Paul McCartney officially announced the break-up of the world-famous rock band in 1970. Ever since then, people have been trying to get them to perform again. But did you know that Lorne Michaels tried to make them an offer to reunite on SNL?
Lorne Michaels offered the Beatles $3,000 to reunite on SNL. John and Paul watched the live show from John’s flat, which was a short walk from the studio. They pondered taking the offer but decided against it.
The SNL Offer
Saturday Night Live’s opening season was an episode on April 24, 1976, in London. Lorne Michaels, the show’s producer, addressed the general public on this episode. He was, as with the general public, a Beatles fan. In this specific episode, Michaels spoke directly at the camera as if he was speaking to The Beatles.
In my book, the Beatles are the best thing that ever happened to music. It goes even deeper than that — you’re not just a musical group. You’re a part of us. We grew up with you. Now, we’ve heard and read a lot about personality and legal conflicts that might prevent you guys from reuniting. That’s something which is none of my business.Lorne Michaels
He then made the proposition. Michaels stated that the National Broadcasting Company authorized him to offer a certified check worth $3,000, should The Beatles accept his request.
Michaels’ request was for the band to sing three Beatles songs worth $1,000 each. He further mentioned that the check was made out to The Beatles, and the band would have to decide how they would divide it.
Coincidentally, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were watching the show at that exact moment. The two Beatles considered the offer and thought it would be funny if they actually showed up that night since they were just a cab ride away from the studio. They thought they could just take half of the $3,000 since they were just half of the band. Lennon and McCartney decided not to go and enjoy the rest of the night since they didn’t want to work either. (Source: Ultimate Classic Rock)
Other Reunion Offers
During the 70s, a wave of Beatles nostalgia and persistent reunion rumors in the United States prompted numerous entrepreneurs to make public offers for a Beatles reunion show. There were several offers, all of which were quite enticing.
On June 17, 1976, The International Committee to Reunite The Beatles, Inc. posted an ad on the Columbia Spectator. The ad called The Beatles fans worldwide to support their cause by sending $1 to raise funds to offer to the band for a reunion. In exchange, the donor will receive a Let It Be decal. (Source: Columbia Spectator)
Interestingly enough, the founder of the group, Alan Amron, known for his involvement in the invention of the Post-It note, inspired boxer Muhammad Ali to request the band to reunite. But instead of offering the funds to the band, Ali donated the money to children in need. (Source: Power Pop)
A Los Angeles-based music organizer, Bill Sargent, offered the band $10 million in 1974 for a reunion. Sargent then increased the offer to $30 million on January 16, 1976. In April of the same year, he again raised his offer to $50 million. (Source: Ultimate Classic Rock)