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Ringo Starr - 1996 was rather a quiet year for Ringo, but he made up for it in the years that followed.

1997 brought another excellent All Starr Band tour in the USA. This time the line up consisted of Peter Frampton, Gary Brooker, Jack Bruce, Simon Kirke, and Mark Rivera. Though smaller than other All Starr Bands, this "British Invasion" group was considered by many to be the best line up yet. Ringo appeared on various talk shows in the US to promote the tour and was his usual genial and good-natured self. Modern Drummer Magazine featured an informative and sparkling interview with Ringo as well as an interesting interview with Ringo's son, Zak a well-respected drummer in his own right. Also, in this year Blockbuster Music exclusively released The Third All Starr Band Volume One CD.

In 1998 Ringo kicked off the fund raiser for the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity in Britain. Also in '98 Ringo was finally inducted into Modern Drummer Magazine's Hall of Fame. The year also brought about an All Starr Band tour of Europe and Russia, the band consisting of the same band members as the year before. Even more exciting was the release of Ringo's critically acclaimed CD, Vertical Man. The album was produced by Mark Hudson and featured the Roundheads. Looking fit and relaxed, and as always displaying his wonderfully wry sense of humor, Ringo appeared on a number of television shows in America, Britain, Germany, and Australia to promote the album. The video of "La De Da" was released and shown on VH1 as well as on many talk shows. Ringo and the Roundheads also appeared on VH1's Storytellers. The show met with rave reviews and a very well-received CD of the show was also released. Also, that year, MPI Video released the video Ringo Starr and His Fourth All Starr Band which was filmed at Pine Knob in Detroit the year before.

1999 brought another American All Starr Band tour in February and March. The lineup was the same as the '97 and '98 tours except that Peter Frampton was replaced by Todd Rundgren and Tim Capello took over for Mark Rivera. October brought the release of Ringo's superb Christmas CD, I Wanna Be Santa Claus, again produced by Mark Hudson and featuring the Roundheads. In December Ringo hosted the Jingle Bell Rock radio show, a three hour program featuring songs for I Wanna Be Santa Claus as well as a varied array of other Christmas standards.

The year 2000 was another good one for Ringo’s fans. In January, the commercial he made for the Charles Schwab and Company brokerage firm premiered during the Super Bowl.

From May twelfth to July first Ringo troured with his sixth All Starr Band comprised of Dave Edmunds, Eric Carmen, jack Bruce, Simon Kirke, and Mark Rivera. Unfortunately Ringo had to cancel the Pittsburgh, Ontario, as well as two Anaheim dates due to bronchitis.

In conjunction with the tour, Ringo appeared in a commercial for Century Twenty One Connections, the tour sponsor.

The year 2000 was a big year for Ringo on the Internet as well. A press conference was held on May first which was broadcast over the web. Between May seventh and June 29th, Century Twenty-one hosted four live chats with Ringo on their web site.

On May nineteenth, Ringo appeared with David Letterman on the Late Show during which he and the All Starr Band performed “With A Little Help from My Friends.” Ringo also appeared on Good Morning America on May twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth.

Ringo narrated “Hollywood rocks the Movies: The Early Years” which aired several times on the American Movie Chanel during the month of July.

Also during the year, Ringo drummed on “Power to the People” which was included on the “Steal this Movie” soundtrack. He also donated a specially equipped minibus to a Liverpool School through his charity the Lotus Foundation. In additions he and Barbara welcemed a new addition to their famly, a dog they rescued from a shelter.

In October the Beatles’ Anthology book was finally released with reviewers using such words as eloquent, funny, unassuming, bonhumous, and sweet in describing Ringo’s contributions.

On November tenth Ringo put the first torch to the Cranleigh bonfire and set off the first fireworks for the nights festivities. Earlier he had donated 5,000 pounds to the Cranleigh Lions from his Lotus Foundation. Also in November the DVD version of the 1973 film “That’ll Be the Day” was released.

In December many radio stations repeated 1999’s Jingle Bell Rock radio show which Ringo hosted.


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