BY MARCUS BLAKE / PHOTOS BY UYEN TRAN
2014 brings a slew of tributes to the world’s favorite and all-time most popular band, The Beatles.It was fifty years ago this year that the Fabs came to America, did their landmark appearances on the Ed Sullivan show, captivating American audiences with their music creating Beatlemaniaand changed the face of the world as we know it.
To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of these history-making events, The Beatles are being honored with the release of The Beatles: The U.S. Albums cd box set and at this year’s Grammy Awards with the band getting a Lifetime Achievement Award.The Grammy’s festivities culminate in a once-in-a-lifetime tribute concert, The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute To The Beatles, where the two surviving ex-Beatles, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney are expected to reunite.
But, first things first: on January 20th, filmmaker, David Lynch honored Ringo (above, along with Ringo’s wife Barbara) all on his own with a special tribute award ceremony and concert at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.
The David Lynch Foundation honored the former Beatle with a “Lifetime of Peace & Love” award and a “Starr” studded tribute concert celebrating Ringo’s catalog of Beatles and solo music “with a little help from his friends”. Performers included brother-in-law and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, soul chanteuse Bettye LaVette, ‘70s icon Peter Frampton, piano rocker Ben Folds, funnyman Jim Carrey, Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers, percussion legend Sheila E., and musical director/producer Don Was.
As Frampton (pictured above, with family) stated before the proceedings, “We’ve been friends ever since meeting during George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass sessions.I play with Ringo whenever I get a chance.I’ve also been in the All-Starr band for two tours of duty.”
Betty LaVette (above) also added, “David has been gracious enough to let me be involved in this.I keep telling people that I’m not really a transcendental meditator, I’m a transcendental meditation groupie!So, I tend to kind of hang around them! We did the first one at Radio City Music Hall and I got to sing with Paul AND Ringo.Because I had “It Don’t Come Easy” on my Interpretations album, Ringo took a fancy to that and it will be so much fun to sing it to him (tonight)!”
The David Lynch Foundation was created to provide scholarships to teach Transcendental Meditation to youths in underserved schools, veterans with post-traumatic stress (PTS), women who are survivors of domestic violence, and homeless and incarcerated individuals.
Ringo is a longtime proponent of Transcendental Meditation dating back to when the Beatles studied with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India in 1968.
Ringo summed it up nicely saying, “I’m supporting David because what he’s doing is basically the same as the Eastern self-help in the ‘60s Transcendental Meditation.Also, he’s putting it in schools and domestic violence has gone down.I mean, how far out is that?I mean, I cannot not support him.” (Below: the author with some of the artists featured in this article. Contact Marcus Blake via the BLURT website.)