Today in 1974 Elton John was holding court at Madison Square Garden for a big Thanksgiving concert, where John Lennon made a surprise appearance, running onto the stage with a cape... this would be the last time Lennon would ever perform on stage for a concert.
The show came at the tail end of Lennon's "Lost Weekend" period, and he later said that he reunited with Yoko Ono the night of the show—less than a year later he would become a father. It was rumored Lennon, who had basically quit the stage by this point, had gotten sick from nerves backstage before coming out—however, he and Elton John had a bet that if their song, "Whatever Gets You Through The Night," reached #1, he would perform it with him. It became Lennon's only solo #1 single in the United States during his lifetime.
After the duo performed the song, Lennon told the audience, "I'd like to thank Elton and the boys for having me on tonight. We tried to think of a number to finish off with, so that I could get out of here and be sick... And we thought we'd do a number of an old estranged fiancé of mine called Paul. This is one I never sang, it's an old Beatle number, and we just about know it." That song was "I Saw Her Standing There."
Here's some more background on that night at MSG:
And yes, Lennon did play television performances after this, which we'll have more on this weekend. Stay tuned!