Ringo Starr Recalls “Downer Incident” That Seemed To Encompass Beatles Film ‘Let It Be’

During the summer of 1962, the Beatles looked to find a new drummer to replace Pete Best. While part of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes at the time, Ringo Starr eventually left the group when the Beatles called. And given the massive success that followed the group, it appears the drummer made the right decision. Not only the drummer, but Ringo also helped write songs like “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Octopus’s Garden.” With the band selling over 600 million albums, the Beatles eventually broke up. And to make it worse, in 1970 the film Let It Be shined an unsavory light on the band. And although it has been decades since its release, Ringo is still not a fan. 

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Speaking with the Daily Beast, Ringo held nothing back when discussing the classic film about the Beatles. He pointed to the single moment in the band’s history that seemed to be the focal point of the film. “I was always moaning about the original film, because there was no real joy in it.” Pointing to a scene where Paul McCartney and George Harrison disagree on a song, Ringo added, “It was all based on this little downer incident. But that’s just how it was; four guys in a room, you know? You’re bound to have a few ups and downs.”

[RELATED: Ringo Starr Reflects on Family-Like Bond With Beatles Bandmates: “The Three Brothers I Never Had”]

Ringo Starr Loved Peter Jackson’s Take On The Beatles

Having spent a great deal of time with the band, Ringo praised McCartney for not just his friendship but work ethic. “It was always Paul who would want to get back to work. I lived near John [Lennon], and so I’d be at his place, lounging and having a bit of a smoke in the garden, and the phone would ring. We’d know even before we answered that it was Paul, saying, ‘C’mon, let’s get in the studio and make a new record.'”

Although not a fan of the original film, Ringo pointed to Peter Jackson’s Get Back docuseries released back in 2021. According to the drummer, when viewed together, the films give a great glimpse into the band. “Now it’s got a start, a middle and a finish. The start is very slow, and then we get into creating, and then we’re at it and then we’re out. I love it. But I’m in it, of course, so six hours is never long enough.”

While released back in 1970, fans of the Beatles will get a remastered version of Let It Be thanks to Disney. On May 8, fans will be able to view the classic documentary on Disney+. This marks the first time the film has been available in over 50 years.  

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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