By Ivor Levene
Last night, Angelenos were treated to a panel discussion of Ringo Starr's new book, Another Day In The Life, with filmmaker David Lynch, legendary Woodstock photographer Henry Diltz, and Starr himself. The panel, interviewed by Journalist/Author Brad Tolinski provided attendees with the back-stories behind some of the photos that Sir Richard Starkey had shot over the years, starting before his tenure with The Beatles, going right through to the present.
One can be forgiven for not knowing that Ringo is not just "The drummer from The Beatles," but only slightly. If you've watched A Hard Day's Night more than a few times, you'll remember the scene where Ringo takes a very dejected walk along a riverbank, tries to take a 1960s style selfie, and watches his camera propel itself into the water. That wasn't just a parody sketch for the film, Ringo has always been an accomplished photographer, having toted a camera around with him since his teens. During the event last night, Starr recounted how he began to purchase better lenses after the meteoric ascent of The Beatles and watched his photography grow in leaps and bounds.
As far as I'm concerned, no discussion of rock photography can take place without the legendary Henry Diltz, who was featured in our October issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, where Diltz recounted many of his adventures through Bethel in the summer of 69. Diltz has shot just about everyone, with the exception of The Beatles, which makes his appearance at last night's event even more ironic. When you're in a room with Ringo, irony abounds, and last night was no exception. Referred to by Ringo as, "The Last Hippie Standing," Diltz had a story or two of his own, but generally tried to stay in the background as he always does, which is exactly why he's such a great photographer.
The book itself, produced by Genesis Publications contains over 500 images from Ringo's archives, isn't just a book filled with images of Ringo, or images taken by Ringo, there are images of things that relate to Ringo, from other people's perspectives, and with some, hilarity ensues. Take spoons for instance. Why would someone put a photo of a spoon in a book? As Ringo stated, "It's not about the spoon, it's about the reflection in the spoon, you have to look closer," to which Diltz replied, "I actually love to shoot forks. I'm just sitting in a restaurant waiting for my food, and I shoot things like the forks." And at that moment last night, another Ringo idea was born; "Let's put a book together with just all knives, forks, and spoons!"
The book is a wonderful glimpse into the often sardonic mind of Ringo Starr. Taking in all the photos and reading the backstories, you'll get a great idea of what makes his mind tick. According to Ringo, "I'm as much a photographer as I am a musician." Every attendee last night was given a copy of the book, and a handful of VIP's were given front row seating and a signed copy. All in all, it was another great day in the night in Los Angeles.