Did John Lennon Ever Want To Rejoin The Beatles?
60 years ago, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison started the most important and iconic band in music history. Even though the Beatles broke up 50 years ago, their breakup and everything related to it is talked about like it happened yesterday. However, at one point it was speculated that a reunion of the Beatles was very much on the cards. Sadly, that prospect ended with John Lennon’s assassination in 1980. But, could the fab four have reunited before Lennon’s untimely death?
Jack Douglas believes a Beatles reunion was very close to happening
Jack Douglas, one of the last producers to work with John Lennon on his final two albums, gave his insight to Gothamist about what the troubled Beatle thought about his band members close to the time of his death. Douglas remembers that Lennon would love to talk about the Beatles and all of his bandmates. Even if he had a few differences with them, he loved every one of them:
“And when a Beatles song came on the radio, he would tell you everything about that session. Everything that happened. He never had a problem talking about how much he loved that band. And how much he loved those guys. He was a little annoyed at George because George had written a book and he didn’t mention John much in the book, at that time. But he felt that that would come around. But his love for that band. Phenomenal. It was great. It was what you hoped he would be like.”
When asked if there was any chance of the Beatles reuniting, Douglas wasn’t so sure though. He says Paul and John did get together in the Dakota, but Ringo Starr’s first album was the best chance at being reunited. Douglas said:
“Well you know he and Paul were already in the process. This Ringo album I think was going to be big.”
John Lennon, however, did not want to rejoin the fab four
As promising as it sounds, John in his own words was not as convinced about rejoining the Beatles. In his famous and final interview with Playboy, David Sheff asked John Lennon that wouldn’t it be “interesting to have the boys back together? To that, John said:
“Wouldn’t it be interesting to take Elvis back to his Sun Records period? I don’t know. But I’m content to listen to his Sun Records. I don’t want to dig him up out of the grave.”
Furthermore, John said that it just isn’t possible to reunite the band again, other than a concert, because they aren’t 20 anymore:
“The Beatles don’t exist and can never exist again. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey could put on a concert… but it can never be the Beatles singing ‘Strawberry Fields’ or ‘I Am The Walrus’ again, because we are not in our 20s. We cannot be that again, nor can the people who are listening.”
John Lennon then further said that he wasn’t really the sentimental type for the past:
“I never went to high school reunions. My thing is, Out of sight, out of mind. That’s my attitude toward life. So I don’t have any romanticism about any part of my past. I think of it [the past] only inasmuch as it gave me pleasure or helped me grow psychologically. That is the only thing that interests me about yesterday.”
Finally, John concluded his remarks by a little dig at Paul McCartney’s Yesterday, saying:
“I don’t believe in yesterday, by the way. You know I don’t believe in yesterday. I am only interested in what I am doing now.”
The Beatles had grown as musicians
To put it simply, the fab four only broke up because of how the four of them had grown individually as musicians and in person. They wanted more freedom in making music, something which they could rarely find as part of the Beatles. Moreover, their social circles were expanding and they were meeting new people. That was something they couldn’t do the same was as 20-year-olds in a band. That is why John Lennon was so skeptical about a Beatles reunion. And the rest of the fab four shared the same sentiment.