Speaking before his online birthday concert, which also featured Paul McCartney, Starr recalled the "crazy offer" from promoter Bill Sargent, which was enough to make the Beatles reconsider their post-breakup acrimony from a few years prior.
The band was offered an astounding £50 million — about $250 million in today's money — to take part in the biggest rock and roll reunion of all time. The ex-Beatles were intrigued, but the novelty act Sargent cast as main support was too much cause for concert.
"We called each other to see what we think. We decided not to do it because the opening act was a guy biting shark. So we thought no," Starr said.
It's unclear whether the band considered asking Sargent to reconsider the opener, the implication being that The Beatles took the booking as a warning sign about their potential business partner.
Lennon was murdered in 1980. Harrison died of cancer in 2001.
"If John and George had not died there was surely a possibility of [a reunion]," Starr continued. "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."
Starr added that he did not think the final album The Beatles recorded, 1969's Abbey Road, was going to be the end for the band.
"I thought, 'We'll be back in how many months and we'll do another,'" he added of his thoughts leaving the last Beatles recording session.
New evidence suggests that the other Beatles felt the same way.
Last summer, Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn revealed that he had acquired a tape from one of the band's final meetings. Recorded for the benefit of Starr, who was hospitalized at the time, the tape depicts McCartney, Lennon and Harrison discussing the parameters for their next album.
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