Ringo Starr has organized a mini-Beatles reunion, tapping Paul McCartney for a rendition of John Lennon’s “Grow Old With Me,” which will appear on the musician’s new album, What’s My Name, out October 25th via UMe.
“Grow Old With Me” was one of the last songs Lennon wrote before his death, and the song eventually appeared on his posthumous 1984 album with Yoko Ono, Milk and Honey. Starr said he was inspired to record the song after producer Jack Douglas asked if he’d heard Lennon’s “Bermuda Tapes,” a collection of demos Lennon recorded in 1980.
“I sang it the best that I could,” Starr said of the recording in a statement. “I do well up when I think of John this deeply. And I’ve done my best. We’ve done our best. The other good thing is that I really wanted Paul to play on it, and he said yes. Paul came over and he played bass and sings a little bit on this with me. So John’s on it in a way. I’m on it and Paul’s on it. It’s not a publicity stunt. This is just what I wanted. And the strings that Jack arranged for this track, if you really listen, they do one line from [George Harrison’s] ‘Here Comes The Sun.’ So in a way, it’s the four of us.”
Along with detailing What’s My Name, Starr also shared the album’s title track, which was written by longtime All-Starr Band member Colin Hay. With a title and hook pulled from a frequent refrain at Starr’s live shows, “What’s My Name” boasts a rambunctious rock and roll energy and finds Starr reminiscing about his career with a cheeky confidence. “Well I’ve seen it all from the mountains of Napal to Reno, Nevada,” he sings, “I’ve taken all the falls, I was climbing up the walls and now it doesn’t matter/Nothing stays the same, but I’m still in the game/What’s my name? Ringo!”
What’s My Name marks Starr’s 20th studio album and follows his 2017 album, Give More Love. Along with McCartney and Hay, the record also features collaborations with Joe Walsh, Benmont Tench, Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather, Richard Page, Warren Ham, Windy Wagner and more. Starr recorded the album at his home studio, Rocabella West, which he said creates a more communal atmosphere than a traditional studio.
“I don’t want to be in an old-fashioned recording studio anymore, really,” Starr said. “I’ve had enough of the big glass wall and the separation. We are all together in here, whoever I invite over. This is the smallest club in town… it’s just been good for me and the music.”