Concerts

Ringo Starr Shines Brightest at Hard Rock Live

Ringo Starr caused quite a bit of consternation several months back when he abruptly announced that he would no longer sign autographs for his fans. It was an odd move and uncharacteristically curt for a man who's never shunned the spotlight. It also fueled the ire of those who were skeptical of Ringo's credence in the first place. A full 40 years after the Beatles took their final unceremonious bow, there are those who still insist that Ringo was no match for his talented compatriots and that he was lucky to hop on the bandwagon just in time to claim his meal ticket.

Regardless, those who've heard the deft drumming and imaginative fills that graced "Rain" and "Paperback Writer" or elevated the rhythms on Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, and Abbey Road agree that Ringo's one of the most tasteful drummers to ever play a paradiddle. These days, he prefers to tout his recent self-produced album, Y Not, while sharing the spotlight with the revolving cast of his All-Starr Band, which currently includes Edgar Winter, Gary Wright, and Greg Bissonette along with newcomers Rick Derringer, Wally Palmer (Romantics), and Richard Page (Mister Mister). Mining the nostalgia of the boomer brigade, he remains the easygoing entertainer who still basks in the peace, love, and groovy vibes that he trumpets along with the Fab Four's legacy. But who can blame him? Having just turned 70, he's doing what he does best, simply being a Starr.

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Lee Zimmerman