‘Water’s very big with me,’ says Ringo Starr of a Niagara Falls return

Ringo has a Sept. 22 date at Fallsview Casino’s OLG Stage

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Ringo Starr says he’s always enjoyed crossing the border into Canada to play and rehearse with his All Starr Band.

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This fall, after rehearsing in Los Angeles and a slew of spring dates, the 83-year-old Beatles drummer will  play at the new OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, on Sept. 22.  He always appreciates getting a chance to stare at the mind-blowing falls.

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“The hotel there just looks right on the falls; it’s incredible, and you can hear it all the time,” said Starr, in his L.A. home studio during a global zoom call on Wednesday afternoon.

“Water’s very big with me. You look at the ocean, it puts you in your place. And so we love that venue, and now you’re telling me they’ve built it up. OK, well, we’re ready. We’ll have fun being there. We were there (in 2012) when that guy (Nik Wallenda) was walking a tightrope across the falls and it was great because he was doing it outside our window.”

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For this outing, the All Starr Band features saxophonist Warren Ham, Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather (Toto), Hamish Stuart (Average White Band), Colin Hay (Men At Work), and fellow drummer Gregg Bissonette.

“At the start of every tour, (I say), ‘I’m going to do my best for you and I hope you’ll do your best for me, let’s just support each other,’” said Starr. “So, we do that. Musically, it just falls into its right space. I’ve had some members that weren’t as giving as the rest of us, but that happens.”

Looking fit in all black, wearing sunglasses, and with a peace sign around his neck, the octogenarian said he’s feeling well.

“I put some time in,” said Starr. “I work out. I watch what I eat. I’m on the road. I’m making a record. I keep busy, so most of the time I’m in a good space.”

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In addition to tour dates, he’s got the May 31 release of his latest EP, Crooked Boy — first released on vinyl for Record Store Day — which is a collaboration with singer-songwriter-producer Linda Perry and features The Strokes’ lead guitarist Nick Valensi on the title track.

“I’ve heard of the Strokes, so I wasn’t completely, ‘What?’” said Starr.

Starr said working with Perry was a good experience, as well.

“She has great spirit,” he said. “We got on. We had a laugh. She can be bossy, but that’s OK.”

Starr also said he’s always down for recording with his Beatles bandmate, bassist Paul McCartney, who remotely wrote and played on the song, Feeling the Sunlight, for Starr’s 2023 EP, Rewind Forward — especially when they can do it in person.

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“If he’s in town I say, ‘Bring your bass over. I’ve got a track.’ And he’d come over, and he’d play bass. It’s better when we’re in the room because he’s an incredible bass player, an incredible guy,” added Starr. “He has a big heart … It’s always great to work with Paul. I love the man, and he’s my friend.”

Starr also has a country album in the can with producer T-Bone Burnett that might surprise some people.

“I put bongos on it,” said Starr with a smile. “My mind said, ‘I can’t wait until they hear this in Nashville. Bongos on a country record.’”

Starr says it’s a bit of a throwback to his 1970s country album, Beaucoups of Blues, which was made in just two days with steel guitarist-producer Pete Drake in Nashville.

“It was far out,” said the drummer. “I was singing one of the tracks and (Drake) went, ‘Hoss, put some emotion into it, or I’ll come out and step on your toes.’ I had a great time doing it, but it was really fast.”

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