War is over if you want it: my date with Ringo, 10 years later

ringo starr george harrison song

Above: Ringo Starr appeared at the Bottom Line in New York and the Tonight Show in Los Angeles the week the Iraq war began, ten years ago. My band opened for him in New York. Here’s a link to the NY Times article above, dated March 23, 2003 (the photo was taken at his LA show).

“Iraq War’s 10th Anniversary Is Barely Noted in Washington,” reported The New York Times this week.

On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, we marked ten years since the war began.

I remember that week in 2003 like it was yesterday.

On my way to sound check at the Bottom Line on West 4th St., I had to cross a protest parade on 5th Ave. A few days prior, my band’s manager had called to let me know that we would no longer be headlining the bill: Ringo Starr had replaced us and we’d be opening for him.

It was a surreal moment for me. At once, the world seemed to be falling apart (world war three was about to begin) as I was fulfilling a lifelong dream (to share a stage with a Beatle!).

As Ringo and his band rehearsed “Yellow Submarine” during sound check, nostalgia for the Summer of Love — when I was born and when youth culture embraced a utopic “imagine” vision of the future — was palpable in the room: outside you could hear the chants of the anti-war protesters as Ringo walked his band through tweaks to their set.

If only the Washington regime had given containment peace a chance…

Thanks for letting me share this memory with you and let’s hope and pray that Georgia P’s generation will know many decades brighter than the last…

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