“Peace & Love” – A public mantra of ex-Beatle Ringo Starr
“My dream is one day, one hour, one minute everybody in the world will go in Peace and Love. Then it will be good,” says Ringo in an interview by NHK, Japan’s national TV, conducted after his 76th birthday ceremony in Los Angeles on July 7, 2016. Referring to recent terror attacks in Bangladesh, Florida and Paris, “There is no safe place any more. That’s what they (terrorists) do. This is what I do,” and he flashes his peace sign, saying the words “peace and love,” which are now sounding like his life’s rhythm and melody.
In everything he does he shares this universal message. “Every day I’m walking down the streets, people say Peace and Love to me. It’s becoming a force…I’m still playing and we go to places. That what I mean to get there and be the entertainer,” he continues in the interview.
Ringo is coming to Japan in October 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ 1966 concert tour to Tokyo. It’s going to be his fourth visit to Japan after the group’s break-up. “Now, Japan is part of the world I live in…Thank you, Peace and Love,” he concludes, holding a sign bearing this universal message and his signature, while saying with a smile of warmth, “You know, I do not sign.”
Throughout the interview segment, I’ve felt Ringo’s candor, wit and soul are making the lifeblood of his music.
Discovering and propelling universal messages – Core purpose of my blog
I’ve dared today to post my first blog after pondering time and again, simply hoping one day it will reach former colleagues of mine and new friends alike who are concerned about the current status of the world, confronted with uncertainties and drastic evolutions around, and so eager to find and share something certain and universal with each other. Although I’m humbled to initiate such a dialogue, based in Tokyo, I’m keen to exchange viewpoints of mutual concern and interest with those who cherish similar aspirations across international communities. Eventually, I’m honestly hoping it will help me and you understand commonness, similarities and even differences in the way one issue or one event is perceived from one country to another. Then let’s hope rather than pointing out differences we could strive ourselves to live together believing in common and similar values of life that should transcend the boundaries of nationality, age, gender, academic/career backgrounds, histories, cultures and languages.
Ringo’s first impression of quiet Japanese audience 50 years ago
Back in 1966, The Beatles performed five concerts in Tokyo. According to the NHK’s news portal about the Ringo interview, he was a bit bewildered by the Japanese audience who was very subdued as they were playing. Wherever they played in those days, The Beatles were causing the fans to go crazy for the new superstars. Screaming, yelling, crying and wild excitement that they got used to see were entirely missing from Japanese fans. Ringo is quoted as saying, “Japanese fans remained quite quiet throughout the gigs. They all got excited and applauded in their seats.” Seemingly it took time for him to get used to Japanese peculiar way of expressing excitement 50 years ago. He vividly recalls, however, “We were very happy they greeted us with tremendous enthusiasm and were very good and kind to us.” “Now Japan is part of the world I live in,” he says in the NHK interview.
He recognized the difference of the Japanese audience, but he was able to touch the warm heart and appreciation from Japanese people as a whole. In fact, Japan as a whole was excited over the Beatles first appearance in the country.
Just in case, I would like to add one last footnote about Japanese audience nowadays. They are no longer behaving themselves at rock ‘n’ roll concerts. They really go crazy and wild, jumping, clapping, waving and shouting, no difference from those in New York, Paris, London, and so on. It looks totally crazy to me, though. But that should be the way to enjoy that kind of music with all their hearts and souls. Japan has been transforming itself to be an important part of the global communities. Japanese fans of the Beatles and the two still active members, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, are evidently no exception either.
Themes to blog about
Suffice to say the Ringo’s interview has rekindled my motivation to begin blogging for the sake of pursuing universal value of life that I sincerely hope will be further identified through earnest global dialogues from now on. In that sense, I own him a lot to give me a kick in the back to begin a blog. Also it seems his wish for us to get his two words spread from friends to friends on social media as far and wide as the world expands. So I would like to begin this first blog with dedicating his message, “Peace and Love,” to those that I have known and will get to know soon.
I would like to post my thoughts as often as possible, once in a week or two at least. I want to discuss in the subsequent posts a wide range of themes touching on the universal value of life or invaluable learning that I’ve been thinking through my long professional career in international public relations as well as daily occurrence in international affairs, political and social affairs at home.
I sincerely hope my piece of thought will lead to further discussion with you and many other friends and help bolstering our global dialogues.
Glimpse of my profile
Friends of mine are kind enough to suggest my first blog should briefly tell who and what I am. I’m practicing public relations consultancy in Tokyo since 1992, mostly representing multinational organizations in a variety of industrial sectors. Before that, I started my career in this profession at Ruder & Finn, one of the largest independent public relations agencies based in New York, and then at GCI Group (former Grey Com International), a public relations subsidiary of Grey Advertising in New York. All told, I spent almost 20 years in New York counting the time my academic pursuit at a university in New York as a Fulbright scholar. I owed my professional growth a great deal to my bosses, colleagues, friends and business associates in the U.S. and Europe as well as even to the U.S. government that provided me a Fulbright scholarship to continue on a graduate work.
I eventually determined to come back and started up a public relations firm in Tokyo, really wishing to return the favor to those who had helped me build my career. In those days in New York, I often ran across negative reports in The New York Times and The Washington Post about American and European companies that had been encountering unreasonable hardships called “non-tariff barrier” in Japan. Furthermore, I noticed there were many fine organizations that were well established in the U.S. and Europe and deserved for getting introduced into the Japanese market. But those fine organizations were really hesitant to venture into Japan, with the given rumors and perception that its market must have been awfully difficult to enter. I for one thought there would be right ways to overcome difficulties there whatever they are, and get them known to potential Japanese partners and consumers. Working for them and helping them to establish themselves in Japan should be the way for me to return the favor I had received from my entire life in New York. I’m still running the same pr firm with the same belief, conviction and business philosophy.
Through my blog, it will be very nice if I’ll be able to say hellos to many of my former colleagues and friends like Jason, Steve, Don, Jim, Mary, Shawn, Barbara, Fred, and so on. Eagerly hoping many of them will rediscover me and stay in touch once again. I’ll talk to you soon again.
Nick Nishida, Tokyo