Sitting in the window seat was Ringo Starr.
We exchanged the usual, good morning.
After takeoff he looked at me and said, “where are you from?”
I replied – “Vancouver.”
That go the conversation going.
He asked a lot of questions, mainly about why I was in Dublin, what I was doing there, how I liked the city, the country.
He never made any reference as to who he was and why he had been in Dublin.
The previous night, he had played to a sold out audience at The Point, a small venue, seating 6,300 people.
I knew that because I had read a review in The Irish Examiner about the concert.
The Point was a favourite venue for many of the world’s greatest and best-known musicians.
When I asked him how he liked Dublin, he responded by saying, “it’s a great city, I have been a few times.”
I asked him, if he had ever been to Vancouver and his response was “yes” and left it at that.
His reference to Vancouver was interesting as I later discovered.
Vancouver was the place where the Beatles held their first Canadian show – Empire Stadium in 1964.
And given what happened it is quite likely why his answer about having been to Vancouver was a simple “yes.”
One, it was a one-night stand, and two, the concert was really rushed, to the point where it was more than an hour late.
The pilot carrying the Fab Four forgot to sign a document, discovered when the Beatles arrived at the concert venue, Empire Stadium.
That meant they all had to rush back to the Vancouver airport, sign the required document and rush back to Empire Stadium.
I told him that my visits to London had been often, but always just on business, never giving me much time to enjoy the sights.
The 1 hour, 25 minute flight went by quickly as we chatted away.
As the plane started its final descent he shook my hand and said, “it’s been nice talking to you” to which I responded, “likewise.”
That was it.
Once we landed I got up and left, another fascinating moment to remember for the rest of my life.