Fancy a free haircut? Fancy doing something extraordinary in to the bargain?

Well, the so-soon-it’s-imminent Abandon Normal Devices festival (you know, the one we’ve been raving about) is about to give you that chance in the shape of a new commission by artist Oreet Ashery.

Entitled As-salam wal hub, the project is on the look out for folks to donate their hair in the cause of great art.

There’s a twist of course. Once shorn expertly by Bold Street coiffeurs Voodou for Him, your hair will be reattached to your forehead and chin to give you the distinct widow’s peak and beard of a man loved and hated in equal measure in Liverpool – Ringo Starr.

Once she has assembled a team of ‘Starrs for a day’, Ashery will lead a march down to the Pier Head for a gig on the roof of the Pier Head ferry terminal.

Sound silly? Well, maybe. Ashery’s aim is unclear – rehabilitate Ringo’s reputation perhaps, in the mire since those defamatory comments he made about the city he once called home.

We remember the last time a pair of shears got close to Ringo it was when an anonymous critic lopped the head off of a topiary statue of the ex-Beatle outside of South Parkway station.

And think back to 2004 when artist Richard Dedomenici turned up in Liverpool dressed as another hate figure hereabouts, Boris Johnson, someone reputedly threatened to break his legs. Could it go the same way for these Ringo clones?

Perhaps what will save them is the phrase they’ll be chanting as they go: the title of the piece, As-salam wal hub. Translated from Arabic, it’s revealed as a phrase never far from the real Ringo’s lips: Peace and love.

Whatever happens, we urge you to get involved. You can email to put your name down. As well as getting the free haircut you’ll be giving Liverpool something Ringo never did when he climbed up to the roof of St George’s Hall back in 2008: a performance to remember.

Oreet Ashery at AND
1 October

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