The 13th installment of Ringo Starr‘s All Starr Band Tour kicks off Thursday night in Toronto. Joining the Beatles drummer on the 2012 edition of the trek are Todd Rundgren, ex-Santana/Journey singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and Mr. Mister‘s Richard Page, as well as longtime Billy Joel saxophonist Mark Rivera and veteran session drummer Gregg Bissonnette. As usual, the jaunt will feature the various artists performing some of their own hits, as well as backing Ringo on his solo and Fab Four classics.
This will be Rundgren’s third go-round on an All-Starr Band trek, having previously been part of the 1992 and 1999 lineups. The prolific singer/songwriter recently told ABC News Radio that he’s really looking forward to hitting the road with Starr.
“It’s always a pleasure to play with and hang out with Ringo, because he’s just a ray of sunshine,” notes Rundgren. “He’s always looking on the bright side and he’s always giving the peace sign and he’s bringing the entertainments to the peoples, and that’s where I want to be when I’m 70. I want to do it until I can’t do it anymore.”
Although the All Starr Band members come from varying corners of the music world, Rundgren says he expects them to be playing as a cohesive unit when they hit the stage.
“The rehearsals are copious — 10 days of rehearsal, I think, for what ultimately is a five-week tour,” he reveals. “That’s a lot of time for people to kind of relax when you learn stuff, but also to get to know each other.”
While Rundgren is excited about this year’s trek, he admits that he experienced a bit of unpleasantness with an unnamed All Starr Band member during his other times playing on the tour.
“Every once in a while, there’ll be a very unhappy person and for some reason I am the magnet for their unhappiness,” he explains. “I’m having too much fun, I guess, and so they get especially indignant at me. But this time I think it’s [a] pretty even-keeled bunch of guys.”
Rolie, meanwhile, will be making his debut appearance on an All Starr Band outing. In preparing for the trek, he discovered some interesting details about Ringo’s career.
“I never realized how many hit songs he sang on until I started really looking at them,” he tells ABC News Radio.
With regard to participating in the tour, he says, “It’s just interesting as heck. You know, totally different from what I do, but I’m really looking forward to it. It’s gonna be a lot of fun and the group is great. The musicians are terrific.”

The All Starr Band Tour is scheduled to run through a July 21 show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. The trek’s entire schedule can be viewed at
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio