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If 2012 was the year of anything, then it was the year of the reunion. More so than in previous years, it seems that in an entertainment sense, people were getting back together, putting old differences aside and taking huge bags of paper money to their local bank while cackling and cackling and cackling.
Only last week the remaining living members of The Beatles reformed for a one-off charity concert, with all surviving members performing with the exception of Ringo Starr, who had lost his keys. Starr was replaced by the demon from that Tenacious D video, and Krist Novoselic of rock band Sweet 75.
In February, talk-of-the-town indie band Catamaran Tragedy split up days after releasing their debut album, Where Did I Put My Spiders. Citing creative differences, all eight members immediately embarked upon solo projects. Sixteen minutes later, they reformed and announced a world tour in which they’d play…Spiders in its entirety. The tour sold out within two hours and earned the band one trillion dollars.
One of the most hyped reunions of the year was the Trapped Chilean Miners who got back together in the summer and toured deep holes in four continents. The one exception, Mario Ticona, was absent due to a disagreement about shoes.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Princess Bride, the cast of the film reunited and robbed a bakery.
In May, after more than six years apart, Leonard Cohen reformed. “I was always confident I could put my differences behind me,” he told a nearby goat, “I’m glad I was right.” Cohen was reluctant to give the reason for the initial split, but insiders insist it has nothing to do with them.
As I stood in the dock I felt those familiar eyes on me, their disapproving glare trying not very hard at all to conceal their contempt. “Well?” she asked. “What do you have to say for yourself?”
I swallowed, the dryness of my mouth creating an obvious bob in my adam’s apple that would be taken by all present in the courtroom and watching at home as a sign of my guilt.
“From me to you, your honor,” I said, “it’s been a long and winding road.”
It all began more than six months beforehand. As always with these things, it started in the bar. Greg, Dave and I were on our sixth round when the conversation inexplicably went from idle drunken speculation into an argument. Greg and I came close to blows over it, and so Dave had proposed a resolution in the form of a wager.
“Phil, Greg,” he said, “You both claim that were you to appear on Judge Judy, you would be able to integrate more Beatles song titles in your testimonies than the other person. There is no way to resolve this except by actually doing it. Tomorrow I will submit all the paperwork and – by God – we will see who is right.”
I didn’t think anything more of it until several weeks later when a letter came telling me to go for an interview because my friend Greg was suing me for defecating on his sofa. A quick call to Dave confirmed that he was behind it, and that the three of us needed to get our stories straight.
“You’d better start learning your Beatles song titles too,” he added.
With Dave sat in the audience with a pen and notepad to tally our scores, Greg and I were called to the courtroom and the cameras started rolling. Judge Judy came in and told Greg to give his side of the story. The three of us knew that Greg’s going first would be an advantage so I was given a two-point head start from the beginning.
Greg explained his side of the story, mentioning how I got drunk at a party and without any warning, dropped my pants and shat on his sofa. He had demanded remuneration from me, to no avail, and was now seeking damages, both to his sofa and to his carpet, which suffered splashback.
In giving his testimony, Greg scored numerous points; “There’s a place,” he said, “where I can’t sit any more due to stainage.” “Defecating on someone else’s furniture,” he said, “you can’t do that!” When asked how the incident has made him feel, he responded: “I’m down! I’m really down!”
My response was a combination of mock affront and classic sixties pop. I called Greg a fool on the hill, “help!” I said, “my friend is lying!” “Something” – I paused – “doesn’t add up here!” Remembering the story differently to Greg, I told him that I didn’t want to spoil the party.
As the trial went on, we threw in more and more references to Beatles songs. I don’t know if people started to catch on, or if it was a subconscious thing, but I got the feeling that there was a ripple of excitement from the audience each time we scored a point.
After a little while, it seemed that even Judy herself understood what was going on. And even her bailiff got in on the act, at one point muttering “let it be” when asked by the Judge to pass her some evidence from Greg.
I knew the verdict was about to arrive and that I was several points behind Greg at the time. So I asked if I could say something else in my defence and just let rip.
“Do you want to know a secret?” I said, puffing my chest out. “Greg can twist and shout all he wants, but nobody’s child would ever crap on a sofa, let alone this boy. Maybe back in the USSR they might, but not here in America. We didn’t have a revolution for this nonsense. So get back, Greg, you nowhere man.”
“The Ballad of John and Yoko,” Greg added, eliciting a derisive snort from the Judge.
Judy found in favour of the defendant, but that wasn’t the important result. I knew I had defeated Greg by three points.
As she began to dismiss the court, I shook Greg’s hand. “Imagine,” I said. Judge Judy turned around.
“Inadmissible,” she said. “John Lennon solo work, not The Beatles. I want that stricken from the record.”