Stories of Ringo Starr in Iceland Skip to content

Stories of Ringo Starr in Iceland

Ringo Starr’s performance in the Plastic Ono Band concert in Iceland was memorable. This is the third time Ringo comes to Iceland and many thought about his first time in the country in 1984. Ringo was the guest of honor at the Atlavík summer festival.

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Ringo Starr in Plastic Ono Band Concert 2010. Photo: Páll Kjartansson

Jakob Magnússon, keyboard player and leader of Studmenn, one of Iceland’s most popular band, met Ringo in the after concert party in the Theatre Cellar, a well known bar in the National theatre building. Magnússon, who gain international recognition for his solo album Jackmagnet, reminisced about old times with Ringo and asked him if he recalled the time he fell of the horse in 1984. Ringo said: No. Everybody keeps talking about the time I fell of the horse, but I have very little recollection of that.

This hilarious story, which made the back page of Fréttabladid, reminded people of other legends about Ringo’s first visit.

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Ringo and Yoko Ono in Plastic Ono Band Concert 2010. Photo: Páll Kjartansson

Such a noble guest had never visited the festival and Magnússon and his friends wanted to give him the royal treatment. So when it came to the after dinner drink, Ringo could choose from a selection of the most expensive Cognacs. Ringo looked at the selection and said: I don’t care, just make sure you fill the glass up with coke.

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Ringo, Yoko and Mayor Jón Gnarr in Plastic Ono Band Concert 2010. Photo: Páll Kjartansson

In the beginning of the festival Ringo was closely guarded by a group of Beatle-guards. However, nobody bothered him and nobody was sure if it was because nobody recognized him or that Icelandic people were so polite. Whatever the reason, little by little the guard was relaxed and the drummer walked freely around the forest area. Suddenly, a very drunk and very big guy appeared in his woolen sweater. Before the secret service people could get in place this guy had made it all the way to the Beatle and put his arms around him. The hosts could already see the headlines: Ex-Beatle choked to death by wild Icelandic fan. However, the expression on the guys was pure happiness and the hosts relaxed. This was a fan getting his lifelong wish fulfilled. Then he roared through the tears: Elsku hjartans kallinn minn. Ekki hélt ég að ég myndi sjá þig hér. [My dearest fellow. I never expected to meet you here.] Since Ringo’s Icelandic is a bit rusty, he stepped back and looked at the strange man, but said nothing. The guards were pleased that the celeb took it so well to meet a fan. Then the happy Icelander said: Manstu ekki eftir mér. Þú kenndir mér smíðar á Eiðum. [Don’t you remember me, you were my teacher in woodwork in secondary school at Eidar.]

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