The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
Big Birthday - Ringo Starr celebrates his 80th birthday today (7 July), even though it will now be online due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I've got a huge birthday; I am going to be 80,” says Starr. “But I am going to celebrate it a little differently this year from the last 12 years, where we had the peace and love moment at noon.”
This annual tradition began in 2008 at a 100-guest gathering for his birthday at the Hard Rock in Chicago. Since then it has expanded to 27 countries, with its epicentre on a big stage in Hollywood. The Beatles drummer celebrates the event with music performances from himself and his friends, in front of 100s of fans. But he had to cancel the event this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, he will put on a virtual charity concert on YouTube called Ringo's Big Birthday Show. He'll be joined by Sir Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Ben Harper, Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark Jr and Sheila E to benefit Black Lives Matter, The David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and WaterAid.
"I've asked several of my friends to either send me footage from a show they've done and I'm using some of mine from the All-Starrs [his band] last year and I'll be there introducing. We're putting the show on at 5 o'clock (PST). But it's still my birthday and still peace and love," says Starr.
Park Life - Virgin Money and SSD Concerts will hold a music festival in Gosforth Park in Newcastle with the crowd separated to reduce the risk of the spread of the coronavirus. Acts will be announced at a later date. A spokeswoman said people can "enjoy live music from household names while adhering to social distancing rules".
Helen Page, from Virgin Money, said: "We are delighted to play a part in bringing back live music events as we start to emerge from lockdown. This feels like a special opportunity to celebrate music and all the wonderful emotions that come with experiencing it live alongside other music fans." Audience members will have their own private platforms and a one-way system will be in place to try and keep people apart.
Yellowbrick Road - Sir Elton John is to be commemorated on a £1,000 gold coin celebrating his musical legacy. The Royal Mint at Llantrisant in south Wales is to sell coins featuring Sir Elton's glasses and straw boater hat to mark his career of more than 50 years.
"It really is a fabulous honour to be recognised in this way," said Sir Elton. "The last few years have contained some of the most memorable moments of my career, and this is another truly humbling milestone on my journey." The cheapest coins have a face value of £5 selling for £13 while a one-kilo gold proof coin has a face value of £1,000 - though it is priced at £68,865. A one-off coin will be auctioned to raise cash for the Elton John Charitable Trust.
Farewell - Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer whose credits include the ‘spaghetti’ westerns that made Clint Eastwood a star, has died in Rome, aged 91. The prolific composer also wrote music for Once Upon a Time in America, The Untouchables and Cinema Paradiso. Known as ‘Maestro’ in his home town of Rome, he scored more than 500 films over seven decades.
(Jim Evans)
7 July 2020

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