Stories

Ringo Starr’s ‘Worst Gig’ Consisted Of Death Threats Against Him

ADVERTISEMENT

For the rest of his life, Ringo Starr will forever remember Montreal, Canada, as the place he had his “worst gig.” It took him 58 years to return to the city for a performance with another touring group, but The Beatles never went back.

The 82-year-old musician joined the Fab Four in August 1962. At that time, the band was building its fan base and reputation through live performances, virtually exploding in 1964 when they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. The global spread of Beatlemania brought their concerts to Australia, Asia, and North America, among other places.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ringo Starr’s Worst gig

HELP!, Ringo Starr, 1965

On Sept 8, 1964, The Beatles had two shows in Montreal, Canada, but they didn’t spend more than 10 hours in the city, because of threats against Ringo’s life. “We went to Key West (Florida) from French Canada, where we thought Ringo was going to get shot,” his former bandmate George Harrison recounted of the experience. “Montreal newspapers reported that someone was going to kill Ringo because they didn’t like his nose or something.”

ADVERTISEMENT

RELATED: Ringo Starr Forced To Cancel Several Shows In Canada After Falling Ill

Harrison continued. “We decided, ‘Let’s get out of town.’ We flew out a day early, instead of staying the night in Montreal.”

What happened during the concert

Michael Seth Starr, the author of Ringo’s biography, With A Little Help, detailed the experience in the book. The biographer claimed the French-Canadian separatists issued death threats on Ringo because they thought he was a Jew. A misconception Harrison called “Ironic, because he was probably the most British of the Beatles.”

BEATLES, THE: George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney reading ‘Cliveden’, c. 1965

“Ringo and his bandmates were used to the threats. It came with the territory, but this one was different with its sinister overtones,” Michael revealed. “Once The Beatles took the stage in Montreal, Ringo — up on his drum riser — purposely turned his cymbals outward toward the audience for whatever little protection that afforded him.”

Also, the police department had to come to The Beatles’ aid throughout the show. A cop in plain clothes stayed beside Ringo to defend him specifically, a situation the musician found funny, “If someone in the audience has a pop at me, what is this guy going to do?” He said in The Beatles Anthology. “Is he going to catch the bullet?”

A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, The Beatles, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney candid on the set with director, Richard Lester, 1964.

Luckily, no harm was done, and the band stopped touring two years after the incident to focus instead on recording their albums.

Show comments
Share
Published by

Recent Posts

John Larroquette Back On ‘Night Court’: How And Why?

John Larroquette is a multiple award-winning actor who appeared in several sitcoms, series, and legal…

23 hours ago

93-Year-Old Tippi Hedren Still Lives With Several Big Cats

A lot of people have been amused by the Netflix documentary series, Tiger King, which…

1 day ago

Gary Sinise Opens Up About How ‘Forrest Gump’ Role Changed His Life

Gary Sinise is a Hollywood star but there has always been one role that has…

1 day ago

Marc Anthony’s Marriage To 23-Year-Old Wife Shows That Love Is Not Limited By Age

Recently, Marc Anthony, 54 found love again for the fourth time and tied the knot…

2 days ago

Does Daniel Craig Have Any Kids? Meet His Two Daughters

Daniel Craig has had an impressive career that is enviable by other Hollywood actors and…

2 days ago

Late Honor Blackman: Who Are Her Two Children?

Honor Blackman became famous for playing Pussy Galore in the James Bond franchise movie, Goldfinger,…

2 days ago