Written by: Lennon
Recorded: 1979; 20, 21 March 1995
Producer: Jeff Lynne
Based on a 1970s demo by John Lennon, ‘Now And Then’ was briefly considered for release on Anthology 3 but later rejected.
Also known as ‘I Don’t Want To Lose You’ and ‘Miss You’, ‘Now And Then’ was recorded by Lennon at his home at the Dakota Building in New York City.
In January 1994 Yoko Ono gave Paul McCartney two cassettes of John Lennon’s home recordings, which included a number of incomplete and previously unreleased songs. They included ‘Free As A Bird’, ‘Real Love’, ‘Grow Old With Me’, and ‘Now And Then’.
On 20 and 21 March 1995 the three surviving former Beatles began constructing a backing track to be added to Lennon’s demo of ‘Now And Then’. However, during the second day work on the song ended.
According to McCartney, George Harrison “didn’t want to do it,” possibly because the song needed to be extensively rewritten before it could be released. Another factor was a humming sound on Lennon’s demo which proved hard to mask.
It was one day – one afternoon, really – messing with it. The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn’t finish.
‘Now And Then’ had been considered as a third reunion single. It was replaced on Anthology 3 by the orchestral track ‘A Beginning’, recorded in 1968 as an unused introduction for ‘Don’t Pass Me By’.
There was one more that we didn’t do, which was a pity. It didn’t have a very good title, it needed a bit of reworking, but it had a beautiful verse and it had John singing it. But George didn’t wanna do it.
Q magazine, November 2006
Since 2006 there has been speculation that McCartney intends to complete the song, as a Lennon-McCartney composition, with new verses and a drum track recorded by Ringo Starr.
I hope some day this song can be completed.