Ringo's All-Starr shows used to be just that: All stars. You had actual frontmen of bands (Mark Farner, Peter Frampton, Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Felix Cavaliere, Levon Helm, Joe Walsh, John Entwhistle, Gary Brooker, Dave Edmunds, Ian Hunter, and Jack Bruce to name too many), all happy to be able to support Ringo and the others.
But since the all-star lineup began to move toward '80s stars, we've begun to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers drop off and people like Richard Marx and John Waite creeping into the roster. Looking over this year's even further-diminished lineup, one cannot help but cry, "What? No Sheila E.?" You had to scratch your head when they featured saxophonist Mark Rivera two years in a row, but when you put Gregg Bissonette loud and proud on a poster, that's really pushing the Starr-power envelope. The drummer for Steve Vai? Joe Satriani? ELO II? But you know what? You're paying to be in the same breathing space as a Beatle, and you'll feel honored doing it. If that sounds a tad too predictable, you'll want to clip out this set of predictions to take to the show!
Ringo: The oldest surviving Beatle's entire repertoire in the Fab Four amounts to a dozen lead vocals and seven Top 10 solo hits. Since Ringo has a new album and a greatest hits collection to promote, that means a reshuffle is in order. You'll probably lose "Boys," but you'll get "Oh My My."
Colin Hay: Like the Outfield, Men at Work was a faux reggae rock band that greatly benefitted from The Police's taking too long to never follow up Synchronicity. In that time, Men at Work racked up several hits that quickly ground to a halt as soon as everyone got their first taste of a Vegemite sandwich. Still, expect to hear "Down Under" over any of his solo work.
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Billy Squier: The All-Starr shows have always been about underestimation and redemption. People who mentally wrote off Peter Frampton had to come away from the 1997 shows admitting that he was a smoking guitar player and not some pretty face from 1976. Expect to overcome the same lowered expectations of Squier, long cited as the example of how one bad rock video can end a career. That would be the "Rock Me Tonight" clip, in which Squier minced around in a pink tanktop as if he were auditioning for Gypsy. Of course, he won't perform that. That'd be like Senator Larry Craig returning to the same airport bathroom stall.
Hamish Stuart: Lead singer and bassist in the Average White Band, Stuart was also bass and vocal surrogate in Paul McCartney's touring band in the '90s, thus making him uniquely qualified to execute all Macca's parts on the Beatles numbers. And if there was ever a need for a "Figure of 8/Liverpool 8" medley, say no more.
Edgar Winter: Everyone remembers his chart-topper "Frankenstein," but few people recall that he played all the solos on it. We bet he'll kick Gregg Bissonette off the drum stool to show off.