When he gets to Israel in June, we’ll have to call him Sir Ringo, or Sir Richard to be more precise. Either way, it’s a fitting honor for the former Beatles drummer, who has waited decades for the recognition.
The 77-year-old Ringo Starr received his long-awaited knighthood from Prince William at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. He used his real name Richard Starkey for the big event.
He said the honor “means a lot”. It comes more than half a century after the youthful Beatles first went to Buckingham Palace to receive MBE awards.
The other surviving Beatle, Paul McCartney, was knighted in 1997.
“I had dinner with him last week and we were both actually laughing about where we came from, and we’ve ended up in the palace and it’s now Sir Paul and Sir Richard,” said Starr.
Starr is to perform in Israel on June 23 at Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim arena.
He’ll play with his All Starr band, as part of a 21-date European tour in support of his latest album “Give More Love,” which was released in September.
“The dream is still unfolding,” he said last year. “I love to play, and I love to play with this band. I can’t say that enough, and we’re on the road again,” People Magazine reported.
Each show features a performance of the classic “With A Little Help From My Friends,” his signature song from the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album, and “Give Peace A Chance.”
His band for this tour will include Colin Hay (vocals, ex-Men at Work), Graham Gouldman (bass, ex-10CC), Steve Lukather (guitar, ex-Toto), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, ex-Santana), Warren Ham (saxophone) and Gregg Bissonette (drums, ex-David Lee Roth band).
The drummer has never performed in Israel before, though fellow Beatle Paul McCartney played in Yarkon Park in 2008.
Famously, the Israeli government refused to allow the Beatles to perform in the country in 1965, “for fear that the performances by the Beatles are liable to have a negative influence on the youth.”
After the promoter appealed, a government committee launched an investigation, and found “the band has no artistic merit” and its performances “cause hysteria and mass disorder among young people.”