Media Analysis: Ringo Starr Turns 70 Interview

By Matt DeBow

An interview with Ringo Starr, who is most notable known for his drumming work with The Beatles, is now touring as a solo artist.  Dave Itzkoff interviewed the musician about his birthday last Wednesday when he turned seventy.

The first few questions are about Starr turning seventy. The answers Starr gives do not vary that much from anyone who would be turning seventy, but they were only published because of Starr’s prominence.

Itzkoff asks a good question: “Q. How does that make you feel, to have one of your possessions on display at the Met?”, which is not a yes or no question, but Starr answered the question yes it’s cool. This answer is an interviewers nightmare when an interviewee answers open-ended questions with yes or no. That is why Itzkoff followed up a couple more open-ended questions to elicit a better response from Starr, although the answers were not that much better.

Another unpredictable answer from Starr is when Itzkoff asks Starr about how trends about The Beatles surprise him like the novel that recreates The Beatles as zombies. Starr’s response has nothing to do about how he feels about zombies, but he says he is surprised that their old albums are still being released and a new generation is enjoying the music that he helped create 50 to 60 years ago. This is a case where the answer is barely related to the question, but the answer is better than what the interviewer was aiming for.

Another question that did not receive much of a response is Itzkoff asks Starr about the Vatican finally forgiving The Beatles for John Lennon’s 1966 remark that The Beatles were bigger than Jesus.

Many of Starr’s answers are short because he chose not to speak much and the open-ended question that Starr answered with a yes, show that he difficult to interview. In addition, there is so much known already about Starr and The Beatles because he has been a public figure for the last 6 decades.

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