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THE MOMENT JOHN LENNON AND PAUL MCCARTNEY NEARLY REUNITED LIVE ON SNL

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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…

There are a lot of ‘almost’ moments in rock and roll history, one that has always hung heavily over our heads was the very real moment Saturday Night Live nearly reunited The Beatles, had John Lennon and Paul McCartney been bothered to get up from watching it on TV.

In the iconic first series of ‘Saturday Night Live’ – America’s home of alternative weekend hilarity – show’s legendary producer, Lorne Michaels set himself a fairly big challenge: to reunite The Beatles. He started as any SNL act would, with a piece direct to camera.

Whether Michaels was performing with the real intent of reuniting the most enigmatic songwriting partnership to have ever existed in Lennon and McCartney, or he was just doing a bit, he shared the sentiment of a nation. Michaels talks directly to the camera about how The Beatles had affected so many lives, “In my book, The Beatles are the best thing that ever happened to music. It goes even deeper than that — you’re not just a musical group, you’re a part of us. We grew up with you.”

He sincerely suggests an offer to the pair, “Now, we’ve heard and read a lot about personality and legal conflicts that might prevent you guys from reuniting. That’s something which is none of my business. That’s a personal problem. You guys will have to handle that. But it’s also been said that no one has yet to come up with enough money to satisfy you. Well, if it’s money you want, there’s no problem here.”

Audiences across the country gasp in hope that maybe this might just happen, with Network money anything is possible, surely? Michaels continued, The National Broadcasting Company has authorized me to offer you this check to be on our show. A certified cheque for $3,000.” It now becomes a little clearer that Michaels’ tongue was firmly in his cheek.

The producer continues with the bit and explains how all the band need to do is sing three songs “‘She Loves You,’ yeah, yeah, yeah – that’s $1,000 right there. You know the words. It’ll be easy. Like I said, this is made out to ‘The Beatles.’ You divide it any way you want. If you want to give Ringo [Starr] less, that’s up to you. I’d rather not get involved.”

Here it is, that ‘almost’ moment we promised. While Michaels entertained the audience in the studio with his skit the millions of folks watching at home were likely laughing away with them – John Lennon and Paul McCartney included. Unbeknown to Michaels and the rest of the globe, the duo was just a mile or so away watching the show together in John’s apartment in the Dakota building.

As Lennon said in 1980, “Paul … was visiting us at our place in the Dakota. We were watching it and almost went down to the studio, just as a gag. We nearly got into a cab, but we were actually too tired. … He and I were just sitting there watching the show, and we went, ‘Ha ha, wouldn’t it be funny if we went down? But we didn’t.”

Paul McCartney would confirm the story saying, “John said, ‘We should go down, just you and me. There’s only two of us so we’ll take half the money.’ And for a second. … But It would have been work, and we were having a night off, so we elected not to go. It was a nice idea – we nearly did it.”

Oh, what could have been. It’s an ‘almost’ moment so tantalising that a TV film was made about what would have happened had they of reunited in 1976. The film is called Two of Us and first aired on VH1 in 2000.

George Harrison would go on to be a musical guest on ‘Saturday Night Live’ later in the year and carry on the joke. Arriving to collect the previously offered cheque, he and Michaels discuss the split. With the producer’s hands tied Harrison agrees that for an extra $250 he would say the show’s iconic opening line, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”

Sadly the show would never be able to reunite The Beatles. Lennon and McCartney were just a mile and a half away from the studio and the world was just as close to a historical moment.

faroutmagazine


IN 1971, JOHN LENNON DISCUSSED THE SPLIT OF THE BAND

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John Lennon was not impressed with the Rolling Stones and thought they should split up in an incredible interview from 1971.
In April 1970 it was announced the Beatles were splitting up. John had actually told the band he was leaving in September 1969, but was persuaded to keep it quiet to help the release of their album, Abbey Road. In 1971, John discussed the split of the band. At the same time, he also gave a very blunt opinion of fellow Brit superstars The Rolling Stones.
Lennon was interviewed by journalist David Wigg.

He said: “For me personally when you listen to the Stones music, nothing’s even happened. It’s the same old stuff goes on and on and on.”I’ve never heard anything different from them.
“So I think it would be good if they broke up and made some individual music because it’s the same old hash, rehash of the same old stuff over and over again.”
It’s worth pointing out that in the past few years prior to Lennon’s comments, The Rolling Stones had released some of the most iconic tracks of all time.
Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Honky Tonk Woman, Brown Sugar, Sympathy For The Devil and Wild Horse were all singles between 1968v and 1971.
Yet Lennon added: “Nothing personal Mick, you know I love you and Keith.  I think it would do them good to split up.”
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards should probably note that Lennon’s comments were doubtlessly coloured by his fervent belief at the time that the band structure and image of the Beatles had killed their creativity.
He said: “In the Beatles, by the time the Beatles were at their peak we were cutting each other down to size.
“We were limiting our capacity to write and perform by fitting it into some kind of format and that’s why it caused trouble.”
That’s why Lennon was so insistent the band should never reform.
He argued they were all much happier pursuing solo projects which, he believed, also had greater creative worth.
He added: “There’s no reason why we should ever play together. Listen to the music. Would George have ever flourished like that if we’d carried on with the group? No chance. There was no room.
“It’s far better music because we’re not suppressed.”
in the 1971 interview, Lennon said of the ‘inevitability’ of his split from the Beatles: “I told everyone years ago, ‘I’m not going to be singing She Loves You when I’m thirty.’
“I was thirty last year and it was then when I broke the band up, or I decided to leave. I don’t know when they decided it, or whatever… That’s when it happened. I knew I wouldn’t be doing the same thing.
“It just doesn’t work like that. It’s like a rugby team. Sometimes you just have to get married and leave the boys on a Saturday night. That’s just how it is.”

LISTEN TO THE FULL JOHN LENNON INTERVIEW  HERE

express.co.uk


JOHN LENNON: “IT WAS JUST ME SINGING “HELP” AND I MEANT IT”

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John was usually open about the tough moments of his life in interviews, and he spoke freely about “Help!” in several interviews. “It makes me feel secure to know that I was aware of myself then,” he told Rolling Stone in 1970. “It was just me singing ‘help’ and I meant it.”

In 1980, speaking with Playboy’s David Sheff, John expanded on that idea and was even more open. “I didn’t realize it at the time … but later, I knew I really was crying out for help,” he said.

“You see the movie: He — I — is very fat, very insecure, and he’s completely lost himself,” John added. “And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was.”

By ’80, John seemed much more capable of handling things. “I don’t know whether you learn control or, when you grow up, you calm down a little. [But] I was fat and depressed crying out for help.”

Speaking to Playboy, John explained what was behind his depression while making the second Beatles movie. “The Beatles thing had just gone beyond comprehension,” he said. “We were smoking marijuana for breakfast. Nobody could communicate with us … [we were] in our own world.”

Originally, John (with an assist from Paul McCartney) wrote the song to a medium tempo. However, with the band and Parlophone trying to commercialize a track destined to be a single, the Fab Four made it faster in the recording studio.

“Help!” hit the charts in the summer of ’65 and quickly rose to No. 1 in the UK and America — just a few weeks after the Help! arrived in theaters. The song stayed on top of the Billboard charts for three weeks.

cheatsheet


NEW YEAR’S GREETINGS

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