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Archive for the tag “Ringo Starr”

The Guitar Train Stops to See Ringo Starr in Concert!!!

Ringo Starr marquee

Quirky T has been very lucky to see Paul McCartney in concert four times. I always thought he’d be the only Beatle I would be lucky enough to see live. That was until I saw Ringo Starr in concert!!! He was touring, as usual, with his All-Starr Band featuring famous musicians. This is such a perfect concept for Ringo in order to compensate for his lack of a huge catalog of hit songs. I wanted to see Ringo so badly that I didn’t even care who else was playing with him. This year’s line-up has actually been together since 2012. The musicians included Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie (from Santana and Journey), Steve Lukather (from Toto), Richard Page (from Mr. Mister), and Warren Ham (from Kansas).

Ringo Starr stage

The concert was amazing. Not surprisingly I loved Ringo Starr but I was also very impressed with all the other musicians. Before the concert, I had checked out the set list (at http://www.setlist.fm) from previous tour dates to see if I knew all the songs that could be played.  Surprisingly, I knew all the songs by all the musicians. The concert was set up with all the musicians on the stage at the same time and they each took turns as lead singer on their former groups’ hit songs. Before the concert, I had assumed other concertgoers were there primarily for Ringo. From the reactions of those around me, hearing the other musicians may have interested them more. So the concept works perfectly; there is something for everyone. I was not bored during the non-Ringo songs since the other musicians were so musically impressive and had great personalities.

Ringo Starr ticket stub and program

Ringo, or “the boss”, as the other musicians called him, was just as I thought he would be. He was funny and all “peace and love”. He was also very energetic; even doing jumping jacks at the end. I found it interesting that The Beatles were never referred to by name; they were called “the original band” or “that other band”. That could come off as bitter but not when Ringo says it. He even mentioned the band he was in before The Beatles – Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Todd Rundgren noted that this version of the All-Starr Band has been together for six years, almost as long as The Beatles. He added “it’s not that hard”. Obviously, there’s a huge difference between established musicians playing old songs together for fun versus a group of four young men with the whole world watching their every move. I was struck by the fact that Paul McCartney would not be playing in a venue as small as this 1,300 seat theater. (If he did, it would be amazing to be that close to him). He is still playing 80,000 seat stadiums.

 

I was happy with Ringo’s selection of his solo and Beatles songs. Just like Paul McCartney, Ringo performed Beatles songs which he never performed live with The Beatles. The song “Matchbox” which opened the show was more of a rocker than I had thought. I wish he had performed “Honey Don’t” but it wouldn’t be the same without Ringo calling out George Harrison to play for him. I enjoyed hearing “Back Off Boogaloo”   and I would love to tell off someone who angered me by saying that. I’m not sure it would go over well or be understood. If the concert had been in December, I would have loved to hear the band play Ringo’s “Come On Christmas, Christmas Come On” since it’s my new favorite Christmas song.

I really enjoyed this concert and am so grateful I was able to see another Beatle perform live. I was also entertained by all the other musicians in the All-Starr band. I would highly recommend this concert to everyone. It was a greatest hits set of several very talented musicians.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which musicians would you like to hear only a few hit songs from in all star format?

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Questions Quirky T Would Ask Her Faves

 

 

Quirky T has seen many interviews of her favorite musicians. Because of the enormous fame of these musicians, they have been interviewed frequently and just as frequently asked the same questions. As a real fan, I don’t want to watch interviews with only surface questions, I want to dig deeper. Since I’ll never have a sit down interview with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins, Huey Lewis and the News, or Jon Secada, I’ve come up with questions I would ask them if I happen to run into them and only have seconds to blurt out a question before they disappear. Of course, the chances that I’ll be anywhere near any of them is infinitesimally small but I do want to be prepared just in case. (Does it increase my odds that I only need to run into one member of The News to have my question answered?)

Let It Be album cover

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – as the only living representatives of The Beatles, the question I would ask them would be when will they re-release the movie “Let It Be.” When can they let the many of us who haven’t seen it, see an official version? The chances of me meeting these two Beatles together are probably as likely as this Beatles movie being re-released in some format.

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Phil Collins – I have several questions for him. I would ask him to clear up all the rumors and tell me what “In the Air Tonight” is really about. Also, what is one of my favorite Genesis’ songs, “Abacab” about? If I didn’t have time to ask any questions, then I would resort to begging him to go on tour again as a solo artist and with Genesis’ Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. I would suggest to him that Chester Thompson could play the drums for him and he could just sing. I would also beg that if he did that, he would tour near where I live so I could see him.

 

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Gloria Estefan on side of building in Chicago

Gloria Estefan – She is so talented in the way she does English and Spanish versions of several of her songs. I would ask her for an English song version of my favorite of her Spanish songs, “No Me Dejes de Querer (“Flores del Caribe Mix)”.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

Huey Lewis and the News – I have one and only one questions for this band. When will the new CD be released? I wrote about this in The Guitar Train stop called “The Guitar Train Delivers Good News”.( https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/the-guitar-train-delivers-good-news/ )  I’m still waiting impatiently for new songs. So when will they be coming?

Jon Secada

Jon Secada – I was only able to see him once in concert – 22 years ago. He had just two CDs released at that time. So there are many songs I have never heard him perform live. So my question to Jon Secada is when will you perform a full concert (near me) again?

 

Guitar Train passengers, if you were ever lucky enough to meet your favorite musicians, what questions have you always wanted to ask them?

The Guitar Train Stops to see Paul McCartney!!!

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Quirky T was extremely lucky to be able to conduct The Guitar Train to see the legendary Paul McCartney in concert on Sunday, August 7 at Giants Stadium (really called MetLife Stadium). It had been 14 years since I last saw my favorite Beatle perform live.  The concert was, not surprisingly, amazing.

Tripping the Live Fantastic CD

Before going to the concert, I checked out the set list for the concert prior to this one. I was a little disappointed that he would not be playing some of the songs that I really wanted to hear. (Click on the link for the set list for the concert I attended. http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/paul-mccartney/2016/metlife-stadium-east-rutherford-nj-2bfc9c2a.html) I wrote a Guitar Train stop called “Concert Song Requests of My Faves” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/concert-song-requests-of-my-faves/ where I listed the Beatles songs I would like to hear. So, Sir Paul, any time you need help coming up with the set list, I would be more than happy to help. (Incidentally, that list would include several songs from the album, “Help!”). I guess I was comparing the set list to the first Paul McCartney concert I went to at Giants Stadium (the actual name of the stadium then). At that concert, he played several songs from my favorite solo album of his, 1989’s “Flowers in the Dirt”. I bought the double CD of live performances from that concert called “Tripping the Live Fantastic”. So the memories of that concert have been kept alive for me.

 

I was also comparing the set list to the one from his October 21, 2015 concert in Detroit where he played several songs from my favorite Beatles album, “Help!” as well as other Beatles songs he doesn’t usually play in concert. It’s just so frustrating because he has so many incredible songs to choose from that I wonder why he chooses the ones he does. The crowd at this concert, at least the fans near me, was definitely into The Beatles songs (obviously) and less into the Wings songs, and even less into the songs from his 2013 CD called “New”. At one point, Paul mentioned that when the crowd is into the song he is playing, he sees all the lit up cell phones. When they aren’t into the song, it’s like “a black hole”. He added, “But we don’t care.” Since it is impossible to play every song that every fan wants to hear (and keep the concert time under three hours), he has to play what he wants and not worry too much about fan reaction. It’s not as if any song is so horrible that he will be booed.

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So let me move on from whining and write that I loved the concert and was grateful to be there. I really liked the fact that Beatles songs were played before the concert began. Some songs were sung by the Fab Four such as “Tomorrow Never Knows”, “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You”, “If I Needed Someone”, and “Day Tripper” and some were covers such as “Get Back” and “You Can’t Do That”. I really enjoyed listening to these songs because I have never liked any of the songs played before any other concert I’ve ever attended. It makes perfect sense to play Beatles songs, and not just Paul’s Beatles songs, because the audience will definitely like them.

 

Also before the concert, there was a rumor going around that a special guest would join Paul McCartney on stage. Someone brought up Ringo Starr. I quickly dismissed that as impossible. I doubt Ringo just happened to be hanging around East Rutherford, New Jersey and would pop up on stage for half a Beatles reunion. Another name brought up was Bruce Springsteen but that was quickly shot down as he was touring in Europe at the time. I did think a perfect song for them to duet on would be Bruce Springsteen’s “Jersey Girl” since Paul called his wife, Nancy, a “jersey girl.” I could only think of musicians of his generation that I hoped wouldn’t come on stage. Alas, there wasn’t any special guest and none was needed.

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I had heard and read that lately Paul has been bringing fans on stage during the concert. I’m so glad that he didn’t do that at this performance. Unless it’s me, no fans belong on stage with him. There were plenty of fans vying to get on stage with the clever signs they made. Paul commented that he couldn’t read the signs and remember the chords and words at the same time.

 

I found it interesting when Paul said, “we played our first song and now we’ll play our latest song” because there is no “our”. He is the only one who played on that first song, “In Spite of All the Danger”, the latest song, “Four Five Seconds” and all the songs in between. There’s no “we” who played with him in The Beatles, Wings, and solo. If anyone can say, “I”, without being narcissistic, it’s him.

A Hard Day's Night CD cover

Not surprisingly, The Beatles songs really held up after all this time. As he played “Can’t Buy Me Love”, I thought of how that song is over 50 years old and still played and still loved. I doubt that in the 1960’s, people were listening to songs from the 1910’s. Also, as always, I think of the fact that Paul is performing Beatles songs which he never performed live with John, George, and Ringo.

 

Another observation I had was about the songs he performed which he had written for the loves of his life – 60’s fiancée Jane Asher, his late first wife, Linda, and his current wife, Nancy. “And I Love Her”, a Beatles song, was written for Jane. “Maybe I’m Amazed” was a solo song written for Linda. “My Valentine” was written for Nancy as part of his album of standards. (I wrote about this CD in a Guitar Train stop called “Quirky T’s Favorites Sing the Standards” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/quirky-ts-favorites-sing-the-standards/ ). I think Nancy has the worst song written for her out of those three but I guess since she’s the one who is with him now, it doesn’t matter. I like the fact that Paul still sings “Maybe I’m Amazed” and prefaces the song by saying he wrote it for Linda. He seemed to get choked up before he sang “Here Today” in tribute to John Lennon. He also paid tribute to George Harrison before playing the ukulele and “Something”. It’s sad that there are so many tributes for deceased loved ones.

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For me, the highlights of the concert were Paul McCartney playing one of his earliest songs, “In Spite of All the Danger”, a surprising Beatles song, “You Won’t See Me’, a different version of “Here, There, and Everywhere”, and two upbeat Beatles songs, “Lady Madonna” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. I absolutely loved the fireworks set off during “Live and Let Die” and set off again at the end of the 2 hour and 40 minute concert. I was a little concerned because they were set off from the seating section I’ll be in for an October New York Giants football game. I hope the seats weren’t damaged!

 

Guitar Train passengers, if you went to a Paul McCartney concert, which songs would you want to hear?

Concert Song Requests of My Faves

 

 

The Guitar Train has been lucky enough to make stops to see all of Quirky T’s favorite musicians (except The Beatles) in live concert performances. While I have thoroughly enjoyed all these concerts, there are some songs which I love that I have never heard performed live. I know musicians are limited as far as which songs they can play because of time constraints, technical production issues, and catering to the audiences’ desires. Or as Huey Lewis says during his concerts when the audience yells out titles of songs they want him to sing, “So many hits, so little time.” So putting all practicality aside (including life and death), here are the songs I would love to hear my favorite musicians perform live at a concert I’m attending.

Help!

For The Beatles, obviously I’d love to have just been at any of their concerts, even with all the screaming. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear Paul McCartney perform Beatles songs that the band never even performed together in concert. I would love to hear my favorite Beatles album, “Help!” in its entirety. During the October 15, 2015 concert in Detroit, Michigan, Paul McCartney did play “Another Girl”, “I’ve Just Seen a Face”, and “Yesterday”. I would have loved to have been a part of that concert experience. Aside from the album “Help!”, these are the other Beatles songs I would like to hear, broken down by whose songs they are.

  • John Lennon – “It Won’t Be Long”, “All I’ve Got to Do”, and “In My Life”
  • Paul McCartney – “I’ll Follow the Sun”, “I Will” , and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
  • George Harrison – “Old Brown Shoe”, “Here Comes the Sun”, and “Don’t Bother Me”
  • Ringo Starr – “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Honey Don’t” (I know it’s not an original Beatles song but it’s a fun song for Ringo).

Phil Collins t-shirt

From Phil Collins, I would request his angry songs – “I Don’t Care Anymore”, “Do You Know, Do You Care?”, and “Who Said I Would”. To counter the anger, I would love to hear my all time favorite song of all songs I’ve ever heard in my entire life – “We Said Hello Goodbye”.

Genesis glitter T-shirt

I have been lucky that at the two Genesis concerts I attended, Phil Collins sang many of my favorite Genesis songs. To those favorites, I would like to also request “Abacab”, “That’s All”, and “Just a Job To Do.”

gloria!

I’ve been to many Gloria Estefan concerts but I haven’t heard her perform songs from her 1998 CD titled “gloria!” So I would love to hear that CD performed in its entirety since the songs flow into each other non-stop between tracks. If that’s too much to ask for, I’d settle for just my favorite song from that CD – “I Just Wanna Be Happy”. The other Gloria Estefan song I’d love to hear her perform in concert would fit in with the angry Phil Collins songs. It’s appropriately titled “Go Away.”  I’ll add one Spanish song to my requests – “No Me Dejes De Querer (“Flores” Del Caribe Mix)”.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

Huey Lewis and the News concerts are way too short as it is so I can definitely request many more songs for the band to play. They could stand to play a few more hits. In 2013, they played their 1983 album, “Sports”, in its entirety to commemorate its 30th anniversary. That was such an amazing experience that I would love for the band to do that again. In addition to that album, the song I’d most like to hear them perform live is the hard rocking “Couple Days Off”.

Jon Secada and Cadbury Creme Egg

The one Jon Secada concert I attended was also very short. Of course, at the time, he had only released two albums. So I would be happy to hear more songs from those two albums as well as other songs he’s released in the 21 years since then. I would definitely love to hear the songs “La, La, La’, “Whipped”, and “I’m Free”.

Barry Manilow Greatest Hits Album cover

For Barry Manilow who I’ve seen in concert twice, I would like to hear my three favorite songs of his – “Break Down the Door”, “Beautiful Music”, and “All the Time”. I would also request a song that he probably plays at every concert – “Can’t Smile Without You”.

 

Steve Winwood ticket stub

Steve Winwood ticket stub

One bonus musician that I have song requests for – Steve Winwood. He’s not a favorite of mine like the others are but I do enjoy several songs of his. I saw him in concert six years ago and I was disappointed that he did not play those favorite songs of mine. Those songs are “While You See a Chance”, “Back in the High Life Again”,  “Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do?”, and “Roll With It”.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are the songs you would request your favorite musicians play at their concerts?

The Guitar Train Delivers Good News

 

The hard part about liking musicians who were popular in the past is that new music from them is hard to come by. Obviously, my favorites The Beatles, John Lennon, and George Harrison cannot make any new music. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still make new music but it’s not the same. Gloria Estefan hasn’t released a CD of original songs since 2011 and Jon Secada since 2005.

Phil Collins t-shirt

So that leaves just two of my favorites – Phil Collins and Huey Lewis and the News. Luckily I have good new music news about those musicians. Phil Collins, after being retired for years, has decided to record new music. I never thought I’d have the pleasure of hearing new sounds from this fave. I was so sad when he announced his retirement in 2011. I couldn’t imagine going through the rest of my life never hearing more from him. I understood he could no longer play the drums because of injuries. I understood that he might not want to go on grueling world tours anymore. But I wanted him to still make music. And now he is! My friend, another Phil Collins/Genesis fan, sent me the link to this article about Phil’s unretirement. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/29/entertainment/phil-collins-ends-retirement-feat/index.html This friend cautioned me that since Phil is only going into the studio now, it could be awhile before his new CD is released. I can wait. I need new songs of anger from Phil Collins. I need new songs of happiness. I need more Phil Collins music!

Sports poster in hotel

The other favorite of mine who will release new music is Huey Lewis and the News. For the past 4 years, at their concerts, they have been performing a new song they wrote but haven’t recorded called “While We’re Young”. I like the song and I want to hear more. I read an article in which Huey Lewis talks about the possibility of releasing an EP or LP of new music. Make mine an LP! The more Huey Lewis and the News the better. Since the group is still together touring every year, they could easily spend the time when not touring in the recording studio making new music for all their fans.

 

I can’t imagine that new music from either of these two favorites would be disappointing. There have to be some songs that I like. After the music is released, it will be reviewed for The Guitar Train.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which of your favorite living musicians would you love to hear new music from?

Beatles’ Movie Month – “Yellow Submarine”

Yellow Submarine DVD cover

The Guitar Train is reaching the final destination in this month’s look at The Beatles’ movies. This week’s station stop is The Beatles’ 1968 movie, “Yellow Submarine”. Unlike the other Beatles movies I wrote about this month, I had not seen this film before. I appreciate it is as an animated version of The Beatles with a very imaginative plot and visuals but it was too psychedelic for me. As with all the other Beatles movies, I really liked hearing their songs. Several of the group’s song lyrics were also cleverly inserted in the dialogue. An aspect of this film which was similar to “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” was the witty dialogue taken from the Fab Four’s personalities. In the special feature on the DVD called “Making of Documentary”, Peter Angelis, the voice of Ringo, demonstrated how he can imitate the voices of all four Beatles. That impressed me.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what is your favorite scene from “Yellow Submarine”?

Let It Be album cover

The Beatles last film was the 1970 documentary, “Let It Be”. Unfortunately, I have never seen this film. Even more unfortunately, I cannot get an official, non-bootlegged version of it. I understand that it depicts the breaking up of the band but I can handle that. After all, the band was already broken up when I was born; it’s the only way I have known them. It would be different if the band had stayed together (and alive) and regretted how they treated each other at that time and didn’t want others to see them that way. As it is, there are numerous solo interviews with each Beatle since 1970 where they have, each at some point, had not so nice things to say about their fellow bandmates. The difference between those interviews which are easily available for viewing on You Tube and the “Let It Be” film is that Paul, Ringo, the estates of John and George, and Apple have control over “Let It Be”. Since Apple has continued to re-release and find previously unreleased material to release for profit, why pass up on a guaranteed money maker? The re-release of “Let It Be” on DVD would be a huge event for Beatles fans and possibly the last link to a project all The Beatles were present for and meant to release to the public.

 

Guitar Train passengers, are you lucky enough to have seen “Let It Be”? What do you think about the film? Should it be re-released?

 

Before The Guitar Train departs for its next destination, I just want to wrap up Beatles’ Movies Month with a Beatles related movie called “Good Ol’ Freda”. This 2013 film is about The Beatles secretary, Freda Kelly, whose job was to answer the thousands of fan letters that came in every day as well as to get John, Paul, George, and Ringo to sign autographs for the fans. Freda comes across in this film as a nice, down to earth person who was very loyal to the band as well as really caring about the fans. She gave away autographs, photographs, and memorabilia to Beatles fans which would be worth millions today. I would recommend watching this film as it shows a fascinating inside view of Beatlemania.

 

Next month, come aboard The Guitar Train as Quirky T examines songs for Easter, songs about New York, and songs about California.

Beatles’ Movies Month – “Help!”

Help! CD cover

All this month on The Guitar Train, Quirky T will be looking at The Beatles’ movies. This station stop looks at The Beatles’ second movie, “Help!”. As with all the movies I am looking at this month, they have been analyzed so much so I’m going to just take a quick look at the film. “Help!” was released in 1965 and directed by Richard Lester who also directed The Beatles’ first film, “A Hard Day’s Night”. Since that film had depicted the Fab Four’s chaotic work lives and their personal lives were not going to be depicted, this movie had them as “passive recipients of an outside threat”. Ringo Starr called it “a chase film” which is appropriate especially since he was the one being chased for the sacrificial ring he is unable to remove from his finger. The fact that The Beatles were more passive in this film has been criticized but I still enjoyed the film. In the end, it’s still John, Paul, George, and Ringo. It’s still their witty personalities and their amazing music. I may be a little biased since “Help!” is my favorite Beatles album.

 

Again like “A Hard Day’s Night”, this is a movie I had last seen decades ago. One scene that I remembered from my first viewing that is still a favorite occurs in the beginning of the film. The band members each enter separate doors of row houses only to reveal once inside that it is one large connected house. What a cool interior it is with a grass floor, snack machine, drink machine, organ, revolving bookcase, and John’s bed in the floor. I could live there.

 

Another favorite scene is when The Beatles are sledding and skiing while “Ticket to Ride” plays. It has the look of a music video. In fact, in the DVD’s “Special Features”, Richard Lester said MTV proclaimed him as the “Father of MTV” because of scenes such as this one. I love the coats the musicians are wearing as well as George’s top hat. On another fashion note, according to one of the special features, the khakis The Beatles wore in the Salisbury Plain sequence were sold out for months in stores around the world after the movie premiered. It is just another example of their enormous popularity and position as trendsetters.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what is your favorite scene from “Help!”?

 

Hop back aboard for the next stop on The Guitar Train’s Beatles’ Movies Month as Quirky T looks at the “Magical Mystery Tour”.

 

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