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Ringo Starr still getting by with a little help from his friends

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2016

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After nearly five years together, Ringo Starr has no qualms about putting the current version of his All-Starr Band at the top of the 12 august lineups he's taken on the road since 1989.

"I feel like we are a band, y'know?" Starr says by phone from Syracuse, where the All-Starr Band's latest tour got underway. The group includes Todd Rundgren, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Santana and Journey co-founder Gregg Rolie and Mr. Mister's Richard Page along with second drummer and Detroit native Gregg Bissonette and utility player Warren Ham.

"We know each other," 75-year-old Beatles drummer, explains. "We have a lot of fun. We play well, the songs are great and the audience love it, but sitting on the plane, sitting in the bus, sitting in the van, it's all OK. That's why we call it a band, y'know? Yeah, maybe my name in the front in the All Starrs, but we're a band that, we support each other."

Singer-keyboardist Rolie, who focuses on his Santana years during his spotlight moments in the show, says the feeling is mutual form the band members.

"By, is that a joyful gig. That guy is a wonderful man to work for, and with," Rolie, 69, says. "He's a band guy. It's what he came from -- one of the biggest in the world. And he knows how it's supposed to be. There should be very little argument, and there's none with us. I love getting the call from him, and I hope they keep coming."

That certainly sounds like Starr's intent, although when the current 19-show trek ends he has other matters to attend to -- namely a new album, his 19th solo outing and a follow-up to 2015's "Postcards From Paradise." Starr has been recording at home studio in Los Angeles and has eight songs in motion, wto of which are co-written with Lukather and being finished during the tour. Some of the other songs may come from a country album collaboration Starr began with Dave Stewart, which he intends to return to at some pint in the future, too.

"Postcards From Paradise" also featured members of the latest All-Starr Band all together on one track for the first time ever, but Starr isn't sure that will be repeated this time around.

"I have tried over 25 years now with the All-Starrs to get in a room and write songs and make a record, and it never worked," says Starr, who's also been involved in helping produce Ron Howard's upcoming Beatles documentary "Eight Days a Week," which premieres Sept. 16. "We know it can work, but everybody has other stuff to do as well. Todd (Rundgren), I think he's had two days off 'cause he's on tour himself. Lukather's out there with (Toto). Gregg (Rolie) did the Santana getting back together stuff.

"I think if we were going to get into this like that then I think we'd have to forego a lot of the outside issues that we have, and that's not easy to do. But I would love if it happened."

Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band

7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23.

Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

Tickets are $35-$95.

Call 313-471-6611 or visit olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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