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Ringo Starr Honored With a Little Help From His Famous Friends

Laura Ferreiro
January 21, 2014

Ringo Starr Honored With a Little Help From His Famous Friends

Laura Ferreiro
January 21, 2014

There's nothing like getting a little help from your friends, as Ringo Starr would attest. The former Beatle was honored at an all-star shindig at Los Angeles's El Rey Theatre Monday night, when the David Lynch Foundation presented him with the Lifetime of Peace and Love Award.

The proceedings began with warm video greetings from Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono, who beamed in to congratulate their long-time friend and express their love for him. Then Lynch took the stage, telling the sold-out crowd, "In all the galaxies of peace and love, Ringo is a giant star."

The renowned director, known for Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, spoke on behalf of his non-profit foundation, which teaches veterans, at-risk youth, and victims of domestic violence the benefits of practicing Transcendental Meditation. Starr is famously known for traveling with the Beatles to India in 1968 to study with Transcendental Meditation founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and he has continued to practice it throughout his life.

"All this praise is overwhelming," the drummer said when he took the stage. "It's David Lynch and the foundation who should be getting this award for all the good things they do. It blows me away that he's taking meditation to schools and the violence in those areas has gone down."

With a house packed full of renowned musicians, an allstar jam was inevitable. Famed producer Don Was led the house band, which included Peter Frampton, drummer Kenny Aronoff, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and guitarist Steve Lukather from Toto – all friends of Starr.

Seattle folk band the Head and the Heart performed a rousing rendition of the Beatles' "Octopus's Garden," and Brendan Benson, best known for his turn with Jack White in the Raconteurs, sang Starr's "Don't Go Where the Road Don't Go." Soul singer Bettye LaVette performed "It Don't Come Easy," remarking, "This is my 50th year in show business and this is the best band I've ever had."

Ben Folds livened up the proceedings performing a bad-ass honky-tonk version of "Oh My My." Then Ben Harper took the stage, performing an earnest, moving rendition of "Walk With You" before handing the mic over to Eagles' Joe Walsh (who also happens to be Starr's brother-in-law). The famed guitarist riled up the crowd, yelling, "Back off!" into the microphone before performing a screeching guitar rendition of "Back Off Boogaloo" that got the audience on its feet.

Then Starr hit the stage to perform a handful of tunes, kicking off with "Photograph" and segueing into "Boys," on which he did a turn behind the drums. "I have to play something on drums so you can see that I can still hold the sticks," he quipped. Not surprisingly, the evening ended with an allstar singalong of "With a Little Help from My Friends," which included all of the evening's performers as well as actor Jim Carrey, Jeff Lynne, and Lynch. Starr danced and jumped up and down like a man half his age, enjoying every minute of it.

The evening ended with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti presenting certificates of recognition to Lynch and Starr "for being angels," and the entire room singing "Happy Birthday" to Lynch, who was celebrating his 68th birthday.

Starr and McCartney are slated to perform separately at Sunday's Grammys Awards.

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