The decision by Ringo Starr to stop dealing with any fan mail dated after the 20th October is a fabulously grumpy tale - especially given his appearance in The Simpsons where he was diligently working his way through a backlog of letters from the 1960s. The cut-off date itself is brilliant - I'm picturing something like when Thatcher was selling off all the nation's assets and you'd get the Nine O'Clock News showing footage of people rushing to meet the deadline as staff at the NatWest tried to close the doors in their face.
Gordon Smart isn't happy:
I ALWAYS had RINGO STARR down as the best character in THE BEATLES.
Yeah, he was a brilliant character. Did you know, Gordon, the writers based him on one of The Rutles?
But with only ten weeks until Christmas, the wrinkly rocker has told his loyal fans he will soon throw away everything sent to him.
How can he do this? With only a third of the year until Christmas, too. How many rosy-faced six year-olds are going to wake up and discover nothing under the tree from the drummer in the band their grandparents liked forty years ago?
I reckon Ringo is out of order and it seems out of character too.
Actually, we haven't actually bailed out Ringo Starr yet - although the Chancellor has suggested he'd be prepared to take a forty per cent stake if he gets into trouble - and so it's not his duty to respond to every single letter he gets. It would be nice for him to do so, but you suspect his mailbox must groan under the weight of requests for signatures - especially when much of his work probably winds up straight on eBay.
Gordon thinks it's not good enough, though:
It doesn’t matter how much peace and love you dish out Ringo – surely you can hire someone to keep your fans happy? It’s only a bit of mail.
Yeah, Ringo - why don't you patronise your fans by having someone else read the letters? Isn't it better to not tell people to waste their time sending letters you don't have the time to respond to, but instead pay someone to help you ignore them? If you get someone who's a bit handy with a Sharpie, nobody need ever know.
Smart really turns the knife:
DAVID BOWIE and MACCA manage to keep their legions of fans happy – just by giving them the time of day on their websites.
Yes, Ringo - why can't you be like them, huh? They don't answer every piece of fanmail but they talk to their fans through their websites - you know, like, erm, Ringo did when he posted a video to his website apologising for not being able to answer every piece of his fanmail.