The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 4, 1997 · Page 70
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 70

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 4, 1997
Page:
Page 70
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Straight Talk By Jeffrey Zaslow Ringo Starr At work and home, "know the role you play," says the ex-Beatle. His role? "Peacemaker." A FTER POLITELY answering questions about his old singing group, Ringo Starr issues a challenge. He encourages me to be the first journalist to write about him without bringing up any other lads from Liverpool. "That should be an exercise in journalism schools. Try writing about any one of us and don't mention the Beatles." Sorry, Ringo. Can't do it. Yes, he has moved on and is touring this month with his All-Starr Band, including Peter Frampton. But Starr, 56, is wrong when he says, "People are tired of this Beatles stuff." Tired? Not when $1.6 billion in Beatles CDs and merchandise have been sold since 1995. Starr surely knows he'll always be a Beatle to us. Perhaps that's why, when asked what he learned in the Fab Four, he says, "Know the role you play." He shares touching examples. Growing up as an only child, he longed for brothers. "That was everything I'd wanted, and suddenly I had three of the buggers." He became the Beatles' "peacemaker" brother. During creative battles, "if there was a neutral corner, that was me." You might not ask for a role in your family or at work, he says, but when it's obvious, "take the responsibility." Starr didn't write the songs, but he bonded the Beatles, emotionally and technically. As a drummer, he says, his role was to know his place. "A drummer has a really specific part to play: to hold r. He'll sing such hits as Act Naturally. Submarine, You're Sixteen. •NT I* top: On Paul McCartney's new release. FwtrtttlMtte'K depends on the day. Some days, I'm my favorite.' p. Second wife is actress Baitoara Bach, 50. Children from first marriage: Lee, 26, Jason, 30, and Zak, 31, a drummer on tour with The Who. Onegrandchild; Jatia, 11, a band together and allow the rest of the band to have freedom." Starr has since found that his most important roles are as a father and grandfather. He saw this clearly during his '95 tour, which he cut short when his daughter, Lee, had a brain tumor. (Now 26, she's doing well.) And what about last year's $225 million offer for a three-man Beatles tour? "To set the record straight, I had dinner with George Harrison just last night and we decided ..." Yes? Yes? He beams his all-star smile. "We're not getting together." E3 ALL-STARR ADVICE • Find ways to cope: When the surviving Beatles completed two old John Lennon tracks (Free as a Bird and Real Love), "it was very emotional and difficult. In the '60s, all four of us weren't in the studio every minute, but we knew the one who wasn't there was coming. [This time], John was not coming." How'd they cope? "We just felt, well, he's gone for a cup of tea. He's done his bit, and we'll do ours." • To Introduce kids to the Beatles: "Try Yellow Submarine and Octopus's Garden. They're the two tracks kids relate to." Ringo sings lead vocal on both. • Stay sober: "It's been eight years, 23 hours, 14 minutes, 9 seconds." He's kidding about keeping track, but Starr says he's been dry since '89. "I'm more productive now. I'd never have put a band together when I was drunk." • Keep your hands on the wheel: Starr won't drum along with the car radio. "Watch the road. Drum later." • He sang It; he lives It: "I get by with a lot of help from my friends. The ones you've got, take care of. Friends will save your life." Abh blAKK (UK AUVICt Starr will write or call a reader who seeks advice. Write by May 11 to "Straight Talk," P.O. Box 3455, Chicago, III. 60654 (fax: 312-661-0375; e-mail: tall49usaweekend.com). Zaslow is an advice columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times Features Syndicate. EDITOR, PRESIDENT * CEO: M«cl« BulUri • PUBUSHER: CkariM GatoMtou • VICE PRESIDENTS: Dm Baiter, BID C«*U*jf, Caral KwiwrWgU, B«tb Uw<«Mt,Tlioau IMttl •jnu.i-iria BacuUw Editor: Amy Eisinan Inn SptcW taw: Caiol Cluirnan (editor), Abigail McConnell (designer), Cesar Soriano (editorial assistant) Senior Editor: Dan Olinsted Siflto *>tnfM« Editor: Bcenda Turret >iiociiU mart: Gayle Jo Carter, Patricia Edmonds, Constance Kure, Lome Lynch, Kathleen McCleary Copy Chtaft Tom Lent Copy Eflto: Terry Davidson Byrne Mate A DiffwMM Day Editor Pamela Brawn Mportw/llMMfdMr: Myron B. Pitts RtMwciwi: M. Franco Salvoza i.i:M F, e d Barnes, Ken Burns, Jean Carpet, Roger Cossack, George Foreman, Monika Guttman, Florence Griffith Joyner, Stephanie Mansfield.Tom McNichol. Jill Nelson, Cokie Roberts, Steve Roberts, Tabitha Soren, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Greta Van Susteren, Jeffrey Zaslow EEO Art Director: Pamela Smith Asdstant Art Director: Clay Auch bchnotofy Utnagtr: Treva Stose J*«c«St^:Kale Bond, Brenda Nelson maiaa Director Dierck Casselman EdHorW: imMllUim 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22229-0012 WBBM 14MMH-29M WEEKEND Vin Narayanan, Amelia Slephenson MvwUtlnf: Casey Shaw Th* nuiB«*ln« AiMrlea r»»po«Mt» to """""""' A "» "-IT 1 !" •*-•""—-"— ---'-.--••.- -— - T •-- rr - .f- ^—- 3O USA WEEKEND • May 2-4,1897

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