What Would’ve Happened If The Beatles Never Broke Up
The Beatles at the press launch for their new album 'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band', held at Brian Epstein's house at 24 Chapel Street, London, 19th May 1967. Left to right: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and George Harrison (1943 2001). (Photo by John Downing/Getty Images)
More Than Legends
The Beatles were record makers and record breakers. They were innovators and game-changers not just in rock ‘n roll but music in general. They weren’t just another band – they were four incredibly talented individuals who came up with numerous musical masterpieces. And even after their break-up in 1970, they all still managed to pursue successful solo careers.
After all the drama has mellowed down, fans longed for a reunion. But after John Lennon’s death in 1980 and George Harrison’s in 2001, any hope of seeing them together on stage or having another album was shattered. But what if, just what if, there’s an alternate universe where The Fab Four are all alive and well? What would happen to rock ‘n roll? How would they continue to influence pop culture?
On Music Festivals
Music festivals nowadays are so different from the ones we experienced in the 1960s. Take Coachella, for example. Most of the time, it’s all about the celebrities and what they’re wearing or who they’re with. Out of 10 articles about Coachella, only around 2 or 3 of them are about the music, the artists, and their performance.
And so it goes without saying that The Beatles would probably forego this event. They didn’t even perform during Woodstock ’69 or The Isle of Wight Festival. Sure, Paul McCartney may have performed in Coachella back in 2009 (and it was epic, mind you) but we doubt Lennon would ever give his approval.
On “Let It Be” Follow-up
This is an unlikely scenario. After they disbanded, each of them was already happy working on their own free from conflict and creative constraints. Like Pink Floyd, we could expect reissues and compilation albums but new material as a band? Highly unlikely.
It was clear they were happy going their own way. Throughout their last few months as a group, tensions were high and being with each other in the recording studio became more of a tedious chore. They wouldn’t want to go through that ordeal all over again.
On Making Records As Solo Artists
They may no longer churn out new songs as a group but just like what Paul and Ringo have been doing, John would undoubtedly never stop making music. He’ll most likely make a record with Yoko Ono and even tour with her. He’s a singer-songwriter and so it stands to reason that even if he won’t record the songs himself, he’d write it for other artists like his own son Sean Lennon.
As with George Harrison, he seemed like the type who’d go on retirement when the right time comes. A few appearances here and there but he won’t be as active as, say, The Rolling Stones. He’d collaborate with some of his closest friends in the business including making an appearance on Eric Clapton’s albums.
On Pop Culture
Even if The Beatles were no more after 1970, their cultural relevance and influence on pop culture remained as strong as ever. If you need proof, just visit YouTube and type in any song from them and you’re sure to generate hundreds of cover versions from different artists all over the world. There will be tributes from other artists celebrating one of the most iconic groups in history.
Even if they released their songs decades ago, most of them remain relevant today and not even the years could dim their greatness. Besides, it’s not just in rock ‘n roll. They have also inspired several movies including the most recent one – “Yesterday” which will premiere on June.
Most of the kids today know John Lennon and George Harrison by name – it’s what their parents used to listen to. They see their faces on t-shirts and other merchandise. Imagine how mind-blown they’d be to witness these two legends joining McCartney and Starr for a jaw-dropping number live on stage. It doesn’t matter if it happens once in a blue moon, we’d take what we can get.
On Continuing As A Group
This will always be the million-dollar question if all four were still alive today. The thing is, they may have launched successful solo careers and released classics but they’re still The Beatles. They’re more than just bandmates, they’re brothers. And it won’t likely be a world tour, just a reunion performance on stage – just like what McCartney and Ringo Starr did during the Grammy Awards in 2014 and again on December 2018 when Macca performed at London’s O2 Arena.
It won’t be what The Rolling Stones are doing – most probably, it’ll be a one-off show to commemorate a special event. Besides, at this point, they already have different visions of what they want to do – be it with a band, going solo, or retiring.
They will have the same fate as Led Zeppelin’s surviving members. They will pursue various projects and just come together once in a while e.g. for Sgt. Pepper’s 50th anniversary.
The Beatles’ Legacy
All of these scenarios are great to imagine. But even if they’re nothing more than wishful thinking, let’s not forget that though two of The Fab Four were gone too soon, they still left a rich legacy of timeless classics that even the next generations can appreciate and enjoy.
Their songs were more than songs – they defined eras and they transcended time. As a band, The Beatles were trailblazers, paving the way for other rock ‘n roll acts to take their piece of the pie. But as individual musicians, they were just as legendary. From John’s “Imagine” to George’s “My Sweet Lord,” they knew what people wanted and gave it to them.