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One of Ringo Starr‘s albums was going to feature songs written by John Lennon. Ringo decided not to use them, but he still recorded songs for that album by George Harrison and Paul McCartney! While discussing this record, Ringo shrugged off the nostalgia fans had for the Fab Four. John made similar comments about The Beatles around the same time.

A Ringo Starr album includes compositions from all of The Beatles but John Lennon

During a 1981 interview with Rolling Stone, Ringo discussed his album Stop and Smell the Roses, originally known as Can’t Fight Lightning. “I asked all my friends to help on Can’t Fight Lightning,” Ringo recalled. “George did a couple of tracks, Paul’s done a couple of tracks. But the real drag is that there were tracks made for me by John.”

Ringo decided not to use tracks written for the album by the recently-deceased John. “I won’t use them now, though,” he said. “Well, I might. You never can tell. But they won’t be on this album. The fun was going to be that we’d play together, you know? And we could play real well together — even in 1981.” The final version of Stop and Smell the Roses uses zero John compositions.

He said The Beatles were not the ‘main force’ of his life in 1981

Ringo seemed to dismiss Beatles nostalgia to a degree. “From 1961, ’62, to around 1969, we were just all for each other,” he said. “But suddenly you’re older, and you don’t want to devote all that time to this one object. It was time it ended. We stopped because we’d had enough. We’d gone as far as we could with each other.”

Ringo said something about the band’s fans as well. “And I’m sorry, but I’m not here to re-create anybody’s past,” he said. “The Beatles finished in 1970. It’s not the main force of my life anymore. Let’s do the gig of today, not of yesterday.”


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Like Ringo Starr, John Lennon scoffed at he idea of a Beatles reunion

Ringo’s comments are similar to something John said the previous year. The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono features an interview from 1980. In it, John dismissed the idea of reuniting the Fab Four. He said that, even if they reformed, they could never be the same band who wrote “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am the Walrus.” He also said that The Beatles’ fans couldn’t be the same people they were when the band was still together.

John said recreating the band would be like getting crucified. Considering he once claimed to be “more popular than Jesus,” that was quite the statement! He also said he didn’t like to dwell on the past. He said he didn’t believe in yesterday, alluding to the chorus of one of The Beatles’ most ubiquitous ballads.

Ringo didn’t use some tracks from John, but the late singer might have been alright with Ringo stepping away from the past.