From music critic and author David Wild: "Giving Thanks to Paul, Ringo & the Long and Winding Road."
At the risk of overstating things, Ringo Starr has become a friend over the past two decades. We first met back in 1989 not long after Ringo had cleaned up his act and was rediscovering his own muse as a musician and recording artist in a wonderful, life-affirming way. Because of my dual life as a journalist of sorts and as a writer of television shows, I have had the honor of meeting virtually all of my youthful heroes over the years -- rock stars, movie stars, author and even the occasional president. But I've never met a funnier, sweeter, smarter, more charming icon than the Artist Formerly Known as Richard Starkey. And as far as I'm concerned, to know Ringo is to love him, and the same goes for his wife Barbara, a woman who's always been lovely in every way too.
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The highlight for me was spending a few weeks with Paul and Linda in America and South America as they were touring on their The New World Tour in 1993. They could not have been any nicer to me, especially Linda who it must be said had an extraordinarily generous heart, and a way of trying to mother just about everyone she ever met. One day, I mentioned that a woman I had just started dating was in the same city we were. Linda immediately insisted that I invite her along to soundcheck and a vegetarian lunch that next day. Though Linda didn't even know me all that well, she somehow went out of her way to spend some time with this young lady. As we left the table that day backstage, Linda whispered very seriously to me, "Marry that girl." So I did. Little did I know then that my future wife Fran and I would someday have a beautiful boy together who somehow thought Ringo was a Rutle. Thanks, Linda.