Ringo's All-Starr Band features big names
Posted on: 06/26/12
Associated Press file
DAVID J. SPATZ
For the Courier-Post
It took 23 years and hundreds of shows surrounded by a veritable “Who’s Who” of popular music, but Ringo Starr finally heard the most accurate description of his All-Starr Band.
“We were in South America and a musician said (of the lineup), ‘Oh, great, no sidemen,’” the former Beatles drummer said last week during a press conference at a casino in upstate New York, where Starr and the 13th edition of his band of hitmakers kicked off their annual summer tour.
Who needs sidemen with a roster like the one that’s been assembled for Starr’s latest series of shows? The 2012 band boasts a couple of solid front men, and those who weren’t lead singers were original members of bands who have left their individual and indelible marks in music from the 1970s through today.
When Starr hits the stage of Caesars Atlantic City’s Circus Maximus Theater on Saturday, he’ll be working with singer and musician Todd Rundgren; singer and guitarist Steve Lukather of Toto; singer and keyboardist Greg Rolie, a founding member of both Santana and Journey; lead singer and bassist Richard Page of Mr. Mister; Mark Rivera, whose sax has anchored bands behind Billy Joel and Elton John; and Gregg Bissonette, who hasn’t really played with everyone in modern music, although it certainly seems that way.
The level of talent and musicianship in the ranks totals well over 250 years of combined experience both on stage and in recording studios. When you reach that point on the show business ladder, Starr doesn’t need to do any stinkin’ auditions to pick his touring partners.
But Rundgren, who just embarked on his third tour with Starr, said there’s something special about this unit that had been missing from other versions of the band.
“This is the first time the band, from a non-musical standpoint, actually walks the walk (and gets) the whole peace and love thing,” Rundgren said, mentioning Starr’s mantra in recent years.
“Every day we play together we love each other more,” he added. “We go to dinner together, we go out to the movies, and that inspires us to play better. By the time we get to the end of this tour, we’re going to be delivering renditions that surpass anything we’ve done before.”
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