"I just want the four of us to get together somewhere and sign a piece
of paper saying it's all over. No one would be there, not even Linda or Yoko
or Allen Klein. That's all I want now. But John won't do it. Everybody
thinks I am the aggressor but I'm not you know . . . I just want out."
Time magazine in America votes John Lennon "a bore".
A full-page advert appears in the UK music trade papers depicting, what we are led to believe, John and Yoko. The couple is actually Paul and Linda in costume.
In New York, Allen Klein is asked about Paul's attempts to appoint a receiver for Apple. "It doesn't accomplish anything," Klein states, "except bringing out into the public a lot of dirty laundry within the life that they live. Because of the financial and tax structures, which had gone before I came, they cannot just simply write a piece of paper and say 'Goodbye' without horrendous tax problems. You can understand distinctly that they entered into a 10-year arrangement that they would, in effect, split the money. They don't ever have to work together if they don't want, they don't even have to see each other. It's a financial arrangement and the question really comes down to what the understanding was. It's very clear. Would the four of them divide equally the moneys, which were earned either on a collective or individual basis? Paul McCartney was the only one of the four on Yesterday'. He sang, he was the player and performer, yet all four shared the money on that record equally. The other three had always understood that they always shared everything. It is whether or not they should share the money equally... nothing more. That is the bone of contention... plus the tax problem!"
Saturday January 2
George's album All Things Must Pass reaches number one in the US charts.
At their Scottish farmhouse, Paul and Linda shoot some 'wild' footage (i.e. miscellaneous film with no acting or miming) which includes them riding horses, paddling in the sea and playing in the sand. Then, following a five-month gap, this 16mm colour film is edited by Ray Benson, who previously worked with Paul on Magical Mystery Tour, to accompany the tracks '3 Legs' and 'Heart Of The Country'. Finished versions of which are completed just prior to a rare television screening, taking place on BBCl's Top Of The Pops (between 7:35 and 8:14pm on June 24) during the short-lived album slot on the programme. A 20-second colour excerpt of '3 Legs' will appear, two decades later, during the American VH-1 One To One programme, transmitted on May 3, 1993.
Sunday January 3
Paul, Linda and family head off to New York to work on the album Ram. Before sessions can begin, and with an eye for getting a new band together, Paul arranges for four days of auditions to find the best musicians in town.
Tuesday January 5
The three-day audition to find a guitarist for Paul is held in a dirty loft on 45th street. The 21-year-old ace session guitarist David Spinoza had been invited to the auditions by Linda.
Wednesday January 6 (until Wednesday January 20)
Driven by their personal assistant Anthony Fawcett, John and Yoko head to Liverpool docks in order to depart from England by boat en route to Japan, arriving firstly in Miami, Florida. Prior to their departure and still in their white Rolls Royce, John gives Yoko a guided tour of his Liverpool hometown, which includes his original home and many historical sites relating to The Beatles, including the Cavern Club in Mathew Street. Once in Miami, John and Yoko fly to Toronto, Canada, where they are interviewed for the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) programme Weekend. Appearing primarily to promote their forthcoming "pop peace festival" at the Mosport auto racetrack, near Toronto, this July (which again fails to materialise), the Lennons also take the opportunity to warn teenagers away from drugs. During the broadcast John remarks: "My time on drugs was when I had no hope, and when a person is on drugs it is harder to find hope." The couple also describe Canada as the first country to help with their peace movement, adding: "We were astonished when Canadian reporters treated me and Yoko like human beings." The couple then return by plane to Miami, where they resume their journey to Japan, taking up residence at the Hilton Hotel where they register under the names of Mr and Mrs Gherkin. John and Yoko make their exits and entrances via a fire escape in order to avoid the persistent journalists.
Friday January 7
Paul holds auditions for a drummer in a seedy basement where eventually he discovers the much-in-demand and experienced session man Denny Seiwell. According to Paul, he found him "lying on a mattress one day in The Bronx. You know how all those people pass them by in Midnight Cowboy? Well, we thought we'd better not, so we picked him, put him up on a drum kit, and he was alright!" Denny remembers the audition: "A lot of the boys (the other drummers) were really put out at being asked to audition. Paul just asked me to play, he didn't have a guitar, so I just sat and played. He had a certain look in his eyes ... he was looking for more than a drummer, he was looking for a certain attitude too. I just played ... I always say that if you can't get it on by yourself you can't get it on with anyone." Paul invites Denny to join the sessions which are scheduled to begin the following Monday January 10.
Monday January 10 (periodically until Monday March 15)
The recording sessions for Ram begin at the former Columbia Studios of A&R in New York (work begins at 9am each morning and continues until 4am the following morning). During this period, Paul records the tracks 'Another Day', 'Oh Woman, Oh Why', 'Too Many People', '3 Legs', 'Ram On' (two versions at 2:30 and 0:55 in duration), 'Dear Boy', 'Uncle Albert - Admiral Halsey', 'Smile Away', 'Heart Of The Country', 'Monkberry Moon Delight', 'Eat At Home', 'Long Haired Lady' and 'Back Seat Of My Car'. For the songs 'Uncle Albert - Admiral Halsey', 'Long Haired Lady' and 'The Back Seat Of My Car', Paul conducts the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, while on the song 'Monkberry Moon Delight', Heather, Linda's daughter from her first marriage, sings backing vocals. Session musicians Dave Spinoza and Hugh MacCracken provide additional guitar work. These sessions also produce the first version of Linda's 'Seaside Woman', the song 'Dear Friend' (which later appears on the album Wild Life), 'Get On The Right Thing', (which later appears on Red Rose Speedway) plus several other unreleased tracks such as 'A Love For You' and 'Rode All Night'. Controversy follows from the other ex-Beatles over the tracks that Paul recorded for the Ram album. John interpreted 'Too Many People' and 'Dear Boy' as personal attacks on him, while John, George and Ringo all view the song '3 Legs' as personal attacks on them. John will later retaliate with 'How Do You Sleep?' and 'Crippled Inside' on his 1971 album Imagine.
Denny Seiwell recalls the first sessions with Paul: "When we made Ram, Paul would run through a song a couple of times, we'd check out a couple of parts and do takes in a few minutes. It's a nice way to work." Paul too is impressed with Seiwell's work on the album and, at the conclusion of the sessions, invites him to join his new group on a more permanent basis. Seiwell jumps at the chance and, along with his French wife Monique, they immediately pack their bags in New York and head off to a house near Paul's Scottish farm in Campbeltown. Denny becomes the first recruit of what will eventually become Wings. During early January, Paul is also saddened to hear that a London High Court date has been set for the court case to officially dissolve The Beatles' partnership.
Saturday January 9
Paul, through his company, purchases another 400 acres of land next to his farm at High Park, in Campbeltown, Scotland.
Friday January 15
After British disc jockeys continually play the song, great public demand forces the release of 'My Sweet Lord' as a single. (The song was written during the December 1969 Delaney & Bonnie tour with Eric Clapton. George admits that he was inspired to write this classic after first hearing 'Oh Happy Day' by the Edwin Hawkins Singers in July of that year.)
"The only purpose for being alive is to get yourself straight. Each soul is potentially divine. That goal is to manifest that divinity and what I believe in is liberation. That's what I really want to do, is liberate myself from this chaos and of this body. I want to be free of my body; I want to be God conscious. That's really my own ambition and everything else is incidental." - George, January, 1971.
Contrary to earlier claims that The Beatles' finances were in a terrible state, a letter from the bank (dated today) which handles Apple's financial accounts, reveals that the group has over £2 million on deposit.
Saturday January 16
Due to the December 28,1970 screening of A Hard Day's Night by BBC TV, The Beatles' 1964 album of the same name re-enters the UK charts at No.30. Also today, the BBC reveals that they have just acquired the broadcast rights to The Beatles' second film Help! and they will shortly be re-screening A Hard Day's Night because "many people missed it the first time round".
Tuesday January 19
The Beatles & Company partnership case opens in the Chancery Division of the London High Court in front of the Judge, Mr. Justice Stamp. Today Mr David Hurst QC, representing Paul, reveals that the financial affairs of The Beatles' partnership are in a "grave state", adding: "The latest accounts suggest that there probably is not enough in the kitty to meet even the individual Beatles income and surtax liability. On a conservative estimate, the four's surtax liability must be £500,000." Counsel gives three reasons why Paul is claiming the dissolution of the group:
1. The Beatles had long since ceased to perform together as a group, so the whole purpose of the partnership had gone.
2. In 1969, McCartney's partners, in the teeth of his opposition and in breach of the partnership deed, had appointed Mr. Klein's company, ABKCO Industries Ltd., as the partnership's exclusive business managers.
3. Mr. McCartney had never been given audited accounts in the four years since the partnership was formed.
"Until 8:15pm yesterday," Mr. David Hurst revealed, "the only accounts we had received of the partnership were draft accounts for the 16 months up to March 31,1968. A receiver should be appointed because the partnership assets and income should be safeguarded to meet the potential tax liability. The partnership agreement was entered into in April 1967, before the death in August of The Beatles' manager, Mr. Brian Epstein. The next year, and early in 1969, disagreements began to occur.
"Artistic differences arose, particularly between Paul McCartney and John Lennon, who had written most of the songs. In January 1969, Mr. Klein was introduced by John Lennon who proposed that he be appointed manager. George Harrison and Ringo Starr also became keen. Mr. McCartney did not trust Mr. Klein and wanted a New York law firm, Eastman and Eastman, partners in which were his father-in-law and brother-in-law. In May 1969, the other three insisted on appointing Mr. Klein, or rather ABKCO Industries Inc., as exclusive director. Mr. McCartney opposed and protested strongly. But ABKCO was appointed manager, at a fee of 'no less than 20 per cent of the gross income'. McCartney has never accepted, and does not accept Mr. Klein as manager."
Mr. David Hurst, QC, continued: "Up to 1965, Mr. Epstein had run their business affairs, selected their professional advisers and been completely trusted by The Beatles. In 1966, the four decided to abandon touring and make records instead. That increased their financial success because of the enormous worldwide market. On tour they had a close personal relationship. Once they switched to recording they began to drift apart. After The Beatles partnership deed was signed in 1967, the group activities began to decline. They made their last record in the summer of 1969, and that in September John Lennon announced that he was leaving the group. Since then, each Beatle had increasingly gone his own way. Last Spring Paul McCartney decided that he, too, should leave the group. Mr. McCartney's first solo record was released last April in spite of efforts by Mr. Klein, Mr. Harrison and Mr. Starr to postpone its release. In June 1968, Mr. McCartney's accountant was told by the partnership accountants that the combined net profits of the partnership for the year to March 31,1968 and for Apple Corps, for the year to December 31,1967, were about £1.5 million.
"In December 1969, other figures were given. Beatles royalties to December 1968, £3.5 million; due from Capitol Records Inc. for three months United States record sales $2.5 million; Apple Corps' net income for 1969, about £2 million; Beatles share of United States record royalties from September 1969 to June 1970, $7,815,628. The rate of partnership income in the middle of last year was between £4 million and £5 million. By last September, Paul McCartney's royalties from his solo record last year amounted to £487,000.
"A quick reading of the draft balance-sheet up to December 31,1970, showed the total credit of the four individual Beatles, excluding the company, as £738,000. But based on the figures produced by the partnership's accountants, £678,000 is owing in income tax. The four Beatles must be liable for at least £500,000 surtax. There was a tax deficiency of about £450,000. The net current assets of the partnership as a whole were shown as £1.56 million, of which £1.55 million were said to be owed by Apple Corps Ltd. The partnership's solvency would appear to depend on the ability of Apple Corps to pay. It manifests that Apple Corps must owe very large sums in corporation tax."
After further discussions between counsel, Mr. Hurst announced that acceptable undertakings to Mr. McCartney have been offered, to last until the full hearing of the motion. Mr. Harrison, Mr. Starr and Apple Corps will undertake that Apple Corps will procure payment into solicitors' joint account of money due to The Beatles. (Mr. Lennon could not agree to this as he was reported to be "on the high seas".) This will include $3 million from their associated companies: about £100,000 owed by associated companies to the partnership: 25 per cent of all the group's gross receipts: and £487,000 McCartney royalties held by EMI. It is further agreed that no payment will be made out of the joint account without instructions from both sides' solicitors."
In conclusion, it is mutually agreed that evidence is to be completed within a month, and a date for the full hearing is to be fixed as soon as possible after that. The judge, Mr. Justice Stamp, sums up: "It is obviously an urgent matter."
While John is visiting Japan, he gets his first calls from a solicitor in London who is trying to track him down regarding Paul's High Court actions. He does his best to avoid them but soon faces the inevitable, as he recalls: "I got to Japan and I didn't tell anybody I'd arrived. Then suddenly I got these calls from the lawyer. Fucking idiot! I didn't like his upper class Irish-English voice as soon as I heard it. He insisted that I come home. I could have done it all on the fucking phone!" He and Yoko had no alternative but to return home to England on January 21.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles at the Sharon Tate murder trial, the jury spends more than 90 minutes listening to all four sides of The Beatles' 1968 White Album to "learn tf the songs could have influenced Charles Manson and his followers to go on a killing spree."
Wednesday January 20
Following the accusations made in the High Court, Allen Klein issues a statement from his New York office: "I wish to make it clear that the (Beatles) partnership is solvent and has more than sufficient net current assets to meet all income tax and surtax liabilities."
In Japan, John meets Yoko's parents for the first time. Yoko's mother, Mrs. Isako Ono, remarks of John: "My husband and I found Lennon very nice and gentle." John and Yoko return to England at Heathrow Airport the following day.
Thursday January 21
An interview with John and Yoko is carried out at Tittenhurst Park with prominent left-wing activists Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn for their underground magazine Red Mole, excerpts of which reappear in The Sun.
Friday January 22
Enthused by the interview yesterday, John goes into his Ascot studios and records the track Tower To The People'.
Saturday January 23
Richard Williams of The Times reviews the album All Things Must Pass. "Of all The Beatles' solo albums to date, George Harrison's All Things Must Pass makes far and away the best listening, perhaps because it is the one which most nearly continues the tradition they began eight years ago." He concludes by saying: "Harrison's light has been hidden under the egos of McCartney and Lennon. But from time to time there have been hints on several of their albums that he was more than he was being allowed to be."
Monday January 25
At the Wells Street Magistrates Court in London, George, through his solicitor, pleads guilty to 'driving without reasonable consideration' in the West End of London on September 3,1969, when he drove his Mercedes car against the legs of a policeman who was signalling him to stop. The magistrate, Mr. lain McClean, postponed sentencing until February 23 because Mr. Harrison had "lost his driving licence".
At Pinewood Studios in Iver, Buckinghamshire, Ringo begins five days of rehearsals for the surreal Frank Zappa movie 200 Motels. The cast includes Keith Moon, the drummer with The Who, in the role of The Hot Nun. Ringo has been cast as Larry the Dwarf, who just happens to resemble and dress like Frank Zappa! Rehearsals are concluded the following Friday (January 29) with the shooting for the film scheduled to begin on Monday February 1.
Tuesday January 26
During a 10-minute court hearing, the matter of The Beatles' assets is further discussed. The latest difficulty is over implementing the undertakings on which last week's case was adjourned. New undertakings given today mean that money can be paid into a joint account in New York instead of London. Mr. David Hurst QC tells the judge: "Alternative undertakings have been agreed." (This revised undertaking concerns the opening of a second solicitor's joint account in New York and the payment into it of certain money owed by The Beatles.) The Judge concludes by saying he will hear the case again on February 19.
Saturday January 30
George's single 'My Sweet Lord' and his album All Things Must Pass both reach number one in the UK charts on the same day. By the end of the month, figures reveal that the single has passed the 200,000 sales mark, with around 30,000 copies being sold a day. In America, the sales have gone past the two million mark. In Britain, sales figures for the album are now approaching 60,000 copies.
Plans are announced for Paul to record an American TV special in California featuring the musicians who are currently recording with him in Los Angeles on the album Ram.
Monday February 1 (until Friday February 5)
Over several sound stages at Pinewood Studios, Ringo begins shooting the bizarre Associated Company/Lion TV Services production of 200 Motels starring (the real life) Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. Based on "an account of what it is like to be a pop musician on the road in 1971", Frank's original plan to produce the show for Dutch television is scuppered when a large enough sound stage for the shooting could not be found. Problems again occur when filming is originally scheduled to begin in late January at Shepperton Studios, but, due to every inch of studio space being taken, mainly by Roman Polanski's production of Macbeth, shooting is switched at short notice to Pinewood. Using a new technique where the action is shot directly onto videotape and transferred onto 35mm film (by Technicolor-England) for cinema release, each day's work is concluded at 5:20pm due to a strict union ruling. During a break from the five-day taping, Ringo brings in a specially prepared birthday cake for Zappa's drummer Jimmy Carl Black and is seen chatting to Hollywood actor Tony Curtis who is at the studios filming a second series of The Persuaders with Roger Moore. 200 Motels also features a cameo appearance by Ringo's 22-year-old chauffeur Martin Lickert who will quit Ringo's employment in April and join Frank Zappa and The Mothers for a tour of America. Filming is concluded on Friday February 5, when at 5:20pm precisely, the cast and crew attend a party celebrating the conclusion of the production. The director Tony Palmer will edit the 24 hours of videotape at Europe's largest VT facility, Television Recordings, in London the following week, using three VTR machines and just one vision-mixer. (The 95-minute film will premiere in London on Thursday December 16 at the Classic Cinema in Piccadilly Circus.)
Tuesday February 2 & Wednesday February 3
At Abbey Road Studios, over this two-day period, Leon Russell and Badfinger's Pete Ham join George recording tracks for a proposed album by Phil Spector's wife Ronnie. The sessions produce 'Try Some, Buy Some' but George will later remove Ronnie's vocals, slow the tempo down and add his own vocals and use the track on his 1973 album Living In The Material World. Other tracks recorded are You' (the backing tracks of which are retained and will appear featuring George's new vocals on his 1975 album Extra Texture (Read All About It)), 'Tandoori Chicken', 'A Bit More Of You' and the unreleased 'Loverly Laddy Day'. On the second day of the sessions, John joins in playing piano. (A Ronnie Spector single comprising 'Try Some, Buy Some'/'Tandoori Chicken' is released in the UK as Apple 33 on April 16,1971, while in America the two tracks appear as Apple 1832 on April 19.)
Monday February 8
With work on 200 Motels now completed, Ringo departs with Maureen for a holiday in Switzerland. He is forced to abandon the vacation early after solicitors in London request him to return to England to deal with Paul's High Court action.
Tuesday February 9
In Liverpool at the Cavern Club in Mathew Street, fans celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Beatles' debut there.
Friday February 12
While The Beatles' trial is due to start in one week, Klein submits his affidavit to the High Courts of London.
Monday February 15
George's single "What Is Life'/'Apple Scruffs' is released in America.
Wednesday February 17
From his Tittenhurst Park mansion, John gives a live radio interview to the American DJ Scott Muni.
Thursday February 18
One day before the trial officially opens; papers released privately give three further reasons why Paul wishes to leave The Beatles:
1. Allen Klein had tried to delay the release of Paul's album McCartney.
2. Klein's company ABKCO altered Paul's song 'The Long And Winding Road' without consulting him first.
3. ABKCO, without any authority from Paul, had transferred the film rights of Let It Be from Apple to United Artists.
Paul and Linda return to England from New York this morning. They return to America the following day to resume work on Ram.
Friday February 19
Beatles High Court Case - Day One:
The trial opens with Paul (now sporting a heavy beard) and Linda sitting in the front row of the court to watch the proceedings. (He wins a two-shilling bet with the courtroom attendant who says that John and Yoko will also be there in court to "settle old scores" in public.) Paul's QC, Mr David Hurst, begins by telling the judge, Mr Justice Stamp, that Allen Klein has been convicted of tax offences in New York. Announcing that, "On January 29 last, he was convicted of ten tax offences by a jury in New York's Federal District Court, even though they are effectively under appeal. It has obviously not enhanced Mr. McCartney's confidence in Mr. Klein." (The case is adjourned until Monday February 22.) The excitement of a Beatle appearing personally in court is reflected in the number of photographers and TV crews who shoot the couple leaving the building.
Also on this day, Paul's single 'Another Day'/'Oh Woman, Oh Why' is released in the UK (the American release takes place on February 22). Maclen Music Ltd, the first assignees of the copyright to all Lennon and McCartney compositions, claim half of the copyright to 'Another Day', and the other half is claimed by a company called McCartney Inc.
An unscheduled two-minute clip of Ringo, appearing on the BBC programme Cilla on February 13, is repeated during the children's television show Ask Aspel on BBC1.
Today heralds the start of many London meetings between John, George, Ringo and three counsels. As John recalls: "It went on for weeks and weeks. George and Ringo were getting restless and didn't want to do it anymore. George eventually said, 'I've had enough, I don't want to do it anymore. Fuck it all! I don't care if I'm poor. I'll give it all away.' "
Monday February 22
Beatles High Court Case - Day Two:
Today, Mr. Morris Finer QC, on behalf of the defence, declares in the High Court: "Allen Klein has saved The Beatles from almost total bankruptcy." He continues: "Mr. Klein largely left accountants to sort out the mess. He considers his main job was to try and get money to rescue the group from the dreadful situation in which he found them. And in that, he was very successful!" Later, Mr. Finer points out: "The Beatles, other than Mr. McCartney, had always counted their individual earnings as group assets. This arrangement would not necessarily be disadvantageous to Mr. McCartney, who claims that the royalties from his solo record belong to him alone. Mr. Harrison's royalties on 'My Sweet Lord', his individual record this year, are going to be nearly twice as much as Mr. McCartney's - nearly £1 million!" (The hearing is adjourned until tomorrow.)
Tuesday February 23
Beatles High Court Case - Day Three:
The case for the defence continues today, when their QC, Mr. Morris Finer, reads out to Mr. Justice Stamp, affidavits by John, George and Ringo.
John, in his long and detailed affidavit, writes: "After the death of Brian Epstein, The Beatles' company Apple was full of 'hustlers' and 'spongers'. The staff came and went as they pleased and were lavish with money and hospitality. We have since discovered that around that time, two of Apple's cars had completely disappeared and that we owned a house which no one can remember buying. But a few weeks after Mr. Klein had been authorised by me to make changes in the organisation of Apple the effects were felt. Early in 1969, Mr. Klein dismissed incompetent or unnecessary staff; the 'hustling' and lavish hospitality ended; discipline and order appeared in the Apple offices. The four of us started to receive monthly accounts of their personal spending, copies of bills and, where necessary, explanations. We also received regular bank statements and statements of our income and investments. It was true, that when the group was touring, their work and social relationships were close, but there had been a lot of arguing, mainly about musical and artistic matters. I suppose Paul and George were the main offenders in this respect, but from time to time we all gave displays of temperament and threatened to 'walk out'. Of necessity, we developed a pattern for sorting out our differences, by doing what any three of us decided. It sometimes took a long time and sometimes there was deadlock and nothing was done, but generally that was the rule we followed and, until recent events, it worked quite well. Even when we stopped touring, we frequently visited each other's houses in or near London and personally we were on terms as close as we had ever been. If anything, Paul was the most sociable of us. From our earliest days in Liverpool, George and I, on the one hand, and Paul, on the other, had different musical tastes. Paul preferred 'pop-type' music and we preferred what is now called 'underground'. This may have led to arguments, particularly between Paul and George, but the contrast in our tastes, I am sure, did more good than harm, musically speaking, and contributed to our success.
"If Paul is trying to break us up because of anything that happened before the Klein-Eastman power struggle, his reasoning does not make sense to me. After Mr. Epstein's death, Mr. McCartney and me, in particular, tried to be businesslike over Apple's affairs, but we were handicapped by our ignorance of accounting, business practice and our preoccupation with our musical activities. Above all, although royalties were coming in, none of us had any idea at all about the state of our finances or our liabilities. We decided that we must find a new manager and we interviewed several people, but none seemed to have any idea of what was needed. I arranged to see Mr. Klein, whom I had heard about from Mr. Epstein. He was tough but he knew the entertainment business. I then introduced Mr. Klein to the other Beatles. If Paul is suggesting that I was trying to rush him and the others into engaging Klein or pushing him down their throats, that is a wrong impression. At all times, Mr. Klein had shown himself on top of the job. The only other major contenders for the manager's job were the Eastmans - father of McCartney's wife Linda, and her brother. I had opposed the idea of having as manager anyone in such a close relationship with any particular Beatle.
"Paul's criticism of Mr. Klein was not fair. Klein is certainly forceful to an extreme, but he does get results. So far as I know, he has not taken any commission to which he was not entitled."
Mr. Morris Finer, QC, then reads out an affidavit written by George: "The only serious row was between Paul and me. In 19681 went to the United States and had a very easy co-operation with many leading musicians. This contrasted with the superior attitude which, for years past, Paul has shown towards me musically. In January 1969, we were making a film in a studio at Twickenham, which was dismal and cold, and we were all getting a bit fed up with our surroundings. In front of the cameras, as we were actually being filmed, Paul started to 'get at' me about the way I was playing. I decided I had had enough and told the others I was leaving. This was because I was musically dissatisfied. After a few days, the others asked me to return and since I did not wish to leave them in the lurch in the middle of filming and recording, and since Paul agreed that he would not try to interfere or teach me how to play, I went back. Since the row, Paul has treated me more as a musical equal. I think this whole episode shows how a disagreement could be worked out so that we all benefited. I just could not believe it when, just before Christmas, I received a letter from Paul's lawyers. I still cannot understand why Paul acted as he did."
Ringo, in his submitted affidavit, optimistically states: "The Beatles might yet stay together as a group. Paul is the greatest bass player in the world. He is also determined. He goes on and on to see if he can get his own way. While that may be a virtue, it did mean that musical disagreements inevitably rose from time to time. But such disagreements contributed to really great products." The affidavit continues: "I was shocked and dismayed, after Mr. McCartney's promises about a meeting of all four Beatles in London in January, that a writ should have been issued on December 31.1 trust Paul and I know he would not lightly disregard his promise. Something serious, about which I have no knowledge, must have happened between Paul's meeting with George in New York at the end of December." He optimistically concludes by saying: "My own view is that all four of us together could even yet work out everything satisfactorily."
Mr. Morris Finer finishes by reading evidence provided by accountants who estimate that: "Apple Corps's liability for corporation tax for the period April 1967 to December 31,1970 was £1,935,000. The total surtax liability of the four individual members of the partnership was estimated at £630,000."
The hearing is adjourned until tomorrow.
Meanwhile, while an affidavit by George is being read out in the High Courts, George's solicitor Mr. Martin Polden is representing him at the Wells Street Magistrates Court in London, concerning the charge of 'driving without reasonable consideration', postponed from January 25. At the end of the hearing George is fined £35 and banned from driving for a month. He is also ordered to pay £15 costs. Polden later lodges an appeal against the disqualification.
Wednesday February 24
Beatles High Court Case - Day Four:
The accountant Mr. John Darby reads out an affidavit from Allen Klein, which states that: "The group's partnership assets are not now in jeopardy." The day begins with claims by Klein, in submitted written evidence, that he had: "more than doubled The Beatles' income in the first nine months after I took over as manager in May 1969. In 1970,1 had increased it fivefold. Furthermore, as a result of my efforts. The Beatles' partnership income increased from £850,667 for the year ended March 31,1969 to £1,708,651 in the nine months ended December 31,1969. In the year to December 31, 1970, the income was £4,383,509." Mr. Morris Finer, QC, then reads out another affidavit from Klein: "I deny that The Beatles have been prejudiced by having me as their manager. On the contrary, they have greatly benefited. Mr. McCartney has made attacks on my commercial integrity in general and, in my dealings with The Beatles in particular, Mr. McCartney had also declared that the assets of The Beatles partnership were in jeopardy. I am concerned to answer these attacks and to rebut this allegation."
The submitted evidence continues: "I appreciated before I became The Beatles' manager that I was taking over a very perilous situation which, according to the auditors, involved solvency. I made this position clear to The Beatles at many meetings and my first task was to help them to generate enough income to alleviate this situation. The largest potential source of income was from royalties on records and I wanted to negotiate a new arrangement with EMI. Discussions were held with The Beatles and with John Eastman as to how EMI should be approached and who should go to a meeting with them. It was decided by all four Beatles that I alone should go with them and have authority to negotiate. McCartney was anxious that Mr. Eastman should attend, but McCartney went along with the collective decision. A meeting was held on May 7,1969, attended by Mr. McCartney, Mr. Lennon, Mr. Harrison, Yoko Ono, myself and three representatives of EMI. Ringo Starr was not there, as he was making a film. No conclusion was reached at that meeting, but EMI made it clear that they were not prepared to negotiate any new arrangements so long as the NEMS claim was outstanding. I had arranged for my company ABKCO to take over from NEMS at considerable profit to The Beatles. Notwithstanding, on July 8,1969, Mr. John Eastman saw fit to write to each of The Beatles criticising the settlement and alleging I cost them £1.5 million."
Referring to Paul's claim that he sold, without authority, the film rights to Let It Be from Apple to United Artists, Klein remarks: "It made an absolute fortune for all four Beatles. The film's profits will be absolutely enormous, but Mr. McCartney, his advisers or Mr. Eastman will not concede that I have done something that was entirely proper."
The case is adjourned until the following day.
Thursday February 25
Beatles High Court Case - Day Five:
Further High court evidence by Allen Klein read out to the court by Mr. Morris Finer, QC: "Paul McCartney never accepted me as his manager, but the partnership did, and I have continued as manager of the partnership. McCartney has accepted the benefits, which I have negotiated in that capacity. As regard to my ability to make deals, I am content to be judged on my record."
At that point, Mr. Finer, representing John, George and Ringo, produces a schedule which claims to show the total income received by The Beatles from June 1962 until December 1968, but not including the income from songwriting which has never been part of the joint activities. In that six and a half years the total income of The Beatles, from tours, films, record royalties and other sources, was £7,864,126. By comparison, for the 19 months between May 1969, when the Klein management agreement was made, and December 1970, the total income was £9,142,533, more than £8 million ofthat sum coming from record royalties.
To this evidence, Mr. Finer again returns to Klein's affidavit: "I deny ever having been untruthful, that I was unscrupulous or that I had ever held myself out as Mr. McCartney's manager. It was not true that any of The Beatles had told him that the Capitol agreement was a tricky one. This is the big agreement that has been so responsible for the increase in income. Still less did I advise The Beatles to enter into an agreement on a false basis. The agreement makes specific provision for records, which might be made by The Beatles individually and expressly provides for the contingency that they might not perform as a group at all. In spite of Mr. McCartney's reluctance, it was a fact that he signed it!
"Your Lordship may think it is pretty unlikely that EMI, which has been for years in such close association with the group, were under any kind of misapprehension at any time as to what the facts were regarding these young men and their relationship with each other. EMI has acted as father and mother to these young men for years. Everybody knew it."
The judge replies: "Well, I think not."
Mr. Finer responds: "That is why I am trying to bring these matters home to your Lordship." He continues: "It seemed obvious that Mr. Klein had been advising John Lennon and Paul McCartney in relationship to Maclen (Music) Ltd., the music company in which Mr. McCartney and Mr. Lennon each hold 40 per cent holdings and Apple Corps 20 per cent. Maclen consisted of valuable rights and potentials and had to be managed. Mr. Klein gets, I think it's clear from the evidence, no management fee from Maclen, but Maclen pay a management service fee to Apple Corps, and Mr. Klein gets a proportion of that fee through Apple. Under the ultimate agreement, Mr. Klein gave up his claim to commission that arose under the original management agreement and said that if he did not get his commission under that arrangement, then Apple would manage the affairs of Maclen which had to be managed and obtain remuneration for doing so. The effect was that Apple got a gross commission of 20 per cent, which came back to McCartney and the other Beatles. Royalties from Mr. McCartney's solo record McCartney was 'Beatle money'. The same applies to Mr. Harrison and the record he made three months ago which was making double the money. No one is getting at Mr. McCartney on this."
The case is adjourned until tomorrow when Paul and Linda will again appear in court. They arrive back from New York later this evening.
Meanwhile, George's 'My Sweet Lord', currently number one in the UK singles chart, appears at the end of tonight's edition of Top Of The Pops (transmitted between 7:05 and 7:39pm on BBC1). With no promotional film to show, the song plays to an accompaniment of the studio audience dancing.
Friday February 26
Beatles High Court Case - Day Six:
Paul, alongside Linda, returns to the High Courts in London. This time, Paul stands in the witness box to give evidence where, in particular, he responds to John's statement, read out on February 23, that said: "We always thought of ourselves as Beatles, whether we recorded singly or in twos or threes."
Paul denies that claim, saying: "Since The Beatles stopped making group recordings, we have stopped thinking of ourselves as Beatles. One has only to look at recent recordings by John or George to see that neither thinks of himself as a Beatle. On his recent album, John Lennon has listed things he did not believe in. One was T don't believe in Beatles.'
"When the four of us entered into our partnership agreement in 1967, we did not consider the exact wording or give any thought to the agreement's legal implications. We had thought that if one of us wanted to leave the group he would only have to say so. On the way in which the four of us had sorted out our differences in the past, I deny that it had been on a three-to-one basis. If one disagreed, we discussed the problem until we reached agreement or let the matter drop. I know of no decision taken on a three-to-one basis. I deny that the Eastmans and I obstructed Mr. Allen Klein in the preparation of accounts. Nor had the Eastmans been contenders for the job of manager for the group. I wanted them as managers but when the rest of the group disagreed, had not pressed the matter. Mr. Lennon had challenged my statement that Mr. Klein had sowed discord within the group, but I recall a telephone conversation in which Mr. Klein had told me, "You know why John is angry with you? It is because you came off better than he did on Let It Be.' Mr. Klein also said to me, 'The real trouble is Yoko. She is the one with ambition.' I often wonder what John would have said if he heard the remark. When the four of us had talked about breaking up the group, Mr. Harrison had said, 'If I could have my bit in an envelope, I'd love it.' "
Paul then recalled the negotiations by Klein to acquire one of the NEMS companies for Apple. "He told us, TU get it for nothing'. That was a typical example of the exaggerated way in which Mr. Klein expressed himself to us. I became more and more determined that Klein was not the right man to be appointed manager."
Paul concludes his evidence by saying: "None of the other three Beatles seemed to understand why I had acted in the way I did. The short answer is that the group had broken up, each now had his own musical career, there were still no audited accounts and they still did not know what their tax positions were. None of these points, I add, had been denied by the other Beatles."
The case is adjourned until Monday.
Paul and Linda return to their St. John's Wood home, before returning to New York on March 1, and the final recording sessions for Ram.
Following their chance idea on Christmas Day, Ringo and Robin Cruikshank begin formulating ideas for their range of exclusive furniture designs. They call the company Ringo O'Robin Ltd, but will not officially form the company until September 3.
The American publishers Bright Tunes instigate legal action against George and Apple over the unauthorised plagiarism of The Chiffon's track 'He's So Fine'. (The case will go on until 1976 - see entries for September 7 and November 8.) George receives the news of the plagiarism case while he is recording with Phil Spector and a huge orchestra.
Monday March 1
Beatles High Court Case - Day Seven:
Mr. David Hurst, QC, representing Paul, begins his final summing up, by saying: "It was quite plain that The Beatles had irretrievably broken up." (Counsel's summing up and arguments on the legal position take up the next two days.)
Tuesday March 2
Beatles High Court Case - Day Eight:
David Hurst continues with his summing up in court: "When Mr. Allen Klein came on the scene, The Beatles were on the crest of a wave. He could claim no credit for the wave, let alone the ocean across which it moved! The group had broken up and there was no prospect of its reconstruction. Whichever version of the disputed facts one accepted, it would manifest there was disharmony. Four aspects had been clearly shown in support of Paul McCartney's case: jeopardy of the assets, exclusion of a partner, lack of good faith towards a partner by other partners and the likelihood of eventual dissolution."
Mr. Morris Finer, QC, on behalf of John, George and Ringo, replies by saying: "There is a rule of democracy in partnerships, as in other aspects of life, and the law enshrines it - the will of the majority should prevail. Mr. McCartney, through his Counsel, seems to live in a world where everyone is either a seraphin or angel, ape or viper... where there is precious little room for the intermediate atmosphere in which most people live. This partnership has got a manager - Apple Corps Ltd. But it has proven itself in the past, both as an organisation and a company, as being incapable of properly managing the affairs of the partnership. One thing which is manifest is that if the interests of the partnerships are properly to be looked after between now and the trial of this action, it is vital that any order your lordship makes - I shall ask you to make no order - must provide for management. The effect otherwise would give rise to loss and, indeed, chaos."
"I am inclined to agree with you on that point," replies Mr. Justice Stamp. (The hearing is adjourned until tomorrow.)
Wednesday March 3
Beatles High Court Case - Day Nine:
The final arguments continue with Mr. Morris Finer, QC, continuing his summing up:
"In practice, the appointing of a receiver of the group's business affairs would be a disaster! The appointment of a receiver would give the impression that the business had stopped, and the reputation of The Beatles would be damaged."
Mr. Justice Stamp then asks: "Can you say that The Beatles' reputation is such a delicate blossom?"
Mr. Finer replies: "The reputation of Apple Corps, which is an active business, includes a lot more business than dealings with Beatles' records."
The hearing is adjourned until tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the South African Broadcasting Company lifts its 1966 ban on Beatles records. A ban on John's solo recordings, however, remains.
Thursday March 4
Beatles High Court Case - Day Ten:
The final arguments continue. Mr. William Forbes, the other solicitor representing John, George and Ringo, tells the court: "Before Mr. Allen Klein took over the management of The Beatles, the four partners had been drawing from the partnership account at the rate of £6,000 a month. In the 28 months before the Klein era, The Beatles had drawn a total of £272,000 from the account, although the combined net profit available to them was only £122,000! In the pre-Klein era, the four of them were drawing an average of £10,000 a month, an overdrawing of £6,000 a month. But after Klein took over their management, The Beatles' drawings continued at £11,000 a month, but the money available to them increased to £40,000. For the year ended December 31,1970, the net profit available for them was £840,000, out of which they drew £184,965. The basic objection was that the proposals should leave Mr. Klein as manager."
Meanwhile, this evening at Abbey Road Studios, Yoko re-records her vocals for 'Open Your Box' due to the insistence of EMI who demand that the lyrics be cleaned up. Philip Brodie, the managing director of EMI Records, was reported as saying he thought the original lyrics were distasteful". Due to this unscheduled Yoko session, the release of the single (originally scheduled for tomorrow) is delayed by one week.
Friday March 5
Beatles High Court Case - Day Eleven:
A judgement in the trial is expected today but fails to materialise. Instead, another judge in the High Court, Mr. Justice Plowman, grants an application in the High Court oy Northern Songs Ltd. for temporary orders banning Maclen Music Ltd. John and Paul's company) from publishing or causing to be published, compositions by Mr. Lennon and Mr. McCartney and from asserting on sheet music or record labels any rights to the copyright.
Saturday March 6 & Sunday March 7
Staff at the EMI factory in Hayes, Middlesex work overtime to press a "cleaned up" version of the Tower To The People' / 'Open Your Box' single. A spokesman for Apple explains why 'Open Your Box' had to be re-recorded. "The original lyrics said 'Open your trousers, open your skirt, open your legs and open your thighs.' The last words in each case have now been changed, with the consent of John and Yoko, to 'houses, church, lakes and eyes'. He is asked, "Did John and Yoko object to the censorship?" "No", the spokesman replied. "They just wanted to get the record out." Interestingly, Apple had mistakenly sent out advance copies of the single, featuring the uncensored version of Yoko's track to UK DJs.
Monday March 8
The Apple single 'Power To The People'/'Open Your Box' (aka 'Hirake') performed by Yoko, is released in the UK only.
Friday March 12
Beatles High Court Case - Judgement Given In Favour Of Paul:
In the High Courts of London, Paul wins the first stage in his battle to dissolve The Beatles' partnership. Today, Mr. Justice Stamp announces that Mr. James Spooner, a partner in a city firm of chartered accountants, has been appointed as receiver and manager of The Beatles' business interests, pending trial of the main action. Mr. Spooner's appointment is postponed for seven days pending a possible appeal against the judgement by John, George and Ringo. On hearing of the verdict, Mr. Andrew Leggatt, representing Paul announces: "My client's worst fears about the financial position of the partnership have been proven right."
When John, George and Ringo are told of the result they leave the court and head back to Saville Row in John's white Rolls Royce, telling reporters in their trail, "No comment!" According to the Apple Scruffs, the three ex-Beatles then drive to Paul's home in Cavendish Avenue in St. John's Wood where John grabs two bricks from his car, scales the wall of Paul's home and proceeds to throw them through his windows. John, George and Ringo return to Apple's headquarters where again they face a barrage of questions from the press waiting outside their offices.
Monday March 15
Following the final sessions on the Ram album, Paul and linda depart for California where they have rented a house for several months.
Tuesday March 16
In Los Angeles, The Beatles' Let It Be album receives a Grammy Award for the 'Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture or Television Special in 1970'. Paul and linda, who only arrived in LA this morning, collect the award from the Hollywood legend John Wayne. As Paul leaves the building, a reporter asks him if he is in America to record an album. Paul replies by saying: "I have a knife and a fork and I'm here to cut a record" before escaping in a Cadillac amid screams from waiting Beatles fans. The couple depart into the night and remain unseen for months, even failing to show for a concert by Santana, for which they had booked (and received) two front row tickets. Prior to his departure, Paul had given his name to protesters demonstrating against the proposed building of a 200-room hotel in Cavendish Avenue, London. Westminster Council eventually scraps the idea.
Wednesday March 17
In the New Musical Express singles chart, Paul's 'Another Day' reaches number one, while in the other charts, the record reaches only number two.
Saturday March 20
The Daily Mirror reports of a meeting held the previous night at Apple involving John, George, Ringo and Klaus Voorman, to discuss future recording plans. When told of this meeting, Apple publicist Les Perrin denies that the meeting ever took place. Klaus meanwhile, with news spreading through the media that he is to become the new Beatle, vanishes from his Hampstead home with his wife Christine and takes up residence with George at his Friar Park mansion.
Monday March 22
John's single 'Power To The People'/'Touch Me' (performed by Yoko), is released in America only.
Saturday March 27
In the early hours of the morning (between 1:00 and 2:00am), John gives a live interview to Kenny Everett for his programme on Radio Monte Carlo. During the one-hour slot, conducted from John's Ascot home, the complete John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album is also played. The station's broadcasts to the UK, which had begun transmission on December 1,1970, comes to an abrupt halt this evening due to the exceptionally poor reception which, in turn, has resulted in the withdrawal of essential advertising revenue.
Tuesday March 30
John and Yoko are in attendance at The Rolling Stones' farewell party, held at the Skindles nightclub in Maidenhead, Berkshire, before the group leave to become tax exiles in the South of France.
Wednesday March 31
Paul submits his first year-end accounts, covering the years 1970-71, of his new company McCartney Productions Ltd. The figures reveal modest sales figures, accounted to the company, of £3,017, while outgoing expenses run up a bill for £5,417, resulting in a first-year loss to Paul of £2,400. (Of course, Paul's main source of income at this point is coming through The Beatles' crumbling Apple empire.)
In an interview for Life magazine, Paul reveals the problems of the break-up of his former group: "I do think if it were just up to the four of us we would have picked up our bags - these are my shoes, that's my ball, that's your ball - and gone. And I still maintain that's the only way, to actually go and do that, no matter what things are involved on a business level. But, of course, we aren't four fellows. We are part of a big business machine, so that's why I've had to sue in courts to dissolve The Beatles, to do on a business level what we should have done on a four fellows level. I feel it just has to come."
Paul goes on to say he searched his soul before deciding to take the other three Beatles to court. "People said, 'It's a pity that such a nice thing had to end.' I think that too. It is a pity. I like fairy tales, but you realise that you're in real life and you don't split up a beautiful thing with a beautiful thing."
An abridged version of Ringo's 1968 film Candy is re-released to selected UK cinemas alongside the controversial Beryl Reid film The Killing Of Sister George,
Friday April 9
Ringo's single 'It Don't Come Easy' (produced by George) /'Early 1970' is released in the UK. (The American release takes place on April 16.) George also played guitar on the A-side. (The final recording sessions for 'It Don't Come Easy' took place at Trident Studios in London over a year previously on March 8,1970, with Ron Cattermole on saxophone.)
Thursday April 15
Even though The Beatles are no longer together as a performing or recording unit, the group still continues to pick up awards. This time, in Hollywood at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, just one month after the Grammys, they receive an Oscar from the US Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences for '1970 Best Original Song Score', with their music for Let it Be. During this 43 Oscar celebration they beat stiff competition from the films The Baby Maker, A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Darling Lili, starring Julie Andrews.
Thursday April 22
John and Yoko fly from Madrid to Palma airport in Spain on their private jet. They tell waiting journalists their journey is for "business and a rest".
Meanwhile, back in England, tonight's edition of Top Of The Pops (show number 371 and broadcast on BBC1 between 7:04 and 7:39pm) features the Apple promotional film for Ringo's 'It Don't Come Easy'. This features clips such as Ringo on the set of his first solo film Candy, on December 15,1967, various shots of him playing drums with large table tennis bats in fast motion, playing billiards, pulling faces at the camera and even home movies of his kittens.
Friday April 23
In Palma, Majorca in Spain, John and Yoko are taken into police custody and questioned regarding their alleged abduction from a playground of Yoko's seven-year-old daughter Kyoko. The child's father, Anthony Cox had, somewhat ironically for John, been attending a meditation session by the guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, at the Cala Murada, the Majorca home of the Maharishi for the last eighteen months. John and Yoko had taken the child and looked after her at their hotel, the Melia in Madrid. In court, Yoko claims that she had been awarded custody in the US when she and Cox were divorced. Following the hearing, the judge listens to evidence behind closed doors and rules that Kyoko should return to Cox. The judge had asked Kyoko: "Which parent would you like to be with?" She replied: "My daddy." Outside the courthouse, a tearful, yet defiant Yoko tells waiting reporters: "We will be back for her... wherever she is!" Taking further legal advice, British lawyers inform the Lennons that their best attempt for obtaining custody of Kyoko is to get a custody order from the authorities in the US Virgin Islands, where Yoko and Anthony Cox were officially divorced.
Saturday April 24
John and Yoko attempt to leave Palma airport en route to the Virgin Islands but are stopped by police for further questioning over the abduction. Their departure is delayed by several hours.
Monday April 26
Through their solicitor, John, George and Ringo admit that they have accepted Paul's decision to leave The Beatles and will not appeal against it.
Tuesday April 27
At the Camden Cinema in London, during the week-long Camden Arts Festival '71, Let It Be is screened in the afternoon and Help! is screened in the evening.
Ringo, meanwhile, is to be found in snow-covered Norway shooting a special film clip of 'It Don't Come Easy' for inclusion in this Thursday's edition of Top Of The Pops. (Transmitted only once on the show on BBC1 between 7:05 and 7:39pm on Thursday April 29.) Working with the show's producer Michael Hurll, the clip features Ringo singing the song at a piano outside in the snow wearing a pair of mittens and dark glasses. The footage, intercut with scenes of the former Beatle skiing and riding a ski-mobile, will receive a welcome repeat during the UK Gold Top Of The Pops re-runs on August 2,1993.
At Tittenhurst Park in Ascot, John cuts a studio demo of the track 'God Save Us'.
Paul and Linda issue a special limited-edition version of the Ram album, entitled Bring To Ewe By Hal Smith. This features 15 short sketches by Paul and Linda, all including Paul singing the recurring song 'Now Hear This Song Of Mine', which also features recorded bleats from their sheep. Intended purely for radio broadcasts, the disc features lead-in tracks and conversations with the couple. Only 1,000 copies are pressed by Apple and distributed. The McCartneys spend the rest of the month writing at their farmhouse in Scotland.
Ringo is seen working with the recording engineer Andy Hendricksen at the Command Studios in London.
Wednesday May 5
Zarach, an exclusive modern design company, opens a new shop at 183 Sloane Street, London SW3, and features amongst its headline items, the first piece of Kinetic sculpture designed by Ringo and Robin Cruikshank. Described as a "rich man's plaything", the item comprises a "mercury filled object containing zigzagging discs powered by a small motor which sits in the opaque light box underneath and all housed in a transparent perspex case". The price of this item is a most reasonable £60.
Monday May 10
The South African government opposes the idea of a nude statue of John, as immortalised on the Two Virgins sleeve, being erected in a township.
Wednesday May 12
Paul, Linda and their children, as well as Ringo and Maureen, fly in a specially chartered plane to St. Tropez in France to attend Mick Jagger's wedding to Bianca. Later, both Paul and Ringo, with respective partners, attend the reception which is held at the nearby Cafe Des Arts. The celebrations continue until 4am. This is the first time that Paul and Ringo have socialised since the split of The Beatles over a year ago.
Friday May 14
John and Yoko are pictured at Heathrow Airport before their departure to Cannes in the South of France.
Saturday May 15
Even though John and Yoko are scheduled to appear in court in Majorca charged with trying to abduct Kyoko, they instead attend the annual Cannes Film Festival where two of their films, Apotheosis (Balloon) and Fly, are being screened during the Filmmaker's Fortnight Festival. The audience reportedly boos during the screening of Apotheosis, while Fly receives a standing ovation. John and Yoko, who appears sporting a fashionable pair of black hot pants, arrive at the screening with fellow film maker Louise Malle. For the programme of the event, Yoko writes a piece entitled: "What is the relationship between the world and the artist?" The article concludes by saying: "There are only two classes left in our society. The class who communicates and the class who doesn't. Tomorrow, I hope there will be just one." A report on John and Yoko at the festival, entitled: John And Yoko At Cannes: I Made A Glass Hammer, appears in the American newspaper The Village Voice on June 24. Meanwhile, the judge in Majorca excuses the Lennons for their non- appearance in court.
Nearby, in a luxury yacht called SS Marala, hired for the duration of the festival, Ringo, who remained in France following Mick Jagger's wedding, is to be found with Maureen, George, Patti and Cilia Black. It was during one of these get-togethers that the song 'Photograph' comes about, with all the guests chipping in lyrics to the song. During her stay, Cilia invites Ringo to appear on her BBC TV special, soon to be filmed in Scandinavia. (See entry for June 24.)
Meanwhile, Melody Maker reports on its front page, that "The Beatles are bootlegged again", revealing that: "A Beatles' double album containing new original material not previously issued by the group may soon be released as a bootleg album in Britain. A tape, featuring about 30 unreleased songs by the group, is circulating in London at present. The holder of the tape is searching for a pressing plant to convert the tapes into albums and a distributor to handle the heavy demand that there is likely to be." Apple announces that: "Such tapes could be in existence - but they (The Beatles) have no idea how they could come into the hands of a would-be bootlegger." Meanwhile EMI flatly reveal: "We know nothing about it." (The album referred to in the article is in fact the single album Live At Shea '65.)
Monday May 17
Paul and Linda's album Ram is released in America. (The album is released in the UK on May 21.) EMI report 100,000 advance orders for the record and within one week of its release, the album will be named as the 'Best Selling Album of the Month'. On the right hand side of the front album cover there is a zigzag design which reads 'Lily' (Linda I Love You?) while on the back there is a curious picture of two beetles copulating! Paul spoke about the album: "Linda was present all the way through. We've been writing many more songs together and we're developing as a harmony team... I found this New York drummer named Denny and we just went to work the following Monday."
Meanwhile in the States, John remarks about the track 'Uncle Albert - Admiral Halsey': "I liked the beginning ... I liked the little bit of 'Hands across the water', but it just tripped off all the time. I didn't like that bit."
Saturday May 22
Chris Charlesworth, in his Melody Maker review of Ram, writes: "A good album by anybody's standards and certainly far better than the majority released by British groups and singers. Trouble is you expect too much from a man like Paul McCartney. It must be hell living up to a name ..."
Thursday May 27
It is announced today that Ringo is to star in the spaghetti western film Blindman, to be shot on location in Italy and in Almeria, Spain. The movie is produced by Allen Klein's ABKCO organisation and Ringo has been cast in the role of a vicious bandit. During the shooting, he is asked about the part: "I wanna be, like in this film, a crazy cowboy or whatever part I get. We're talking about me being an actor now, not being used for the name like I have been. In this film I really feel as if I'm acting."
George visits Los Angeles to help Ravi Shankar record his album. It is during these sessions that the idea for the Bangladesh concert is conceived and by the end of the month plans for the show are nearly in place. During George's period in LA at Nichols Canyon, he writes the songs 'Miss O'Dell', influenced by the Apple employee Chris O'Dell, 'Be Here Now' and the track 'Tired Of Midnight Blue', recalling a visit to a seedy Los Angeles nightclub.
Tuesday June 1
John records 'Do The Oz', released on a single with Bill Elliot's 'God Save Us'. The recording is credited to The Elastic Oz Band. For the latter, Elliot merely recorded his own vocal track over John's Ascot studio demo. Later in the day, John and Yoko board a plane to New York in an attempt to gain custody of Kyoko. "We're trying to locate her," Yoko hurriedly tells reporters at Heathrow Airport.
Thursday June 3
For the first time in many years, without Yoko or any friends or groupies, John ventures out completely on his own at New York's 5th and 6th Avenue.
Sunday June 6
At the start of the day, John and Yoko give an interview to the freelance American journalist Alex Bennett and then make a guest appearance on Howard Smith's radio talk show on station WPLJ. Then, at the insistence of the artist Andy Warhol, the Lennons perform live with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention at New York's Fillmore East. Prior to their performance, the Lennons keep security tight by clearing the backstage area completely. Kip Cohen, the manager of the Fillmore, remarks: "It was like the Jews being driven from Amsterdam." Within ten minutes, the wings have cleared and the place is like a tomb, except for the second-floor dressing room where John and Yoko briefly rehearse with Zappa and his band, watched by the privileged few Fillmore 'hangers-on'. Then, coming on stage as part of the Zappa/Mothers encore, John and Yoko perform 'Well (Baby Please Don't Go)', 'Jamrag', 'Scumbag' and 'Au'. (Yoko arranges to have a movie camera capture the unique performance on 16mm colour film.) A member of the audience is heard to remark at the end of the show: "When The Mothers were on it was just another stage. With Lennon on it . . . the stage became something else; it became like a visitation!"
An audio of the performance is later released on the double-album Sometime In New York City. For the release, Klaus Voorman is later required to overdub the bass parts. (Incidentally, on October 27,1992, re-mixed versions of these tracks, plus unreleased recordings such as: 'Say Please' and 'Aaawk' appear on the Frank Zappa CD album Playground Psychotics.)
Monday June 7
In Italy, at the Cinecitta Studios in Rome, the ABKCO movie Blindman, co-starring Tony Anthony, begins production. (Ringo does not join the crew until June 17.) During the ten-week shooting schedule, further location work will be carried out in Spain. The director of the western is Ferdinando Baldi.
Tuesday June 8 (until June 16)
Ringo joins an all-star cast that assembles in London to record with the American blues legend B.B. King who is visiting Britain. Other music luminaries present include Peter Green, Gary Wright, Bobby Keys, Jim Keltner and Alexis Korner. John, if he arrives back in the UK in time, has promised to join in on the recordings. (Unfortunately he does not.) The sessions continue until Wednesday June 16, when a crew from the BBC arrives to shoot film for a television documentary. (The recordings are later released on an album entitled B.B. King In London, released in the USA on October 11 this year and in the UK on November 19. Ringo appears on only three of the released tracks.)
Thursday June 10
Late this night, a strange unmarked parcel addressed to Paul McCartney is found at the BBC Bush House studios in Aldwych in London. Fearing it to be a bomb, BBC staff call out Scotland Yard who carefully open the parcel to find that it is none other than a present for Paul's upcoming birthday. The package contains crockery, wine glasses and a letter written in Spanish saying, "I love you".
Saturday June 12
The bootleg king of Britain, Jeffrey Collins, who runs a record shop in Chancery Lane, London, admits in the music press that he intends to issue a Beatles' double album entitled Rock 'N' Roll, featuring 20 tracks comprised mainly from the Sixties BBC radio series Saturday Club.
Wednesday June 16
In New York at Klein's offices at 1700, Broadway, John and George have a brief jam session during which John invites George to play on his next album, due to start recording in a week at his Tittenhurst Park mansion. The album will be called Imagine. George accepts the invitation and puts a phone call through to Klaus Voorman asking him if he too would like to play on the sessions.
Thursday June 17
John and Yoko arrive back in Britain at Heathrow Airport in London.
Monday June 21
John and Yoko, along with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull and T.Rex among many others, lend their support to Edgar Broughton's Save A Life, an appeal in aid of the East Pakistani refugees in Bangladesh, which is launched in the Daily Mirror newspaper today.
Wednesday June 23
At his Tittenhurst Park studios in Ascot, John begins recording tracks for his new album Imagine. On the first morning he plays his new song to the other musicians which will turn out to be the title track of the album. Then, using an eight-track machine which the Lennons affectionately call ASS (Ascot Sound Studios), the recording sessions produce the following songs: 'Crippled Inside', 'Jealous Guy', 'It's So Hard', 'I Don't Want To Be A Soldier, I Don't Want To Die', 'Gimme Some Truth', 'Oh My Love', 'How Do You Sleep?', 'How' and 'Oh Yoko!'. (The sessions, which also include the unreleased track 'San Francisco Bay Blues', will continue until July 2.) Fearing legal problems with Paul, Klein advises John to severely tone down the lyrics to 'How Do You Sleep?'. During the recordings, an American man called Claudio has been seen hanging around the grounds surrounding the mansion and sleeping at night in the trees on the estate. John and Yoko, taking pity on him, invite him in for something to eat. This, as with most of John and Yoko's activities during the Seventies, including the Imagine recording sessions themselves, is captured on 16mm colour film. A documentary on the making of the Imagine album, entitled Working Class Hero, is proposed but is never released, although some of the footage is utilised in the 1988 documentary film Imagine: John Lennon. Incidentally, during the early stages of the Imagine recordings, John records the earliest known demo of the track 'Aisemussen', while at the end of the sessions, on Friday July 2, John records a further demo of the track 'I'm The Greatest'. (A report on the Imagine recording sessions, written by Steve Peacock and Kieron Murphy, appears in an issue of the music paper Sounds.) This period of recording also produces tracks for Yoko's album Fly. These include: 'Airmale', 'Don't Count The Waves', 'Mrs. Lennon', 'O' Wind', 'Midsummer New York', 'Mind Train', 'Mind Holes', 'You' and the title track 'Fly'. To promote both the Imagine and Fly albums, John and Yoko produce, from 40,000 feet of film, a 70-minute film entitled Imagine, which features, on its soundtrack, a selection of tracks from both records. The completed film will be premiered on American TV on December 23,1972, although the first clip from the film ('Gimme Some Truth') will actually be seen in Britain during an episode of BBC2's The Old Grey Whistle Test, transmitted on December 12,1972. The first piece of shooting for the film takes place on July 6, (see entry).
"Did you know that George wanted to redo his guitar solos on 'Gimme Some Truth' and 'How Do You Sleep?' That's the best he's ever fucking played in his life! He'd never get that feeling again. He'd go on for ever if you let him." - John Lennon, June 1971.
Thursday June 24
While two of his former colleagues are at work on Imagine in England, Ringo is to be found in Scandinavia where he shoots his third and final appearance with Cilia Black for her Saturday night BBC1 variety show. Instead of her usual programmes, set in the confines of the BBC Television Theatre in London, the setting is Stockholm for her special production of Cilia In Scandinavia. Ringo is seen performing a unique version of 'It Don't Come Easy' (backed on the soundtrack by the 29-piece Ronnie Hazelhurst orchestra) up on the peak of a mountain. The programme, a joint production by the BBC in England and the European stations Sveriges-Radio-TV2, Norsk Riksringkasting and Oy Yleis Radio ABTV1, also features the unusual sight of Ringo singing the 'Snowman Song' with Cilla and Basil Brush, the puppet fox. With Ringo as a major guest on the show, Cilia gives the programme a Beatles flavour. She performs, in various locations in Norway, Sweden and Finland, covers of 'Norwegian Wood' with Marvin, Welch and Farrar, the new group featuring two of the former members of The Shadows, 'Drive My Car', and the perennial 'Step Inside Love'. The 45-minute programme is first transmitted on BBC1 over five months later on Saturday November 27 (between 9:04 and 9:49pm). Incidentally, Ringo's brief period filming the programme is marred when a chance conversation with Professor Thorolf Rafto is turned, without Ringo's knowledge or permission, into a major exclusive interview for a Norwegian newspaper.
George and Patti begin renting a house in Los Angeles, California, for a six month period, even though most of this time is spent in New York.
Saturday July 3
John and Yoko fly to New York where they conclude work on Imagine at the Record Plant. (The sessions resume tomorrow, July 4.)
Paul's album Ram reaches number one in the UK album charts.
George visits a New York television station to watch the recordings of an Ike and Tina Turner special featuring as special guests The Beach Boys. Strange rumours begin to circulate in the press that George, along with Keith Moon of The Who, will be joining The Beach Boys on their UK tour in November.
Sunday July 4 & Monday July 5
At the Record Plant in New York, working with Phil Spector and Allen Klein, John finishes 'It's So Hard', 'I Don't Want To Be A Soldier' and 'How Do You Sleep?' Joining them at the session is legendary sax player King Curtis who will be killed in a street fight just six weeks later. (These final recordings for Imagine are also mixed into quadraphonic sound.)
On the 4th, George and Patti attend a concert by Leon Russell at the Inglewood Forum, and on the 5th, George begins recording his next single 'Bangla Desh', coupled with 'Deep Blue'. He also spends time during the following week completing the soundtrack to the Apple film Raga. (George returns to Britain on July 12.)
Tuesday July 6
The Beatles' second film Help! receives its British television premiere on BBC1 between 7:32 and 8:59pm. The screening is the first in a series of six Sixties pop films to be broadcast on the station. The weekly series, titled Pop Go The Movies, also includes: The Dave Clark Five in Catch Us If You Can, Freddie and The Dreamers in Every Day's A Holiday, Frank Ifield in Up Jumped A Swagman, Joe Brown in What A Crazy World and Billy Fury in I've Gotta Horse.
In America celebrating both the end of the Imagine recording sessions and the birthday of Allen Klein's wife Betty, John and Yoko attend a garden party thrown by Klein at his New York home. Also present are Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas, who captures the event on his home movie camera. (Excerpts appear accompanying 'Crippled Inside' in John and Yoko's 1972 film Imagine.) Miles Davis also attends, meeting John and Yoko for the first time. Miles asks him if Yoko is Japanese? "No", he replies. "She's a New Yorker." "Why didn't you marry a nice white bride?" Miles asks again. "That's what I thought she was!" John retorts. "They all said I was blind!" (Further filming for Imagine takes place on July 15.)
Friday July 9
George and Patti visit Ike and Tina Turner in their dressing room after a Schaeffer Music Festival show in New York's Central Park.
Saturday July 10
John, Yoko and Jerry Rubin visit a New York cinema on 3rd Avenue where they watch the Mike Nichols' film Carnal Knowledge starring Jack Nicholson, Art Garfunkel and Ann-Margaret. In the lobby at the theatre, they bump into Jonathan Cott of Rolling Stone magazine.
Sunday July 11
"I'll be in a group with John and George and Klaus and call it the Ladders or whatever you want to call it, but I don't think it would be called The Beatles." - Ringo.
During a break from the filming of Blindman in Almeria, Spain, Melody Maker interviews Ringo for a three-part feature. Relaxing by the side of the hotel swimming pool, he talks frankly about a number of topics including The Beatles' unreleased music, their split, drugs and his thoughts on the current music of his three former colleagues.
MM: "Who's got all that (Beatles) stuff that wasn't released?"
Ringo: "It's around. Apple's got most of it. They can't release it unless we say. They can't just shove it out."
MM: "How much stuff would you say there was? How many tracks? Fifty or less?"
Ringo: "No, no, nowhere near that. I'd say there'd be 20 or 30 tracks at the most. I heard that there's enough material for another 25 years and all that, but you mustn't believe that rubbish."
MM: "What do you think of John's last album?"
Ringo: "Some of the tracks are just incredible."
MM: "What about All Things Must Pass?"
Ringo: "Well, George is sensational. There are so many great tracks on it, good tracks and so much work."
MM: "What about Paul's?"
Ringo: "I feel sad with Paul's albums because I believe he's a great artist, incredibly creative, incredibly clever but he disappoints me on his albums. I don't think there's one tune on the last one Ram... I just feel he's wasted his time, it's just the way I feel... he seems to be going strange."
MM: "Can you say when the first cracks appeared in The Beatles' set-up?"
Ringo: "I think on the White album. I left on the White album; I had to leave. I thought that the other three were together and I wasn't one of them, I was separate ..."
MM: "How many (LSD) trips did you take in all?"
Ringo: "About nine ... they were good and bad, some extremely bad, some extremely good."
(The interviews are published in Melody Maker on July 31, August 7 and 14.)
Monday July 12
George calls a meeting at Apple in Saville Row and informs the members of Badfinger that he is returning to New York immediately to arrange a concert for the people of Bangladesh. He arrives in New York on Tuesday July 13 and meets up with John. As a favour for playing on his Imagine album, George asks John to appear at the concert. John agrees to think about it and returns immediately to England.
Wednesday July 14
After flying into Heathrow Airport, John and Yoko attend a press conference in support of the Oz magazine obscenity trial. His brief version of 'The End Of The Road' during the conference is released as a flexi-disc included in the Oz magazine. John signs off as "Radio Free Widnes". Accompanying the Lennons on their journey is May Pang.
Thursday July 15
Yoko signs copies of her book Grapefruit at Selfridges store in London. John is naturally in attendance. The event is filmed and excerpts will appear accompanying 'Gimme Some Truth' in their 1972 film Imagine. (The main bulk of filming for Imagine will begin on Wednesday July 21.)
"Grapefruit is a beautiful and profound book from the genius of one of the world's most important artists. In future, it will be used widely by people with time on their hands. It will help them to live." - John on Yoko's book Grapefruit.
Saturday July 17
Today, in studio 1 at the BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane, London, John and Yoko make a guest appearance on the fifth edition of the late-night BBC1 chat show Parkinson, hosted by Michael Parkinson. For the benefit of the Lennons' private film archive, an aide takes film of John and Yoko arriving and entering the BBC building. Prior to the afternoon recording of the show, used primarily as a promotional vehicle for the book Grapefruit, the Lennons agree with Michael that if he mentions "The Beatles", he will have to conduct the rest of the interview inside a black bag! With that agreed, John and Yoko arrive on stage to an accompaniment of 'Help!' as performed by the resident studio house band, the Harry Stoneham Five.
From the start, Michael freely admits that he finds the Grapefruit book "incomprehensible!" Even though a large part of the early interview is directed towards Yoko, John naturally makes no end of attempts to join in. The conversation continues about Yoko's avant-garde work and their recent films.
Parkinson: 'You've made a film about a fly crawling up a woman's body, you've made your famous Bottoms film and there's also been a film made of your penis, isn't there John?"
John: "That was a joke really." (Roars of laughter from the audience.) "I made a film called Self Portrait, you know, and at that time I was a bit of a prick!" (More laughter and this time applause, from the studio audience.)
Yoko reads extracts from her Grapefruit book before Michael asks about the alienation of the couple in England.
John: "The British press actually called her ugly. I've never seen that about any woman or man, even if the person is ugly. You don't normally say that in the papers. She's not ugly, and if she were you wouldn't be so mean! They even say attractive about the most awful looking people to be kind ..."
Parkinson: "Recently, another reason for people taking a dislike to you, is because you're known again through the newspapers, as the woman who broke up The Beatles."
John (interrupting): "But that's not true! Listen, I tell ya, people on the streets and kids do not dislike us ... It's the media; I'm telling ya. We go on the streets and the lorry drivers wave. 'Hello John, hello Yoko', all that jazz, and I judge it by that. My records still sell well. Her records sell all right."
Parkinson: "Did Yoko's presence put tension on the group?"
John: "The tension was already there you see ... after Brian died."
With that, as he threatened, John instructs Michael to go inside a black bag.
"What do you want me in the black bag for, John?" Michael asks inquisitively.
"Because," John replies, "then it's total communication if you're in the black bag. Are you going to do that? And then we'll talk about The Beatles."
"Oh! All right, fine." Parkinson reluctantly agrees.
After a round of applause, the interview continues with Michael, completely out of sight from everyone, inside a large black bag!
John: "Imagine if a coloured guy, or a black guy went for a job, or that anybody who went for a job at the BBC had to wear a bag, then they wouldn't know what colour people were, and there'd be no prejudice for a kick-off."
"I'll tell you what," Parkinson replies, gasping for air, "they'd all fritter away 'cos it's red hot inside this bag!"
The "Beatles" conversation then resumes. Anticipating this, John is heard to mumble, "Big deal!"
Parkinson: "Why did you break up? What were the real reasons?"
(With Michael doing his best to ask the questions seriously in his own inimitable style, the audience again breaks out laughing at the bizarre events unfolding before their eyes.)
Yoko (interrupting): "The Beatles are four very talented young men and they're four very strong people, so I don't think I could have tried even to break them up."
John: "We broke ourselves up, you know."
Michael (himself now interrupting, hearing that John and Yoko were lighting up a cigarette): "I smoke too!" (He retorts!)
(Again the audience reacts by laughing uncontrollably.)
John: "When we was 28 or 29, it began to be "What's the goal?' you know. We've made it! We'd become more talented and George began to write more songs. He was lucky to have a track on an album. The personalities have developed. They were a bit stifled in The Beatles. Between us now, we sell ten times more records than The Beatles did. Individually, if you add them all together we're doing far better than we were then."
John then allows Michael out of the bag. He is worried about the state of his hair.
"Your hair's fine," John remarks.
"One thing," Parkinson replies, "it proves it's not a wig!" Michael was now enjoying the fun of a most unusual interview.
John: "I never wanted them (The Beatles) to slide down and sort of make comebacks and things like that. I said, when I was 20 in The Beatles, that 'I'm not going to be singing 'She Loves You' when I'm 30!' Well, I was 30 this year and I didn't force it to happen. It just happened naturally. I guessed that by the time I was 301 would have just grown out of it. And I have, you know..."
The 18-minute interview is followed by Marion Montgomery who, backed by the Harry Stoneham Five, performs a moving version of John's composition 'Love'. At the conclusion, John signals his approval by winking and giving her an "OK" sign. Although the broadcast still survives, the programme is no longer in the BBC film and VT library. The first repeated excerpts, albeit 13 seconds only, appear in the Lennons' 1972 Imagine film. Further clips reappear in America on Monday July 30,1973, during the ABC TV programme Geraldo Rivera: Goodnight America, and then again during the 1988 Warner Brothers film Imagine: John Lennon. John and Yoko request their £100 appearance fee on Parkinson be made payable to "The Oz obscenity fund." The show (watched by Paul and Linda in their Cavendish Avenue, London, home) will be John's last ever interview for a UK TV show.
Monday July 19
John and Yoko hold a press conference at Apple's headquarters in Saville Row, talking about Yoko's book Grapefruit, He informs reporters that: "The book was first published in a limited edition in 1964 and was republished last year. It sold 2,000 copies here and 50,000 in America." He adds, as a dig to some of the reporters who are smirking at the book, that... "it was taken seriously in the United States!" John then shifts tack by talking personally: "In England I'm regarded as the guy who won the pools. She's regarded as the lucky Jap who married the guy who won the pools. In America, we are both treated as artists." Yoko is then asked about the publication: "The idea of the book is that anyone can be an artist. The artist is a frame of mind. In New York they call it a toilet reading book." John then quips: "Yeah, that's the best place to read it!"
Tuesday July 20
John and Yoko face the world's media in another press conference for Grapefruit, this time at the Lennon's spacious Tittenhurst Park mansion in Ascot. Due to the sheer volume of people present at this unique event, John and Yoko stipulate that, at the very most, they will spend no more than 15 minutes with each reporter/journalist.
Wednesday July 21 (until Friday July 23)
Imagine filming - day one:
John and Yoko begin shooting the main bulk of footage for their 70-minute film Imagine, later described by critics as: "One of the most expensive home movies ever produced." With the aid of a helicopter whose rotor-blades touch tree tops, John and Yoko film scenes in their Ascot grounds involving their car and their boat on the lake. Also captured today, filmed at the house in the middle of the lake, is the unusual sequence where the couple are seen playing chess. Yoko flashes her leg and John eats the chess pieces.
Thursday July 22
Imagine filming - day two:
The day begins very early with John and Yoko filming one of the most memorable sequences in their movie-making career. With the early morning mist still swirling round their Tittenhurst Park mansion, the Lennons are filmed walking up their path towards the entrance of the house, which has "This Is Not Here" written above the door. This scene will feature at the very start of the Imagine film and will serve as a wonderful opening to the 'Imagine' song itself. After four retakes, John and Yoko then film scenes, still in the mist, of themselves wandering around in their Ascot grounds. This sequence will be used to accompany the track 'Mrs. Lennon'. Later this afternoon, this time inside the mansion, film is taken of John seated at his white piano singing 'Imagine', while Yoko goes around opening the shutters of his music room, letting in the daylight. In the afternoon, filming of Imagine continues with John, wearing a blindfold, and Yoko playing billiards. Then, film is shot of Yoko during a photo session. Later, with most of the shooting now complete, John sits for the photograph, which will appear on the Imagine album cover, an event also included in the film. The day ends with Yoko giving John a haircut which, somewhat surprisingly, is not captured on film.
Friday July 23
Imagine filming - day three:
The final day of the Imagine/Ascot filming begins with Yoko sitting up in bed reading the morning papers while John is seen going to the toilet. Respecting no limits to what they can or cannot film, the Lennons leave the cameras rolling while they have fun in the bathtub. (The next scenes for Imagine are filmed on Wednesday August 11.)
Saturday July 24
Denny Laine, currently working on a solo album of his own and contemplating going back on the road, receives a phone call from Paul asking if he would be interested in working with him. Paul: "I remembered Denny Laine, ex-Moody Blues and Balls. I'd known him in the past and I just rang him and asked him, "What are you doing?' He said, 'Nothing', so I said, 'Right. Come on then!' " Denny immediately scraps plans for his album and heads for London.
John and Yoko again travel to the Virgin Islands where a judge grants them an order giving them the right to bring up Kyoko, on the provision that they allow Anthony Cox reasonable access to the child. One problem still remains: John and Yoko do not know where Kyoko is. Private investigators, hired by the couple, inform them they believe she is currently in America.
Sunday July 25 (until Wednesday July 28)
Paul holds a top-secret session in studio two on July 27. Security on the first night is so strict that he even forbids EMI staff entry to the building. When the music press find out about these get-togethers, Shelley Turner, Paul's assistant, briefly remarks: "Paul is very happy with the band and with the tapes they made." Following the conclusion of the recordings on the evening of the 28th, Paul and Linda prepare to take a three-day holiday in the Mediterranean. But in New York there's bad news for the couple when they are told, shortly before their departure, that Northern Songs Ltd, of Great Britain, and MacLen Music Inc, of New York, are suing the couple for $1,050,000 (approximately £437,000). They claim that the McCartneys have violated an "exclusive rights agreement" for their song 'Another Day'.
Monday July 26
In New York, the first rehearsals for the Concert For Bangla Desh take place at the Nola Studios facility on West 57th Street. Scheduled to appear so far are just George and Klaus Voorman, but during the day Badfinger fly into New York's Kennedy Airport from London and join in on the rehearsals. Eric Clapton, meanwhile, already invited by George to appear, is feeling none too well and asks Ringo if he will be willing to deputise for him in case he is forced to drop out. As the days progress, George spends hours constantly phoning other musicians, hoping to persuade them to appear in the show.
Tuesday July 27
George and Ravi hold a press conference to announce the Concert For Bangla Desh this Sunday at New York's Madison Square Garden. Before a large crowd of journalists and reporters, George tries to tell them of his nervousness about performing solo at the concert. But this is quickly dismissed when a reporter asks him about The Beatles: "Are there ever times when you wish you were back together again as a group?" "Yeah," he replies, "there are times. But there are times also when we all appreciate not being together." The reporter asks why? But George is having none of this Beatles talk and retorts, "Shouldn't we talk about the (Bangla Desh) concert?"
An interview with John and Yoko by Sue Faulconbridge, carried out in Ascot on July 20, is published in today's Liverpool Echo. "You can no longer consider John Ono Lennon apart from Yoko Ono Lennon - they are, if you like, one person ..."
Wednesday July 28
George's single 'Bangla Desh'/'Deep Blue' is released in America. (The UK release takes place on July 30.) The B-side is about the death of George's mother a year ago.
Friday July 30
Former Apple employee Richard DiLelo, author of the book The Longest Cocktail Party, visits George at the Park Lane Hotel in New York and informs him that he is writing a book about The Beatles. George replies: "Well, it's only just the beginning!" Later, only two days before the Bangla Desh concert, Leon Russell arrives.
Saturday July 31
John tells New Musical Express: "The thing with Paul is he wants all the action. He wants it all. It's not just the money; it's the principle. I think, for instance, that Paul's cost us probably over a million since he started this thing... It's like Monopoly, only with real money... and costing us a fortune."
George meanwhile is proceeding with the Bangla Desh show, happy in the knowledge that Bob Dylan has agreed to perform. Later this night, at Madison Square Garden, the final rehearsal for tomorrow's concert takes place.
John asks the photographer Iain MacMillan to begin taking regular still photographs of the construction of the London International Hotel, near Heathrow Airport, from one location only. These pictures will be compiled to form the 17-minute film Erection. Featured on the soundtrack is Yoko's track 'Airmale'. One of its first screenings, albeit brief, will take place on The Dick Cavett Show, transmitted by ABC TV in America on September 12.
Short clips of Paul performing 'Bip Bop' and 'Hey Diddle' are filmed during this period. They will first be seen in the 73-minute Wings Over The World 1979 television special, first broadcast on CBS TV in America on March 16,1979.
During the month, Ringo completes the filming of Blindman, which is premiered in Rome on November 15. Unfortunately, due to its excessive violence, the film will run into problems with the British film censors. This month, also in Rome, Ringo records the title track of the film.
Sunday August 1
George and Ringo appear twice (afternoon and evening) at the Concert For Bangla Desh, held at Madison Square Garden in New York in front of two capacity 20,000 crowds. Also appearing are Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Klaus Voorman, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar and members of Badfinger. During the concert George performs: 'Wah-Wah', 'My Sweet Lord', 'Awaiting On You All', 'Beware Of Darkness' (with Russell), 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', 'Here Comes The Sun', 'Something' and 'Bangla Desh'. Ringo performs 'It Don't Come Easy'. Outside the venue, touts are seen getting between $50 and $600 for one single $7.50 ticket.
"There was no rioting. Not one policeman was allowed in there ... Zero! I would allow none. No one was allowed backstage, nobody, no hangers-on, nothing. It was the best show that there ever was!" - Allen Klein, following the Bangla Desh concert.
"I thought the beauty of the concert was that it was so rushed and so spontaneous ..." - George, following the concert.
Following the concert, a celebrity party is held at the New York City night spot Ungano's. Also in attendance are The Who, currently in the city and two dates into their
1971 American tour. The star-studded line-up is treated to a live performance by George and Billy Preston and then Phil Spector, who delivers a unique version of 'Da Do Ron Ron'. This features Keith Moon on drums who, at the conclusion of the song, spectacularly kicks the drum kit (belonging to Badfinger) into the crowd.
First estimates predict that a total of £100,000 will be raised from the two Bangla Desh concerts and that four times this figure will be made from sales of the concert record alone. Most of the evening concert will appear on the album The Concert For Bangla Desh, released in America on December 20 and in the UK on January 7,1972. Phil Spector carries out recordings with 44 microphones, using a Walfy Heider sixteen-track machine borrowed from the nearby Record Plant Studios. The film version of the concert, directed by Sol Swimmer, who previously directed the ABKCO films Come Together and Blindman, is suitably titled The Concert For Bangla Desh and will premiere in New York on March 23, 1972 and in the UK on July 26,1972. Incidentally, Peter Frampton, the former lead singer of the Herd, takes a private colour 8mm film of the shows.
George recalls the concerts this day, in particular the fact that Bob Dylan almost didn't appear: "It took me three months on the telephone really, day and night, just trying to con everybody into doing it, like Dylan. He was very difficult to get because he had been laid up for years and he had just done the one show, in the Isle of Wight in 1969. He was not feeling that strong about doing it (the Bangla Desh show), because he had been out of it so long. In fact, right up until the moment he stepped on stage I was not sure that he was coming! I had a little list on my guitar which had a point where it said... after 'Here Comes The Sun', just Bob with a question mark. And when it got to that point I turned round to see if Bob was coming, because the night before, we went to Madison Square Garden and he freaked out. He saw all these cameras and microphones and this huge place and he was saying, 'Hey man, this isn't my scene. I can't make this.' And I was saying, 'Look, it's not my scene either man. I don't do this every day... this is the first time I have ever done anything on my own. You, at least, have been a solo artist for years.' I was just tired of trying to organise the whole thing. He was saying, 'I've got to get back to Long Island. I've got a lot of business to attend to.' So, on stage, I just looked round to see if there was any indication if Bob was going to come on, or not, and he was already there. He was so nervous and he had his harmonica on and his guitar in his hand and he was walking right onto the stage. It was like now or never, and so I had to say, 'Like to bring on a friend of us all... Mr. Bob Dylan.' "
Later Ravi Shankar tells the story behind the shows: "It was completely my idea. I was very disturbed about the happenings, because I am a Bengali, and my father and family came from that area and I was getting a lot of sad news. I told George that I wanted to do something in a big way so that we could raise a lot of money. I knew he wouldn't be able to participate himself, but I thought he could ask some of his friends. He was very moved at that moment and so he also wrote the song 'Bangla Desh' and said he would participate himself, which was a great surprise and made me very happy. It was a historic evening!"
When asked about the shows, Ringo said: "I enjoyed playing immensely. It was a bit weird, because it was the first time I had been on stage for about three years. I was crazy with nerves beforehand. But if you have done your job, it's okay. You soon relax. It was nice, anyway, because we had a lot of good pals around. We weren't out just to entertain each other, we wanted to entertain the twenty five thousand who had paid to come in. It is no good just standing there with your guitar and freaking yourself out What is the point?"
A subsequent rumour concerning John's non-appearance at the Bangla Desh concert suggests that George didn't want Yoko to sing, so John replied by saying, 'IfYoko can't play neither can I' and that when John tells Yoko of George's decision, the couple had a row. John then flew to Paris while Yoko returned to England.
However, only a few weeks after the show, John told a different story: "Allen Klein was putting it around that I had run off to England so I couldn't be there for the concert. But I told George a week before the show that I wouldn't be doing it. I just didn't feel like it. We were in the Virgin Islands and I certainly wasn't going to be rehearsing in New York, then going back to the Virgin Islands, then coming back up to New York and singing."
Incidentally, a plan by Lord Harlech, the British politician, to stage a Bangla Desh style concert at Wembley Stadium is soon quashed by both George and Klein, but on Saturday September 18 at the Oval Cricket Ground in Kennington, South London, an all-day English concert to raise money for the Bangladesh relief fund is staged before a crowd of 30,000 fans. It features performances by Cochise, The Grease Band, Lindisfarne, Quintessence, Mott The Hoople, America, Atomic Rooster, The Faces and, topping the bill, The Who.
Monday August 2
Paul and Linda's single 'Uncle Albert - Admiral Halsey'/ 'Too Many People' is released in the US. Meanwhile, the second rehearsals for Paul's new band take place today at his farmhouse in Campbeltown, Scotland, where they begin recording songs intended for the album Wild Life. The sessions produce the following tracks: 'Mumbo', 'Bip Bop', 'Love Is Strange', 'Wild Life', 'Some People Never Know', 'I Am Your Singer', 'Tomorrow' and 'Bip Bop' (reprise). They also record the unreleased tracks 'Tragedy' and 'Breakfast Blues', a blues instrumental that will receive a rare airing on the New York radio station WCBS-FM during December.
In New York, still enthused by the previous evening's performance, George writes the song 'The Day The World Gets Round' and Ravi gives an interview in his hotel room to Rolling Stone magazine. Later in the day, George and Phil Spector begin a week of all-night sessions on the Bangla Desh album. At this stage, the proposed release date of the record is August 15.
Tuesday August 3
Pleased by the sessions with his new group, Paul announces to the press that he has formed a new band consisting of himself, Linda, drummer Denny Seiwell and the former Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine. They still do not have a name.
Saturday August 7
NME describe The Concert For Bangla Desh as "The Greatest Rock Spectacle Of The Decade!"
In the Melody Maker, Norman Wright of Hull writes: "I have purchased a copy of the bootleg Live At Shea '65 Beatles album and for £3.001 received less than 29 minutes of playing time which by normal standards is of dismal quality. It's about time The Beatles swallowed their pride and allowed the release of material not yet available - no matter what the standard of their playing or recording quality." (The letter is read in New York by John who promptly puts pen to paper.)
Wednesday August 11
John and Yoko are among 1,000 protesters taking part in a demonstration march past the Ulster Offices in London. The protest is against British policy towards Northern Ireland and the prosecution of the editors of Oz magazine on obscenity charges. (Footage from this demonstration later appears during the 'Power To The People'/ 'Gimme Some Truth' sequence in the 1972 Imagine film.) Meanwhile, back in England, five of John and Yoko's films are screened during the London Art Spectrum at the Alexandra Palace. They are Cold Turkey (1969), The Ballad Of John And Yoko (1969), Give Peace A Chance (1969), Instant Karma (Top Of The Pops - transmitted February 12, 1970) and Up Your Legs Forever (1970). (The show runs until August 13.)
Thursday August 12
A cheque to the value of just over $243,418, covering the proceeds from the Bangladesh concerts on August 1, is sent by Madison Square Garden Inc. to UNICEF.
Meanwhile in England, John and Yoko are also handing out money, this time a donation of £1,000 towards the UCS (United Clyde Shipbuilders) Fighting Funds in York. The shipbuilders are currently fighting a pay dispute. As a goodwill gesture, last week John and Yoko had sent a bunch of flowers.
Friday August 13
Paul and Linda's single 'Back Seat Of My Car'/ 'Heart Of The Country' is released in the UK, where it reaches number 39 in the singles charts.
John and Yoko return to New York and again take up residence at the St. Regis Hotel. They return to England on the 16th. Meanwhile in London, at the NFT (the National Film Theatre) on the South Bank, the films of John and Yoko are featured in a special presentation.
Saturday August 14
Melody Maker publishes a letter by John, replying to last week's letter regarding the Live At Shea '65 bootleg album: "Dear Norman Wright, c/o MM, Why buy the bootleg in the first place? You must have read how bad they are before now. Anyway, the reason we haven't released the old stuff is because we haven't got round to remixing it yet. That's all folks. Love John & Yoko, in lieu of Beatles... LP winner (I'd like Chuck Berry, please.)"
Thursday August 19
Another Beatles related bootleg album appears on the market, this time Gulp!, featuring, among many other highlights, John's performance of 'Yer Blues' at the 1968 Rolling Stones Rock 'N' Roll Circus, The album retails at £2.75.
Saturday August 21
Melody Maker publishes the first part of a two-part interview with The Beatles' producer George Martin.
MM: "What was wrong with Pete Best?"
Martin: "He never joined in with the others. He was always a bit quiet, almost surly. But the basic thing was that I didn't like his drumming. It wasn't very sound and he didn't bind the group together."
Martin's recollection of the song 'Please Please Me' does not please John, and again he is forced to put pen to paper. (See entry for August 28.)
Monday August 23
The release of the Concert For Bangla Desh live album is delayed by various legal problems. The title for the record being brandished about now is George Harrison And Friends.
Saturday August 28
Scribbled on the back of one of Yoko's "A hole to see the sky" postcards, Melody Maker publishes John's reply to the George Martin article in the previous week's edition of the paper.
"Dear George Martin (Richard Williams), I wrote 'Please Please Me' alone. It was recorded in the exact sequence in which I wrote it. Remember?
Love John & Yoko. LP winner!"
Meanwhile, the paper continues unperturbed with the second part of the exclusive George Martin interview.
MM: "John recently said something about you: 'Show me some of George Martin's music. I'd like to hear some.' How do you feel when one of them says something like that about you?"
Martin: "That's silly of course. I guess I feel sorry for him, because obviously he's a schizophrenic in that respect. He must have a split mind ... either he doesn't mean it, or if he does mean it he can't be in a normal state of mind at the time."
MM: "Could you tell me what you think of what each one has done since the last Beatles record?"
Martin: "I have admiration for George. He's done tremendously because it's a sort of devotion to duty as far as he's concerned. We forced him into being a loner I guess ... John's become more obvious in a way... 'Power To The People' is a rehash of 'Give Peace A Chance' and it isn't really very good. It doesn't have the intensity that John's capable of. Paul, similarly, with his first album. It was nice enough, but very much a home-made affair... I don't think Linda is a substitute for John Lennon, any more than Yoko is a substitute for Paul McCartney."
Again, John reads the article and is enraged by Martin's comments. Another letter is duly sent in reply and is published on September 25 - see entry.
Sunday August 29
An article entitled Yoko: The Film Maker, by Henry Edwards, appears in today's edition of the paper Crawdaddy!
Monday August 30
John invites the Sounds journalist Kieron Murphy back to Tittenhurst Park to hear the finished version of the album Imagine.
Tuesday August 31
John and Yoko depart from London's Heathrow Airport en route for America and take up a more permanent residence on the 12th floor in rooms 1701,1702 and 1703 of the St. Regis Hotel in New York. Again, their aim is to gain custody of Kyoko and, should they be unsuccessful, pursue Anthony Cox through the US courts. Lawyers representing Yoko suggest to her that to secure her custody rights, she and John must take up permanent residence in the States. Although he wasn't to know it at the time, John would never again return to his native country.
John: "Yoko and I were forever coming and going to New York, so finally we decided it would be cheaper and more functional to actually live here ... so that's what we did!"
Paul's brother-in-law John Eastman negotiates with both CBS and NBC for an American TV musical special featuring Paul.
Ringo records the song 'Back Off Boogaloo'.
Wednesday September 1
Earlier this morning, Paul and Linda, now heavily pregnant, come out of hiding and are seen walking in Carlisle Street in West London.
Friday September 3
Ringo and Robin Cruikshank officially form the furniture Design Company Ringo O' Robin Ltd.
Saturday September 4
Paul and Linda's single 'Uncle Albert - Admiral Halsey' reaches number one in the US charts.
Sunday September 5
Still in their St. Regis Hotel room, the Lennons give an interview to Peter McCabe and Robert Schonfeld.
Question (about George): "He's perhaps the most enigmatic Beatle. Are you saying George is more conventional than he makes himself out to be?"
John: "There's no telling George. He always has a point of view... you can't tell him anything. He's very trendy and he has the right clothes and all that..."
Yoko (interrupting): "But he's not sophisticated, intellectually."
John: "No. He's very narrow-minded and he doesn't really have a broader view. Paul is far more aware than George, one time in the Apple offices in Wigmore Street, I said something to George and he said, 'I'm as intelligent as you, you know.' "
Peter McCabe and Robert D. Schonfeld will later write the 1972 book Apple To The Core. John's complete interview with McCabe and Schonfeld will not be published until 1984 when it appears in the book John Lennon: For The Record.
Monday September 6
In their St. Regis Hotel room, John and Yoko continue with their Imagine filming activities by shooting scenes with the legendary Hollywood dancer Fred Astaire, the American actor Jack Palance and the American chat show host Dick Cavett, who all just happen to be staying in the hotel. Invited along to appear by May Pang, they all happily participate in scenes which include them individually, arm in arm with Yoko, entering their hotel room and walking over to the window. (Although a quite simple piece to act out, Astaire, a true professional, insists that he "can do the scene better", and requests a retake.) George, back in New York for work on the Bangla Desh concert film, is also beckoned up to the room to shoot the scene. (Much of the Imagine filming had already been completed in England during July. See entries for July 21-23.) Following his brief scene, Cavett requests that the couple join him as guests on his talk show. A recording date is immediately arranged for September 8.
Wednesday September 8
In New York, at the television studios of ABC TV, John and Yoko record their first appearance on The Dick Cavett Show. (The programme will be transmitted on September 12.) The Lennons chain-smoke throughout the 90-minute interview where, at one point, John looks up to the camera and jokes: "Didn't work did it, Arthur?" This was a reference to the fact that their four-month primal scream therapy last year with Janov was supposed to cure their addiction to nicotine. The general light-hearted conversation contains some unique play-offs between John and the host.
John: "Ella Fitzgerald dear Watson ... that's a pun on elementary."
Cavett: "That's known as word play."
John: "Yes, I'm always playing with myself!"
Then on a more serious note ...
Cavett: "Yoko, you've even been called the dragon lady who broke The Beatles apart."
John (instantly defending): "Well, if she took us apart, can we please give her the credit for all the nice music that George made, Ringo made, Paul made and I've made since they broke up!"
Yoko: "It turned out all right, didn't it?"
John (continuing): "Anyway, she didn't split The Beatles. How can one girl split The Beatles, or one woman, y'know? The Beatles were drifting apart on their own!"
Cavett: "Can you remember when you realised it was inevitable that you thought that you'd split up?"
John: "No. It's just like saying do you remember falling in love. It just sort of happens."
The "black bag" idea is resurrected when two friends (one of which is May Pang) appear on the set. This prompts John to recall the incident when the black bag conception was used on BBC TV's Parkinson in July.
"We did a talk show in England and every time the man wanted to talk about 'Beatles', because I'm fed up talking about them, I asked him to go in a bag and he did it. The interviewer, the Dick Cavett of England, he was in the bag all the time, so every time the cameras panned to him, the audience broke up, so he could never get the questions out. It was a very good show!"
To compensate for the fact that John and Yoko will not be performing on the show, they bring along with them excerpts from the film Imagine ('Mrs. Lennon' and 'Imagine' itself), Erection and Fly. John concludes the show by announcing that they will be going out on the road next year with a band. One viewer of the show in New York is George Harrison. (The Lennons will return to The Dick Cavett Show on May 5,1972.)
After the final credits for the programme roll, and the audience stop clapping, John and Yoko decide that they would like to carry on talking. Besides resuming a conversation with Cavett, John and Yoko also take questions from the studio audience, on topics including John's songwriting and whether or not drugs effected it. Yoko is also asked her opinions about the overpopulation of the world. This sequence is included in the show transmitted on September 19.
Following the broadcast, critics are quick to attack the show, saying John and Yoko "annoyed most of the watchers by spending 90 minutes plugging everything they had ever done or ever hoped to do. There was very little conversation; instead viewers were treated to excerpts from films and albums the couple have done separately and together." The controversy continues the following day when American radio airs complaints about the show. Listeners voice their opinions, saying that the constant plugging of the Lennons' products made them feel that they were "being taken for a ride".
Incidentally, a clip from the show where John recalls the writing of the song 'Imagine' later appears in the 1994 Tom Hanks film Forrest Gump.
Thursday September 9
John's album Imagine is released in America. (The UK release takes place on October 8.)
John answers questions about 'How Do You Sleep?':
"The song isn't only about Paul, it's a song in its own right anyway, you know..."
Reporter: "Paul said, 'How can he make the quarrel so public?' "
John: "Oh hells, bells ... listen to Ram folks! The lyrics weren't printed, just listen to it. I'm answering Ram. When I heard Ram, I immediately sat down and wrote my song which is an answer to Ram. It's as simple as that. It's also a moment's anger. But it was written down on paper and when I sang, it wasn't quite as angry as when I sang it in the studio, because it was four weeks later and we were all writing it, you know. It was like a joke. 'Let's write this down.' We didn't take it that seriously."
Meanwhile in England, due to a last minute problem with clearance, a clip of George performing 'Bangla Desh' during the August 1 show, is not included in tonight's edition of Top Of The Pops on BBC1. The show's producer Stan Appel announces: "We only heard from Apple yesterday morning saying that we couldn't use it." PR Les Perrin, on behalf of George, reveals: "He didn't want the film of the concert going out before it is properly edited." The song is still included in the broadcast, however, accompanied by BBC film of an Indian dancer.
Friday September 10
The Lennons begin recording the soundtrack for their unreleased film Clock in their room at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. The short film includes on the soundtrack John's unreleased versions of 'Glad All Over', 'Heartbeat', 'Honey Don't', 'J.J. (Angela)', 'Lend Me Your Comb', 'Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues', 'Maybe Baby', 'New York City', 'Not Fade Away', 'Peggy Sue' (2 takes),'Peggy Sue Got Married', 'Send Me Some Lovin' ', and 'Shazam!' The film is premiered at Yoko's Syracuse art exhibit on October 9, John's 31st birthday. He also commits to tape a demo of the song 'Just Give Me Some Rock 'n' Roll'.
Saturday September 11
George's single 'Bangla Desh' reaches number 10 m the UK charts and number 23 in America.
Monday September 13
Paul and Linda's second child, Stella Nina McCartney, is born at the King's College Hospital in London. As with the birth of Mary a year previously, Paul had moved into the hospital to be at Linda's side. Unfortunately, due to slight complications, Stella has to be delivered by Caesarean section and Paul is naturally barred from the operating theatre. Paul recalls the time: "I sat next door in my green apron praying like mad ... the name Wings just came into my head." Linda maintains he was thinking about "Wings of an angel". Paul had briefly toyed with the idea of calling his new group Turpentine, but was persuaded from doing so by a 79-year-old Beatles/McCartney fan.
At the opening of Liberty's new "modem-day" furniture department, on the third-floor of their store in Regent Street, London, a new range of Ringo O'Robin designs is unveiled. These include a stainless steel dining table (costing £45), a Cylinder of Sound, containing hi-fi equipment (£2,000), Ringo's own design for a fireplace (£350) and two Rolls Royce radiators used as supports for a stainless steel table top (£1,200).
Wednesday September 22
George and Patti return from New York aboard the QE2. Joining them on the journey is their musician friend, Gary Wright.
Saturday September 25
Another of John's letters responding to the two-part George Martin interview in Melody Maker (published on August 21 and 28) is published.
From his St. Regis Hotel room, John rants: "I don't see anything 'schizoid' in having more than one emotion though you obviously do. When people ask me questions about, "What did George Martin really do for you?' I have only one answer, 'What does he do now?' "
In addition, on the subject of 'Revolution 9', John states: "It was purely my concept, fully. For Martin to say that he was 'painting a sound picture' is pure hallucination. Ask any of the other people involved. The final editing Yoko and myself did alone (which took four hours). Of course, Martin was a great help in translating our music technically when we needed it, but for the cameraman to take credit from the director is a bit too much..."
John then turns his attentions to the song 'Eleanor Rigby': "At least 50 per cent of the lyrics of 'Eleanor Rigby' were written by me in the studios and at Paul's place, a fact never clearly indicated in your previous article.
"PPPPPS 'LP winner'. Right on Johnnie Boy!"
Thursday September 30
George is the only ex-Beatle in attendance at a party to celebrate the opening of Apple's new £500,000 recording studio based at their headquarters at 3 Saville Row in London. Again, outside the building, the ever-faithful Apple Scruffs are in attendance. At the gathering, George tells journalists of how this grand opening is tinged with sadness:
"It's a bit sad now that Apple is in the position all four of us planned three years ago. I just wish Paul would use the studio if he wants to. It's silly not to." But he admits: "I can't see the four of us working together again, but I'd like us to be friends. We all own the business and it's doing well. I'd like all four of us to enjoy it now."
During the first month of business at the studio, Ringo plays drums on sessions for the new Apple duo Lon and Derek Vaneaton, and George produces albums for Badfinger and Fanny. Promotional brochures, given away at the launch, indicate that the studio is available at £37 per hour for 16-track recording and £31 an hour for 8-track.
During the first part of the month, still in residence at the St. Regis Hotel, John again spends time committing to tape various demos. This month he is quoted as saying: "I keep reading about Paul being the brilliant melody writer and George being the philosopher. So where does that leave me? Yes, that's right... the nut!"
Friday October 1
In London, George meets Patrick Jenkins MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in an effort to try to get the purchase tax due on every copy of the Bangla Desh album sold scrapped. But the meeting does not go well, when Jenkins tells George: "Sorry! It is all very well for your high ideals, but Britain equally needs the money!"
Saturday October 2
George and Patti return to New York, sailing aboard the luxury liner SS France, as used by Paul last October.
Tuesday October 5
To combat the bootleg albums of the Bangla Desh concert currently appearing in New York, George, in a statement to the press, announces that Apple will now release the triple-album next month, a month ahead of schedule. Meanwhile in protest at the bootleg copies of the Bangla Desh album, posters are being put up in record shops proclaiming: "Save A Starving Child, Don't Buy A Bootleg!"
Friday October 8
At 2pm, John and Yoko hold a press conference at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York, to announce Yoko's art exhibition This Is Not Here which is due to open to the public tomorrow and will run until October 27. (As per normal, the Lennons film the press conference.) Even before the show had opened, New York critics were sharpening their knives in anticipation of what Yoko has to offer, writing unflattering lines like: ''Yoko's exhibits promise to be about as artistic as a rusty piece of plumbing m the sodden debris of the city dumps." Knowing that she would be in for a torrid time with the notoriously hard to please New York art critics, John and Yoko go to the extraordinary length of chartering a plane to carry an assortment of 65 critics, journalists and members of the avant-garde circle from New York City to Syracuse to preview the show. As the conference gets under way, Yoko explains: "In this show, I'd like to prove you don't need talent to be an artist. Artist is just a frame of mind. Anybody can be an artist. Anybody can communicate if they're desperate enough."
Besides Yoko's pieces, a number of celebrities contributed exhibits to be put on display. Ringo sent a green plastic bag, the size of two pillows, that looks as if it is filled with green water. George's piece, entitled Milk Bottle, is listed in the show's catalogue but fails to be put on display. Bob Dylan sent over a copy of his 1969 Nashville Skyline record minus the sleeve, and John's piece is a strange pink mass inside a plastic bag, curiously called Napoleon's Bladder. The museum's bookshop offers for sale souvenir Imagine and Fly T-shirts, John and Yoko albums and copies of the Grapefruit book.
Saturday October 9
On John's 31st birthday, Yoko's art exhibition This Is Not Here opens to the general public at the Everson Museum. The show, a 10 year retrospective look at her career which is billed as "A show of unfinished paintings and sculpture", is taped and broadcast on American TV on May 11,1972, as a programme suitably called John And Yoko In Syracuse, New York. (The show runs until October 27.) Guests in attendance include Ringo and Maureen, Allen Klein, Phil Spector, Dick Cavett, John Cage, Bob Dylan, Dennis Hopper, Spike Milligan, Jack Nicholson, Andy Warhol and Frank Zappa. Even though it was his birthday, John gives everyone a silver zodiac necklace as a present. The Lennons make a seven-minute feature of the exhibition entitled The Museum Of Modern Art Show.
Later this night, in a Syracuse hotel room, an all-star jam session celebrating John's birthday takes place. They are joined by Klaus Voorman, Allen Ginsberg, Jim Keltner, Mal Evans, Neil Aspinall and Eric Clapton. A tape of the party is made which features the group performing: "What'd I Say', "Yellow Submarine' (naturally sung by Ringo), 'On Top Of Old Smokey', 'Goodnight Irene', 'Take This Hammer'/He's Got The Whole World In His Hands', 'Like A Rolling Stone', a medley of 'Twist And Shout', 'Louie, Louie' and 'La Bamba', 'Bring It On Home To Me', 'Yesterday', 'Tandoori Chicken', 'Power To The People', 'Maybe Baby', 'Peggy Sue', 'Bring Out The Joints' (a Lennon/Spector original), 'My Baby Left Me', 'Heartbreak Hotel', 'Blue Suede Shoes', 'Crippled Inside', 'Give Peace A Chance', 'Crippled Inside' (reprise), Paul's 'Uncle Albert - Admiral Halsey', George's 'My Sweet Lord', 'Imagine' and 'Oh Yoko'. During the party, a Japanese journalist interviews John and Yoko, part of which is aired on The Lost Lennon Tapes American radio series. The item is aptly called The Argument Interview, due to an unusual degree of acrimony between the two during the proceedings.
In Britain, the music press finally reveals that Paul's new band will be called Wings. Reports also suggest that the group are "rehearsing for live appearances later this year".
Monday October 11
John's single 'Imagine'/'It's So Hard' is released in America.
Thursday October 14
John and Yoko appear on the public broadcast television show Free Time, transmitted on the New York public TV station WNET TV.
In the UK, it is announced that a documentary on The Beatles, tracking the group's history from the Cavern Club in Liverpool to their eventual break-up, is to be made for BBC Radio One and scheduled for transmission next March.
Saturday October 16
John and Yoko take up residence at their new New York premises, a two-room apartment at 105 Bank Street in Greenwich Village, owned by Joe Butler, the former drummer with the sixties American group The Lovin' Spoonful. There are two large rooms, one of which is bought while the other is rented, and a wrought-iron staircase, which runs up to a small roof garden. Their neighbours include John Cage, Bob Dylan and Jerry Rubin.
Soon after taking up residence John and Yoko purchase a couple of bicycles. (John's is English, while Yoko's is Japanese. They are quick to point out that this was not intended.) Asked about this form of transport, John replies: "Everybody cycles round the village. Dylan goes on his all the time, chaining it to the railings when he stops and nobody ever recognises him. I can't wait to get out on mine."
A reporter naturally asks why he and Yoko decided to live there: "It's the best place to live in the world," John explains. "Every time the car leaves the village, I feel sick. Going back to England is like going to Denmark - and I don't want to live in Denmark!"
Sunday October 24
In America, a special 90-minute retrospective look back at the history of CBS Television's The Ed Sullivan Show features Beatles' performances of 'She Loves You' (from 1964) and 'Yesterday' (from 1965).
Monday October 25
In his new apartment, David Wigg interviews John for the BBC Radio One series Scene And Heard. The recordings will be transmitted over three parts in the UK, on November 13, 20 and 27. Later, in 1976, they will form a part of the Polydor double album The Beatles Tapes.
Tuesday October 26
John and Yoko, at their Greenwich Village apartment, record a home demo version of 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over)'.
Thursday October 28
This evening, at the Record Plant studios, based at West 44th Street in New York, John and Yoko begin the recording sessions for 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over)'. The first part of the evening is spent with John teaching the chords of the song to five guitarists, Chris, Teddy, Bob, Stu and Hugh. The Hugh in question is the session guitarist Hugh McCracken who, earlier this year, played on Paul's Ram album, but John, at this point, is unaware of this. Before recordings officially begin, John leads them through a medley of rock 'n' roll numbers, including 'Too Much Monkey Business', 'Rock Island Line' and 'Slippin' And Slidin' '. Phil Spector, wearing his trademark "Back To Mono" badge, produces the sessions. The musicians present also include Nicky Hopkins on piano and Jim Keltner on drums. Impressed by his work on Imagine, John had requested Klaus Voorman to join them, but because his flight from Germany had been delayed, Klaus will not join them until tomorrow. The first night of recordings goes on until 4am and is mainly taken up with recording the backing tracks.
Friday October 29
Back at the Record Plant, recording begins on Yoke's 'Listen, The Snow Is Falling', one of the very first tracks that Yoko showed to John back in 1968. As scheduled, Klaus is now present at the session. This track will become the B-side to the 'Happy Christmas' single.
Saturday October 30
John and Yoko are most pleased when they are told that John's album Imagine has reached number one in the American charts.
Sunday October 31
The recording sessions for 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over)' continue at the Record Plant where the musicians are joined by the Harlem Community Choir. Unusually for John, the sessions are held in the afternoon because the 30-piece choir, aged between 4 and 12, will have to leave in the early evening to make sure they are in bed on time. Their mothers join them at the recordings to make sure these requests are suitably adhered to. The final sessions begin with John teaching the choir, whom he affectionately calls "The Supremes", the lyrics to the song from a blackboard in the studio. At the conclusion of the taping, John, Yoko, the band, the children, the engineers, secretaries, Phil Spector and his brother-in-law Joe, all gather round a plastic Christmas tree which had been erected in the studio, to have a picture taken together for use on the single's picture sleeve. (Additional work on the song, an overdubbing of strings, take place the following day.) Incidentally, a single film camera shoots these activities for a promotional film to accompany the single's release. The only UK TV transmission of this occurs on BBC1's Top Of The Pops on Thursday December 14, 1972, transmitted between 7:25 and 7:59pm.
At their Greenwich Village apartment, John and Yoko record the track 'Will You Touch Me', unreleased until it appears as a bonus track on the 1998 Ryko CD issue of Yoke's album Fly.
Saturday November 6
The BBC Radio One programme Scene And Heard begins broadcasting (between 4:00 and 4:59pm) the first of a four-part interview with John carried out in New York by David Wigg. Part two is transmitted one week later on November 13, part three on November 20 and part four on November 27. Today's Melody Maker features an exclusive report by Richard Williams on the recording of 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over)'.
Sunday November 7
Paul and Linda, along with their children, leave the seclusion of their Scottish farmhouse and board a second class train compartment en route to London to launch Wings.
Monday November 8
A party to celebrate the launch of the group Wings and their album Wild Life is thrown at the Empire Ballroom in Leicester Square, London W1. Paul personally hand writes all the invitations to the costumed gala event which features music by Ray McFall and his band, a performance by the Frank and Peggy Spencer Formation Dance Team, a bumper prize raffle, food, drink and music from the Wings album played over the P.A. The 800 guests include Eiton John, Keith Moon and John Entwistle of The Who, Ronnie Lane, Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagen and Kenny Jones of The Faces, various top DJs and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. The ever-reliable Melody Maker is there to cover the event.
MM: "Why the Empire Ballroom on a Monday night?"
Paul: "Why not?"
Linda: '"We thought it would be a nice idea to invite a whole lot of our friends to a big party where they could bring their wives."
Paul: "EMI are paying for it."
MM: "When will we hear Wings live?"
Paul: "Well, it should be soon now. We want to start in a very small way, maybe do some unadvertised concerts or something."
Melody Maker reporter Chris Charlesworth requests from Paul a more in-depth interview for the paper. A session is granted for Wednesday, November 10. Meanwhile, Paul and Linda's children have been left with child minders at his home in Cavendish Avenue, London.
Tuesday November 9
A most unusual interview with John and Yoko is broadcast today on BBC Radio Two, when, between 2:01 and 2:59pm, the couple are featured in a Woman's Hour special, dealing with the exploitation of sex in books, films and magazines. The Lennons again film the interview, which was pre-recorded back in August at their Tittenhurst Park mansion. (A 6-second excerpt appears in the 1972 Imagine film.)
Wednesday November 10
The Ringo/Frank Zappa film 200 Motels opens in New York.
As arranged, Melody Maker's Chris Charlesworth interviews Paul at the Abbey Road studios. The result is published in the paper on Saturday November 20 (see entry).
Friday November 12
At their Greenwich Village apartment, John records several demos of the song 'Luck Of The Irish'. The proceedings are privately captured on a black & white 'open-reel' Sony video recording machine. Several versions of the song find their way onto this 17-minute recording which is suitably titled Luck Of The Irish - A Videotape By John Reilly. The item shows John discussing how to spell the lyrics to the song, venting his anger at the way electrical currents and film running speeds vary between England and America and announcing that John and Yoko had friends coming to dinner tonight at 6 o'clock. The footage, in which John refers to himself as Sean O'Leaham and Yoko as Mrs. 0' No No, ends with the couple listening to the finished version of the song.
Saturday November 13
The very first picture of Paul's group Wings appears on the front page of this week's Melody Maker.
Monday November 15
The spaghetti-western film Blindman, starring Ringo as a vicious gun-toting bandit, has its world premiere in Rome. For the screening, the entire movie is naturally dubbed into Italian.
Saturday November 20
Melody Maker publishes the exclusive interview with Paul carried out by Chris Charlesworth in the control room at EMI's Studio 2 at Abbey Road on November 10. The article is titled: "Why Lennon Is Uncool."
During the piece, Paul exclaims his current feelings about The Beatles: "I just want the four of us to get together somewhere and sign a piece of paper saying it's all over, and we want to divide the money four ways. No one would be there, not even Linda or Yoko, or Allen Klein. We'd just sign the paper and hand it to the business people and let them sort it out. That's all I want now. But John won't do it. Everybody thinks I am the aggressor but I'm not you know, I just want out.
"John and Yoko are not cool in what they're doing. I saw them on television the other night and thought that what they were saying about what they wanted to do together was basically the same as what Linda and I want to do. John's whole image now is very honest and open. He's all right is John, I like his Imagine album but I didn't like the others ... there was too much political stuff on the other albums. You know I only listen to them to see if there is something I can pinch..."
Paul then touches on the song 'How Do You Sleep?': "I think it's silly. So what if I live with straights? I like straights. I have straight babies ... he says the only thing I did was 'Yesterday' and he knows that's wrong..."
Paul gives his own version on why he didn't play at the Bangla Desh concert this August: "You know I was asked to play at George's concert in New York for Bangladesh and I didn't. Klein called a press conference and told everyone I had refused to do so for the Pakistani refugees - that's what he called them. It wasn't so. I said to George the reason I couldn't do it was because it would mean that all the world's press would scream that The Beatles had got back together again, and I know that it would have made Klein very happy. It would have been an historical event and Klein would have taken the credit. I didn't really fancy it anyway. If it wasn't for Klein I might have had second thoughts about it, but I don't know really."
Asked about The Beatles' live shows - or rather lack of them - Paul remarks: "I just wanted to get into a van and do an unadvertised Saturday night hop at Slough Town Hall or somewhere like that. We'd call ourselves Ricki and The Red Streaks or something and just get up and play."
Meanwhile in New York at Greenwich Village, John is infuriated by Paul's accusations and again he immediately prepares a reply. (See entry for December 4.)
Monday November 22
The first screening of the 96-minute Apple film Raga takes place with a press screening at New York's Carnegie Hall cinema. George and Patti and John and Yoko are in attendance. The film includes George receiving sitar tuition from Ravi Shankar at Big Sur, south of San Francisco, California, back on June 10,1968.
Tuesday November 23
The Raga film receives its premiere this evening at the Carnegie Hall cinema. Earlier in the day, George videotapes an appearance, for the one and only time, on the ABC Television programme The Dick Cavett Show, accompanying Gary Wright and Wonder Wheel on slide guitar for the song 'Two Faced Man'. In complete contrast to John and Yoko's September 12 appearance on the show, George, besides plugging the Lennons' new single 'Happy Christmas', makes no attempt to hide his displeasure of doing television interviews.
Cavett: "Is there a slight undercurrent of hostility between you and the other members (of The Beatles)? Are you, in any sense, in contact with each other?"
George: "I saw John last night actually at the premiere of Raga... which is what we should talk about maybe." (The audience breaks into a rather subdued round of laughter.)
Cavett: "OK... But what did you say?"
George: "Hi... Hello."
Cavett: "Do you get writers who say these sort of things? What did he John) come back with?"
George: "Hi." (The audience again breaks into laughter.)
Cavett: "Was there more?"
George: "You don't need boring people to talk to on your show. I'm most probably the biggest bore you've had on your show!"
Cavett: "Really... you think?"
George: "They asked me, 'Do you want to come on The Dick Cavett Show' and I said 'I've got nothing to talk about really' and they said 'Well, think of something... anything.' So I thought, 'OK, I'll go and talk about Raga.' "
Cavett: "You mean, that's it! When we're done talking about that..."
George (interrupting): "Then I'll go."
Cavett: "You don't like to talk then?"
George: "Well... not really. Sometimes, if there's something to say. But there's really nothing to say these days."
When George is finally prompted to speak, he talks about recording his songs, drugs, alcohol, heroin, the comedian Jack Benny, his inability to recall his Beatles days and his displeasure towards American TV:
"It's such a load of rubbish," he admits. "But not The Dick Cavett Show of course." (Further laughter and applause from the studio audience.)
George continues: "It just drives you crazy, you know. The commercials ... you're just getting into something and they'd say, 'Sorry, now another word from ... and another word from.' They just put on commercials all the time. You don't know if it's the commercials or the show!"
George also goes on to plug the BBC TV comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus, and recalls the infamous 1967 interview with Paul for ITN about taking LSD. Naturally, the Concert For Bangla Desh and Indian music come into the conversation. Ravi Shankar joins George and Cavett during the latter half of the interview. George also recalls the troubles that ensued from the revenue from their Bangla Desh concert and the reasons why the album has still not appeared. "We'll get it out," George says defiantly. "I'll even put it out with CBS. Bhaskar (Menon, head of Capitol) will then have to sue me!" George says raising a defiant fist towards the cameras, adding: "We're going to play the sue me, sue you blues. Sue me Bhaskar!" Then, apparently out of reach from the studio microphones, George mutters: "It's none of your business to fuckin' be in ... Bleep!" realising that his expletive has indeed been heard. (The outburst, for the first transmission tonight and again during the 1996 VH-1 Archive re-run, is indeed censored. Another similar "F-word" outburst by George during the show falls to an identical censored airing.)
As it happened, once George got into the mood for talking he actually gave more than enough interview material for the 90-minute show which also includes an excerpt of 'My Sweet Lord' from the Concert For Bangla Desh film.
Tuesday November 30
John's album Imagine reaches number one in the UK charts.
During further home demo tape recordings this month, John records the track 'Call My Name'.
By telephone from the States, Paul and Linda record a 30-minute interview feature for Radio Luxembourg. Shortly after arriving in New York, Paul and Linda, at the A&R Studios, mix the instrumental 'Breakfast Blues'.
Wednesday December 1
John and Yoko's single 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over)'/'Listen The Snow Is Falling', performed by Yoko, is released in America, but due to a problem with Yoko's songwriting credits, the UK release is delayed for almost a year. (The eventual release takes place on November 24, 1972.) This becomes Lennon's first solo single not to feature the Apple logo on the label.
Friday December 3
George happily accepts another invitation to appear with Ravi Shankar, this time giving a sitar demonstration on the American Westinghouse Group television programme The David Frost Show, For the past two years, Frost has been presenting his own American television chat show.
Saturday December 4
Melody Maker publishes a stinging letter from John, attacking Paul over his interview published in the paper on November 20. John's lengthy reply, which he insists is published on the grounds of "equal time", includes a seven part attack on Paul, including an accusation that his "politics are very similar to Mary Whitehouse's". On the grounds of potential libel action, Melody Maker is forced to edit from publication nine lines of John's original letter.
"Dear Paul, Linda, et all the wee McCartneys,Thanks for your letter...
1. We give you money for your bits of Apple.
2. We give you more money in the form of royalties, which legally belong to Apple. (I know we're Apple, but on the other hand, we're not.)
For the millionth time in these past few years I repeat, what about the tax? It's all very well playing simple honest ole human Paul m the Melody Maker, but you know damn well we can't just sign a bit of paper.
You say, 'John won't do it'. I will if you'll indemnify us against the taxman. Anyway, you know that after we have our meeting, the fucking lawyers will have to implement whatever we agree on - right?
It's up to you, as we've said many times - we'll meet you whenever you like. Just make up your mind. Eg. Two weeks ago I asked you on the phone 'please let's meet without advisors etc. and decide what we want.' I especially emphasised Maclen which is mainly our concern; but you refused - right? You said under no condition would you sell to us, and if we didn't do what you wanted, you'd sue us again, and that Ringo and George are going to break you John etc. etc.
One other little lie in your 'It's only Paulie' MM bit. Let It Be was not the 'first bit of hype' on a Beatle album. Remember Tony Barrow? And his wonderful writings on Please Please Me etc. etc. The early Beatle Christmas records ...
And you gotta admit that it was a 'new phase Beatle album', incidentally written in the style of the great Barrow himself. By the way, what happened to my idea of putting the parody of our first album cover on the Let It Be cover?
Listen, my obsessive old Paul, it was George's press conference - not 'dat ole debbil Klein' - he said what you said - 'I'd love to come, but...'
Wanna put your photo on the label like uncool John and Yoko, do ya? (Ain't you got no shame?) If we're not cool what does that make you?
P.S. The bit that really puzzled us was asking to meet without Linda and YOKO. I thought you'd have understood by now, that I'm John and Yoko.
P.P.S. Even your own lawyers know you can't 'just sign a bit of paper' (or don't they tell you?)."
Sunday December 5
The London High Court appoints a receiver for Maclen (Music) Ltd.
Monday December 6
The President of Capitol Records, Bhaskar Menon, replies publicly to George's outburst against him over the Bangla Desh album on The Dick Cavett Show (transmitted November 23). "Harrison is clearly not in possession of all the facts," he remarks.
Tuesday December 7
The first Wings album, Wild Life, is released simultaneously in America and in the UK. A proposed first single off the album, 'Love Is Strange'/'I Am Your Singer' (Parlophone R5932), is cancelled by Apple and Parlophone due to the disappointing sales of the album.
Thursday December 9
John and Yoko fly from New York to Ann Arbor, Michigan in preparation for tomorrow's concert in aid of the jailed John Sinclair.
Friday December 10
This morning in his Michigan hotel room, John is joined by singer Phil Ochs. A tape is made by Lennon of the two performing the song 'Chords Of Fame'.
"We're playing acoustic tonight, you might call us the Quarry Men ... I haven't done this in years."
Later this evening, John and Yoko are among a line-up of musicians performing at a benefit concert in the Chrysler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the radical activist John Sinclair, who had been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for attempting to sell two marijuana joints. Their acoustic performance includes: 'Attica State' (which suffers badly from feedback), 'The Luck Of The Irish', 'Sisters O Sisters' and 'John Sinclair' and is featured in the film of the event entitled Ten For Two, which is premiered in Ann Arbor during December 1972. A full American release will not take place until April 1, 1989, more than 17 years after the event. The John and Yoko produced film also features contributions from Bobby Searle, Alien Ginsberg, Jerry Rubin and David Dellinger. (Incidentally, Sinclair is released on December 13, three days after the concert.) The Detroit television station WTVS also covers John and Yoko's performance. Their uncut videotape footage runs to almost 19 minutes, four minutes longer than the official Ten For Two film version. Scenes where John's guitar string breaks prior to the start of 'Luck Of The Irish' are consigned by the Lennons to the cutting room floor. Following the performance, the Lennons are approached to appear as co-hosts on the Emmy Award-winning afternoon talk show, The Mike Douglas Show. (See entries for January 31, 1972.)
Monday December 13
From the Lennons' Bank Street, Greenwich Village apartment, John and Yoko again write to Melody Maker, this time addressing a reply to Simon and Gill Frith's letter of December 11 expressing their concern over the Lennons' involvement in the capitalist system. On Apple-headed notepaper, the letter read:
"Simon and Gill and MM Readers.
"Apple was/is a capitalist concern. We brought in a capitalist to prevent it sinking (with The Beatles on board). I personally have had enough of Apple/Ascot and all other properties which tie me down, mentally and physically. I intend to cash in on my chips as soon as I can - and be free. John/Yoko intend to do all performances around the world FREE and/or whatever we've earned will go e.g. to prisons to release people who can't afford bail, etc. - and many other ways of getting money back to the people. This is one way of paying the people back."
They end their letter with Yoko saying: "P.P.P.P.S. I personally have had enough of Apple/Ascot long before John has and I'm very happy that John's coming round - and not only 'Imagine no possessions' but wanting to get rid of it - the things that interfere with our work and life.
P.P.P.P.P.S. Please stop attacking John for 'How Do You Sleep?', it happens to be a good song (very powerful and full of pathos) and also, it happens to be an answer to Paul's Ram. Listen to Ram carefully and you'll see".
(The letter is published in MM dated December 25.)
Tuesday December 14
At their Greenwich Village apartment, John, Yoko and Jerry Rubin give an interview to Jean Francois Vallee for the French INA television programme Pop 2, which is transmitted during January of 1972. (John will again be interviewed by Vallee on March 18,1975 for the French television programme Un fourFutur- see entry.)
Wednesday December 15
John and Yoko attend a reception in New York honouring U Thant, the retiring United Nations Secretary General.
Paul and Linda appear on the New York radio station WCBS-FM, where Paul plays the unreleased track 'Breakfast Blues', promotes his new group Wings and discusses the new album Wild Life.
Thursday December 16
The 95-minute Ringo/Frank Zappa film 200 Motels opens at the Classic Cinema in Piccadilly Circus, London.
In New York, John and Yoko record an appearance on the Westinghouse Group's programme The David Frost Show. They appear at the very start of the show backing Apple artist David Peel as he sings 'The Ballad Of New York', with John happily plucking on a tea-chest bass. The Lennons reappear in the show backed by members of the group David Peel and The Lower East Side, performing 'Attica State', 'Luck Of The Irish' (short version), 'Sisters 0 Sisters' and 'John Sinclair'. Other highlights of the show, first transmitted in America on January 13,1972, include a screening of a silent home movie of John and Yoko recently visiting the American Indian Chief Lion and his tribe. The Lennons, who first met the Chief during Yoko's Syracuse exhibition in October, are now actively involved in his campaign to stop the construction of a freeway through his tribe's reservation. The Chief himself also guests on the show. Another most memorable sequence occurs when John and Yoko get involved in a heated discussion with two members of the studio audience, who accuse the Lennons of "making it sound as if the only worthwhile people in this world are people who have committed crimes". This was, in fact, John and Yoko's second US TV appearance with David Frost. (The first was transmitted in America on July 10,1969.) It is clear that John does not enjoy this further encounter. He refuses to take a bow to the audience at the end of part one of the programme, and reappears later only to perform. This leaves Yoko to face questions from Frost on her own. During the Lennons' appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, John had sarcastically referred to David Frost as "Fravid Drost".
Friday December 17
John appears at another benefit concert, this time at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, to perform for the families of the victims of the riot at New York's Attica State Prison. During the show, which is captured on 16mm film, John performs acoustic versions of both 'Imagine' and 'Attica State' while Yoko sings 'Sisters O Sisters'.
Saturday December 18
John and Yoko visit Houston, Texas, in order to gain access to see Kyoko and take her to the hotel where they are currently staying. Again Anthony Cox denies them, and due to his breaking a previous court order, the Lennons decide to inform the authorities. Also today, Melody Maker publishes its report on the recording sessions for 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over)'.
Monday December 20
The album The Concert For Bangla Desh is released in America. (The UK release takes place on January 10,1972.) At first Capitol Records in America refuse to release the album unless it is financially rewarding for them, which greatly aggravates George. He argues that with Phil Spector agreeing to mix the album for free, Apple supplying the booklet and album at no cost and all the other record companies allowing their artists to appear, Capitol must give up something. George then threatens to take the album to CBS if Capitol will not budge. This they eventually do and Capitol present Apple with a cheque for $3,750,000 as payment for advance record sales. The only label to actually make money from the album is Columbia, who, for the privilege of Bob Dylan's appearance, receive 25 cents on every copy sold, although Bob will receive none ofthat himself. George also expresses his dislike at the high retail price of the package, which in the UK sells for an unusually high price of £5.50.
Wednesday December 22
Following Anthony Cox's refusal to allow Yoko access to her daughter Kyoko on Saturday, a Houston civil court judge, after a two-hour hearing, jails Cox for five days for contempt of court. During the sitting, Yoko is horrified to be told that, due to neglect of schooling by Cox, Kyoko is three years behind in her studies.
Saturday December 25
On Christmas Day, Radio Luxembourg votes Imagine 'Album of the Year' and 'My Sweet Lord' as 'Best Single of the Year'.
Monday December 27
For the second successive year, The Beatles' 1964 film A Hard Day's Night is shown by BBC1 over the Christmas period. Today's screening occurs between 9:40 and 11:04am. The corporation will continue to screen "Boxing Day With The Beatles" movies right up until 1975. , _ .
Later this evening, and again on BBC1, Best Of Top Of The Pops 71 - Part 2 is screened (between 4:35 and 5:14pm) and features the five-piece dance troupe Pan's People dancing to George's number one 'My Sweet Lord'. The show is hosted by Tony Blackburn and also features music by the New Seekers, Slade, Rod Stewart & The Faces, T.Rex, Diana Ross and The Tams.
Thursday December 30
At 10:30am, a trade screening of 200 Motels, for the purpose of registration, takes place at the private United Artists theatre in Wardour Street, London.
At the end of the month, John and Paul meet in New York to try to sort out their business difficulties, after which Paul returns home to Scotland, where he produces an instrumental version of his album Ram. On release it is entitled Thrillington, and credited to his pseudonym Percy Thrills Thrillington. (Paul's home studio recordings will continue early into the next year.)
To close the year, the magazine Record & Tape Retailer reveal that My Sweet Lord was the top selling single of the year. Beatle related honours continue in the American publication Record World, when Imagine is voted 'Album of the Year' and 'My Sweet Lord' is voted 'Best Single Disc of the Year'. George himself receives the honour of being voted 'Top Male Vocalist of 1971'. Paul and Linda are not forgotten - they are recognised as the 'Top Duo of the Year'.
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