Ringo Starr reveals the part of ‘Get Back’ documentary that left him ‘gasping and desparate’

Ringo Starr Get Back



“Two and a half years has been really difficult,” said Ringo Starr, in a group press conference with reporters on May 26, about the pandemic-cause postponements of his All-Starr Band, which finally started on May 27, in Canada, after originally having been scheduled for 2020.

“I love to play, as you can tell. I put the All-Starrs together 32 years ago. And I was in a couple of bands before that (laughs). For me, that’s what it’s all about, is playing and having an audience.”

The tour will have quite a few Northeast stops, starting June 10 at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, with shows also scheduled for The Beacon Theatre in New York, June 6-8; The State Theatre in Easton, Pa., June 11 The Met in Philadelphia, June 19; The Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater in Bridgeport, Conn., Sept. 23; and the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, Sept. 24.

The band will include Edgar Winter, Colin Hay, Steve Lukather, Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette and Hamish Stuart, all of whom have played on some of the past All-Starr tours as well.

Asked if there is anything that surprised him in the Peter Jackson-directed documentary “Get Back” — which chronicled the making of The Beatles’ Let It Be album in great detail, and debuted on the Disney+ network, last year — Starr said “I remembered quite a lot of it. We made other records and it sort of went through the same cycle. But the difference with the (sessions documented in) ‘Get Back’ was that we had no songs to start. John and Paul would always have a couple of songs that we could start the ball rolling. And there we didn’t.

“But the only thing I was gasping and desperate for, is when we did (the song) ‘Get Back,’ if you look at all the early sort of getting it together, it’s just like straight rock. … I wanted to know what made me … how did I get to that … rock shuffle thing, just playing the snare drum. Because I have no idea why I changed that, or what moment that was. I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll see it on film.’ But it just happened the cameras were off when we did that.”

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Starr said he never liked the far-shorter 1970 “Let It Be” documentary, which was directed by Michael Linsey-Hogg.

“It was so narrow,” he said. “It was on one point of an argument and all these down parts. And I kept saying, ‘But we were laughing and we were having fun as well and we played great and we did all this in a month.’ And Michael Lindsey-Hogg’s (film), I thought, was just too down.

“I spoke to Peter and said, ‘I was there. It was lots of fun as well.’ And he certainly brought that out. So we’re ever grateful to Peter, for doing such a great job.”

Starr was also asked what other period of his career he would like to see documented in a similar way, and gave a surprising answer, thinking back to before The Beatles even existed.

“I’d like to see the Eddie Clayton Group,” he said. “That was the first band I was in. The three of us worked in a factory, and we played in the basement, to the workmen, who — in Liverpool — really would shit all over us. But that’s where we started. That would be interesting to see.”

For more information, visit ringostarr.com.

Here are some excerpts from the press conference (attended by some journalists, including me, via Zoom):

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