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Ringo Starr Drums up Band’s Ninth Tour

Even in rock n’ roll, amazing as it might sound, sometimes it pays to keep things simple. When Ringo Starr decided he’d like to go on the road and play live music again, back in 1989, he more or less just called some of his friends and suggested they hit the road together for a few weeks of shows.

In the style of the old package tours – like the ones the Beatles played in the backwater towns of Britain before they achieved more elevated status – everyone would play a few of their hits.

The only twist was that this time, all the musicians would stay on stage the whole show to play backup for each other.

That first tour included some artists who are no longer with us, like Rick Danko of the Band and Billy Preston. But the simple concept proved to be a winner. Even Bruce Springsteen came out, slipping onstage in New Jersey to help sing “Get Back,” “Long Tall Sally” and “Photograph.”

Starr enjoyed it enough that he has made All-Starr Band tours a regular event.

After the current tour, his ninth, Starr will finish up an album, which he expects will be released next year. He has also been involved with a theatrical Beatles show, premiered in Vegas last month by Cirque du Soleil.

The All-Starrs this year include one-time Zombies lead Rod Argent, Mark Hudson, Richard Marx, Hamish Stuart, Billy Squier, Edgar Winter and Sheila E.