Ringo Starr is adored and loved all over the world for being a Beatle and just for being himself. But his fame, like that of most celebrities these days, hasn’t always avoided controversy.
Take the campaign to save Ringo’s Madryn Street birthplace now underway in Liverpool which we’ve updated here several times this week. Moves to save Beatle landmarks haven’t always had the best history. Remember the Cavern Club? The original was torn down and another rebuilt in almost the same spot. If one could go back in time before the original Cavern was demolished, would things have been different?
The Madryn Street campaign poses a dilemma. The pictures show the area hasn’t aged well. But yet, this is the birthplace of a Beatle. And like Paul McCartney’s Forthlin Road and John Lennon’s Mendips, they’re a part of history. Also, for a change, this is not something principally associated with either Lennon or McCartney. Saving it shows Ringo Starr and his legacy a little love.
The emotional quandry over the whole campaign is pointed out in two different essays written by members of the Save Madryn Street group. The one with the attention-grabbing title is Chris Johnson’s “What did Ringo Starr ever do for us?” Given Ringo’s history, the answer is obvious. And Johnson, who does support saving the landmark, concludes the reason to do so is economic. “My answer is that saving 9 Madryn Street is not for the benefit of Ringo. More selfishly it is about the economy of Liverpool and the nonesense of demolishing a house that is a Mecca for tourists.”
Fellow campaigner Philip Coppell takes a different and a more emotional view in “Ringo Starr, What has Liverpool ever done for him?” His stark conclusion is that should Madryn Street and 10 Admiral Grove, another pre-fame Ringo Starr home, both be demolished, “there will be no physical connection with Ringo Starr in The Dingle or Liverpool.”
How about this: Will there be regret, similar to the Cavern Club situation, in the future if Madryn Street isn’t saved? That’s really the question that not only Liverpool but Beatle fans all over the world need to answer before it’s too late.
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