Ringo Starr says he keeps on playing because he's still in love with the drums.

"I'm fifth on Rolling Stone's list of [best] drummers of all time," he says, laughing. "I'm still trying to work my way up."

For the 13th edition of Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band, he's added Steve Lukather of Toto and Greg Rolie, who has worked with Santana and Journey, to a band that already includes the great Todd Rundgren ("Who doesn't want to bang the drum all day?" asks Starr); Mr. Mister singer Richard Page; Gregg Bissonette, best known for his work with Santana; and musical director Mark Rivera from Billy Joel's band.

"We want to make sure it'll be a great show for the people who buy the tickets -- that they'll see a great cross-section of music," says Starr, calling before the tour opener in Niagara Falls last week. "I've been saying we're the best 1-800 live band there is."


Do you worry about the band's chemistry when you bring in new members?

It's hard work putting it together. The rehearsals are eight hours a day of torture so we can have two hours of incredible fun when we play. We all have to learn new songs. I used to think, "Well, I hope it works." But now I've done it often enough, and it's worked every time, so now I feel it will work.


Will you be playing songs from your recent "Ringo 2012" album?

I'll be playing two -- "Wings," which is the promotion track, and "Anthem," because I'm all about peace and love. But mainly I'll be doing the music I'm recognized for -- "Help," "A Hard Day's Night," "Yellow Submarine."


You're playing at Jones Beach this time around. Do you like playing outside versus inside?

I've come to the conclusion that I enjoy playing wherever they put me. Jones Beach has a special aura to it, you know? I like the venue. It's always great atmosphere. I'm looking forward to it.


The 50th anniversary of your joining The Beatles will be in August. Will you be doing anything special?

I'm not planning a big celebration. I'm gonna relax.


WHO Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band

WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Friday, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, 1000 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh

INFO $29.50-$159.50; 516-221-1000 , livenation.com

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