Ringo made being a Beatle seem easy.
He never struggled with the fame, as John, Paul, and George did.
Ringo was in the right place, at the right time. A joyful journeyman swept up into a ride that while not of his making, provided his legacy.
Richard Starkey was the steady center in a maelstrom.
And it is that steadfastness that ultimately defined Ringo’s post-Beatle career.
Ringo wasn’t a songwriter. As a Beatle he only had two song writing credits. His post-Beatle studio output was largely built upon the creative talents of other musicians.
Still, he released a handful of very pleasant singles.
And of course, ‘It Don’t Come Easy’:
In the Beatle aftermath, Ringo had the good sense to simply enjoy the experience he’d gone through, and to then envelope himself within a camaraderie of fellow, like-minded musicians.
In 1989 Ringo formed his All-Starr Band .. and that is unquestionably his post-Beatle legacy.
For nearly thirty years, this travelling road show of rock ‘n roll luminaries has performed across the globe, with the simple goal of delighting audiences .. and it was all accomplished by just playing the music.
Over the decades, Ringo has proven himself to be the most generous performing Beatle. Keeping the beat has always been Ringo’s forte. He was never a madman behind a drum kit, but rather the even hand, nodding along non-chalantly with a steady, crisp, rattling snap on the snares. Ringo is the portrait of a long distance, always reliable drummer.
There is no better way to present the joy of Ringo’s All-Starr Band, other than to share a few selected performances.
Up On Cripple Creek (1989); Levon Helm, Clarence Clemons, Rick Danko, Dr. John, Jim Keltner, Nils Lofgren, Billy Preston, Joe Walsh, and Ringo Starr:
No Time (1992); Burton Cummings, Todd Rundgren, Timmy Cappello, Nils Lofgren, Timothy B. Schmit, Dave Edmunds, Zak Starkey, Joe Walsh, and Ringo Starr
Black Maria (1992); Todd Rundgren, Timothy B. Schmidt, Joe Walsh (on keyboards!), Dave Edmunds, Nils Lofgren, Burton Cummings, Zak Starkey sits in for poppa Ringo:
Lucky Man (2001); Greg Lake, Roger Hodgson, Ian Hunter, Howard Jones, Mark Rivera, Shiela E., and Ringo Starr
Yellow Submarine (2003); Colin Hay, Paul Carrack , John Waite, Mark Rivera, Sheila E., and Ringo Starr:
Pick Up The Pieces (2008); Hamish Stuart, Edgar Winter, Colin Hay, Billy Squier, Gregg Bissonette, and Ringo Starr:
Frankenstein (2008); Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Billy Squier, Colin Hay, Gregg Bissonette, no Ringo (but hey, Edgar is all over it!):
Love Is Alive (2008); Gary Wright, Edgar Winter, Colin Hay, Billy Squier, Hamish Stuart, Gregg Bissonette, and Ringo Starr:
Evil Ways (2012); Greg Rolie, Steve Lukather, Richard Page, Todd Rundgren, Mark Rivera, Gregg Bissonette, and Ringo Starr:
… and OMG .. JOE WALSH completely cranking it!!
Rocky Mountain Way (2012); Joe Walsh, Todd Rundgren, Richard Page, Gregg Bissonette, Steve Lukather, Greg Rolie, and Ringo Starr:
No apologies whatsover for presenting these many performances from Ringo and his All-Starr band. “It don’t come easy” trying to cull a 30 year tour down into a ‘best of’ list !!
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* feature photo courtesy Takahiro Kyono