The Last Time John Lennon saw his Beatles Bandmates
The death of John Lennon on December 8th, 1980 came as a massive shock to all four of the Beatles. For the fab four, it was as if they had lost a brother. And the manner of his death made it worse. But, by the time of his death, Lennon was on friendly terms with all of his bandmates. In fact, they regularly met him whenever they came to visit New York. Here’s a look back to the last time John Lennon met Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr before his death.
John Lennon’s last meeting with his fellow band members
Lennon shared the most precious relationship compared to all the other Beatles with Paul McCartney. However, their last encounter was not so pleasant. They last met on April 24th, 1976 at the Dakota, John Lennon’s home in New York. Paul showed up at his door unannounced, and Lennon didn’t like that. While talking to Playboy in 1980, Lennon said:
I said to him, ‘Please call before you come over. It’s not 1956, and turning up at the door isn’t the same anymore. You know, just give me a ring.’ He was upset by that, but I didn’t mean it badly. I just meant that I was taking care of a baby all day, and some guy turns up at the door.
After that, Paul never met John again. But, they did keep in touch and patched things up again. Paul told Playboy in 1984:
The last phone conversation I ever had with him was really great, and we didn’t have any kind of blowup. It could have easily been one of the other phone calls when we blew up at each other and slammed the phone down.
Moreover, Paul also has a sweet memory from the last time he met Lennon. After his death, McCartney brought over Carl Perkins on a song called Get It during the Tug of War sessions. It was there where Perkins wrote My Old Friend, which he played to Paul the next day. The words “Think about me every now and then, old friend,” touched him the most, as he left the room in tears. Later, Paul’s wife Linda told Perkins that these were actually the last words John said to Paul on their last meeting.
Now, we don’t know the exact date when George Harrison last met John Lennon. However, we do know that it happened two years before Lennon was killed. In a 1990 interview, Harrison recalled:
I was in New York at his house at the Dakota. He was nice. He was just sort of running around the house making dinner.
What made Harrison really happy in that meeting was seeing Lennon listening to hundreds of cassettes of Indian music. It was special to him because Lennon never found it special when Harrison added that exotic music into the studio. But, according to Harrison, Lennon “grew into it”.
However, John Lennon’s death didn’t change life as much for George Harrison. But, he knew they’d see each other in the next life, saying:
I hadn’t seen him for so long. I didn’t see him for two years anyway, occasionally [I’d] maybe send a postcard, and it’s knowing that he’s on the other end of the telephone if you do want to call. That’s the difference. Now you need the big cosmic telephone to speak to him. But I believe that life goes on, and so to me, I can’t get sad. I’m sad that I can’t go play guitars with John but then I did that, anyway. I did that for a long time. So, we’ll meet again somewhere down the line.
Finally, Ringo Starr last met John Lennon merely weeks before his murder, making him the last of the ex-Beatles to see him alive. Ringo and his wife Barbara Bach visited Lennon in New York, as Ringo told Barbara Walters in an interview in 1981:
I was staying at the Plaza; we went over to New York for a while. And I hadn’t seen him for a while because, you know, we see each other wherever we are, and he came over with Yoko for an hour. And we had such a great time, cause they stayed five hours, and it didn’t matter that it was a year between we didn’t see each other, it was always fine when we did – but it was a particularly great time that we, that I had, anyway.
Lennon was indeed in a very good mood because of his newly released album Double Fantasy. While talking to the Rolling Stone, Ringo said Lennon also brought over some tapes for him. But, all that joy was shortlived, as Ringo said:
And then the asshole appeared (referring to murderer Mark David Chapman). There’s no understanding it. You think about it, but I’m telling you, you never understand it. The world has lost a wonderful man.
John Lennon’s assasination is indeed one of the saddest moments in music history. But, there was something poetic about his last meeting with each of the fellow Beatles. They all may have moved on, but John Lennon lives strong in their and the world’s memories. And he will continue to do so for generations upon generations.