ringo Ringo Cant Play Beatles Rock Band Ringo Starr is back. Well, he never goes away, and that’s a good thing.

This afternoon in Jimmy Fallon’s NBC studio, Ringo and his band — really Ben Harper and his band — debuted a couple of songs from Ringo’s new album, called “Y Not.” The songs were good, nothing wrong with them. But then Ringo took the drums and the band launched into the Beatles’ “I Wanna Be Your Man.” What can I say? It was gorgeous, it was like buttah. The Beatles’ sound is still ebullient. Jimmy Fallon kept grinning and making jokes about it being February 1964. If only.

Ringo is a spry 69.’ He’ll turn 70 this summer on July 7 at Radio City Music Hall with his All Starr Band. How does it feel to turn 70, I asked? “I look 40,” he replied. He does.

I also asked Ringo what he’d heard on the Beatles Stereo or Mono box sets that surprised him. “I never listened to the Mono box,” he said, adding, “I am Mono.” As for the Stereo box, he said that 10 years ago when the “Yellow Submarine” album was turned into 5.1 Dolby, he and Paul sat and listened to it in astonishment. “We kept saying, Who’s playing that? It was so clear!”

Frankly, the big winner in those box sets is Ringo. He never sounded so crisp and creative. All joking aside, he’s a great, great drummer.

Ringo has Paul singing with him on “Walk With You,” a track on the new album, which constitutes a Beatles reunion these days. Otherwise he has Harper and friends, which was a wise move. And Ringo produced the album himself with manager/pal Bruce Sugar. His co-writers include Van Dyke Parks, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, Gary Wright, and Joss Stone. Not bad.

Someone did ask him about the “Beatles Rock Band” game, and Ringo replied, “I can’t do it. I’m no good at it.” He did admit his grandkids like to play the game.

There’s something very reassuring about Ringo these days. It’s nice to see him, even nicer to hear him. It don’t come easy, and he knows it. For my money, anything he did with Richard Perry is worth listening to, even in 2010.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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