Lotus Foundation

Catching Up With Ringo And Friends At NYC’s Pop International Galleries!

Photos And Text By Anne M. Raso

I was lucky enough to catch up with Ringo Starr and members of his All-Starr Band at the special VIP party at the Pop International Galleries at 473 West Broadway in Soho, NYC. I was as happy as…and octopus in a garden, LOL! It’s not everyday that you get to meet a Beatle!

(Ringo says: “Happiness is NOT a warm gun!”)

I consider myself blessed to have been able to get a quick question in with the man himself on the red carpet line–even though Ringo was only on it for ten minutes and had bigger fish to fry (like dealing with reporters from CBS-TV, who had also interviewed him at the Pop International Galleries earlier that day). I basically asked him about the beginnings of his artistic endeavors, which he started taking seriously and selling for charity in 2002. But the Ringed One told us that his love of art goes back to his Beatles days: “I used to get bored on the road and I would just start drawing. I am happy that I was later able to put it to good use and help raise money for the Lotus Foundation (a English arts and spirituality charity you can read more about on lotusfoundation.org.uk).”

We shot Ringo and the most famous of his All-Starrs, Todd Rundgren, arriving for the event…and Rundgren spent over a half hour talking to fans on the nearby street corner at Houston and West Broadway (no star attitude there, which was refreshing). Ringo tried to mingle at the party inside Pop International Galleries and stayed for an hour (minus wife Barbara Bach) but it got very crazy. He was only able to stick his head out of the VIP room for about ten minutes and sign some of the bigger pieces gallery customers had purchased. The managers of the gallery kept saying, “Please disperse a little bit so that Ringo can come through the crowd!” It never quite happened, though! (Luckily, I got up to the front of the gallery to shoot the photo you see at the very top of this blog entry!)

The party stayed in a chaotic state (once or twice removed from full-out Beatlemania) and Ringo left after an hour. Thankfully, he did speak via mic about how wonderful the event was and thanked everyone who came. Some of the folks who bought pricier pieces of art got their art customized with a personalized signature (Ringo does not really do autographs these days, as you know) and a couple even got snapshots with the four-ringed, Ludwig-playing legend.

Everyone at the party had to buy a piece of art (starting at $700) to be able to attend the special VIP event. Caesar’s in Atlantic City had a similar event last Saturday night before Ringo’s show there, and we heard through the grapevine that it was a little less crazy! We confess that we took a few of these art pictures in Palladium Room A at Caesar’s during the day last Saturday, where we were left peacefully alone to enjoy Mr. Starkey’s art!

You can see from the above prints and lithographs by our man that he is inspired by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Picasso’s Cubism period and even the more famous Pucci prints of the 60s (we think his wife Barbara must be a big Pucci fan–have a look at the work immediately above)!

Not surprisingly, a lot of Ringo’s art features a five-point star motif and some feature a little caricature of him by the signature on the bottom right. We hear more fun events like this one are coming up across the country as Ringo And His All-Starr Band do their summer tour! If you are interested in more info, be sure to visit ringostarrart.com. You can also follow Ringo on Twitter via his “handle,” which is simply @ringostarrmusic. He talks about these “art gatherings” now and again. We think it’s the best way for anyone to have the opportunity to party with a Beatle and help do some good charity work at the same time!