17 December 2012
What has to be remembered about the case against Beatlemania is that it was based on trademark and image misappropriation. Lennon's assertion, since that is the context in which it's given, can be seen as a legal manoeuvre, and often is. "They're pretending to be us, and while we aren't doing anything together right now, we do have plans."
However, let's treat it as if it's a statement of fact about what they were discussing. What is the possibility there would have been an '80s reunion had John not met his untimely end?
They were all working on solo material at the time. So '81-'82 would have been taken up with their solo careers. Maybe time something for the 20th anniversary of Ed Sullivan in '84...
But, in the background, launched before John's murder, is a lawsuit against Capitol for royalty underpayment. Paul is in the awkward position of suing the label he is currently signed to. Made all the more awkward by the revelation during the discovery period of the lawsuit, after John's death, that when Paul signed with Capitol in 1976, he'd negotiated himself a higher royalty on Capitol's Beatles albums.
It instantly threw a hand-grenade into fragile relationships. George, Ringo and Yoko launched a lawsuit against Paul and Capitol. This was the lawsuit that would see Paul refuse to attend The Beatles induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Would that not have happened had John lived? Myself, I think the fall-out would have been worse had John lived.
Think about how much of a problem it was when John discovered Paul had been buying shares in Northern Songs behind his back. Imagine John's fury on discovering Paul was getting a higher royalty on US releases than he, John, founder of The Beatles, was getting! How very dare he!
John was already pissed off at George.Alive or dead, the legal complications meant there would never have been a Beatles reunion in the '80s.
The following people thank Ron Nasty for this post:pepperland, Starr Shine?, trcanberra
1 May 2011
It should also be noted that in contradiction to John's November 1980 comments in regards to the lawsuit against 'Beatlemania'
"I and the three other former Beatles have plans to stage a reunion concert"
there is this section from the October 1980 Playboy interview
PLAYBOY: "This may be the time to talk about those 'in-laws,' as Yoko put it. John, you've been asked this a thousand times, but why is it so unthinkable that the Beatles might get back together to make some music?"
LENNON: "Do you want to go back to high school? Why should I go back ten years to provide an illusion for you that I know does not exist? It cannot exist."
PLAYBOY: "Then forget the illusion. What about just to make some great music again? Do you acknowledge that the Beatles made great music?"
LENNON: "Why should the Beatles give more? Didn't they give everything on God 's earth for ten years? Didn't they give themselves? You're like the typical sort of love-hate fan who says, 'Thank you for everything you did for us in the Sixties... would you just give me another shot? Just one more miracle?'"
PLAYBOY: "We're not talking about miracles... just good music."
LENNON: "When Rodgers worked with Hart and then worked with Hammerstein, do you think he should have stayed with one instead of working with the other? Should Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis have stayed together because I used to like them together? What is this game of doing things because other people want it? The whole Beatle idea was to do what you want, right? To take your own responsibility."
You gotta love the guy.
The following people thank meanmistermustard for this post:Beatlebug
"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris)
17 December 2012
Maybe more damning to the idea of John touting a possible Beatles reunion in late 1980, @meanmistermustard, is this from the Newsweek interview published on 29 September 1980:
Whatever made the Beatles the Beatles also made the 60's the 60's. And anybody who thinks that if John and Paul got together with George and Ringo, the Beatles would exist, is out of their skulls. The Beatles gave everything they had to give, and more. The four guys who used to be that group can never ever be that group again even if they wanted to be. What if Paul and I got together? It would be boring. Whether George or Ringo joined in is irrelevant because Paul and I created the music. OK? There are many Beatle tracks that I would redo - they were never the way I wanted them to be. But going back to the Beatles would be like going back to school... I was never one for reunions. It's all over.
Similar to what he'd say to Playboy, but much more damning of the idea, and very dismissive of George and Ringo (probably because of his feelings of having been snubbed by George at the time).
John's public pronouncements on The Beatles just lend credence to the thought that his statement in the Beatlemania case was nothing more than a legal manoeuvre to win the case, which they ultimately did.
The following people thank Ron Nasty for this post:trcanberra, ewe2
9 January 2015
I don't know about plans for a Beatles reunion. Personally I doubt it, though I have sometimes wondered if they'd have reunited for Live Aid had John been alive.
However, Jack Douglas has said that John was planning to write with Paul again. Who knows what could have come of it? Relations between George and John were fairly fraught at that time, but probably nothing that couldn't have been smoothed over had both of them been so inclined.
Q: John was talking about touring?
A: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Q: What was his plan?
A Oh, tremendous production, including and these have to be on some of the “Lost Lennon Tapes” or whatever they call them his arrangements of songs that he said ‘we never got right,’ which were “She Loves You ” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand ”.
Q: He was gonna do them?
A: Yeah, he was gonna do them. He was going, “You know, we never – we always wanted to do something like … but it never got done exactly the way we wanted to do it.”
Q: You remember how he wanted to do some of those songs?
A: He played them on guitar.
Q: And how were they different?
A: Maybe the tempo was a little different but it was more like ideas he had for what the rest of the band was gonna do. But that was gonna -be in the show.
Q: He was gonna do some Beatle songs?
A: Oh, yeah, absolutely.
Q: I heard that McCartney or Harrison called the studio during the sessions and Yoko didn’t allow the call to be placed through.
A: No, it was McCartney.
Q: What happened?
A: Well, from what I heard and from what I heard from John as well, he was looking to get. like, hooked up with Paul before Paul went to Japan, to do some writing.
Q: They were going to write together?
A: Yeah. And … after the sessions, John never left immediately, he’d always sit in the control room and usually took a little grass. He had this old opium pipe, it was probably 500 years old, and he’d say to me, “Is it all over?” ‘Cause he would never do anything if we were working. And I’d say, “It’s over, John.” And he’d sit back and put his feet up on the console and he’d load up the pipe and sit back and light up and a few of us – I’d ride home with him because I only lived two blocks from him. And he’d start talking, you know, reminiscing about things, we’d listen to the radio and if a Beatles song came on, he’d talk about it. But the one thing – the overwhelming feeling about the things that he was saying was that he loved the guys in that band more than anybody else, you know? He was pissed off at George because George’s book had come out and didn’t mention John. You know, like, “How can he write a book about his life and not mention me? I’m the most important…” Yeah. But he loved the guys in The Beatles. He loved them. And he loved that band. And, you know, it was like his band. And I mean, the way he went on about it …
Q: And he was gonna write with Paul?
A: He was looking to get hooked up with Paul, yeah. But yeah, that call came through and that didn’t happen. And Paul went off and got in trouble. And when he got in trouble…
Q: He didn’t get the message from anyone?
Q: Who kept him away?
A: I think Yoko probably thought … I can’t speak for Yoko. Maybe she thought it’d be a distraction. I don’t think it would have been…Who knows what would have happened. But when Paul got busted for pot in Japan, we were in the studio, when that call came in that he was in trouble, man, you oughta see John flippin’ out.
The following people thank Joe for this post:Expert Textpert, meanmistermustard
18 April 2013
Nice, thanks for sharing!
That's a bit different than Fred Seaman's account. He has John and Yoko laughing when Paul got busted, and Seaman says they worked some kind of magic spell to make it happen so Paul wouldn't ruin the karma of their favorite place to stay in Japan.
"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon
17 December 2012
While Jack Douglas' account is interesting, it also contains statements that cannot possibly be true, which throws doubt on how accurately he is remembering things, @Joe.
For example, take this line from the end of the exchange:
But when Paul got busted for pot in Japan, we were in the studio, when that call came in that he was in trouble, man, you oughta see John flippin’ out.
Was John in the studio when Paul got busted in January 1980? According to everything I've read, John didn't return to the studio after his long absence until the beginning of August 1980. So, unless news of Paul's January bust didn't get through to John until August... Yes, John probably discussed it with Jack, apart from John being back in the studio it was the big Beatles story of 1980 until... well, you know...
But the suggestion that John was in the studio with him at the time, that just doesn't stack up.
And to me, once there is one major thing to question in someone's account of a time, it throws some doubt on the rest they have to say...
The following people thank Ron Nasty for this post:Beatlebug
20 August 2013
Darn facts getting in the way of a good story. Tears came to my eyes when I read that part you quoted, RN, when Joe first posted it. I wanted it to be true.
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