Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ringo Starr at Seminole Hard Rock

Here is a piece I wrote for the Boca Raton Tribune. I haven't seen it online yet.
The photos are by Tom Craig.

By Skip Sheffield

Peace and Love.
That was the recurring theme for Ringo Starr’s July 15 visit with his 11th All-Starr Band to the Seminole Hard Rock Live in Hollywood.
In a pre-concert presentation, Starr presented a check for $197,500 to the Yele Haiti relief effort, administered through Hard Rock Charity partner WhyHunger.
“I grew up with the Tribe here when the Seminoles were underprivileged,” said Hollywood Tribe council member Max Osceola. “We got our first new shoes, clothes and education from a group of Ladies called Friends of the Seminoles. Today we are blessed. It is time to give back. The circle is complete.”
And so the upbeat, feel-good mood was set for former Beatle Ringo’s All-Starr Band concert, which featured Ringo singing, playing drums and bantering with his fans and sharing the stage and spotlighting a group of stellar musicians.
The standout players were guitarist Rick Derringer and multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter. Informality and warmth are the hallmarks of Ringo Starr’s shows. He picks some of the best players available, and allows each his moment to shine.
Ohio-born Derringer is best known for his No. 1 1965 hit “Hang On Sloopy,” but he has moved far beyond that as solo artist and one of the best guitarists in America today.
Derringer first worked with Texas-born Edgar Winter and his older brother Johnny in the early 1970s, when the Edgar Winter Group had a string of hits.
Winter’s showpiece is the instrumental Frankenstein, which he plays on a synthesizer strapped around his next (the first to do so, he says) with additional solos on saxophone and trap drums.
Keyboardist Gary Wright was the only Brit other than Starr in an all-American lineup. He shone on his best-known “Dream Weaver.”
Wally Palmer is best known as singing front man of The Romantics of Detroit, Michigan. Of course he played his hits “Talking in Your Sleep” and “What I Like About You.”
Richard Page is better known as Mr. Mister, which had mid-1980s hits with “Broken Wings” and “Kyrie.”
Finally there is Gregg Bissonette, who has been Starr’s regular drummer since 2003. All the boys in the band harmonize vocally, and exceptionally well.
Ever modest of his musical talent, Ringo Starr admits he “Gets By With a Little Help From His Friends.” His fans can only hope there with be a 12th All-Starr Band. At age 70, like fellow surviving Beatle Paul McCartney, Ringo shows no sign of slowing down.
At the end of the tour Starr gave the trap drum he had been playing for display at the Hard Rock’s permanent collection. He also presented his limited edition artwork, which he has been creating on computer since 2005. His latest CD, “Why Love,” was released in January of 2010.
“What ever you choose, choose love,” go the lyrics from one of the songs he wrote for that album. “Peace and Love” was the slogan on hundreds of white plastic wristbands he threw to his fans. Who can possibly argue with that?


  1. Good piece, Skip!!! Been following your blog and it is always a joy to read.