Ringo Starr Said There Was a Possibility The Beatles Could Have ‘Carried On’ Until a Move by Paul McCartney 

Before The Beatles publicly broke up, the band sent Ringo Starr as an emissary to talk to Paul McCartney. McCartney planned on releasing his solo album ahead of The Beatles’ album Let It Be. Angry, McCartney refused and threw Starr out of his house. Not long after, he publicly announced that the band had broken up. Starr said that up until this point, there had been a possibility that the band could have gotten back together.

Ringo Starr wears a blue suit and sits next to Paul McCartney, who wears a gray suit.
Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney | Archivio Cicconi/Getty Images

The Beatles broke up in 1970

After years of increased tensions in The Beatles, John Lennon privately told his bandmates that he would be leaving the band in 1969. In 1970, McCartney made the news public. Lennon said that he first began thinking about leaving the band in 1966, when they stopped touring. 

“I was thinking, ‘Well, this is the end, really. There’s no more touring. That means there’s going to be a blank space in the future…'” he said, per Rolling Stone. “That’s when I really started considering life without the Beatles — what would it be? And that’s when the seed was planted that I had to somehow get out of [the Beatles] without being thrown out by the others. But I could never step out of the palace because it was too frightening.”

After the split, Starr and McCartney were left feeling lost and directionless, but Lennon and George Harrison felt an acute sense of relief

Ringo Starr said Paul McCartney put an end to The Beatles

Though Lennon told his bandmate he was leaving the group, Starr said he didn’t believe The Beatles would permanently split. They hadn’t made the news public, so there was still a chance that they would privately reconcile. Then, McCartney planned to release his debut solo album before Let It Be.

The band sent Starr to convince McCartney not to, but the conversation didn’t go over well. McCartney threw Starr out of his house and decided to release the album as scheduled. With the album’s release, McCartney announced that The Beatles had broken up. When asked if he missed his bandmates, he said no.

“There was always the possibility that we could have carried on,” Starr said, per the book Ringo: With a Little Help by Michael Seth Starr. “We weren’t sitting in the studio making Abbey Road, saying, ‘OK this is it: last record, last track, last take. But Paul put his solo record out and made the statement that said that The Beatles were finished. I think because it was said by one of The Beatles people understood it was over.”

Paul McCartney considers Ringo Starr family

Over the course of the 1970s, the animosity between the former members of The Beatles softened. These days, McCartney thinks of Starr as his family.

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“It’s family,” McCartney told Rolling Stone. “Sometimes we get pissed off at each other. I’ll want something from him and he won’t give it to me, and I’ll get pissed off. But then it passes. Brothers fight sometimes. There’s this revisionist history that it was all John and Paul. But it was four corners of a square; it wouldn’t have worked without one of the sides. Ringo was the right angle.”