Oddly enough the Mr Creosote is the one I fast forward too after the Penis Song. Never liked it, adding the Beatles probably would not change my mind.

Nice the movie was not a flop though.

Did any of the Beatles do the Heaven scene at the end?
 
Oddly enough the Mr Creosote is the one I fast forward too after the Penis Song. Never liked it, adding the Beatles probably would not change my mind.

Nice the movie was not a flop though.

Did any of the Beatles do the Heaven scene at the end?
The first time I saw the Creosote bit I was grossed out and used to skip it too afterwards but over the years I've come to find it hilarious.
It's still gross but also funny as hell and I hate gross out humor.
 
That reminds me, I wonder does Give My Regards to Broad Street still happen ITTL? Or is it changed to feature all the cast, since Ringo already made an appearance IOTL?
I have been thinking about Broad Street in how it could fit though still on the fence on how it could fit.
Ooh are we gonna get a new set of pictures soon?
Likely after the next update TBH. Overdue for that actually.
 
I have been thinking about Broad Street in how it could fit though still on the fence on how it could fit.
I could see a Beatles version of "Broad Street", there were Beatles songs on it, ITTL it would be all Beatles songs, some re-worked old ones and some new ones.
Not too different than how Let it Be turned out but that might be the one reason none of the other Beatles besides Paul might be interested.
 
I could see a Beatles version of "Broad Street", there were Beatles songs on it, ITTL it would be all Beatles songs, some re-worked old ones and some new ones.
Not too different than how Let it Be turned out but that might be the one reason none of the other Beatles besides Paul might be interested.
Maybe the plot could be like a kind of sequel to Hard Day's Night.
 
When The Beatles Met The King Of Pop
It's that time again for another Beatles update and one that has us return to the music scene for 1983 and one that I suspect many of you suspected would happen soon enough with this certain crossover of the day and here we go as we come across a certain character who might play some other roles in this TL...


When The Beatles Met The King Of Pop

Extract from 'Epstein: The Tertiary Years 1979 - 1988' by Debbie Geller
The story of The Beatles meet up with Elvis Presley in 1965 during their US tour that year has been one that has enter rock folklore in which the lack of any footage or pictures from that event all gave it something of akin to a myth almost in which the only evidence of it happening was of those talking about the whole event of who were there. While it might have been something of a major or glaring lost chance for The Beatles to have ever recorded music with their hero prior to the king of Rock N Roll's death in which has always been something a great 'what if' story had things worked out better, something that even the band themselves would express some regret about over the years, The Beatles would actually get to work with another king...the soon to be crowned king of Pop that would become perhaps the most famous person during the 1980s and even beyond. The one and only Michael Jackson.

However, there is perhaps the one story, perhaps one of the greatest missed opportunities in which when Brian Epstein could have seen an earlier crossover with Michael Jackson and The Beatles much sooner in which back in 1975 when The Jackson 5 were leaving Motown and were looking for a new record label, Brian Epstein had seen the potential in the band and had been tempted to get them to sign onto Apple Records but alas due to negations dragging for a certain amount of time and with other commitments that were happening that year, The Jackson 5 would sign onto Epic Records and from then on, the superstardom that Michael Jackson in particular was to have during the next few years. Epstein would always come to say that his failure to have Jackson as part of Apple was one of his biggest regrets though some would argue that given the controversy that Jackson was to suffer over the next two decades, that maybe Epstein and Apple might have dodged a bullet.

That being said though, the world of Michael Jackson and The Beatles would first come together in 1979 in which from Jackson's then new solo album Off The Wall, the album would include the cover of the Beatles song Girlfriend; a song that Paul McCartney had first written as early as 1974 and had been released in 1976 as part of the B-side to the single for Crackerbox Palace [1] though it turned out that McCartney had the song in mind for Jackson back then with Jackson stated in interviews with the music press in the 1970s that he was a fan of the band and the chance to record a Lennon/McCartney original helped to inspire his next project. Incidentally, Jackson's record producer Quincy Jones heard the song and suggested it as a possible track for Jackson to record for Off the Wall, not aware that the song had been written for Jackson in the first place but nonetheless this was to be the first moment of the world of The Beatles and Michael Jackson coming together.

That said, the only Beatle that had any interaction with Jackson would be McCartney who shortly after finishing on Tug Of War would get a phone call from Jackson who wanted to work with him even though at the time McCartney would at first admit that this was some fan who had found his personal phone number. That being said, Brian Epstein would hear about this and it would be shortly afterwards when on a trip to the United States that Epstein would first meet the up and coming solo artist at that time in which the two men would actually find some common ground of being quite shy people when not in the public light but it was then that the first proposal of a possible recording between Jackson and The Beatles started to take shape though if this was just as a one off single or a full album was unclear.

Nonetheless, McCartney would help Jackson on work and co-sing on the song The Girl Is Mine for the latter's upcoming album Thriller to be released in November 1982. An album that, as they say, the rest is history. Thriller would end up being perhaps one of the biggest watershed moments in music history as not as a being of cultural significance that was not attained by a Black-American before him in the history of the entertainment industry, but that it would be the album that would finally overtake The Beatles' own Band On The Run for being the biggest selling album of all time. Oddly enough, the other Beatles when hearing about the latter didn't seem too bothered, if anything as George Harrison would later admit that there was a bit of relief that someone had overtaking after what felt like forever and John Lennon would, in his first meeting with Jackson in the flesh, would congratulate the now established megastar in saying, 'It's about time someone finally beat us'.

That said though, it was noted according to May Lennon when the couple and their family would first get to watch the now famous Thriller music video video for the first time and just how it was more than a music video but actually a mini movie that pushed the boundaries of what could be done with John Lennon looking over to his wife muttering that they [The Beatles] couldn't do any of that. That said though, the album itself wouldn't really hit those heights until the following year following the now iconic Motown 25 performance which Epstein would remark that not only was that the moment that send Michael Jackson to mega heights but that it bared a resemblance to how The Beatles' performance on the Ed Sullivan show would send the band into superstardom back then and that the Motown 25 performance was indeed the 1980s answer to that. With the amount of attention that Jackson was getting from frankly everywhere, it would seem that anyone that was anyone wanted to work with him yet it was the idea of working with The Beatles was one that greatly attracted him and following his work with Paul McCartney, his appetite had only grew and Epstein was only to happy to jump on this to bring the two sides together.

---------
Extract from 'Ancient: The Beatles In The 1980's' by Alyson Henderson
If work on The Girl Is Mine was seen as something as a test to see if such a collaboration was possible, then it wouldn't be long until that first meeting between Michael Jackson and The Beatles would take place in early 1983 in which amazingly despite all the media attention on such an event, it was actually done in private in which much of the press was oblivious to what was going on though that said there were some in high up places who did have a feeling that something was up. While Jackson's relationship with McCartney was already established, it would be the time in which he would get to know the other members of the band personally as such other than one radio interview that Jackson and George Harrison had shared, this would be the first time they'd get to know each other; John Lennon would admit that it was his own son Sean that was a huge Michael Jackson fan in the day and the thought of his own father working with him seemed like a dream to him [2].

Easy going Ringo Starr was always relaxing to be around and Jackson would be friendly with Billy Preston in which both would admit in separate interviews that they would reflect on the old Motown days and where both men were right now though if anyone would have noticed then, this was actually were the first cracks in Preston's relationship with the band was starting to come undone. While by now most Beatles fans had all accepted Preston compared to the lukewarm reception that some might have had in the day and that the rest of the band all liked him as one of their own, that didn't mean to say that there was a feeling that he didn't seem like he was with the band in which in all that time he hadn't had any song of his on any Beatles album since joining in which at first wasn't an issue as he had in that time released many solo albums and in some ways did actually have a more fruitful solo career than the rest of the band combined.

All the same though, he was starting to feel like he was wanting to branch out away from the shadow of The Beatles and with the band perhaps no longer being the hot property as they once were, the thought of leaving the band was a real possibility for him though it must be said that the early 80s weren't a good time for him. With the fame that had come with The Beatles as well as the difficulty of his own homosexuality in which was starting to get a bad reputation following the outbreak of AIDS during the early part of the decade (in which Brian Epstein did share in his fears about AIDS and how much of the gay community seemed to be targeted because of it) but that by this point, Preston's own cocaine and alcohol additions were starting to see him lose steam and with it, questions from even his own bandmates.

Of course, no one wanted to consider a split then considering that the band were on the verge of recording with Michael Jackson of all people though even then when they began to start work with Jackson, Preston was looking to be rather washed up according to Lennon who felt he wasn't right as he might have been even a year ago. Of course, all these thoughts with Preston would all be put to one side as the question now was what would they all record together. As it turned out, both McCartney and Jackson had a song that was still stillborn which they had recorded about two years ago but hadn't gotten round to finishing it due to other commitments both men had. A certain song called Say Say Say in which looked to be a hit if handled well. With that, the song was dusted off and the rest of The Beatles would all get together to work on the song with planned release date for October later that year and by now, word would soon get around that something was going on between The Beatles and Michael Jackson.

The song Say Say Say would be one of those rare steps into that post-disco or funk pop sound that were starting to be heard during the early part of the decade though as it turned out, that song wouldn't be a one off as instead over the course a week over at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, the great musical acts would all play several cover songs and make some half decent attempts at trying another song and once again, McCartney did have another song for the two songs to collaborate on to at the very least make a single release. The other song to work on was a song called The Man in which McCartney would instead of having it as another duet between him and Jackson, he felt the song could be a collaborate with another Beatle and the person McCartney would suggest would be John Lennon in which the latter would be taken aback by this idea.

---------
Extract from 'In My Life' by John Lennon
At first it did feel like the whole time in LA was more of McCartney/Jackson affair in which they were very pally then and that the rest of us were just tagging along. McCartney giving the song The Man for me to sing on instead of him was actually his way of for once letting his ego go down and let someone else have a shot at working with Jackson. At first I was a bit hesitant to actually not being the one to sing one of Paul's songs but to have a duet to Michael Jackson which I will say other than one rare time I had with Elton John, I hadn't done anything like this outside of The Beatles so it was quite a daunting factor going into this.

In the end, it was none other than my own son Sean who upon telling him that I might be having a song with MJ, Sean didn't let me finish and said, "Dad, why would you not want to work with Michael Jackson?!"

Honestly, he had a point. How many artists did you know who MJ wanted to record with on his own consent rather than be thrown together by some faceless record producers? Pretty much none and the more I thought about it, we were in a exclusive club and would I get this chance again to work with someone who we all felt was going to dominate the world, perhaps more so than what even what we did in The Beatles which tells you just had big this man was going to get.

So in the end, I would do the song but only on the condition that I would have full control and changing some of the lyrics round [3] in which oddly enough Paul didn't seem that bothered with when before he would have sometimes fought tooth and nail to keep the things he wanted but it seems in the presence of Michael Jackson Paul was trying to act like a good sport in The Man would be a true Lennon/McCartney/Jackson song in every sense of the word. In the end, it was actually an enjoyable time to work on those two songs with Michael although then it was becoming more apparent that Billy Preston wasn't really 'with it' as it was as we did know in some ways about his addictions with cocaine and alcohol yet we didn't really wanted to think it was that bad though he pretty much slept walk his way through recording and we only started to know then that this all starting to remind us of Pete Best...

Interview of George Harrison (1998)
Honestly, my memories of that time with Michael Jackson are more of a blur really. While it was nice to work with someone new and not with the same crew I'd have for the past many years now, I don't remember much of it as he [Michael] was with Paul and John most of the time though he did come to see if I was alright whenever we were working and would say to me how much he loved my work compared to what either John or Paul were doing then which I did appreciate it. He even asked if I had any left over songs that I might have to trade with him which I had many still in the backlog yet oddly this conversation went nowhere and before we knew it, our time with Michael ended there and then once recording had finished on the two songs.

---------
Extract from 'Ancient: The Beatles In The 1980's' by Alyson Henderson
News of the Beatles/Jackson collaboration would soon get out in which would be in some ways be described as the biggest crossover even seen in music in which the world's biggest band and the world's biggest solo recording artist would come together to make music and the demand to see what they had come up with in which it would be said that they had created two songs to be released called Say Say Say and The Man in which it would be released a single for October though some media outlets would make the mistake thinking it would be a full album. As it would turn out, the idea of having Say Say Say being released as the A-side with The Man as the B-side would be remind some long-time Beatles fans of the infamous Irish double back in 1972 which was the cause of much controversary and would perhaps lead to some of the problems for the band that was to affect them that year; this however known to al fans as the Beatles/MJ double in comparison looked set to be a far bigger success than the former double.

As it would turn perhaps to the surprise of no one when Say Say Say was released on October 3rd 1983 with great hype with it remaining atop Billboard's Hot 100 for six weeks and became Jackson's seventh top ten hit of 1983, breaking a record that until then was held jointly by The Beatles and Elvis Presley [4]. It would also come in at number two on the UK Singles Chart with Say Say Say reaching number one in Norway and Sweden as well as reaching the top ten in Austria, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. With wholesale shipments of at least one million units, the single was later certified platinum meaning that the single would actually end up selling better than what Tug Of War had done the previous year.

While commercially a success, both songs would get some mixed reviews from many critics with some either liking the unique collaboration or some not liking the lyrics and Beatles fans would be left divided on the two songs from either which one was better, to being quite unique and fun additions to The Beatles' musical catalogue with others though hating both songs as they were just so unlike other Beatles songs then that it just seemed to different not mention some weren't fans of Michael Jackson despite him being perhaps the biggest star in the world by this point. However, rather just release a single, to really make it make an impact then it would be needing a music video to go with it and with Michael Jackson around, it would also something of mini movie much like some of his other work.

The music video for Say Say Say would be filmed in October that year and was to be directed by Bob Giraldi, who had previously directed Michael Jackson's music video for Beat It and during filming of the video, the McCartneys were staying at a property named Sycamore Valley Ranch, five miles from the town of Los Olivos, California, in the Santa Ynez Valley. Jackson visited them and expressed interest in someday buying the property. In 1988, he would do so, renaming it Neverland Ranch in which was to be a location of much stories over the following years though perhaps for a lot of the wrong reasons but that is another story. At a cost of $500,000, it would actually be the most expensive Beatles related music video to date and it was here that they all saw how detailed Jackson was with making the best possible music video as possible with Harrison later admitting that if Jackson wanted to get out of the music industry then he might have done well as either an actor or producer.

In the short film set in a mid-west 1920s setting, the band play as a group known as 'Beat and Jack', a pair of medicine show con men who sell a 'miracle potion'. One of the salesmen (Starr) offers a young man from the crowd (Jackson) the potion, and claims that it is "guaranteed to give you the strength of a raging bull". The young man drinks the potion and challenges a large man to arm-wrestle. Unbeknownst to a watching crowd, the large man and Jackson's character are both in on the scam. After Jackson wins the rigged contest, the crowd of people surge forward and buy the potion [5]. The gang then donate all of the money earned from the scam to an orphanage before then heading off into town to star as vaudeville performers who sing and dance at a bar, however it isn't too long until the law-enforcement officers appear at the back of the venue it which it seems their conning ways have come back to get them.

To escape, McCartney's character quickly starts a small fire onstage and Starr yells "FIRE!", emptying the venue and allowing the group to escape via backstage with the scene being in some ways a quite literally wink to them being a 'band on the run' as based on the title of their famous album from ten years ago with the video ending with The Beatles and Jackson escaping by driving off into the sunset. The video itself would feature many cameos from all of The Beatles' wives all playing various roles either big or small to even Jackson's own sister La Toya and was in many ways something akin to a great caper short film that had some of the little hints of A Hard Days Night in it of that zany Beatles humour of the old days. That all being said, the music video itself while treated as fun by some and bizarre by others, it was said to be something of a 'passing of the torch moment' according to some in which this was the moment in which the band would pass over their status as number one to the young Michael Jackson.

Also, the video did allow for each Beatle to play up some of their acting skills with Lennon later admitting that he did get a good feel of playing an acting role once more that he hadn't done in years if you weren't to include the Monty Python cameos. McCartney too was enthused by the experience and already had thoughts of bigger things of not only another Beatles album but maybe a feature film for the following year though while they all seemed to agree on another album how he was going to get everyone else to agree on them all being part of a feature film would be another question that no one really knew what to think as 1984 would be year that marked anniversaries and other certain events that year...


[1] IOTL, the song get released later in 1978 on London Town.
[2] As with OTL's Sean, TTL's Sean is also a fan of MJ here and no doubt had Lennon still been alive by 1983 then you could imagine Sean wanting his Dad to do something with MJ.
[3] While musically the song sounds the same, the lyrics are changed a bit to give more of that Lennon edge, also I do prefer that song over Say Say Say personally.
[4] As what the single did IOTL too.
[5] The music video is pretty much the same as OTL, only with the other Beatles taking part in it being the one difference about it.

And there we are, the end of a unique update in which our heroes meet up with MJ although I do have a question to ask you guys. Next update will be a long awaited photo update of the years from 1977 to 1982 for the band but also if you can guess in the end of the update then yes, I plan to make Give My Regards To Broad Street here however, I'm aware how pretty much that is a McCartney vanity project and that it is not one of his best moments but here I plan to make it into the next Beatles film though this is where I need your help. I haven't much to say about it other than since the film will be coming out in 1984 which marks both the 20th anniversary of A Hard Day's Night and their appearance on The Ed Sullivan show, I'd like to imagine this film being a direct sequel to Hard Days Night which ignores all the other Beatles films after that in which shows what has happened with the band since then the events of that film or maybe have something about stolen tapes like with the OTL film and not just some stupid 'it was all a dream' thing that I'm sure Lennon would have chewed Macca out on if he heard about the film.

If anyone has any idea of not only a plot to go for the film as well as other characters and who should direct/write etc, then I'll be grateful for it as while it might not be fully what you have in mind but always good to take ideas from various places to make a better Broad Street film which, lets face it, can't be hard to do compared to the OTL version haha. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this update and look forward to hearing from you all soon so until then, take care all! :)
 
Good update.

I am worried about Billy- one would hope Brian or the other band members would try and get him some help - they have their own histories with addiction after-all. Plus breaking the Band would be very bad for the Brand so keeping Billy in and on the level should be a priority for someone.

Have none of the other Beatles helped with Billy's solo stuff?

Is Billy on the Apple label?

Beatles and Michael Jackson together is kinda what I figured it would end up. Hopefully Michael avoids some of the worst of his OTL behaviour - perhaps teaming up with the Rat Pack who mentor him?

Looking forward to Beatles and Madonna now... :)
 
Feel bad for Preston too, still don't see the point of having him in the band, I often forgot he was in the band until he'd be mentioned in passing.
He'll probably just end up a footnote in the Beatles history.

How about Richard Lester directing the next Beatles film? He directed Paul's Get back concert film and he retired in the late 80's so this could be his swan song and it gives him the hat trick.

Looking forward to the next update.
 
Feel bad for Preston too, still don't see the point of having him in the band, I often forgot he was in the band until he'd be mentioned in passing.
He'll probably just end up a footnote in the Beatles history.

How about Richard Lester directing the next Beatles film? He directed Paul's Get back concert film and he retired in the late 80's so this could be his swan song and it gives him the hat trick.

Looking forward to the next update.
Actually ITTL if you remember, Lester directed TTL's Magical Mystery Tour so in truth this would be his fourth Beatles film for TTL. Still have a vague idea how the film would go, maybe calling it 'Give My Regards To Lime Street' in which is based on the real station in Liverpool but that might lose the pun of the Broad Street name in the first place so the idea of the film being more of a 'back to basics' for the band returning home 20 years after the events of Hard Days Night (ignoring the other Beatles films in that time) and trying to make a comeback is one idea though if anyone had any idea how to add to this feel free to share any thoughts.
i think its now time for Band on the Run to become a film
Not sure about that by this point with the band. That said though, I could see Band On The Run getting made into a West End/Broadway musical here either during the mega musical period of the 80s or towards the Jukebox era musical of the 2000s maybe as TTL's BOTR does work as a concept album akin to Jesus Christ Superstar in some ways so in theory could be adapted quite well for a stage musical. Hell, maybe if that's successful I could see it becoming a film in 2007 which takes the place of OTL's Across The Universe film which means that film is butterflied so you might see characters from that film with Beatles names such as Jude, Lucy, Mr Kite, Saddie, Jojo etc all appearing still. Anything is possible ofc.
 
Actually ITTL if you remember, Lester directed TTL's Magical Mystery Tour so in truth this would be his fourth Beatles film for TTL. Still have a vague idea how the film would go, maybe calling it 'Give My Regards To Lime Street' in which is based on the real station in Liverpool but that might lose the pun of the Broad Street name in the first place so the idea of the film being more of a 'back to basics' for the band returning home 20 years after the events of Hard Days Night (ignoring the other Beatles films in that time) and trying to make a comeback is one idea though if anyone had any idea how to add to this feel free to share any thoughts.

Not sure about that by this point with the band. That said though, I could see Band On The Run getting made into a West End/Broadway musical here either during the mega musical period of the 80s or towards the Jukebox era musical of the 2000s maybe as TTL's BOTR does work as a concept album akin to Jesus Christ Superstar in some ways so in theory could be adapted quite well for a stage musical. Hell, maybe if that's successful I could see it becoming a film in 2007 which takes the place of OTL's Across The Universe film which means that film is butterflied so you might see characters from that film with Beatles names such as Jude, Lucy, Mr Kite, Saddie, Jojo etc all appearing still. Anything is possible ofc.
How about butterflying GMRTBS and calling the new film a "A Hard Night's Day"? It is a kind of sequel.

There was another TL here where Band on the Run was made into a film, it was pretty good too.
 
It's that time again for another Beatles update and one that has us return to the music scene for 1983 and one that I suspect many of you suspected would happen soon enough with this certain crossover of the day and here we go as we come across a certain character who might play some other roles in this TL...


When The Beatles Met The King Of Pop

Extract from 'Epstein: The Tertiary Years 1979 - 1988' by Debbie Geller
The story of The Beatles meet up with Elvis Presley in 1965 during their US tour that year has been one that has enter rock folklore in which the lack of any footage or pictures from that event all gave it something of akin to a myth almost in which the only evidence of it happening was of those talking about the whole event of who were there. While it might have been something of a major or glaring lost chance for The Beatles to have ever recorded music with their hero prior to the king of Rock N Roll's death in which has always been something a great 'what if' story had things worked out better, something that even the band themselves would express some regret about over the years, The Beatles would actually get to work with another king...the soon to be crowned king of Pop that would become perhaps the most famous person during the 1980s and even beyond. The one and only Michael Jackson.

However, there is perhaps the one story, perhaps one of the greatest missed opportunities in which when Brian Epstein could have seen an earlier crossover with Michael Jackson and The Beatles much sooner in which back in 1975 when The Jackson 5 were leaving Motown and were looking for a new record label, Brian Epstein had seen the potential in the band and had been tempted to get them to sign onto Apple Records but alas due to negations dragging for a certain amount of time and with other commitments that were happening that year, The Jackson 5 would sign onto Epic Records and from then on, the superstardom that Michael Jackson in particular was to have during the next few years. Epstein would always come to say that his failure to have Jackson as part of Apple was one of his biggest regrets though some would argue that given the controversy that Jackson was to suffer over the next two decades, that maybe Epstein and Apple might have dodged a bullet.

That being said though, the world of Michael Jackson and The Beatles would first come together in 1979 in which from Jackson's then new solo album Off The Wall, the album would include the cover of the Beatles song Girlfriend; a song that Paul McCartney had first written as early as 1974 and had been released in 1976 as part of the B-side to the single for Crackerbox Palace [1] though it turned out that McCartney had the song in mind for Jackson back then with Jackson stated in interviews with the music press in the 1970s that he was a fan of the band and the chance to record a Lennon/McCartney original helped to inspire his next project. Incidentally, Jackson's record producer Quincy Jones heard the song and suggested it as a possible track for Jackson to record for Off the Wall, not aware that the song had been written for Jackson in the first place but nonetheless this was to be the first moment of the world of The Beatles and Michael Jackson coming together.

That said, the only Beatle that had any interaction with Jackson would be McCartney who shortly after finishing on Tug Of War would get a phone call from Jackson who wanted to work with him even though at the time McCartney would at first admit that this was some fan who had found his personal phone number. That being said, Brian Epstein would hear about this and it would be shortly afterwards when on a trip to the United States that Epstein would first meet the up and coming solo artist at that time in which the two men would actually find some common ground of being quite shy people when not in the public light but it was then that the first proposal of a possible recording between Jackson and The Beatles started to take shape though if this was just as a one off single or a full album was unclear.

Nonetheless, McCartney would help Jackson on work and co-sing on the song The Girl Is Mine for the latter's upcoming album Thriller to be released in November 1982. An album that, as they say, the rest is history. Thriller would end up being perhaps one of the biggest watershed moments in music history as not as a being of cultural significance that was not attained by a Black-American before him in the history of the entertainment industry, but that it would be the album that would finally overtake The Beatles' own Band On The Run for being the biggest selling album of all time. Oddly enough, the other Beatles when hearing about the latter didn't seem too bothered, if anything as George Harrison would later admit that there was a bit of relief that someone had overtaking after what felt like forever and John Lennon would, in his first meeting with Jackson in the flesh, would congratulate the now established megastar in saying, 'It's about time someone finally beat us'.

That said though, it was noted according to May Lennon when the couple and their family would first get to watch the now famous Thriller music video video for the first time and just how it was more than a music video but actually a mini movie that pushed the boundaries of what could be done with John Lennon looking over to his wife muttering that they [The Beatles] couldn't do any of that. That said though, the album itself wouldn't really hit those heights until the following year following the now iconic Motown 25 performance which Epstein would remark that not only was that the moment that send Michael Jackson to mega heights but that it bared a resemblance to how The Beatles' performance on the Ed Sullivan show would send the band into superstardom back then and that the Motown 25 performance was indeed the 1980s answer to that. With the amount of attention that Jackson was getting from frankly everywhere, it would seem that anyone that was anyone wanted to work with him yet it was the idea of working with The Beatles was one that greatly attracted him and following his work with Paul McCartney, his appetite had only grew and Epstein was only to happy to jump on this to bring the two sides together.

---------
Extract from 'Ancient: The Beatles In The 1980's' by Alyson Henderson
If work on The Girl Is Mine was seen as something as a test to see if such a collaboration was possible, then it wouldn't be long until that first meeting between Michael Jackson and The Beatles would take place in early 1983 in which amazingly despite all the media attention on such an event, it was actually done in private in which much of the press was oblivious to what was going on though that said there were some in high up places who did have a feeling that something was up. While Jackson's relationship with McCartney was already established, it would be the time in which he would get to know the other members of the band personally as such other than one radio interview that Jackson and George Harrison had shared, this would be the first time they'd get to know each other; John Lennon would admit that it was his own son Sean that was a huge Michael Jackson fan in the day and the thought of his own father working with him seemed like a dream to him [2].

Easy going Ringo Starr was always relaxing to be around and Jackson would be friendly with Billy Preston in which both would admit in separate interviews that they would reflect on the old Motown days and where both men were right now though if anyone would have noticed then, this was actually were the first cracks in Preston's relationship with the band was starting to come undone. While by now most Beatles fans had all accepted Preston compared to the lukewarm reception that some might have had in the day and that the rest of the band all liked him as one of their own, that didn't mean to say that there was a feeling that he didn't seem like he was with the band in which in all that time he hadn't had any song of his on any Beatles album since joining in which at first wasn't an issue as he had in that time released many solo albums and in some ways did actually have a more fruitful solo career than the rest of the band combined.

All the same though, he was starting to feel like he was wanting to branch out away from the shadow of The Beatles and with the band perhaps no longer being the hot property as they once were, the thought of leaving the band was a real possibility for him though it must be said that the early 80s weren't a good time for him. With the fame that had come with The Beatles as well as the difficulty of his own homosexuality in which was starting to get a bad reputation following the outbreak of AIDS during the early part of the decade (in which Brian Epstein did share in his fears about AIDS and how much of the gay community seemed to be targeted because of it) but that by this point, Preston's own cocaine and alcohol additions were starting to see him lose steam and with it, questions from even his own bandmates.

Of course, no one wanted to consider a split then considering that the band were on the verge of recording with Michael Jackson of all people though even then when they began to start work with Jackson, Preston was looking to be rather washed up according to Lennon who felt he wasn't right as he might have been even a year ago. Of course, all these thoughts with Preston would all be put to one side as the question now was what would they all record together. As it turned out, both McCartney and Jackson had a song that was still stillborn which they had recorded about two years ago but hadn't gotten round to finishing it due to other commitments both men had. A certain song called Say Say Say in which looked to be a hit if handled well. With that, the song was dusted off and the rest of The Beatles would all get together to work on the song with planned release date for October later that year and by now, word would soon get around that something was going on between The Beatles and Michael Jackson.

The song Say Say Say would be one of those rare steps into that post-disco or funk pop sound that were starting to be heard during the early part of the decade though as it turned out, that song wouldn't be a one off as instead over the course a week over at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, the great musical acts would all play several cover songs and make some half decent attempts at trying another song and once again, McCartney did have another song for the two songs to collaborate on to at the very least make a single release. The other song to work on was a song called The Man in which McCartney would instead of having it as another duet between him and Jackson, he felt the song could be a collaborate with another Beatle and the person McCartney would suggest would be John Lennon in which the latter would be taken aback by this idea.

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Extract from 'In My Life' by John Lennon
At first it did feel like the whole time in LA was more of McCartney/Jackson affair in which they were very pally then and that the rest of us were just tagging along. McCartney giving the song The Man for me to sing on instead of him was actually his way of for once letting his ego go down and let someone else have a shot at working with Jackson. At first I was a bit hesitant to actually not being the one to sing one of Paul's songs but to have a duet to Michael Jackson which I will say other than one rare time I had with Elton John, I hadn't done anything like this outside of The Beatles so it was quite a daunting factor going into this.

In the end, it was none other than my own son Sean who upon telling him that I might be having a song with MJ, Sean didn't let me finish and said, "Dad, why would you not want to work with Michael Jackson?!"

Honestly, he had a point. How many artists did you know who MJ wanted to record with on his own consent rather than be thrown together by some faceless record producers? Pretty much none and the more I thought about it, we were in a exclusive club and would I get this chance again to work with someone who we all felt was going to dominate the world, perhaps more so than what even what we did in The Beatles which tells you just had big this man was going to get.

So in the end, I would do the song but only on the condition that I would have full control and changing some of the lyrics round [3] in which oddly enough Paul didn't seem that bothered with when before he would have sometimes fought tooth and nail to keep the things he wanted but it seems in the presence of Michael Jackson Paul was trying to act like a good sport in The Man would be a true Lennon/McCartney/Jackson song in every sense of the word. In the end, it was actually an enjoyable time to work on those two songs with Michael although then it was becoming more apparent that Billy Preston wasn't really 'with it' as it was as we did know in some ways about his addictions with cocaine and alcohol yet we didn't really wanted to think it was that bad though he pretty much slept walk his way through recording and we only started to know then that this all starting to remind us of Pete Best...

Interview of George Harrison (1998)
Honestly, my memories of that time with Michael Jackson are more of a blur really. While it was nice to work with someone new and not with the same crew I'd have for the past many years now, I don't remember much of it as he [Michael] was with Paul and John most of the time though he did come to see if I was alright whenever we were working and would say to me how much he loved my work compared to what either John or Paul were doing then which I did appreciate it. He even asked if I had any left over songs that I might have to trade with him which I had many still in the backlog yet oddly this conversation went nowhere and before we knew it, our time with Michael ended there and then once recording had finished on the two songs.

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Extract from 'Ancient: The Beatles In The 1980's' by Alyson Henderson
News of the Beatles/Jackson collaboration would soon get out in which would be in some ways be described as the biggest crossover even seen in music in which the world's biggest band and the world's biggest solo recording artist would come together to make music and the demand to see what they had come up with in which it would be said that they had created two songs to be released called Say Say Say and The Man in which it would be released a single for October though some media outlets would make the mistake thinking it would be a full album. As it would turn out, the idea of having Say Say Say being released as the A-side with The Man as the B-side would be remind some long-time Beatles fans of the infamous Irish double back in 1972 which was the cause of much controversary and would perhaps lead to some of the problems for the band that was to affect them that year; this however known to al fans as the Beatles/MJ double in comparison looked set to be a far bigger success than the former double.

As it would turn perhaps to the surprise of no one when Say Say Say was released on October 3rd 1983 with great hype with it remaining atop Billboard's Hot 100 for six weeks and became Jackson's seventh top ten hit of 1983, breaking a record that until then was held jointly by The Beatles and Elvis Presley [4]. It would also come in at number two on the UK Singles Chart with Say Say Say reaching number one in Norway and Sweden as well as reaching the top ten in Austria, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. With wholesale shipments of at least one million units, the single was later certified platinum meaning that the single would actually end up selling better than what Tug Of War had done the previous year.

While commercially a success, both songs would get some mixed reviews from many critics with some either liking the unique collaboration or some not liking the lyrics and Beatles fans would be left divided on the two songs from either which one was better, to being quite unique and fun additions to The Beatles' musical catalogue with others though hating both songs as they were just so unlike other Beatles songs then that it just seemed to different not mention some weren't fans of Michael Jackson despite him being perhaps the biggest star in the world by this point. However, rather just release a single, to really make it make an impact then it would be needing a music video to go with it and with Michael Jackson around, it would also something of mini movie much like some of his other work.

The music video for Say Say Say would be filmed in October that year and was to be directed by Bob Giraldi, who had previously directed Michael Jackson's music video for Beat It and during filming of the video, the McCartneys were staying at a property named Sycamore Valley Ranch, five miles from the town of Los Olivos, California, in the Santa Ynez Valley. Jackson visited them and expressed interest in someday buying the property. In 1988, he would do so, renaming it Neverland Ranch in which was to be a location of much stories over the following years though perhaps for a lot of the wrong reasons but that is another story. At a cost of $500,000, it would actually be the most expensive Beatles related music video to date and it was here that they all saw how detailed Jackson was with making the best possible music video as possible with Harrison later admitting that if Jackson wanted to get out of the music industry then he might have done well as either an actor or producer.

In the short film set in a mid-west 1920s setting, the band play as a group known as 'Beat and Jack', a pair of medicine show con men who sell a 'miracle potion'. One of the salesmen (Starr) offers a young man from the crowd (Jackson) the potion, and claims that it is "guaranteed to give you the strength of a raging bull". The young man drinks the potion and challenges a large man to arm-wrestle. Unbeknownst to a watching crowd, the large man and Jackson's character are both in on the scam. After Jackson wins the rigged contest, the crowd of people surge forward and buy the potion [5]. The gang then donate all of the money earned from the scam to an orphanage before then heading off into town to star as vaudeville performers who sing and dance at a bar, however it isn't too long until the law-enforcement officers appear at the back of the venue it which it seems their conning ways have come back to get them.

To escape, McCartney's character quickly starts a small fire onstage and Starr yells "FIRE!", emptying the venue and allowing the group to escape via backstage with the scene being in some ways a quite literally wink to them being a 'band on the run' as based on the title of their famous album from ten years ago with the video ending with The Beatles and Jackson escaping by driving off into the sunset. The video itself would feature many cameos from all of The Beatles' wives all playing various roles either big or small to even Jackson's own sister La Toya and was in many ways something akin to a great caper short film that had some of the little hints of A Hard Days Night in it of that zany Beatles humour of the old days. That all being said, the music video itself while treated as fun by some and bizarre by others, it was said to be something of a 'passing of the torch moment' according to some in which this was the moment in which the band would pass over their status as number one to the young Michael Jackson.

Also, the video did allow for each Beatle to play up some of their acting skills with Lennon later admitting that he did get a good feel of playing an acting role once more that he hadn't done in years if you weren't to include the Monty Python cameos. McCartney too was enthused by the experience and already had thoughts of bigger things of not only another Beatles album but maybe a feature film for the following year though while they all seemed to agree on another album how he was going to get everyone else to agree on them all being part of a feature film would be another question that no one really knew what to think as 1984 would be year that marked anniversaries and other certain events that year...


[1] IOTL, the song get released later in 1978 on London Town.
[2] As with OTL's Sean, TTL's Sean is also a fan of MJ here and no doubt had Lennon still been alive by 1983 then you could imagine Sean wanting his Dad to do something with MJ.
[3] While musically the song sounds the same, the lyrics are changed a bit to give more of that Lennon edge, also I do prefer that song over Say Say Say personally.
[4] As what the single did IOTL too.
[5] The music video is pretty much the same as OTL, only with the other Beatles taking part in it being the one difference about it.

And there we are, the end of a unique update in which our heroes meet up with MJ although I do have a question to ask you guys. Next update will be a long awaited photo update of the years from 1977 to 1982 for the band but also if you can guess in the end of the update then yes, I plan to make Give My Regards To Broad Street here however, I'm aware how pretty much that is a McCartney vanity project and that it is not one of his best moments but here I plan to make it into the next Beatles film though this is where I need your help. I haven't much to say about it other than since the film will be coming out in 1984 which marks both the 20th anniversary of A Hard Day's Night and their appearance on The Ed Sullivan show, I'd like to imagine this film being a direct sequel to Hard Days Night which ignores all the other Beatles films after that in which shows what has happened with the band since then the events of that film or maybe have something about stolen tapes like with the OTL film and not just some stupid 'it was all a dream' thing that I'm sure Lennon would have chewed Macca out on if he heard about the film.

If anyone has any idea of not only a plot to go for the film as well as other characters and who should direct/write etc, then I'll be grateful for it as while it might not be fully what you have in mind but always good to take ideas from various places to make a better Broad Street film which, lets face it, can't be hard to do compared to the OTL version haha. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this update and look forward to hearing from you all soon so until then, take care all! :)
What a big update! Sad to see Billy Preston beginning to have a downfall, hope he ends up having a marginally better fate than he did IOTL. Also I do wonder will Michael Jackson's career change at all due to working with all of the Beatles? Maybe Paul will convince him to be more careful and avoid sleeping alone with children?
 
I wonder if Billy Preston’s involvement with Kathleen Silva was butterflied ITTL. According to Preston’s Wikipedia page, a close associate of his reported that her betrayal hurt him so much that he gave up on women. He caught her in bed with Sly Stone whom she later married.
 
I wonder if Billy Preston’s involvement with Kathleen Silva was butterflied ITTL. According to Preston’s Wikipedia page, a close associate of his reported that her betrayal hurt him so much that he gave up on women. He caught her in bed with Sly Stone whom she later married.
Wow, never knew about that.
Poor Billy.
 
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