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An All-Starr Evening

Well, it's the day after the Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band concert (at the Universal Ampitheatre) and I'm feeling great! It's always so good to see one of your childhood faves and not be disappointed. Yet how could I be after seeing not only a Beatle on stage but also the rest of his band: Jack Bruce (pictured left), the voice and bassist of Cream tore it up on "Sunshine Of Your Love," "White Room" and my highlight "I Feel Free." Todd Rundgren (pictured left center) played my request of "I Saw The Light" and then had the joint jumpin' to "Bang On The Drum All Day" (especially meaningful for this Packer fan). Gary Brooker (pictured right center) of Procol Harum sang "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" of course, but also did the hauntingly beautiful "Salty Dog." Perhaps the biggest surprise was Simon Kirke (pictured right), the drummer from Bad Company and Free, who not only pounded up a storm throughout the night (sometimes with Ringo on another set but most of the time on his own) but also sang (!) "Shooting Star" and "All Right Now" which absolutely ripped! Rounding out the band was stud-sideman Timmy Cappello, a jack-of-all-trades who handled the horn parts along with other duties, and a former All Starr who has also played with Eric Clapton, Peter Gabriel and Tina Turner.

As for Ringo (who was kind enough to autograph the above CD), he is the master showman, of course, telling jokes and leading sing-alongs to "Yellow Submarine" and "With A Little Help From My Friends." Speaking of pals, Joe Walsh came out for the encores, looking good and sounding fine on a couple of ad-libbed solos and hitting the notes on the chorus from "Friends." In fact, Walsh and Kirke looked like they belonged in a surf band, with both sporting blonde locks and Kirke even wearing shorts (a good idea since he was a ball of sweat after the second number). Ringo introduced the "No No Song" by saying: "this song is the reason why I am here tonight." And when an audience member shouted out: "Is it money?" Ringo laughed and replied: "No, it's because I love all of you." He did all the hits including "It Don't Come Easy," 'Photograph," "Back Off Boogaloo" and "I'm The Greatest." It was also a treat to see him behind the drums while singing both "Boys" and "I Wanna Be Your Man," as well as his reworked "Love Me Do." At the end of the night the only bummer was that I'd waited this long to see the All-Starrs, and back at my neighborhood pub the locals were all saying: "I should have gone too." Don't be like them...get out and see this show!

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