Two of Us
Thirty years ago tonight, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels did his famous on-air bit inviting the Beatles to reunite on the show for $3,000. Nobody knew then that Paul McCartney and John Lennon were watching the show at Lennon's apartment in the Dakota--or that for a few minutes, they discussed grabbing a cab and heading to the studio. (The incident was dramatized/fictionalized for a TV movie made in 2000 called Two of Us.)
I don't remember whether I was watching SNL on that particular night--it may have been the next year before the show crept into high-school consciousness where I lived. I'd like to think I was, though, because it makes for an attractive memory: upstairs in my room, late at night, the house is quiet, the windows are open with a spring breeze bringing sounds of the farm in from outside, and the old black-and-white TV lights up the room. (That particular set was one of my oldest and dearest childhood friends. My parents bought it for the basement when I was maybe 10, and it survived long enough to take its place in my first post-college apartment.)
In the end, John and Paul reacted just like regular people often do when confronted with one of those late-night, wild-hair, wouldn't-it-be-something-if-we-did-it opportunities--they decided they were too tired to actually do it. That's reassuring, in a way. Not so much that they could be a lot like us, but that we could be a lot like them.