Ringo Starr is in the midst of his latest All-Starr Band tour – featuring Todd Rundgren, Santana and Journey’s Gregg Rolie, Toto’s Steve Lukather of Toto, and Mr. Mister’s Richard Page – but he’s just released a new track on iTunes by the very first incarnation of the All-Starrs, from 1989. That group included guitarist Joe Walsh of The Eagles, keyboardists Dr. John and Billy Preston, two members of The Band (bassist Rick Danko and drummer Levon Helm) and two members of The E Street Band (sax player Clarence Clemons and guitarist Nils Lofgren).
“Up On Cripple Creek” features Helm on lead vocals (he sang on the original version from The Band’s 1969 self-titled album). When Helm passed away on April 19, Ringo decided to release the track on iTunes, to raise funds for a few charities. However, he told CBS Local that it took a little longer than expected to get permission to sell the song.
One of the charities that will benefit from sales of the song is MusiCares, an organization run by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need, covering financial, medical and personal emergencies. The Lotus Foundation, meanwhile, was established by Starr and his wife Barbara Bach, and offers financial aid and assistance to facilitate family and child welfare, women’s issues, animal protection, addiction recovery and education.
Starr is also raising funds for The Lotus Foundation via sales of his artwork. CBS Local caught up with him at Pop International Galleries in New York City where he was displaying selling several original prints. The event raised money for both The Lotus Foundation, and also Knot Violence, an organization dedicated to engaging young people to teach them how to resolve conflicts peacefully.
Learn more about Knot Violence here. Ringo Starr and The All-Starr Band will be on tour through July.
— Brian Ives, CBS Local