Ringo Starr: “I’m gonna need a grinectomy”

It’s a quote from Adam Savage just as they were (I believe) about to blow a lot of stuff up on Mythbusters – but it worked for tonight too.  Shar and I headed off for Uncasville for the 3rd show of the tour of Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band, eleventh incarnation.  It was grand.

He’s going to be 70 on July 7!  That is … unbelievable.  Logically, I knew he had to be in his sixties – I remember commentary about Paul McCartney turning 64 a few years ago – but … watching him onstage, his energy, his demeanour, his fitness – he has the body and the spirit of a teenager.


We saw him – them – in ’06, when the lineup was:

Ringo Starr – drums, vocals
Billy Squier – guitar, vocals
Richard Marx – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Edgar Winter – keyboards, saxophone, vocals
Rod Argent – keyboards, vocals
Hamish Stuart – bass, vocals
Sheila E. – drums, vocals

It was a blast – from the past, partly; Richard Marx was a huge heart-throb of the 80’s, and I won’t comment further than that on any throbbing that may have gone on.  But he was a joy to see live – still fantastic, and very funny; Billy Squier was great fun as well (“What’s my name?” And the answer still: “Ringo!” Hee), and the rest were marvelous too … But the real revelation for me that night was Edgar Winter.  Who strapped on his keyboard and played “Frankenstein”.  I thought I’d died and gone to rock ‘n’ roll heaven.  I must have heard it on the radio at some point in my career – but this!  This was … indescribable.  Amazing.

So when I got the chance to go tonight, I was giddy – and, Mr. Starkey forgive me, but the first thing I thought of was “Frankenstein!! YES!”

Let me just say first of all that the Mohegan Sun needs to put up more signs.  Or, you know, one would be nice.  Just sayin’.  Rhode Island’s lovely, but we didn’t need to go there tonight.

I never did remember to look up the lineup again this week, so it was a kind of box of surprise treasures:

    Ringo Starr – drums, vocals
    Wally Palmer of  The Romantics  – guitar, bass, harmonica, vocals
    Rick Derringer of The McCoys – guitar, vocals
    Edgar Winter – keyboards, saxophone, vocals
    Gary Wright – keyboards, vocals
    Richard Page of Mr. Mister – Bass, vocals
    Gregg Bissonette – drums, vocals

I do believe this is an accurate set list:

  • It Don’t Come Easy
  • Honey Don’t
  • Choose Love
  • Hang On Sloopy (Rick Derringer)
  • Free Ride (Edgar Winter)
  • Talking In Your Sleep (Wally Palmar)
  • I Wanna Be Your Man
  • Dream Weaver (Gary Wright) (Ringo complimented him by saying it was the best he’d ever done the song)
  • Kyrie (Richard Page)
  • Other Side of Liverpool
  • Yellow Submarine
  • Frankenstein (Edgar Winter) (WOO HOO!)
  • Walk With You (?)
  • Back Off Boogaloo
  • What I Like About You (Wally Palmar)
  • Rock N Roll Hoochie Koo (Rick Derringer)
  • Boys / Love Is Alive (Gary Wright)
  • Broken Wings (Richard Page) (Ringo: “I’m supposed to follow that?  I love that song!”)
  • Photograph
  • Act Naturally
  • With A Little Help From My Friends into Give Peace a Chance
  • Briefly, because it’s after 1:00 – – even if the whole rest of the thing had been a complete bust, the show would have been a lifetime benchmark simply because I got to sit there and sing “Yellow Submarine” with Ringo Starr.  That may well rank above even singing “Piano Man” along with Billy Joel, “Bennie and the Jets” with Elton John, and “The Boxer” with Simon and Garfunkel.  (He’s a Beatle!  That gives him precedence!)  Just like when we saw Simon & Garfunkel, whole chunks of the show had me sitting there with that irremovable grin on my face – I’m here!  He’s here!  He’s right there, singing songs I’ve known my whole life!  This is incredible! And, of course, Frankenstein.  I mean.  Edgar Winter was the second coolest guy on that stage, and that’s only because there’s no one cooler than Ringo Starr – otherwise, Winter rules.  Some brilliant person (meant, for once, non-sarcastically) knew to keep a camera on his hands now and then – my lord.  What a joy.

    It was amazing hearing “Kyrie” and “Broken Wings” live – I never thought that would happen.  And when that’s only the third most amazing thing about a concert, it’s a pretty damned good concert.

    Fourth, I think, was an indeed pretty wonderful performance of “Dreamweaver”; fifth I think was a tie between “Hang On Sloopy” (with the hitherto missing second verse!)  and the Romantics songs – which I hear on the radio all the time.  Fun.

    There was a huge disparity of personalities onstage … There was Ringo, the sweetheart, cool without ever needing to try and it doesn’t matter how old he is.  (And please tell me his folk are long-lived.  I don’t want to miss him for a long, long time.)  And Edgar Winter, who is a slightly different flavor of cool.  And Rick Derringer, who was dressed in Bermuda shorts and a short-sleeved button-down shirt, untucked: he looked like he just wandered in from a picnic.  Played electric guitar like a madman, but did not make any attempt to project “Rock God” – – unlike Wally Palmer, who was moussed and all in black (some of which I believe was leather), and took up Rock God stances (many of which were sadly somewhat wasted, as for the first half of the show whoever was in charge of the video going up to the big screens that gave us in the nosebleed seats more than a two-inch-high figure to watch focused only on Ringo, Edgar Winter, and Rick Derringer, unless it was one of the others’ moments…) – it was kind of hilarious.  Hey, he was enjoying himself, and he was pretty great – who am I to argue?  And then there was Gary Wright, who looked like a science teacher who wandered in, maybe from the same picnic as Rick Derringer.  He did a bit of “Rock Star!” with his portable keyboard (originally invented by Edgar Winter!), and my main reaction was “Oh, honey, no – don’t”.  Honestly, Richard Page didn’t get much spotlighting, so apart from happy internal bouncing when he did the Mr. Mister songs, I …. didn’t see him.  Shame.

    They closed the show, as listed above, with “A Little Help from My Friends”, and Ringo thanked everyone and bounded offstage leaving the others to close instrumentally … and then they segued into “All we are saying Is give peace a chance” – and Ringo came back out, and several thousand people sang, all together … and then Ringo went off again and the lights came on and, ears ringing, we had to go.  Grinning.

    Then I got my grinectomy by watching “Vincent and the Doctor”… But that’s another post, for Walk in the Dust and when I have time, and not now.  Now I’m trying to get the grin back.

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    4 Responses to Ringo Starr: “I’m gonna need a grinectomy”

    1. accountantgrrl says:

      Sounded like fun. I loved Mr. Mister.

    2. Pingback: Concert Roundup: Lady Gaga, Flaming Lips, Ringo Starr, and others | Tea

    3. David says:

      This is a great lineup of Ringo Starr’s All Star Band because it includes Wally Palmar, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist/harmonica player of one of my favorite rock bands, The Romantics. The Romantics are known for their hit songs What I Like About You and Talking In Your Sleep and play a style of music which combines the 60s rock sounds of The Beatles/British invasion with garage and punk rock. Wally even plays a Rickenbacker 6 string guitar similar to the ones used by George Harrison and John Lennon. The Romantics formed in 1977 and continue to tour and record new material. Blondie’s drummer Clem Burke is one of the drummers for The Romantics. The Romantics would have never existed if not for Ringo Starr and his magnificent group The Beatles.

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