Entertainment behind the scenes
Ringo Starr gets his Hollywood star at low-wattage ceremony
If the stars come out at night, they failed to illuminate Ringo Starr’s Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony on Monday, the first time a star has been unveiled at night.
A surprisingly low-wattage assortment of celebrities showed up to see the former Beatles drummer get his star outside the Capitol Records building, most of them holdovers from Roy Orbison’s ceremony 10 days ago such as Joe Walsh, Jeff Lynne, David Lynch, Eric Idle and Barbara Orbison.
Walsh, who recently became Starr’s brother-in-law, addressed the 500-or-so fans, as did producer Don Was and folk musician Ben Harper (pictured at left with Was, Starr, Walsh and Starr’s wife Barbara Bach). A chorus of loud boos greeted Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who stood in front of the press photographers after they had finished snapping him.
When George Harrison got his star last year, Paul McCartney, Tom Hanks and Tom Petty topped the crowded VIP list. But McCartney was in England on Monday, Starr told the crowd, in between frequent flashes of the peace sign. Hollywood was represented this time by, er, “ER” veteran Noah Wyle.
Starr, obscured at times by two anxious bodyguards, joked that the Beatles “helped pay for” the historic (in L.A. terms) Capitol tower — even though it was completed in 1956. His meandering speech barely touched on the Beatles apart from an aside that he considered his bandmates to be “brothers … they looked out for me, and I looked out for them. We all supported each other.”
Was, bundled up against the cold but still sporting his trademark sandals, hailed Starr’s subtle drumming style, humming tunes such as “Something” and “A Day in the Life” for effect. “I don’t think it’s out of line to say that Ringo’s musicality, his groove and his spirit are absolutely essential components of all those great Beatle records,” he said.
The unveiling was part of Starr’s promotion for his new album “Y Not,” which recently graced the lower reaches of the charts. Hollywood stars are usually unveiled in the late-morning, but the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided to make Starr’s a nocturnal event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Walk of Fame.