In New York in 1976 Paul met John several times at Dakota
It was meant as a joke, but it turned into, arguably, the greatest missed opportunity in rock history. On April 24, 1976, John Lennon and Paul McCartney nearly took Lorne Michaels up on his offer to have the Beatles perform on Saturday Night Live.
In 2011, Paul McCartney went on recall to The Express the last time he saw Lennon: “I was at John’s place and Saturday Night Live was on and John said to me, ‘Have you seen this?’ I hadn’t, I was living in England, he was living in America. He said,
‘No, they’re offering us money to get back together – Lorne Michaels came on the show last week.’ And John said, ‘We should go down, just you and me. We’ll just show up. There’s only two of us, we’ll take half the money.’ For a second we were like, ‘Shall we do it?’ I don’t know what stopped us. It would’ve been work and we were having a night off so we elected to not go to work. It was a nice idea. Wenearly did it.”
On April 24th, 1976, Lennon and McCartney — with Yoko and Linda — watched Saturday Night Live as producer Lorne Michaels offered the Beatles a whopping $3,000 to reunite on the show.
1976 episode of Saturday Night Live, producer Lorne Michaels made a plea to the guys to reunite, saying that NBC “has authorized me to offer you … a certified check for $3,000.” He assured them. “You can divide it anyway you want. If you want to give Ringo less, that’s up to you.”
They briefly considered heading to Rockefeller Center where the show was being performed, as a gag, but in the end passed due to being too tired. The two last spoke on the phone in early 1980.
Although the pair were on good terms, the encounter was not a success. McCartney turned up unannounced at the Dakota building, where John lived.
“That was a period when Paul just kept turning up at our door with a guitar. I would let him in, but finally I said to him, ‘Please call before you come over. It’s not 1956, and turning up at the door isn’t the same anymore. You know, just give me a ring.’ He was upset by that, but I didn’t mean it badly. I just meant that I was taking care of a baby all day, and some guy turns up at the door.” John Lennon,1980-All We Are Saying, David Sheff
McCartney left for Dallas, Texas, where the following day Wings began rehearsals for the US leg of their world tour. Although he stayed in contact with Lennon until the latter’s death in 1980, the pair would never again meet face-to-face.