Thursday, November 30, 2017

More than 50 years after country banned Beatles, Ringo is on his way to Israel


More than 50 years after government ministers canceled a planned Beatles concert in Israel, Ringo Starr has scheduled two performances in the nation next June.

The Beatles were set to play in Tel Aviv in August 1965, but the show was cancelled and the group banned from the country due to objections from government leaders.

The Beatle ban stemmed from public outrage in Israel over a Cliff Richard performance there the previous year. Adults were dismayed by images of teens dancing and swooning to the British teen idol and a government cultural committee vowed not to let it happen again.

The committee issued a resolution stating if would, "not to allow the request for fear that the performances by the Beatles are liable to have a negative influence on the [country's] youth."

The head of the country's educational committee also stated, ""There is no musical or artistic experience here but a sensual display that arouses feelings of aggression replete with sexual stimuli."

The Jewish Press has a detailed account of the scrapped concert and ban here.

But times have changed. In 2008, the Israeli government formally apologized for the ban in a letter to John Lennon's half-sister Julia Baird, a move that coincided with Paul McCartney's first performance in Israel a few weeks later.

Ringo is set to play June 23 and 24 in Menorah Mivtahim Arena in Tel Aviv. His upcoming tour includes a somewhat revised lineup of his All-Star Band, with Men at Work‘s Colin Hay and 10cc‘s Graham Gouldman joining the band, replacing Todd Rundgren and Mr. Mister‘s Richard Barnes. Returning members include Toto‘s Steve Lukather, ex-Santana member Gregg Rolie, Warren Ham, and Gregg Bissonette.

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