Ringo Starr is promising “speeches and music” when he’s inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 18 in Cleveland, Ohio.
The former Beatle tells Billboard he’ll definitely be performing during the ceremony, but as far as details, “I’m not telling you ’cause there goes the surprise. We have several guests who are coming along to play with me, and some of them will be very surprising.” If you want to make some guesses, Paul McCartney will be making the induction speech, while Joe Walsh is Starr’s brother-in-law. And Starr’s son Zak Starkey has a night off from “The Who Hits 50!” tour of North America. (Meanwhile, opening act Joan Jett & the Blackhearts is being inducted as well.)
“It’s a thrill and a pleasure to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, because it just is, you know what I mean? Thank you. It’s from my peers, really,” Starr adds. “They think, ‘Let’s put him in there.’ ” The drummer is already in as a Beatle, of course, but is, in fact, the last of the group to be inducted as a solo artist. “I wasn’t thinking about it,” Starr says. “It was just a fact I wasn’t in, but it didn’t keep me awake. Suddenly the phone rings and it’s Paul McCartney saying, ‘They want to induct you into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Will you accept? And I’m going to give the speech,’ and I said, ‘Well, sure, man. Yeah.’ I was surprised.”
As for receiving the Rock Hall’s first and only award for musical excellence, Starr quips that, “I think it’s the Dinosaur Award, actually…It’s gonna be a T. Rex!”
The Rock Hall honor comes on the heels of the release of Starr’s new album, Postcards From Paradise, his 18th solo album overall and a set he says he’s “really proud of.” “I do feel there is a buzz out there that, ‘Wow, people are really liking this one,'” Starr acknowledges. He’s hoping the momentum continues into the fall, when he takes his latest All-Starr Band — which made key contributions to the album — on the road again, starting Oct. 1 in San Francisco. He’s already starting to think about what he’ll be playing then, including material from the new album.
“I hope to put two tracks in,” Starr says. “I hope to put the band(-written) track ‘Island in the Sun’ and ‘Postcards From Paradise’ in there. Some of the others…I don’t know yet. I’m thinking of putting ‘I’m the Greatest’ back in. I just love that song. It’s fun. So we’ll see.”