Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#477 in the Series) is the first Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band.
I’ve always been a huge fan of these Ringo Starr All-Starr tours. I think they are just a fantastic idea. Besides being a fantastic drummer, Ringo’s a smart man. He knows he doesn’t have the body of work, vocally, to front a tour that will allow him access to large venues. So he fills out his band with well-known musicians and they take the lead also during the show. Great idea, but what makes it even better is the musicians that Mr. Starkey takes on the road with hi. He always picks some really interesting people. I don’t think many people turn down his invitations.
In this version, which was the inaugural, he has Joe Walsh and Nils Lofgren on guitar, Jim Keltner, Levon Helm and Ringo’s son Zak on drums, Garth Hudson on accordion, Billy Preston and Dr. John on keys, Clarence Clemons on sax and Rick Danko on bass.
In future years his bands would include the likes of Todd Rundgren, Burton Cummings, Dave Edmunds, Timothy B. Schmit, Timmy Capello, Randy Bachman, Mark Farner, John Entwistle, Peter Frampton, Jack Bruce, Eric Carmen, Roger Hodgson, Ian Hunter, Howard Jones, Gary Brooker, Greg Lake, Sheila E., John Waite, Edgar Winter, Billy Squire, Richard Page, Gary Wright and Rick Derringer.
It also should be pointed out that these tours were originally the idea of producer David Fishof. David also was the founder of the Rock and Roll Fantasy camps (along with Mark Burnett.)
Ringo runs thru all the songs you’d expect him to play. “It Don’t Come Easy,” “The No-No Song,” ”Photograph,” “Honey Don’t,” ”You’re Sixteen.” “Yellow Submarine” and “With a Little Help From My Friends” are not on the album, however, they were performed on the tour and are included in the video playlist below.
Dr. John is the first guest to perform one of his own tracks and his chose “Iko Iko.” That’s followed by Levon Helm and Rick Danko singing Robbie Robertson and The Band’s all time classic “The Weight.” Now looking at it, nearly half the band members here played at The Last Waltz. They would be Dr. John, Starr, Helm, Hudson and Rick Danko. In fact, another song that’s included in the video playlist but not on the album is Rick singing “The Shape I’m In”and also Levon taking lead on “Up on Cripple Creek.”
Nils Lofgren sings the great “Shine Silently.” I think he also may have done “No Mercy” at some of the shows aw well. I kinda of remember him doing that at our show, Alpine Valley.
Other highlights include “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons on “Quarter to Three” Joe Walsh on “Life in the Fast Lane” and Billy Preston on “Will It Go ‘round in Circles.”
We had some pretty good seats for this show. Even with all the stars on stage it was hard not to keep your eyes on Ringo. One of the things that was an unexpected highlight of the show was the little’ right aimed’ head twitch that Ringo has always done while behind the drum kit. It was a great little reminder of the watching him play with that other band of All-Stars about 25 years earlier.
- “It Don’t Come Easy” (Richard Starkey, George Harrison) – 3:17
- “The No-No Song” (Hoyt Axton, David Jackson) – 3:28
- “Iko Iko” (Rosa Lee Hawkins, Barbara Ann Hawkins, Joan Marie Johnson, James Crawford) – 6:10
- Performed by Dr. John
- “The Weight” (Robbie Robertson) – 5:57
- Performed by Levon Helm and Rick Danko
- “Shine Silently” – (Nils Lofgren, Dick Wagner) – 6:45
- Performed by Nils Lofgren
- “Honey Don’t” (Carl Perkins) – 2:44
- “You’re Sixteen” (Bob Sherman, Dick Sherman) – 2:59
- “Quarter to Three” (Frank Guida, Eugene Barge, Joseph Royster, Gary Anderson) – 3:52
- Performed by Clarence Clemons
- “Raining in My Heart” (Buddy Holly) – 5:22
- Performed by Rick Danko
- “Will It Go Round in Circles” (Billy Preston) – 4:20
- Performed by Billy Preston
- “Life in the Fast Lane” (Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey, Don Henley) – 6:40
- Performed by Joe Walsh
- “Photograph” (Richard Starkey, George Harrison) – 4:20
- Ringo Starr: Drums, vocals
- Billy Preston: Keyboards, harmonium, vocals
- Joe Walsh: Guitar, percussion, vocals
- Nils Lofgren: Guitar, accordion, vocals
- Clarence Clemons: Saxophone, percussion, vocals
- Dr. John: Piano, vocals
- Rick Danko: Bass guitar, vocals
- Garth Hudson: Accordion
- Levon Helm: Drums, percussion, vocals
- Jim Keltner: Drums, percussion
- Zak Starkey: Drums