1) Richard Starkey was born in the Dingle neighborhood of Liverpool, England on July 7, 1940. After growing up as an often sickly child in a poor neighborhood with divorced parents, he once again found himself recovering in a hospital. The hospital encouraged everyone to play in a makeshift band with whatever instruments were available. Young Richard grabbed a soft mallet and started banging on a hospital pan. He found his vocation and would be drumming from then on, even after family and friends gave him other instruments to try. He would become a highly accomplished drummer and joined up with three other Liverpool lads named John, Paul, and George who had a band and were looking for a new drummer. He was by then known as Ringo Starr (he reportedly garnered the nickname because of all the rings he wore. Starr came from his reluctant drum solos which he called starr time).
As we all know the Beatles achieved massive success and Starr had his moments to shine on songs like “Yellow Submarine,” “Octopus’s Garden,” and “With a Little Help From My Friends.” After the break up of the Beatles he went on to solo success with several top ten hits including “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Back Off Boogaloo,” “Photograph,” and “You’re Sixteen.” Starr always seemed to find good drumming gigs including with the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, two George Harrison albums and The Concert for Bangladesh, and additionally The Band’s Last Waltz. Readers of Rolling Stone magazine voted Starr as the fifth-greatest drummer of all time in 2011. He released his latest album earlier this year “Postcards from Paradise.”
Since 1989 Starr has occasionally toured with his own super group of ever-changing musicians, Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band. Members, too numerous to mention, have included his son Zak, Todd Rundgren, Joe Walsh, and Ginger Baker. Not only is Starr a legendary drummer, but also a fun and charismatic personality. He brings his latest iteration of the All-Starr Band to Heinz Hall. 7:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.
2) Few bars boast a volcanic interior, but Lava Lounge naturally does. Booths nestled among faux-rock formations beneath red lighting create an atmosphere both warm and private. Forget hole in the wall. A hole in the floor also provides subterranean seating for imbibing spelunkers. The cavernous decor and the house cocktails make this watering hole a favorite along the East Carson drag. There is a dance floor, too, and each day features a different theme, from ‘80s nights to live music. Taco Tuesdays are a popular night for one great reason: 85 cent tacos, both meat and veggie, from 5 p.m. to midnight. This night also sees $4 margaritas from 4 p.m. to midnight, plus their usual weekday happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. The friendly staff, anything but volcanic, awaits your order. 2204 E. Carson St., South Side. (CM)
3) The Martian—If you’re looking for one job that is relatively safe, you could easily be a botanist. I mean, really, how aggressive are Venus Fly Traps? But Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, finds himself in a situation far from safe, and, for that matter, far from home. He’s part of a mission to Mars (they have plants on Mars—who knew?) but a cosmic storm hits base camp leaving destruction behind. His fellow astronauts survive but assume he hasn’t and hightail it back home. The problem is that Watney isn’t dead and now needs to figure out how to make do with limited resources and let mission control know that he’s stranded on the Red Planet. Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, and Chiwetel Ejiofor also star in this Ridley Scott-directed sci-fi cliffhanger. Check Fandango for screens and times.