Ringo Starr brought out all the stops to celebrate his 70th birthday on July 7th, 2010, performing a show for the ages at New York City’s famed Radio City Music Hall, an occasion which saw him reunite with some of his old friends including Paul McCartney among others.
The evening, which was a celebration of Starr’s iconic career which focused on not only on his work with The Fab Four, but also reuniting with some of his favourite players from his All-Starr Band who have had a rotation of incredible players since he initiated the idea in 1989.
Ringo’s All-Starr Band is full of handpicked veterans from vintage bands over the last 60 years and is truly an all-star cast as the name suggests. The current 14th incarnation of the group features the likes of Toto’s Steve Lukather, Colin Hay from Men at Work as well as Santana’s Gregg Jolie.
The Radio City bash saw Starr treat the doughy eyed audience to some of his solo hits such as ‘Photograph’, ‘It Don’t Come Easy’ as well as a good measure of Beatles classics thrown in for good measure such as ‘Yellow Submarine’, ‘Act Naturally’, a cover of The Shirelles’ ‘Boys’ which was a regular set number in the early days of the band.
Starr was generous with allowing his bandmates to enjoy their moment in the sun with former All-Star Band keyboardist Edgar Winter leading the New York audience through blistering versions of ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Free Ride’.
A poignant moment came in the set when legendary E Street Band members Stevie Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren along with ELO’s Jeff Lynne, Yoko Ono among others were part of an ensemble cast who provided Starr assistance on ‘With A Little Help from My Friends’.
Starr then oversaw a smooth transition from ‘With A Little Help from My Friends’ into a delightful version of John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace a Chance’ which was then followed by a spontaneous crowd rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. The best was still yet to come, however, with Paul McCartney joining him to finish the evening in the most appropriate fashion with a heartwarming performance of ‘Birthday’ by The Beatles.
The two surviving members of The Fab Four classic then share a kiss and a hug at the end of the electrifying rendition of The Beatles to a raucous ovation from the New York crowd who realise that they have just witnessed history right in front of their very eyes.