Musician Ringo Starr gestures at fans at a 'Peace & Love' event to celebrate Starr's 77th birthday in Los Angeles, California..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
It didn’t come easy, but Ringo Starr is finally going to make it to Israel.
Fifty-two years after a proposed concert by The Beatles fell by the wayside in 1966, the one-time lovable mop-top drummer for the Fab Four is finally going to make his debut in the Jewish state, on June 23 and 24 at the Menorah Mivtahim Arena in Tel Aviv.
He will become the second – and final – former Beatle to perform in Israel, after Paul McCartney took the honors with a monumental show at Park Hayarkon in 2008. Ex-bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison died in 1980 and 2001, respectively.
The Israel dates will be part of a 21-date European tour that will include shows in France, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Monaco, Netherlands and Italy, according to Starr’s official website. The last time the All-Starrs toured Europe was in 2011.
Starr’s 13th iteration of his All-Starr Band will feature Men At Work’s Colin Hay, Graham Gouldman of 10cc and longtime members, Toto’s Steve Lukather and Journey’s Gregg Rolie, along with Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette.
Ringo Starr - We’re On The Road Again (Audio) (YouTube/RingoStarrVEVO)
The band has been touring the US in support of Starr’s latest album Give More Love, including a Las Vegas residency and a performance at New York City’s Beacon Theater.
According to a review in People Magazine, the show, which features Starr’s songs with The Beatles like “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Boys,” from his 40-plus year solo career like “It Don’t Come Easy” and “Photograph,” and his bandmates’ biggest hits, is not a nostalgia concert.
“No, Starr and his merry band are much too vibrant for that, and the message of peace and love that they sing is just as relevant today,” it stated.
Starr, who was always in the background behind the songwriting genius of his partners Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, possessed a unique drumming style that has been highly praised by latter-day drummers, as well as criticized by music snobs for its no-frills timekeeping.
Musicianship aside, he contributed an endearing persona to the group with his toothy grin and Chaplin-esque comedic qualities.
Starr’s solo career has been sketchy, with sporadic albums featuring less-than-stellar material interspersed with moments of inspiration.
He and McCartney have reunited on stage and in the studio many times, but have never embarked on a sustained collaboration.
During the Beatles’ heyday, there was considerable unfounded speculation that Starr – born Richard Starkey – was Jewish. Later, his likeness to PLO founder Yasser Arafat also provided fodder for Middle East pundits.
Today, Starr is mostly known for carrying the message of unity The Beatles helped forge for a few short years and for flashing the peace sign on demand. But when he gets behind the drum kit in Tel Aviv, there’s no doubt that Beatlemania will return, if only for two nights.