Ringo Starr has "peace and love" birthday

Mon Jul 7, 2008 4:46pm EDT
 
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By Michael Conlon

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Ringo Starr held a "peace and love" fest on a rainy Chicago sidewalk to mark his 68th birthday on Monday. "What could be wrong? Peace and Love. What a great birthday gift," the former Beatle said. "It's a happening."

The event, which had sparse advance publicity, drew about 200 people on both sides of a street outside the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago.

Some got close enough to catch a glimpse of Starr, clad in black and wearing purple glasses, with his wife Barbara nearby. Some even snagged one or more of the frosted birthday cupcakes the hotel handed out after he went inside.

"I saw it in the paper, left my sister's house and came down here," said Joyce McDaniels, who was visiting from Winton, California. She emerged from the crowd holding a slightly mauled chocolate cupcake, but it was a secondary prize.

"I saw a Beatle. That's all I needed!" she said.

Starr, in the midst of a U.S. concert tour, had announced the event on his Web site, saying he had been asked in a recent interview what he wanted for his birthday and replied "just more peace and love."

He also said he hoped anyone who wanted to join him anywhere in the world would mark the day with a two-fingered peace sign at noon local time.

Starr missed the noon deadline himself by a couple of minutes but was greeted by cheers from the onlookers who then sang "Happy Birthday."

"Thanks for coming," Starr shouted back.

(editing by Cynthia Osterman)

 
<p>Former Beatle Ringo Starr (R) flashes peace signs as his wife Barbara Bach (L) smiles as they arrive in downtown Chicago, Illinois to celebrate his 68th birthday July 7, 2008. REUTERS/Frank Polich</p>