John Lennon Said Ringo ‘Seriously’ Left the Beatles (And Came Back)

Before The Beatles officially broke up, members individually (temporarily) left the band. George Harrison walked out of rehearsal during The Beatles: Get Back. John Lennon shared that Ringo “seriously” left the band at one point. Here’s what we learned from the Disney+ documentary series.

The Beatles appeared in the Disney+ documentary series ‘The Beatles: Get Back’

Ringo pictured at the London residence of 'Daily Mirror' show biz journalist, Donald Zec
Ringo pictured at the London residence of ‘Daily Mirror’ show biz journalist, Donald Zec | Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

They’re one of the world’s biggest bands, making history with songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and even making political statements with songs like “Get Back. Thanks to The Beatles: Get Back, fans learned more about Lennon, Paul McCartney, Harrison, and Ringo Starr’s creative process.

The Beatles performed “Get Back,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “I’ve Got a Feeling,” “One After 909,” and “Dig a Pony” during their rooftop concert at the London Apple Corps headquarters. As seen in their Disney+ docuseries, getting to that point was particularly challenging. 

With their deadline quickly approaching, the Beatles were still missing a setlist and several original songs. At one point, Harrison walked out of rehearsal, claiming he was quitting the band. 

George Harrison temporarily left The Beatles during ‘The Beatles: Get Back’

After being frustrated over the band’s reaction to his ideas and “I Me Mine,” Harrison walked out of rehearsal. Michael Lindsay-Hogg asked, “has anyone ever left as seriously as George before?”

“Well,” Lennon said, “Ringo.”

Ringo Starr, real name Sir Richard Starkey, was the drummer of the rock band, appearing on songs like “Let It Be,” “Twist and Shout,” and “Hey Jude.” He’s also the mastermind behind “Octopus’s Garden,” included on Abbey Road. Of course, Harrison eventually returned to the group and had creative control over songs like “Here Comes the Sun.”

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Ringo Starr explains why he left The Beatles on the ‘White Album’

While visiting Jimmy Kimmel Live, the drummer reflected on his experience with the Beatles — and his reason for temporarily leaving. 

“On the White Album, I left the band,” Ringo Starr began. “And I left the band because I didn’t think I was being part of it and I wasn’t playing great, and you know, I always was that guy… I went and knocked at John [Lennon]’s door, and I said, ‘man, I feel you three are so close, and I’m out of it,’ and he goes, ‘I thought it was you three.’”

“Then I went to Paul [McCartney’s door],” he continued, “and I said ‘hi man, yeah, you know, I’ve got to tell you I feel like I’m not part of the band and I’m not playing good,’ and I said ‘it’s you three are really close’ and he says, ‘I thought it was you three.’”

Following their rooftop concert, The Beatles branched out to record and perform solo music. That includes Ringo Starr, who formed Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.