Battling cabin fever in lockdown, Ringo Starr settled into his home recording studio and made an EP. As with most of his solo projects since his 1970 debut Sentimental Journey, the storied Beatles drummer got the job done with a little help from his friends.
Consider that Starr's Zoom In kicks off with the warm nostalgic single “Here's to the Nights” that boasts an all-star chorus that includes Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Corinne Bailey Rae, Sheryl Crow, Dave Grohl, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, Chris Stapleton and Jenny Lewis, plus rising stars Finneas, Yola and Eric Burton of Black Pumas. Friends, indeed.
The five-song set is his first studio disc since 2019's What's My Name and only the second EP of his career. It bookends 1995's 4-Starr Collection that featured “Yellow Submarine,” “It Don't Come Easy,” “Photograph” and “With a Little Help From My Friends."
Starr, 80, also has a new limited-edition coffee table book, Ringo Rocks: 30 Years of the All Starrs, available exclusively at JuliensAuctions.com. It chronicles the tour history of his All Starr Band in photographs by Henry Diltz and Jill Jarrett with anecdotes by the drummer and a foreword by his brother-in-law and All Starr alumnus Joe Walsh.
The band, active since 1989 with 14 rotating lineups that have included Levon Helm, Clarence Clemons, Todd Rundgren, John Entwistle, Peter Frampton, Sheila E and Jeff Lynne, pushed its 2020 tour to 2021, and then to 2022 because of COVID-19.
Holed up in the Los Angeles home he shares with his wife, Barbara Bach, the peace-and-love apostle chatted via Zoom from the room where he paints and makes music.
Recording during quarantine
I still hung out with some musicians, but we can send the files over the internet now, and that makes life easier. It's all changed. I prefer when we're all in the same room, but you have to use what you've got. I made the EP, and I'm in the middle of making an EP 2 now. And I like to paint. I have this little room where I can throw paint around, and if it gets on the floor or up against the wall, it doesn't bother anybody. And I have the gym. I truly believe those three things have kept me sane for the last full year.