fellow Beatle afficionados, please ponder the tragedy of Pete Best, the pathetic sad lad, who remains as does Peter Pan, young always, but utterly without joy or consolation.

I rest my case.  Ringo .... ?    Paul ..... ?    Fans ..... ?
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tkitna

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2006, 03:45:41 AM »

Pete has benefited from being in the Beatles anyways. His name is now immortal and he has even accepted royalties from several different projects. No, I dont feel sorry for him. Maybe if he practiced more and became a good drummer, he wouldnt have been kicked out.

He will always be remembered as the drummer who wasnt good enough. I rest my case.

Joost

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2006, 09:05:10 PM »

I don't think anyone should feel sorry for Pete Best. He makes a comfortable living to this day because he played drums on a few songs 44 years ago. That's not really that bad of a deal.

Of course Ringo doesn't owe him an apology. But maybe Paul does. Not sure, I don't know exactly how they kicked him out...
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adamzero

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2006, 11:51:22 PM »

Of course the whole band (except Ringo, he had no decision in the matter and as a professional accepted an opportunity as offered--he was potentially giving up a good steady gig with Rory Storm for an uncertain thing--I've never heard about the "little pills" quote) should have apologized and given him a million in the 1960s.  Even though Ringo lifted the band, Pete kept them going through the tough years and deserved a helluva more than he eventually got through the releases he played on.  

If Paul were a true "statesman" he would do exactly what you suggest and play some dates with Pete and release a recording.  Better yet, why not have had included Pete on the unplugged set (which I find great at times, painful at others, and just downright professional "boring" at others--it sounds like a soundcheck)?  It'd have been great to have Paul play with an "amateur" for a change.  Hell, Van Morrison made a great record of skiffle with Lonnie Donigan and that other guy whose name I can't recall.  

And speaking of Unplugged, Paul's attempts to do Bluegrass or Elvis (Blue Moon of Kentucky) are downright embarrassing.  

Paul, if you're willing to give Heather $200 million why not drop a couple off at Pete's.

The treatment Pete Best received is a blot on the Beatles legacy and integrity.  The mistake in handing the situation as young men should be amended by the remaining adult.  It's pathetic that John and Paul (and George, I think) could admit how they felt bad about Pete, but then never did anything about it.  

Play on, Pete, wherever you are.
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tkitna

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2006, 02:52:54 AM »

Quote from: 9
Of course the whole band (except Ringo, he had no decision in the matter and as a professional accepted an opportunity as offered--he was potentially giving up a good steady gig with Rory Storm for an uncertain thing--I've never heard about the "little pills" quote) should have apologized and given him a million in the 1960s.  Even though Ringo lifted the band, Pete kept them going through the tough years and deserved a helluva more than he eventually got through the releases he played on.

Yeah Pete kept them going through the lean years because it was his mothers place that they practiced in. It was also a convenience that Pete would even show up for the gigs as many of their earlier drummers didnt because they had other things to do. Cripes, if they were so desperate for a drummer, Paul could have done it. Pete was NOT essential to them as history proves. He deserved nothing more than he recieved and probably less than that.

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If Paul were a true "statesman" he would do exactly what you suggest and play some dates with Pete and release a recording.  Better yet, why not have had included Pete on the unplugged set (which I find great at times, painful at others, and just downright professional "boring" at others--it sounds like a soundcheck)?  It'd have been great to have Paul play with an "amateur" for a change.  Hell, Van Morrison made a great record of skiffle with Lonnie Donigan and that other guy whose name I can't recall.

My God! Why in the f*** would Paul call up Pete Best at this juncture of his life to play a few dates or even hang out? They havent talked for how many years now? You dont think Pete would be thinking that Paul is just doing it because he feels sorry for him? It doesnt make sense.

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And speaking of Unplugged, Paul's attempts to do Bluegrass or Elvis (Blue Moon of Kentucky) are downright embarrassing.

The 'Unplugged' album is good. Also, why would Paul want Pete Best on the drums to play songs that the Beatles did AFTER he was shelved. I'm sure it would have been a great honor for him to mimic drum parts that Ringo came up with. Also Blair Cunningham and Chris Whitten are infinately better drummers than Pete Best could even dream about being.

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Paul, if you're willing to give Heather $200 million why not drop a couple off at Pete's.

Is Pete having a hard time putting food on the table or something? He's far from being the charity case that your making him out to be.

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The treatment Pete Best received is a blot on the Beatles legacy and integrity.  The mistake in handing the situation as young men should be amended by the remaining adult.

Why? They owe him nothing. If he was a better musician he should have had no trouble succeeding elsewhere, but guess what,,,,?

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It's pathetic that John and Paul (and George, I think) could admit how they felt bad about Pete, but then never did anything about it.

If they felt that bad, they would have said something. Maybe their friendship with Pete wasnt all that we think it was.  

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Play on, Pete, wherever you are.

He is. He recently was in Pittsburgh playing to about 150 people.

adamzero

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2006, 05:02:26 AM »

TK, you're right on most of this.  But I'd say "Good Rocking Tonight" "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and "Be-Bop-a-lula" from Unplugged were in the Beatles' repetroire when Pete was in the group.

What I don't understand is why the Beatles treated Pete like toxic waste--surely they felt guilty about it and didn't do much to reconcile the situation.  Interestingly, Neil Aspinall apparently did.  See the wikipedia quote:

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When the surviving Beatles released their Anthology in 1995, which featured a number of tracks with Best as drummer, Best received a substantial windfall
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tkitna

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2006, 05:28:36 AM »

Quote from: 9
TK, you're right on most of this.  But I'd say "Good Rocking Tonight" "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and "Be-Bop-a-lula" from Unplugged were in the Beatles' repetroire when Pete was in the group.

But these are all cover tunes. Every band in those times were playing these three songs.

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What I don't understand is why the Beatles treated Pete like toxic waste--surely they felt guilty about it and didn't do much to reconcile the situation.  Interestingly, Neil Aspinall apparently did.  See the wikipedia quote:

Neil was banging Petes mother for gods sake. Of course he felt worse than the others.

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The Beatles in the early 1960s also lived in a more innocent time.  Nowadays if a band were to the level of playing live and recording (even at the level the Pete Best Beatles were), there would no doubt have been something on paper--probably a four or five way partnership between all the Beatles and management.  That means Pete would have had to have been bought out of his part ownership of the group instead of simply "fired."

Innocent in the means of band management and contracts maybe, but they were all on pills, drinkings, and popping numerous women everynight. They were making squat in Germany. They freakin lived on cornflakes. I mean what did they have to offer Pete at that time anyways? They played for nothing other than to get better.  

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If you've ever been in a band, worked with people day in and out, slogged through crappy gigs with the dream of hitting it big, knowing that whether you're "friends" or not you're still partners of an essentially oral contract to participate in a joint venture (i.e., band), the treatment of Pete is morally reprehensible and probably legally dubious.

I've been in bands clear up to the end of my college days and i'll be the first to tell you,,,oral contracts dont mean sh*t. One little spat among so called friends over something as little as a song or a drink can be the cause of somebody getting canned or quitting. Thats a fact. Theres not a legal issue to be had in this case. I had a friend get canned last week in a band by,,,,,email. Now thats class.

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Heck, for all Ringo's supposed drumming prowess, George Martin didn't use him on the first single (they might as well have brought Pete).

Have you heard Petes version of the same song? I rest my case.    

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Now what would have been really interesting is a Beatles with Paul on drums and singing (ala Levon Helm).  But then we would have missed all his great bass playing.  And to be honest, Paul's drumming tends to be straight-up rock drumming ala Pete Best.

Paul is a good drummer. 'Flaming Pie', 'McCartney', and even 'Dear Prudence' has great stuff on them. I personally talk with Chris Whitten on another drummer forum a lot, and even he has stated that Paul is more than an adequate drummer, so your straight up rock drumming example falls flat.

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I'm still not a fan of Unplugged.  Everything sounds tired and rote.  There's a couple of unexpected, cool cuts like "Ain't No Sunshine" but it's no better than bar-band level.  The female vocalist on "Hi-Heel Sneekers" pretty much blows Paul out of the water.  His voice breaks on "We can Work it Out" or "Here There and Everywhere".  "Every Night" is nice.  "And I love her" sounds bar band--the percussion has that drum-machine precision that ruins the caribbean looseness of Ringo's original.    "I Lost My Little Girl" is an embarrassment--the crowd seems less than thrilled even if it was the first song he wrote (something like "Every Little Thing" or "when I'm 64" might have been a better call.

To each his own on their opinion and I admit its not perfect or great everywhere, but I like it enough.

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Finally, the dobro-playing is pure d crap.  Dammit, I live in Nashville and you couldn't get into a demo studio with that level of playing.

Pauls the jack of all trades, but nobody said he was the master of all.  :)    

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Not to be argumentative, TK, because I respect your insights and opinions.  Just offered as friendly disagreement.  

Friendly is all i'm looking for. Hope i'm not offending.

adamzero

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2006, 04:45:24 PM »

No offense at all.  I appreciate your point-by-point discussion.  

I guess being from the American South I have a penchant for lost causes like Pete Best.

As for your friend.  Fired by email--Ouch!  Or should I say:  :o

The dobro on the Unplugged is played by one of the sideman (a jack of all trades guy).  I'm sure dobro is not his first instrument.  Too bad Paul didn't spring for Jerry Douglass or somebody who could really play.  

Also the Unplugged mix loses the lead guitars at times.

I think the Clapton Unplugged was much better mixed and miked (and performed).  The Nirvana Unplugged was also outstanding.  The Stones Unplugged was so-so.  I haven't seen the Rod Stewart.  
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tkitna

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2006, 12:12:34 AM »

I understand where your coming from and all, but I dont look at Pete as a lost cause. I feel that he benefitted as much as anybody (except the immediate members) due to the bands success. How many millions did Pete recieve just from the rolayties off of the Anthology alone? Trust me, he isnt struggling.

And just to put Pauls 'Unplugged' to bed, again I agree with you that its not the greatest album ever put out, but it has its moments. I like a bunch of other unplugged stuff better too, but I do remember when it came out and it was a pretty big ordeal at the time just because it was Paul. Does it hit my CD player alot,,,,,,hardly. Am I ashamed to throw it in to give it a listen,,,,hardly. Its all good.

BlueMeanie

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2007, 08:37:30 PM »

Quote from: 156
Perhaps it would help soften some the sordid BEATLES history that we prefer be suppressed lest our pristine image of a high-borne BEATLES iconography be smirched, however slightly.

What pristine image?

I don't want them to be remembered as being perfect, because they weren't, any more than the average person on the street.

And for the record, what exactly does Ringo have to apologise for??
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adamzero

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2007, 03:37:37 AM »

Quote from: 483
And for the record, what exactly does Ringo have to apologise for??

I never thought Ringo should apologize to Pete. He should have gotten down on his hands and knees and kissed Pete's boots for Pete's less than stellar (i.e. "Starr-key") drumming.  

That's a joke, ya'll.  Ringo has this weird loopiness, groove thing that Pete never really had.  Pete banged away sorta like a Punk drummer.  Ringo was more supple, but still forceful.  I can't imagine Pete having the subtlety to play "And I Love Her."

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BlueMeanie

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2007, 10:58:12 AM »

Quote from: 9

I never thought Ringo should apologize to Pete. He should have gotten down on his hands and knees and kissed Pete's boots for Pete's less than stellar (i.e. "Starr-key") drumming.  

That's a joke, ya'll.  Ringo has this weird loopiness, groove thing that Pete never really had.  Pete banged away sorta like a Punk drummer.  Ringo was more supple, but still forceful.  I can't imagine Pete having the subtlety to play "And I Love Her."


Ringo's style of drumming was fairly unique. Pete Best was just an average thumper.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2007, 05:02:31 AM »

No
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harihead

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2007, 05:39:27 AM »

Interesting discussion, folks! Here's my two cents:

Quote from: Loco Mo
Should Ringo have tipped Pete off that the boys had asked him to join?
If we're going to blame unaffiliated drummers for not ratting the Beatles out, then Johnny Hutchinson of the Big Three deserves his share of the blame. I can't remember which biography I read this in, but at least one documenter says that the Beatles went to Hutchinson first. Hutchinson turned them down, because he was good friends with Pete and he liked the group he was in already. The Beatles supposedly went to Ringo next.

But my personal opinion is that neither Johnny (if this story is true) nor Ringo owed Pete an explanation or a tip. This was an internal matter to the Beatles. It was up to the band to handle their own affairs. I think the real problem is that the Beatles were very young, and simply didn't know how to handle such a ticklish situation. John Lennon said somewhere that he was afraid that any face-to-face confrontation would have ended in blows. This is the level of sophistication we are talking about; young punks from Liverpool. They weren't exactly sensitive New Age men. So they chickened out and made Brian do it.

From what I understand, George was the most keen to replace Pete. Yes, Pete did miss several gigs, but Paul missed a lot more (or was late) because he had to take care of his brother. The real issue was that Pete's style of drumming didn't mesh well with the front line. I know this is a matter of opinion and taste, but in this case, I agree with George Martin. Pete sounds like he has a good dance hall band style-- very loud! But Ringo tailored his drumming for the song. Since that was Georgia's style as well, I can see why George preferred Ringo as a drummer. Also, these boys wanted to get a record made, but on their terms. I can see why they didn't want to have a different sound on their records (for example, if a session man was used) than when they played live. They would feel it was dishonest. I'm not sure how well that would've worked for band relations either, if the others were recording but Pete was only playing their live gigs.

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Did Ringo really have to make the remark that "he took little pills to make him ill?"
When I read this quote in the February 1965 Playboy Interview, it was fairly clear to me that Ringo was just joking around. They were quite silly through this whole interview. I'll include that snippet of dialogue, and you can form your own opinions:

PLAYBOY: "Let's start over. Ringo, you're the last Beatle to join the group, aren't you?"

RINGO: "Yes."

JOHN: "A few years probably... sort of off and on, really... for three years or so."

PAUL: "Yeah, but really amateur."

GEORGE: "The local pub, you know. And in each other's uncle's houses."

JOHN: "And at George's brother's wedding. Things like that. Ringo used to fill in sometimes if our drummer was ill. With his periodic illness."

RINGO: "He took little pills to make him ill."

PLAYBOY: "When you joined the others Ringo, they weren't quite as big as they are now, were they?"

RINGO: "They were the biggest thing in Liverpool. In them days that was big enough."
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All you've got to do is choose love.  That's how I live it now.  I learned a long time ago, I can feed the birds in my garden.  I can't feed them all. -- Ringo Starr, Rolling Stone magazine, May 2007<br />

tkitna

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Re: Should Ringo apologize to Pete?
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2007, 01:56:39 AM »

Lets not forget that Ringo only joined the Beatles because they offered him 25 pounds instead of the 20 pounds that Kingsize Taylor was going to offer him. That being said, Ringo wasnt begging to become a Beatle, he went where there was more money.
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