Saturday night's (July 13th) crowd at Dodger Stadium saw the closest thing to a Beatles reunion with Paul McCartney welcoming Ringo Starr on stage for a couple of numbers during the encore of his “Freshen Up” tour closer. Ringo was introduced by McCartney who said, “We've got a surprise for us, a surprise for you, a surprise for everyone: Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only, Ringo Starr.” Ringo, playing his signature Ludwig drum set, performed “Sgt. Pepper's (Reprise)” — and for the first time ever in concert — “Helter Skelter.”
After Ringo's cameo, the drummer's brother-in-law Eagle Joe Walsh hit the stage to join in during “The End” from the Abbey Road closing medley. According to assorted fan reports, high profile concert goers at the Stadium included Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Bryan Cranston, McCartney's wife Nancy Shevell, daughter Mary McCartney and family, Ringo's wife Barbara Bach, and her sister — and Joe Walsh's wife — Marjorie Bach.
Dodger Stadium is a historical venue in Beatles history, with the ballpark serving as the second-to final venue the Beatles ever played in public on August 28th, 1966 — one night before their legendary final show at San Francisco's Candlestick Park.
Ringo explained to us that although he and McCartney remain extremely close, these days, their musical team-ups are far more casual than fans — or concert promoters — would like them to be: “Well, there won't be any half-reunion (of the Beatles). I mean, in 2010 he surprised me — I was playing Radio City Music Hall and he get got up and he played 'Birthday,' which I played with him, because I wanted the opportunity to play with him again. We do hang out a bit, y'know, what I mean, but we're not in each other's pockets. And if the opportunity's real, we play together — I've played on a couple of his records, he's played on mine. But, no, we never sit there saying, 'Oh, yeah, we'll put it together and I'll do 'Yesterday' (laughs).”
Paul McCartney explained that the Beatles came into their own due to the perfect combination of talent, time, and sweat: “The thing, I think, made us what we were was doin' it a lot. 'Never had a day off. Hamburg — we just work, work, work, worked. Y'know, and that's what I think made us so tight as a band. I mean, the bottom line for me is that we were a great little band. If I went (sings) 'Well, one for the money (claps)'; They'd never got (adapts think Liverpudlian accent) — 'What's that?' (laughter, McCartney makes drum noises), Everybody would just be in, like, bang! We just knew each other that well, y'know.”
Ringo infamous declaration of “I've got blisters on my fingers!!!” at the end of 1968's “Helter Skelter” is one of the most beloved moments in all of the Beatles' work. Ringo recalled the session for the “White Album” classic: “'Helter Skelter' was just a track we did in total madness and hysterics in the studio. Y'know, sometimes you just have to shake out the jams!”