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Listen To Title Track From Ringo Starr’s 20th Album ‘What’s My Name’

The record features contributions by Paul McCartney as well as Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Dave Stewart and many others.

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Ringo Starr Whats My Name packshot

Ringo Starr has announced details of his 20th studio album, to be titled What’s My Name and released by UMe on 25 October. Like its recent predecessors such as 2015’s Postcards From Paradise and 2017’s Give More Love, it was produced in his home studio, Roccabella West.

The new album features a guest appearance by Paul McCartney as well as contributions from other friends such as Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Dave Stewart, Benmont Tench, Steve Lukather, Nathan East, Colin Hay, Richard Page, Warren Ham, Windy Wagner and Kari Kimmel. The rocking title track from the album is now available for streaming and download.

“I don’t want to be in an old-fashioned recording studio anymore, really,” says the world-famous drummer, vocalist and songwriter. “I’ve had enough of the big glass wall and the separation. We are all together in here, whoever I invite over. This is the smallest club in town. And I love it, being at home, being able to say hi to Barb [his wife Barbara Bach], it’s just been good for me and the music.”

Now in his 80th year, Starr continues to seek new musical challenges, both on the road, where he is now marking 30 years of curating his All Starr Band tours, and in the studio. One of the new names in the fold for What’s My Name is songwriter Sam Hollander, of whom Starr says that “[his] people got to Bruce Grakal, my lawyer, and said, ‘Sam would like to say hi to Ringo.’ So I told Sam to come over.

“After we wrote a song together, ‘Thank God For Music,’ then Sam called and said, ‘I think I may have another song,’ so I said, ‘Let me hear it.’ He had written it all. He had written a song out of things I said in an interview in Rolling Stone. I loved the sentiment of it. He had one verse about spending too much time in hospitals, but I didn’t want to even sing that verse, the pity verse.

“Sam came over and I put the vocals on, and said, `You produce this one,’ but Sam said, ‘Well, you’re going to do drums.’ So, I went in and played it through twice.’ I like two takes. And he took ‘Better Days’ away and did it.”

The anthemic title track and opening single ‘What’s My Name’ was written by Colin Hay, who returned to the All Starr Band this past summer. “This was Colin Hay’s third time in the All Starr Band,” says Ringo, “and a friend told me that, unbeknownst to me, Colin wrote a song years ago called ‘What’s My Name.’ I said, ‘Bring it up to the house and let’s hear it.’

“Later I heard, Colin couldn’t find it! He’d written the song down six years ago and put it in this pile or that pile. But it ended up at the bottom of the drawer. So, Colin came over and played it for me, and I loved it. I loved the verses. I loved the sentiment. In all honesty, there’s not a lot of people who could get away with asking, ‘What’s my name?’ in a song. If you’ve been to the show, you already know the title.

“I’m blessed that most things coming my way are peace and love,” reflects Ringo. “There are still always trials and tribulations. But I just feel in life, the sun shines this way. I’m blessed. I always have the same talk — an audience can be tortured. We give them everything we’ve got. We give each other everything we’ve got. And sometimes it’s not enough. But most nights it’s everything. I’ll play the best I can for you. And you play the best you can for me. That’s all I can ask.’

The album’s emotional centre is found in Starr’s heartfelt version of ‘Grow Old With Me,’ the moving ballad written by John Lennon — especially as it features their mutual great friend Paul McCartney. The lyric is made all the more poignant by the fact that Lennon never lived to fulfill its title with Yoko Ono, whereas Ringo has been married to Barbara since 1981. “I’m still living that dream,” he says wistfully.

John Lennon Double FantasyThe inspiration for the ‘Grow Old With Me’ cover came when Starr ran into celebrated producer Jack Douglas, who oversaw Lennon and Ono’s Double Fantasy album, among many other famous recordings. “Jack asked if I ever heard The Bermuda Tapes, John’s demos from that time,” explains Ringo. “And I had never heard all this.

“The idea that John was talking about me in that time before he died, well, I’m an emotional person. And I just loved this song. I sang it the best that I could. I do well up when I think of John this deeply. And I’ve done my best. We’ve done our best.

“The other good thing is that I really wanted Paul to play on it, and he said yes. Paul came over and he played bass and sings a little bit on this with me. So John’s on it in a way. I’m on it and Paul’s on it. It’s not a publicity stunt. This is just what I wanted. And the strings that Jack arranged for this track, if you really listen, they do one line from [George Harrison’s] ‘Here Comes The Sun.’ So in a way, it’s the four of us.”

Other album highlights include ‘Gotta Get Up To Get Down,’ written by Starr with his brother-in-law and longtime collaborator Joe Walsh. “I’ve been making music with Joe long before we became brothers,” says Ringo. “And we were having dinner with Klaus Voorman months ago, and for whatever, I said, ‘Well, you’ve got to get up to get down.’ Joe and I looked at each other and said ‘We know that’s the title, so let’s write a song about it.’ That’s how it is.”

What’s My Name features another nod towards Ringo’s Beatles past in a new cover of Barrett Strong’s early Motown gem ‘Money (That’s What I Want),’ which the group recorded, with Lennon’s lead vocal, on With The Beatles.

Meanwhile on 15 October, Starr’s book Another Day In The Life will be published by Genesis Publications. It captures his his love of music, travel and nature and, after first appearing as a limited edition, will now be widely available in hardback.

“When I was a teenager, my mum always said, ‘Son, you’re at your happiest when you’re playing,’” muses Ringo. “And it’s still true to this day. I’m blessed. I had a dream back when I was 13, and just last night I played with all my friends at the Greek [Theatre], and I’ve been putting together All Starr bands for 30 years. And it’s still a thrill.”

What’s My Name is released on 25 October. Scroll down for the tracklisting, and pre-order it here.

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What’s My Name tracklisting & credits:

Produced by: Ringo Starr
Recorded and mixed by: Bruce Sugar
Pro Tools Editing: Bruce Sugar
Recorded at: Roccabella West Studio, United Recording

Gotta Get Up To Get Down (Richard Starkey, Joe Walsh)
Drums, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar, Vocals: Joe Walsh
Clavinet, Synthesizer, Vocals: Edgar Winter
Bass: Nathan East
Synthesizer: Bruce Sugar
BGV: Richard Page, Warren Ham, Windy Wagner, Kari Kimmel

It’s Not Love That You Want (Richard Starkey, Dave Stewart)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar: Dave Stewart
Bass: Nathan East
Piano: Jim Cox
Clavinet: Benmont Tench
Synth Horns: Bruce Sugar
BGV: Windy Wagner, Amy Keys
Additional Engineering: Ned Douglas

Grow Old With Me (John Lennon)
Drums, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Bass, BGV: Paul McCartney
Guitar: Joe Walsh
Piano: Jim Cox
Violin: Rhea Fowler, Bianca McClure
Viola: Lauren Baba
Cello: Isaiah Gage
Accordion: Allison Lovejoy
String Arrangement by Jack Douglas, Daniel Cole
Assistant Engineer on string session: Wesley Seidman

Magic (Richard Starkey, Steve Lukather)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar, Piano: Steve Lukather
Bass: John Pierce
Synthesizer: Bruce Sugar
BGV: Richard Page, Warren Ham, Windy Wagner, Kari Kimmel

Money (That’s What I Want) (Berry Gordy, Janie Bradford)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar: Steve Lukather
Bass: Nathan East
BGV: Maxine Waters, Julia Waters
Piano, Organ, Synth: Bruce Sugar

Better Days (Sam Hollander)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Piano: Grant Michaels
Organ: Peter Levin
Bass: Kaveh Rastegar
Guitar: Pete Min
BGV: Zelma Davis, Garen Gueyikian
Horns: James King
Produced by: Ringo Starr, Sam Hollander

Life Is Good (Richard Starkey, Gary Burr)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar: Steve Lukather
Bass: Nathan East
Organ: Benmont Tench
Synthesizer: Bruce Sugar
BGV: Richard Page, Warren Ham, Windy Wagner, Kari Kimmel

Thank God For Music (Richard Starkey, Sam Hollander)
Drums: Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar: Steve Lukather
Synth Bass, Piano, Organ: Jim Cox
Synth Voice Pad: Bruce Sugar
BGV: Maxine Waters, Julia Waters

Send Love Spread Peace (Richard Starkey, Gary Nicholson)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar: Steve Dudas
Bass: Nathan East
Organ, Piano: Benmont Tench
BGV: Windy Wagner, Amy Keys

What’s My Name (Colin Hay)
Drums, Percussion, Vocals: Ringo Starr
Guitar, BGV: Colin Hay
Guitar: Steve Lukather
Bass: Nathan East
Harmonica: Warren Ham
BGV: Maxine Waters, Julia Waters

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