Two down, two to go. While I weeped really hard when John Lennon's life was taken in a
disgusting act of delusional desperation, I marked the passage of George Harrison with an
Elton John track called "Funeral for a Friend". I imagine that when all the remembrances
are finished, everyone else will reach the same question I'm at now: which one will be
There have been Beatles death pools around since folks have been spinning "I Am The
Walrus" backwards 200 times to see if John had the ultimate beef with Paul. But the
pools really came into their own after Lennon checked out. However, handicapping such a
pool has been tough. Each Beatle had his own problems: George was a chainsmoker; Paul
spent all those years with Wings; and Ringo-well, Ringo kinda' filled that gap left when
Sonny Bono lost a game of "chicken" with a tree. This made them all more or less equal,
plus or minus the deranged fan factor (in which George and John tied, though George
actually lived, thanks to the quick thinking of his wife).
And now we're down to two. Back in 1980, I surmised that Ringo would be the last one,
and I still stand by that assertion. "Why Ringo," you may ask. Simple. Ringo's a
The guy has no stalkers, leads a fairly healthy life (if you call boffing Catherine Bach
for 19 years "healthy"), gets out and tours every now and then, and is otherwise pretty
harmless. Besides, who's going to stalk Ringo Starr? It'd be fine if you're trying to
impress Fiona Apple, but offing Starr will otherwise earn all the respect afforded your
run-of-the-mill, baby-munching cannibal.
Starr's never gone out on a limb for a religion (unlike Harrison), never taken up a
controversial cause (unlike Lennon and McCartney), and has even had success in a
Hollywood picture ("Caveman")-something that eluded all other Beatles in their post-
Beatledom. Although I realize that the last point could be considered a herald of early
doom (see: Elvis Presley, post-Elvis movies), there's a certain level of relative
immunity for a guy who does only one film, and a pretty funny comedy at that. A
successful comedian has to have a decent sense of humor, and, as the great George Burns
showed us, those with good senses of humor live longer (in some cases, much longer) than
the rest of us poor schlumps.
Meanwhile, in the other corner, there's Paul. Not to knock the guy too much, but anyone
who's doing toe-to-toe battle with Yoko Ono isn't coming out with their full life
intact. The ongoing screaming match between the two icons over the writing credits
for "Yesterday" has probably blown a substantial number of blood vessels in McCartney's
head by now. Add that to the fact that the affirmed Veget-Aryan probably suffers from a
lack of iron in the bloodstream from foregoing meat, his vessels are probably a little
weaker than normal. Thus, the next round with Yoko could always be the last one.
McCartney claims "Yesterday" was his work only, and that John didn't co-write it with
him. Since we all know how reluctant artists are to let other people take credit for and
then exploit their work, this slugfest will probably take Paul to his grave long before
the doddering Ringo manages to slip on a bar of soap in the shower.
And so there it is. The last man standing will be Ringo. You may not like it, you may
not agree with it, and you might also correctly surmise that with a 50% chance of being
right, this is really no contest at all. And if you fall into the latter category, then
fine: why don't you just go out and start your own pool and give it some teeth: predict
the actual day, month, and year that we will finally become Beatle-less.