Paul McCartney is quietly relieved the Beatles scrapped reunion plans in the 1970s when all the members of the Fab Four were still alive - because the get together could have wrecked the band's legacy.
In a new Rolling Stone interview, MCCartney confirms there was talk of reforming the Beatles a couple of times after they split in 1970 but the plans "didn't jell" because "there was not enough passion behind the idea".
And now he admits he's glad the idea didn't come to fruition.
He explains, "It could have spoiled the whole idea of the Beatles - so wrong that they'd (fans) be like, 'Oh, my God, they weren't any good.'
"The re-formation suggestions were never convincing enough. They were kind of nice when they happened: 'That would be good, yeah' - but then one of us would always not fancy it. And that was enough, because we were the ultimate democracy."
But the individual members of band have often come together over the years to perform on each other's projects - most notably when songwriters MCCartney and Lennon reunited briefly for the Toot & Snore studio jam session in 1974 that also featured Stevie Wonder and Harry Nillson.
MCCartney recalls, "We were stoned. I don't think there was anyone in that room who wasn't stoned. For some ungodly reason, I decided to get on drums. It was just a party, you know. To use the word disorganised is completely understating it. I might have made a feeble attempt to restore order... but I can't remember if I did or not."