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Ringo's latest video update: No more autographs by mail after Oct. 20



Ringo's video update regarding autographs posted Oct. 10.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RINGO STARR STATEMENT REGARDING RECENT VIDEO UPDATE ON HIS WEBSITE:

Ringo Starr recently put a video update on his official website asking people not to continue to send fan mail to be signed after October 20. This was in direct response to an inordinate amount of items which have recently appeared for sale on e-bay, and to those that repeatedly send cards and items to be signed.

This message was not aimed at "real fans" and after over 45 yrs of signing we know they will understand. Ringo has always signed items and is in fact the only Beatle to have been doing so.

Ringo also feels strongly that it is a waste of paper and we all should be mindful of our carbon footprint. At the end of the day Ringo wanted to make a message that was clear and to the point and is confident his real fans understand that. That said, the recent response from the media has prompted him to clarify that video.

"How amazed am I to the reaction to my video update. I hope this statement gets as much. Please read this in a mellow way. Peace and love, Ringo."


Update (10/27/08)
  • EXCLUSIVE: Abbeyrd's Beatles Page has received the answer to our inquiry to Ringo's press representatives about future Ringo signings. They told us the restriction on autographs by mail is pretty clear -- there won't be any. But his press office told us other situations in the future will be evaluated "as they come up when they come up -- such as when he is again on tour or engaged in any promotions." So, to answer the question, Ringo hasn't completely ended all signings, only those by mail. Others are still possible. And, as his press office told us, "He is an extremely charitable human being and that has not changed."
  • Update (1/9/09)
  • Another happy ending, sent by Todd Baxter:

    Hey Steve,

    Just a note to let you know that I received a signed Ringo item in the mail today, which I sent off when I heard he was gonna stop signing things. I know you were talking about the youtube guy last week. I got a nice signature on my Photograph 45 record sleeve. Very cool! Glad I got it in before he stopped!

    cheers,
    Todd


    Update (1/3/09)
  • The UK Sun picked up the story we told you about Thursday about the autograph Ringo sent to the fan after the "no autographs by mail" deadline. After we uploaded last night, we received an email from Aaron Frazier, the fan who sent the letter to Ringo and got the reply. Here's what he sent to us:

    Hi Steve,

    Happy New Year to you. I am honored that you'd write something about my Ringo vid. I'm giddy just thinking about it!

    In response to your inquiry, I mailed the letter on October 15. There is a video of me watching the "No More Fan Mail" vid that starts off the whole ordeal (You will find it right on my YouTube channel). I just figured it was the best time to send something off to him, even though I expected a massive outpouring of fanmail to hit his offices at the same time from other fans.

    I didn't expect a response - especially not as soon as I received it - but other YouTubers watching the vid either commented or messaged me showing more excitement than I had over the IDEA of getting a response and seeing a second video about it.

    Their excitement was inspiring to me, and I became even more anxious to receive a reply. So imagine my joy when I saw my S.A.S.E. returned and postmarked just over 2 weeks later (I think it was) with the autograph!

    I don't exactly know how to express how I feel NOW about it. I could say I feel accomplished, because I set out to do something; I'm amazed, because I got a response, to the joy of everyone who waited and watched the outcome. It's a big deal - it's great! It's Ringo Starr!

    Thank you for the opportunity, and your time!

    Fondly,
    Aaron Frazier


  • Aaron sent us some additional exclusive comments Friday:

    Hi Steve,

    In a nutshell, I am ecstatic to have gotten a response! He's a 1/4 of the band whom I idolize, and owning something he put in his own handwriting is owning a piece of history.

    I actually expected Ringo to sign the letter. He announced a cut-off date. I had exactly a week to send him something. I'm assuming that Ringo would have stayed true to his word, and responded to the massive influx of fanmail arriving at his homes or his offices, until he ran out. What I DIDN't expect was to have received a reply so soon.

    Had he not autographed anything, I'll admit, i would have been disappointed, but at the same time, life goes on. It wouldn't have changed how I feel about the group, or Ringo, himself.

    Hope that's enough.
    Aaron

    Update (1/2/09)

  • Ringo fan McCartnee decides to send Ringo something to sign after the no-signing-by-mail deadline. He sends two items. The envelope comes back. Are they signed? The answer is on YouTube.

    Update (11/3/08) As a parent, is it ok to pull your kids out of school for the Beatles? Robert St. John of hattiesburgamerican.com thinks so to take his children to see "Love" in Las Vegas.

  • From Robin:

    Hi Steve, I'm a member of the Beatles Collector's Group and I read your post about Ringo and the signing of autographs. I applaud you and any other fan who's sticking by Ringo at this time. He's given us everything and owes us nothing. How people can turn their backs on a man who was a major part of the band we've loved for all of these years just boggles my mind. They don't seem to get it that Ringo could have just "tossed" anything sent to him and not said a word. His honesty is most endearing. Like I've said countless times in his defense, he may have found a better way to say what he said but, in all honesty, would it have made a difference HOW he said it? With some so-called fans, highly doubtful. I think that the ones who are raising a fuss about this and threatening to boycott any future albums and concerts are not real fans but only in it for how much money a Beatles item will put in their pocket. If I had Ringo's autograph, it would be much more valuable to me than what I could ever make on eBay for it. It would be framed and hung upon my wall. Proudly. And that's MUCH more valuable to me. Anyway, thanks for "listening" to my rant.

    You posted on your website that there were youtube videos against Ringo. I also posted a video on youtube, only mine is in support of him. It was in answer to one that asked fans to boycott Ringo. I've received many comments and thank you's from others who feel the same way as me. I'm going where the sun keeps shining through the pouring rain. //o-o\\

  • http://www.myspace.com/rotojeam
  • http://www.youtube.com/lnmyownwrite
  • http://beatlespace.ning.com/

  • Update (10/27/08)

  • EXCLUSIVE: Abbeyrd's Beatles Page has received the answer to our inquiry to Ringo's press representatives about future Ringo signings. They told us the restriction on autographs by mail is pretty clear -- there won't be any. But his press office told us other situations in the future will be evaluated "as they come up when they come up -- such as when he is again on tour or engaged in any promotions." So, to answer the question, Ringo hasn't completely ended all signings, only those by mail. Others are still possible. And, as his press office told us, "He is an extremely charitable human being and that has not changed."

    Update (10/25/08)

  • Teresa Novak, city editor of the Corvallis Gazette Times, comments on Ringo's autograph edict.

    Update (10/18/08)

  • The video update about autographs has been removed from Ringo's website. We've inquired as to why.

    Update (10/17/08)

  • There's been no avalanche of coverage of Ringo's clarification statement, as there was with the original video. We found mentions from Monsters and Critics, anti-Music.com, Vintage Vinyl News, Contact Music and Undercover Music.
  • Ringo did sign in public -- and he was nice about it, too. In this YouTube video, he's very accommodating and even says, "eBay, here it comes." (Thanks to Joe K. on our message board for that link.) There's another here. We're guessing both were taken in Liverpool during Ringo's appearance there.
  • And for equal time, here's one on YouTube and another of Paul signing in Liverpool.
  • There are also several video responses on YouTube to Ringo's video that he probably won't want to see. Search Ringo and autographs and you'll find them.

    Update (10/16/08)
  • See the statement above issued Wednesday from Ringo's press office in answer to the coverage of this story.
  • In his statement, Ringo said he hoped his statement would get as much coverage as the video, but it appears it hasn't. We saw very few links Wednesday. Here's one from WSYR.
  • The Beatcomber gives his opinion of the situation in his latest blog.
  • From Barbara Vaughan, more support of Ringo:

    You know what? I’m sick of reading nothing but negative remarks about Ringo’s (probably ill advised) video about no autographs after 10/20.

    In 1995 I was having a particularly low period in my life and wrote to him, not expecting anything back, but remembering that he was known for always sending an autograph if you sent the postage paid envelope along with your request. Almost a year to the day, imagine my surprise when I opened my envelope with a picture of the dude shooting the peace sign and it WAS signed. THANK YOU RINGO.

    Does anyone ever stop to think of how much this man HAS done? I’ve actually read stories about him receiving complaints from “fans” who have sent a boatload of things for him to sign and return and if he missed one item, he caught hell for it.

    I would give my right arm for an autograph from Paul, but he will not send an autograph through the mail, ever. I’ve tried 3 times. You have to be standing in front of him. I’m sure he has his reasons, but to condemn poor Ringo for giving a time frame to get the autograph requests in is simply wrong. These aren’t fans at all.

    There, now I feel better.


  • From Jude Southerland Kiefer, author of "Shoulda Been There":

    What you’ve done is excellent. You offered both sides of the story and gave a great synopsis of what has happened. I truly hurt for Ringo. Like John’s “more popular than Jesus” statement, what Ringo was trying to say was taken in the worst possible light. Ringo is a straight shooter, as most Scousers are. He said what he had to say without fluff or spin doctoring. It came across far differently than he had intended, I’m sure. People are always quick to see the wrong and the blunders and slow to see the good and to remember the thousand kindness someone has given them for years. I hope you can help to set this right.

    Update II (10/15/08)

  • Ringo has issued a statement clarifying his recent video update (thanks very much to Bill King of Beatlefan for passing it along):

    For Immediate Release

    Ringo Starr Statement regarding recent video update on his website:

    Ringo Starr recently put a video update on his official website asking people not to continue to send fan mail to be signed after October 20. This was in direct response to an inordinate amount of items which have recently appeared for sale on e-bay, and to those that repeatedly send cards and items to be signed.

    This message was not aimed at "real fans" and after over 45 yrs of signing we know they will understand. Ringo has always signed items and is in fact the only Beatle to have been doing so.

    Ringo also feels strongly that it is a waste of paper and we all should be mindful of our carbon footprint. At the end of the day Ringo wanted to make a message that was clear and to the point and is confident his real fans understand that. That said, the recent response from the media has prompted him to clarify that video.

    "How amazed am I to the reaction to my video update. I hope this statement gets as much. Please read this in a mellow way. Peace and love, Ringo."


    Update (10/15/08)
  • Jude Southerland Kessler, author of "Shoulda Been There," offers this essay about Ringo and this situation:

    Dear Beatles Fans and Friends,

    Most of you have already seen the video that Ringo sent out this morning regarding a cut-off date of 20 October for autographed articles, photos, etc. After 20 October, Ringo will not be signing items mailed to him.

    The video of Ringo explaining this to his fans comes across a little…abrupt. But after a great deal of investigation into why he released this video, I found that Ringo had been graciously offering to sign anything that people sent to him. And the overwhelming TON of things that he had received was mind-boggling.

    On one fan site, there was a list of things that people had sent in and then a list of complaints. Here is a typical complaint, “I sent in two photos, one set of drumsticks, one t-shirt and one sweatshirt. The drumsticks were returned unsigned, and one photo was unsigned.”

    The complaints went on and on. No one said a word of thanks for the things that were signed. And my mind is spinning with the image of Ringo signing endless t-shirts, sweatshirts, drumsticks, and who knows what else.

    It was extremely generous for Ringo to offer to sign so many items for his fans, but I imagine that when he offered to do this, he never dreamed that people would take advantage of him by sending so many things and expecting so much.

    And it appears that he has reached his limit.

    Bottom line…since August of 1962, Ringo has lived in a fishbowl. We’ve watched every little thing he’s done…we’ve commented, critiqued, observed, and either cheered or booed. And now it’s 2008…almost 2009. Enough already. Let the man have some well-deserved time to enjoy life. He had given us almost 50 years of smiles, songs, and shenanigans. Now let’s be gracious and give him the rest of his life.

    Before 20 October…instead of a “gimme, gimme, gimme” attitude (or as George would have phrased it, “I, me, me, mine!”), let’s do something for Ringo. Let’s all write to him at the address below ONLY TO SAY THANK YOU…thank you for the joy of your music, your positive attitude through the years, your love toward the fans, your Ringoisms, your headshakes and smiles, your humor, yourself. Let’s send him a note to say we love you, and we support you.

    If Ringo is feeling overwhelmed, taken advantage of, besieged…then let’s give back to him some of the joy he has given us.

    Please send a word of thanks or support (and NOTHING TO SIGN) to…

    Ringo Starr
    1st Floor
    90 Jermyn Street
    London SW1Y6JD
    UK

    And please pass the word on to everyone you know. I’d love to see his mailbox full of thanks and love, not requests and complaints.

    Cheers!
    Jude Southerland Kessler
    http://www.ontherockbooks.com/


  • More media links: CNN, AP.

    Update (10/14/08)

  • There apparently was a time when he was cooperative in signing items. From Barbara Pazmino:

    Steve,

    Ringo was always good about signing. He would not stop on the street to sign, but if you sent things into the hotel for him he'd do it.

    Once not long after "Old Wave" came out, I went to the hotel after work with the empty lp cover. I used the house phone and asked for Ringo's assistant's room. I got connected and Ringo answered the phone! I apologized and explained I asked to speak to his assistant and Ringo said that's ok.

    I asked about getting "Old Wave" signed that I bought when I was in Toronto. He said that he wasn't feeling well and was about to take a nap but could I call back in about an hour and he would do it then. So I went to get coffee and then went back to the hotel to wait outside until an hour passed. I ran into 3 other fans I knew outside when I was going into hotel to call again and Ringo answered again. He asked me to send the lp cover up with a bellman. I told him could I have the bellman call to confirm because he may not believe me, and Ringo said yes. Two of the fans asked if they could send one thing each with mine, so I said ok.

    I wrote a note to Ringo explaining that two fans' items were 'coming up along for the ride" and would he mind doing those as well. If he did mind and decided not to do any including mine, I would understand and I apologize. One fan also sent up his camera with a note on it asking Ringo to take a photo of himself. So the bellman took up the things and camera. We waited and not long after he came back down and gave us the things. We asked if he took a photo of Ringo, and he said no he didn't go into the room. Ringo took the things at the room door and the bellman waited outside, but he saw a flash go off. This was before digital so we had to wait and hope for when the film was developed to see if he did take a photo of himself.

    All the things were signed - mine was only one to my name because he knew it from call. He still was doing Ringo Starr with the star drawn underneath.

    A few days later my friend with the camera - it was the famous Vinnie Zuffante - said the photo was developed and he made us each a copy. Ringo looking at the camera you could tell he was holding outstretched in his hand in front of him. I guess he thought it was so odd experience and he was in good mood. LOL

    Also, remember, in the 60's Maureen said that she handled the fan mail for Ringo. Fans would send letters to Ringo's home. Maureen said that periodically she would have Ringo sign bunches of little square pieces of plain white paper, and whenever she read a particularly nice letter from a fan, she would reply to them and enclose one of the signed pieces of paper!

    I knew autograph collectors in the 80's who mailed things to Paul at MPL in London and Eastman's office in NY and they'd get it back signed after a month or two.


  • Most recent media links: Reuters, Tampa Tribune, E! Online. Pollstar.
  • (10/13/08 Update II) We've received two emails confirming that Ringo did indeed sign items by mail. First, from Shaun:

    Hello,

    I just wanted to confirm that yes, if you sent Ringo a note or a photo thru the mail, it would eventually come back signed. I had success sending a note to his LA office, but I know you could also send to the houses in UK and Monte Carlo. Something must have annoyed him maybe he saw some of the stuff on Ebay. For the record there was a time you could send autograph requests to MPL and yes even Friar Park and you had a chance of getting something back. Paul officially stopped taking requests thru the mail a few years ago and George stopped replying back in the 80's. He used to send out signed Cloud Nine lps (how awesome is that!!) I tried sending to George many years ago and got back a preprinted letter with a philosophical saying on it and a pin with an ohm on it. I thought that was very cool and very George.

    Love your site,
    Shaun


  • And Peter Fitzpatrick:

    Hi Steve,

    Couldn’t view that link from 2006 you posted but I can confirm that in 1986 I mailed a White Album cover to a UK address for Ringo. I enclosed postage and a return address label. Sure enough several months later it was returned to me signed. I had heard about this from a tape-trader in the UK who himself had got a picture sleeve for ‘Only You’ signed. I had actually completely forgotten about sending it and it was quite a nice surprise when it arrived. I still have it and one day would love to get Paul to sign it. Now I realise that the autograph might have been signed by an assistant but it does look like any other Ringo autograph I’ve seen.

    Regards from Dublin,
    Peter

    (Comment: Just FYI, we checked it and that link you referred to still works.)
  • Two days after we were the first in the world to exclusively alert you to Ringo's no autographs edict, the story has been picked up by the media -- and the results aren't pretty. There are stores from the BBC, UK Telegraph, Q Daily, Sky News, NME.com, CBC, Liverpool Echo, XFM Online, ITN (video report), Monsters and Critics, In the News, This Is Surrey, UPI, Daily Mirror, Undercover, UK Sun, ANI. We still have no follow up explanation from Ringo's press office. Many of the press reports are linking this to the incident in Liverpool earlier this year as another bad bit of press for Ringo. One report even termed him "grumpy."
  • Those of you who are sports memorabilia collectors know that some athletes do free signatures by mail. But -- sending anything is a risk -- and there's always the possibility that the athlete is not the one signing the item or that you'll get it back.

    Update (10/13/08)

  • Several people have mentioned to us that they weren't aware, as were we, that Ringo signed anything by mail. Here's a link from 2006 that seems to indicate he did, though it took several months to get it.

    Update (10/12/08)

  • One thing did change. The label on the video was changed from "No autographs update" to "Sorry, No More Signing Stuff."

    (10/11/2008) We just happened to click into Ringo's website to check his video updates and found this very surprising message, dated Friday, that Ringo delivered in a very serious tone. Here it is:

    "This is a serious message to everybody watching my update right now. Peace and love. Peace and love. I want to tell you after the 20th of October please do not send fan mail to any address that you have. Nothing will be signed after the 20th of October. If that has a date on the envelope, it's gonna be tossed. I'm warning you with peace and love I have too much to do. So no more fan mail. Thank you, thank you. And no objects to be signed. Nothing. Anyway, peace and love, peace and love."

    We're trying to contact Ringo's press representative for some kind of explanation as to what prompted this. We'll let you know what we hear.



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