An Open Letter to Sir Paul McCartney: Come to the Fest!

Dear Sir Paul, (although many of us still fondly think of you as Paul, the lad from Allerton)


It was your idea, remember? In 1969, you tried to convince John that The Beatles ought to surprise random audiences and give impromptu concerts at smaller venues. He called the concept “daft.” We think it, genius.


Please…surprise us!!!


Last year, we watched longingly as you played the Philharmonic Pub to that lucky crowd gathered around you (and James Corden). We smiled to see you enjoying “Get (ting) Back” to your roots — to the haunts around The Institute that you know so well. We grinned along with the thrilled, enthusiastic crowd who will most certainly tell their grandchildren about the day they were fortunate to see Paul McCartney in Hope Street.


Please…thrill us!!!


Every one of us shared the priceless photo on social media (and in The Sun) of you riding blissfully along on a U.K. train, checking your texts and reading the newspaper…sitting there casually “in the trenches,” one of us again. To a man, (and a woman), we pretended that we were the providential passenger sitting across the aisle, giving you complete privacy while longing to lean over and whisper, “Just so you know, you changed my life forever.”


Give us that chance.


Please…trust us!!!


The Fest for Beatles Fans is in its 45th year, and for 45 years, we have gathered twice annually (in some years, three and four times) to play your songs, discuss the events of your life in depth, celebrate your new releases, and share our treasured photographs from your concerts. Some of us can boast never missing a Fest for Beatles Fans since its inception. Others are proud to have attended for 15 or 20 consecutive years, and yes, even that “modest” number is an investment of time, money, and devotion. We are fans in the truest sense of the word. No group of people anywhere would be more appreciative or more overcome with joy to welcome you in person.


We think you’d enjoy meeting us as well. A good many of us remember that first Ed Sullivan show. We were there, too…watching…agog. And for us, that night was just the beginning of live concerts, purchased LPs, trips to Liverpool, and a life of devotion.


Others of us are Second Gen fans…schoolteachers and dentists and accountants in our forties. But don’t let our age fool you! We’re no less devoted than the Baby Boomers. In fact, because we were introduced to The Beatles and Wings and “Macca” by our parents, teachers, or slightly older friends, we’ve compensated by becoming intensely passionate fans.


Finally, a huge portion of our Fest Family is comprised of Third Genners…excited and proud to be Beatles and McCartney fans in our teens and twenties. We know the stories just as well as the others do. And fifty years from now, we’ll be the ones telling them to those who will follow.


We are diverse. But demographics aside, Paul, we find that at heart, our Fest Family is very much alike. We subscribe to Beatlefan magazine and Octopus’ Garden fanzine. We listen to podcasts such as “Something About The Beatles” and “Breakfast with The Beatles” and “Beatles Brunch.” We have McCartney and Beatles libraries in our homes. We’ve collected every concert t-shirt you’ve ever printed. In short, we are your people — the ones who would really cherish that incredible moment when you’d suddenly appear on The Fest for Beatles Fans stage and rave across the boards, with a little help from your friends.


This year, the New Jersey Fest for Beatles Fans is set for Friday, 29 March; Saturday, 30 March, and Sunday, 31 March, and you are most cordially invited, Sir Paul. It would, indeed, be the honor of a lifetime to have you there!


We hope to see you in Jersey City at the Hyatt Regency where, thanks to the hard work of Mark and Carol Lapidos, their daughters Michelle Joni and Jessica, and the Fest staff and family, a “splendid time is guaranteed for all.” Having you with us, even for a moment or so, would certainly make it so. It was a great idea in 1969…but it’s an even better one now!


Cryin’, wishin’, hopin’, (your Cavern song!)

Your Fest Fans


P.S. We love you.

Jude Southerland Kessler is the author of the John Lennon Series:


Jude is represented by 910 Public Relations — @910PubRel on Twitter and 910 Public Relations on Facebook.


May “A Paul” Fall Over The Land

By Jude Southerland Kessler


IT happened just after the Superbowl.


After four hours of knuckle-gnawing, hair-raising, supreme gridiron action…interrupted only by a halftime that piled choreography atop an incredible light show and special effects…after four hours of superb athletic play dolloped liberally with hilarious (Danny DeVito as a brash, red M & M) and extremely touching commercials (such as Verizon’s “Answering the Call” tribute to first responders), I took a breather. To calm and unwind, I found my quiet computer and sat down to handle some business posts on Facebook.


And there I found them…The Naysayers. They were alive and well, despite the joy of the evening’s incredible offerings, and they were quite vocal:

“Justin Timberlake did nothing for me!”

“The commercials were a big, fat yawn.”

“The refs were awful.”

“The halftime show was the worst to date!”

“I’m not one bit impressed.”

“What happened to all the great commercials we used to have?”


I could barely believe my eyes. Had these people witnessed the same game I’d just seen? Had they watched the heartfelt Busch “Stand by You” commercial? Had they taken a bathroom break during the brilliant “We Will Rock You” Ford Ram Vikings ad? Had they not sat on the edge of their couches and shouted at the television as I had? Or had the worst finally transpired…had we morphed into a world conditioned to gripe and grouse, 24/7??


At that very moment, IT happened…yes, indeed it did. This ardent John Lennon devotee was driven straightaway into the emotional camp of Paul McCartney! In the blink of an eye.


I’m here to stand up and shout: The world needs more Pauls. The world needs more smiles, more “thumbs up,” more tact and kindness. The world need more brave faces. We need more “let it be.”


From Day One, The Beatles recognized that Paul was a great asset, and not just as a musician. Of the four boys, McCartney was by far the best-equipped to handle their public relations, to smooth rough corners, to manage sticky situations. In his book, Beatlemania: The Real Story of The Beatles U.K. Tours: 1963-1965, author Martin Creasy writes: “McCartney had an in-built sense of exactly the right or wrong thing for a Beatle to say at any given moment. Among all his other talents, Paul was the PR heavyweight who rarely, if ever, let slip anything that could damage the group’s reputation. He soon realised that unguarded moments…could result in unwelcome headlines.”[i]


But even before there were headlines, Paul was busy making life rosy for the other Beatles. On their first tour with Johnny Gentle to Scotland (in May 1960), the Beatles minibus unfortunately rear-ended a car that was legally stopped at a four-way crossing. Two very startled and scared elderly ladies sat in the damaged car, shocked at this assault by a van of teenagers. The Beatles, for their part, were injured (especially drummer, Tommy Moore) and very afraid of the legal ramifications. Paul was immediately elected to get out and make everything right.


Now, I ask you, how does one explain careening into the back of a cautiously stopped vehicle? How does one make the officious ramming of a sedan driven by two sweet, old grandmas acceptable? I have no clue, but Paul did. He smiled and gestured and was his affable self…and within minutes, the ladies were feeling sorry for the skinny, tired, young entertainer whose driver was falling asleep from an extreme dearth of rest. Paul made it all okay.


On the few occasions when Paul wasn’t at the “Happy Helm” of The Beatles, the center began to fly apart. No one is sure what miffed Paul into silence at the Cleveland press conference during the North American Tour of 1964, but miffed he was. He sat at the press conference table and doodled away, saying not a word to anyone. (Well, once he snarled at John when John suggested that their education in Liverpool wasn’t the best. But other than this singular flare, Paul sketched and kept his head down.) And though easy-going Ringo tried his best to fill in the large gap left by the muted Gregarious Beatle, Ringo struggled. George and John, of course, were as honest and forthright as ever. It was a very tense, touch-and-go afternoon.


You see, we need those who mend fences. We need those who bite their tongues, now and again. We need those who try to compromise or see the good in the opposite viewpoint. We need the Pauls who find something happy in every situation…the Pauls who elect not to fight at every bend in the road, but who make life easier on all around, simply by refusing to complain.


I thrive on John Lennon’s biting satire and commentary. I love George Harrison’s blunt honesty. I adore Ringo’s mournful complaints when he’s attacked with scissors or girls who steal his medals and rend his clothing. Like most people, I cherish the frankness of The Beatles, the brash sincerity that made them so trusted and thus, beloved.


But every once in a while, I wish we could all take a large dose of Sir Macca’s positive approach and “can do” outlook. I wish we could all make an effort to say, “Good Day, Sunshine” and really mean it.


It seems to me, we could all use that Macca miracle drug…uh, yesterday. Seeing Sir Paul in concert, it’s a cinch to observe his zest for living, his utter enthusiasm. No one would guess him a day over 50, much less 70! Why? Because being joyous defeats age; it reverses wear and tear. It invigorates and rejuvenates. It refreshes. (Exactly why Sir Mc was an ideal Superbowl halftime performer in 2005!)[ii]


So, I fervently pray that somehow “a Paul” may fall over our land, as it were. We need something to laugh about…and it’s that (instead of money) that I want.


[i] Creasy, Beatlemania: The Real Story of The Beatles U.K. Tours, 1963-1965, p. 290.

[ii] To see Sir Paul McCartney perform his full 2005 Superbowl Halftime Show, go to:

Jude Southerland Kessler is the author of the John Lennon Series:


Jude is represented by 910 Public Relations — @910PubRel on Twitter and 910 Public Relations on Facebook.


One Last Chance, Here, There, and Everywhere…

Paul had tried to say it a hundred different ways. On Beatles for Sale, he’d tried laying out his case to Jane Asher logically:


Hey, what you’re doing, I’m feeling blue and lonely!
Would it be too much to ask you
What you’re doing to me?


You got me running, and there’s no fun in it!
Why should it be so much to ask of you
What you’re doing to me?


On Rubber Soul, he’d tried exhorting her:


I’m looking through you! Where did you go?
I thought I knew you! What did I know?
You don’t look different, but you have changed!
I’m looking through you; you’re not the same!


On his double-sided single (with “Day Tripper”), he’d tried warning her:


Try to see it my way,
Do I have to keep on talking ’til I can’t go on?
While you see it your way,
Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone!


For years, in song after song after song, only the melody had changed. But the lyrics had been pretty much the same: “I need you here. I need you to give up what you’re doing and be with me. If you can’t find a way to be with me, we’re eventually going to come to an unhappy end.” That was the general thesis statement in “You Won’t See Me.” It was intrinsically implied in “All My Loving.” Paul’s basic theme was always there.


But Paul’s words had done no good. Jane had continued to pursue her glamorous career as a successful actress. She had continued to travel the globe and forge her own way in the world, and Paul was at the end of his rope, really.


So, on Revolver, he sat down to write to her one last time, to woo her, to create a love song that would haunt her and say in the most enchanting way he knew how: “This is what our life could be, if you would simply be with me. Here’s the nirvana. Here’s the perfect world we could have, if only…”


And for Paul, whose wheelhouse was generally his incredible music – not his lyrics – this song is special. It’s poetry. It’s lovely, sincere poetry, written with a master’s hand. I know you’ve heard it a million times. You know it by heart. But you know the song. Take time now to read the poetry aloud. Forget the heartbreaking melody. Just speak (or whisper) the words to yourself. Try it.


This is Paul’s plea. And it’s poignant. It’s a vision for “the maiden faire” who has always eluded him. It’s one last chance…


To lead a better life
I need my love to be here!

Here, making each day of the year…
Changing my life with a wave of her hand!
Nobody can deny that there’s something there.

There, running my hands through her hair…
Both of us thinking how good it can be
Someone is speaking, but she doesn’t know he’s there.

I want her everywhere
And if she’s beside me I know I need never care…

But to love her is to need her everywhere, knowing that love is to share!
Each one believing that love never dies,
Watching her eyes…and hoping I’m always there…

I want her everywhere
And if she’s beside me I know I need never care!!!

But to love her is to need her everywhere, knowing that love is to share…

Each one believing that love never dies
Watching their eyes and hoping I’m always there

I will be there, and everywhere
Here, there and everywhere.


And with that, Paul McCartney’s case is closed. Because really, could it be more plain, simple, honest, or touching?


One last time, Paul has laid out his evidence and vision to the girl he can’t quite pin down. (“I need you everywhere, knowing that love it to share.”) He has asked her one final time to relinquish the things that pull her away from him and to make him her world. And he has done it so effectively that he realizes if she declines, this time the offer must expire. This time, he will understand. This time, he will move on.


When asked about this song, John Lennon said that if he were on a desert island and could only have a limited number of tunes to cherish for the rest of his life, this would be one of his picks. This song. Because for a lyricist like John, this lonely, despairing plea speaks volumes.


“Here, There, and Everywhere” is truly one of Paul McCartney’s best because it comes from the heart. It’s not a white-washed, thumbs-up, “silly love song.” It’s a dramatic final gesture. Sadly, however (or maybe not!), this proposal was not enough. And when Jane Asher turned and moved in another direction, that paved the way for the entry of Linda Eastman.


Yes, here, there, and everywhere, Paul’s story has a happy ending. Always. Even if it was not the one anticipated.

Jude Southerland Kessler is the author of the John Lennon Series:


Jude is represented by 910 Public Relations — @910PubRel on Twitter and 910 Public Relations on Facebook.


The definitive Paul McCartney biography available at the Fest Shop!

Available for pre-order at the Fest Shop (publish date of May 3) is Paul McCartney: The Life, by Philip Norman.


The definitive biography of Paul, all copies ordered through the Fest will be bookplate signed by the author.


Paul has given Philip Norman his approval to write this book, opening doors to family and friends, making it the biography.


Since the age of twenty-one, Paul has lived  the ultimate rock-n-roll life played out on the most public of stages. Now, Paul’s story is told by rock music’s foremost biographer (Shout and John Lennon: The Life) with McCartney’s consent and access to family members and close friends who have never spoken on the record before. PAUL McCARTNEY: THE LIFE reveals the complex character behind the facade and sheds new light on his childhood–blighted by his mother’s death but redeemed by the father who introduced him to music. Packed with hundreds of pages of new information and critical insights. Hardcover 864 Pages.


Author Philip Norman teases the book below…



Here Comes The Sun

Today in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C. and even Louisiana, COLD has gripped the nation. The sky is “a hazy shade of winter” (with nods to Simona and Garfunkel). We are locked in The Grey Zone…those interminably dark days just before Spring.
And for some people, it’s pretty darn depressing.
The Beatles reminded us that when things look and feel the worst (when politicians battle instead of perform, when ISIS rages, when religion becomes a reason for persecution once again), there is still hope. They reminded us that even then, there is hope ahead:
“Little darling, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter,
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here!
Here comes the sun; here comes the sun,
And I say, “It’s all right!”
Sure, we know the words. We all know the lyrics, but applying them to life is another story.
Last week, I visited New Orleans for Mardi Gras – something we Louisiana girls do as a natural part of our heritage. But this time, instead of doing the “same ole, same ole” thing, I sought out new sights, new inspirations to dispel winter’s gloom. And I found the towering, breathtakingly lovely Church of the Immaculate Conception on Baronne Street, close to the French Quarter. After walking miles and miles, I finally located it, opened the immense, wooden door, and stepped quietly inside. This is what I saw.

Outside it was freezing: windy and raw. But inside, I discovered a haven of loveliness. For many minutes, I sat in silence and looked all around, taking beauty in. I sat alone and listened. I noticed.
To my left was a window shaded sheltered in an alcove, set apart. I looked at it for a long time.

Then my eyes wandered to a second window farther down the wall, burning with light.

What a lesson was there! The windows were identical: constructed of the same stained glass and oak, designed by the same brilliant artist, created in the very same year. The single difference in these two works of art was that one shone in the sun and the other one sat in darkness.
That afternoon, I began to think of the window to my own soul…and how dark I’ve been lately as I’ve cared for my aging father, traveling miles upon weary miles each week, to be with him. I thought of how sorry I’ve felt for myself as I’ve had to sacrifice my writing and progress on The John Lennon Series to do the very uncreative but necessary tasks that care-giving demands. I thought of how gloomy I’ve become as my life has taken an unexpected change.
Over the past year, without realizing it, I’ve become that isolated window drenched in shadow. Darkened.
But here’s the thing…unless you’re an inert window – placed forever in an alcove – admitting the sun is a choice. Paul McCartney knew that when he wrote another set of Beatles’ lyrics:
“Tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.”
A lovely bit of poetry? Yes. But it’s more than that. In that closing words of that song, Paul was making a decision; he was consciously choosing to follow the sun. And whether we sing about it or not, we are also called to decide. Each day, we’re given the option to turn our faces to joy, hope, and happiness….or to turn away.
I don’t want to be an unlit window. I don’t want to chill others with my “hazy shade of winter.” I want to shine again. And Shine On. Do you?
Here comes the sun. It’s all right!
***Speaking of sun, Lanea Stagg’s e-book, Little Dog in the Sun is #1 on Amazon e-books today. Lanea has been part of the Fest family for several years, and her book is all about choosing to live in the sun…and to live life in joy after the death of a loved one. It’s a gorgeous children’s book that really represents what the Fest is all about. HEAD HERE to purchase a copy of Lanea’s book.
Jude Southerland Kessler


Live Rubber Soul

With today being the 49th anniversary of the release of Rubber Soul in the UK, we’ve put together “Live Rubber Soul” – the nine Rubber Soul tracks that have been performed live either by the Beatles or solo Beatles.
The Beatles’ decision to retreat full time into the studio after their concert at Candlestick Park in 1966 was a deliberate one. However, as we all know, the group was churning out songs that were either impossible to play live or nearly impossible to duplicate live well before late-1966.
Of the 14 tracks on Rubber Soul, nine have been performed live. Two of the songs were regulars on the Beatles’ set list during their final US tour, five have been performed live by Paul McCartney (solo), one was performed live by George Harrison, and one has been performed live by Ringo Starr (solo).
The songs on Rubber Soul that have never been performed in concert by the Beatles or solo Beatles: Norwegian Wood, Think For Yourself, Girl, Wait, and Run For Your Life.
Drive My Car (Paul McCartney solo)

You Won’t See Me (Paul McCartney Solo — first time since 1965 on record)

Nowhere Man (at the Circus Krone)

The Word (Paul McCartney Solo — first time since 1965 on record)

Michelle (Paul McCartney Solo)

What Goes On (Ringo Starr Solo)

I’m Looking Through You (Paul McCartney Solo)

In My Life (George Harrison Solo in 1974)

If I Needed Someone (Live in Japan)


Paul McCartney’s variance & versatility during the ‘Help’ sessions

Throughout his career, Paul McCartney has shown himself to be a bit of a chameleon, with his musical style bouncing all over the place from the mid-60s to the present.
While with the Beatles, you can point to the absurd differences between a song like ‘Helter Skelter’ and ‘Honey Pie,’ both of which appear on The Beatles (The White Album).
During his solo career, McCartney has gone from light to heavy to experimental (‘Temporary Secretary,’ etc) to classical and circled all the way back to his roots while putting a ‘NEW’ spin on things.
One of the best early examples of McCartney’s versatility can be found on three songs he recorded during the ‘Help’ sessions.
‘I’m Down,’ ‘I’ve Just Seen A Face,’ and ‘Yesterday’ were all recorded on the same day in June of 1965.
‘I’m Down’ is a classic McCartney rocker, which the Beatles began using to wrap up most of their live shows.
‘I’ve Just Seen A Face’ is a bluesy/country/folk-pop song that features a tempo unlike anything the group had done prior.
‘Yesterday,’ now viewed as an absolute classic, featured two contrasting sections and a string quartet.
Below, listen to alternate/live versions of each song >>




The Beatles pondered doing a live (non-rooftop) show in 1969

On January 29, 1969, the day before their rooftop concert, Paul McCartney and John Lennon had an at times intense conversation during the ‘Get Back’ sessions.
Over on the amoralto tumblr page, they did a great job breaking down the conversation.
The conversation – mostly dominated by Paul – revolved partially around the idea that the Beatles could do something instead of the rooftop concert.
Paul suggested playing in front of audiences again, entering a ‘visual’ studio, or doing some other not-yet-hashed-out thing instead of and/or in addition to the rooftop concert.
In the excerpt below, Paul makes his case:

PAUL: Yeah, but so… Hmm. But I’m just talking about this thing, like this thing we’ve entered upon now, we still haven’t got any aim for it, except another album, again. Our only aim, ever, is an album. Which is like a very non-visual thing, it’s very sort of… But it’s great, isn’t it, and we do albums, then. But—
JOHN: But albums is what we’re doing, at the moment.
PAUL: [uneasy] Yeah, but I don’t know. Like—
JOHN: I mean, that’s what we [inaudible] talk about.
PAUL: —like I was saying the other day, is that you – is that you – you— [hesitating] We’re into albums as the four of us, but I really think we could be into other things. But every time I talk about it, I really sound like I’m the showbiz correspondent, trying to hustle us to do a Judy Garland comeback, you know. But really, all I mean is – well, look, let’s get – let’s change, or let’s go into a studio, like a vision studio, after we’ve learnt all of these, that’s just as good as this for sound, that’s got the same sort of thinking…

Later on in the discussion, Paul intimates that George would be in favor of a show in the mold of the ones Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley were having around that time, and John wouldn’t rule it out:

PAUL: There’s no other way. We can’t think ourselves out of it. And we can’t sort of say, well, it will be alright. See, and then the only other alternative to that is to say, well, we don’t – we will never do it to an audience again. But if we intend to – to keep any sort of contact on that scene… [pause] Yeah. I do understand George’s just saying, “There’s no point,” you know, because it is like we’re Stravinsky, and it’s in the music. And he doesn’t sort of get up and play his ‘Joanna’ for them anymore. He just writes it, and just sort of maybe occasionally conducts it.
JOHN: But as long as there’s a good reason – like George wants to do a heavy show, like Dylan and Presley, all that.
JOHN: And that’ll be a large – I don’t know, like, I mean, that – that’s all this.
PAUL: Mm, yeah, I know, yeah. that’s always – that’s always just—
JOHN: Okay, yeah.
PAUL: That’s us again, you know.
JOHN: Yes, I know.
PAUL: It’s us going silly again.
JOHN: It is, and I think – I think we might do it.

All Beatles fans know what happened next.
The group went on to the Apple rooftop the next day for their final public performance.
A few weeks later, the group began work on ‘Abbey Road,’ the final album they would record.
What would have happened if Paul had convinced John and George to tour again…or if he had just convinced them to do one ‘audience show.’
Chances are that with George being held back musically, John wanting to branch off, and Paul’s at times overbearing personality, the group still would’ve disbanded.
However, it certainly would’ve been interesting to see what the dynamic would’ve been if the band had toured or played even one legitimate concert instead of the rooftop gig.


On John Lennon’s “Lost Weekend” & The Beatles Reunion That Never Was

By Danny Abriano

As a Beatles fanatic who was born three years after John Lennon was senselessly taken in December of 1980, I’m often bothered by the fact that I never shared the world with John. Since The Beatles formed and broke up before I was born, I also think about all of the “what ifs.” One of the most pondered, of course, is “what if The Beatles had gotten back together?”

During John Lennon’s “Lost Weekend” – the time he spent away from Yoko Ono from the summer of 1973 to early 1975 – he was with May Pang (and many others), and reportedly gave serious thought to a reunion with Paul and the rest of the group.

Before delving into the potential Beatles reunion, though, it’s important to discuss why the Lost Weekend came about in the first place.

John’s marriage to Yoko was floundering, and Yoko basically chose May Pang – who was an employee of theirs – as a lover and companion for John to have during their time apart. John spent lots of The Lost Weekend in Los Angeles, with friends such as Mal Evans and Harry Nilsson.

This month in 1974, one of the most infamous events of The Lost Weekend took place – the night John and Harry Nilsson were kicked out of the Troubadour Club for heckling the Smothers Brothers. As the story is told in “Lennon In America” by Geoffrey Giuliano:

One evening, Lennon, along with May Pang and Harry Nilsson, arrived at the Troubadour around midnight to catch the opening night of the Smothers Brothers act. Already overloaded on Brandy Alexanders, John became immediately disruptive, joining Harry in a cacophonous songfest and hurling a stream of obscenities at the Smothers. Events took a nasty turn when the duo’s manager Ken Fritz confronted an out-of-control John and hauled him from his seat.  Lennon exploded, overturning the table and the pair exchanged a few halfhearted fisticuffs. Lennon and company were literally thrown out the door where they tumbled into a party of incoming patrons, touching off a full-blown street brawl. The incident made worldwide headlines the following day.

While the Troubadour incident sheds light on how wild Lennon could be during the Lost Weekend, not every moment was dedicated to debauchery.

During this time, Lennon completed three solo albums (“Mind Games,” “Walls and Bridges,” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll”), produced the “Pussy Cats” album for Harry Nilsson, and wondered aloud about a potential Beatles reunion. As May Pang told it:

John really thought about it at one point, and we were considering it early on in ’74, just for the hell of it. Harry Nilsson wanted to be a part of it. We said, oh, that would be a good idea—a one-off, and we would do it in the fall. We were thinking about upstate New York, like Syracuse, because Ringo couldn’t be in New York City…we had been hanging out with Ringo a lot in L.A., and it just came out of conversation, hanging out: ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be great if we did this one gig,’ and they’d start talking about it. ‘Yeah, well, why don’t we do this, and George would do that, and Paul. . .’ So it was just thrown around, and everybody was like, well. . .let’s do that.

In addition to his words to Pang, John had also spoken openly around that time about a potential Beatles reunion.

So, why didn’t a reunion happen?

According to Pang, none of the Beatles ever took the lead on hammering out the details. By 1975, John was back with Yoko and at the beginning of a five year break from the music business.

Lennon was at times in the process of losing himself completely while he was away from Yoko during the Lost Weekend, and his decision to get back together with Yoko was his.

However, like many fans unfairly blame Yoko Ono for the breakup of The Beatles, many also claim that her presence prevented any potential Beatles reunion from happening. May Pang supposedly encouraged John to reunite with Paul – something Yoko apparently didn’t do. Still, every choice John made was his.

While a Beatles reunion never took place, John Lennon and Paul McCartney did record together after the breakup. The date was March 28th, 1974, and a John and Paul reunion (with Harry Nilsson, Stevie Wonder and others also playing) came to be during a night of partying in the studio in Los Angeles.

The tape of the session is out there on the bootleg “A Toot and A Snore in ’74,” and is mostly a convoluted mess of voices and noises. Still, it has John Lennon and Paul McCartney playing and singing together four years after the breakup of The Beatles, something that can’t be found anywhere else.

Listening to John and Paul play and sing together on the tapes above is both sad and thrilling at the same time.

It’s just a jam session, and an alcohol and drug fueled one at that. However, it makes me think about what would’ve happened if a legitimate Beatles reunion had ever occurred.

After the breakup, the solo Beatles recorded with one another often, but never recorded as a foursome again. Most notably, John, George, and Ringo played on Ringo’s “I’m The Greatest,” and George, Paul, and Ringo played on George’s tribute to John “All Those Years Ago” after John was killed.

What would’ve happened if the group had gotten back together? Would it have been something that blew up as quickly as it materialized? A one album thing? Something that resulted in a second long-lasting effort? With their legacy already cemented, would it have even been worth it?

I was at Radio City Music Hall in 2010 when Paul surprised Ringo on stage for his birthday and of course sang “Birthday.” No one in the crowd knew Paul was about to show up, and the entire place went into absolute hysterics when Paul’s hofner bass was placed on stage, followed shortly thereafter by Paul running out and grabbing it. When Ringo ran behind the drum kit and sat down to start playing with Paul, it felt as if the mezzanine where I was sitting might collapse.

I had seen Paul in concert before, and I had seen Ringo in concert before. This was different, though. On stage were two Beatles – the only two who were left – performing together. It was more than special – there isn’t really an adequate word to describe it.

What would an official Beatles reunion have done to impact moments like the one above? Watered it down, or somehow enhanced it?


Beatles Saluted During “The Night That Changed America.”

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr perform together during last night’s taping of “The Night That Changed America.”

By Danny Abriano
Last night in Los Angeles, CBS taped what will become the Beatles special titled “The Night That Changed America.”  The special will air on February 9th to mark the 50th anniversary of the appearance of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show.
A night after they united to perform on stage at the Grammy Awards, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr again took to the stage together – this time to perform Beatles hits.
The two legends had more than a little help from their friends during last night’s star-studded concert.  If you want to be surprised when the special airs, read no further.
Some of the stars who performed at the show were Maroon 5 (“All My Loving”), Alicia Keys and John Legend (“Let It Be”), Imagine Dragons (“Revolution”), Dave Grohl with Jeff Lynne (“Hey Bulldog”), the reunited Eurythmics (“Fool on the Hill”), and Stevie Wonder (“We Can Work It Out”).
As was the case last night, the highlights of the evening were provided by those central to the world of The Beatles.
Dhani Harrison, the son of George, took to the stage to play “Something” with George’s one-time bandmate (Traveling Wilburys) Jeff Lynne.
Ringo Starr performed “Matchbox,” “Boys,” and “Yellow Submarine,” and Paul McCartney performed “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Birthday,” “Get Back,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
Paul and Ringo again performed together, this time belting out “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Hey Jude” (with Ringo on drums).
“The Night That Changed America” will air on CBS on February 9th.