October 27, 2020

1974-04-22 – The Atlanta Constitution

1974 04 22 The_Atlanta_Constitution_Mon__Apr_22__1974_

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Nillson and Bingo (L) At Press Conference ‘It’s Not the Best...But I Am Wonderful

Pals Ringo and Nillson Grace Atlanta

By GREGORY JAYNES
, Wm wan ‘.
, The turnout at the airport
wasn't’exactiy what»
wanted (“After meeting thou-
sands of fans at the airport,”
a press release said) but then,

apublic relations type reek
oned, Ringo Starr and Harry
Nilison arrived before school
was out.

“There was one weird
scene,” Vito Blando, who is
with RCA Records, recalled
after the two stars were set-
tled in at a Stoufier’s near.
downtown Atlanta. “There
were two guys on a motorcy-
cle who had it timed just
right. we left the airport and
they were riding alongside the
limousine and the guy on the
back was taking pictures as
fast as he could.

“I mean. they stayed right

with us and the guy on the
back was leaning over and
shooting through the window.
And we were doing the speed
limit coming down the’ Inter-
state I! .

Starr, late of the Beatles,
and Nillson, who did the score
for “Midnight Cowboy,” were
in town over the weekend for
the premiese of their new
movie. "Son of Dracula. ”
They held a press conference
shortly after they got here. It
was the most well attended

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they had a

press conference you’ll find

this side of the White House. .

“Why" Atlanta tor the
premiere?” someone asked.

“Nobody else would take
it.” said Ringo.

“Is that true?"

“Partially," said Ringo. “Is
that man getting real?"

That’s kind of how the press
conference went. It wasn't
very serious.

“We filmed it all on loca-
tion,” said Ringo, who pro-
duced the film and acted the
part of Merlin. “If you come
tonight, you can read the
credits. It’s not the greatest
movie in the world, but I’ve
seen worse."

“How do you f'eel' about it,
9” .
actly the same.”

“We’re pals," said Ringo.

A lady asked: “What’s the
film like, Harry?”

“You remember “The Girl
Can’t Help It’ and ‘I Was A
Teenage Werewolf? Marry
the two and you' ve got it. ”

“It’s not the best thing I
ever di ,i’ said Ringo, “but I
am wonderful.” ; ~

ltishilledasthefirstrock
and roll Dracula. They shot it
in 29 days. They both said it
would have been better had
they had more time.

Nillson was dressed in a

At this point. a public rela-
tionsmansaidhe’dliketo
introduce a fellow in the audi-
ence. The fellow is a corpu-
lent songwriter named Johnny
Russell, .who has 3 hit out
called "Red Necks, White
Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer.”
Russell wrote a song called
“Act Naturally” in 1961 and it
went nowhere until Stari-

recorded it half a decade
later. -

Starr. and Russell had never
met. They shook hands and

Starr said thanks. Afterwards, ,

I asked Russell how much
money he had made off
Starr’ s recording. “Lord, I
don’t know,” he said. “It’s
been so many years and the
money kept coming in. But it

'was a financial pleasure, I’ll
tell you the. ”

' Starr was asked whether he

would. record any more coun-
try songs and who are his

favorite.- ceuntry singers. He i

said he didn’t‘know and

named Kitty Wells and Merle

Haggard and Gene Autry
"Have you even heardsAutry’s
‘Sonth of the Border’?” he
asked, single; a few bars.

blue jeans outfit with a blue ' ‘5

jeans cap. Ringo had on a sil-
ver and l)Iilack jacket with a
couple of pictures of Marilyn
Monroe on the hack.They:1
were drinking milk. “I’m not
stoned," Starr said at one

point.
Sonieone asked the inevita-

ble. Will the Beatles regroup?
“I'd like to say here and
" said Starr, who
p y wears a beard and
really is a very small fellow,
Cm u
Starr was asked it he had
seen Richard Lester lately.
Lester directed a couple of
Beatles’ movies and the cur-
rent ‘Three Musketeers.”
“No," said the drummer. “but
he’s a helluva kind of guy

though. That’s an old English

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“And, of course, Jimmy
Rodgers,” he said, continuing.
“He’ 8 still the grooviest of all.
Tibet’s an old English expres-
s on.”

“Is' this movieas good as
Bela Lugosi’s ‘Dracula’?” Nill-'
son was asked.

“No, ” he said.

Starr was asked whether he
would he doing any concerts.
“I don't have a hand," he said.
“I. don’t go on the read an
more. I did the Banglades
thing but that was a special
occasion. You got any special
occasions?" »

“Would you sign this LP?” a
girl asked Starr; “For ten dol-
lars,” he said, signing it and
taking no money.

The press conference ended
six hours before the midnight
premiere of the movie at the
Cherokee theater. "I’d like to

thank 2-93 ( a local radio sta-' '

tion) for plugging the film,”
Nillson said.
“Me too,” said Starr, “but I

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Then they signed some
autographs and lefti Both flew
home the next day. “That
Ringo,” said a record
“company executive. “I love

him. Boy, he’s got some kind
of wit. ”

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