John Lennon Performs In Concert For Final Time On This Date In 1974

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The Beatles founding member John Lennon made his final appearance live in concert on November 28, 1974. The surprise performance occurred during an Elton John show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Lennon emerged mid-way into John’s main set at the first of two nights at MSG. The collaboration kicked off with Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night,” which was originally recorded with Elton John for Lennon’s 1974 solo album Walls And Bridges. Lennon’s sit-in reportedly came about following a bet in which he promised to join John on stage if “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” reached No. 1, which it did.

Next came a rendition of The Beatles’ “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” which Elton had covered and issued as a successful single earlier that year. Lennon’s guest spot ended with him singing lead on The Beatles’ classic “I Saw Her Standing There” – introduced by Lennon as “a number of an old estranged fiancee of mine called Paul.”

The evening was also reportedly noteworthy as it marked a reunion backstage between Lennon and his estranged wife Yoko Ono, with the pair resuming their relationship early in 1975, Below is the only known video footage from the “Elton John Lennon” performance:

Here’s audio of “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night”:

Here’s audio of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”:

Here’s audio of “I Saw Her Standing There”:

Setlist

Elton John at Madison Square Garden

  • Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
  • Candle in the Wind
  • Grimsby
  • Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)
  • Take Me to the Pilot
  • Bennie and the Jets
  • Daniel
  • Grey Seal
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  • Burn Down the Mission
  • You're So Static
  • Whatever Gets You Thru the Night  
  • Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds  
  • I Saw Her Standing There  
  • Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
  • All the Girls Love Alice
  • Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
Encore
  • Crocodile Rock
  • The Bitch Is Back
  • Your Song