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Today in History: Ringo Starr Was Banned From the Playboy Club



Ringo Starr and his friends used to frequent the Playboy Club, but their long nights at the club came to an end in 1974. Starr and Keith Moon had thrown a party there that caused damage. The club ultimately rescinded their memberships for their behavior. 

Ringo Starr and his friends made a film about their nights out at places like the Playboy Club

In 1974, Starr and his friend Harry Nilsson decided to make a documentary called Harry and Ringo’s Night Out about their nights in Los Angeles clubs. The two friends spent a good deal of time out with musicians like Moon and John Lennon, and they wanted to capture it on film.

A black and white picture of Harry Nilsson standing with his arms around Ringo Starr and Keith Moon.

Starr turned to Pride Records president Michael Viner to co-finance the film, which they budgeted at $1.5 million. They wanted to intersperse footage from nights out with animated scenes. Ultimately, though, they never completed the project or the accompanying album. Viner screened the early footage with hopes of raising enough money to finish the project, but they never were able to do this.

Ringo Starr and Keith Moon were banned from the Playboy Club

When The Beatles first visited New York City, one of their stops was the city’s Playboy Club. Starr continued to frequent the club’s London location in the years after The Beatles’ break up. He and Moon attended the club with a number of friends and were kicked out for “general misbehavior” (via Ringo: With a Little Help by Michael Seth Starr).

While there, Moon began stabbing people with a fork, and someone smashed a guardrail. On March 31, 1974, the club announced that they were revoking Starr and Moon’s memberships.

“It was decided to withdraw their membership because damage by Mr. Starr and Mr. Moon came to an amount totalling almost £30!” a spokesperson for the club said, per the book The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Breakup.

Starr admitted that during this time, he was more interested in going out than doing anything else.


“I was sliding down, I wasn’t taking enough interest,” he said. “I was more interested in boogeying, just going out to parties and not doing what I did.”

The drummer stopped drinking

In 1988, Starr went to rehab with his wife, Barbara Bach. Since then, he has stopped drinking and using drugs. He worried that this would negatively impact his music, but soon realized that he was better off.

“I was afraid at the beginning. [I thought] I don’t know how you do anything if you’re not drunk,” he told Rolling Stone. “That’s where I ended up. I couldn’t play sober, but I also couldn’t play as a drunk. So when I did end up in this rehab, it was like a light went on and said you’re a musician, you play good.”

Ringo Starr holds a microphone and lifts his arms up to show peace signs while standing onstage.

He eventually realized that drugs and alcohol hadn’t made him funnier or more talented like he thought at the time.

“You always think you’re witty on alcohol and cocaine,” he said. “You think you’re so witty that you decide to tell the same story over and over and over and over and over again. To the same person. I meet people now, and I think, ‘God, was I like that?’ And a little voice inside says, ‘Yes, you were.’”

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

Source: Cheat Sheet


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