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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Ringo Starr gets reunion album birthday wish

On his 77th birthday, the former Beatle announces Paul McCartney will feature on the new record, out in September

Ringo Starr mimics a peace sign statue during a 77th birthday celebration for the former Beatle at Capitol Records on Friday, July 7 in Los Angeles. Courtesy Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Ringo Starr mimics a peace sign statue during a 77th birthday celebration for the former Beatle at Capitol Records on Friday, July 7 in Los Angeles. Courtesy Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr celebrated his 77th birthday on Friday by announcing a new album will feature former bandmate Paul McCartney.

Starr's 19th solo album Give More Love will be released on September 15 and will include McCartney on two tracks, We're on the Road Again and Show Me the Way, which is dedicated to Starr's wife, Barbara Bach.

"We are still mates," Starr says of his former bandmate. "He's out on the road, he's got his own life. I'm out on the road a lot making records and he was in town so I called him and I said, 'I've got this track for you to play on'."

Starr refers to McCartney as "the most melodic bass player in the world".

"I love the way he plays," he adds.

Starr holds his birthday celebrations in public every year, raising awareness of his peace-and-love message. On Friday he led a crowd gathered on the sunny, hot streets of Hollywood in a "peace and love" chant, joined on stage by guests including guitarist Joe Walsh, who is a member of Starr's band and also his brother-in-law, as well as Twin Peaks director David Lynch.

"There is a lot of trouble in the world, a lot of violence in the world and a lot of starvation and a lot of people without water," Starr said. "I'm a big supporter of Water Aid because everyone should at least have water ... It's not all bombs and guns."

Starr and McCartney made musical history as members of seminal 1960s English band the Beatles, along with the late George Harrison and John Lennon. The "Fab Four" led the British invasion into US pop music and became one of the most successful bands in the world.

All four Beatles have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both as part of the band and as solo artists.

* Reuters