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Ringo Starr takes Zoom to talk about new album, Beatles Get Back documentary and more

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ringo Starr’s latest EP, just released, is called Zoom In, so it’s fitting that the Beatles drummer and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is reaching out to Zoom to talk about it. .

The five-song set is yet another testament to what 80-year-old Starr does so well, who gets by with a little help from his friends. Zoom In was preceded by the single Heres to the Nights, an all-star extravaganza whose chorus includes Beatles companion Paul McCartney, brother-in-law Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl, Lenny Kravitz, Finneas, Chris Stapleton and Sheryl Crow – just to name a few.

Elsewhere, Doors guitarist Robby Krieger performs on Zoom In, Zoom Out, Totos Steve Lukather (also a member of the All-Starr Band) and Joseph Williams contributed Not Enough Love in the World, and reggae great Tony Chen appears on Waiting For the Tide to Turn.

Contemporary hitmaker Sam Hollander, meanwhile, conducted the track Teach Me to Tango.

Zoom In is released alongside the new book Ringo Rocks: 30 Years of the All Starrs 1989-2019, and although he refrains from performing live until 2022, Starr has always been anything but locked up during the last year of lockdown in her Los Angeles. reception area …

As with everyone, the past year has been a very difficult one for Starr and his family. He canceled two tours for his All-Starr Band and took the pandemic seriously. What big plans we had for 2020. I was 80 years old. We were going to have a big party – all the kids, grandchildren, everyone coming to LA We were going to have a great time, and that didn’t happen. I left home eight times a year; It is far. It’s the longest I’ve seen children or grandchildren … It really makes me live one day at a time, because that’s what we have now. There is no sort of a great future. We hope there will be a future … when we all move on together.

Zooming in, in fact, was therapeutic for Starr and his cohorts. I think everyone was looking for something to do, he said. It keeps you in music mode, which I love. I prefer to play on stage, but the best I can do at the moment is make a record here in this room and hang out with musicians.

But Starr promises the hangout was safe. We were all very careful. We have all been tested … Benmont Tench came to play the piano. Nathan East (on bass) came in, Luke (Lukather). We were all quite six feet apart, but at least we could feel each other. There were only two people next to me at a time. We didn’t have a whole gang. Like the chorus of Heres to the Night, the two people who came in were Ben Harper and Dave Grohl and that’s it.

Starr previously said his 2019 album Whats My Name would be his last full project and that he intended to focus on individual tracks after that. But Zoom In unfolded as it went. I do EPs because it’s not such a big situation. Doing the 10 tracks is fun, but it’s work. With the EP … four tracks, now five of course, it’s easier to watch the EPs of my day were four tracks. I love EPs. I have a lot of them in stock.

And, Starr notes, that’s probably the way he’s going to work moving forward. Don’t tell anyone, but I started EP 2, he said.

Despite its brevity, Zoom In manages to cover various stylistic areas, from pop to reggae Waiting for the Tide to Turn and the notes of Latin rhythms knitted in Teach Me to Tango. I was sort of in the mood to look for people I hadn’t worked with, come over or send them the files. For me, this is a very good phase of my recording life. I made a decision (that) although I’m the producer and play drums and sing the songs that I don’t have to put on all the other instruments. I don’t have to be the songwriter or co-writer of the song. So I started calling people (to ask) if they had any songs. I can play or listen to what they played in their own studios, and it worked.

In addition to the EP, Starr has performed on other albums including Lukather and Williams’ respective solo albums, Edgar Winters upcoming tribute to his brother, the late Johnny Winter, and a Rodney Crowell charity track. I’m not going to do everything everyone asks me to do. I don’t play jazz … Sheila E. did Come Together … She came with the files … Lots of fun to play. But she forgot to tell me that her seven and a half minutes are last, and the last minutes are blocked. So, I am scrambling. (Laughs)

Starr currently plans to get back on the road with the All-Starrs on May 31, 2022, despite hopes of being able to play this fall. I don’t want to go out on the road and have social distancing or masks. We thought we could maybe manage September-October (of this year) but just two days ago I also canceled this one. I’ll wait until next year to release – there’ll be maybe four or five EPs by then, who knows?

And after hosting a virtual event for his 80th birthday last July, Starr had little interest in revisiting the idea. I’m not really interested unless I’m here and you are there. This is how I want to do it.

This year’s anniversary celebration (July 7) is in limbo right now. Nice to have the moment of peace and love, but we will not play the bands, the stage in the Capitol building (Records) … We have had my birthdays in several countries now, which is always amazing. Were now in 27 countries to celebrate midday peace and love so its growth which is awesome. This year, we don’t know what we were doing.

One thing Starr is looking forward to this year is The Beatles: Get Back, Peter Jacksons takes on the Let It Be recording sessions due out August 27. It’s about the music and a lot of joy. I didn’t feel any joy in the original documentary. I thought it was miserable. Peter and I have had several talks; I said, there is a lot of laughter. I was there. We laugh. We were having fun. We were doing what we are doing. So. he would come … with his iPad and show me sections, Look what we found here! and laughed, having fun as a group. There was a lot of joy in making these records. Im definitely looking forward to everything.

Starr’s last public appearance was at the 63rd annual Grammy Award, presenting the record of the year to Billie Eilish. It was a great pleasure for me to do the Grammys … Finneas, who writes (the songs with her), is actually on the chorus (of Heres to the Nights) with everyone … Beautiful human being, and musically awesome. I listen to what’s going on, but I play what I play. You won’t see me in a minute, rapping.

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