Words & Photos by PAUL ZOLLO
To mark World Peace Day, which was Sunday, September 21, Ringo Starr & his amazing All-Starr Band performed a great 40 minute set behind the John Varvatos boutique in Hollywood.
The All-Starr Band is a revolving group of legendary musicians that Ringo has assembled over the last two decades to go out on tour. They perform some of Ringo’s most famous songs, as well as hits from their own career. The current line-up features Steve Lukather (Toto), Edgar Winter, Richard Page (Mr.Mister), Nils Lofgren (Springsteen, Neil Young) and Gregg Bissonette on drums. Yesterday they were joined by Joe Walsh, and the great drummer Jim Keltner.
At one point, Ringo said, “Nice band.” What an understatement. These are some of the best musicians in the world. With Lukather and Nils Lofgren onstage together, you have two giants. And then joined by another, Joe Walsh, who played great and ferocious slide guitar. Add to that the great Edgar Winter on keyboards and vocals, and you have a true superband.
Also present to share in the festivities were Ringo’s wife Barbara Bach, Marilyn Manson, KISS members Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer, Blondie drummer Clem Burke, and Harold and Kumar star John Cho.
Varvatos has teamed up with Ringo and with David Lynch to generate funds for the David Lynch Foundation, which teaches methods of meditation the world over. He pledged to donate one dollar for every selfie that people post on social media with the words #peacerocks. “Keep going until John Varvatos is broke!” Ringo suggested.
After Edgar Winter opened with a sizzling “Tobacco Road,” he moved over to keyboards, while Joe Walsh and Richard Page each did a song. Then it was time for the guest of honor, Ringo Starr, who danced sprightly onto stage and performed three songs with his superband, “Matchbox,” “It Don’t Come Easy” and “With A Little Help from my Friends.”
Before “Friends,” his famous solo song on Sgt. Pepper, Ringo invited one and all to sing along and said, “And if you don’t know this one, you’re in the wrong car park.”
Keltner joined on “Friends,” leading Ringo to remark afterwards that it required multiple drummers to match his drum part from the record.
Both Ringo and Walsh spoke about how “meditation really works,” and Walsh explained that it is especially healing for vets, who come back from war “all hyper.”
Ringo also spoke about the giant march on Climate Change taking place in New York City, and how the weather around the world had changed. “When politicians say they don’t know there has been climate change,” he said, “I wonder – where do these people live?”