John Lennon and Paul McCartney: Their Last Recording Together

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Last fall the Beatles released “Now and Then,” a long-awaited digital reunion between all four Fabs was made possible through cutting edge technology. Touted as the final entry in the band’s storied cannon, it provided fans with a happy ending to a 60-year saga and the chance to hear Paul McCartney join voices with his late partner John Lennon once again. Though indeed moving, it was a reunion that didn’t occur in reality. The Beatles tragically never reconvened in the studio prior to Lennon’s murder on Dec. 8, 1980 — robbing the world of more potential Beatles albums, and McCartney of his dear friend.

Many assume that Lennon and McCartney’s recording relationship ended with the band’s breakup at the dawn of the ‘70s. But in truth, they quietly teamed up in an LA studio for a one-off impromptu session in 1974. The results were chaotic, unfinished, and (technically) unreleased, but the bootleg tapes are historic for capturing that iconic vocal blend for the very last time. It proves that despite the bitterness of the prior breakup, their bond remained intact.

The diverse and nuanced reasons for the Beatles’ split are as complex as the men themselves, requiring volumes of books — not to mention legal documents — to unravel. The partnership was dealt its mortal blow with the death of band manager Brian Epstein in August 1967. McCartney did his best to navigate the group through the ensuing upheaval, but his de facto leadership was read as overbearing by his band mates — particularly Lennon, who, since the world beating success of 1967’s groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, had largely abdicated his creative role due to his own emotional maelstrom of insecurity, boredom, and resentment. “After Brian died, we collapsed,” Lennon said in an infamous interview with Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner in December 1970. “Paul took over and supposedly led us. But what is leading us, when we went round in circles? We broke up then. That was the disintegration.”

Source: Jordan Runtagh/


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