» Contact Us
» Advertise With Us
» Newspaper Ads
Ringo Starr gets back, with a little help from his friends
It's been a good year to be a Beatle.
The 50th anniversary of the group's arrival in the U.S. was celebrated with plenty of fanfare, including at the Grammy Awards and with a CBS TV special. A new 50th anniversary edition of the group's first film, "A Hard Day's Night," is out on DVD and hitting theaters July 4, and the Beatles' catalog is coming out in vinyl mono editions on Sept. 9.
They once sang that all you need is love, and Ringo Starr says he's feeling the love in abundance.
"It's just been one of those incredible years," says Starr, 73, who was also honored by the David Lynch Foundation in January. "It's just, like, massive, and Paul (McCartney) and I did the Grammys and the TV show. It's not like we haven't done that before, but for me it's always a high. I love to play with Paul; he' an incredible musician and, of course, he's a good friend."
Now, however, Starr -- who sang the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends" -- is hanging out with some other pals.
Amidst the other anniversaries, this year marks 25 years since Starr launched his All-Starr Band, a collective of other well-known players that present what the calls "a living jukebox" of hits, both his and their own. "I put it together and It's gone on," says Starr (born Richard Starkey in Liverpool, England), who's led 13 All-Starr Bands so far. "I'm not really surprised because I think it's a great show to come and see."
Starr also thinks that the current aggregation -- with Todd Rundgren, Toto's Steve Lukather, Santana and Journey alumnus Greg Rolie, Mr. Mister's Richard Page, Detroit-born drummer Gregg Bissonette and utility man Warren Ham -- is among his greatest. "Everybody knows by now I love this band," Starr gushes. "I love the guys and we all get on well and everyone is cool. Everyone is a pro musician; there's not any liggers in the band, really.
"So I'm keeping it together. It's so far out that we all just get on really, really well."
Lukather, who also played as part of the Beatles festivities during the Grammys, says the feeling among the band members is mutual.
"We all have this deep love for Ringo and the Beatles' music, and we all love each other and enjoy playing each other's songs," he says. "There's no ego trips, everybody's working really hard on everybody else's songs and we all get along so well. I've heard all the stories about the other bands and how so-and-so was a nightmare and blah, blah, blah.
"This particular group of cats just seems to work, even though if you looked at it on paper you'd go, 'What?' But it actually really works."
Starr is keeping busy outside of the All-Starrs, too. He's published an art book ("PHOTOGRAPH") and an "Octopus's Garden" children's book, and his artwork is on display in New York, New Jersey and Chicago. He's also "two-thirds through" a new album, the follow-up to "Ringo 2012," which Starr is producing himself and writing songs with Lukather and Peter Frampton, among others.
And as much as he's enjoying the Beatles' nostalgia, Starr says these current projects are what really get him excited.
"I did all that in the 60s; we were the Beatles and we made those records, and now I'm Ringo and I do what I do now," he explains. "I don't sit here dwelling on the past. I'm trying to get on with today. That's what I do."
Ringo Starr & His All-Star Band
7:30 p.m. Friday, June 27
DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township
Tickets are $25-$79 pavilion, $15 lawn.
Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com
Send your thoughts and comments to