SAL GOMEZ is a huge fan of Ringo Starr and The Beatles. As a photographer, journalist and radio show host, and with how clearly passionate he is about the music he loves and what he does for the legacy of Ringo and The Beatles, it was very fitting to get his thoughts about attending Ringo’s 75th birthday celebration.
What got you into the Beatles and Ringo?
I guess as with most people, musicians or not, I became a fan of The Beatles and their music since as far back as I can remember. I was 3 years old when they made their appearance on Ed Sullivan, but I could swear to you I remember it. My parents watched it happen and I was right there with them. Over the years, that love for all things Beatles never left. I wasn’t an obsessed fan by any means but they were definitely part of every music collection I ever owned.
What type of events have you attended and participated in for the Beatles/ Ringo specifically???
Very recently, I’d say for the past 3 or so years, I have been involved in the social media aspect surrounding the public gatherings that take place outside the Capitol Records building in Hollywood on every Beatles milestone. Birthdays, memorials and anniversaries. Actually, peace activist Jerry Rubin, Chris Carter and I had been planning a public gathering for Ringo’s birthday when we received word that Ringo himself would be holding court at the same time on the same day. Of course we deferred to Mr Starr.
What are your specific contributions in honoring The Beatles/ Ringo?
I have been photographing Beatles tribute bands for the past 5 years or so. All local to So Cal and L.A. and luckily for me, they all want to play and perform here in Los Angeles. My style of photography tries to be reminiscent of classic Beatles images. I never try to hide the identity of the band because each one of them happens to be a very gifted musician. I want them to be seen. But in capturing those performances, I believe I help in some small way to keep the magic and symbolism of John, Paul, George & Ringo alive. I try once a month to feature the Beatles music on my weekly KMVR – Mid Valley Radio internet radio show with tracks by The Fab Four, as well as well known and not so well known covers of the Beatles music.
What do you think about Ringo turning 75??
Oh my….what can I say? Ringo looks fantastic. I am like most people on the planet that doesn’t get to see Ringo in person very often, so looking at him at his birthday celebration was a whole different experience. He has more vitality, more energy and lust for life than most people I know. And I felt extremely lucky to photograph one of my idols.
How was the event itself? Any thoughts on it?
I have to say without reservation…it was a much better organized event then last year and last year’s was pretty good. The pre-show entertainment by the band Spirit Family Reunion was sheer genius. My only regret was not knowing how to request press credentials sooner than I had. Next year, for sure.
Is Caveman the best movie ever??
Caveman is sheer genius. In the pantheon of Beatles and post- Beatles films, Caveman has to be in the top 5. And Barbara Bach in an animal skin bikini isn’t anything to sneeze at, either. Seriously though, Ringo seems to be getting more popular year after year and, in my opinion, he deserves every inch of that popularity.