Ringo Starr has been working from home.
The former Beatle released his latest album on Friday, a five-song package that he aptly named “Zoom In” after the video conferencing service.
Starr made the record last year from his home studio in Beverly Hills, California, under conditions that U.S. virus czar Anthony Fauci may have approved. Accompanied musicians were tested for the coronavirus, and no more than two people at the same time participated. They wore a mask when they arrived and stayed six feet apart.
“It’s a weird way of making a record,” Starr said in an online news conference on Thursday. “But if that’s the only way, you can get on with it.”
The artist, who turned 80 last year, had no problem attracting big names to take part, including Toto’s Dave Grohl, Ben Harper, Jenny Lewis, Sheryl Crow and Steve Lukather. Doors guitarist Robby Krieger recorded his donation from home. The pandemic, which has shut down the concert industry for the past year, has given many musicians free time.
“I think everyone was looking for something to do,” said Starr.
Former Paul McCartney released a record from the December release, which he recorded in his own studio. In McCartney’s case, he played all the instruments.
Starr, who regularly performs in the summer with a group called the All Starr Band, eventually canceled two tours last year and this year. Even after pushing the dates as far as October 2021, he didn’t feeling comfortable. He also said that he would prefer not to perform online, as many musicians do.
“I have little interest if I am not there and you are there,” said Starr, who has now been vaccinated against Covid-19.
The drummer, who sang several Beatles beats, including “Octopus Garden,” said he took pride in the shelf and recorded songs written by others, including Grammy-winning Diane Warren.
He jumped on “Not Enough Love in the World,” from Lukather and his band Toto, Joseph Williams, to inspire people in those difficult times. Starr chose to make a shorter, expanded playlist, or EP in the music industry lingo, as there would have been too much work on an entire album. He said he was likely to continue that format.
Starr had always been very cautious, beating angles with fans long before the pandemic ended. He has already released his second EP and announced 14 live dates, starting in May 2022.
“There may be four or five EPs out there before then,” he said.