The Reunion That Meant To Be A Joke.
The almost reunion of the Beatles was the greatest missed opportunity in the history of rock n’ roll. On April 24, 1976, John Lennon and Paul McCartney nearly accepted Lorne Michaels invitation to perform as the Beatles on Saturday Night Live.
Michaels (producer of the show) spoke directly in front of the camera talking about the impact of the Beatles in his life and his generation.
“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 then made the offer.
“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 authorized me to offer you this check to be on our show. A certified check for $3,000.”
“All you have to do is sing three Beatles songs.” he continued. “‘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.”
Michaels didn’t know and the rest of the audiences that the Beatles’ two principal songwriters were watching the show.
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.”