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Beatles News: Paul McCartney turns 70!, 2012 Summer Olympics, Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band 2012 Press Conference

by on Jun.19, 2012, under LINKS, ROCK NEWS, ROCK TOUR DATES, VIDEO

Beatles News: Paul McCartney turns 70!, 2012 Summer Olympics, Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band 2012 Press Conference

Even though he is years beyond 64, Paul McCartney is showing no signs of slowing down on his 70th Birthday! He celebrated the occasion in private, resting up between gigantic gigs this summer. The tributes from fans and fellow rockers rolled in all day long to commemorate the quite possibly out greatest living rocker, Paul McCartney!

The legendary song-writer and musician, philanthropist, vegan, animal-rights activist and newlywed has been saluted by a long list of rockers, starting with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, who with his band has covered 'Come Together,', and serenaded McCartney during the 2010 Kennedy Center Honords event solo:

"He's got a whole second wind and a new childhood and a new marriage. Y'know, he's gettin' it every night on stage and hopefully in bed with his new wife! God bless him."

Phil Collins says he still can't believe that as a kid, he was recruited to be an extra in The Beatles film 'A Hard Day's Night,' and now, today, he and Paul are friends and colleagues. "Suddenly, 30, 40 years later, you're playing with the guy and he knows your name and comes up and talks to you," an incredulous Collins told ABC News Radio. "It's a little bit out of The Twilight Zone." And Phil, who's basically quit making new music, says McCartney makes him feel a bit guilty about that. "Every time I say that I've stopped, I think, 'Well, he still going!'" he admits. "I admire him for keeping going. So, happy birthday, Paul."

The Beach Boys Brian Wilson, who joins Paul at 70 with a birthday on Wednesday, said "I hope he's as happy as we are, and I wish him very much luck on his concerts."

Bassit Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles said he wishes Paul "70 more years," adding, "I learned how to sing from listening to him...His bass playing is so unique and powerful. I learned a lot from him."

Donovan, whose friendship with Paul and the rest of the Fab Four dates back to the mid '60s, has a musical wish for McCartney. "They say it's your birthday /Buh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh /It's my birthday too, yeah," the folk-rock great sings, delivering the opening lines to the classic 1968 Beatles tune "Birthday." He then adds, a bit cryptically, "Well, I'm not 70 yet, but what I say is seven is a good number."

Randy Bachman, of the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive said, "As time goes by, anyone who wasn't a Beatle fan, if you don't become one now or tomorrow, you're missing out on one of the greatest pleasures of life."

Bonnie Raitt is another fan who admires Paul for "keeping going." "He is just non-stoppable," she told ABC News Radio, recalling one of his concerts a few years ago where he blew her away by performing for three hours and playing an amazing guitar solo on a rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady." "I couldn't even believe it was him on guitar," she says. "He is really showin' us how to do it...He's just one of our greatest songwriters ever and such a great singer and a great person. He's just... not a jerk!"

Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford of Squeeze were compared to McCartney and Lennon during their band's heyday. Tilbrook talked about Paul in glowing terms: "There's not a time when I hear a Beatles record and don't gravitate towards what he's playing on the bass…If he did nothing else, his bass playing is amazing. I wish him all the very best." Difford added, "'Listen to What the Man Said' -- that's the first song that springs to mind. I think he's an incredible artist."

Fellow rock and Roll Hall of Famer keyboardist Ian McLagan of Faces/Small Faces said, "Happy Birthday, Paul. God bless ya. He never stops. God, he's amazing."

John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono also tweeted birthday wishes to McCartney on Monday.

The U.K. branch of PETA also paid their own tribute to the vegan with a birthday card recreating the 'Abbey Road' artwork. Pople dressed as a fish, a pig, a chicken, and a cow are crossing the street in front of the band’s longtime studio in the card, with he message reading, "Happy Birthday Paul. Thank you for loving us, not eating us."

Paul Weller paid tribute to Paul musically with a cover of the Beatles’ 'Birthday.' All of the proceeds from sales of the song will go to the War Child charity.


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Check out this New York Daily News story on how Peter Max celebrated Paul's 70th, but creating some new paintings. www.nydailynews.com

In the last year the always energetic McCartney, has gotten married, collaborated on his first ballet, 'Ocean's Kingdom,' performed all over the world, including North America, Abu Dhabi, Europe, South America and Mexico, released 'Kisses on the Bottom', an album of standard tunes, was honored with the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, directed his first music video, and played at Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee concert. Up next for Paul is a major role in the opening and closing of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

McCartney will wrap up the opening ceremonies, which are being constructed by ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ director Danny Boyle. The event has been titled 'Isles of Wonder.' UK tabloid The Sun has reported that the song list includes tracks from every era of British music, including patriotic songs and hymns from the early 1900s all the way up to the latest chart hits. Reveered U.K. acts as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, The Who, David Bowie and The Kinks, and even a song by Michael Jackson (even though he's not British) will be a part of it.

There are no songs on that list by Elton John, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones or Phil Collins. The Sun says that Boyle may be wishing to avoid certain artists who've already performed at Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, or artists who are expected to perform live at the opening ceremony.

Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, Stereophonics, and Paolo Nutini will play the Olympic Games opening concert, with each band representing one of the U.K. factions. Duran Duran will perform for England, Snow Patrol for Ireland, Stereophonics for Wales, and Nutini for Scotland, with Blur, New Order, and the Specials taking part in the London 2012 Olympic closing ceremony. The Olympic Games kick off July 27th.

In an interview promoting the recent deluxe reissue of his 1971 album 'RAM,' McCartney told Paul Draper of Downed in Sound, about his reliance on alcohol to get through the aftermath of the Beatles' breakup, and how it gave him a rare occurrence of writer's block.

On an 'average day' McCartney said he'd go for a horse ride with wife Linda and his kids in the pastoral surroundings around Mull of Kintyre, and then, "in the evening, I'd drink whiskey, of which there was a large supply in Scotland...That was kind of a feature of that time."

"The Beatles, towards the end, was very constricting. You were in a corporate world suddenly...It's not what you get into music for, but it's there, it's a fact of life, especially when you were the label. We were doing Apple (Records), and it got very heavy, so me and Linda escaped with the kids, but the business hassles were still there. So I think I was just trying to escape in my own mind."

"I had the freedom to have just have a drink whenever I fancied it. I'd go into the studio, maybe have another drink and so on. I overdid it, basically, [and] got to a point where Linda had to say, 'Look, you should cool it.' If I would have a writer's block, I look back now and can say that was the over-stimulation. I'd be getting like 'Heeyyyy, nice and fuzzy' and it's not a good thing to write. [At] least for me it's not. Me and John were always very straight when we wrote, and it was normally in the middle of the day when you had your wits about you.

By the early '70s McCartney had long since given up meat, has obviously given us his over-indulgence in whisky, but has only recently given up his 40 year pot habit. Paul told Rolling Stone earlier this year that he'd quit for the sake of his 8-year-old daughter, Beatrice.

"I smoked my share. When you're bringing up a youngster, your sense of responsibility does kick in, if you're lucky, at some point. Enough's enough—you just don't seem to think it's necessary."


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The 13th installment of Ringo Starr's All Starr Band Tour kicked off this past Thursday night in Toronto. It has become a favorite spot for Ringo to kick off the tour, with Niagra falls as a backdrop. The band rehearses there, then has the luxury of starting the tour there as well. Joining the Beatles drummer on the 2012 edition of the trek are Todd Rundgren, ex-Santana/Journey singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Mr. Mister's Richard Page, longtime Billy Joel saxophonist Mark Rivera and veteran session drummer Gregg Bissonnette (David Lee Roth).

The All Starr Band Tour is scheduled to run through a July 21 show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Ringo will spend his birthday on the road, with a performance at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on July 7th. Rino will continue the tradition of the last few years, at Noon from the Hard Rock Nashville, Ringo will ask anyone anywhere, and everyone everywhere, to join him in a wish for Peace & Love.

Watch the full press conference introducing the band and performances of snippets of each of their classic All Starr hits including 'Rosanna,' 'Broken Wings,' 'Hello It’s Me,' 'Black Magic Woman,' and the Beatles 'Little Help From My Friends,' followed by a Q&A with all of the guys here: www.ringostarr.com

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