Why Ringo Starr isn't marking 50-year Beatles milestone

(CBS News) Ringo Starr turns 72 on Saturday. But another mile marker - 50 years since he became a Beatle - is also being celebrated this year - just not necessarily by Starr. He told CBS News he hasn't thought about the milestone at all.

"It's just another number, isn't it? You know, that's how it is. ... It used to be just two years. Ooh, now five. Now 40," Starr said.

When asked recently in New York if there will be a special celebration, Starr said, "Well, Paul (McCartney) and I will go to the pub, you mean? No."

If he sounds at all sour, that's because Starr has spent a good part of his adult life trying to distance himself from the Fab Four. That journey, however, has never taken him off stage.

He said of performing, "I love being on stage, because one, I'm down there as the big show off. And...I get to play with all these great musicians. So it's a win-win for me."

Starr's band, Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band, started touring in 1989, and featured a rotating cast of musicians, including Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton. Now, 12 incarnations later, Starr says the show's only getting better.

"You know, it used to be two years between each tour," he said. "Now, well, I haven't had a break in a while, so I'm playing more and more, you know? ... I have the energy, I don't know. It's just one of those turning points."

And these days, more young people are attending the shows, Starr said. "We're not overloaded with, you know, people our age," he said. "I check the whole room out. ... I'm checking the room as I'm working. And I'm listening for anyone who says, 'Love you, Ringo.' 'I love you, too.'"

It was on the road where Starr happened upon his latest hobby, creating pop art using computer paint programs. He decided to print and sell the images for charity, and at a recent event, some sold for $12,000.

Starr says the computer art keeps him busy. "It's for a good cause," he said. "There's more in (the art) than I even imagined."

He pointed out a drawing that has a dog and a man hidden inside the picture. Star joked, "It's very deep."

Starr's also embracing another electronic medium - Twitter. He said he wanted to join the revolution. "I'm just seeing what's going down," he said. "I'm doing my part."

Revolution is familiar territory for Starr, whose back-beat helped ignite a musical one five decades ago. But these days, he's just looking for a little peace. Starr said, "I'm not a violent man. I am Mr. Peace and Love, for God sake. I mean that in a loving way."

To watch a version of this story from "CBS This Morning," watch the video in the player above.

  • Jeff Glor

    Jeff Glor was named anchor of the Sunday edition of the "CBS Evening News" in January 2012 and Special Correspondent for "CBS This Morning" in November 2011.

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