In October 2008, an angry Ringo Starr took to his website to warn fans to stop sending him objects through the mail to autograph. “Nothing will be signed after the 20th of October!” he said in the bizarre video. “If that has a date on the envelope, it’s going to be tossed. I’m warning you with peace and love. I have too much to do, so no more fan mail! And no objects to be signed. Nothing! Anyway, peace and love, peace and love.”
The 43-second video – which begins, for some reason, with an extreme close-up of his nose – posed many questions to fans. They really aren’t allowed to send him legit fan letters? Why the arbitrary date of October 20th? Was it really necessary to say “peace and love” five times in 43 seconds? The volume of mail is such a burden that it necessitated this sort of video? Did he not stop for a minute to consider how this might come off? (It’s worth noting that Ringo had a very different attitude towards fan mail when he appeared on the Simpsons in 1991.)
Howard Stern became fixated on the video and played it repeatedly on his show over the years. And when Ringo came onto the show last year, he asked him to explain it. “That was one angry moment,” Starr said with a laugh. “I was signing scratch plates that they have on guitars in New York and someone had screwed one onto a shit guitar and it was selling for three grand on Ebay. And I went, ‘No.’ I only sign for charity now and mainly my charity and [my wife] Barbara [Bach]’s charity.”
Starr makes a fair point. Rock stars of his stature are inundated with professional autograph seekers everywhere they go. Imagine 50 years of people shoving White Album records and sharpie pens in your face on the street. It’s no wonder he snapped and posted that video. So all you Ringo fans out there, his statement still stands. No more fan mail. No more autographs. Leave the man alone. You’ve been warned, with peace and love.