The debate over whether this is the greatest All-Starr Band that Ringo Starr has ever assembled can be put off for another time. There is no question, however, that it’s one of the most closely knit: “This band has all great musicians,” Starr says in this clip. “But the spirit of this band is very close.”
Starr is touring, once again, with a group that includes Gregg Rolie, Steve Lukather, Todd Rundgren and Richard Page — continuing an All-Starr run that’s already hit North America (where the group filmed a well-received live DVD at the Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium), Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Now, they’re playing more than a dozen shows in Latin America, before returning to the states for two more Las Vegas dates later this month.
“This is the best band that Ringo has ever had,” says Rundgren, previously a member of the 1992 and ’99 editions. “Not just from the standpoint of playing together, but also I was never in a band where we all go out together. We all spend our time on the road together. We don’t hide in our rooms. We’re friends all the time. That’s the thing that kind of gets you excited to play — you’re playing with your best friends.”
Starr and Co. play a collection of hits from his tenure in the Beatles, and as a solo artist, blending in these favorites with a non-stop selection of familiar music from Santana, Toto, Mr. Mister and Rundgren. “It’s sort of the songbook of my life,” Lukather says. “What can I say? Truly a vacation, not work.”
Starr began these guest-packed All-Starr package tours in 1989, with a lineup that included Dr. John, Joe Walsh and members of the Band, and has continued with nearly a dozen more incarnations. Other guests over the years have included Greg Lake, Timothy B. Schmit, John Entwistle, Peter Frampton, Jack Bruce, John Waite and Richard Marx, among many others. Page was also part of the 2010 edition.
“I speak for myself,” Starr quips, “when I say I have nothing better to do.”