It began with an overlooked box.
Placed on a high shelf, the box had changed locations after numerous moves, numerous times. Nobody considered opening it.
Until 2012, when much to Ringo Starr’s delight he discovered the box contained old postcards that went back as far as 50 years earlier.
And that was just the tip of the sentimental iceberg.
While in the process of “tidying up”, the man known as the “Fourth Beatle” came across a hitherto unopened drawer that when discovered, revealed the most priceless of treasures – hundreds of photographic negatives, the majority taken during a time when the Beatles were still a band and more popular than the big G himself, 1964-1970.
With every photo being taken by the Fourth Beatle, himself.
Before any further recounting of Ringo’s long lost Beatles photos continues, some astrological basics must be relayed along with a personal recounting of my own regarding a particular union most mystical and mysterious:
The Cancer & The Camera
One of my most treasured photos was taken not too long ago by a person whom I didn’t even know well. The image was captured for posterity during an evening when I had the immense pleasure of meeting one of the most fascinating people I had ever encountered at the swank Beverly Wiltshire Hotel back in 2008.
The elderly gentleman whom I spent the evening with lost in fascinated conversation was at the time ranked the 3rd wealthiest man in North America. That distinction is impressive enough when considering the only collateral he had upon first arriving in this country at the age of 20 and not knowing a word of English was a quarter hidden in his shoe. But his noteworthy ranking of wealth and status is not to be believed after relaying to me his life story of escaping from one of the most notoriously evil of Nazi concentration camps and surviving on his own with nothing but the clothes on his back for 2 ½ years as a teenager in the woods of Poland for the duration of the Second World War.
Every word that came from the man’s mouth kept me slack-jawed and spell bound. My attention was so intensely concentrated on his astounding life story, I barely noticed my client who had introduced us seated next to me, nor did I see her photographing our conversation. In all honesty, I didn’t even recall her having a camera on her person that night.
Only one photo was emailed to me and despite its detail being hazed over, this solitary snap shot had managed to fully capture the evening’s once in a lifetime essence of specialness. The picture shows the elderly man in mid-sentence, brow furrowed, his lower jaw slightly protruding while describing a particularly gruesome detail about his past life in a concentration camp as I listen mesmerized with both horror and admiring fascination.
A visual treasure brought to Brad by the Cancer and the Camera
The conversation’s aura of electrical intensity brought about by the elderly man recounting his incomprehensible past, which unto itself served as a testament to the human will to survive was palpable. And it was all right there, in that one out of focus photo.
The photo’s taker, by the way, was born beneath the same sign as Mr. Starr – Cancer.
In order to fully understand the profundity of Ringo’s Starr’s recently published books of photography which display snap shots considered long lost of one of the most influential bands of all time, some fundamentals need to be relayed regarding the first of the Water signs and fourth resident of the Zodiac – Cancer, the Crab.
Cancer is a Cardinal Water sign, and is the first representative of its element of Water, rules over the 4th House naturally, and is symbolized by the oceanic crustacean creature of the Crab.
To get a decent understanding of this sign’s essence, let’s define each of the descriptions listed above.
First representative of the element of Water – The core foundation behind the element of Water is human emotion and intuition. There are three signs assigned to each of the 4 elements and the first representative embodies that element’s foundation in its purest form and is said to be that element’s “truest” sign. With Cancer being the first representative of Water being emotionally based, the sign of the Crab is the most emotionally sensitive of all the Zodiac since they feel emotional energy to its core.
Cardinal – The Cardinal signs of Cancer, Capricorn, Aries, and Libra each begin at the start of each of the Four Seasons and are thus naturally adept at “starting” or beginning things from scratch or from the bottom up.
Natural ruler of the 4th House – The 4th House lies at the very bottom of the Zodiac and it rules over the areas of Life which make up a person’s foundation and core sense of self – one’s Past, one’s childhood, one’s parents (in particular one’s mother), one’s Home both childhood and present, one’s private and/or emotional self. Cancer is known as the “Mommy” sign and regardless of gender those born beneath the sign of the Crab will “mommy” or naturally nurture those they have emotional bonds with, whether they are related by blood or not.
Due to its 4th House association, The Past has the strongest influence or pull over Cancer, which is often referred to as the “the sentimental sign“.
Crab Symbolization – The oceanic creature of the Crab is said to carry its home on its back. In other words, the hard crustacean shell completely houses the crab and is the animal’s primary source of security. For those born beneath the sign of the Crab, having a solid home base is imperative for them to optimally function. This is not a sign that can stay indefinitely on a friend’s couch or live out of a suitcase or hotel in the long term.
Not only does the typical Cancerian need a solid home base, most born beneath the sign of the Crab prefer to stay in their home as much as possible. The Cancer’s strong connection to their home and heightened emotional sensitivity can lead to the Crab born person amassing things over time but never throwing anything out, due to everything having sentimental value. When not kept in check, this tendency can result in the Cancer transforming into a person afflicted with the behavioral disorder better known in the modern day as “hoarding syndrome“.
With all of the above in mind, photographs taken by the Cancerian camera are personalized expressions of emotion since they capture the core essence of those whose picture is being taken, provided the photographic subjects have emotional ties with the Crab born photographer.
“These are shots that no one else could have taken” – Ringo Starr
Mr. Starr’s quote rings true not merely because he happened to be in the same room or location with the rest of the Fab Four and had the best access to spontaneously take their pictures. Ringo’s photography books are truly unique by virtue of the Cancerian taking candid unposed snap shots of his close friends that lovingly captured each Beatles’ core essence.
In October of 2015, I listened to Ringo Starr being interviewed on “The Tavis Smiley Show” to promote the mass edition publication of his book of long lost Beatles and personal photos entitled “Photograph”. I was delighted to observe nearly every statement made by Mr. Starr during that interview was unabashedly Cancerian to the core. With the Crab 101 info still in mind, below are some choice comments made by the 4th Beatle that reveal Ringo’s own essence as a person born beneath the sign of the Crab.
“In regards to the band, I had three solid brothers.” – The Cancer’s nurturing core viewing his band mates as more than just friends, but actual family.
“I found a box on my shelf and was like, ‘What the hell is that?'”
“I was as shocked as anybody when we found a box with all these negatives and photographs in my stuff. I was absolutely mind-blown. I had no idea I had it.” – Fortunately, the photos weren’t lost forever due to the Cancer not throwing any house items away because of their sentimental value. Unfortunately, the Cancer’s hoarding tendencies caused these same photos to become long lost amid the other house stuff that also wasn’t thrown away, taking over 50 years to be found again.
“I lived with my mother who worked every second of her day to support us. My mother loved me every second of my life. I was not at a loss for love. That saved me.”
“The other great find [for the book] was the photographs of my mother’s. She had two small suitcases full of stuff that only a mother would collect.”
– Be it positive or negative, the mother is by far the most powerfully influential person in the Cancerian’s life.
All proceeds from Ringo’s photography books benefit The Lotus Foundation, a charity established by Ringo and his wife, Barbara Bach, which provides much needed assistance to a vast array of worthy causes.
“I always support Water Aid. Everybody should have water.”
– so says the Water sign.
“If we can help you and your start and you’re doing something really cool, then we will support you for 3 years so you have a chance to get off the ground…And we found that was really great since it helped a lot of start-up charities in England and here, so that the people who are actually doing the work it gives them the encouragement and the security that they can carry on.”
– Indicative of Cancer’s “Cardinal” quality which as stated earlier makes the sign of the Crab best suited for anything at its beginning stages or anyone about to “start up“.
The Pulse of the Public
A not so well known trait associated with the sign of Cancer deals with the home based sign and its relationship to the public at large. Many Cancerians have a knack of intuitively sensing trends before they occur. Said another way those born beneath the sign of the Crab have an innate ability to sense “the pulse of the public” way ahead of societal schedule.
I’ll close this piece with two quotes. Both sum up in a most succinct way the effect Ringo Starr has left on the pulse of the public of the past, present, and future.
“There would be no rock’n’roll drummers if it wasn’t for him, if it wasn’t for all those kids seeing that man beat the [heck] out of his drums.” – Steve Lukather, former band member of Toto and current fellow member with Ringo in the All-Star Band
“I like to say it’s the first selfie.” – an observation made regarding the cover image of the book “Photograph” amusingly analyzed by the Cancerian with the Camera.
“Photograph” isn’t just a noteworthy book by Ringo Starr for purchase whose proceeds go to some great causes…..it’s a song too!
Backdrop Image of Mr. Starr the sea star – rollingstone.com
Image of the Cancer with the camera – pinterest.com
Image of the Beatles during Magical Mystery Tour – beatlesrarity.com
Image of Richard and Elsie Starkey – pinterest.com
*Brad Kronen’s book “Love in the Stars” published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Inc. is available for purchase at your local book seller or online at amazon.com at the link listed below.