Time, Tina and Ringo March On

The evening's most sublime moment came watching Jack Bruce, one of rock's greatest bass practitioners, plod his way through "Yellow Submarine" and "I'm the Greatest." Ringo periodically stepped up front, but he's obviously most comfortable behind the drum kit. And with Starr's stature in the rock world as a premier timekeeper, you kind of wish you could hear him play at least one song without another drummer slogging alongside. Twice when he returned center stage in the night's game of musical chairs, he had the unenviable task of following Jack Bruce's barnstorming "Sunshine of Your Love" or Gary Brooker's outstanding rendition of Procol Harum's "Conquistador," usually with lukewarm fare like "The No No Song."

"What's my name?" Ringo asked the audience members several times, just to remind them that no matter how corny his selections get, they were still in the presence of a Beatle. It hardly matters to them that, these days, most of Ringo's hits in the key of E ("Boys," "I Wanna Be Your Man"), D ("It Don't Come Easy") and G ("Act Naturally") all get transposed to an easygoing C that even Sonny Bono could tackle. Everyone is too busy saying to themselves, "Ah, it's the same Ringo who was painted red by Kahli worshipers in Help!." Sure, you could also imagine it's the same Ringo who starred in Caveman, Shining Time Station and a Pizza Hut commercial with the Monkees, but if The Beatles Anthology series taught us anything, it's that selective memories will never let you down.

--Serene Dominic

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