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Gimme Five on Ringo
2001-11-30 22:04:30


Viva La Musica
 
Canadia should be dissolved and given to the Tongans.
-- Master Squid

 

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 the last?

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 goofball.

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.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

backdraft@pigdog.org


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