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Lifetime roll

Ringo Starr relishes new challenges, but he's ever a Beatle.

January 26, 2010|Randy Lewis

It's also yielded one of the album's high points, "Walk With You," a song expressing gratitude toward a loved one that is elevated further by an echoing harmony sung by McCartney.

Starr had invited his other half in the Beatles rhythm section over to add a bass part to "Peace Dream." "He understands my drumming," Starr explained to the Grammy Museum audience later from his perch on a stool at the front of the stage, adding with a straight face: "We used to play together."

"While he was at the house I played him some of the other tracks, and when he heard 'Walk With You,' he said, 'Hey, I've got an idea for that.' The great thing is that he doesn't just sing harmony, he sort of answers my part," he said, adding with a wizened laugh: "That's why he's the genius."

He doesn't mind admitting that when it comes to music, he still gets by with more than a little help from his friends. So even though it's possible today to make music by way of e-mailed Pro Tools sound files sent across the globe and back, Starr says, "I have no interest in that sort of music. I like to be with musicians. I like hanging out with them, but I love playing with musicians."

On the verge of 70, that's as true for Starr as it was at 20.

"When I was in my early 20s and we were the opening act for this girl in England, her band [members] were like 40 years old," he said. "I clearly remember thinking, 'You're still doing it? God!' "

A broad smile comes over the famous face: "And here we are, we're still doing it. Because this is what we do."

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randy.lewis@latimes.com

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