With Suits Settled, McCartney Hints at Beatles Reunion

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For the first time in years, a working reunion of the three ex-Beatles is a distinct possibility, Paul McCartney said here Monday.

"We might get to play together after all this time," said the former Beatle, who winds up a five-night engagement at the Forum in Inglewood on Wednesday, his first U.S. concert tour since 1976.

Clearing the way for the reunion, he told a press conference at the Forum, was the recent settlement of a group of longstanding lawsuits between the Beatles and their record company, Capitol-EMI, and between George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono and McCartney.

The project most likely to bring McCartney, Harrison and Starr back together is "The Long and Winding Road," a film history of the Beatles that has been stalemated by their differences.

"What might be a good way to start it (the reunion) is this film," McCartney said. "Hopefully, we can put the record straight. . . . A possibility is that George and I could write (songs) together. We've never done that."

McCartney said the film would include rare home movies and other seldom-seen footage that tells the history of the Beatles.

Harrison and Starr could not be reached for comment Monday on the possibility of a reunion.

For fans hoping that this might mean that vaults containing unreleased Beatles material would be opened, McCartney offered little encouragement, but suggested that one song might be released.

"John singing, 'Leave My Kitten Alone' is the top thing of the unreleased stuff," McCartney said of the song that some Beatles fans have acquired via bootlegged copies. The rest of the material is "inferior," he said.

The Beatles broke up in 1969 amid the first wave of numerous lawsuits, some of which involved actions taken against each other. Suits among themselves generally involved the other members against McCartney.

Tensions between McCartney and the other surviving Beatles surfaced again last year when the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. McCartney did not show up for the ceremonies.

He explained later that he could not see himself, Harrison and Starr standing at the ceremony pretending to be all for one when they were suing each other over royalties. He said he had spoken by telephone to the other two men several days before the ceremony.

"I suggested they drop the lawsuit," McCartney said. "They said 'no.' "

Speculation that the Beatles would perform together again has persisted since the group broke up. Before Lennon was shot to death in New York City in 1980, he appeared with Starr and with Harrison at different performances.

Beatles fans also flocked to the Live Aid concert at London's Wembley Stadium last year when rumors arose that McCartney, Harrison and Starr would be joined on stage by Lennon's son, Julian.

Before Monday's Forum concert, rumors had already begun spreading that a Beatles reunion would occur on stage Monday night. Fans 14 to 40 were excited by the possibility.

"They would put out music better than we have ever heard," said Bruce Gregory, 36, a photographer from Santa Rosa. "I'm certain of that."

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