Before John Lennon passed away on 8th December 1980, he was on friendly terms again with his ex-Beatles bandmates, occassionally getting together during trips through his hometown in New York.
The last time he saw each of his bandmates were within the last four years of his life.
Lorne Michaels had famously offered the Beatles $3,000 to reunite during an episode of Saturday Night Live on 24th April 1976. Lennon and Paul McCartney happened to be hanging out at the Dakota, just a mile and a half away from 30 Rockefeller Plaza and briefly considered making that trip.
The following day, McCartney came over to Lennon's house again, but he was unable to make time. I said to him, 'Please call before you come over. It's not 1956, and turning up at the door isn't the same anymore. You know, just give me a ring,'" Lennon told Playboy in 1980. "He was upset by that, but I didn't mean it badly. I just meant that I was taking care of a baby all day, and some guy turns up at the door."
The pair kept in touch, but never saw each other again in person after that.
Just a few months after Lennon's death, McCartney had invited Carl Perkins to guest on a song called 'Get It' during recording sessions for 'Tug of War'. The experience moved Perkins to write 'My Old Friend', and played it for Sir Macca the next day. McCartney was touched by the lyric 'Think about me every now and then, old friend', and left the room in tears. His wife, Linda McCartney then told Perkins that those were the very same words and the last that Lennon had said to McCartney at their final meeting.
George Harrison mentioned once in a 1990 interview that he last met Lennon two years before he was murdered.
The year was 1978 when Harrison was in his New York house at the Dakota. "He was nice. He was just sort of running around the house making dinner."
He was also surprised to discover that Lennon had hundreds of cassettes of Indian music, given his previous attitude towards the music when Harrison first introduced them in the studio during the Beatles era. Harrison said that Lennon "grew into it".
"I hadn't seen him for so long," Harrison added. "I didn't see him for two years anyway, occasionally [I'd] maybe send a postcard, and it's knowing that he's on the other end of the telephone if you do want to call. That's the difference. Now you need the big cosmic telephone to speak to him. But I believe that life goes on, and so to me, I can't get sad. I'm sad that I can't go play guitars with John, but then I did that, anyway. I did that for a long time. So, we'll meet again somewhere down the line."
The last Beatles to see Lennon alive was Ringo Starr. Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach, visited New York just weeks before the tragic murder.
"I was staying at the Plaza; we went over to New York for a while," Ringo told Barbara Walters in 1981. "And I hadn't seen him for a while because, you know, we see each other wherever we are. And he came over with Yoko for an hour. And we had such a great time, cause they stayed five hours. And it didn't matter that it was a year between we didn't see each other, it was always fine when we did – but it was a particularly great time that we, that I had, anyway."