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Ringo Starr at the Grammy Museum

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, at 01:46PM
Ringo Starr at the Grammy Museum Becky Sapp / WireImage

Ringo Starr performs in the Grammy Museum's 200-seat Sound Stage with Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 providing backup.

Ringo Starr's career in the music industry has spanned 50 years, but the drummer made famous as a member of The Beatles has no interest in writing an autobiography. He prefers to let his music play that role.

"You can fit a lot into a song," he told a packed house at the Grammy Museum on Tuesday night.

Starr's five-song set included tracks from each stage of his musical journey, with two from his new album "Y Not" ("Walk with You" and the autobiographical "Other Side of Liverpool"), one from an old one ("Photograph," a song Starr co-wrote with George Harrison early in his solo career) and a Beatles tune ("With a Little Help From My Friends"). He took his seat at the drum kit to close with "Boys," a song that he played with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes in the early 1960's.

Backing up Starr and performing two songs of his own were Ben Harper and his band Relentless 7. "What I would give for one of his lungs," Starr remarked while returning to stage after Harper held a long note during his last number.

"Y Not" is Starr's fifteenth solo album since 1970, but it's the first in which he has served as producer. While he confessed to being nervous about the challenge, as a drummer he also relished being able to turn the tables. "I got to tell the guitarists what to do," he said with a grin during the half-hour Q&A that preceded the performance.

The evening was an intimate one, held in the Grammy Museum's 200-seat Sound Stage. Tickets for the event, part of the museum's "An Evening With" series, sold out in eight minutes and the audience included music figures like guitarist Joe Walsh, E Street Band drummer and "Late Night" bandleader Max Weinberg, Edgar Winter and Roy Orbison’s widow, Barbara. While Starr has done countless publicity stops over such a long career, it was clear that he still loves music and the industry that he has been such a big part of.


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