The Beatles turned down £200m reunion gig because of a shark

Ringo Starr says The Beatles turned down a ‘crazy’ £200m reunion gig in 1976 because the bizarre warm-up act was a man wrestling a shark

An 18ft Great White shark scuppered plans to for a £200million Beatles reunion show in 1976, according to Sir Ringo Starr.

The drummer, who is 80 on Tuesday, said the iconic band was offered £50million – worth quadruple that in today’s money – to reunite five years after their breakup.

All four bandmates, including Paul McCartney and John Lennon, discussed the offer from showman Bill Sargent, despite the recent acrimonious split.

Come Together? The Beatles nearly reformed for a one-off gig in 1976 but were put off when then discovered a Great White shark was the warm-up act, Ringo Starr has revealed

But the producer planned to have a wrestling match between a man and a shark as the warm-up act, something which put off the Fab Four.

Ringo told The Sunday Mirror: ‘We did talk one time. There was a crazy offer out there.

‘We called each other to see what we think. We decided not to do it because the opening act was a guy biting a shark. So we thought no.’

Here Comes the Sum: The Fab Four had split up six years earlier in 1970 and were offered £50million for the gig

Ringo was speaking ahead of an online concert with the only other surviving Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney.

And he believes if the other two were still alive, a reunion would have taken place.  

He said: ‘If John and George had not died there was surely a possibility of that. Paul and I are still on the road. John would have still been on the road. I don’t know about George. We’d still be doing what we love to do.’ 

John was shot in New York in 1980 by Mark Chapman while George died from cancer in 2001.

Get Back together: But the producer planned to have a wrestling match between a man and a shark as the warm-up act, something which put off the stars

Going strong: Ringo believes a Beatles reunion would have happened if it were not for the untimely deaths of John and George

The Beatles split up in 1970, a year after they recorded Abbey Road, but Ringo did not believe it would be the band’s last album.

He thought the split would be temporary and they would soon be back in the studio and on tour together.  

Ahead of Ringo’s milestone day on Tuesday, the music icon confirmed Ringo’s Big Birthday Show, a charity show set to air on YouTube at 8pm, where his bandmate will perform alongside a legion of musical superstars. 

Speaking on latest episode of the Rolling Stone Interview: Special Edition, he detailed: ‘I love birthdays. This year is going to be a little different… We’re putting this show together – an hour of music and chat. It’s quite a big birthday.’

80-years-young! Ringo has announced he is set to host a virtual concert to mark his 80th birthday, with a host of stars including Paul McCartney

As well as Paul and Ringo, stars appearing at Big Birthday Show will include Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark, Jr., Sheila E, and Ben Harper, while tribute performances will come from Steve Earle, Peter Frampton and Judy Collins.

The show will also debut a star-packed version of Ringo’s 2017 track Give More Love with Jeff Bridges, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson among others. 

In his announcement, Ringo requested that fans and followers ‘say, think, or post #peaceandlove at noon their local time on July 7th’.

The broadcast is being held to benefit The David Lynch Foundation, Black Lives Matter Global Network, MusiCares, and WaterAid. 

Back in the day: Ahead of the milestone day on Tuesday, the music icon confirmed Ringo’s Big Birthday Show, a charity show set to air on YouTube at 8pm, where his bandmate will perform alongside a legion of musical superstars 

During his chat with the magazine, Ringo also discussed the secret to his youthful appearance: ‘Broccoli with everything and blueberries in the morning’ and revealed that he hasn’t left his house in 11 weeks amid lockdown.

The news comes after Sir Paul admitted he felt ‘sick and angry’ over ongoing racial tensions, as he reflected on The Beatles refusal to play a show for a segregated audience in 1964.

The music icon, 77, took to Twitter to relay the story, as he lamented George Floyd’s tragic death after Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Pals:  Ringo and Paul, pictured with the latter’s daughter Stella in September 

In a lengthy statement, he said: ‘As we continue to see the protests and demonstrations across the world, I know many of us want to know just what we can be doing to help.

‘None of us have all the answers and there is no quick fix but we need change. We all need to work together to overcome racism in any form. We need to learn more, listen more, talk more, educate ourselves and, above all, take action.’

Going on to explain what happened with the iconic group, he went on: ‘In 1964 The Beatles were due to play Jacksonville in the US and we found out that it was going to be to a segregated audience. It felt wrong. 

Lockdown life: During his chat with the magazine, Ringo also discussed the secret to his youthful appearance: ‘Broccoli with everything and blueberries in the morning’ and revealed that he hasn’t left his house in 11 weeks amid lockdown (pictured in 2016

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