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All Starr Steve Lukather talks Ringo concert at Artpark

by jmaloni
Wed, Jun 18th 2014 01:25 pm

Preview by Joshua Maloni

Artpark & Company welcomes rock royalty June 24 when Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band headline "Tuesdays in the Park" in the outdoor amphitheater. The legendary Beatles drummer will be joined by Toto's Steve "Luke" Lukather, Mr. Mister's Richard Page, original Santana singer Gregg Rolie, singer/producer Todd Rundgren, and Gregg Bissonette, who has played drums for Ray Charles, Don Henley and Duran Duran.

In a recent phone interview, Luke said, "It's a great show; it really is. Everybody brings it. You just go, 'Oh, man'; you know all the songs. It's really fun."

Each All Starr will showcase his hit songs, "and then we do some of the Ringo solo stuff, and some of the Beatles stuff that he did," Luke said. "It really rips by. I mean, all eras are covered.

"It's a great band. We all get along really, really well. It's really like a traveling summer vacation for us older dudes."

"I'm on my summer vacation," Luke said. "Traveling with Ringo is just like, there's no pressure on me. And I get to be, like, five or six different kind of guitar players. So, for me, it's great challenge to really morph into whatever happens."

Luke recently participated in "The Beatles: The Night That Changed America - A Grammy Salute" concert with Ringo and Paul McCartney. The star-studded show featured performances by Dave Grohl, Imagine Dragons, Alicia Keys, Keith Urban, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Joe Walsh, Stevie Wonder and the Eurythmics.

"It was awesome to be there," Luke said. "It was surreal for me."

While Luke has performed with a "who's who" of recording greats, including Michael Jackson, Roger Waters, Henley, Alice Cooper, Michael McDonald and Peter Frampton, participating in the Beatles celebration was a career-defining moment.

"Here I am; we do this; we're playing with all these great artists. And I'm standing there right before we walk on stage, and I stare at Paul and Ringo, and all of a sudden they're showing clips of 'Hard Day's Night,' right?" he said. "And all of a sudden it hit me that that was where it all started for me. Fifty years later, I'm standing here going to do a tribute to this thing.

"Here's this kid from the valley in Los Angeles. Who would've ever guessed? I might as well have said I was going to be the first guy on Venus.

"It was a completely surreal experience. It kind of hit me a little bit emotionally. I was like, 'Wow, this is full circle, man.' I was really beyond honored to be there. It was a wonderful night - a great tribute. There were some great performances.

"There was a lot of us backstage just hanging out with Paul and Ringo. And everybody was just saying, 'Look, man, if it wasn't for you guys, none of us would be here.' And they were cracking up, going, 'Yeah, people tell us that sometimes.' "

"They changed the world, man," Luke said. "Nobody's going to do that again. Nobody's going to do that again."

Artpark & Company President George Osborne said the timing was right to bring a Beatle to Lewiston.

"It couldn't be a better year to have Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band, because we've got the 50th anniversary of the Beatles," he said. "They did that great tribute show on national network television a few months ago. I saw the show and I thought he performed well. It was pretty exciting when he did a couple of numbers with Paul McCartney - the remaining Beatles reunited briefly.

"That's a big event for us to get."

Luke said, "Just being part of that whole Beatles legacy, just to even have my name attached to any of it is surreal and really ... cool, if I may say so myself."

Watch Luke and company perform when Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band take the stage Tuesday at Artpark, 450 S. Fourth St., Lewiston.

The show begins at 6:30 p.m. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.artpark.net.

Related interview: Resurgent Toto performs Tuesday at Artpark

Resurgent Toto performs Tuesday at Artpark

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