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Should Ringo have said sorry to Liverpool?

Larry Neild says not

Written by . Published on May 25th 2011.


Should Ringo have said sorry to Liverpool?

SHOULD Ringo have said sorry to a city apparently stricken by a silly remark he muttered on the Jonathan Ross Show way back in 2008?

Of course he shouldn’t.  Liverpool is a city of clowns and comics – Ringo being of the biggest ever clowns to be exported. And if we can’t laugh at ourselves who can we laugh at?

In a way I am glad he has uttered the dreaded s-word because, to use that Americanism, it may bring closure to those affronted by a 68-year-old saying he missed nothing about a city he left 45 years earlier.

He added he didn’t think any real scouser took offence. Not so sure about that Ringo

Around about the same time, Starr appeared on Larry King Live and waxed lyrical about his home city, giving a good old plug for Liverpool. But that seemingly doesn’t count.

In the 60s, Ringo the drummer was recognised as the clown-member of the Beatles.  It was virtually demanded of him that he said and did daft things.

ringo-liverpool.jpgI’m almost afraid to admit I have made jokes about my home town of Widnes, saying I tunnelled out through the Galligoo Mountains of Ditton on my great escape to Liverpool.

Now Mr Starkey, ahead of his UK tour at the age of 70,  said: “I apologise to those people who were offended, as long as they live in Liverpool, not outside.”

He added he didn’t think any real scouser took offence. Not so sure about that, Ringo.

Ringo and John Lennon were the two members of the band most likely to say things likely to offend or at least make people think.

I remember waiting at Liverpool Airport – long before it was re-named JLA – to speak to John Lennon and Paul McCartney, flying in for a Grand National visit (yes all four of them left Liverpool). One of the questions I popped at Lennon was his tip for the big race. In typical Lennonese he replied..... the first horse past the post.

When a few years ago I generated headline news with a story about the council wanting motorway signs on the M6 describing Liverpool as the Birthplace of the Beatles there was uproar. The Ministry of Transport said no, even though they were happy to allow signs on the M1 proclaiming Shakespeare Country.

One Scouser wrote to me: “I agree with a sign on the M6 saying Birthplace of the Beatles, as long as the sign also includes the words ..... They F..... Off to London just like Cilla Black taking their money with them.”  That, I thought, was good Scouse humour.

Ringo has now said for the first time his birthplace, 9 Madryn Street, should be spared the bulldozer. I couldn’t agree more.  Whether he like it or not the Beatles remain a global entity, and we should preserve as much as we can as a reminder.

I am sure American and Japanese tourists who flock to gaze at 9 Madryn Street are amazed one of the Beatles spent his early days in such a tiny place.

I was never a massive Beatles fan but I recognised the importance to our economy of Beatles tourism.  It is more important to Liverpool than being a World Heritage Site.

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17 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMay 25th 2011.

He is a tosser

1 Response: Reply To This...
Philip CoppellMay 27th 2011.

So are you anonymous. Put your name if you want to insult some-one don't hide.

Michael CarpeyMay 25th 2011.

Yes maybe Ringo is seen as some as a tosser. But because of a quirk of music history he will be remembered long after most of us are dead and forgotten. I'm not a big fan of Ringo Starr, but the guy doesn't stand a chance. So we want him to come onto a chat show and talk about his Bible Studies, or his favour Scripture? Ringo is Ringo and for all his faults he is world famous. Maybe he doesn't deserve to be, but by virtue of the Beatles he is. Which is why Liverpool would be crazy to pull down his house in Madryn Street. The whole street could be saved and create good income for the area - Ringo's home could be trans formed just like Mendips and Paul's house in Allerton. The adjoining houses could tell local history, etc. They could create a low cost budget stayover place for Beatle fans, perhaps even a shop. Jobs, jobs jobs. Instead we'll send in the bulldozer. Does this city lack such imagination.

Elsie TannerMay 25th 2011.

They shouldn't bulldoze Madryn Street. It's idiotic and short sighted. They are good housing stock and there are tens of thousands people on council housing waiting lists in Liverpool. So not only is there a lack of imagination, but a lack of common sense/

Prof Chucklebutty (the 9th Beatle)May 25th 2011.

Dead end job, 2 up 2 down cramped house in poverty stricken area...sudden adulation fame and fortune with performance dictating a move to the south and travelling the world. What is there to miss what was the real choice, really, who in that position would have stayed? And that includes Tarby and Cilla. Is everybody who goes to work in another city a traitor? Tosser or not, the biggest tossers are those who revel in being offended by an off the cuff but realistic comment.

Darth FormbyMay 25th 2011.

You're right there prof!

Liverpool WagMay 26th 2011.

Totally agree prof, and Larry.
Ringo is 70 and has spent two thirds of his life away from the Dingle in LA. Tough call.
Half of my friends left Liverpool decades ago and thanks to Facebook I am now in contact with most of them.
Do they miss living in Liverpool? I am too afraid to ask for the answer I know I will hear.

Absinthe & TurksMay 26th 2011.

The Beatles ("from Hamburg") left Liverpool fifty years ago, a decade before the epithet 'scouser' was even in general circulation. I do wish people would remember this and get some perspective into their ridilulous professional scouserism.

AnonymousMay 26th 2011.

I am still not going to his gig though

Absinthe & TurksMay 26th 2011.

Why would anyone?

Frankly he's a bit before my time.

Andy MeliaMay 27th 2011.

People forget that Ringo was a bigger 'Star' in Liverpool than The Beatles before he was poached from Rory Storm

AnonymousMay 27th 2011.

Let's save Madryn Street. Imagine (yes Imagine) a restored childhood home, a mini museum for the Welsh Streets, a corner gift shop, how about using the rest of the street as a youth hostel for travellers (ie Beatles fans). It would create a shed load of good jobs and be a good economic driver. But in a city where good ideas are illegal it won't happen. Here's a prediction, we will one day regret pulling down Madryn Street.

Alan HirdMay 27th 2011.

When I watched that particular edition of Friday Night With Jonathon Ross and heard Ringo say that, I never beleived that he meant it anyway. Having been a devout Beatles' fan since the age of 7 (when their first two albums were released) I have always understood Liverpool humour, even though I am not from Liverpool -from and still live in a town in the south where many from Liverpool have moved to -Basingstoke. So for Ringo to have to sorry is like having to say sorry for being funny. Where would we be then if all the comedians had to apologise for being funny.
I have mocked and made jokes about Basingstoke, and believe me there is plenty about this town to mock for sure.
Something that was said two years ago, I am surprised -or maybe not where the media is concerned- that matter has not been dropped long ago -except maybe by the media.

Absinthe & TurksMay 27th 2011.

Richard Stilgoe was in a group that played in the Cavern, the BBC's late Bernard Falk was in the same band. Funny how no-one asks his opinion, isn't it?

Prof ChucklebuttyMay 27th 2011.

But then none of the Beatles ever did Dictionary Corner on Countdown. And Richard could run rings around them doing anagrams. The Tea bels, he called them.

quietmanMay 28th 2011.

Yes, he should have said sorry - three years ago, not now when he has a show to plug.

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