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Ringo Starr ‘Photograph’ live slideshow in Los Angeles and book review

Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr in Los Angeles, Sept 25, 2015; Photo credit: Daytrippin.com

The new Photograph book by Ringo Starr includes Ringo’s personal photos mixed with handwritten letters and memorabilia from his own collection. Ringo attributes the majority of the items shown in the book up to 1964 thanks to his mother who was diligent at saving everything.

The book spans Starr’s lifetime from his early childhood, including time spent in the hospital, his teenage years playing with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, all the way through to his solo career playing with the first All-Starr band. The Beatles’ years feature unique photos of Ringo’s bandmates that only another “Beatle” could capture.

Ringo Starr Photograph bookThe 304-page book has a dust jacket with a hole cut out on the front to reveal a photo of Ringo (the first “selfie”) on the actual hardcover of the book. This is the third incarnation of the book which was released as a limited edition book by Genesis Publications in 2013 along with a multimedia-filled e-book.
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On September 25, 2015, Ringo joined Conan O’Brien in a live slideshow event at the El Rey Theatre to discuss Photograph. O’Brien, a self-professed Beatles fan, was the perfect choice to interview Starr trading one-liners with him throughout the conversation.

Conan and Ringo sat on the corner of the stage facing each other with a huge screen in the background. Laughter set the tone of the evening. Conan started off by saying: “I think I’m here to book you an airline flight, Ringo. Would you like an aisle seat?”

As the slideshow began, the audience reacted fondly to early photos of Ringo with his mother, including one when he was 7 years old in the hospital with tuberculosis. Ringo shared stories of what his early childhood was like as pictures of him with one of his first drum kits was shown.

When Conan pointed out the streak of gray on the right side of Ringo’s hair noticeable in some early pictures, Ringo revealed that he had alopecia at age 18. He said the doctors told him it would either eventually cover his whole head or it would go away altogether. Luckily for Ringo, the gray went away by the time he was a Beatle.

Ringo Starr and Conan O'Brien

Ringo Starr and Conan O’Brien in conversation at the El Rey Theatre, Sept 25, 2015; Photo credit: Daytrippin.com

In one photo on page 62 of the book, Ringo, pictured with his mother, Elsie, and stepdad, Harry, is showing off his shoes which happen to be Birkenstocks.

“I was ahead of my time,” Ringo responded.
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Ringo described how The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, called him on a Wednesday in 1962 asking him to join the Beatles and play a gig with them that night. However, Ringo had already committed to a gig with Rory Storm at Butlins Camp so Ringo explained that he’d join the band on Saturday.

“I’ll join the Beatles, but on my schedule,” Conan joked.

On page 82 is a photo of Ringo with George Harrison and Paul McCartney before he had joined The Beatles. A girl on the right side is staring at Paul. “The best part of this photo for me,” Ringo observed, “is the chick looking at Paul… She’s like, ‘I’m ready.'”

Pointing out his picture of John Lennon sitting in a hotel room, Ringo said, “What the hell is he doing… nobody can do this!” Ringo and Conan both remarked how Lennon’s leg was extremely flexible to sit up so high on his lap. “Cirque du Soleil was calling,” Ringo quipped.

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Moving through The Beatles’ years, there was a shot of Ringo and Peter Sellers, who The Beatles were big fans of. In 1969, Ringo starred with Sellers in the film, ‘The Magic Christian.’ Ringo revealed that in addition to money, Sellers gave him his house as payment for being in the film.

“What?” Conan exclaimed. “That’s fantastic, you had a great agent,” he continued. “I’m calling my agent tomorrow and firing him.”

During the hour-long conversation, Ringo stated his hopes for a future project. Since all four of The Beatles had their own cameras during Beatlemania, Ringo hopes that a second photo book can be done in collaboration with the photos of John, Paul and George. “Then I’ll be in more of the photos,” Ringo concluded.

Ringo Starr’s Photograph is available on Amazon.com
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REVIEW: Ringo Starr’s ‘Photograph’ raises the bar for E-books

ringo-with-bookWhen first hearing about the new e-book, ‘Photograph‘, by Ringo Starr, I expected the traditional flip-through type of photography book in electronic format similar to the recent release of ‘Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs‘ from Taschen. But this new e-book from the ex-Beatle offers so much more.
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‘Photograph’ seems more like an app than just an e-book. Most e-books are adapted from their original hard copy versions resulting in a straightforward recreation in digital form, with static text or photos on each page. But since ‘Photograph’ was first developed as an e-book with no hard copy to work off of, Ringo along with Genesis Publications has put together something more interactive.
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While ‘Photograph’ does have the traditional elements of an e-book with photos and text on each page, the reader is invited to search further for more information. Hit the “drum” icon to hear Ringo give more details about a specific photo and the e-book begins to feel more like a documentary about Ringo’s life (i.e. “This is me as a baby”).
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Some pages offer small images of memorabilia, and when clicked on, they expand on the screen, for example, to show the front and back of an item or all pages in a historical document.
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In addition to audio clips, the 149-page electronic book also offers current video of Ringo talking about the book and his personal recollections. Each chapter has a summary page where a collage of all the photos included in that chapter appear.
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This behind-the-scenes look at the life of a Beatle offers interesting and fun photos like Ringo in an old car in Liverpool (page 40), Paul looking very French (page 54) and a cute photo of future musicians Julian Lennon and Zak Starkey together as kids (page 129).
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Ringo’s eye for photography comes through in shots like the snow-covered train tracks in Washington DC (page 82), Ringo’s use of a fisheye lens showing The Beatles as tourists during their concert tour (page 104) and a unique angle during the filming of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ (page 86).
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Ringo Starr’s e-book, ‘Photograph‘, published by Genesis Publications is one part of a three-part project exploring the archives of the ex-Beatles’ drummer. Part two is the exhibit, Ringo: Peace & Love, currently on display at the GRAMMY Museum and part three is an expanded hardcover version of ‘Photograph’ coming out in December 2013.
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Starr has repeatedly said that he will never write his autobiography, so ‘Photograph’ is probably the closest fans will get to a first-person account hearing Ringo share recollections of his life before, during and after The Beatles. Knowing that this is just a smaller version of the hardcover book coming out in December just whets the Beatles fan’s appetite for more of Ringo!
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‘Photograph’ is available on iTunes from the iBookstore.
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–Trina Yannicos

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