What if John Lennon played BC Place last night? An Ear of Newt fantasy setlist

Let's pretend for a minute or two that Mark David Chapman had never been born. That he'd never grown up to make his mark in life as the ultimate loser who put four hollow-point bullets in the body of arguably the greatest pop songwriter of all time.

And let's pretend that--like his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney--John Lennon continued to make music, and that he was popular enough today to fill a venue the size of, say, BC Place.

In the wake of McCartney's unforgettable performance at the stadium last night, I can't think of anything more pleasing right now than to imagine what kind of setlist Lennon might come up with if he were to put on a three-hour, 38-song gig these days. He would have turned 72 last month, so who knows if he'd even have been physically up to the task.

Then there's the tidy fact that performing to 40,000 people would have most likely been the last thing on Lennon's mind in his twilight years. Yeah, yeah, yeah--I get it. But hey--did you miss the headline? It's an Ear of Newt fantasy setlist. Nobody said it had to make a lick of sense.

If I was John Lennon's Brian Epstein right now, I'd suggest just two things: that he open the set with "Come Together" and save "Imagine" for the very end. Everything in between would be gravy, of course. Gorgeous, gorgeous Lennon gravy.

1) "Come Together"

2) "It Won't Be Long"

3) "Stand By Me"

4) "Ticket to Ride"

5) "Twist and Shout"

6) "Across the Universe"

7) "Nowhere Man"

8) "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey"

9) "If I Fell"

10) "I'm a Loser"

11) "Tell Me Why"

12) "In My Life"

13) "You're Going to Lose That Girl"

14) "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"

15) "Please Mr. Postman"

16) "You Can't Do That"

17) "Norwegian Wood"

18) "A Day in the Life"

19) "Watching the Wheels"

20) "Any Time at All"

21) "I'm So Tired"

22) "Words of Love"

23) "Mind Games"

24) "Help!"

25) "Woman"

26) "Dear Prudence"

27) "Glass Onion"

28) "Sexy Sadie"

29) "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"

Encore:

30) "Sun King"

31) "Mean Mr. Mustard"

32) "Polythene Pam"

Encore 2:

33) "Whatever Gets You Through the Night"

34) "Julia"

35) "Happiness is a Warm Gun"

36) "Revolution"

37) "All You Need is Love"

38) "Imagine"

Remember, the Lennon fantasy setlist isn't carved in stone (just yet), so I'm open to suggestions. Be nice, for Chrissakes. John would have wanted it that way.

You can follow Steve Newton on Twitter at twitter.com/earofnewt.

Comments (40) Add New Comment
out at night
Thanks Mr. Newton for the fantastical respite from the reality we have had to endure since that December day in 1980 when we dropped what we were doing and turned up the news to learn the unthinkable. I'll never lose my abiding love and affection for what John Lennon gave the world through his songs and the way he traveled through this world. Somewhere, Across the Universe, your heartfelt tribute is probably making him smile (though he might also be thinking: "Really Newt, just because Pawl dus 38 numbers, dusen't mean I 'ave to dus it? E's a cupple years yunger then me y'know.")
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Hulk
Newt, where the hell is "Instant Karma" on this list?
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R2
I have to say I'd much prefer this show.
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Paul P
Now this would be a legendary show. Oh man, seeing Happiness is a Warm Gun live would be amazing. Great set list, but I agree, it's missing Instant Karma- one of Lennon's best post-Beatles songs. IMO.
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Steve Newton
hey, Hulk and Paul P: I said it wasn't set in stone. "Sun King" is out, "Instant Karma" is in
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Paul P
Thanks, Newt. Much better. 'Sun King" doesn't belong in that cannon of songs, kind of a throw away Abbey Road song.
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Dougie Snit
Working Class Hero!
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Steve Newton
meh
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Emily
hmmm, maybe less beatles. 'im stepping out' would be a good one
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Steve Newton
thanks for the input, Emily, but I'd appreciate it if you never said "maybe less Beatles" ever again
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Martin Dunphy
"Mother"

primal
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R2
How about that ditty "Just Like Starting Over" Ist track off 'Double Fantasy' it must have meant something to John to have that as his leading track on what was a comeback album.
I have to agree with Emily haven't we been a bit Beatle'd and Rolling Stones'd to death over the decades???
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Miranda Nelson
I nominate "Jealous Guy"... one of my all-time favourite Lennon tunes :)
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prettythingsrule
I must be the only person in Canada who hates the Beatles so much it makes me want to smash things when I hear them .... separately they are ok... best thing ever done post was Photograph by Ringo Starr .... the Beatles made clever childrens music ..and not much more ... and never even came close to anything as brilliant as SF Sorrow .... I realize that millions disagree ... enjoy the bug music if you must ...
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R U Kiddingme
While we're fantasizing, the Lennon band would also include McCartney, Harrison, and Starr, playing some of the fine recordings they made after their reconciliation....

Waaaa!!!!
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Springtide
I agree with Instant Karma. One song I would love to see anybody do live if they did a good job of it is I Want You/She's So Heavy. A song Lennon did do live post-Beatles is Yer Blues. And if accompanied by a string section or Paul Wickens-like keyboardist, Dream Number 9 from Walls And Bridges.
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Mark Fornataro
How about Don't Let Me Down- performed twice by the Beatles during their 30 January 1969 rooftop concert.
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Steve Newton
yeah, I like that one too, Fornie. I think I'll pull "I'm So Tired" and insert "Don't Let Me Down"
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Miranda Nelson
NO! "I'm So Tired" is one of my all-time favourite Lennon tunes!

(I have a long list.)
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Steve Newton
okay, we'll keep "I'm So Tired" and pull "Please Mr. Postman" instead, even though it was the first record I ever bought, with "Roll Over Beethoven" on the B-side. Or maybe it was the other way 'round.
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