For some time, there’s been a rumor floating around of a possible reformulation of the Beatles, with surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr being joined by Dhani Harrison and Julian Lennon — sons of the late George Harrison and John Lennon.
Starr has nixed his own involvement in any such reunion under his old band’s name, though he says he’d happily work with McCartney again.
“The door is open that Paul and I might play together, but it is not like a reunion,” Starr says, as he continues to meet with the media to talk about his new release, Ringo 2012. “It is not going to be the Beatles, you know? They have those crazy ideas that maybe we could use their children. It is never going to happen.”
Last summer, Julian Lennon expressed a similar reluctance to performing together as “the Beatles”: “There will NEVER be a Beatles reunion, because two of the members of the band have since passed … and NO ONE could, or should try to replace them,” Lennon wrote on his Facebook page in July.
The latest Beatles reunion storyline involved a proposed appearance at the 2012 Olympics in London, but Starr already has dates scheduled in the U.S. during that time frame: “I will not be at the Olympics,” Starr says. “I have to be very definite about that because they will say, ‘Oh, is he coming? Isn’t he coming?’ No, I am not going … but to all the athletes: ‘Peace and love!’”
Starr has, however, confirmed a spot as presenter at the 2012 Grammy Awards along with Drake, Gwyneth Paltrow, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Jack Black, Fergie and ?uestlove.
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
RINGO STARR – RINGO 2012 (2012): If this one has a familiar “ring” to it, there’s a reason. Starr offers a muscular update of “Wings,” from his dance-y 1977 flop Ringo the 4th; a new take on “Step Lightly,” previously a nifty deep cut from 1973′s Ringo, as well as “Think It Over” by Buddy Holly and “Rock Island Line,” a skiffle song made popular by Lonnie Donegan, an old favorite of the Beatles as youngsters. Guest stars abound, including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Charlie Haden, Amy Keys, Van Dyke Parks, Dave Stewart, Don Was and Edgar Winter, among others. Parks, Stewart and Walsh also share songwriting credits on Ringo’s 17th solo album, issued through HIP-O/UMe Records. It doesn’t come close to matching the verve and fun associated with his similarly named 1973 smash — likely because Starr doesn’t get by with the help of his Beatle friends on this one.
PAUL McCARTNEY – KISSES ON THE BOTTOM (2012): This is not just a love letter to a lost era of songmaking, but one of the most evocative, deeply ardent records that McCartney has ever issued. Working in a higher vocal range that remains largely untouched by age, or his rugged third-act touring schedule, the ex-Beatle stirs up a spectacular range of emotions: The hushed, crepuscular melancholy of Peter van Steeden’s “Home (When Shadows Fall)” is matched only by the stirring resolve found on Haywood Henry’s “Get Yourself Another Fool” from this now thrice-married soon-to-be-70-year-old. McCartney’s trembling rapture throughout Irving Berlin’s “Always” finds a balancing moment in his impish hat-tipping joy during Johnny Mercer’s “Ac-Cent-Thcu-Ate The Positive.”
GIMME FIVE: RINGO STARR SINGING SONGS BY THE OTHER BEATLES: As with the decades-old hit solo album for which it’s named, Starr’s Ringo 2012 includes an array of name guest stars. Unfortunately, unlike 1973′s Ringo, none of those friendly assists come from his fellow ex-Beatles. Joe Walsh, Dave Stewart and Kenny Wayne Shepherd are fine, and all. But the truth is, the combination of Starr and material written by Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison has provided Ringo with many (some might say most) of his career highlights. Here’s our take on the Top 5 — with five more honorable mentions.