"Now and Then" (lost overdub session of Beatles song; 1995)

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This article has been tagged as Needing work due to its improper formatting and lack of concrete references.


The Beatles Anthology album cover.

Status: Lost

Now & Then is the title of a 1978 demo by John Lennon. The song was to be re-recorded as a tribute to Lennon by the surviving members of The Beatles (John's former band) in the 1990s, but it was never released.


In 1989, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr announced plans to produce an extensive "Anthology" formally accounting for their 10-year careers in The Beatles. Rumours began circulating of the remaining Beatles reuniting to make new music; the rumour was denied by the members and any associates. It wasn't until 1994 that the three began discussing new material; they felt uncomfortable working without Lennon (who was murdered in 1980).

Paul McCartney soon approached Yoko Ono, Lennon's widow, believing she would have some of his unused recordings. Ono gave McCartney three cassette tapes, one of which was found in Lennon's New York apartment with the words For Paul written in Lennon's handwriting.

The tapes contained songs titled "Grow Old With Me" and "Now and Then," featuring Lennon on piano and vocals. The three remaining Beatles soon began work on all demos with Jeff Lynne producing. The first two songs, "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love," were completed and released in 1995 and 1996 on the first two volumes of the Anthology soundtracks. Production of "Now and Then" began in 1996, with guitar provided by Harrison and percussion from Starr. Harrison later retorted the song, reportedly calling the song "fucking rubbish." In 1997, the song was shelved, incomplete.


No content from the overdub session has resurfaced.

In a 2009 interview, McCartney shared his interest in completing the song with Lynne and Starr, using the archived tracks that Harrison provided before his death. The only other thing needed is approval from Harrison's estate (owned by his widow, Olivia Harrison) and from Yoko Ono, the status of their stances are unknown.

The original demo of the track has since surfaced on YouTube, and there are also several fan edits of the song circulating on bootlegs.


An edited version of Lennon's demo, courtesy of the YT channel Lennon PianoTapes.
A fan-edited version of Lennon's demo, courtesy of the YT channel Bojon Productions.