Friday, April 9, 2010

The Beatles: The Reunion That Never Happened

It was on April 10, 1970 when Paul McCartney filed a lawsuit to end his partnership with the Beatles and announced the band was no more. By the end of the year, the Beatles were no more. Ever since that day, people have wanted them to reunite. It would’ve been the biggest reunion in music history. However there’s a problem now: two of the four Beatles are no longer around. How could it happen? In this article, I will go into the times the Beatles got together after breaking up.

When Paul left the Beatles in 1970, his debut album McCartney was released as well. One story goes that when John, George, and Ringo found out about the news John drove up to the McCartneys’ house and threw a rock at one of their front windows. For the first part of 1970, the Beatles stayed busy with their solo careers. John and his wife, Yoko Ono, worked together on each other’s albums. For both albums, Ringo was the drummer. One source says that on Yoko’s Plastic Ono Band album John, George, and Ringo are all playing on the song “Greenfield Morning I Pushed an Empty Baby Carriage All over the City”. In 1971, George Harrison played on John’s Imagine album. This footage can be seen in the 1988 Imagine documnetary. Notably, George plays guitar on the infamous “How Do You Sleep?”, which was John’s anti-Paul song. Also, George and Ringo played together at the Concert for Bangladesh that year. If you look at the history of the Beatles after they broke up, all the Beatles wanted to help out Ringo. His 1973 Ringo album is the closest thing people got to a Beatles reunion as all four Beatles put something into the record. John and George can be heard on the album’s opener “I’m The Greatest”.

The most talked about reunion was the one between John and Paul. There are various stories to when this happened. One bootleg circulates around called A Toot and a Snore in ’74, which consists of outtakes for Harry Nilsson’s Pussy Cats album which John was producing. Paul is said to have come down then. There is a rumored last time of when the two last met. It was either in 1975 or 1976. The 2001 TV movie Two of Us shows what may’ve happened. In 1976, Lorne Michaels offered on Saturday Night Live for the Beatles to reunite. In a 1980 interview, John says that he and Paul were watching this together when it came on. They actually thought about going down to the studio but were too tired. Paul has said the last time he talked to John was in 1980 over the phone. John was working on Double Fantasy at the time. Paul remembers that John said he wanted his career back. One site says that during this time, a letter had been sent to all four of the Beatles. This letter was to bring the Beatles back together and talk about future projects. However on December 8, 1980 all hopes for a Beatles reunion were gone after John Lennon was murdered outside his apartment. There could never be a Beatles reunion now…or could there?

In 1984, John’s oldest son Julian Lennon released his debut album Valotte. The album was a commercial success and became a hit thanks to the single “Too Late For Goodbyes”. Julian was a very talented young man and it didn’t take long for rumors to circulate that the Beatles would reunite with Julian taking his father’s place. Julian denied the rumor during an interview with David Letterman. In 1994, the Beatles finally reunited…kind of. Paul, George, and Ringo got back together to record music to three (later two) songs John had recorded. This later became part of the Anthology mini-series. While this kept fans happy, there were still fans thinking a reunion was possible. On November 29, 2001 George Harrison loss his battle with cancer. Since then, the idea of a reunion hasn’t been brought. There have been a few times where people have thought that if the Beatles were to have a reunion it should be Julian, Paul, Ringo and George’s son Dhani. However, fans should be glad that Paul and Ringo still get together on occasion. Just this year, Paul appeared on Ringo’s Y Not album for two songs.

Had there been a Beatles reunion, it would have made music history. The Beatles were and probably still are the greatest band of all time. For some ten year, they made some of the greatest music ever created by man. It was a great thing. Sometimes, good things have to come to an end. The greatest reunion that never happened would certainly be the Beatles.

1 comment:

  1. It is one of the greatest what-ifs of the 20th Century. I love the Beatles and have wondered for 40 years what might have happened except for a crazy man with a gun. Let us be thankful for what they did in the 1960s and try to make our world a better place. Love.