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Surviving Beatles, widows come together

  • Story Highlights
  • Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr say their music sounds better
  • The former Beatles talk to CNN's Larry King
  • Widows of John Lennon and George Harrison also appeared
  • Harrison, Ono say their husbands still have strong presence
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LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- Former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr clowned around and marveled at their band's amazing impact in an interview Tuesday on CNN's "Larry King Live."

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Larry King, left, poses with (l-r) Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono Lennon, Olivia Harrison and Ringo Starr Tuesday in Las Vegas.

"We were just kids from Liverpool," McCartney said. "And, yes, it is quite amazing, because as time goes on, it kind of becomes more and more of a phenomenon."

McCartney said the early Beatles knew they were a good band and were pretty sure of themselves, but Starr said, "We thought we'd be really big in Liverpool."

"I think the most exciting thing is that, you know, we expect people our age to know the music. But actually, a lot of kids know the music," Starr said. "And if anything is left, we have left really good music, and that's the important part, not the moptops or whatever."

The pair appeared relaxed in sneakers and almost matching black suits and joked frequently -- often at each other's expense.

"They were nothing," Starr said of his former bandmates. "And then I joined and then they got this record deal and look what happened."

"No, we were good," McCartney retorted. "You wanted to join us. You begged to join us."

"I didn't beg," Starr said. Video Watch Paul and Ringo talk about the Beatles' magic »

McCartney and Starr were in Las Vegas with Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison, to celebrate the anniversary of Cirque du Soleil's "Love," which uses the Beatles' music.

Harrison said her husband was friends with Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte and came up with the idea before he died of cancer in 2001.

"George was around just long enough to transmit that to all of us," Harrison said.

Ono said she wasn't sure at first what her husband would have thought about the project. John Lennon was shot near the couple's New York apartment in 1980.

"Now I really know that John would be very happy with this," she said.

Neither woman has remarried and they both said it was still sometimes difficult to deal with their losses.

"We feel so strongly about our husbands that sometimes it's hard for us, isn't it?" Ono said.

"It's hard, you know," Harrison said. "I mean their presence is very powerful and very strong. But the incredible thing about them is that they -- everything they left the world and left us is uplifting and joyful."

The Beatles' music received a bit of a facelift for the show and has been remixed in 5.1 surround sound. (An album, "Love," came out last year.)

"Paul and I went to listen to the music in 5.1 and we go 'Whoa, listen to that,' " Starr said. "You know you can hear everything now. Things that we buried a lot. It's all very clear, so it's really great to hear it."

"Most historic stuff goes down with age, you know?" McCartney added. "Winston Churchill's old papers go brown and crinkly, while our music gets brighter and shinier."

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"Next year, it will be 10.1," Starr joked.

McCartney's latest solo album, "Memory's Almost Full," is No. 3 on the album charts and Starr is scheduled to release a greatest hits album in August. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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