Lennon and McCartney nearly reunited; more Zombie cancellations; Simmons and Tweed in trouble;  Biffy thank X-Factor; Alice wants rock gameshow

Paul McCartney and John Lennon

Close call: McCartney and Lennon

John Lennon and Paul McCartney came within minutes of a live TV reunion appearance in the 1970s – but decided not to bother because they were enjoying a night off.

The ex-Beatles bassist was visiting his former bandmate in New York when they discussed the possibility of taking up Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels’ offer of $3000 to stage a Fab Four reunion on the show.

McCartney says: “John said, ‘We should go down, just you and me. There’s only two of us so we’ll take half the money.’ And for a second… But It would have been work and we were having a night off, so we elected not to go.

“It was a nice idea – we nearly did it.”

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Rob Zombie has cancelled all European dates from June 26 after calling off his two shows in Ireland at the end of June.

He hasn’t given a full reason but says: “It’s not because I’m sick, it’s not because we don’t like you, and it’s not because of any of the rumours. Things have taken place that mean we have to return to the US after the 26th. It’s a total drag on every level. We feel bad about it and we’ll return and make it up to you.”

None of his US shows in July are affected.

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Kiss mainman Gene Simmons’ relationship with long-standing girlfriend Shannon Tweed appears to be in trouble.

The couple have been together since 1985 and have two children. But Tweed appears to have snapped over Simmons’ alleged affairs.

They appeared together on US TV yesterday morning to promote the new series of their Family Jewels show. A promo clip showed them arguing over a photo of Simmons with two young blonde girls and Tweed saying: “I’m sick of hearing it – Gene, please don’t play me for a fool.”

Asked about the episode, Simmons said he didn’t know who the women were but Tweed added: “What he means is he didn’t know their names.”

She then stated: “Our relationship has pretty much unravelled. He’s had a fling with many girls.”

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Biffy Clyro don’t regret allowing Matt Cardle to cover one of their songs for his X-Factor-powered Christmas number one – and they say it’s increased their fan base.

The three-piece gave permission for the gameshow contestant to record a version of Many of Horror, which was renamed When We Collide by producer Simon Cowell.

Frontman Simon Neil says: “We’ve definitely had a lot more people checking us out since he covered our song. But they get the fright of their lives when they turn up at a show for the first time and realise we’re a full-on rock band.”

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Meanwhile, Alice Cooper says he’d like to create a rock-based gameshow in the style of the current talent contest craze.

He says: “I want to see a show that discovers real songwriting genius. I’d call it Lunatic Fringe. Bands don’t have attitude any more – my generation was the opposite; striving for normality was never an option.”

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