Category Archives: Ringo Starr

Guest Post: “Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band: A Splendid Time Is Guaranteed for All”

Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band: A Splendid Time Is Guaranteed for All 

by Brody Duggson

Ringo Starr and His All-Star Band are touring the United States this October and November.  

Between Oct. 13 and Oct. 28, Ringo and company will play eight gigs at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

From there, he’s off to the Lone Star State.  Richard Starkey and his band will be in El Paso on Oct. 30, Austin on Oct. 31, and Sugarland on Nov. 2.

Two days later, the band rocks the Global Events Center at Winstar in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

Ringo will perform back-to-back nights, Nov. 7 and 8, at Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

His route takes him to Atlanta, Georgia on Nov. 11; Norfolk, Virginia on Nov. 12; and Morristown, New Jersey on Nov. 14.  

The Beacon Theater in New York City hosts his penultimate concert on Nov. 15.  His final date in the U.S. is set for Nov. 15 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

The All-Star Band is comprised of Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth, ELO), Warren Ham (Kansas, Toto), Steve Lukather (Toto), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Gregg Rolie (Santana, Journey), and Todd Rundgren (Utopia, solo career).  They been together since 2012, making this the longest running incarnation of the All-Starr Band, which started in 1989.

There’s a tendency, especially by rock snobs and the pop culture intelligentsia, to dismiss this tour.  To write Ringo and his band off as has-beens and shysters.

That’s a mistake.

I’ve attended to hundreds of concerts and none have been more enjoyable than Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band.  They give fans a spectacular evening of music.

Ringo performs a lot of songs he sang while a member of the Fab Four: “Act Naturally,” “Boys,” “Don’t Pass Me By,” “Honey Don’t,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Matchbox,” and “Yellow Submarine.”

Of course, he closes each show with “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

Ringo also performs “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Photograph” (both written by him and George Harrison), and “I’m the Greatest” (written by John Lennon).

Does Ringo hit all the notes?  No, but for being 77 years old, he sounds pretty good.  What he lacks in vocal strength he makes up for it with energy.  Despite being close to 80, he’s still got a motor.

Between Ringo’s songs, his bandmates take center stage.  When this happens, don’t rush off to get another beer or visit the restroom.  If you do, you’ll miss something special.

For example, Greg Rolie performs “Black Magic Woman,” Steve Lukather performs “Rosanna,” and Todd Rundgren performs “Love Is the Answer.”

Richard Page’s “Broken Wings” is haunting.  He sounds amazing live.

As you can see, the setlist for Ringo Starr and His All-Star Band is nothing but hits—more than two dozen classic rock songs.

Now, Ringo and his band aren’t redefining the rock concert.  They’re not on the vanguard of live music.

Instead, they’re just having a blast playing good old rock and roll.  You’ll have tons of fun.

If you’re a Beatles fan, or a classic rock fan, you’re going to love Ringo Starr and His All-Star Band.  

If you’re neither, but appreciate great live music, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself.  It will be worth your time and effort.

The only way you won’t have a fun at a Ringo Starr concert is if you lack a pulse.

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Book Review: “Ringo: With a Little Help” by Michael Seth Starr

The first thing Michael Seth Starr, the author of Ringo: With a Little Help, is going to tell you is that he’s no relation to Ringo Starr…so let’s get that off the table right now.

I began this book on Monday and went cross-eyed trying to get it read in time to review it by Sunday. Nothing against the book, it’s an easy read, but when I got it on Monday, I expected  a large print book with a not so detailed story of Ringo Starr’s life (in actuality, it’s over 350 pages of small print).  But how does anyone tell Ringo’s story without telling the entire Beatles story along the way?

Author Michael Starr claims in the introduction that he will not be telling the Beatles story, but I’m here to tell you that he lies. There is plenty of Fab Four details in this book and it occasionally looses it’s direction throughout it’s 350 pages. There’s not a lot of new stuff to be told about our hero Ringo that we haven’t already been told. I’d say I could count on two hands the number of details contained in this book that I was unaware of about the life of Richard Starkey. Most of the stories have been told in other biographies, such as Pattie Boyd’s story of Ringo’s wife’s affair with George (then again…who didn’t sleep with George?).

Still though, it’s nice to finally have a book about Ringo, even if Ringo took to Twitter to inform his fans that this book is an unauthorized biography that “has nothing to do with me”.

The author did seem to have a problem with keeping focused throughout the book and would digress into other stories, and then come back to his topic at hand. The chapters also seem to be a little disjointed and appear more to give the reader a break off point to eat, sleep or pee, then to finish off any particular time period.

Unless you’re an over the top Ringo fan, I would recommend borrowing this book from the library. I don’t believe it’ll ever become a collectors item (but then again, a lot of people thought the Beatles were just a fad too, so who am I to say).  I also think the publisher  may have randomly missed the editing of a few chapters, as the typos seem to come in clumps.

It don’t come easy…but this book is an easy read. And for that reason…

I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles!

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Book Review: The Beatles and Me on Tour by Ivor Davis

Ivor Davis bookI met Ivor Davis for the first time at the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans in August.  The word most commonly used to describe Ivor was ‘charming’.  And that he was!  He won everyone over who had the privilege to meet him and take home a copy of his book.  I’ve finally gotten around to reading this book and here’s my honest review.

What an absolute delight this books is!  Refreshing and so well written, anyone can just breeze through it’s pages.  The only downside…it ends.  Ivor has spent his life as a reporter and it shows in his writing style…very easy and smooth, it’s an absolute joy to follow him along on his journey with the Beatles during their 1964 tour of America.  Ivor doesn’t bore you with HIS story…he tells the story of what was going on behind the scenes.  Readers get the inside story of the Beatles backstage, in the air, holed up in their hotel rooms like caged animals and the secret meetings and parties that went on with other stars of the time.

Without a doubt, this book is a must read and must have for any true Beatles fan.  And if you’d like to know more about Ivor and his book, you can go to his website at: www.IvorDavisBeatles.com.  There are also links to let you know where you can purchase your own copy.

And if you’re in the L.A. area, don’t miss the opportunity to meet Ivor Davis at the Fest for Beatles Fans in L.A. on October 10-12, 2014.

I rate this book: 4 out of 4 Beetles!

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Book Review: ‘Confessions of a Beatlemaniac’ by Dee Elias

'Confessions of a Beatlemaniac' by Dee Elias

‘Confessions of a Beatlemaniac’ by Dee Elias

‘Confessions of a Beatlemaniac’ by Dee Elias

I had the pleasure of meeting Dee Elias at the Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago and finding out about her book ‘Confessions of a Beatlemaniac: A true story of a fan who broke all the rules to meet the Beatles!‘  Without even reading a word, I got the impression that Dee’s story is going to become huge among other Beatles fans.

Though this book is currently listed on Amazon.com as being for ages 10 – 18, it’s definitely a multi-generational read.  Taken from the pages of Dee’s diary when she was 14-16 years old, this book tells of the extent to which Dee, her friends and many other Beatlemaniacs would go to just to get close to the Beatles.   This is the story of how she honed her technique by managing to meet other stars like Sonny & Cher and Simon & Garfunkel.

Why did she wait so long to tell her story?  When I spoke with her at the fest, she said not only did she think no one would be interested, she also was still keeping her antics a secret from her parents 50 years later!

If you’re looking for a fun book directly from the heart of a true Beatle fan who was THERE, you’ll enjoy this quick (168 page) read.  (And you absolutely won’t want to miss the story of Dee’s encounter with Billy J. Kramer!)

This book is available for Kindle at Amazon.com.  Paperbacks are available exclusively through Dee’s website: www.ConfessionsOfABeatleManiac.com.

You can follow Dee on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Confessionsofabeatlemaniac 

 

I rate this book: 4 out of 4 Beetles

 

 

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Johnny come lately, the new kid in town…

PSU Beatles

“Everybody’s talking
There’s a new kid in town
People started walking
There’s a new kid in town” – Eagles

With the approach of the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles coming to the United States, it seems that new events, festivals and conferences are popping up everywhere to celebrate the occasion.  And though the Fest for Beatles Fans is the biggest fest around, some of the others aren’t to shabby!

One of the biggest events will be at Penn State University in Altoona, PA on the weekend of February 7-9, 2014 and is called ‘It was 50 Years Ago Today: An International Beatles Celebration.’  This three day event isn’t a festival.  It’s a conference.  According to their website, “In addition to panels and presentations, the conference will include film screenings, musical performances, art and photography exhibits, and keynote addresses by leading Beatles critics and musicologists.”

The director of this event is Dr. Kenneth Womack, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at PSU Altoona, and the author of: Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles, The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles, Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, And the Fab Four and the soon to be released The Beatles Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: Everything Fab Four.

A few of the respected 50+ experts set to appear at this conference are:

Mark Lewisohn – regarded as  one of the world’s leading Beatles authorities, Mark is the author of the NY Times bestseller Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years, Volume 1.

Andy Babiuk – the foremost authority on the equipment used to create the Beatles’ music and the author of Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments from Stage to Studio.  Andy is also a staff consultant to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.

Walter Everett – the author of the Beatles As Musicians book series, Mr. Everett is also a member of the School of Music faculty at the University of Michigan and the author of The Foundations of Rock.

Jude Southerland Kessler – a Beatles expert, author and host of her own radio show, Ms. Kessler is the author of the John Lennon Series.  She has spent nearly 30 years researching John Lennon and the Beatles for her 9 book series., making her a leading expert on the topic of the Fab Four.

Dr. Kit O’Toole – For over 19 years, Dr. O’Toole has written music, concert, and book reviews, interviews, popular culture essays, and technology “how to” articles.  Her work has appeared at: Blogcritics.org, Something Else Reviews, Blinded by Sound, Cinema Sentries, Seattle PI and Beatlefan magazine.

This is definitely set to be one of the most intellectual of all the Beatles events to be held in 2014!  And what’s cool about their registration is that you not only can you sign up for which days you would like to attend, you can add your meals and accommodations to your package as you like!

For more information on this conference, along with a schedule of events & presenters, and registration, check out their website: http://www.altoona.psu.edu/beatles.

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New festival for Fab Four fans: Beatles At The Ridge

Beatles At The Ridge, Walnut Ridge, AR: Sept 20-21It’s been way too long since I’ve posted a review or opinion on this blog, but when I heard about Beatles At The Ridge, I knew I just had to spread the good word!

Beatles At The Ridge is a two day festival in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas created by Charles Snapp in 2011.  It is now in its third year running.  Last year, the crowd size was estimated at over 10,000, but I have a feeling that this fest is going to put the best of all Beatles festivals on guard!  This fest has the potential to become a new mecca for the most diehard fans.

So what connection does Walnut Ridge have to the Beatles?  I’m glad you asked…because Walnut Ridge can boast about their Beatles encounter.  From their website: “A quiet night in 1964 was interrupted by the unusual sound of an airliner approaching Walnut Ridge Airport. Its arrival sparked enough interest that three local teens went to investigate, only to discover John, Paul, Ringo, and George walking from the plane. The Beatles, the biggest rock band in the world, had arrived at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.”  You can read the rest of the story and see pictures here.

This year’s fest will have over 100 vendors (the number is still growing as word gets out about BATR).  Admission is free, parking is free and all entertainment is free.  I don’t think I’ve heard of another Beatles festival that can say that (but I could be wrong).

The entertainment for this two day, three stage event is also growing by the day.  Scheduled to appear this year are: Stan Perkins (son of Carl Perkins), Beatles tribute band – BritBeat, Ringo Starr tribute artist – Ringer Star,  Beatles expert & author – Jude Southerland Kessler, Danny Donuts Yellow Submarine Parade and many more!  There will also be a Beatles costume contest with prizes!  A full list of events can be found here.

In 2012, Beatles at the Ridge won the “Top new Festival” award from the Arkansas Festival and Events Association.

 Beatles At The Ridge will run from Friday, September 20th thru Saturday, September 21st.  For more information, go to: www.BeatlesAtTheRidge.com
I have a feeling this party is truly going to rock and it’s going to put a scare into the owner of many a Beatles fest.  If you go, please check in here and let us know your opinion!

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CD Review: Beatlesque Four by Alan Bernhoft

Looks like Alan Bernhoft has done it again with his latest release, Beatlesque Four!

My last review of Beatleseque Three, Alan had begun to recover from a what I thought was a very dissappointing Beatlesque Too album.  I think I can safely say, this album is the best of the bunch.

The CD starts out with a catchy, little head-bobbing, Lennon-esque title track, Love Everyone.  This is one of those songs you can imagine every mom wanting to play for their young children.

Another memorable tune is track 9 – My Rolls Royce…a song you can imagine Ringo singing.  Everything from the limited vocal range to the silly lyrics just screams Ringo!

Track 11, I Fly is an amazing tune that really and truly highlights the talents of Alan Bernhoft.  It’s just beautiful with it’s whisp of Beatles influence but not overdone.

Included in this album are three spoken word tracks from the writings of T.S. Dorglesnout.  They’re amusing little ditties fit perfectly in amongst the songs.  Who’s T.S. Dorglesnout?  When you find out, please let me know too!  🙂

This album ends with the song, Captain Anaujiram.  Though me and the good Captain would never share company, they song is amusing!

I don’t want to leave out that Mr. Bernhoft has included a holiday tune on this album called Imagine Christmas.  I must say I’m a fan of it already since I’ve personally had enough of the same-old, same-old holiday tunes every year.  I’d love to see the song distributed to radio stations across the country and be the next big holiday song!

I’m very impressed with this album and enjoyed getting an early copy of it.  The official release date is Saturday, June 23, 2012.  You can sample and buy a digital copy on Amazon.

I rate this CD: 4 out of 4 Beetles

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