TO THE ORIGINAL LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS!
by RIP RENSE
Letter to Ringo. . .
complaints. You’ve done well. You sure have made one hell of a
lot of people feel good for one hell of a long time. Thank you.
Congratulations on being 76 years old, in great shape, and still playing and
singing so wonderfully. I look forward to your 80th birthday tour. Salud!
But. . .
Please indulge a
request. Yes, it’s entirely selfish, presumptuous, none-of-my-business, and
in no way suggests that your body of work is incomplete, or deficient in
some way. Who am I, who has never recorded or sung a note (much to the
world's good fortune) to say anything critical about those who have? (Well,
certain parties excepted, Kanye West.)
Here it is: call Richard Perry. He just might be very happy to hear from
You’ve made a number of
lovely, endearing, fun solo albums through the decades, from the standards
of “Sentimental Journey” and the country of “Beaucoups of Blues” in the
early ‘70’s, to the Mark Hudson pop-rock collaborations, “Vertical Man” and “Ringo-Rama,”
in the ‘90’s. Your home-produced albums of recent years are swell,
uplifting, undoubtedly fulfilling for you.
But. . .
Your crowning album,
as I expect you agree, was “Ringo,” in 1973, produced by Perry, with a
stupendous all-star cast of now-legendary musicians, from Billy Preston to
Dr. John to Marc Bolan to The Band to James Booker to Merry Clayton to John,
Paul, George. Of course, there is no way to replicate that line-up, or the
specific feel of that “piece of plastic we’re making,” as you termed the
affair on the closing track. It was of its time, place, and personnel.
Ringo redux? No, it’s not quite what I’m suggesting. Or hell, maybe it
|So please call Perry. Convene a bunch of new
all-stars and special guests. Think: Traveling Starrburys.
that Perry had such a feel for capturing and showcasing your unique élan,
your Ringo-ness, and it simply has never been equaled. The horn
arrangements, the panache, the variety of song---all perfectly suited to
you---this was Perry’s touch, sensibility, inspiration. There is a joy and
celebration and just plain good feeling on Ringo that belongs
exclusively to it. Call it a liveliness, lyricism, color---too much to say
grandness?---on that album.
While not meaning to make
this too melodramatic, the world could badly use a new Ringo right about
So please call
Perry. Convene a bunch of new all-stars and special guests. Think:
Traveling Starrburys. What about: Paul, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Ry
Cooder, Randy Newman, Tom Petty, Jim Keltner, Eric Clapton, Van Dyke Parks,
Merry Clayton, Brian Wilson, Klaus Voorman, Gary Brooker, Joe Walsh, Mick and/or Keith,
Art Garfunkel, Tina Turner, Don Everly, Garth Hudson, Fats Domino, Darlene
Love---there are scores to choose from, still with pipes and chops intact.
Maybe Chuck Berry would duet with you, or Jerry Lee Lewis. Whythehellnot?
Egos? Nah. Everybody loves to play with Ringo Starr.
Songs? Same formula as the
original Ringo. Pick an array of great stuff well suited to your
tone, style, temperament, voice, joie d’vivre, je ne sais quoi, and
any other applicable French phrases. Co-write a couple yourself with
partner(s) of choice. Have a ball. Which brings up the elephant in the room:
collaborations with John, George, plus a song by Paul. It’s the only album,
famously, that “reunited” The Beatles.
Well, do it again.
Do a Lennon song. There
are any number of unreleased demos that could be "finished." Perhaps one strikes your fancy. If not,
I humbly suggest a Ringo cover of “Nobody Told Me,” a great Lennon tune that
never got its due (certainly never got the uniquely rocking Ringo Starr
beat.) Or what about his early demo, “I’m in Love?”
Do a Harrison song.
There are dozens (literally) of nearly finished George recordings of
unreleased songs. Olivia
Harrison has spoken of recruiting an all-star cast of George’s old friends
to finish them, but nothing ever seems to come of this fine notion. Perhaps
you can help bring it to fruition, at least with one or two tunes, doing a
cover---or yes, even a duet with George. As for Paul, do think he wouldn't
write a new song for you?
In terms of recording,
you've gone boutique for a number of years, playing small ball. Why
not come out with a big splash? Just when nobody is expecting one.
The point is, a
Ringo 2 is still possible. It can still be done. This will not be true for
many more years. It’s a chance, an opportunity, a brass ring whistling by on
the old, rickety carousel. Richard Perry has the touch to bring all these
factors together with spirit, musical imagination, excellence, and. . .Ringo-ness.
Yes, I am aware that
Perry is courageously fighting Parkinson’s Disease. Such a project might be
just what the doctor ordered for him, and really, for all of us.
Give him a call.
WHERE IS THIRD BEATLES REUNION SONG?
Read "Who's a Whore?" a fun
little verse for all sellouts to, I mean investors in. . .China!
SATURDEE OPRY LINKS!
A weekly Quixotic
pursuit for appreciators of opera who don't expect too much,
would-be appreciators of opera who don't know what to expect, and
those somewhere in-between,
such as your host.
New Stories by RR.
poems by Rip Rense
the greatest grateful dead album
the grateful dead never made.
PERSUASIONS OF THE DEAD
20 TRACKS. 2 CDs. 12 GUEST ARTISTS.
The Persuasions, Brooklyn-grown
street singers who became the most important
and powerful a cappella group in American
history, interpret the songs of Robert
Hunter and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful
Dead. Songs that still are among the most
engaging in American music.
Sheer poetry, meet sheer melody.
---grateful dead lyricist
produced by Rip Rense
mixed by Marc Doten
SPECIAL GUESTS ARTISTS:
Country Joe McDonald, Mark Karan (Ratdog),
Jackie LaBranch and Gloria Jones (Jerry
Garcia Band), Grateful Dead keyboardist
Vince Welnick, Dongming Qiao, James King,
Alyn Kelley, Eric Thompson, Peter Rowan,
Pete Grant, Mary Schmary.
"Deadheads, take a hit from
this double disc dose of the real thing.
Persuasions fans, this may be the last time
you'll ever hear a Persuasions line-up with
original lead, and once-in-a-lifetime
talent, Jerry Lawson. . .These tracks are
stories that happen to have been set to
song, not songs that happen to have a
---Jonathan Minkoff, Recorded A Cappella
"Album producer Rip Rense calls the marriage
these two acclaimed artists
"a surprisingly natural fit." He couldn't be
more right. It works because these tracks
are more than just covers; they're tributes.
Each arrangement is designed to draw
something new out of the original. Many of
them include actual instruments, such as
piano, guitar, and baritone saxophone."
---Nicole Maria Milano, Recorded A Cappella
AND RENSART PRODUCTIONS
LISTEN TO SAMPLES AND ORDER
BY RIP RENSE
"Staggeringly well written. .
.sweet. . .funny. . .sad. . .elegaic. . .not a
thought nor sentence out of place."
---Keith Snider, San
by Barbara Weeks
Daily Breeze column on "The Oaks"
MAN CHAINS SELF
TO OAK TREE, READS 'THE OAKS' AGAIN AND AGAIN!
"I stayed up
to finish the last 100 pages.”
---Dave Allen, Thousand
""This book deserves to
be read by hundreds of thousands of people It is a
gem that talks to a diverse group of people: those
who grew up in dysfunctional families(!); Southern
Californians who will love the suburban anecdotes;
teens and everybody who has ever been a teen with
all the awkwardness those years impart. It's also
quite funny. Readers simultaneously laugh while
groaning over these horribly insensitive 'adults'
raising Charlie, who is much more adult than they
columnist for the Daily Breeze,
People Mag. Correspondent.
Rense interviewed about "The Oaks"
in Ventura Star
LESS THAN SATISFYING ENCOUNTERS WITH
THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION. . .
Measured by its attitude.
"The greatest book I've ever read---in the
bathroom."---Mike Ball, Glendale, CA.
"You have more 'less than satisfying encounters'
than any three other people I know. I've
given this some thought and my conclusion is
that it is your unhappy fate to be something of
a "schmuck magnet." Unpleasant-incompetent-self-aggrandising
people enter your close orbit with greater
than the rest of us."
---Bob Ballenger, Encino, CA.
230 pages of LTSEWH's.
OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION---
Measured by its language.
The long-running column
(L.A. Times, The Rip Post) is now
210 acid-dripping pages exposing rigidly
conformist slang, pin-headed outbursts, 'cool'
patois, abominable cliches, infantile drivel,
smug rejoinders, mandatory peer-enforced
buzzwords and iPhone-speak that Americans are
spewing from their 500-word vocabularies as
their knuckles hang ever closer to the sidewalk.
IT IS: THE MOST IMPORTANT SPEECH MADE BY ANYONE IN
THE LAST 60 YEARS. WELL, MAYBE. THE GREAT
The Rip Post
ALL FOR TAIKO, AND
TAIKO FOR ALL.
How two educators and a
scientist came to
devote themselves to the drum.
CHINESE MEDICINE DOC EXTRAORDINAIRE!
AND. . .
AUTHOR OF "WHILE
MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS: THE MUSIC OF GEORGE
teacher, deejay, recording
on Mata Hari, Daktari, high school
students, John Donne, the future of the planet, and
his album. . .
plus: 'Breakfast With The Beatles'
host Chris Carter, and more