Ringo Starr had close calls with Death: Two Remarkable Escapes

Ringo Starr

Think about a world in which The Beatles’ later albums don’t exist. Imagine a world without Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road. Think about a world in which there was no post-Help music. Well, if Ringo Starr hadn’t been quite so fortunate in one of his two near-death experiences, history might have happened quite differently.

It seems like Ringo Starr would do anything for The Beatles, even risking his life, because of his strong commitment with the group.  The drummer from Liverpudlian came dangerously close to death twice during his tenure with the band. Starr nearly died from a bear attack the first time. This incident made sure the band had the ideal shot for their 1964 movie Help.

The main lead in the film Help narrates how Ringo Starr received a fascinated ring from a fan that was an important part of a religious sacrifice. Subsequently, the band engages in various mischievous activities while the proprietors attempt to retrieve the ring.

In one adventure, Ringo Starr jumps from a boat into the sea. Victor Spinetti, who costarred in the film, discloses the risk that Starr took to save Help.
Recalling filming the scene where Starr “dives off but quickly comes straight back out shivering because it was freezing and there were shark nets everywhere. It was actually very dangerous,” Spinetti spoke with WalesOnline.

Spinetti continues, “something went wrong, and they had to shot again. So he dived once more,” forcing them to repeat the stunt. “Oh, Victor, I don’t want to do this again”. He said that as he was being dried off with a hairdryer for the third time. He answered, “Because I can’t bloody swim,” when I asked why. Do you think that’s true? There and then, he could have drowned. I yelled, “He can’t swim!” to the film crew while waving my arms.

Unmatched in his commitment to the film, Ringo Starr braved sharks and the possibility of drowning. In response to Spinetti’s question about why he was performing the stunt given his lack of swimming ability, Starr said, “Well, you’ve got to do it, haven’t you, when the director says, ‘Action,'”

However, Ringo Starr came dangerously close to death more than once while he was a member of The Beatles. Starr nearly lost his life due to his careless driving. Both in and out of the water and away from the cameras.

In fact, even though John Lennon owned a large collection of cars, this incident ultimately caused him to give up his desire to drive and become a passenger. Lennon started purchasing sports cars and pushing his bandmates to race him when The Beatles first became successful. But their extreme recklessness scared them all.

According to legend, The Beatles had one of their famous races while vacationing at their friend Pete Shotton’s house. They say John Lennon brought his Ferrari with him, believing the little island would make the ideal racecourse.

The “most hair-raising drive of my life (in fact, I’m still surprised that it didn’t prove to be the last drive of my life!)” was how Shotton put the race in words.

Shotton continues, “Only a few miles out of Hayling Island, as we screamed onto the Portsmouth-London road, a man in a white E-type Jaguar saw what we were up to. He also joined us in our little game.” This is from his book The Beatles, Lennon and Me. We each set out to be more reckless than the others for the next forty-five miles on purpose.

Although Lennon considered winning these races to be the “most fantastic kick,” his excitement didn’t last longer as bandmate Ringo Starr almost had an accident during a race.

“When Ringo arrived, their excitement for amateur drag racing was to be abruptly dashed,” writes Shotton. Hurrying at a hundred and fifty miles per hour in his Facel Viga, he narrowly avoided colliding head-on with the rear of a car that had abruptly moved into his lane at a speed of only seventy miles per hour.

“Even though no one was gravely injured, the incident left Ringo and John extremely shaken. And John, at least, appeared happy to let others drive him after that.”

Fortunately, Ringo Starr made it through the 1960s. After that, the group went on to create some of the most influential records ever.







Leave a Reply

You May Also Like