Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Introducing the All-Starr Band

This was filmed in Los Angeles at the end of the 1989 tour, but Joe Walsh
also played "Rocky Mountain Way" when I saw the All–Starr Band in July.

Twenty–five years ago today, former Beatle Ringo Starr and his recently formed All–Starr Band opened their first–ever tour — 30 cities in six weeks.

That first show took place here in Dallas at an outdoor arena, and I was there. So were about 10,000 other people, including two friends with whom I rode from Denton, about 35 miles north of Dallas.

Apparently there was some anxiety backstage. I couldn't tell from the audience.

"I was real nervous before I went on," Ringo told the New York Times. "I kept thinking, What's it like? What do you do? All those madnesses go through your brain. But once you're out there, you see that people haven't come to see you get nervous. They've come to have a good time. And we're having a good time, too."

Accompanying Starr on that visit to Dallas were Joe Walsh, Levon Helm, Billy Preston, Nils Lofgren, Clarence Clemons, Jim Keltner and Dr. John. I heard that Bruce Springsteen was a guest at one stop during that tour. Paul Shaffer and John Candy were guests, too.

I don't recall any special guests when I saw the band, but that was OK with me. The band by itself was enough.

When I was younger, I hoped that, if I ever saw any of the Beatles in person, I would get to see John Lennon, but Ringo is the only Beatle I have ever seen to date.

I got to hear all the songs I wanted to hear him sing ("It Don't Come Easy," "Yellow Submarine," "Act Naturally," "With A Little Help From My Friends") — as well as the songs the others played.

The rest of the band members performed what were probably their best–known songs. It was like getting to see a string of mini–concerts.

Along with "Rocky Mountain Way," I heard Joe Walsh sing "Desperado" and "Life in the Fast Lane." Never got to see the Eagles in concert so that kind of filled that gap for me.

Levon Helm performed "The Weight" and "Up on Cripple Creek." Likewise, I never saw the Band in concert, either. Check off another one.

Billy Preston sang "Nothing From Nothing" (I've heard he sang "Will It Go Round in Circles" when the band played in Japan). Dr. John sang "Right Place, Wrong Time."

It was a great evening — the All–Starr Band under the stars.