Ringo Starr is 67, but he still has plenty of rock ‘n’ roll attitude, as he proved yesterday when he walked off a scheduled appearance on Live With Regis and Kelly rather than perform a version of “Liverpool 8,” the title track to his new album, that would’ve been pared to under three minutes. (Regis’ people say Starr had been informed months ago about the length requirement; Starr’s camp says he’d offered to cut the four-minute song to 3:30, as he had on Letterman a couple days ago, but…oh, really, the details are too tedious, but you can read them all in the Associated Press account.) Funniest part: the statement from Ringo cohort Dave Stewart: “Four minutes (3 minutes and 40 seconds, actually) seemed like an appropriate amount of time for a former Beatle. [Live exec producer Michael] Gelman apparently felt Ringo’s musical legacy should take a back seat to additional banter about the size of Ms. Ripa’s derriere.”
Silly as this all is, I gotta go with Dave and Ringo on this one. Do the Live folks really think their audience would fidget over a few more seconds of music, that they would rather hear more chitchat instead? Okay, the song’s kinda maudlin for 9 a.m. (see the official video below), and it’s not like it would suffer much from trimming the extended shout-along coda, but still, as Stewart notes, dude’s a Beatle. That should earn him a lifetime of slack, even if the track is wack.
Anyway, Reege and Kelly, Ringo doesn’t need you that much to help promote his record, since he’s spending this week appearing on Dave, Rachael Ray (who let him perform the whole song), and every other show in America with a desk or a frying pan. Starr and his 8,969 MySpace friends can just take their business elsewhere. I bet he’s gotten more publicity out of not performing than he would have had he performed. Well played, Mr. Starkey, well played.