Among the versatile canon of the Beatles‘ catalog, “Yellow Submarine” is perhaps the song most suited for children — its sing-songy verse structure and inescapably catchy melodies making it stand out in that regard.
So it’s only fitting that Ringo Starr showed up on The Tonight Show Tuesday night to perform the song with The Roots and Jimmy Fallon — using only toy instruments.
This whimsical moment comes as Starr is preparing to release his new studio album, What’s My Name, which will be out on Oct. 25. He recently previewed it with the title track:
As usual with Ringo records, he worked alongside several of his amazing friends and pals in the music world for this album — a list featuring Ringo’s All-Starr icons and more, including Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Dave Stewart, Benmont Tench, Steve Lukather, Nathan East, Colin Hay, Richard Page, Warren Ham, Windy Wagner, Kari Kimmel and more.
Of particular interest is “Grow Old With Me,” featuring Starr and McCartney tackling a song originally penned by their old pal John Lennon. Lennon wrote his song toward the end of his life, and the recording wound up on his posthumous 1984 album Milk and Honey.
Ringo said the inspiration to include a cover of “Grow Old With Me” on this album after a meeting with producer Jack Douglas, who worked with Lennon and Yoko Ono on Double Fantasy:
“Jack asked if I ever heard The Bermuda Tapes, John’s demos from that time,” Ringo recalls. “And I had never heard all this. The idea that John was talking about me in that time before he died, well, I’m an emotional person. And I just loved this song. I sang it the best that I could. I do well up when I think of John this deeply. And I’ve done my best. We’ve done our best. The other good thing is that I really wanted Paul to play on it, and he said yes. Paul came over and he played bass and sings a little bit on this with me. So John’s on it in a way. I’m on it and Paul’s on it. It’s not a publicity stunt. This is just what I wanted. And the strings that Jack arranged for this track, if you really listen, they do one line from “Here Comes The Sun.” So in a way, it’s the four of us.”