Ringo Starr Kicks Off 30th Anniversary All Starr Band Tour Tonight
Ringo Starr kicks off his 30th anniversary All Starr Band summer tour tonight (August 1st) in Windsor, Ontario at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor. The 22-date tour will conclude September 1st at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, California -- nearly 30 years to the day when the inaugural All Starr's completed their first tour on September 3rd, 1989.
The 2019 lineup will feature all veteran All Starr's -- including Toto's Steve Lukather, Men At Work's Colin Hay, Santana and Journey co-founder Gregg Rolie, along with percussionist Warren Ham and drummer Gregg Bissonette. Returning to the group will be Hamish Stuart from the Average White Band and longtime Paul McCartney sideman.
With 30 years worth of solo gigs under his belt, we asked Ringo to recall how he felt back in the summer of '89 when he was launching his first All Starr Band tour, which marked not only his first ever solo road dates -- but his first tour since the Beatles called it quits after their 1966 North American trek: "I was real nervous, I had never done it before. Y'know, it was presented to me -- 'Would you like to do this if we have a sponsor?' And I thought, 'Wow. Let's see.' And I was nervous, but it worked then and it's working now."
Ringo told us that unlike some creative representation of the band as artists, the All Starr Band tours have always been about people having a night out seeing a show jam packed with their favorite songs: "I mean, the main criteria is that you have to have hits from the '60s -- which I have, the '70s, '80s and that's what we do. Y'know, as I keep saying: 'We are the 1-800 number live show.'"
Hamish Stuart was part of Paul McCartney's backing band from 1987 to 1993, prior to touring with the All Starr's in 2006. Stuart said during the last tour that he felt at ease performing alongside Ringo: "It's great. It's a treat, y'know? (Laughs) He plays his thing, he is Ringo, and he's really -- now that we've done a few shows, well everybody is starting to play a little more and things are starting to open up. It's really exciting. It's very good."
Beatlefan magazine contributing editor Tom Frangione has seen several shows each from every All Starr Band lineup since 1989 and admitted that aside from Ringo -- he's a sucker for the rest of the band: "Ringo -- I've gotten to the point where it's the least interesting part of the show. Because he's gonna do 'Yellow Submarine' and '(With A Little) Help From My Friends' -- those two, they're a gimme, and y'know what -- I'm good with it. Everybody should hear those, too. And y'know what other two they should hear -- 'Photograph' and 'You're Sixteen.' They were his two Number Ones."
Ringo Starr is a rare breed having nothing but love and respect for has past and excitement and pleasure from his work today: "Well, I think the shining hours keep coming. I do, I think they keep coming. You sell yourself short if you think that was the moment. I've had many great moments; I've enjoyed my life, I've been, y'know. . . the gift of being able to play and to still be able to play with musicians like I've got on stage today -- it's a blessing."