Posted June, 2010
This month will witness the latest tour and incarnation (the 11th, to be exact) of Ringo and His All Starr Band. This will be one of those special and rare opportunities to see the “lovable Beatle” performing many of the hits from his impressive solo work as well as from the Beatles’ extensive catalog. Ringo also will be sharing the spotlight with each of All Starr band mates as they sing some of their hits, as well.
Ringo kicked off his first All Starr band back in the summer of 1989. The band consisted of Clarence Clemons (Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, the Jerry Garcia Band and the Grateful Dead), the late Rick Danko (The Band), Levon Helm (also of The Band), Dr. John, legendary session drummer, Jim Keltner (who worked on many of the greatest classic rock albums ever recorded), Nils Lofgren (Neil Young, E Street Band), the late Billy Preston and the incomparable Joe Walsh.
Over the next twenty years, other big names such as Burton Cummings, Dave Edmunds, Randy Bachman, the late John Entwistle, Peter Frampton, Todd Rundgren, Billy Squier, Greg Lake and Eric Carmen, to name just a few, joined Ringo band of merry men, delighting audiences everywhere. Who wouldn’t want to see Ringo perform not only the great Beatles tunes but his many great songs from his long solo career? I mean, really! Who wouldn’t?
The eleventh All Starr Band is made up of another impressive group of some of the best artists in rock and roll history. The multi-talented Edgar Winter returns for his third tour of duty with Ringo as well as Gary Wright for his second stint. On their maiden voyage with Ringo are Rick Derringer (Hang On Sloopy, Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Wally Palmar (the Romantics) and Gregg Bissonette (Maynard Ferguson, David Lee Roth, Carlos Santana, Toto).
This tour is, in part, in support of Starr’s 15th solo album entitled Y Not that features ten great new tunes crafted, sung in the signature Ringo Starr style. You can read more on Y Not by clicking here to read the Boomerocity review of the album.
To find out more about the latest All Starr Band tour, I tracked down Rick Derringer and Gary Wright. I chatted by with Derringer first, as he was in route to a sound check before a show with Pat Travers. Derringer shares that, “ . . .basically, Ringo’s agent has been a big fan and he tried to do it a couple of years ago but, for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. This year, they had the slot to fill and I was the perfect guy to do it.”
After breaking my heart by telling me that Dallas isn’t on the tour’s list of stops, I asked Rick what he thought can people expect from a show from the tour?
“Well, they get to hear all the songs that Ringo sang with the Beatles and all of his solo hits. And then, everybody in the band is required to have had at least two hits that they’ve sung. So, you get to hear two songs from Gary Wright and two from Edgar Winter; two from Wally and the Romantics and two from the guy who sang lead from Mr. Mister and two from me! It’s a big show.”
Having watched Derringer perform several times, I can personally tell you that you’re in for a real treat that you’ll not want to miss.
During my recent interview with Gary Wright, I asked him what it meant to him, from a career fulfillment standpoint, to be part of Ringo’s All-Starr Band not just once but twice.
“Let me preface it by saying that I was a huge Beatles fan. I saw them when they first appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1962 – whenever that was. I was a huge Beatle fan. I played on all of George Harrison’s solo albums and to have been a close friend of his and I met Ringo through George because he played on George’s first solo album, All Things Must Pass. So, I’ve known Ringo over the years. All of a sudden, out of the blue, to get a call two years ago to join him – well, first of all, I was overjoyed.
“He’s a great drummer – a fantastic drummer. He’s got an incredible feel. And, he’s a wonderful, wonderful human being! He’s giving; he’s very kind; he’s funny; he’s just a great person to be around. He treats the musicians really wonderfully. And, it’s a joy! It’s like touring at its best. It can’t hardly get any better than that!”
In discussing Ringo’s line-up for this tour, each band member is mentioned with accolades by Gary: Edgar Winter as a great keyboardist; Rick Derringer and his phenomenal guitar work, Gary goes on by adding, “ . . . Richard Page from Mr. Mister – he’s got great songs like Kyrie, Eléison and Broken Wing. And Wally Palmer from (The Romantics’) Talking In My Sleep and That’s What I Like About You – they’re all great songs.
“The thing about the Ringo show is that it’s hit after hit after hit and the audience loves it, which is good. It’s like those old doo-wop shows from the 50’s when there’d be ten artists on the bill and each group would come up and sing one, two or three of their big songs and everyone would people would go crazy. It’s that identity factor that people love to hear their favorite artist.”
Ringo’s All Starr Tour kicks off June 24th in Niagra Falls, Ontario, and concludes at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on August 7th. Click here to see if the boys are coming to a city near year. If they are within a couple of hours driving distance or a good, quick flight from where you live, I would highly encourage you to take this opportunity to catch Ringo and the boys in concert.
While you’re at it, why not pick up or download Y Not? If you’re waffling about buying it, again, you can read the Boomerocity review of it here.