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Ringo shows his Starr quality at DTE

Ringo Starr (R) and Paul McCartney
Ringo Starr (R) and Paul McCartney
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS

Former Beatle, Ringo Starr, and his All-Starr band put on an impressive two hour show last night at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston.

At almost 74 years old (his birthday is on July 7), Ringo looks as good or better than most men half his age. The always upbeat musician gave the near capacity crowd just what they expected – an evening full of great memories via timeless songs. And of course, Ringo flashed numerous peace signs to the audience. He was funny, energetic, engaging, and dressed in black – as most musicians are.

There’s no doubt about it - Ringo is clearly doing what he loves to do.

‘… I’m doing what I wanted to do when I was a kid. I wanted to play drums, and I wanted to play with good players. And you know, that’s still happening…. I’m here to play,’ Ringo told Detroit Free Press Pop Music Writer Brian McCollum in an interview before the show.

And Ringo doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

‘I can do the All-Starrs as long as I can pick up the pair of sticks…. I’m still enjoying it. I still love to play. So I’m just doing it. I’m not looking at any diminishing horizon out there,’ he told McCollum.

As much fun as it was to listen to Ringo sing, it was even more exciting to watch him play the drums. Alongside All-Starr drummer (and Eastside Detroit native) Gregg Bissonette, Ringo played the drums and didn’t miss a beat. At times, it was difficult to look at anyone else. After all, this was Ringo Starr pounding those skins! And let us not forget that Ringo was a Beatle after all.

As for the supporting players, the All-Star band is made up of a group of familiar and well-respected musicians. They are: Steve Lukather of Toto, Gregg Rolie of Santana, Mark Rivera from Billy Joel’s band, Richard Page of Mr. Mister, Detroit drummer Gregg Bissonette, and the man who needs no introduction – Todd Rundgren.

Ringo and the All-Starrs treated the audience to some well-known hits like ‘Boys,’ ‘Yellow Submarine,’ With a Little Help From my Friends,’ and ‘It Don’t Come Easy.’ We also got a dose of classic familiar songs from Santana like ‘Black Magic Woman,’ and ‘Evil Ways.’

Also on the play list were songs from Mr. Mister and three classic Toto songs – ‘Roseanna,’ ‘Africa,’ and ‘Hold the Line.’

But the highlight of the night was hearing Todd Rundgren sing his 1972 classic ‘I Saw the Light.’

The high energy two hour set ended with a condensed version of John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace a Chance.’

As Ringo would say - 'peace and love, peace and love.' What more is there to say?

*Brian McCollum’s interview with Ringo Starr can be found on page 1C of the Detroit Free Press edition from Friday, June 27, 2014.

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