Age doesn’t bother Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, 82

Starr is also poised to record a country EP after his tour

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At 82, Ringo Starr shows no signs of slowing down.

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On the eve of his final US tour, the Beatles drummer said he never thinks about his “last show” but always thinks about the next.

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“Playing has never been tiring – I love it. I love playing with these guys,” said Starr, who sat next to his newest All-Starr band members during a break in rehearsals in LA, including Toto’s Steve Lukather, Edgar Winter, Men At Work’s Colin Hay and Average’s Hamish Stuart White Band

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“I love it and it’s not tiring. Most mornings I go to the gym and get ready. I think we’re all taking care of ourselves a little more now.”

Starr has even asked to add more dates for this hike, which begins Friday (May 19) in Temecula, Calif., with more fall dates to follow. (The closest stop in Toronto is at the Masonic Temple in Detroit on October 7th).

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“[There were]too many days off,” said the seemingly tireless drummer.

“So I complained, so we filled in some of them because when I’m out I want to play. I don’t want to sit and relax in a hotel for three days. It’s great with this band because everyone carries the weight. But Paul (McCartney), he’s like the man. So he has to take some time off to get back together. But because we’re such an audience, we could play every night. I promise you.

“But Edgar needs a day off,” he added jokingly.

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Starr admits that touring today is very different from his very first band days in the pre-Beatles group Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group, which he co-founded in Liverpool in 1957.

“I owe a lot to Eddie,” Starr said. “He lived next to me in the shop. We worked in the same factory. We had a friend named Roy who played tea chest bass and we were a skiffle group. And Eddie was great because he was one of those guys who could play anything and I just got this snare drum.”

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Too bad they didn’t find the right pace.

“We didn’t have a sense of timing,” Starr said with a smile. “We played a song (begins to hum quickly) and people were trying to dance and we had no idea other than, ‘You’re on stage!’ Let’s go crazy!’ And I’ve been playing since then. And I played in the biggest band in my world, (with) my three brothers (in the Beatles). And it’s difficult to be a drummer and play live. I used to have a fantasy. I wanted to be a bar singer and a piano player. So I would play a lot more I think. But I need all these great guys behind me playing (drums).”

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Starr will also be releasing two more EPs – one by himself, the other a country record to be recorded after a tour, and a third he made with Linda Perry.

“I finished one just before we started rehearsals,” he said. “And Linda Perry is doing an EP. The only thing I will do on this EP is play drums and sing. And I asked T-Bone (Burnett) and he sent me, I promise, one of the most beautiful country songs I’ve heard in a long time. It’s old-school country, so I was like, “Hey, I’m going to do a country EP.”

When asked, Starr said the song photofrom his 1973 album, ringomeans more to him now than it did then, but he has no plans to celebrate the disc’s 50th anniversary this year.

“No – it’s another day,” he said.

Speaking of his legacy, Starr said simply, “When I was 13, I had a dream. I wanted to be a drummer and that dream still lives on.” I’ve never failed to love doing it. You know, when you play your instrument, don’t pick your nose. Life is good.”

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