Ex-Beatles Reunite Over Lennon Bermuda Song

September 15, 2019

Come together, sang John Lennon in the classic Beatles track of that name, right now — over me.

And his two surviving bandmates have done just that, staging a semi-Beatles reunion of sorts to record a new version of Grow Old With Me, one of the songs Mr. Lennon wrote in Bermuda during the summer of 1980.

Ringo Starr will be singing the number on his upcoming album What’s My Name, being released on October 25, while Paul McCartney plays bass and provides background vocals.

For Ringo, the inspiration to record Grow Old With Me now came following a meeting with legendary record producer Jack Douglas.

A John Lennon home demo recording of Grow Old With Me, written in Bermuda in 1980.

Mr. Douglas had produced Double Fantasy, the 1980 album by Mr. Lennon and wife Yoko Ono which featured material he had either composed or polished during an extended working holiday in Bermuda that summer. The record, the last released during Mr. Lennon’s lifetime, took its name from a Bermuda flower which for him provided an ideal metaphor for his marriage to Ms Ono .

“Jack asked if I ever heard The Bermuda Tapes, John’s demos from that time,” Ringo Starr said in a statement this week [Sept 13]. “And I had never heard all this.

“And I just loved this song. I sang it the best that I could. I do well up when I think of John this deeply. And I’ve done my best. We’ve done our best.”

Ringo said he wanted Paul McCartney to play on his version of Grow Old With Me, now something of a standard at wedding ceremonies and anniversary celebrations.

“He immediately said yes and came over and he played bass and sings a little bit on this with me,” said the former Beatles drummer and singer. “So John’s on it in a way. I’m on it and Paul’s on it. It’s not a publicity stunt. This is just what I wanted.

“And the strings that Jack Douglas arranged for this track, if you really listen, they do one line from [the late Beatle George Harrison's] Here Comes The Sun. So in a way, it’s the four of us.”

Mr. Lennon was shot outside his New York apartment building on December 8, 1980 shortly after Double Fantasy was released.

A home demo of Grow Old With Me was included as a bonus track on the posthumously released Milk & Honey, a 1984 album of previously unreleased material the singer/songwriter had worked on in Bermuda.

In the mid-1990s the song had been considered as a possible reunion single by the then three surviving former Beatles [George Harrison died in 2001] when they were working on The Beatles Anthology project.

Instead they recorded Free As A Bird and Real Love, based around demo tapes Mr. Lennon had also made in Bermuda in 1980.

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