Ringo Starr Taps Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh for 80th Birthday Show

Ringo Starr will celebrate his 80th birthday with a virtual charity broadcast.

The event, which debuts on YouTube on July 7 at 8PM ET, will include home performances and previously unseen concert footage from Starr, Paul McCartneyJoe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr., Sheryl Crow, Sheila E, Ben Harper and more.

“As everyone knows, I love gathering with fans for peace and love on my birthday,” Starr said in a statement. “But this year, I want everyone to be safe at home – so I called up a few friends, and we put this Big Birthday Show together so we could still celebrate my birthday with you all with some great music for some great charities. I hope you will all join me! Peace and love, Ringo.”

“Ringo’s Big Birthday Show” will benefit four charities: Black Lives Matter Global Network, the David Lynch Foundation, Musicares and WaterAid. The stream will include the premiere of Starr’s guest-packed version of “Give Me Love” featuring Jeff Bridges, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Peter Frampton, Willie Nelson, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Keb Mo, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, T Bone Burnett and Ray Wylie Hubbard.

In conjunction with the event, Starr’s YouTube channel will feature several other tribute performances, including new versions and recordings from previous birthday celebrations. Those artists include Costello, Frampton, Gregg Rolie, Steve Lukather, Ben Folds, Colin Hay, Judy Collins, Richard Marx, Ben Dickey and Bettye LaVette, among others.

“This year is going to be a little different,” Starr told Rolling Stone. “There’s no big get-together, there’s no brunch for 100. But we’re putting this show together – an hour of music and chat. It’s quite a big birthday.”

Starr and his All Starr Band, like most other touring artists, was recently forced to postpone a spring 2020 tour until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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David Crosby and Joe Walsh to Play Joe Biden Fundraiser Show

David Crosby and Joe Walsh are among the performers who’ll play a virtual concert supporting former Vice President Joe Biden’s election campaign.

The show takes place tonight at 8PM ET. Titled Rock Out on a Night In, it also stars Sheryl Crow and Rufus Wainwright, and is hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and Senator Tammy Duckworth (via Variety). The night will consist of “virtual conversations and performances,” a statement from the Biden Victory Fund said.

In June 2019, Crosby spoke of his continued belief in the importance of music as a force of change, telling Two River Times that “music makes things better. It’s what I call a lifting force. Things are not good right now and people out there need a lift. I think it’s my job. It’s one thing I can do that helps. … Things are pretty disastrously bad right now, … What we do next is utterly crucial.”

Although he admitted he’d like “someone younger than Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden” to become the Democratic candidate in November’s presidential election, Crosby said, “I think most of them are really good choices.”

In 2012, Eagles guitarist Walsh voiced his support for Duckworth’s successful campaign for the House of Representatives when she ran against a Republican also named Joe Walsh.

“I’m the real Joe Walsh and I’m proud to back a real American success story – Tammy Duckworth,” the musician said of the war veteran. “Tammy’s story, her service to our nation and her continued commitment to working families (like the one I come from!) have convinced me that she’s the right choice for Congress.”

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Joe Walsh Becomes Public Radio DJ

Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh announced the launch of his own radio show. But unlike most big-name musicians who become DJs, he’ll be heard on a public station in Los Angeles.

Walsh decided he had time to create The Joe Walsh Old-Fashioned Rock ’n’ Roll Radio Show for KCSN as a result of the coronavirus’ effect on the Eagles schedule. The station, known as 88.5 FM, is operated by Saddleback College and California State University. He’ll be on air for an hour every Saturday at 6PM, starting this weekend.

“This public radio station serves the community I live in and is funded by listeners,” Walsh said in a statement. “I like that men with ties don’t decide what I listen to. My show will be a mixture of music I love, music I think people will want to hear and stories behind some of these songs that I’m pretty sure no one knows about. … Hopefully, the show will generate some more listeners and support for the station, and we will have a lot of fun in the process.”

“Walsh is a longtime listener and contributor to 88.5 FM and is delighted to have his own show – in fact, he suggested it,” KCSN noted. “After the pandemic grounded Walsh and his Eagles bandmates from a planned summer tour, the self-proclaimed ‘Analog Man’ was also aware that the virus would make fundraising for the publicly funded station more difficult. He reached out to see how he could help, and offered to host a one-hour show while he was home bound.”

Station manager Patrick Osburn said that Walsh “will have free reign to essentially take over the programming duties for 88.5 FM for his hour. His playlist and blend of stories and anecdotes should make for an engaging 60 minutes. Being entertainment royalty and one of the many local fixtures of the SoCal/Hollywood community, we anticipate Joe’s Rolodex of potential guests runs deep, so we feel great about giving him the keys to the car! It’s flattering to have rock legends listening and financially supporting the station.”

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Joe Walsh Reflects on Kent State Shootings, Why They Still Matter

Joe Walsh reflected on the horror of the Kent State University massacre in a compassionate note marking the event’s 50th anniversary.

The Eagles guitarist was attending the school when Ohio National Guard soldiers fired into a crow of unarmed students protesting the U.S. expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia. Four were killed and nine were wounded in the shooting, which devastated the musician, prompting him to drop out of school and start a music career.

“Those of us who were there remember that day graphically, when our classmates, our friends, got shot down,” Walsh wrote. “We were naive young people who had left our parents’ nest and were just starting our lives by going to college and furthering our education. And we were peacefully demonstrating but because of a total dysfunctional authority trying to handle a situation they didn’t understand, it mutated into elevated emotions and anger, chaos and fear escalated into violence.”

Walsh — who was originally scheduled to perform alongside David Crosby at a now-canceled concert recognizing the anniversary — emphasized the event’s echoing relevance on current events, noting the vast political and social division of the U.S. in 2020.

“It was a long time ago but the reason it is so important and should be remembered is because history repeats itself — and we are as divided as a country now as we were then — and people demonstrating have no chance against people with guns,” he wrote. “The solution then, as it is now, is to be able to peacefully assemble and understand each other and accept our differences, without fear, without hatred, without violence.”

The guitarist’s comments arrive three days after Eagles were once again forced to postpone their Hotel California tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The trek, which was originally pushed back to fall 2020, now kicks off Sept. 16, 2021, in Denver.

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