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mygif

*sigh* If only. I have to say, depressing as it is, you’re ending was pretty appropriate.

Having said that: did you seriously just change Lennon’s death from being killed by a paranoid schizophrenic to a paranoid right-wing radical schizophrenic just to take a cheap shot at conservatism? That is fucking beyond assholism; we love the Beatles too, you know. Seriously, what the hell are you thinking?

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Also, I would have thought up some excuse for them to collaborate with Peter Gabriel, but that’s just me.

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mygif

Does Harry Turtledove know you’re smoking his stash?

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Required Name Here said on November 10th, 2009 at 9:47 am

Possibly dumb question, but is the Ringo death thing at the end a reference to Dr. Who? I don’t watch it (but have been meaning to and need a recommendation as to where to start!)

If that’s not it, what the heck happened then?

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RB: Take it easy, pal, you’ll get whiplash from outrage.

MGK, are you…are you implying that Ringo Starr is a voyager between times and universes? THIS IS MARVELOUS NEWS

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mygif

You know, I’ve been reading your blog for years, but I never actually loved you before this. Now I love you. That was just beautiful.

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Meanderthal said on November 10th, 2009 at 10:37 am

Orbison makes a full recovery and tours with the Wilburys one year later.

Sigh. If only.

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mygif

I’m not a Beatles fan, but holy shit that was epic.

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Will "scifantasy" Frank said on November 10th, 2009 at 10:39 am

I don’t know what it says about me that when I saw your explanation, I know what you meant because of Spider Robinson (who used something similar in…I think it was Deathkiller).

And I read the end to be that in our universe, Ringo eventually figured out (will figure out) time travel and sent notes (will send notes) back to himself. Hence, Ringo showing up with coffee and saying “let’s do this” to John and Paul.

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Will "scifantasy" Frank said on November 10th, 2009 at 10:45 am

Oh, and that he’s trying again:

“If they had, things would be different. Maybe John would still be alive as well. Who’s to say?”

Ringo Starr has become (will become, will have become) a sort of localized Sam Beckett…setting right what once went wrong.

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mygif

Oooh very nicely done. Wow.

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mygif

Will, that was my interpretation as well.

Also, yo.

MGK, that was amazing. I’m totally not a Beatles fan and it still gave me goosebumps.

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mygif

God damn you, Chris. You made me cry at my desk. Three separate times.

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mygif

I’ve been reading your blog for a long, long time, mostly for the comics stuff (I love the Who’s Who and Dr. Strange stuff especially), but I only felt compelled to comment now.

That was wonderful. Brought me close to tears. And the strange thing is, I never even considered myself much of a Beatles fan. But this was an amazing piece of writing. I applaud you, sir.

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mygif

you just killed michael jackson. nicely done piece but you still killed michael jackson.

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mygif

But what about Beatles Rock Band?

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Of course, what I’d really like to know is whether they paid Ringo less for the SNL gig or not.

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I think Ringo got visited by another time traveller, which kicked off the whole thing, and now has gone back to make changes which will fix the other problems (Linda & George & Michael & and even poor sick Mark). Or make things even worse.

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Required Name Here said on November 10th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

thanks justin, when i went back and reread it, it made a lot more sense now. and it is awesome beyond belief.

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mygif

Did you mean to bring tears with this? Because you did, here.

Beautifully done.

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mygif

I’m blown away. Really.

“That is fucking beyond assholism; we love the Beatles too, you know.”

I can’t help but think that if you’re a right wing Beatles fan, you’re doing something terribly wrong.

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mygif

Hmm, upon further consideration I did overreact, so my bad. And in any case, I suppose politics really doesn’t (and shouldn’t) matter as to whether you’re a fan or not.

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mygif

Man. Nicely done.

–d

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kit ono: or rather, *Ringo Starr* killed Michael Jackson.

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mygif

I’ve been following your blog for a while now and this is the first time I’ve felt the need to post a response. An amazing piece of writing, sir. Incredibly written, resonant, and haunting. Especially the slow reveal of Ringo’s Sisyphean quest to right the past. Of all of them, of course it had to be Ringo… Very well done, overall. Utterly haunting.

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slappy the happy robot said on November 10th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

I think Ringo got visited by another time traveller, which kicked off the whole thing

see, when i read it, i thought it was sort of a marvel-style “changing a timeline creates a new timeline” thing. so ringo is the first time traveller, going back and telling himself how to prevent john’s murder and maybe get the band together. this story is the alternate universe that gets created when ringo goes back for the first time; ringo #2 deciding to go back and try and fix things again creates another alternate universe, and so on.

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mygif

Seriously, send this somewhere to be published.

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mygif

Damn.

That made me amazingly sad in a very melancholy way.

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mygif

This was beautiful and heartbreaking. My god.

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mygif

Holy balls, read that twice before I felt like I really understood it.

Absolutely excellent stuff.

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mygif

Yeah, but the main issue is that Ringo Starr does not, in this timeline, possess the capacity to research and implement time travel.

Plus,

“He kept on about he wouldn’t bollocks it up like the first bloke. I thought at first he was talking about Pete Best,”

indicates he was contacted by someone else.

This all probably links to MGK’s Quantum Leap fanfic.

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mygif

Really good read.

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tinpantithesis said on November 10th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

This was fantastic, heartbreaking, and beautiful. Thanks for writing this.

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mygif

Man, I was just about ready to emigrate to Universe B until Jeff Lynne dies in a car crash. He should be around to enjoy “Mr. Blue Sky” being used in every third movie and commercial, you monster! Although the idea of a “haunting” version of “Every Little Thing” is intriguing…

But I wish John would’ve told George to do “Blow Away” as a rocker here in Universe A as well. The Beatle version of “Not Guilty” is SO MUCH BETTER.

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mygif

Universe B?

I thought we agreed. They’re Universe 1, we’re Universe A.

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mygif

This was awesome! Great fiction!

Were you perhaps inspired by this website…?

http://www.thebeatlesneverbrokeup.com

Seems like the 2 compliment each other…

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mygif

F’in brilliant, mate.

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Wonderful, sir.

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Positronic Brain said on November 10th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

*clap, clap, clap*

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Savage Wombat said on November 10th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Clearly this is “Why I should write Dr. Strange” #35 (or whatever).

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RobotKeaton said on November 10th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

As much as I love The Beatles, the most awesome part of this was the continuation of the Muppet Show.

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Sir, that was your ‘Watchmen’, post.

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Justin @ 2:11:

I assumed “the first bloke” was just the first Ringo Starr. This universe’s main Ringo would still have experienced him as being some other dude, even if he was convinced that it was also, in some sense, him.

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scarecrowprophet said on November 10th, 2009 at 5:40 pm

how long must you have spent trying to come up with song titles/album titles/quotes that sound staggeringly genuine? are you an obsessive beatles fan? surely there’s no other way you could get it dead on like that?

unless, of course…you’ve visited this universe.

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mygif

You left out:

May 6, 1990: After a private dinner with Lennon and Ono, who express concern over his seeming ill-health, Jim Henson visits his doctor in New York City. He is hospitalized for a serious bacterial infection and misses a family trip, but is released after ten days.

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mygif

Aww, Ringo. I knew there was a reason he was my favorite, though I never suspected it was because he was a Time Lord.

Excellent stuff, mister GodKing. There’s so much heartfelt emotion surrounding the Beatles, is there? Can’t help but read this and wish it were true without feeling a bit verchlempt.

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mygif

…that should be “isn’t there.” Whoops.

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mygif

I like how you started from this one small divergent point and fleshed it all out. I wonder though, if the Beatles have the legendary status that do primarily because they broke up, and because Lennon died in his prime.

The Rolling Stones are still around, but they’re almost a punchline at their age. Who is still treasuring Bob Dylan? Artists tend to fade as they get older, they don’t get appreciated as much unless they go down too soon.

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Bryce (Mouser) said on November 10th, 2009 at 9:18 pm

June 13, 1976. During a celebratory cast party John Belushi overdoses and is rushed to the hospital. After several weeks of recovery, detox and refab, a a slightly slimmer Belushi returns to the set vowing to moderate his habits, at least somewhat. Over the next two decades he became know for his repeated relapses.

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travissimo said on November 10th, 2009 at 9:23 pm

The awful all-night Hungarian deli on… Bleecker? Isn’t that the street where the Doc’s Sanctum Sanctorum is?

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mygif

Lovely piece. Absolutely lovely.

And, in the interests of making it slightly more lovely, I feel I should point out a typo: where you have January 7th, 1980, I think that should be January 7th, 1981.

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mygif

“The Rolling Stones are still around, but they’re almost a punchline at their age. Who is still treasuring Bob Dylan? Artists tend to fade as they get older, they don’t get appreciated as much unless they go down too soon.”

Kenb – this 25 year old is. Dylan’s a god

Bleeker and McDougal are centre of the East Village, i think. or maybe Greenwich Village

this stuff is heartbreaking. i love musical alternate history

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[...] post: Mightygodking.com » Post Topic » Scenes From An Alternate Universe … No TweetBacks yet. (Be the first to Tweet this post)SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Mightygodking.com [...]

mygif

where you have January 7th, 1980, I think that should be January 7th, 1981

No, he meant 1980.

You see, Ringo wasn’t taking any chances.

“I just felt, you know, responsible somehow…”

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mygif

It’s nice to sometimes laugh and, like, I’m not laughing at anything or anyone, I’m just laughing ’cause it’s a beautiful feeling and everything feels alright.

Thanks, Chris.

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Nothing on your website has made me cry nearly as much as this piece of fiction. Thank you for giving me a perverse sense of hope and make me wish for this different universe.

*hat tip*
Laurel

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mygif

But what about Ringo’s stint on Thomas the Tank Engine?

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Mary Warner said on November 11th, 2009 at 2:12 am

‘Blow Away’ is a much better song than ‘Free As A Bird’. The Beatles made the right choice.

I have to agree with the others that killing Jeff Lynne was a horrible thing to do. But I guess that no matter how much you muck about with the time streams, cause and effect will continue to cascade upon each other in unpredictable ways, and some bad things will always occur which cannot be predicted.

I do think, though, that there is no way the Beatles could’ve toured for eleven months. That would’ve just torn them apart again.

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MarvinAndoid said on November 11th, 2009 at 2:16 am

I think Douglas Adams would appreciate this, and that’s just about the best thing I can say about anything.

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mygif

Fantastic piece.

Reminded me of THE COMICS JOURNAL speculative piece on Kirby some years back.

Kudos!

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mygif

Brilliant! I can’t believe I didn’t get it until the August 3rd entry.

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[...] This post on the Beatles may be the best thing Christopher Bird’s ever written. It won’t *seem* like it is, til [...]

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[...] Mightygodking.com » Post Topic » Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorn… (tags: beatles music) [...]

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Joysweeper said on November 11th, 2009 at 7:41 am

I don’t feel strongly about the Beatles one way or another but yeah. That was pretty epic.

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mygif

“see, when i read it, i thought it was sort of a marvel-style “changing a timeline creates a new timeline” thing. so ringo is the first time traveller, going back and telling himself how to prevent john’s murder and maybe get the band together. this story is the alternate universe that gets created when ringo goes back for the first time; ringo #2 deciding to go back and try and fix things again creates another alternate universe, and so on.”

If it was Ringo going back he would have mentioned the cancer as well, at the least. It’s surely a description of what happens after Sam Beckett “fixes” the timeline: the person he left behind wants to fix everything else he sees as wrong. The only thing that’s changed here is the SNL performance, everything else is what follows.

What makes it so poignant is that Ringo *can’t* change the past. All he knows is someone took over his body to fix things, so he thinks it’s a standard time travel thing and he can change whatever he wants as long as he makes sure the machine is invented in his lifetime. He doesn’t realize that in Quantum Leap there’s a true timeline which can’t be changed, and he’s in it

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mygif

Killing MJ right before he becomes a freak. I like it.

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[...] gives us a glimpse at a world where John, Paul, George, and Ringo accepted Lorne Michael’s half-joking offer of $300…, and I have to say: It’s a beautifully fleshed out look at a world many a Beatlemaniac like [...]

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DistantFred said on November 11th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Sam Beckett leaping into Ringo and working to prevent John Lennon’s death is so in character it’s crazy.

This story does raise some questions, though:
With the Muppet Show lasting nearly another decade, how does that impact Henson’s post-Muppet Show work, like Fraggle Rock, the Dark Crystal, and Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop? Would Farscape not exist in this universe?

What would John Lennon’s episode of the Simpsons be like? A Beatles love letter, like Harrison’s? A commentary on Beatles fandom, like Starr’s? Or a funny, but unfortunately trend setting “Lisa issue” one, like Paul’s?

Without Michael Jackson songs to respectfully parody and launch him into superstardom, would Weird Al be as popular?

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mygif

I get the feeling that Lennon asks to play a character on his episode of the Simpsons and not himself.

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Lennon was the second Beatle to do a Simpsons episode, after Ringo. It was in the early years when the biggest stars were still using pseudonyms, although “Winston Legthigh” fooled nobody.

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mygif

He played a mental patient who thought he was John Lennon.

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Mary Warner said on November 11th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Weird Al’s career really took off with ‘Eat It’, although he’d actually had some success before that, with ‘Ricky’ and ‘I Love Rocky Road’. Since Thriller still got made and was a huge hit, Jackson’s early death shouldn’t have hurt Weird Al at all.

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mygif

The question I have is what impact do the re-united Beatles have on Grunge? Does it exist? Did Nevermind still top the charts – and with no MJ, what did it displace?

Is there a sequel where a time travelling Krist Novoselic prevents Kurt from killing himself?

So many possibilities!

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mygif

“we love the Beatles too, you know”

Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Kyle Smith, and others would disagree.

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mygif

I could say that’s the best thing you’ve ever written but I don’t think that goes far enough.

That’s one of the best things I’ve read written by anyone this year period, and I’ve read a lot.

Excellent work.

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mygif

Strong slice of speculative fiction. But also kind of a strong slice of rock journalism. Lester K. Dick?

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“Is there a sequel where a time travelling Krist Novoselic prevents Kurt from killing himself?”

God, I hope not.

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Clipperton said on November 11th, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Also left out: endless bitching on the Internet about how SNL was a sellout, how much they sucked and how they should have stayed broken up.

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DukeOfAwesome said on November 12th, 2009 at 1:46 am

*SIGH* If only the Beatles were around in 2000 to release the Green Album and not Weezer…

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Man I can’t believe I didn’t pick up on the time travel aspect till quite late in the piece. I’ve re-read it 3 times now, it’s a fantastic bit of writing. Nice work fella!

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[...] By myownpetard Leave a Comment Categories: links Tags: beatles, mightygodking This is oddly moving and rather hilarious. What a world that would have [...]

mygif

You ought to get this published, mate.

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mygif

Moving, wry, tragic, funny, at once utterly wrong and yet so, so right.

This is undoubtedly one of the finest things you’ve written, and after the Legion and Strange and Archie and all the rest that’s really saying something.

I had to sit and reflect for a bit after reading it, and I’m almost embarrassed to say that the first coherent thought I had was “Oh my god, it’s full of Starrs”.

That you aren’t being paid to write stuff when you’re this good at it is a wrong that sorely needs to be righted.

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mygif

Seriously, man, submit this to McSweeney’s. At the very least, it should get up on their website. Beautiful.

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mygif

That was beyond epic.

And we get 7 more seasons of the Muppet Show!!!

You will get any job with this in your CV.

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mygif

For another take on a Beatles reunion, look for “Paperback Writer” by Mark Shipper. It is out of print, but copies are floating around on the internet. Funny look at the past, present and future of the Beatles.

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mygif

This doesn’t make any sense to me because I find the Beatles incredibly irrelevant.

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mygif

What, no love for Billy Preston (RIP)?

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mygif

This doesn’t make any sense to me because I find the Beatles incredibly irrelevant.

Whether you like the Beatles or not, they are in no way irrelevant. Their music has had a profound impact on music which ripples outward to this very day.

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mygif

“I don’t see what the big deal is about The Beatles. They sound like every other band out there.”

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mygif

This seems just a tad mean towards Jackson and Lynne. Also, I’m surprised that there wasn’t a Concert for George in this timeline. Furthermore, why no mention of Live Aid?

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mygif

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

I had to think a bit to work out what the last entries signified. I love it.

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mygif

This is really ironic, coming off this amazing mashup i found earlier

http://thebeatlesneverbrokeup.com/

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mygif

Why’d you go and kill Jeff Lynne, man?

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mygif

So i didn’t see any mention of the WTC or 9/11, does that mean that in this alternate timeline that it didn’t happen?

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mygif

Well done, all in all, but I gotta echo the first responder: if conservatives were gonna go shoot some celebrity in protest that they were protesting the invasion of Iraq, you could easily rattle off a half-dozen celebrity figures who’ve been just as vehement (and wrong, of course) as the fictional Lennon was here.

It would indeed be very sad if Lennon got shot because he couldn’t be bothered to find out that, two months before the invasion, Hans Blix reported to the UN Security Council that Iraq hadn’t accounted for some 1000 tonnes (metric, naturally) of chemical weapons. That we haven’t found the WMDs Blix said Iraq hadn’t accounted for is something else, of course.

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mygif

…The “Saturday Night reunion” instantly becomes one of the touchstones of modern television history. When asked why they did it, Starr says “We decided it’s never too early to get out of bed.”

July 4, 1977: the Beach Boys release SMILE.

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mygif

I keep coming back and re-reading this and it just gets better every time.

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Mike in NJ said on November 14th, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Awesome job here.

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mygif

After reading this twice–and seeing what was going on only with the second reading–I think it’s absolutely brilliant. Fantastic little alternate-history story. Very very good job!

b.

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mygif

Yes, Calbeck, if that had happened I’m SURE Lennon would have changed his mind TOTALLY on the war, or that guy shooing him was justified.

I know the more you scrub, the more it hurts, but the blood on your hands will never wash off. Deal with it.

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mygif

[...] MightyGodKing’s brilliant alternate-history story about the Beatles [...]

mygif

And this is why I love alternate-history fic. BRILLIANT… and almost heartbreaking.

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I loved it !

Just for a moment , I closed my eyes and believed it was real…

I think I heard ‘Ophelia’.

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mygif

Wow! Cool. But you forgot about their 1987 bootleg release, Purple Submarine. (Chrononauts fans, laugh now. :) )

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mygif

That was the DUMBEST thing I have EVER read. I really wish I could get the past 5 minutes back. To those who think this was “brilliant” or got “goosebumps” you need to be checked in the head. I have been a Beatles fan since birth and those facts may be correct there was NO trace of the Beatles whatsoever in this. All this is is a 14 year old writing fan fiction. UGH!

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[...] Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels’ Generous Offer – Story as timeline. Brilliant stuff. [...]

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OMG I didn’t know there was Beatles porn.

BTW, Chapman was not a Beatles fan or a Lennon fan. If the Beatles had gotten back together, it’s likely that Lennon would have been assassinated earlier. It doesn’t seem as though you ever read anything on the subject you’re masturbating to here.

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[...] speaking of time-travel, how’s this alternate universe where the Beatles didn’t break up in 1970, and John Lennon isn’t killed in [...]

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kid entropia said on December 8th, 2009 at 9:23 pm

RINGO STARR IS DANIEL FARADAY! YAY!!!

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I am a HUGE Beatles fan but I must say that this was pretty good. Although, and even though they’re dead, I wouldn’t have killed John, George or Michael Jackson. It’d be a nice alternate universe if they were alive!!!! But oh well, even though the story was a bit weird, the writing was amazing!!!!

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[...] only the Beatles had accepted Lorne Michaels’s [...]

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[...] you eligible are nominating Matt’s story for the Aurora Awards, why don’t you nominate that Beatles thing I did? [...]

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Where does it say Chapman was a fan?

I never watched Quantum Leap, so the notebook reference went over my head. Are there three versions of Starr- the one who brings the coffee, the one who shows up at the funeral but says you can’t really change things, and the one at the end?

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[...] Bird, “Scenes from an Alternate Universe Where the Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels’ Generous Offer“ [...]

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paulisdead said on January 31st, 2010 at 10:08 am

Epic, what can I say.

Just a few fun facts though:

* John next album after Double Fantasy would have been ‘Milk and Honey’ as that WAS what he was planning to call the next J&Y album.
* As part of a legal deposition for Apple Corps against the producers of the Beatlemania stage show, on November 28th 1980, Lennon stated that: “I and the three other former Beatles have plans to stage a reunion concert,” an event to be filmed and included as the finale to The Long And Winding Road, an official Beatles produced documentary to be released in the mid-Eighties (This documentary would eventually become The Beatles Anthology).

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krunchyblack said on March 1st, 2010 at 11:43 am

does lennon and mcartney getting back together really make sense to you? they both had towering intillects and could never handle being around eachother. the break up was bound to happen. this is just a dumb hypothetical situation. plus, why the hell would the beatles give a crap about michael jackson. this whole thing just seems retarded to me.

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mygif

I really loved this…will be searching my CD shelves for the rest of my days for a copy of “Eventually”…it could have and should have happened. Imaginative, well written…and now just a couple of minor quibbles (trivia really): the assassin was not a resident of NYC…he had flown in and was staying in a hotel…also, the 1983 tour wouldn’t have been their first in 13 years…it would have been the first in 17 years, since the last tour was actually in 1966.

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mygif

Wow, Krunchy. Another idiot who thinks that Paul and John were merely “professional partners”. Yes, they had their quibbles like all people do, but to say they could never handle each other? Are you retarded?

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mygif

LOL. You killed off freaking Jeff Lynne for NO reason. He would have been the fifth Beatle. Damn you. I loved the article but why Jeff Lynne???

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mygif

does anyone else realize that john lennon was killed in 1980 and not 2003?!

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ohh nevermind…. haha i caught that after looking again

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[...] I really enjoyed reading Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels’ Generous Offer [...]

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Oh…oh…OH if only.

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Coleman Karlovich said on January 29th, 2011 at 4:14 pm

you are the man

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Darrell Jones said on April 10th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I have no idea who you are or what you do normally. Found this while looking for something else and have tears in my eyes, the idea of Ringo looping through time righting the wrongs is beautiful. I shall stick around and read some more of your works.

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mygif

You know, I can’t say for sure what about this is so arresting–maybe it’s just the way you’ve neatly dispelled unfinished feeling that hangs over the whole Beatles saga, or maybe it’s because a lot of us wish we could have seen that “ninja drumstick fight”–but I have to commend you on a lovely bit of speculative fiction–with the best twist ending ever. Go, Ringo.

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mygif

Absolutely beautiful. Please tell me you have had this published somewhere. It is a wonderful story.

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[...] up, in my way, Mighty Godking’s alternate history of the Beatles and The Madness Dossier for an RPG.net [...]

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What about 9-11? I can easily see Lennon performing at the Concert for New York City, given his association with it.

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[...] reject entirely the self-evident idea that Beatles were ever super-human in any respect.That's what my other favorite Beatles alternative history, by Christopher Bird who writes for the blog Mighty God King, gets right. Bird recognizes that each [...]

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[...] publishing rights of the Beatles‘ song catalogue back in 1984. A few years ago, I read this awesome alternate history where the Beatles got back together and Jackson died when his costume caught on fire during his Pepsi commercial. The story has a keen [...]

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[...] perform on Saturday Night Live? Blogger MightyGodKing takes this as a starting point and imagines a mind-bending alternate timeline in which the Beatles reunite; John survives (for a good while longer); new albums are made (and [...]

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Ooh this is so good. Sooo good. I love it.

You probably never thought that you’d still be getting comments on this post haha

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I have to say, the attention to detail in here is phenomenal! It had me wikipediaing things like a mad man! Aside from that, this story was chilling and very good.

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[...] Bird at Mighty God King gives us the sublime Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels’ Generous Offer. [...]

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An intriguing and thorough alternative reality. Would have hoped for a Live Aid appearance in 1985 in this alternate history.

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mygif

what happen to poor ringo? oh no

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