91: The Beatles’ Live Reunion

February 4, 2017

Podcast, Podcasting


What if the events of December 8, 1980 played out completely differently and somehow, an unscathed John Lennon – bereft of any obstructions – was able to join his former bandmates in a live concert situation; perhaps more than one? In a subject suggested by a listener, Robert and Richard discuss the form that such a concert might take: what the set list and the staging might have looked like. Songs include “Here, There and Everywhere” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

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    16 Responses to “91: The Beatles’ Live Reunion”

    1. Dave Says:

      Since we’re dreaming, my reunion concert doesn’t include the Abbey Road medley, with the exception of ‘ Bathroom Window’.. would add Gimme Some Truth, Rain, Got to Get You into My Life’, What is Life, If Not for You, Eat at Home (with slightly different arrangement), Leave My Kitten Alone .. Bowie/U2 open different legs of the tour 🙂


    2. Cajun Queen Says:

      The nice graphic for this episode is lacking, inasmuch as it doesn’t depict Yoko on the stage in a bag.


    3. Mario Denis Says:

      You would not hear the music for the screaming…….


    4. Ben Victor Says:

      If Ringo is going to close with Goodnight, I’d want to see John backing him on piano.


    5. David Morgan Says:

      I’ve seen The Beatles live together, well the remaining ones Paul and Ringo at Change Begins Within 2009 at Radio city Music Hall, here’s the setlist:

      It Don’t Come Easy
      Yellow Submarine

      Drive My Car
      Got to Get You Into My Life
      Let It Be
      Lady Madonna
      Here Today
      Band on the Run
      Can’t Buy Me Love

      With a Little Help From My Friends
      Cosmically Conscious
      I Saw Her Standing There

      I guess in an alternative world Here today would not be written …


    6. Billy Shears Says:

      At 41:49 Ringo sings”drugs” instead of “touch” in It don’t come easy !!!!


    7. jim Says:

      obvious opening act: Elvis Costello!


    8. WingsJer Says:

      I guess I am a pessimistic Beatles/Solo Beatles fan. Don’t think it would ever happen had John lived. George to me would be toughest to get to agree and even Paul I could see saying no if the other 3 were not 110% into it!


    9. Ben Victor Says:

      Two things:

      1. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that had
      John lived, The Beatles would have reunited in some form or other. I believe that they would have definitely recorded together again. I feel that they would have done their own projects etc, getting together every few years to record together.

      2. In my alternate universe, there is no opening act for The Beatles live reunion.


    10. George Spigott Says:

      What a great show! An upper in every way, really appreciate this wonderful distraction from the real world! Thank you.


    11. Rob Freeman Says:

      In the late 70s either WYSP or WMMR in Philadelphia (I believe it was WMMR) ran a couple hour special simulating a live Beatles reunion concert by over dubbing audience sound on recordings. I tuned in part way through and recorded the whole thing until they came on at the end and announced that the preceding show “The Beatles Live From The Imaginary Ballroom” had been a simulation.

      Reused the tape shortly thereafter.


    12. Robert Rosen Says:

      I’m very glad I discovered this podcast recently. This episode was a fun one.

      Was there ever a single live Beatles performance where Ringo sang from anywhere but behind the drums? I assume not. So I would hope that at the hypothetical reunion show the Beatles would have employed a guest drummer for at least one number so Ringo could take center stage for once. Then surrounded by the other Beatles he sings With A Little Help From My Friends with them all joining in. Would have there been a dry eye in the house?


    13. Paul Gase Says:

      Very interesting discussion, though certainly a fantasy land POV. I discussed with my wife and son (they are qualified fans to discuss this, though they may roll the eyes when I bring up a new discussion!)

      We mostly discussed how long it would take this 1980’s Beatles to deliver the goods to a MSG size audience. We joked that maybe Eric Clapton would need to stay on stage for the duration! And maybe a back up drummer, given Ringo’s state in 1980? I’ve no doubt that they would’ve given it the old college try – but by 1980 many, many bands had spent a great deal of time honing the area rock show (KISS, Pink Floyd, Bruce – and U2 and Tom Petty were up and comers).

      I think – less focus on Because, SFF – the hard to replicate songs and instead play to the strengths for a band that probably would under-rehearse rather than choreograph the whole show: Early Beatles rockers/mid tempo tunes through Revolver; an acoustic interlude; then a final set with Billy Preston that includes songs that favor the dynamics of 2 guitars + bass + keys + drums.

      Don’t Let Me Down; Get Back: USSR – and assorted solo songs.

      My gut is that we’d be in for a rocking, looser than tighter Beatles, in the first go’round of a reunion tour. Maybe tour 2 would be a lot more ambitious.

      PS – Sampling horns/strings/et al was not common in 1980. And – as you’ve alluded – it still sounds cheesy right here in 2017!!!!


    14. Rob W Says:

      I literally had a dream years ago that this occurred. No specifics as dreams tend to not have but John had not died and they were going to do it. It would have been a dream come true.


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