Ringo Starr taps friends for 'Postcards,' reflects on music world

Wed Apr 1, 2015 6:04am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Bob Mezan

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Despite a struggling music industry and a less-than-favorable relationship with online streaming music platforms, former Beatle Ringo Starr is still insistent on making new songs. 

Starr, 74, released "Postcards From Paradise" this week, his 18th solo studio album featuring 11 original songs by the veteran musician in collaboration with friends such as Peter Frampton and Joe Walsh.

"Even though there's very little record industry left, I like to make records because I write. I write with songwriters; I play with other good musicians," Starr told Reuters, noting "because it's what I do."

"It's very hard for me to find a stranger these days because I've been around a long time."

Starr has witnessed the music industry evolve dramatically over his 50-year career, and consumption is becoming increasingly digital with Apple Inc's iTunes and Amazon.com Inc as well as online streaming platforms such as Spotify and Jay Z's newly announced Tidal.

The Beatles famously abstained from going digital until 2010, when its entire back catalog became available exclusively on iTunes. Starr himself still prefers purchasing physical copies of music.

"Streaming I don't understand anymore. All I ever hear is that your record has been streamed 17 million times and they give you a check for 12 bucks," he said.

"With the established musicians, that seems to be the problem. And the bigger problem with that is there's nothing coming in for the new bands."   Continued...

Musician Ringo Starr poses for a portrait in West Hollywood, California March 30, 2015.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni