Ringo Starr's Cop Car Joy Ride Through Indianapolis That Ended in a Surprise Family Visit

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Of all the things one might see on a shift as an Indiana state trooper, a lone Ringo Starr asking for a joy ride in your cop car isn’t likely top of mind. But such was the case for three lucky policemen who chose to remain nameless when the Indianapolis Star first reported on the strange encounter in September 1964. (After all, there were probably rules about giving celebrities tours of the city while on duty.)

The Beatles had made their way to the Hoosier State to perform at the State Fair Coliseum in the capital city on September 3, where they played to nearly 30,000 people. With Beatlemania on the rise, the quartet opted to stay in unsuspectingly humble accommodations at the Speedway Motel. That’s where the state troopers first encountered Starr, sitting by himself outside of the motel.
The Beatle Asked The Cops For A Tour Of The City

Per the Indianapolis Star, the Liverpudlian drummer approached the group of policemen and said, “Can’t sleep, chums. Suppose we could go for a bit of a ride in the country?” While Beatlemania was still on the rise, Starr and the rest of his bandmates were certainly well-recognized celebrities by this point, and the Indiana state troopers happily obliged.

The cops let Starr ride along in their car while they drove the Beatle past Monument Circle, the Governor’s Mansion, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Years later, during a 1989 visit to Late Night with David Letterman, Starr admitted to getting behind the wheel of the cop car at one point. When another LEO vehicle began pursuing their cruiser, the drummer said, “We had to drive up an alley and turn the lights out to hide” (via Indianapolis Monthly).

The troopers’ initial 1964 recollection didn’t include the Brit getting into the driver’s seat of a cop car, but it did include several quips the musician made to the police officers throughout his joy ride. “When he saw the Governor’s Mansion, he asked if the fence was to keep the governor in or the people out,” one policeman recalled.

Source: Melanie Davis/


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