By: Gilles LeBlanc (@ROCKthusiast) –
When you’re Ringo Starr and you’re about to celebrate your 74th birthday, what do you do?
Apparently the secret to a happy life and long career is to continue doing what you love, as often as possible. For the former Beatle, that means kicking off a 40-date tour with the latest incarnation of his “All-Starr Band” (the thirteenth such edition), featuring six members from other groups encompassing the complete classic rock spectrum. Oh, and it seems having plenty peace in your heart keeps you spry, which is precisely how Starr appeared as he held a press conference at Casino Rama yesterday afternoon, where the 2014 summer jaunt begins tonight (June 6).
When he wasn’t flashing piece signs, Starr energetically treated the assembled media to a whirlwind performance that included teases of the Lennon/McCartney staple “I Wanna Be Your Man”, “Hold the Line”, sung by Toto’s own Steve Lukather, “Broken Wings” with Mr. Mister’s Richard Page on lead vocals (not to mention Todd Rundgren with an oversized rumba shaker), and Billy Shears from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s “With a Little Help from My Friends”.
There was also a brief Q&A where Starr expressed his affection for the current edition of his band, considering them all close friends, almost family members. He then waxed poetically about how much he enjoyed the GRAMMY tribute with younger artists, air drumming the fills from his front row seat. And with the question of how The Beatles would fare in the age of Spotify, he confidently said how the fab four would have been just as successful in the 21st century as they were in the ’60s despite profit-hampering issues like plummeting CD sales, illegal downloading and an array of available streaming services.
“The new bands are coming up with streaming, downloads, and the good news about all that is there’s more chance of playing live now. That’s more important,” Starr said. “I like to download, I get to listen to what’s happening now, ’course you can listen to what happened then as well. I think you just arrive, and use the facilities what’s around at the time.”
Great music, it seems, is timeless, can transcend generations…and overcome any industry hardships.