Jeff Lynne on the Beatles reunion’s tense initial moments: ‘There was just them three, and me’

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Many was the fan who longed to be a fly on the wall in the mid-1990s when the surviving Beatles reconvened for the first time since 1970 sessions for “I Me Mine.” Jeff Lynne, the Electric Light Orchestra mastermind who would produce these reunion tracks, is proud to say he was that fly.

Things started tentatively, however, as George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr began sessions work that would ultimately result in the completion of two old John Lennon demos, “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love.” Both new tracks were included on the Anthology series, with the former becoming the Beatles’ 34th Top 10 U.S. hit.

“When we got in the room, they hadn’t been in the same room for, like, 20 years or so — the three of them, all at once,” Lynne tells Itv News Central. They would break the ice by returning to the old days. “We sat and listened to these tales of the Beatles, and all of the things you ever wanted to know,” Lynne adds. “I was just thrilled to bits with that. I was in the club. There was just them three, and me — that was it.”

Lynne, who to that point had already worked with Harrison and Starr on solo projects, would later produce McCartney’s Flaming Pie project and a posthumous release by Harrison, as well.

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