Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band Kick Off Long-Awaited North American Tour

15th All Starr Band features Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Warren Ham, Hamish Stewart, Greg Bissonette and Edgar Winter

We’re on the road again/We’re on the road again/We’re on the road again/We’re gonna play some rock ‘n’ roll, that’s true/Now we’re heading down the highway to play for you...

The above excerpt from We’re On the Road Again, the opener of Ringo Starr’s 2017 studio album Give More Love, was my first thought when getting a recent email reminder for my scheduled upcoming gig by Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band at New York City’s storied Beacon Theatre. This prompted me to check on the status of their tour, which had been derailed twice in 2020 and then again in 2021 due to you know what! It’s now official. Ringo and his revolving cast of prominent bandmates are back on the road, the best news I’ve heard in a long time!

The tour kicked off on May 27 in Canada at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario. An announcement on Ringo’s website notes the show marked the fifth time the band launched a tour at that venue after 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2014. The large casino, hotel and entertainment complex is located on the reserve land of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation.

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band perform at Casino Rama on Friday, May 27, 2022. PHOTO BY DARREN EAGLES /PHOTO

“It’s loose,” Ringo told the Toronto Sun when describing the atmosphere at Casino Rama and explaining why the band chose the venue yet again to kick off another tour. “For a week we live here and we just go to the same stage. It’s good being in the same vicinity as where we’re rehearsing.”

Following are some clips taken by concert attendees of both the initial May 27 show and the second Rama date of May 28. First up: It Don’t Come Easy, which has always been one of my favorite Ringo tunes. The song, which he co-wrote with George Harrison who also produced it, first appeared as a non-album single in April 1971. It was Ringo’s second solo single. The tune may be titled “it don’t come easy”, but you don’t get the sense performing it posed any bigger challenge to Ringo who is turning 82 in July and seems to be in superb shape!

While Ringo undoubtedly is central to the All Starr Band, the idea behind the live “rock supergroup”, which he founded in 1989, has always been to go beyond Ringo’s songs and showcase tunes by the band’s members. Now in its 15th iteration, the group features longtime members Steve Lukather (of Toto), Colin Hay (formerly of Men At Work), Warren Ham, Hamish Stuart (formerly of Average White Band) and Gregg Bissonette, as well as alumni Edgar Winter whose first tenure was from 2006 to 2011. Speaking of Edgar, here’s Free Ride, a song written by Dan Hartman and originally recorded in 1972 by the Edgar Winter Group. Yeah, baby, this rocks!

How ’bout some Aussie music. Ask you shall receive. Here’s Colin Hay with Men at Work’s Down Under. One of the band’s best-known tunes, Down Under appeared on Business As Usual, the group’s debut album released in November 1981. Hay’s proposition of the vegemite sandwich still sounds pretty tasty.

Three clips in, you may wonder, and no Beatles? Agree, this borders on a crime. Here’s Octopus’s Garden, one of two songs Ringo not only sang but also wrote for the band. The second one was Don’t Pass Me By. He penned Octopus’s Garden during a boating trip with his family in Sardinia after he had walked out on The Beatles during The White Album sessions in 1968. Of course, we know the rest of the story. When Ringo returned, he found his drum kit covered with flowers, thanks to George, and Octopus’s Garden ended up on Abbey Road, the actual final Beatles album, even though it was released in September 1969, eight months prior to Let It Be.

Let’s do one more: With a Little Help From My Friends combined with a snippet of Give Peace a Chance, the show finale. With a Little Help From My Friends, off Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was among the final songs John Lennon and Paul McCartney truly wrote together. Give Peace a Chance, recorded May 31, 1969 at a “bed-in” Lennon staged with Yoko Ono in a room at Queen Elizabeth’s Hotel in Montreal, was Lennon’s first solo hit.

Here’s the setlist from the May 27 show, as reported by the Toronto Sun:
• Matchbox
• It Don’t Come Easy
• What Goes On
• Free Ride
• Rosanna
• Pick Up the Pieces
• Down Under
• Boys
• I’m The Greatest
• Yellow Submarine
• Cut the Cake
• Overkill
• Africa
• Work to Do
• I Wanna Be Your Man
• Johnny B. Goode
• Who Can It Be Now
• Hold the Line
• Photograph
• Act Naturally
• With a Little Help From My Friends/Give Peace A Chance

“I can’t wait to get back out on the road and play,” Ringo said in the above statement that was issued in February. “This is the longest I’ve been off the road in years – up until 2020 I was touring every year with the All Starrs – and I’ve really missed it. Making music in the studio has been great, and it certainly saved me during the pandemic, but nothing beats playing live with great musicians in front of an audience. I love my fans and they love me and it’s going to be wonderful to be peace and loving and playing for them again.” That’s the spirit!

Tonight, Ringo and His All Starr Band are playing CMAC in Canandaigua, N.Y., before moving on to Boston’s Wang Theater on June 2 and Hanover Theater in Worcester, Mass. on June 3. The full tour schedule is available here.

Sources: Wikipedia; Ringo Starr website; Toronto Sun; Songfacts; YouTube

15 thoughts on “Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band Kick Off Long-Awaited North American Tour”

      1. Oh, the Beacon, nice. You’ve doubtless been there. Recall that the Allmans had a residency there. I saw them a couple of times there including their next-to-last show. If I had my way, no show would be in a theater bigger than that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Beacon is a beautiful venue. I saw Steely Dan there in Oct 2018. The gig was around the “Aja” album.

        Unfortunately, I never saw the Allmans at the Beacon. By the time, I got into them more seriously they literally were doing their final tour, and I caught them at a great outdoor venue in Jersey.

        In fact, the above Steely Dan show has been my only concert at the Beacon to date, so I’m quite excited to return.

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      3. The Allmans residencies were insane. My first one was in the 90’s, not too long after my infamous ABB bus trip. I caught up with a few fellow travelers there. And while I did not indulge, there were some heavy-duty dopefest hotel room parties.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You get your money’s worth with Ringo more than most artists out there! Christian…didn’t Hamish Stuart play in Paul’s band years ago?
    God bless Ringo for still touring. It’s almost like he is making up for lost time…he didn’t really start touring until the late 80s or early 90s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t know why I have to wait to see certain artists so late in their career. Though with Ringo, you really don’t get the sense you’re looking at an octogenarian. He’s still so full of energy, both physically and mentally. I guess performing is keeping him young!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He had more energy than artists I’ve seen much much younger. Plus…he didn’t tour in his youth after The Beatles…he didn’t start until he was 49 years old.
        Of course that is when he kicked his drink habit… I was blown away when I saw him at 72 years old. I remember my grandfather at that age and I’m thinking what?

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  2. It would be an amazing show to see…such a talented lineup, and with him changing it up it would be a different set altogether than last time around. Amazing guy , has energy of a guy half his age. And, yay for him giving props to Canada … I personally never got to Casino Rama, but it’s a popular venue about an hour outside of Toronto.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the whole concept of The All Starr Band very much is a reflection of Ringo’s character. The man’s a true bandmate. It never really seems to be about him, it’s always about the band. He’s the kind of guy every group should want!

      There’s no doubt in my mind The Beatles would have been a different group without Ringo. I also think they wouldn’t have lasted as long as they did without Ringo.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes. I’ve commented in the past that Ringo’s real huge talent seems to be getting along with anyone… the type of guy who seems to be able to call up just about any musician, chat, and have them not only agree but be happy to come to his studio to record, or spend the summer touring. In all likelihood he kept the Beatles going for the last few years by being that kind of guy.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. Crazy isn’t it? I wonder who thought that video would help promote an album? Fun to watch anyway. Macca shows up in three different roles.

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