He only left for a few weeks during the White Album sessions, but he was persuaded to come back, apparently. I got it off wikipedia, and it says on there that Paul McCartney played drums on 'Back in the USSR' and 'Dear Prudence'. And I think John Lennon left the band in late 1969 for a bit because the band were a bit sick of him spending a lot of time with Yoko Ono.
Was that when they were recording the white album? I think he was frustrated at tension between the band and bored at the waiting around thayt came from it.
The most obvious answer to me is that they wanted some one who could play the drums good, but contracts made for his return .
How do you know this happened, Harry? I don't remember hearing about it at the time.
Yes it was.