When John Lennon and Paul McCartney reconciled and nearly reformed The Beatles

When The Beatles broke up it broke hearts around the world. The impact of The Beatles’ music on popular culture cannot be overstated, as they became the most successful and significant act in music history.

The songwriting partnership of Lennon/McCartney (or McCartney/Lennon depending on your disposition) revolutionised pop music and the way people listened to it. But with unimaginable highs, there will always be inevitable lows, and the Fab Four weren’t impervious to the pitfalls of fame, fortune, inflated egos and creative tensions.

Though they were only together for ten years, The Beatles transformed popular music in that time, so called it a day in 1970 having released thirteen studio albums. John, Paul, George and Ringo all individually had other ambitions they wanted to fulfil – John announced he wanted to leave in 1969, and George had already quit by that time too before re-joining.

However, things turned sour between the four Beatles after the acrimonious break-up which drove a massive wedge between John and Paul. They even wrote thinly veiled insults about one another – Paul wrote ‘Too Many People’ after John called his first solo album “rubbish”, who himself followed up with ‘How Do You Sleep At Night?’.

Despite their feud, the pair reconciled long before John’s shocking murder in 1980, and even toyed with the idea of reuniting The Beatles for a one-off performance. Though they had their digs at one another – including a ferocious letter John wrote to Paul accusing him of being deluded about The Beatles’ success – there was clearly still a musical connection between Macca and Lennon.

In 1974, the pair began to bridge the gap that grew increasingly distant after the band’s break-up after Paul and Linda McCartney came to visit him in the studio. John was working with Harry Nilsson in Los Angeles (during his fabled lost weekend having broken up with Yoko Ono) and Paul dropped in to surprise him, which resulted in a jam session.

They recorded the session, but nothing particularly fruitful came of it, and it turned out to be the final time the pair would record anything together. Their meeting did inspire the two to reconcile somewhat however – they clearly had unfinished business as friends too.

After the 1975 Grammy Awards, Lennon reportedly asked pals David Bowie and Art Garfunkel back to his New York apartment to discuss potentially reuniting with McCartney, according to Art. They were both softening around the edges, and it was fatherhood that helped the former Beatles bond once again.

Macca released ‘Dear Friend’ as an open letter to Lennon, and the pair continued to jam together, being spotted hanging out in New York in 1976.

It was that same year The Beatles were very nearly reunited, for an episode of Saturday Night Live after the show’s producer Lorne Michaels addressed them directly live on air.

“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.” “The National Broadcasting Company has authorised me to offer you this check to be on our show. A certified check for $3,000.”

Though it was meant as a joke, Lennon and McCartney were watching the show together at John’s apartment, and were very nearly swayed by the proposal only being a matter of minutes away from the programme’s studio. They decided against it however, in a sliding doors moment which could’ve seen The Beatles reunite for one final time perhaps.

Though John and Paul may have not reached the same levels of friendship and creativity together as they did with their former band, Paul recalls their reconciliation fondly. Macca wrote in his book years later: “We had even more in common, and we’d often talk about being parents.”

“I was very glad of how we got along in those last few years, that I had some really good times with him before he was murdered.” “Luckily, our last meeting was very friendly. We talked about how to bake bread.” It might not be the outcome fans of The Beatles would have wanted, but at least John and Paul buried the hatchet in the years after the Fab Four broke up.

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