Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band had only played nine gigs before COVID-19 put the musicians on hiatus. Now months later, the group are back on the road with a brand new EP and skills from an unexpected hobby they learned during quarantine.
“You play it safe because then you’re protecting other people,” Starr told CBS News senior cultural correspondent Anthony Mason.
At home, the 82-year-old former Beatles drummer recorded two EPs and recently released one of them, entitled EP3.
But in addition to creating music during lockdown, Starr said a TikTok video he saw inspired him to delve into spin paint – an art form that involves pouring paint onto a rotating canvas. He said he turned his home gym into an art space and a guest house into a home studio so he could “spray around with paint.”
“I love it,” he said. “That’s the magic of painting, you do something and then, ‘Wow, look what you came up with.'”
He likened the art form to music, but noted that when performing with others, “everybody has to play in the same key.”
His Band of All-Starrs is currently in its 15th lineup since Starr first assembled the group. He said changing the members “keeps it now”.
The band now includes Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather of the band Toto, Colin Hay of the group Men at Work, Gregg Bissonette of David Lee Roth’s band, Hamish Stuart of Average White Band and saxophonist Warren Ham.
“Rehearsals are always tough on the first day,” Starr said.
The musician also spoke about the recent Disney+ film The Beatles: Get Back, directed by Peter Jackson. The three-part documentary series follows the making of the band’s 1970 album Let It Be. Starr, who was executive producer of the documentary, praised Jackson.
“I love what he did,” he said.
The musician’s passion for drums began at age 13 when Starr – real name Richard Starkey – was hospitalized with tuberculosis.
“To keep us going, this woman came in with a lot of triangles, tambourines, and such a big drum that you banged and I banged that drum and from that moment I wanted to be a drummer,” he said.
At 20, Starr quit his job in a factory to play in Liverpool with a band called Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.
“But every member of our family came to our house to say to me, ‘Are you crazy?'” he recalled.
In 1962, Ringo left the Hurricanes to join the Beatles. In 1989, Starr formed Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band.
“It worked out well,” he said.