I know it’s wrong.

I know it’s wrong and I know why it’s wrong and lame and predictable and, frankly, deeply immature.

But I can’t help myself. I have to say it anyway.


Ahhhh. I feel both better and worse now.

Poor remaining Beatles Starr and McCartney. Not like, literally poor, hoo hah, but you know…it must be ungodly tiresome to forever be linked with something that you became famous for scads of years ago. They have heard it all, seen it all, and Beatlemania for them must be as old and tired as Joan Rivers’ last remaining unaltered wrinkle. Or maybe not. The Beatles were Beatles fans. Even if Lennon didn’t “believe in Beatles,” he still loved them and was proud of their songs and world impact. Again, the answer is surely both things. The Beatles gave each of their four members just about any dream anyone could have thought of and far past that, and extracted costs that we who are not Beatles can’t ever truly understand.

Life goes on. It’s 2010. Lennon and Harrison are gone, and Starr and McCartney choose to keep on as working musicians, creating new songs and referencing old songs, trying to balance and add and please themselves while please pleasing us. And they do. People turn out for these guys when they play, and are thrilled to just be there “in the presence of.” And lucky for us, Starr and McCartney do care about giving people a good show. It’s that Liverpool “do a turn” thing, I think. So last night, it was a short few miles away from my home that I FINALLY found myself seeing Ringo Starr play live with the 2010 All-Starr Band line up at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, WA, lucky MissSeven at my side in Row K at her request.

The All-Starr Band has been a summer tour tradition since 1989, and the line-up changes with each outing. It’s a clever idea – Ringo adds top-notch famous musicians to his band who can bring their own hits to the party in addition to playing Ringo’s solo and Beatle material. This time out we had Wally Palmar, frontman for The Romantics on guitar, harmonica, and vocals, Rick Derringer from the McCoys, The Edgar Winter Group, and much more on lead guitar and vocals, the amazing-on-all-levels Edgar Winter on keyboards, saxophone, percussion and vocals, a beatific Gary Wright (the “Dreamweaver” dude with a lowkey Beatles association I didn’t know about) on keyboards and vocals, Richard Page from Mister Mister on bass and vocals, and joyful pro sideman Gregg Bissonette on drums and vocals. The crowd ranged from babies and new-walker toddlers, placed on blankets on the grass lawn of the winery, to the old-walker set. MissSeven had plenty of kid company, but for the most part I think these were people old enough to be Beatle fans when the Beatles were still together. I am the baby of that bunch, I think, as I look around. It’s good that everyone was there. Music is for all, always.

The show begins a little after 7PM, no opener, and the Northwest skies stay bright until close to the end of the show sometime after 9PM. The set list stays the same at each All-Starr show: 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) / Kyrie (Richard Page) / Other Side of Liverpool / Yellow Submarine / Frankenstein (Edgar Winter) / Peace Dream / 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) / Photograph / Act Naturally / With A Little Help From My Friends into Give Peace a Chance. Not bad, huh?

The WHINERY doesn’t mess around. They really don’t want you to take photos there. Yeah, well. I had security stinkeye on me ALL NIGHT LONG which made things tough, but still I got some stuff for ya (a few more pix are here on Flickr). This weekend was the try-out of the new leetle camera, with pros and cons. Doesn’t hold clear audio as well as the old leetle camera, but the distortion IS in stereo. Better zoom, HD vid, harder to hold still. Blame grandma in front of me and her giant hair for the rest. (By the way, Ringo looks absolutely amazing – decades younger than 70. Whatever you are doing, man, keep doing it!)

MissSeven was delighted to hear “Yellow Submarine,” her favorite Beatles song. I couldn’t have been happier to share that moment with her. I still have my Yellow Submarine lunchbox and thermos, which I picked out at JC Penney’s in the fall of 1st Grade. No, I will never sell it. I may in fact be buried in it.

Man, what a kick to see Rick Derringer and EDGAR F-IN’ WINTER! Such characters, Edgar in particular. You should hear Edgar talk sometime. Go ahead. You can come back here when you are done. My goodness. I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling at the awesomeness of it all. You simply haven’t lived until you’ve seen “Frankenstein” performed live, that’s all there is to it. And Rick Derringer still rips up the frets.

HEY PALMAR! REMEMBER ME? YEAH, ME, THAT ONE CHICK? I used to see the Romantics play every single time they’d play The Palms in Milwaukee in the early ‘80s with the rest of my Wisconsin girlfriends. We’d dress all ‘60s retro and dance like maniacs. They would sweat in those leather suits they wore and I would wonder if they ever got them cleaned, or if it was just hopeless. Wally, you done alright for someone from Michigan, because of course we know that Michigan is not as great as Wisconsin, and this must be said. Here’s “What I Like About You,” which is a great song. I like watching Ringo drum here a lot.

MissSeven and I both misheard Ringo when he introduced one of his new songs. She looked at me with wide eyes and I looked at her with wide eyes and we both said simultaneously, “PEE STREAM???” After much snickering, the song was revealed to be “Peace Dream,” of course, although I feel with the whole age thing “Pee Stream” and Ringo have a future in prostate-enlargement-relief –drugs marketing.

Wright and Page played their hits, which while not my type of music, were enjoyable. Both of them, Page notably so, sang bell-clear and spot-on. Ringo seemed as comfortable as he might in his living room and moved easily from drums to vocals to funny stage patter, and of course the audience loved him for it. He just seemed like a really cool guy, and just as Ringo as you would imagine. I’m really glad I went. Here's the last little bit of the show.

MissSeven offered her own unsolicited but welcome review as she walked out with the crowd after the show to the parking lot: “That was really awesome!” I don’t know if she’ll remember much in specific about the show when she is older, but I bet she will remember the feeling of being there with so many other people, spanning so many generations, to share the same piece of magic. Peace n’ love, Ringo, peace n’ love.