Ringo’s Hard Rock Atlantic City visit to feature exhibit of his artwork; Adam Sandler Boardwalk bound; Local casinos score in USA Today poll

Photo: Hard Rock Hotel Casino Atlantic City

The 82-year-old rock legend performs Sept. 24 with the current iteration of his All-Starr Band, whose members include Colin Hay of Men At Work, Hamish Stuart (Average White Band), Steve Lukather (Toto, Bee Gees) and Edgar Winter (of “Frankenstein” fame). But he’ll have a presence that extends beyond the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena stage.

Sept. 21 through 23, some 40 examples of Starr’s work as a graphic artist will be on display–and for sale—at Hard Rock. One-hundred percent of the proceeds are earmarked for the Lotus Foundation, whose mission, according to its website, is to promote and fund a variety of charitable causes including those dedicated to substance abuse, brain tumors, battered women and children and homelessness.

According to art publisher Neal Glaser, who is overseeing the free-admission exhibition that is set up at just one stop on each of Starr’s (usually annual) tours, the display offers visitors a look at Ringo’s evolution as a visual artist, an avocation that took root at the advent of the Internet Age.

As Glaser, who has worked with Starr since 2005, explained, the rock-and-pop icon has been an artist since his days in the Beatles, but he discovered online “a computer program, like a Microsoft paint program in the 1980s, right at the beginning of the Internet, and started to fool around with it. He got very interested in the artwork, and it morphed into stencils, wood sculptures and computer programming painting.”

As for what will be available at Hard Rock, Glaser said the works will cover a variety of media, including stencils, spin art and acrylics. Some of the pieces have been issued in lots of 10, while others have been reproduced in the hundreds. None of the items are original, but all are signed by Ringo, which make them quite valuable as, several years ago, he publicly announced he was no longer signing autographs except on behalf of charitable efforts. The prices, added Glaser, start at around $500 and range into the thousands.

According to Glaser, who has also represented the late New York caricaturist Al Hirschfeld and the Jimi Hendrix estate among other clients, the pieces at Hard Rock—which were created between 2005 and 2022–offer insight into Starr’s artistic journey. “You will see how every year or two, the man reinvents himself as an artist,” he offered. “I find it fascinating. He continues to evolve and does different types of art.”

Unfortunately, what you won’t see at the exhibition is the man himself—not that Starr prefers to stay away from the programs. “He used to show up every time,” noted Glaser, “but because of [COVID-19}, he’s done with that.”

Still, he added, that’s no reason not to check out the showing, whether or not you plan to attend the concert. “It’s a really fun exhibit,” he said. “You don’t have to buy anything. I just want you to come and look and smile, because Ringo is really about peace and love and fun.”

So, does Starr’s passion for his visual creations mean he’s an artist who also plays drums, or a drummer who also works in graphic design?

He is, Glaser insisted, a “drummer. Always.” 

The Ringo Starr art exhibit is open 2 to 8 p.m. Sept. 21, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 22 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 23. 

Sandler stands up at Hard Rock

The past few years, Adam Sandler has been better known for dramatic roles in movies like 2019’s “Uncut Gems” and this year’s philmed-in-Philly “Hustle,” but he’s getting back into comedy mode with an upcoming tour that includes an Oct. 28 date at Hard Rock.

There’s no word on what the performance will entail, but if history is any guide, you can expect a heaping helping of musical humor as well as traditional standup routines. 

For tickets, click here

USA Today high on local casinos

Last week, we told you about Magical Mystery Doors’ summer residency at Ocean Casino-Resort being named Best Casino Show in USA Today’s “10Best” poll. But that was hardly the only honor bestowed upon a regional gambling den:

Capriccio, the 44-year-old Italian room at Resorts Casino Hotel, captured the top spot in the Best Casino Restaurant survey, with Il Mulino at Hard Rock placing second. The Prime Rib at Live! Casino Hotel Philadelphia (and the one in Maryland) came in fifth and uber-chef Jose Garces’ Amada at Ocean rounded out the list at number 10.

In addition, the Best Casino Outside of Las Vegas list included Ocean (7) and Live! Philly (8), while the national newspaper’s Best Casino Hotel countdown had Hard Rock and Ocean in second and third place respectively.

It’s interesting to note that Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, for almost 20 years Atlantic City’s most successful gaming hall, was shut out in the balloting.

    • Chuck Darrow headshot

      Chuck Darrow has spent more than four decades as a writer and broadcaster specializing in covering the Philadelphia region's arts, entertainment and casinos. He is still afraid he may one day have to work for a living. 

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