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© AFP / by Alice TIDEY | British musician and former Beatles member Ringo Starr poses for a photograph after speaking to the press to promote his new album 'Give More Love'


Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has very little left to prove.

Yet at 77, he's about to release his 19th solo album, filled with nostalgia about a glorious past that he has often sought to distance himself from.

Starr teams up with former bandmate Paul McCartney in the album, entitled "Give More Love".

Collaborations between the last two surviving members of the Beatles always generate media frenzy. This time was no different.

When Starr posted a picture on Twitter of the two of them working together back in February, the news quickly spread.

"When we're together it's good because we spent a lot of very intense time together, a lot of loving time together," he told AFP at a London hotel.

"For me, he's just an incredible human being, beside an incredible bass player," he added.

The album features a blink and you'll miss it moment referring to the "Fab Four". In "Don't Pass Me By," Starr croons "I'd like to be under the sea" as the track slowly fades out.

"That's a homage to one of my songs called 'Octopus's Garden'," he explained about the 1969 song in the famous "Abbey Road" album.

"I thought it was an interesting thing to put those songs I've done before but with these young bands," he said.

Starr has in the past tried to play down the Beatles, a band that only existed for eight years, but whose legacy has continually overshadowed the work they each produced post-split.

Born in 1940, Starr was only 29 years old when the Fab Four broke up and has therefore spent most of his career as a solo artist.

Nowadays, he seems to have made his peace with people forever wanting to know more about the Liverpudlian quartet.

- 'Not looking to retire' -

Dressed in black jeans, bomber jacket and rockstar black sunglasses, he looks remarkably youthful as he walks around bumping elbows with people in greetings and making his now famous peace and love "V" sign.

A germophobe, he bumps elbows with people in greetings to avoid shaking hands.

The reminiscing in "Give More Love" goes further still than his time in history's top-selling pop group.

"Electricity" references the Liverpool of his youth, and his Rory and the Hurricanes' bandmate Johnny Guitar.

"He played so great. I have great memories of his playing to this day and that was a long time ago," said Starr, who now spends most of his time in Beverly Hills in the United States.

Having celebrated his 77th birthday in July, Starr could reasonably hang up the drum sticks.

Instead, he'll be doing eight shows in October at a Las vegas casino followed by a short US tour.

"I'm not looking to retire, it doesn't make sense for me," he said.

"I can go as long as I can hold the sticks".

by Alice TIDEY

© 2017 AFP