Thursday, May 18, 2023

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band meet the press; share details about upcoming tour and more

From left, Steve Lukather, Edgar Winter, Ringo Starr, Gregg Bissonette, Hamish Stuart,
Warren Ham and Colin Hay on May 17, 2023. 

It's amazing to think that Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band have been thrilling audiences for 34 years. And at a point when many musical troupes might be slowing down, Starr and company  guitarist-singer Steve Lukather, keyboardist-singer Edgar Winter, drummer Gregg Bissonette, guitarist-bassist Hamish Stuart, multi-instrumentalist Warren Ham and singer-guitarist Colin Hay  are busier than ever. 

The musical giants took a break during a May 17, 2023 rehearsal in their Los Angeles studio to participate in a Zoom Q&A with members of the media. It was an informative and fun event where each of the seven artists got to discuss the magic of performing in the All Starr Band (which embarks on their spring tour at Pechanga Resort in Temecula, CA on Friday, May 19, 2023). That spring tour also brings them to nearby Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, AZ on May 30 (get tickets to that show HERE).

Ringo Starr speaking during a Zoom Q&A on May 17, 2023.

"Rehearsals are going great," Starr said early in the Q&A. "The first day is always really hard and yesterday (May 16) we ran the whole show and I feel ready to rock."

Added Lukather: "Having the time of my life in this band and I always have. I love everybody and it's going to be a great tour and I'm really excited to be here."

Anyone who has seen Starr and His All Star Band's winning performances knows how amazing they are. In addition to Starr featuring many of his favorite Beatles and '70s solo hits, the members of his band collectively perform their most best known material. So classic rock fans attending any of the group's upcoming tour dates will get to hear many of the most beloved songs from The Beatles, Men At Work, Toto, Average White Band and the Edgar Winter Group performed by key members of those bands in the same set. (You can read my review of the collective's wonderful September 2018 concert at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre HERE)

"We're having the greatest time playing the greatest songs," noted famed drummer Bissonette, then pointing at Starr and adding: "The greatest. My drum hero, my dear pal; what a ball, what an honor."

Starr was asked about the band's "grueling schedule," and how the members are able to stay in shape during the extended tour (which includes dates through mid-October).

"Playing has never been grueling," Starr noted. "I love to play, I love to play with these guys," he said before playfully acknowledging: "We are the best band in this room."

"Touring; nobody wants to tour, but you have to tour to play," Starr explained, acknowledging that the process of moving from one town to another can be difficult even while performing in front of enthusiastic audiences is always a blast.

Each of the musicians was able to discuss how they bring their own musical styles to the All Starr Band.

"I love the challenge of playing other people's music," Lukather explained. "I want to stay as true to it as they expect...I have more fun playing their stuff than mine I can tell you that  plus playing on those great Ringo hits and Beatles stuff never gets old."

Winter noted that the All Starr Band performs each of the songs in a way where the audience is treated to strong performances that nevertheless reveal unique takes on the well-known material.

The other musicians agreed that they love the fact that they have the freedom to make changes to the material to fit their approach.

"It's not like we're trying to change it," noted Ham. "We put our own imprint into it and our own personality into it. That's what makes it unique and so much fun."

Added Hay: "It's our band's versions of all these songs."

As for the longevity of His All Starr Band, Starr said: "Its been a long time, 34 years. It's what I do. I love to play and I love to play with great musicians. I love to play great songs and I get all of that from these guys."

One reporter has a question for Lukather, asking him if there was something about Starr he could share that people don't know.

"He's the real thing," Lukather said of the world's most famous drummer. "Everything I wished before I met him and became friends; what I imagined him to be like being a life-time fan was better than I could have dreamed of. I love the man dearly."

The special Q&A served as another reminder that anytime you get to hear from a member of The Beatles  inarguably the most important and influential rock band of all time  is time well spent.

"I've played with a couple of good bands," Starr said at one point in reflecting on his long career. "And I played in the greatest band  in my world  with three brothers (John, Paul and George) and I just love playing live."

Be sure to catch Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band if they perform in your area. Get more information HERE

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