Express Newspapers/Hulton Archive
Ringo Starr's gold-plated snare drum will be on display at New York's Metropolitan Museum until December.
Ringo Starr's gold-plated snare drum will be on display at New York's Metropolitan Museum until December. Express Newspapers/Hulton Archive
"What a drag it is getting old" might be a sentiment appropriate for Mick Jagger's birthday, but Beatles drummer Ringo Starr celebrated his 70th with boyish enthusiasm earlier this month. Starr asked fans around the world to join him at noon by saying the words "peace and love," the only gift he wanted, and he was honored by New York's Metropolitan Museum, where his gold-plated snare drum — a present from the Ludwig Drum Company during the Beatles' famed 1964 U.S. tour — will be on display until December.
The Beatles have lived as long as many composers of the so-called American popular song (Gershwin, Porter, Loesser). And the band's works, now tried and true, have also found a place in the jazz repertoire, even if arrangements of Ringo's "Octopus's Garden" remain scarce (check George Benson's The Other Side of Abbey Road for the only one we know).
Last September, Take Five presented listeners with a Beatles list, using it to trace how jazz musicians have absorbed popular music that post-dates the British Invasion. This time, for the drummer, is just for kicks. Happy Birthday, Ringo! Peace and love.