Ringo Starr just wants to play.
That's why the Beatles drummer has recruited his 12th All Starr Band and they are on the road, playing an array of songs that come from all the band members. This year marks a dozen years since Starr led the group out on the road, and the lineup is as strong as ever. This year, audiences will see Ringo and a band comprised of Todd Rundgren, Richard Page of Mr. Mister, Steve Lukather of Toto, and Gregg Rolie of Santana and Journey.
"They always want to say, 'You're doing it again? Why?' Well, this is what I do," Starr told Rolling Stone when asked why he continues the annual tour. "This is how I started. I wanted to play. Nobody likes to go on tour. Everyone just wants to be in the city. It can get hard, the traveling. But we get those two hours of bliss, and that's great. That's what keeps us going. I love to be out there, and it's just what I do."
|Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band|
|Where: Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore|
|When: 7 p.m. Sunday|
|Info: $99 to $250; 410-547-7328; ticketmaster.com|
Fair enough. Starr decided to become a drummer before he was 13, and joined his first band -- Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group -- when he was 17. Of course, it was joining the Beatles in 1962 that brought him international stardom.
Many baby boomers arguably think very warmly of Starr because he was the one, after the group disbanded in 1970, that became the first Beatle to have seven consecutive Top 10 singles, including "It Don't Come Easy," "Back off Boogaloo" and "You're Sixteen (You're Beautiful and You're Mine.)"
And, of course, he's a virtuoso drummer and a superstar in his own right.
"What could be better than being on stage every night, turning around, and seeing Ringo?," Colin Hay, a past member of the All Starr Band, told The Baltimore Examiner a few years ago when he was on the tour. "If Ringo calls, you're going to do it."
And when Starr plays these gigs, fans are advised to go, too. After all, Starr doesn't plan any solo concerts, even though some fans have asked for them.
"I don't really have enough songs. You know what I mean? Even from the beginning, I never wanted it to be like, 'OK, I'm up there all night,' " he told Rolling Stone. "I wanted the opportunity to play with really cool guys, which so far that's what happened. Then I come down for 'A Little Help From My Friends,' 'Yellow Submarine' and stuff like that."