By Jim Johnson

The “All-Stars” play the Fox Theater in downtown Detroit Tonight!

As Ringo Starr wraps up his fourth year with the same All Starr Band, it’s looking as though this might become the permanent lineup of the touring ensemble. Ringo launched the All Starr concept back in the summer of 1989, when after recently becoming sober, he decided to put his money where his mouth was, and hit the road as an active working musician. The latest lineup features Todd Rundgren on guitar, Mr. Mister‘s Richard Page on bass, drummer, Detroit native, Gregg Bissonette, Santana and Journey co-founding keyboardist Gregg Rolie, Toto‘s co-founding guitarist Steve Lukather, and saxophonist, keyboardist, and percussionist Warren Ham.

Ringo told The Huffington Post why he loves working with this specific group, explaining, “Everyone is a really good musician! They all have the songs, including me. This is about hits and beautiful songs, and emotionally, we all get on really well. Every time we do a tour, we think, ‘Okay, that’s it.’ Then suddenly someone says, “Do you want to tour in a couple of months from now?’ and we all say, ‘Yes,’ so we keep on rolling. Right now it’s four years and a week that we’ve been together. It feels like being in a band. We’ve been around each other all this time — not every day of course but at least three or four months a year. It feels like a real band to me. We all realize if someone’s going somewhere we can all go with him as musicians, you know?”

  • Ringo spoke about how the current lineup of the All Starrs is the first to ever write and record as a unit. The All Starr’s first originals song, “Islands In The Sun,” which was born out of a pre-show jam session, was featured on Ringo’s 2015 album, Postcards From Paradise: “I’ve tried with every band to write songs and record, and last year was the first time we achieved it. We were in Biloxi. We had a jam going that was really cool and we had some sort of idea of a melody — just everybody shouting while we were jamming. I just called everyone to my room and said, ‘Let’s write this song.’ So that’s what we did, and then we got back to L.A. and recorded it in my studio. It’s really great. It’s a lot of years waiting to achieve this.”
  • When we last caught up with Todd Rundgren — a veteran of several All Starr tours — he revealed that Ringo seems to be happiest with the current gang of classic rockers: “As far as Ringo’s concerned, as long as everyone is able to show up he’s probably just going to keep doing this until either he can’t do it anymore or one or more of us can’t do it anymore. I think this is the band he’s always wanted, and the irony is if we stay together for, like, another two years, we will have outlasted the Beatles — (we) certainly will have played more places (laughs), y’know, than that. Y’know, ‘cause we’re essentially a live band.”
  • Over a quarter century since getting sober and deciding to relaunch his live career with the All Starr Band, during the recent tour, we asked Ringo if he feels as though the road show has given him a new lease on life: “I don’t look at it like that. I mean, I put it together — and it’s gone on. Y’know, I’m not really surprised. Y’know, I think it’s a great show to come and see — and this band, of course, everybody knows by now, I love this band, I love the guys. Y’know, I’m trying anything to keep it together. So, y’know, we’ve done New Zealand, Australia, Japan, we’ve done South America, we’ve done America — we’re doing it again. I just love this band.”


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