Reggie: I know you're looking forward to the Ringo Starr All-Starr band Shows this Summer.
Luke: "This is the third Beatle I've had the honor to play with! As a matter of fact I went out of my way to make it work because I really wanted to do it that bad. I have turned down Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis and a lot of opportunities because of the band (Toto). I'm going to bring my very best to it. I'm in a very good head space for it all. I've got to do this because the Beatles are the reason I play guitar! George was a friend. God Bless him. I worked with Paul when I was 25 both on "Thriller" and also in London for the movie "Give my Regards to Broadstreet". That was such a wonderful experience. I got to work with George Martin (Producer) and Geoff Emerick (engineer). Obviously I'm a life long fan. Everyone brings their greatest hits to it. That's part of the All-Starr band. So obviously I'll be doing some Toto stuff. I'm going to be able to play the United States in many of the big cities. We rehearse for ten or twelve days in Canada. Niagra Falls on the Canadian side. We are doing the Greek Theatre in L.A. on July 21st, the last show. We are doing New York and Chicago.
It's a great band. Really I know everyone on the gig. Ringo is the only guy I don't know. It's so funny I keep running in to everybody who knows him. Joe Walsh (Eagles), his wife is Ringo's wife's sister. Everywhere I go there is a connection. It's some serendipitous type of thing. It's like organically meant to be. I just get up every morning and there's a 30 song set list I look forward to learning. The songs aren't like Mahavishnu songs in complexity but there's a lot of arrangement things to remember. I want to have it all under my fingers. Rehearsals will be spent refining. Everyone getting to know each other to become a real band for the summer. But first off I'm playing with Ringo for God's sake! The Beatles are the 'on switch' to my life!"
Reggie: How about the band itself?
Luke: "I know Todd (Rundgren) the least. But we have worked together once on a Tal Wilkenfeld session and he was great to hang with. I've been a longtime fan. We've gotten along really well. I think we will get along great. Everyone else are dear old friends. They're all so great! Richard Page (Mr. Mister) who I met in the late 70's and has been a friend ever since we asked him to join Toto after Bobby was let go but he started Mr. Mister. Gregg Rolie (Journey/Santana) is singing" Evil Ways" and "Black Magic Woman". Mark Rivera (Billy Joel) is the Musical Director and Ringo's right hand guy. He plays sax, percussion, keyboards and sings. He was with Billy Joel for a really long time. We have got (Gregg) Bissonette (David Lee Roth) drummer extrordinaire and long time pal there. Pound for pound it's going to be a one two punch! The song list is killer! Different styles with all these GREAT musicians! Its gonna be a BLAST! ."
Reggie: Talk about how you're playing Beatles songs, the Ringo hits and your Toto hits with Ringo and the All-Stars.
Luke: "Let me say this up front. Ringo picks the songs. And they're the obvious ones. Richard Page is my ace in the hole on the Toto stuff so he can sing all the high parts and I told everyone going into this I needed him to help. He's going to sing some of these parts probably better than they've ever have been sung. I did "Africa" on the "Rock Meets Classic" Tour and it was cool. I normally would NOT do this but... its Ringo!... and there are other ex-members on the road singing these songs. Anyone can. I have just as much right to sing them as anybody because I was on every single record. After 35 years I called up Paich and asked 'would you be pissed off if I sang "Africa"?' And he said 'NO!' I said I wanted to ask first. And even "Hold the Line" I'm going to throw these things around with Richard Page. Pretty much everybody is going to sing all these songs anyway."
Reggie: Hey, I bought my ticket for the Greek Theatre show. I've seen four or five of the Ringo All-Starr shows and they're great! I'm going to be in Nashville but that show is already sold out!
Luke: "Really? It's his birthday too!"
Reggie: He will be 72 on July 7th in Nashville while playing the historic Ryman Auditorium. They are also having some sort of celebration at the Hard Rock that day.
Luke: "They say it's going to be a pretty big deal. If that's 72 years old then I want to be Ringo when I grow up! I ALWAYS did anyway.
Reggie: At 72 he's been playing for 55 years. As long as you've been alive.
Luke: "That's pretty heavy isn't it? I'm just really looking forward to this!"
stevelukather.com, May 5th 2012