As of July 7, 2020, Ringo Starr — born Richard Starkey — is 80-years-old. And of the two surviving Beatles, Ringo is easily the funniest one. (Sorry, Paul.) Back in the Beatles ’60s heyday, it was Ringo who invented bizarre counter-intuitive phrases like “A Hard Days Night,” and most historians and Beatles experts often point out that he was the one member of the band who stayed friends with everyone, even when they were writing mean songs about each other.
Caring about the breakup of the Beatles five decades after it happened might make us all fools on the hill, but on the occasion of his birthday, Ringo has given us all something new to think about: From his point of view, a reunion was always on the table in the ’70s, assuming the circumstances were right. According to a new story from Ringo, sometime in 1975, a showman named Bill Sargent offered the Beatles 50 million dollars to perform a live show. There was just one catch: The opening act would have featured a man fighting with a Great White Shark in a tank.
This was not an act the former Beatles wanted to follow. “We called each other to see what we think. We decided not to do it because the opening act was a guy biting a shark. So we thought no.”
That said, Ringo believes that had a better (sharkless) offer come along, the Beatles may have reunited before the death of John Lennon in 1980 and George Harrison in 2001. “If John and George had not died, there was surely a possibility of that. Paul and I are still on the road. John would have still been on the road.”