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Ringo Starr Drops New Album; Talks With Russell Brand

British actor-comedian Russell Brand will interview former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr for the Town Hall show on Sirius XM Radio, Jan. 30. Music producer Don Was will moderate, and Starr will perform. The next day, Starr will release his 17th solo album, Ringo 2012.

Brand said in a statement that he said he’s a “massive fan of Starr, but like most people I am ignorant as to his life before he rose to prominence with ‘Thomas the Tank.’ Now, we can unravel the enigma of Ringo.” Past Town Hall specials have featured Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Coldplay and members of Nirvana.

Separately, the legendary Beatles drummer has joined forces with former Euryhtmics rocker Dave Stewart to write a musical, and they’re setting their sights on Broadway. “Me and Dave wrote a musical, a complete thing – characters, story, a lot of songs,” Starr told music magazine Mojo. “We wrote it for Broadway, but it will more likely end up as a movie.”

The collaboration came about when the pair worked on the upcoming album, Ringo 2012, for which Stewart wrote several tracks. His presence in Ringo’s career grew after Starr’s famous falling out with Mark Hudson.

The project isn’t Stewart’s first foray into the world of musical theater. He penned music and lyrics for the musical adaptation of Ghost, currently running at London’s Piccadilly Theatre and opening at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 23.

Kiefer Sutherland Returns to TV in ‘Touch’

I watched last night’s preview episode of Fox’s new television show “Touch,” starring Keifer Sutherland, and was hooked immediately.  Tim Kring, who wrote the show, previously penned NBC’s “Heroes,”  which began beautifully, but flamed out in spectacular style.

This new show resembles “Heroes” in many ways, from the global scenes to the very atmospheric music and the overall humanitarian themes. Sutherland stars as a father, Martin Bohm, who lost his wife on 9/11. He cannot connect with his son, who is possibly autistic. He has never spoken and won’t even let his father hold him.

Interestingly, the son’s voice brackets all the action, but in the show, he never speaks. Danny Glover guests a possible all-knowing source, who tells Sutherland that the boy sees everything. At show’s end, many of the concepts the boy was trying to put together successfully come together. The numbers three, one and eight play a prominent role.

Titus Welliver from “Lost” guests and his character’s actions come together as the show goes on, as well. Much like “Heroes,” several disparate items come together to avert imminent disasters. It’s cleverly put together. As with the first season of Heroes, you’ve got to admire Kring’s attention to detail.

I don’t know who did the music on this show; Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin composed and produced it for “Heroes.” But it is spot on terrific. I tremendously enjoyed Sutherland and have definitely missed his presence on TV. This new character is definitely not Jack Bauer, but spirited for sure. The show returns full time in March.

Names in the News

Lee Jeske, Eric Cohen, Andrew Saffir, Bill Schill, Jimmy Gersetin, Tony Noto, Harrison Jordan, Angelo Barbaro, Warren Schatz, Cory Robbins, Thomas Silverman, Scott Shannon, Race Taylor, Jacqs Boyd, Bruce Grakal, Shay Ryan, Sanzie.

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