"Just like that... no planning. The three ex-Beatles recorded
one of John's songs. Everyone in the room was just gleaming.
It's such a universal gleam with The Beatles."
- producer Richard Perry
Extended recordings on George's album Living In The Material World (as it's now titled) continue at the Apple Studios' basement at 3 Saville Row in London.
Monday January 1
The Liverpool Echo publishes a recent interview with Ringo, carried out by Rex Reed, aboard an aeroplane. The ex-Beatle discusses being a businessman, his thoughts on forming his own band and the current Son Of Dracula film.
Wednesday January 3
Ringo is interviewed by David Wigg for the BBC Radio One programme Scene And Heard, which is transmitted on January 6 and will later form a part of the 1976 Polydor double-album of interviews entitled The Beatles Tapes.
Thursday January 4
This afternoon, in Studio 8 at the BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane, London, Wings videotape their second studio appearance on Top Of The Pops. Their mimed performance of 'C Moon' is included in tonight's show, transmitted on BBC1 between 6:45 and 7:14pm. As with their May 25,1972, appearance, the corporation, for a fee of £50, acquires the live audio soundtrack of tonight's clip for future foreign radio broadcasts. (Unfortunately, the appearance is later wiped by the BBC.)
Saturday January 6
"Yoko Goes It Alone" - Yoko Ono appears on the front cover of today's Melody Maker. Inside the paper is a review of her new album Approximate Infinite Universe and an exclusive interview with her, carried out over the phone to New York, by MM reporter Michael Watts. Another Yoko feature, again by Watts, appears in Melody Maker on January 27 (see entry).
Wednesday January 10
In New York, and with John nowhere in sight, Yoko performs a solo concert during a meeting for the Organisation Of Women.
Saturday January 13
George and Ringo are seen in the audience at the Rainbow Theatre in London for Eric Clapton's concert this evening. Later, during the after show party, the two former Beatles are seen having a drink at the bar, with George having a pint of Guinness.
Monday January 22
A law suit, seeking more than $1 million (approximately £400,000) in actual and punitive damages, is being sought by Northern Songs Ltd. and Maclen Music Ltd., both of London and New York, against John and Yoko. In papers, filed today in Manhattan Supreme Court, the plaintiffs charge that John has violated a songwriters' agreement of February 1965 in which he granted the plaintiffs exclusive rights to his compositions. The suit charges that John and Yoko have recently collaborated in writing a series of songs, and that each claims one half interest in the copyright to each composition. The songs in dispute are 'Sunday Bloody Sunday', 'Luck Of The Irish', 'Angela' and 'Woman Is The Nigger Of The World'. The suit also charges that Yoko and Allen Klein "intentionally and unlawfully induced John to violate the February 1965 agreement".
Thursday January 25
A pre-recorded interview with Paul, carried out by the DJ Peter Price, is transmitted this evening on his BBC Radio Merseyside programme Twice The Price.
Saturday January 27
"Lady Of Pain" - Melody Maker concludes the interview with Yoko Ono, carried out by Michael Watts. During the article, she claims: "They were pretty hard on me, you know."
Tuesday January 30
As by way of a 10th anniversary celebration since The Beatles had their first number one hit single (depending, that is, on which chart you read), tonight's Old Grey Whistle Test (transmitted on BBC2 between 10:45 and 11:14pm) features three complete tracks ('Please Please Me', 'From Me To You' and 'I Saw Her Standing There') from The Beatles' February 11, 1964, concert at the Washington Coliseum in America. The programme also includes the first screening of 'Move On Fast', an unbroadcast clip from John and Yoko's August 30,1972, One To One concert at Madison Square Garden, which, for this transmission, has been intercut with various scenes from the Imagine film. During Bob Harris's introduction to the clips, he announces that he was in the audience during The Beatles April 26,1964, NME Poll Winners concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley. Also on tonight's Whistle Test programme, is a mimed studio performance by The Who.
Rumours begin to circulate in the press that John and Yoko's marriage is in trouble.
Ringo's film That'll Be The Day is edited and dubbed at the Pathe/EMI studios in London.
Paul's UK tour with Wings is delayed so that he can begin work on his ATV/ITC TV special James Paul McCartney, which begins shooting on Monday February 19 (see entry). He spends the first two weeks of the month rehearsing with Wings in Marrakesh in Morocco.
EMI Records in Britain announce that the forthcoming Beatles greatest hits packages will most probably be titled The Best Of The Beatles.
Saturday February 3
'Hi Hi Hi' reaches number 10 in the American singles chart. While in the UK, the single will reach number five.
In Liverpool, at the world-famous Cavern Club in Mathew Street, it is announced that, following last orders this evening, the club will close for business. Its manager Roy Adams announces: "We've got to go - there's nothing we can do about it!" (However, following a last minute reprieve from the local council, the Cavern Club continues for business until May 27, when its fate is finally decided - see entry.)
Sunday February 4
As reports circulate that the Cavern Club in Liverpool has closed and is to be torn down, today's Sunday Times reveals that, when asked, the individual Beatles were uninterested in the club's fate.
Monday February 5
In Lancashire in the North of England, work commences on the George Harrison produced Apple film Little Malcolm. The shooting will last six weeks and be concluded on Friday March 23.
Monday February 19
At the ATV Television Studios, at Elstree in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, Paul begins work on his television special James Paul McCartney. It is the first time that a major pop or rock 'n' roll star has starred in a prime-time television show aimed for both UK and USA TV audiences.
Monday February 26
In America, Apple releases the Yoko Ono/Elephant's Memory single 'Death Of Samantha' b/w 'Yang Yang'. (The UK release is on May 4.)
Tuesday February 27
In a small, low key, brief press conference today during the taping of James Paul McCartney, Paul announces to the press: "I am to stage my first tour of Britain with my new group Wings, during two weeks in May. We will visit twelve large towns."
In Los Angeles, at the Capital Records tower in Hollywood, a series of important meetings are held with John, George and Ringo. At the top of their agenda are two urgent points.
1. To put a stop on the two forthcoming pirate Beatles retrospective double albums Alpha Omega.
2. The postponement of the two official EMI/Capitol Beatles retrospective greatest hits packages 1962-1966 and 1967-1970, formerly titled The Best Of The Beatles.
The Beatles, most notably John and Paul, are not happy with the official compilations. This factor is a major worrying point for EMI and Capitol as a large consignment of the printed and packaged 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 double albums has been sitting in warehouses awaiting distribution.
Their time in Los Angeles is not all doom and gloom for the three ex-Beatles. During their stay, Ringo, Maureen, John, Yoko and Ringo's producer, Richard Perry, all attend a screening of the controversial sex film The Last Tango In Paris, starring Marion Brando. George had been invited along but declined the offer, admitting to the others: "I've already seen it in New York."
Saturday March 3
In America, the triple album The Concert For Bangla Desh is awarded a Grammy as 'Album of the Year for 1972'.
Monday March 5
At the Sunset Sound Recorders Studios in Los Angeles, California, Ringo begins the recording sessions that will produce the Ringo album. The tracks recorded during this first period (which lasts until March 27) include: 'I'm The Greatest' (written by John), 'Have You Seen My Baby', 'Sunshine Life For Me (Sail Away Raymond)', 'You're Sixteen', 'Oh My My', 'Step Lightly', 'Devil Woman', 'YOU And Me (Babe)', 'Photograph' and 'Down And Out'. Additional work on the Ringo album takes place in California at the Burbank Studios, the Sound Labs and at the Producers Workshop. Further work in England, which starts on April 16 when Paul returns from his holiday in North Africa, is carried out at the Apple Studios in Saville Row, London (see entries for March 10,12 and 13).
Thursday March 8
Paul and Linda are both fined £100 after pleading guilty to a charge of growing five cannabis plants on their farm at Campbeltown in Scotland, following a raid by police on September 19 last year.
The court hears that a crime prevention officer visited the McCartneys' estate (two farms called High Park and Low Ranachan) to check that it was secure while unoccupied and noticed five plants growing in the greenhouse along with tomatoes. He became suspicious and, on returning to the police station, consulted a reference book that identified them as cannabis. As a result, three charges are brought against Paul: one for knowingly cultivating cannabis plants, to which he pleads guilty, and two others of possessing and having control of cannabis to which he pleads not guilty, and which are subsequently withdrawn.
Following the hearing at the Campbeltown sheriff's court, Paul pleads his case: "I don't think cannabis is as dangerous as drink. I'm dead against hard drugs. It should be like homosexuality; legal amongst consenting adults... but the magistrate was sweet. I must admit though, I did expect my fine to be worse." He then goes on by saying jokingly: "I was planning on writing a few songs in jail."
His solicitor continues pleading Paul's case, by telling the waiting reporters again that, "The plants had been grown from seeds sent through the post by a fan." He also admits that this charge, as with John's case from 1968, could have a serious effect on Paul's career in America. Later, the McCartneys hire a jet and fly back to London to resume work on his television special James Paul McCartney.
Friday March 9
This evening, George leaves England from Heathrow Airport en route to Los Angeles to attend a Beatles related meeting.
Saturday March 10
Paul and Wings assemble on Hampstead Heath, London, to continue work on fames Paul McCartney. Shooting today is for the song 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' (see entry for April 16-part three).
While in America, during a break from the Ringo sessions at the Sunset Sound Recorders Studios in Los Angeles, Ringo records an anti-drug commercial called 'Get Off', which is later distributed to American radio stations by the National Association of Progressive Radio Announcers.
This afternoon during the sessions, George arrives in Los Angeles and heads to see Ringo at the Sunset Sound Studios. Upon his arrival, George is played some of the recordings already completed for the record and announces, "I'm knocked out by what you've done" and excitedly tells everyone he would like to play on the album. He will return to the studio on Monday.
Today's Melody Maker carries a two-page article by Chris Charlesworth, celebrating ten years since The Beatles topped the UK singles charts for the first time. The piece, suitably entitled "Ten Years After", ends by saying, "Yes John, you've passed the audition."
Monday March 12
At the Sunset Sound Recorders Studios, work resumes on the album Ringo. Today, George assists Ringo by providing backing vocals to some of the tracks.
Tuesday March 13
Work again continues on the Ringo album, with George and Ringo both in attendance, but also present today are John and Yoko who just happen to drop by the studios. It is during this session that the three ex-Beatles record ten (including breakdown) versions of John's 'I'm The Greatest'. (Their session lasts approximately 18 minutes.)
Ringo's producer, Richard Perry, recalls the day: "Just like that; no planning. The three ex-Beatles recorded one of John's songs. Everyone in the room was just gleaming... it's such a universal gleam with The Beatles."
Almost immediately, word is leaked out to the media that three former Beatles have been recording again. But, the session musician Nicky Hopkins, who was present at the session, is quick to play down this "Beatles reunion" rumour, as he recalls: "All it was, was all the people turned up, which has happened many times before in England. For example, Ringo worked on George's upcoming album and Harrison helped out on my own forthcoming solo LP."
Also arriving today are Klaus Voorman and Billy Preston, who summed up the session by simply saying, "They (John and George) were just looking for something to do, just playing together and having a good time."
John and Yoko return to New York on March 14, while work continues in America on the Ringo album until March 27, when production shifts to England (see entry for April 16). Incidentally, John will not see George again until Saturday December 14, 1974.
Thursday March 15
In England, work resumes on the ATV/ITC TV special James Paul McCartney. Today, at the ATV studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, Paul performs an unreleased acoustic medley of 'Bluebird'/'Mama's Little Girl'/'Michelle' and 'Heart Of The Country' which does not appear in the finished version of the special. A similar medley, but this time without 'Mama's Little Girl', is included in the show.
In America, the four album set Alpha Omega (Volume One) and (Volume Two) is released. The two volumes each contain 60 tracks, predominantly randomly selected Beatles material with up to a dozen solo tracks mixed in among them. These releases, sold through TV and radio advertising, promptly push Apple to compile and rush release its own Beatles "greatest hits" packages on two double albums, namely The Beatles 1962-1966 and The Beatles 1967-1970.
John begins recording several unreleased demos prior to the commencement of his Mind Games album sessions in New York. Tired of living in Greenwich Village, he and Yoko visit Connecticut with Bob Gruen and his wife, John and Yoke's assistant Nadya, with a view to buying a quiet place to live.
Saturday March 17
"Beatles To Record Again!" - The news of John, George and Ringo playing together in Los Angeles this week reaches England, when a story appears on the front page of today's Melody Maker. The story continues: "Rumours flashed through Los Angeles this week that three of The Beatles have again teamed up for recording purposes. John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are all in Los Angeles with Klaus Voorman, the bassist rumoured to replace Paul McCartney after his departure from the group..."
Meanwhile, interest in The Beatles continues unabated when tonight's edition of the BBC1 programme The Sound Of Petula, hosted by the singer Petula Clark, pays tribute to the music of the fab four and also ventures into the streets where she asks passers-by, "What do you think of The Beatles?"
Sunday March 18
At 4:45pm, by way of a finale on the TV special James Paul McCartney, Paul and Wings record a special live concert on a soundstage at the Elstree TV Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. After arriving on stage, the group opens up with 'The Long And Winding Road', Paul playing piano while Linda takes photographs of the Wings' performance. This is immediately followed by 'Maybe I'm Amazed', 'When The Night' (from Red Rose Speedway), 'The Mess' and 'My Love'. Denny then takes over lead vocals to perform 'Go Now', his number one hit single during his time with the Moody Blues. At its conclusion, Paul returns to the microphone to take lead on 'Hi Hi Hi' and then 'Long Tall Sally', which closes the show.
Fifteen minutes later, and with the audience thinking there will be no encore, Paul returns to the stage to inform everyone that, due to the lacklustre audience response, the entire repertoire must be repeated for the benefit of the television cameras. Of the eight tracks performed again, 'Hi Hi Hi' is played twice, the latter version being delivered at a much slower tempo. (For details of the final transmissions, see April 10 - part ten.) Immediately following the taping, Wings, in front of an audience of 200 people who had paid £5 a head, perform at the Hard Rock Cafe in London's Park Lane in Piccadilly for the benefit of Release, a charity that helps drug-takers and other young people in trouble.
Monday March 19 (periodically until the end of the month)
During breaks from work on James Paul McCartney, Wings continue recording their second album Red Rose Speedway at Abbey Road studios.
While in America on the 19th, at a press conference at the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood, Capitol vice-president Brown Meggs announces to the press news of the impending release of The Beatles 1962-1966 and The Beatles 1967-1970 double albums. His statement reads: "We will be issuing, on Apple, a two-record set of vintage Beatle songs in an effort to counteract the sale of the bootleg Beatles records, called Alpha Omega, which are currently being blatantly advertised on television and in newspapers across the country. We feel it will be easier to fight the bootleg product with a rival package than through the courts. It's appropriate and right that The Beatles have, on Apple, the official authorised collection put together by themselves." (In fact. Allen Klein compiled the track-by-track line-up for both 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 albums, which are set for release in America next Monday, March 26.)
Friday March 23
Wings release in England the single 'My Love'/'The Mess'. (The American release takes place on April 9.)
While in America, US Immigration and Naturalisation Service Judge Ira Fieldsteel rules that John has to leave America within 60 days or face deportation. He also makes the decision to grant Yoko permanent residency. Supporting John in his case is John Lindsay, the Mayor of New York, Lord Harlech, the former British Ambassador in Washington, plus various artists and academics across the country. Judge Fieldsteel, following his decision, announces that one single fact prevents John from being accepted as a permanent resident in America... his conviction in London in November of 1968. John immediately files an appeal.
Outside the court, he tells the waiting press, "Having just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary, we are not prepared to sleep in separate beds. Peace and love, John and Yoko."
Monday March 26
The original release date for both 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 passes without a Red or Blue double album in sight. When asked about this, a spokesman for Capitol Records in America replies: "The delay is down to an unspecified snag." But sources close to Capitol suggest that the delay is, in fact, down to Paul who has obtained an injunction against their worldwide release.
Wednesday March 28
Ringo and his producer Richard Perry fly back to England. Ringo heads to Saville Row to resume work on Ringo and to appear with Russell Harty tomorrow, while Perry meets up with Paul, who has requested his services for help on the soundtrack of James Paul McCartney. Under his arm. Perry is also clutching some of the tapes from the recent sessions with Ringo in Los Angeles, some of which, of course, include recordings with John and George.
Thursday March 29
At the London Television Studios on the South Bank, Ringo videotapes an appearance for the top-rated London Weekend Television ITV Saturday night chat show Russell Harty Plus, produced as a direct attack on the prestigious BBC1 rival show Parkinson. Ringo, dressed in a Teddy boy outfit, is there obviously to promote his new film That'll Be The Day. (The interview is transmitted across the London region of ITV only on Saturday March 31 between 11:01 and 11:49pm.)
Saturday March 31
Today, Allen Klein's management contract with John, George and Ringo expires and is not renewed. (The three ex-Beatles will not formally fire Klein until November of this year.) He publicly announces that his ABKCO company is "cutting its links with Apple and with the former Beatles, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr on Monday April 2."
For the third consecutive year, Paul's McCartney Productions Ltd. company shows a loss in its end of year tax returns. For the period 1972/1973, sales total £5,783 while outgoing expenses reach a hefty £57,616, resulting in a loss of £51,833.
During the month, John and Yoko begin moving from their Greenwich Village apartment and into their new dwelling, a 12-room luxury apartment in the Dakota building, based on the upper West Side of New York. The property, which five years before had been the setting for the Mia Farrow horror film Rosemary's Baby, is purchased off the legendary American film actor Robert Ryan following the death of his wife through cancer. Apparently, soon after the Lennons move in to the apartment, they hold a seance to contact the spirit of Mrs. Ryan. Yoko, the story goes, then contacts Ryan's daughter Lisa, to inform her how her mother is doing "on the other side". Lisa, apparently, is none too pleased to be told this. Following the Lennons' move into the Dakota, an event covered by the magazine New York for its May edition, John wistfully tells their reporter: "The Sixties are finally over."
Meanwhile, news of John, George and Ringo's get-together in a Los Angeles recording studio on Tuesday March 13 has forced some LA pop stations to begin issuing daily news update bulletins on their re-formation and even a major national news magazine to write a story, under the banner of: "Come Together."
Sunday April 1
Most fittingly on April Fool's Day, John and Yoko, along with his attorney Leon Wildes, hold a press conference at the New York Bar Association announcing the birth of their conceptual country Nutopia. John, before a host of TV camera-crews-and reporters, reads through the country's "constitution": "We announce the birth of a conceptual country -Nutopia. Citizenship of the country can be obtained by declaration of your awareness of Nutopia. Nutopia has no land, no boundaries, no passports, only people."
John announces that the national flag will be a tissue. (Parts of this are aired years later on the American Westwood One radio series The Lost Lennon Tapes.) During this period, John records another demo version of 'I'm The Greatest'.
Paul and Wings conclude the shooting of James Paul McCartney at the Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, taping today performances of a 'Little Woman Love - C Moon' (medley), 'My Love' and 'Live And Let Die'. (See entries for April 16 - parts four and eight.)
At the A&M Studios in Los Angeles, George begins producing Ravi Shankar's latest album.
Monday April 2
To combat the brisk sales of Alpha Omega, the two official Beatles' greatest hits double albums, namely The Beatles 1962-1966 and The Beatles 1967-1970 are finally released in America by Apple. They will soon become fondly referred to as the "Red" and "Blue" albums respectively. (They are released in the UK on April 19.)
Shortly after their release, producer Richard Perry recalls talking about the records with George. "I was talking to George the other night about the four-record set; the first two records cover the period 1962 to 1966 and the last cut on the second record is 'Yellow Submarine'. The third record begins with 'Strawberry Fields Forever', through 'Sgt. Pepper' and 'Magical Mystery Tour', and really, that's the meat of their career. Then we were looking at the fourth record and George said, 'It seems like the career took a little turn here, because it's like, all of a sudden, there's some great stuff, but it seems incomplete. It doesn't seem right that it should or could end there!' "
Tuesday April 3
At a press conference in New York City, John and Yoko discuss their appeal, filed this day, to the March 23 decision by the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service to deport John. Even though the deportation order is the top priority for John, journalists still ask him about his separation from Klein.
"We separated ourselves from him," John replies.
"Why?" asks the reporter.
"Why do you think?" John snaps. "We will go into that next time!"
The conference ends abruptly and the Lennons head to the airport where they board a plane for Los Angeles.
Wednesday April 4
Meanwhile in England, at the BBC Television Centre, in Wood Lane, London, Wings record their third appearance on Top Of The Pops. Their mimed performance of 'My Love', alongside studio performances by Gary Glitter, Frank Hardcastle, Stuart Gilles and Pan's People is transmitted the following night on BBC1 (between 6:45 and 7:15pm) and is introduced by Tony Blackburn. Also performing on tonight's show, is Hurricane Smith, previously known as the EMI recording engineer Norman "Normal" Smith, with whom Paul previously worked at Abbey Road during The Beatles' sessions in the sixties. (A further screening of the 'My Love' clip appears during the Top Of The Pops broadcast on Thursday May 11.)
Friday April 6
Five days after it is announced publicly that John, George and Ringo have split with Allen Klein, the Lennons drop into the Los Angeles offices of ITN to videotape an interview on the subject with John Fielding for London Weekend Television's political and current affairs show Weekend World. During the 10-minute feature, John, dressed in a matching light blue casual shirt and trousers and a pair of sandals, is first asked:
"Can you tell me what happened with Allen Klein? Why did you and the other two decide finally to get rid of him?"
John: "There are many reasons why we finally gave him the push, although I don't want to go into the details of it. Let's say possibly Paul's suspicions were right... and the time was right."
Fielding: "His contract was coming up for renewal anyway... wasn't it?"
John: "The contract expired I think in February, and we were extending it at first on a monthly basis and then finally on a two-week basis, and then finally we pushed the boat out."
Fielding: "When did you personally decide that Klein probably wasn't the man you thought he was?"
John: "Well, you're concluding that I thought he was something. My position has always been a 'Devil and the deep-blue sea', and at that time I do whatever I feel is right. Although I haven't been particularly happy personally for quite a long time with the situation, I didn't want to make any quick moves and I wanted to see if maybe something would work out"
Lennon is naturally asked if, due to the present situation, the chance of The Beatles performing again as a group is enhanced. Slightly agitated, he replies, "With or without the present situation, the chances are practically nil! Although I hate to say 'definitely' to anything, because, every time, I change my mind. But I don't have a feeling about it and I don't think any of the others really do. If any of you actually remember when we were together, everybody was talking about it as though it was wonderful all the time. All the press and all the people, all saying how great and how wonderful... but it wasn't like that at all! And imagine if they did get together, what kind of scrutiny would they be under? Nothing could fit the dream people had of them. So forget it, you know, it's ludicrous!"
Following the split from Klein, John admits that a number of people have been calling him, coming out of the woodwork and asking, "Can I help you?" and going as far as to leave bottles of champagne in his hotel room. Yoko, besides puffing away on cigarettes, sits beside John throughout the interview and barely says more than a handful of words. The piece is concluded by John waving into the camera saying: "Hello Aunt Mimi, how are you? We're OK! We're eating well, and I haven't given up my British citizenship ... I just want to live here, that's all."
(The item, alongside reports on the footballer Nat Lofthouse, children's truancy and the introduction in the UK of VAT [Value Added Tax], is transmitted across certain ITV regions, two days later, on Sunday April 8 between 11:31am and 12:28pm.)
Thursday April 12
The film That'll Be the Day receives its world premiere at the ABC2 cinema in Shaftsbury Avenue, London. Special guests in attendance include Keith Moon and Pete Townshend of The Who and Ronnie Wood of The Faces. Also present are Radio One DJs Tony Blackburn, Alan Freeman, Johnny Walker and Dave Lee Travis plus the film's writer Ray Connolly and the director Claude Whatham. (The registration for the film will not take place until the following Thursday April 19 at 10:30am at Metro House.) That'll Be The Day will receive its American premiere when it opens in Los Angeles on October 29.
Paul, linda and their family take a vacation in the Caribbean. They return on Sunday April 15. One of Paul's first assignments when he returns to England is to assist Ringo with the recording of 'Six O'clock' for his Ringo album. Work begins on April 16 (see entry).
Friday April 13
In America, the double albums The Beatles 1962-1966 and The Beatles 1967-1970 are certified by the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) as having sold enough copies to qualify for a gold record.
Sunday April 15
Ringo's film on T.Rex, Born To Boogie, goes on general release across Britain.
Monday April 16
Paul's ATV special James Paul McCartney, receives its television premiere on ABC-TV in America. To coincide with its screening, a still from part four of the programme adorns the cover of the prestigious American TV listings magazine TV Guide. (The UK TV premiere of the show occurs across the ITV network on May 10 between 9:01 and 9:59pm.) The show is broken down into eleven different segments:
Part one: 'Big Barn Bed' - Stage performance by Wings, who play in front of an audience comprising a row of television sets. During the song, each band member spells out, using captions on the screen, their likes and dislikes. Paul notes that his favourite kind of music was "good" and that the loves of his life were "Linda and kids".
Part two: 'Acoustic Medley' - Paul performs a medley of 'Blackbird', 'Bluebird', 'Michelle' (featuring a new arrangement, emphasising the French lyrics) and 'Heart Of The Country'. As he sings, sitting on a stool surrounded by an array of photographic lights and umbrellas, Linda is seen taking photographs of his performance.
Part three: 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' - The group, dressed all in white, perform the song at an outside location. This comprises Paul sitting at the piano and Linda playing the tambourine, sitting in a tree swing while the other band members sit under it. These shots are inter-cut with footage of miscellaneous horse-riding sequences and, not surprisingly, some cameo appearances by some sheep!
Part four: 'Wings And An Orchestra' - The group, now back in a studio setting backed by an orchestra, perform a medley comprising 'Little Woman Love' and 'C Moon' and then a complete version of 'My Love'.
Part five: 'Uncle Albert' - Paul is seen sitting in an armchair doing a crossword puzzle while Linda is seen pouring out a cup of tea. The scene then cuts to a bizarre spectacle of a row of identically dressed typists, among which is a pipe smoking Paul and Linda dressed in a secretarial outfit. The "we're so sorry. Uncle Albert" section is portrayed by a group of elderly people using the telephone. Additional scenes for the 'Admiral Halsey' part of the song, using extra scenes from the above, are cut prior to transmission.
Part six: 'Chelsea Reach' - Introduced by a voice-over from Paul, this part of the programme features a McCartney family and friends get-together at the Chelsea Reach public house near Liverpool. Those present include Paul's father Jim, who is seen giving Paul money to help pay towards the drinks, plus Paul's Auntie Gin (whose fondness for the 1965 Beatles track 'I've Just Seen A Face' inspired the original working title for the song, 'Auntie Gin's Theme'), Auntie Dilys and fellow Liverpudlian Sixties musician Gerry Marsden. Not to mention, Paul's brother Mike (McCartney) McGear and many others. This lengthy sequence features basic reminiscent chatter between the guests and then a participation in a pub singalong, which includes 'April Showers', 'Pack Up Your Troubles' and 'You Are My Sunshine'.
Part seven: 'Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance' - Paul's tribute to the great Busby Berkeley musicals of the Thirties. He sings the song, originally written for Twiggy to perform, dressed in a pink tuxedo, gold high-heeled shoes and wearing a moustache. Accompanying him is a large female dance troupe that is split, costume-wise, into two camps. One in blonde wigs and silver leotards, the other dressed as men in black suits. The spectacular foot-tapping and tap-dancing, excellently choreographed by Rob Iscove, ends in a flurry of glitter cascading from the ceiling. (A planned sequence where Paul was to appear in the scene dressed in "drag" is scrapped due to a fear of upsetting the lucrative American television sponsors.)
Part eight: 'Live And Let Die' - Paul and Linda open this sequence seated in an empty cinema eating popcorn. (In fact, this is an empty viewing room at Elstree studios.) He provides the voice-over: "You know, American movies have got better popcorn than European movies - but that's only an opinion. I go to the films to hear the soundtrack; the picture becomes a background. They've just filmed a background to some music I wrote. It's the new James Bond film, Live And Let Die, and I must admit that the film helps the music work. So does the popcorn." Shot in the same studio as used in part four of the programme, Wings are seen miming 'Live And Let Die' inter-cut with scenes from the new United Artists James Bond film. The scene ends with a "baddie" dressed in a hat and cloak setting off a bomb which explodes inside Paul's piano. He later reveals that this special effect had actually hurt his hand, a result of the flying wooden piano debris.
Part nine: 'Beatles Medley' - A humorous scene where passers-by in a street near ATV's Borehamwood Studios, are asked to sing a Beatles song. Various off-key Beatles classics such as 'When I'm 64' and 'She Loves You' are delivered to the camera. Most memorable is the man who decides to deliver his own version of 'Yesterday'. His lyrics go as follows: "I said wait for me, if you go, you mustn't stay. I said wait for me, how I long for yesterday." Strangely, when James Paul McCartney is transmitted in the States, certain affiliated stations decide to omit this sequence.
Part ten: "Wings In Concert' - At the ATV Studios in Borehamwood, Wings are seen performing live (from the second afternoon show) 'The Mess', 'Maybe I'm Amazed' and (for American viewers only) 'Long Tall Sally'. (For the UK and European transmissions, the latter track is replaced by the fast/normal version of 'Hi Hi Hi'.) For full details of the recordings that day, see entry for March 18.
Part eleven: 'Yesterday' - For the eleventh and final sequence of the 50-minute show, with Linda and the other members of Wings sitting around him, Paul performs a solo acoustic guitar version of 'Yesterday'. This is his first rendition of the track since The Beatles acrimonious split almost three years earlier, played as a personal request to his fellow band members. The song concludes with the end of show credits running over the screen.
Paul retains full artistic control, and following the first transmissions, he is asked about the Busby Berkeley Hollywood musical routine. "I suppose you could say it's fulfilling an old ambition. Right at the start I fancied myself in musical comedy. But that was before The Beatles. But don't get me wrong. I'm no Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly and this doesn't mean the start of something big. I don't want to be an all-rounder. I'm sticking to what I am." As for the show in general, he adds, "I do not want to take up acting seriously, but I'd like me and Linda to be seen riding into the sunset at the end of a western with Henry of Wings sitting asleep under a tree."
Critics, though, are not too kind about the TV special. Melody Maker, in particular, gives a somewhat sour view about the show: "McCartney has always had an eye and ear for full-blown romanticism, and nothing wrong with that, but here he too often lets it get out of hand and it becomes overblown and silly."
While in New York, John catches the show and later remarks, "I liked parts of Paul's TV special, especially the intro. The bit filmed in Liverpool made me squirm a bit. But Paul's a pro. He always has been."
Aside from JamesPaul McCartney, today, April 16, the American TV presenter Elliot Mintz records a lengthy interview with John and Yoko, excerpts from which are transmitted throughout the Lost Lennon Tapes U. S. radio series.
While in London, sessions for the album Ringo continue at the Apple Studios in Saville Row. Ringo works with Paul and Linda on the track 'Six O'clock'. Ironically, the final recording sessions for the song (which include 15 takes) take place at 6 o'clock in the morning, with both Ringo and Paul the worse for wear. At the completion of the song, Ringo sends his chauffeur out to find some tap dancing shoes. On his return, Ringo puts on the shoes, and whilst clutching a microphone stand, records the step dancing tracks used on the song 'Step Lightly'.
The finished Ringo album features all four of the ex-Beatles. John writes 'I'm The Greatest', (both he and George participate during the final recording of the song). Paul also plays on 'You're Sixteen'; George co-wrote 'Photograph' with Ringo and 'You And Me (Babe)' with The Beatles' former road manager Mal Evans. George also composes 'Sunshine Life For Me' and performs on each of these recordings. (The recordings continue until April 30, though additional overdubbing back in America at the Sunset Sound Studios will carry on until July.)
With so many solo Beatle contributions on the album, Paul is quick to fend off rumours that this is the start of a reunion for the group: "The others did some tracks for it in Los Angeles and then the material was brought over here for me," he remarks. "I worked on a track called 'Six O'clock'... so in a way there's been some collaboration already and I think that kind of thing might happen more often. I'm happy to play with the other three and I'm sure they are too if it is physically possible but more important for me is the new thing (Wings) because I really get turned on by new ideas."
Even if The Beatles had decided to play together, the problems over John and Paul's previous drug convictions meant it was nigh impossible to meet in the first place. John is fighting to remain in America, while Paul cannot enter the country until he obtains his entry visa. A tongue-in-cheek suggestion circulates in the music industry whereby, to get round this rather delicate situation, John and Paul could meet in a Canadian border town, each keeping to his own side of the frontier, to discuss any future Beatles plans.
Saturday April 21
As a prelude to the forthcoming UK tour, a two-page article on Wings by Mark Plummer, entitled "Wings - Anatomy Of A Hot Band", appears in today's Melody Maker. During the feature, band member Henry McCullough announces, "I don't suppose we'll be together forever. I'm sure Paul's got more of a tie to The Beatles than to Wings ... Wings has all the makings of a great group, but our battle is to keep it as a band and not let it fall apart as it could so easily do."
Thursday April 26
George founds The Material World Charitable Foundation Trust.
Rolling Stone magazine in America features a report entitled: "John & Yoko Fight Deportation: Hard-hats Join Appeal."
Friday April 27
The double album The Beatles 1967-1970 reaches the UK number two position.
Sunday April 29
Taking a break from producing Ravi Shankar's latest album, George and Patti briefly attend the seven-day Columbia Records A Week To Remember party, held on the 16th floor of the Los Angeles Hilton Hotel. Following a brief pose for the press and the Columbia photo archives, George returns to the A&M Studios where recordings resume with Ravi, while Patti stays behind, partying with stars such as the singer Cat Stevens.
Monday April 30
The Wings album Red Rose Speedway is released in America. (The UK release takes place on May 4.) The title of the album is inspired by the name of Paul's housekeeper, Rose. On the back cover of the album, in the top left-hand corner, there is a Braille message to Stevie Wonder, which reads "We Love You". (In November of 1980, John will admit that this was the last album by Paul he ever listened to.)
John and Yoko finally take up residence at the Dakota building, adjacent to Central Park and home to some of the richest people in the city and therefore the world. The Dakota had become known as the first block of flats in the city to incorporate a lift into its building. Also this month, Yoko announces that she plans to do another interview for the BBC Radio Two programme Woman's Hour, in which she will be talking about the independence of the female. (The feature fails to materialise.)
Allen Klein's company ABKCO announces plans to buy Apple.
Saturday May 5
Melody Maker writes: "So good old George Harrison is co-producing the new Ravi Shankar album. We think George has a nerve taking such credit. It's not that he's not a fine musician - just that Shankar has probably forgotten more about sitar playing than George can ever know..."
Monday May 7
Today, George releases his first single since 1971, 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)'/'Miss O'Dell'. (The UK release takes place on May 25.) Paul is asked about the A-side: "... the single is very nice. The guitar solo is ace and I like the time changes."
Wings First Tour Of Britain
May 11 - July 10
After a three-month delay, Paul and Wings begin their first major British tour - the first scheduled UK tour by an ex-Beatle since their last appearance together back in 1966. During the two month tour their repertoire includes: 'Big Barn Bed', 'Soily', 'When The Night', 'Wild Life', 'Seaside Woman' (performed by Linda), 'Go Now' (Denny Laine), 'Little Woman Love', 'C Moon', 'Live And Let Die', 'Maybe I'm Amazed', 'Say You Don't Mind' (Denny Laine), 'My Love', 'The Mess', 'Hi Hi Hi' and 'Long Tall Sally'. The support acts for the tour are Brinsley Schwarz and, during the interval just prior to Wings appearing on stage, a juggler who throws around large hoops. The tour, including all its spectacle and splendour, includes performances at:
Bristol's Hippodrome (Friday May 11)
Oxford's New Theatre (Saturday May 12)
Cardiff Capitol (Sunday May 13)
Bournemouth Winter Gardens (Tuesday May 15)
Manchester's Hard Rock (Wednesday May 16 and Thursday May 17)
The Liverpool Empire (Friday May 18 - two concerts. 6:15 and 9:00pm)
Leeds University (Saturday May 19)
Preston's Guildhall (Monday May 21)
Newcastle Odeon (Tuesday May 22)
Edinburgh Odeon (Wednesday May 23)
Green's Playhouse, Glasgow, Scotland (Thursday May 24 - a date added to the tour itinerary in early April)
Hammersmith Odeon, London (Friday May 25 and Saturday May 26)
Hammersmith Odeon, London (Sunday May 27 - extra night added due to an overwhelming demand for tickets and the cancellation of the show in Birmingham at the Hippodrome.)
The following concerts are added due to an excessive amount of fans wishing to see the group:
Sheffield's City Hall (Wednesday July 4)
Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent (Thursday July 5 - concert cancelled - due to its clashing with the Live And Let Die premiere)
Birmingham's Odeon (Friday July 6)
Leicester's Odeon (Monday July 9)
Newcastle City Hall (Tuesday July 10)
Note: The original dates for some of the shows, announced to the press in early February, were:
Edinburgh Odeon (Tuesday May 22 - two concerts at 6:15 and 9:00pm)
Newcastle City Hall (Wednesday May 23)
Birmingham Hippodrome (Sunday May 27)
Saturday May 12
Prior to the start of the concert at Oxford's New Theatre, Paul and Wings hold a press conference for 40 journalists, some from as far away as New Jersey, many of whom had been specially ferried in on buses from London at the expense of EMI. Instead of the evening becoming, for the journalists, just another job, Paul has invited them to bring along their wives or girlfriends. Besides ducking from the tiresome "When are The Beatles going to get together again?" questions, Paul is asked, "Why did you do the Ringo song?" a referral to the track 'Six O'clock' on the Ringo album. "I would do it for any friend," Paul replies. "I would do it for Rod Stewart if he rang up ..." (When Rod is told of this quote, he promptly rings Paul, and asks him to "write me a song then!" The song will become 'Mine For Me', released in 1974 - see entry for November of this year.)
Immediately following tonight's concert in Oxford, Paul is interviewed backstage by David Symonds for his BBC Radio One show, suitably titled, The David Symonds Show. David humorously tells Paul that his daughter refers to him as "Paul McCarpet"! Following the show, a party is held for the press at a nearby hotel. Reporters from the UK music newspapers are forced to hang their heads in shame when reporters from the continent keep asking Paul: "Will The Beatles get back together again?"
Sunday May 27
The final night of the first part of the Wings concert tour is scheduled to take place with a performance at the Birmingham Hippodrome. But the show is cancelled by MAM, the tour's promoters, because of the electrical danger posed by a 15-ton water tank built into the stage and currently being used as a part of the American revue Pyjama Tops, which is currently running at the theatre. Following the additional concert at London's Hammersmith Odeon, Wings hold a party in the reception hall of the Cafe Royal in Regent Street, London, to celebrate the completion of the first leg of the tour. Paul gives an impromptu performance, alternating between piano, lead guitar and drums. Elton John, who also performs, is among the star-studded audience.
With their next concert appearance not scheduled until July 4, Wings spend most of the month rehearsing in Scotland at Paul's private studio. It is during these rehearsals, on June 29, that the film Live And Let Die will receive its American premiere with a screening m New York. (The UK premiere takes place on July 5 - see next entry.)
Thursday July 5
Paul and Linda take a break from the tour to join a star-studded line-up present at the London premiere of the new James Bond film Live And Let Die at the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square, London. Paul arrives wearing a tuxedo and bow tie, but without a shirt. The gala gathering is in aid of the National Playing Fields Association and the Stars Organisation for Spastics. To attend the screening, Paul cancels this evening's scheduled Wings concert in Stoke-on-Trent at the Trentham Gardens.
Friday July 6
Backstage at Birmingham, Paul tells Melody Maker, "After we've finished the tour, we're going to take a small break and get some material together. I've written a few new songs. I've got about four, a couple half-finished and we'll put that all together for the next LP." He is asked if Wings have benefited from the tour? "We've learned lots from it. Just kind of working with an audience. You can get a bit rusty, you know, if you lay off for a while. I laid off for about six years in front of an audience and the enjoyment of playing to an audience is something you get into after a while." Melody Maker asks Paul if the other Beatles are missing out by not touring. He nonchalantly replies, "It's up to them what they fancy doing. It just depends if they'd enjoy it. If they enjoy it, yes, they're missing out... I know Ringo said he just wouldn't ever consider touring again. I don't know if he ever will." (The interview is published on July 14.)
Paul turns his attention to David Bowie's recent decision to disband his group The Spiders From Mars, a move interpreted by many to mean he is quitting touring. "I don't know why he is giving it up. I should have asked him. I met him last night at the premiere of Live And Let Die . . . I think it's a pity. I'll tell you why it's a pity; it's because I haven't seen his show yet! I'd like to see it. So come on David. Just do a quick one for me!"
Monday July 9
Backstage at the Odeon in Leicester Paul is interviewed for a piece that appears on a Band On The Run promotional album in December.
Tuesday July 10
Backstage in Newcastle, Paul tells a reporter from Melody Maker. "The way we tour now, it seems easier. Its not actually more organised, but we get days off every now and then, so it's quite good. It hasn't ground me into the ground, anyway."
Saturday May 12
The double album The Beatles 1962-1966 reaches number three in the UK charts.
Sunday May 13
"Unusually Entertaining... Ringo ... A Splendid Performance!" - The Daily Express. The film That'll Be The Day goes on general release around the UK at ABC and other leading Cinemas. Prior to the film's release, Paul revokes the verbal agreement between him and the film's producers, allowing them to use Buddy Holly songs on the soundtrack.
Monday May 14
In Houston, Texas, Yoko is awarded permanent custody of her daughter Kyoko. But one problem remains; the child still cannot be traced.
Saturday May 19
In the UK, the double album The Beatles 1967-1970 reaches number one in the UK charts. A similar success occurs in America when, on May 26, it also reaches number one in the album charts, a record breaking 15th consecutive US chart topping album for the group. Meanwhile, 1962-1966 reaches number three in the American charts.
Tuesday May 22
Yoko performs another solo concert, this time during a WBAI Benefit concert in New York.
Friday May 25
Wings' album Red Rose Speedway is acknowledged for a gold record by the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America).
Sunday May 27
"Yoko doesn't need excuses any longer... she has her three chords together, and more. She can write real songs about things that matter. John Lennon is married to her you know, remember him?" - Melody Maker.
At the Town Hall, just off-Broadway in New York, Yoko performs another solo concert for the benefit of WBAI Radio, an event sponsored by Capitol Records. Wearing a white suit, white shoes and a white T-shirt sporting the Approximate Infinite Universe emblem, Yoko tells the audience, "You probably know me as the actress who married a public John, or as mad Jack the screamer, or something."
The show opens with the group Weather Report, who are followed by Elephant's Memory. Yoko arrives on stage to perform 'Looking Over From My Wmdow', backed by Elephant's Memory who remain on stage following their brief set. Yoko's performance continues with 'What A Bastard The World Is' and 'Catman (The Rosies Are Coming) ' where, at the conclusion of the song, she begins her auction. First up for grabs is a sheet she slept on with John during their 1969 Bed-In events in Amsterdam. (Featuring both John and Yoko's signatures, it sells to a man in the audience for just $10.) She then offers her panties and then the T-shirt she is currently wearing. "No, I don't come with it!" she screams to a man in the audience, adding, "I'm too experienced for you." The potential buyer insists that he will purchase the garment only if she takes the T-shirt off in front of him. "Okay," she replies, "only if you give me $30." He agrees and, as promised, Yoko removes the shirt, only to reveal another white shirt underneath. "Ha! The jokes on you," she screams at the buyer. "You male pig! You've seen me nude before, haven't you? Two Virgins?"
Yoko's performance continues with 'Death Of Samantha'. At its conclusion, she summons two blindfolded young girls from the wings of the stage and tells them to go searching in the audience for a guy who's had a tail pinned to his bottom. Then, while the girls start touching up the men in the audience, Yoko and Elephant's Memory begin performing 'Kite Song'. To close the show, sitting cross-legged on a stool, she performs the song 'Is Winter Here To Stay', a track which features the same three lines repeated over and over again.
In Liverpool, to make way for a ventilation shaft to the city's new underground railway station, the original Cavern Club in Mathew Street finally closes for good at the end of the evening, after a four-month reprieve. For posterity, the last night of the Cavern Club is filmed and recorded for an album. Booked to appear on this historic last night are the groups Hackensack and, from America, The Yardleys. But all is not lost for the Cavern, when plans announced shortly after reveal that the club will now move across the road and continue business in the disused fruit exchange building. A re-opening of the Cavern Club is set for the end of June. (Incidentally, in the Eighties, with plans for the station long since scrapped, the site is eventually turned into a car park. While in 1984, a shopping centre called Cavern Walks opens on the site and includes, below ground, a new replica of the Cavern Club, designed to look like the original and built from some of the club's original bricks.)
Monday May 28
BBC Radio broadcast the first in a short series of exclusive pre-recorded tapes by George on the series Radio One Club, daily between 5:00pm and 6:59pm until May 31. Further pre-recorded Radio One Club tapes by George are played on the shows transmitted on June 18-21, June 25-28 and July 9 (see entry). For each session tape played, George commands a fee of £25.
Wednesday May 30
The American release of George's album Living In The Material World. (The UK release takes place on June 22.)
Thursday May 31
In Los Angeles, during the birthday celebrations of Led Zeppelin's John Bonham, George and Patti are thrown, fully dressed, into the hotel swimming pool. Reports suggest that "George loved every minute of it!"
Yoko, strangely without John by her side, performs another solo concert at the New York radio station WBAI. Following her performance, she is asked if she will do anymore. "I wouldn't mind," she remarks, but adds "they'd have to include some jokes, I just couldn't do it straight-faced." John and Yoko begin to discover, to their detriment, that the cost of running their new Dakota apartment is proving rather costiy, with their outgoing expenses far exceeding their income. For example, Yoko's phone bill, per month, averages $3,000.
While researching his book The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away, the group's former manager Allan Williams acquires the infamous but historical reel-to-reel tapes of The Beatles' live performance at the Star Club in Hamburg, recorded by Ted Taylor of King Size Taylor and The Dominoes, on December 31,1962. Williams bumps into a Liverpool recording engineer who, at his studios in Hackins Hey back in 1963, had been given the task of editing the tapes by Taylor who had a view to releasing them. Williams and the engineer discuss the tapes, whereupon he tells Allan that the tapes may still be in his old Hackins Hey offices, which have remained derelict for years. Then, after a Sunday lunchtime drink, they go to the old offices where, amazingly enough, they find the original 1962 Hamburg 'reel-to-reel' audio tapes still languishing under a pile of rubbish. Sensing the significance of the recordings, Williams contacts the press. Articles soon begin appearing in, amongst others, Melody Maker (see entry for August 4) and the Daily Mirror in a report by Bill Marshall. (Apple and the individual Beatles are offered the tapes in the middle of July.)
Friday June 1
Wings' single 'Live And Let Die'/'I Lie Around' is released in the UK. (The American release takes place on June 18.) Interestingly, when the producer of the A-side, George Martin, plays the track to James Bond music producer Harry Saltzmann, he presumes that this version is no more than a demo recording and instantly suggests that Thelma Houston should record the track for the film. Martin embarrassingly insists that this is actually the finished article by the ex-Beatle! The song remains, but a new version, recorded by Brenda J. Arnau, also appears on the film's soundtrack.
George's Living In The Material World album is awarded a gold record by the RIAA.
Saturday June 2
The Wings single 'My Love' and the album Red Rose Speedway both reach number one in the US record charts. 'My Love' will be replaced at the top spot by George's 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)'.
Sunday June 3
John and Yoko attend the International Feminist Planning conference at Harvard University where they give an interview to Danny Schechter. Portions of this interview reappear on The Lost Lennon Tapes radio series.
Saturday June 9
The double album The Beatles 1962-1966 reaches number one in the UK album charts.
Monday June 11
The first in a short run of George's pre-recorded musical sessions are broadcast on the David Hamilton Show, transmitted weekdays on BBC Radio One between 2:00pm and 4:59pm. The dates for the first broadcasts are June 11-15, then repeated June 18-22, then again on July 9-13 and finally on July 16-20.
Saturday June 23
George's album Living In The Material World reaches number one in the US album charts.
Thursday June 28
On the day that John and Yoko take part in protest demonstrations at the South Vietnamese Embassy in Washington, DC, John along with Apple Films Ltd. and Apple Records of New York, are sued by ABKCO Industries for a total of $508,000 (approximately £203,000). ABKCO claim that, on John's behalf, they paid various persons, corporations and government bodies a total of $126,894 (£48,000) which still has not been repaid. The charge is answerable within 28 days.
Friday June 29
The eighth James Bond film Live And Let Die, featuring the title track by Paul and Wings, opens in New York. (The London premiere takes place on July 5.)
For two days Qune 29 & 30), John and Yoko attend the Senate Watergate hearings in Washington, D.C. John sports a close cropped haircut and Yoko, inspired by the excitement of the court room, writes 'Men Men Men'.
Saturday June 30
George's 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)' reaches number one in the American singles chart and number eight in the UK chart.
Towards the end of the month, the Apple offices in New York close down. Apple Corps Ltd announces that they may open a replacement office in Los Angeles soon. George and Ringo, meanwhile, are more than happy to run the Apple premises at St. James Street in London, where Allan Williams has just made contact with them regarding some 1962 Beatles home audio recordings (see entry for August 15).
Yoko is asked about her two months of living at the Dakota. "John and I are living like bums up here!" she replies.
Sunday July 1
At the Record Plant studios in New York, Yoko begins recording tracks for her next album, provisionally titled Straight Talk, but ultimately released as Feeling The Space on November 2 in America and on November 23 in the UK. Meanwhile John is also recording there, producing songs intended for his album Mind Games. Yoko announces that John is somewhat apprehensive about the sessions. "He hasn't been in the studio for a long time," she reveals, "and I think he's nervous about it." During the John sessions, which finally begin on July 4, he records the track 'Rock 'n' Roll People' which does not make the final version of the album and is released posthumously on the 1986 compilation album Menlove Ave. (John will later give the song to Johnny Winter, who releases his version on the album John Dawson Winter 111. Winter will also release a live concert version of the number on Johnny Winter Captured Live.) Further work by John on 'Rock 'n' Roll People' takes place the following day, July 5. John also records the title track 'Mind Games', which was started back in December 1970 as 'Make Love Not War'. (Mind Games recordings will continue into August when the sessions produce 'Meat City', 'Tight A$', 'Aisumasen (I'm Sorry) ', 'One Day (At A Time)', 'Bring On The Lucie (Freeda People)', 'Nutopian International Anthem', 'Intuition', 'Out The Blue', 'Only People', 'I Know (I Know)' and 'You Are Here'.) Incidentally, a planned musical by John, Yoko and Shirley MacLaine on the Watergate scandal is finally scrapped this month due to the Lennons' heavy recording commitments. John and Yoko also turn down interviews with crews from both BBC radio and TV.
Meanwhile, also in New York, rehearsals are held for the Robert Stigwood produced Beatles musical stage-play, provisionally titled Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band With The One And Only Billy Shears. The show is directed by Tom O'Horgan and is scheduled to open in Chicago at the Auditorium Theater on August 17 before moving to the Felt Forum in New York on September 18.
Monday July 2
The soundtrack album to the film Live And Let Die which includes the title track by Paul and Wings, is released in America. (The UK release takes place on July 6.) The album also features a version of the track as performed by Brenda J. Amau and features twelve George Martin orchestrations recorded under his direction.
Tuesday July 3
At the Hammersmith Odeon in London, Ringo attends the farewell performance of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars, a character created by David Bowie. Ringo's brief appearance with Bowie, backstage in his dressing room, later appears in the 90-minute DA. Pennebaker documentary of the show, called Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. The film will not be officially released until 1982.
Friday July 6
In America, Wings' single 'My Love' is awarded a gold record by the RIAA.
Saturday July 7
An alternative pre-recorded version of 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)' is transmitted by BBC Radio One during today's Alan Freeman Show, between 3:00 and 4:59pm. The tape is repeated again on Monday July 9 during the Radio One Club programme (between 5:45 and 6:59pm). Joining George on this session are Jim Keltner on drums, Nicky Hopkins on piano, Klaus Voorman on bass and Gary Wright on guitar. For the tape, the corporation pays George a £5 fee. Meanwhile George visits Heathrow Airport to personally welcome to Britain, his guru, A.C. Bhoktivedanta Swami, the leader of the Hare Krishna religious sect. During his stay in the country, he will reside in the 10-bedroom mansion at Letchmore Heath in Watford, Hertfordshire, which George had purchased for the sect in 1972.
Sunday July 8
George and AC. Bhoktivedanta Swami take part in a religious procession from London's Marble Arch to Piccadilly.
Saturday July 14
A quick check on the record charts reveals a host of activity. In the UK albums chart, The Beatles 1967-1970 is still at number one, Living In The Material World is at number five (up from number 11), The Beatles 1962-1966 is at number six (down from number three) and Red Rose Speedway which is placed at number 10 (up from number 11). Not to mention the Ronco soundtrack album That'll Be The Day, which is placed at number four (up from the previous week's number eight). While in the UK singles charts, 'Give Me Love' is at number nine (down from number seven) and 'Live And Let Die' is at number 11 (down from the previous week's number eight). Stateside listings reveal that in the singles chart, George's 'Give Me Love' has dropped from number one to number four and that two Wings singles are in the charts. 'My Love' is at number six (from last week's number 11) and 'Live And Let Die' is a new entry at number 28. In the US album charts Living In A Material World is still at number one, Red Rose Speedway at number five (down from number three), The Beatles 1967-1970 at number 15 (down from number 13) and The Beatles 1962-1966 up to number 18 from number 20.
In London, at the Classic Cinema in Piccadilly, The Beatles' films A Hard Day's Night, Help!, Yellow Submarine and Let It Be are screened for seven days, through the night, between 11:30pm and 7:00am. (The successful run ends on Friday July 20.) Also a part of the screenings is a short film on the group Fairport Convention.
Thursday July 19
In America, Rolling Stone magazine publishes an exclusive interview with Yoko, carried out by B. Hendel.
Friday July 20
After almost two months of work, the sound dubbing on the Apple film Little Malcolm is completed at the Gate Recording Theatre in London.
Tuesday July 24
At the Sunset Sound Recorders Studios in Los Angeles, mixing continues on the Ringo album, with Ringo personally overseeing the proceedings.
Wednesday July 25
George, with great displeasure, writes out a personal cheque for £1 million to the British Government for taxes owed on revenues from the 1971 Bangia Desh concert and album.
Thursday July 26
Ringo forms Wobble Music Ltd.
Friday July 27
Denny Laine and Henry McCullough travel to Paul's Scottish farm to begin a five-week period writing tracks for the next Wings album.
Monday July 30
In America, the ABC TV programme Geraldo Rivera: Goodnight America transmits a short illustrated history of The Beatles entitled Braverman's Condensed Cream Of Beatles (aka Braverman's Time Capsule). The Braverman in question is the film director Richard Braverman. The feature, which runs for approximately 14 minutes, contains an animated whistle-stop journey through the career of the group from 1962 with live concert clips, TV appearances, newsreels and interviews right through to the break-up in 1970. The show then carries on to the present day with recent newsreels and live clips, including 'Instant Karma' (from the One To One concerts) and 'Bangia Desh' (from the 1971 show of the same name). Geraldo Rivera, who has now become a close friend of the Lennons, also introduces on his show tonight excerpts from Carole King's recent appearance in Central Park.
Paul admits this month that he is none too pleased with Robert Stigwood's plan to stage the musical Sgt. Pepper...
The legendary Motown recording artist Martha Reeves, formerly with The Vandellas, comes to London to record her long-awaited solo album with the producer Richard Perry. For some strange reason, rumours appear in the music press that all four Beatles will perform (individually) on the tracks.
Reports in the music press suggest that George is to form his own independent record label with Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Joan Baez. Apparently, Clive Davis, the sacked ex-President of Columbia Records, has been approached by the artists to head their label. The idea is soon scotched by Baez herself in Los Angeles, but adds: "It seemed like a good idea!"
Saturday August 4
Melody Maker breaks the story on the discovery of the 36-track Beatles' Star Club in Hamburg tapes. The report goes into how determined Ted Taylor and Allan Williams are to get the tapes released. "(I'll release it) even if it's a bootleg," Williams remarks, admitting that their best bet for a release is EMI. He goes on, "It's been two weeks now and I've still had no joy from Apple ... maybe they just want the background of The Beatles completely forgotten." He also reveals that he has just found amongst his belongings an IOU for £15 signed by Paul and Stuart Sutcliffe.
Wednesday August 8
In England, Punch magazine prints Paul's review of the recently published Paul Simon Songbook.
Saturday August 11
'Live And Let Die' reaches number two in the American singles chart, kept from the top spot by Diana Ross's 'Touch Me In The Morning'.
Wednesday August 15
With no offer forthcoming from Apple, Allan Williams, clutching the 1962 Star Club tapes meets George and Ringo at the Apple offices at 54 St. James Street, London SW1, and asks them to pay £5,000 for the tapes. They are uninterested, but request that four copies of the tape be made, two for John and two for Paul. As part of a proposed deal, George also requests copies of Williams' old Hamburg Beatles contracts for their own private archives. Williams, wanting a straight cash deal, will have none of it. So, as a departing gift, George gives Williams a small pouch containing 16 uncut rubies, which Allan is instructed by George and Ringo to give to his wife Beryl for a birthday present. Attached to the small package is a note which reads, "Dear Beryl, happy birthday (give Allan a kick) - God bless! George H. Ringo S." Following the meeting, an optimistic Williams is heard to remark, "The Beatles blow hot and cold but they appeared to be genuine, they liked the idea."
(Note: Apple's offices are now based at 54 St. James Street, having moved from Saville Row in 1972. They will remain here until 1975 when Apple will move across the road into nos. 29 and 30 St. James Street. Meanwhile, 3 Saville Row will continue to be used for its basement recording studios, and will ultimately close down during May of 1975. While in October 1976, The Beatles connection to the famed building is finally relinquished when Apple Corps Ltd. will sell its freehold interest.)
Friday August 17
In America, the Tom O'Horgan produced stage musical Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band opens at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago for a six-day run.
Thursday August 23
The New York Times publishes an exclusive interview with Yoko to promote her latest, but as yet unreleased, album Feeling The Space.
Saturday August 25
Excitement surrounding the Star Club tapes mounts when Melody Maker reports that the Star Club tapes: "... may be released by Apple next year." The article concludes by revealing that Paul is expected to leave Apple following recent meetings between lawyers representing the four Beatles.
Wednesday August 29
Reporter Barb Fenick arrives for an interview at Paul's Scottish farm. Meanwhile, on the eve of Wings' departure for recording sessions in Lagos in Nigeria, Henry McCullough and Denny Seiwell phone Paul to inform him that they will not be coming. Paul is not greatly distressed, and instead expresses his pleasure that he ... "can now play drums on the album".
Thursday August 30
Paul, Linda and Denny Laine travel to Lagos where they begin the recording sessions for Band On The Run at EMI's 8-track studio. It was chosen by Paul not because of the sun but because ... "it just happened to be the only EMI studio available during this three-week period."
Paul: "We thought 'Great - lie on the beach all day, doing nothing. Breeze in the studios and record.' It didn't turn out like that. One night Linda thought I had died. I was recording and suddenly I felt like I had a lung collapse. So I went outside to get some air, and there wasn't any. It was a humid, hot tropical night. So I collapsed and fainted."
Linda takes over the story: "I laid him on the ground and his eyes were closed and I thought he was dead! We went to the doctor's and he advised Paul that he was smoking too much."
Following all the problems, Band On The Run will eventually become Wings' most popular and successful album. Meanwhile, as the new line-up of Wings land in Lagos to begin their adventure, a spokesman for Wings in London states: "I have no idea what Henry (McCullough) is doing. He left Wings due to usual musical differences and by mutual agreement. Everybody thinks it's for the best and wishes each other well in the future."
Friday August 31
While in America, a further award is bestowed on Paul when the 'Live And Let Die' single is awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.
Back home in Campbeltown in Scotland, prior to his departure, Paul places a newspaper advert in his local paper which reads: "Anybody caught on my High Oak of Low Rannoch farm will be prosecuted." He makes it clear that the farms are "not for the killing of wild life".
Plans are revealed for a follow-up to That'll Be The Day. Entitled Stardust, the film will again star David Essex, but Ringo declines to play the part of a road manager. "I just don't think it is right for me," he says. "The follow-up is David Essex making it as a star. I have done that in reality and I do not want to go through all that torment again. Also, in That'll Be The Day, I was just an actor. People tended to forget about Ringo and The Beatles, and all that. I don't think that would happen with the follow-up because it is a musical. People will keep relating to the musical situation."
Saturday September 1 (until September 22)
The Band On The Run recordings begin in Lagos, Nigeria. The sessions produce the following tracks: 'Band On The Run', 'Jet', 'Bluebird', 'Mrs. Vanderbilt', 'Let Me Roll It', 'Mamunia', 'No Words', 'Picasso's Last Words', 'Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five', 'Helen Wheels' and, the instrumental, 'Zoo Gang'. In America only, the released album includes 'Helen Wheels', as indeed did the compact disc version many years later. During the sessions, the three-piece Wings line-up also record the track 'B-Side To Seaside' (later issued as the B-side to the single 'Seaside Woman' in 1977) and 'Oriental Nightfish', featuring lead vocals from Linda and used in the May 1978 animated cartoon of the same name.
During their stay in Lagos, Paul is accused of "exploiting" African music and that during the sessions there has been "considerable tension" between him and the Nigerian musicians. The trouble begins when Paul insists on playing congas! He even finds himself in the Lagos Evening Times in a report about the scandal headlined: "Step Softly, This Town Is Jinxed." If this wasn't enough, Paul and Linda are even robbed. Dressed like typical tourists, armed with tapes and cameras, they set off on a 20-minute walk to Denny Laine's rented house. During their journey, a mysterious kerb-crawling car stops in front of them and six men jump out, one clutching a knife. Paul remembers Linda screaming, "He's a musician, don't kill him!" He wisely hands over his money and Paul and Linda are allowed to resume their walk.
Monday September 10
In England, working on orders given over the phone by John in New York, estate agents in Ascot put his Tittenhurst Park mansion up for sale.
Tuesday September 18
Just over a week after going on the market, Ringo purchases the 26-room Georgian Tittenhurst Park mansion in Ascot, reportedly as part of an out-of-court settlement regarding John's unpaid loans with Allen Klein. The ASS studio that John installed is duly renamed Startling Studio and is immediately opened for hire. A report announcing Ringo's acquisition of the Tittenhurst Park property appears in tonight's Evening Standard. Today, John moves out of the Dakota apartment in New York and heads off to Los Angeles. In 1980, he recalled this fateful day: "Yoko kicked me out! I didn't go off on a 'I'm gonna be a rock and roll bachelor' thing. She literally said, 'Get out!' I said 'OK, OK, I'm going ... bachelor free.' I've been married all my life and I thought whoooo -whoooo-yippee! But it was god awful!"
John's new constant companion is Yoko's secretary May Pang. John begins telling everyone he has gone to LA to ... "put the finishing touches to Walls And Bridges." On his arrival, he checks into the Beverly Hills Hotel under the name of Mr. Corey. During his first few weeks away from Yoko, John is also seen socialising in LA at the Rainbow Bar & Grill, watching an act at the Roxy and spending a weekend in Vegas where he sees Fats Domino. Because he is living off just a few thousand dollars a month (his allowance from The Beatles' receiver in London), John is forced to borrow $10,000 from Capitol Records, a sum advanced against his forthcoming record royalties. "Never in a million years would I have thought I'd be romantically linked to John Lennon," says May Pang.
Saturday September 22
In an interview to promote her forthcoming album Feeling The Space, Melody Maker publishes an interview with Yoko. "He was a male chauvinist when I met him, and I think he was rather surprised," she says of John. "He didn't expect that he'd have to change so much but it wasn't like I tried to sort of force him into it. He's a sensitive character, and he sort of immediately picked up, so he started to get aware of what was going on ... he had never really lived with somebody who was actually working in society. He said he started to compare me with him, and of course, I had more difficulty than he had. He began to see what kind of handicap all women have."
The conversation turns sad when she talks about her daughter Kyoko. "She's ten now and when I saw her last she was five. I don't even know how she looks now. It's like five years is a long time."
Sunday September 23
Wings leave Lagos and return home to England, happy with their completed recordings for Band On The Run. They had been scheduled to arrive back at 6pm on September 22 but their plane was delayed at Lagos due to a brake failure. (Many fans who turned up at the airport the previous day were disappointed.)
Monday September 24
Ringo's single 'Photograph' (co-written by George and Ringo and featuring George on guitar and backing vocals)/'Down And Out' (co-written by George) is released in America. (The single is released in the UK on October 19.) To accompany the release, Ringo shoots an unusual promotional film clip at his recently acquired Tittenhurst Park estate in Ascot. To comply with the BBC miming ban for shows like Top Of The Pops, he is seen wandering aimlessly round the grounds singing (or rather miming) the first verse of 'Photograph' with his hand covering his mouth, trying his best not to be seen singing the song, yet at the same time giving the impression that he was performing. Ringo later reveals that the 35mm film, produced by Top Of The Pops producer Michael Hurll, had no script and was "made up as they went along". Except for one screening on the show, the clip has since remained unscreened anywhere in the world.
A rumoured appearance by George and Mick Jagger at a recording of BBC2's In Concert at the Television Centre in London featuring Billy Preston fails to materialise.
In America only, Apple Records release the Yoko Ono single 'Woman Power' b/w 'Men Men Men'.
Sunday September 30
dt Still in America, seven weeks after Punch magazine had published a review by Paul, the New York Times publish John's favourable review of Spike Milligan's book The Goon Show Scripts.
The Faces' guitarist Ronnie Wood and his wife Chrissie are invited by George and Patti to stay at their Friar Park mansion for a month, with three of the four weeks spent recording in FPHOTS (Friar Park Henley-On-Thames Studios). Among the tracks recorded is 'Far East Man', a song inspired by the T-shirt Ronnie was wearing, acquired on the recent Faces tour of the Far East. Also present at these sessions are Jean Rousell and Ian McLagan (piano/ keyboards), Mick Taylor (bass) and Andy Newmark (dmms). (The frackwill ultimately appear on Ronnie's album I've Got My Own Album To Do, released by Wamer Brothers m America on September 23 and in the UK on September 27,1974.) George will re-record 'Far East Man' during the September-October 1974 sessions for the album Dark Horse.
During the month, a romantic liaison develops between Ronnie and Patti, details of which are not revealed publicly until November 26 (see entry).
Monday October 15 (until Friday October 19)
Paul spends the week at Abbey Road studio 2, mixing tracks for the album Band On The Run.
Friday October 19
During one of John's frequent visits to the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset Boulevard, he meets Chris Charlesworth, now Melody Maker's American correspondent based in LA Chris recalls the meeting: "I went upstairs into the VIP area of the Rainbow where I met Tony King, who I knew because he used to work for Elton John. He told me he was now working for John Lennon and he asked me, 'Do you want to meet him?' 'Of course I want to meet John!' I replied. Tony led me over to where John was sitting drinking, talking with some friends. Following the introductions, John began quizzing me about life in London, what was happening on the London rock scene, how Paul (McCartney) was, what the weather was like, what the government was like, how much a pint of milk cost and what the royal family was doing. I got the impression that he seemed to be very isolated; or rather he had chosen to isolate himself. It was almost as if he was homesick, though he would later deny that. He was just curious about what was going on back home." After sharing a few drinks with John, Chris requested a formal interview. He tells Chris to ring him in the morning and, over the phone the following day, an interview is arranged for Monday October 22 (see entry), at Lou Adler's Bel Air mansion where John is staying with May Pang.
Saturday October 20
Even though George is back at home in Friar Park recording with Ronnie Wood, a long lease for him begins on an apartment in Hollywood where he is scheduled to reside while writing tracks for a new Barbra Streisand album. The sessions are soon to begin at the Gamble and Huff studios in Philadelphia.
Monday October 22
In Los Angeles, at Lou Adler's Bel Air Mansion, John is interviewed by Melody Maker's Chris Charlesworth outside by the pool. The result of this 90-minute session, which is continually interrupted by the sound of low flying aeroplanes, is published in Melody Maker on November 3 (see entry).
Back in England, it is announced that Ringo has joined a consortium hoping to win a radio licence up for grabs in Liverpool. He joins a team, which includes the singer Cilia Black, and the comedian Arthur Askey.
Tuesday October 23
Under the American Freedom of Information Act, John sues the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service in an attempt to obtain documentary evidence that will show prejudgement in his deportation case and prove the illegal wiretapping of his phones. (An appeal hearing is set for October 31.) Later this night, Yoko begins a five-night string of low-key New York club dates, beginning at Kenny's Castaways. For the first time in a long while, John is conspicuous by his absence.
Wednesday October 24
In Los Angeles, John films a television commercial for Mind Games with Tony King, who plays the part of the Queen of England. Elton John is present at the sessions. Later, John and King record two radio commercials for the album. While, back in New York, Yoko is found in performance again at Penny's Castaways.
Friday October 26
Wings release in the UK the single 'Helen Wheels'/'Country Dreamer'. (The American release takes place on November 12.) The A-side is a song written about the McCartney's trusty old Land Rover.
Saturday October 27
Today's Melody Maker reports that Paul is writing the music for a forthcoming 90-minute television special entitled Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance starring Twiggy. The shooting is scheduled to begin in California next February.
Monday October 29
John's single 'Mind Games'/'Meat City' is released in America. (The UK release takes
place on November 16.)
The film That'll Be the Day opens in Los Angeles, California.
October (until December)
In Los Angeles, at the Record Plant and at the A&M Studios, John begins work on the Rock 'N' Roll album, originally titled Oldies But Mouldies, with Phil Spector. The first sessions produce John's versions of such well-known tracks as 'You Can't Catch Me', 'Sweet Little Sixteen', 'Bony Moronie', 'Just Because', 'My Baby Left Me', 'To Know Her Is To Love Her', 'Angel Baby', 'Be My Baby' 'Ya Ya' and 'That'll Be The Day'. Another track recorded by John during these sessions is 'Here We Go Again', which was co-written with Spector and which will ultimately appear on the 1986 compilation album Menlove Ave. An atmosphere of chaos pervades the sessions and only the first four tracks listed will eventually see release on the Rock 'N' Roll album released by Apple on February 1,1975, in America and on February 21 in the UK.
Following these inaugural Los Angeles sessions, Spector vanishes with the tapes. They will eventually be returned to John on Friday June 14, the following year. John's recordings of 'Angel Baby' and 'Be My Baby' will not feature on the official Apple Rock 'N' Roll album but appears on the unauthorised LP John Lennon Sings The Great Rock And Roll Hits, most commonly known as Roots, which was released in the US by mail order only (see entry for February 1975). 'Angel Baby' is officially released on the compilation album Menlove Ave. and also on the official Lennon CD box set. Also appearing on the Menlove Ave. album are John's versions of 'My Baby Left Me' and 'To Know Her Is To Love Her' from these LA sessions.
The tracks 'Angel Baby', 'Ya Ya' and the offending 'You Can't Catch Me' are recorded by John as an out of court settlement between him and Chuck Berry's publisher Morris Levy, who accused John of plagiarising Berry's song 'You Can't Catch Me' on The Beatles' 1969 recording 'Come Together'. All three songs are taken from Levy's Big Seven catalogue.
At EMI's Boulogne-Billancourt Studios near Paris, Wings record further versions of 'Seaside Woman', 'B-Side To Seaside', 'Oriental Nightfish' and "Wide Prairie'. Paul also records a short ditty entitled 'Luxi', a jingle intended for the station Radio Luxembourg. Towards the end of the month, Wings are busy at Wembley completing the shooting of a TV film, and reporter Chris Welsh interviews Paul at his London offices for a Melody Maker article published on Saturday December 1.
George is invited to appear on a new solo album by former Ten Years After guitarist Alvin Lee. The two met in their local pub the Row Barge in Henley-On-Thames. Lee lives at Woodcote, about three miles from George's Friar Park mansion.
Yoko appears for three days at New York's Bitter End club. Opening for the estranged Mrs. Lennon is Dory Previn. John meanwhile is seen out socialising with Phil Spector, Lou Adler and the actor Jack Nicholson. They attend the opening night concert of Bobby Blue Bland at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go. Also this month, John busies himself with various promotional activities for the album Mind Games, including a four-part interview on Malibu Beach, California, with Elliott Mintz of Channel 7's ABC Eyewitness News. 6 Rumours this month suggest that Paul and Ringo will tour America together in the coming year.
Friday November 2
John, George and Ringo, together with Apple Corps Ltd., and thirteen other companies in the group, issue a high court writ against Allen Klein and his ABKCO company over payments that are due to The Beatles and for damages for alleged misrepresentation. Immediately, Klein counter sues them for $19 million, claiming that he is due unpaid fees. An attempt by Klein to sue Paul for a total of $34 million is thrown out of court.
Ringo's album Ringo is released in America. (The UK release takes place on November 13.)
John's album Mind Games is released in America. (The UK release takes place on November 16.)
Saturday November 3
John: "I don't miss England like I didn't miss Liverpool when The Beatles moved to London. England will always be there if I choose to go back... I love New York. It's the hottest city on earth. The difference between New York and London is the difference between London and Liverpool. If I feel homesick for England, I feel homesick for Cornwall or Ireland or Scotland where I went on holidays."
Melody Maker publishes an exclusive interview with John carried out by the paper's American correspondent Chris Charlesworth by the side of the pool at Lou Adler's Bel Air mansion. The wide-ranging ninety-minute conversation includes talk about his new record, his love for America, his immigration problems, his thoughts about the recent Beatles greatest hits packages, his lack of live appearances, his views on the current music scene and, of course, his relationship with the other ex-Beatles.
John is first asked about his new album. "It's finished," he replies. "I'm out here in LA to sit on Capitol, to do the artwork and to see things like radio promotion. The album's called Mind Games, and it's, well... just an album. Someone told me it was like Imagine with balls, which I liked a lot." He admits that Yoko is not on the album and reveals that the two of them have decided to keep their careers separate for a while. "Now that she knows how to produce records and everything about it, I think the best thing I can do is keep out of her hair. We get a little tense in the studio together, but that's not to say we won't ever do another album... it's just the way we feel at the moment. We're just playing life by ear and that includes our careers. We occasionally take a bath together and occasionally separately, just however we feel at the time. Yoko has just started a five-day engagement in a club in New York, and I ain't about to do five days. She's over there rehearsing and I'm letting her get on with it her own way." The current separation between John and Yoko is the longest there has ever been, but John is quick to deny the inevitable rumours that they have parted. "We have been apart more than people think, for odd periods over the years, and now I know people are calling from England suggesting we've split up. It's not so."
John then talks about the sessions for the Ringo album, which brought together three ex-Beatles - almost four - for the first time since the split. "Yeah, the three of us were there and Paul would most probably have joined in if he was around, but he wasn't. I just got a call from Ringo asking me to write a track so I did. It seemed the natural thing to do ... For the track I was on piano, Billy Preston was on organ, Ringo was on drums, George was on guitar and Klaus Voorman was on bass."
John announces that he talks to at least one of the other ex-Beatles every two weeks:
"I've talked to Ringo a lot recently because he's just moved into my house at Ascot, which is nice because I've always got a bedroom there. I haven't talked to Paul since before he did the last tour with Wings, but I heard Red Rose Speedway and it was all right.
"I had a ticket for The Rolling Stones on the East Coast but at the time I was in Los Angeles, so I never got to see them. I haven't seen the Stones since the Rock and Roll Circus which was the film that never came out... people are saying the Stones are getting too old to appear now but that's bullshit. Mick'll never be past it. I saw the show on TV they did over here and it was fantastic. It was a master performance and that's what Mick is, a master performer."
About a return to live concerts... "Another thing that puts me off playing live - the fact that you've got to do the same thing over and over again every night, and the audience wants to hear the songs you're associated with. I remember I sang 'Imagine' twice in one day when I was rehearsing it and that bored me. I've nothing against the song, in fact I'm quite proud of it, but I just can't go on every night singing it. I'd try and vary it, but then I don't like to see that myself. If I go to watch an artist I'd expect to hear the things I know. I understand it from both points of view. Actually I have trouble remembering the lyrics. I sang 'Come Together" at Madison Square Garden for a TV show and really I sang 'She Got Hairy Arseholes' instead of what it should have been, and it was never noticed."
John then talks about his new project, an album of rock and roll oldies with Phil Spector:
"Phil and I have been threatening to do this for years. I want to go in and sing some 'Ooh eeh baby' type songs that are meaningless for a change. Whenever I'm in the studio, between takes, I mess around with oldies. I even used to do it in the Beatle days, so now I'm finally getting round to doing a John Lennon sings the oldies album. This will be my next album. I hope people won't think I've run out of ideas, but sod it, I just want to do it."
Conversation turns to the recent double Beatles (1962-66 and 1967-70) compilations. "George (Martin) controlled the choice of the material on those albums more than any of us. They sent me lists and asked for my opinion, but I was too busy at the time. I think it was the pressure of the bootlegs that finally made us put them out after all this time. Did you know that there's a bootleg out now of the Decca audition which The Beatles did? I have a copy of it, but I'm trying to find the tape. It's beautiful. There's us singing 'To Know Her Is To Love Her' and a whole pile of tracks, mostly other people's but some of our own. It's pretty good, better than that Tony Sheridan thing. Every time I go on TV here somebody tapes it and within a week it's m all the shops. In a way I dig it because it's good for your ego, but I know I'm not supposed to because it's against the business. I got copies made from this Decca audition and sent it to them all (the bootleggers)! I wouldn't mind actually releasing it."
Chris tells John that he has obtained a copy of the album The Beatles Live At Shea Stadium 1965. "Yes, I've got that one," John replies. "I think I've got them all. There's one of a Beatles show at the Hollywood Bowl which was an abortion, and there's others from everywhere we played, obscure places here in the States. It seemed someone was taping it everywhere."
The final question from Chris, inevitably, is, "Any chance of us seeing the four Beatles on a stage or record again?"
John grins and glances down at Chris's tape recorder. The 90-minute tape has almost run out. He makes as if to switch it off but Chris stops him, grabbing his hand and moving the recorder out of his reach. "There's always a chance," says John. "As far as I can gather from talking to them all, nobody would mind doing some work together again. There's no law that says we're not going to do something together, and no law that says we are. If we did something, I'm sure it wouldn't be permanent. We'd do it just for that moment. I think we're closer now than we have been for a long time ..." The tape runs out before John can say any more.
Thursday November 8
In America, Ringo's album Ringo receives a gold record from the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America).
Friday November 9
In the UK only, Apple 48 is released, featuring Yoko's 'Run Run Run' b/w 'Men Men Men'.
Monday November 12
John gives a transatlantic phone call interview to Kenny Everett at Capital Radio in London, the first Independent radio station in the UK, serving the London and South East region of the country, which had been broadcasting for a month.
Friday November 23
In New York, twenty-one months after appearing on the show with John, Yoko, backed by Elephant's Memory, appears on the Westinghouse Group television programme The Mike Douglas Show. John, meanwhile, gives an interview about the Mind Games album to the US radio programme Rockspeak.
Saturday November 24
Ringo's single 'Photograph' reaches number one in the American charts. (The single will reach number eight in the UK charts.)
Paul becomes the second ex-Beatle to give an interview for the new Independent London station Capital Radio.
Monday November 26
In England, from his home on Richmond Hill, Surrey, Faces' guitarist Ronnie Wood issues the following statement: "My romance with Patti Boyd is definitely on. Things will be sorted out in a few days. Until then, I naturally can't say very much. We're going to talk it out between us and hope to get a happy arrangement. Meanwhile, Patti has gone back to her home and will be talking to George about it. I won't be seeing her today."
Later in the day, George reads Ronnie's statement at Friar Park. He replies by saying:
"Whatever Ronnie Wood has got to say about anything, certainly about us, it has nothing to do with Patti or me! Got that? It has nothing to do with us - her or me!"
Paul, Linda and Denny travel to Paris to work on more recordings, notably another version of Linda's 'Seaside Woman', 'Wide Prairie' and 'I Got Up'. Sessions at the Pathe Marconi Studio last from 12.45am to 5.30am, the first time that the studios had been used throughout the night. Following the all night recording, the group return to the George V Hotel to get some sleep. They awake at 5.30pm to do interviews for the French magazines Paris Match and Francais. Joining them at the session is Davy Lutton, the ex-drummer of the sixties chart group Love Affair, and the guitarist Jimmy McCulloch. (Paul, Linda and Denny return home later the same evening.) Prior to their departure, Paul gives an interview at his offices in Soho Square, London, to BBC Radio One.
Tuesday November 27
Rumours naturally persist in the media that George's marriage to Patti is on the point of breaking up.
Friday November 30
A pre-recorded interview with Paul is transmitted on the BBC Radio One programme Rockweek. Also today, in England, Wizard Records release the Denny Laine record Ahh . . . Laine, the album that he was recording in July of 1971 before Paul invited him to join his new group.
In America, John's Mind Games album receives a gold record from the RIAA
John spends time recording at the A&M Studios in Los Angeles.
Sunday December 2
While in LA, John, feeling somewhat depressed, writes a most poignant postcard to Derek Taylor at his home in Ascot, England. It reads, "I'm in Lost Arseholes for no real reason . . . Yoko and me are in hell, but I'm gonna change it... probably this very day. Anyway, I'm still famous. He who laffs last is often hard of hearing."
Monday December 3
Ringo's single 'You're Sixteen'/'Devil Woman' is released in America. (The UK release takes place on February 8. It will reach number four in the UK charts.)
Wednesday December 5
The Wings album Band On The Run (featuring 'Helen Wheels') is released in America. (The UK release, without that track, takes place on December 7.) Paul explains: "Al Corey, the man from the American record company, rang me up one day and said, 'Hi Paul, transatlantic call. I just did the Pink Floyd thing and we took a single off that and we increased the sales by two hundred thousand units. I think you should do it in America, especially as 'Helen Wheels' is going great guns over here. Put it on the album!' So I said, 'I'll ring you back tomorrow.' And I rang him back and said, You have got it. Sounds good to me!' "
Paul also reveals how the song 'Drink To Me (Picasso's Last Words)' came about: "We were on holiday, near the place where Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman were filming their new film called Papillon about Devil's Island. We went round to Dustin's one evening. We were having dinner there, and he was talking about writing songs. He said, 'Can you just write them about anything?' I said, 'Well, you know, pretty much. It's like acting. You are given a script and you go and do it.' He said, 'Well, I have got these words here, out of a magazine.' It was a news story about Picasso having died and it was the last words that he said. Dustin thought they were very poetical words, and he thought they would really suit being a song. The words went: 'Picasso that evening toasted his friends, and he said to them, "Drink to me. Drink to my health. You know I can't drink anymore." Then he went to his studio, he painted a little bit more, and he died the next morning.' So these were his famous last words. Dustin showed me these and I had a guitar with me. I plonked a few chords and did the tune. He leapt out of his chair, and he runs to get his wife and he says, 'Annie! Annie! Come here! This is the most fantastic thing that has ever happened to me. I have got thrills all up my backbone.' He was well chuffed and kept jumping up and down. So that was where that one started from."
Paul on the writing and recording of 'Let Me Roll It': "I wrote that up in Scotland one day. It was a nice day. I was just sitting outside, plonking my guitar and I got this idea for a song. We took it off to Lagos and put down a backing track with Linda playing organ, me playing drums and Denny playing guitar. Then we overdubbed the big guitars you can hear right the way through it, going through a PA amp, not a guitar amp, but a vocal amp, which was a big powerful amp."
The Band On The Run album will soon reach number one on both sides of the Atlantic and will be voted album of the year by Rolling Stone magazine in America. One critic goes as far as to say "... the best thing any of The Beatles have done since Abbey Road!" The cover, shot at the stately home at Osterley Park, features various media personalities - the actors James Cobum, and Christopher Lee, the chef and MP Clement Freud, the singer Kenny Lynch, the Liverpudlian boxer John Conteh and the chat show host Michael Parkinson - crouching with Paul, Linda and Denny as escaped convicts caught in a searchlight. In exchange for appearing on the sleeve, Parkinson requests that Paul appears as a guest on his BBC1 Saturday night chat show. Paul agrees but the interview doesn't take place until October 12,1997 (see relevant entry).
Paul commissions Gordon House and Storm Thorgerson, from the Hipgnosis design team, to shoot a promotional film for the album. With a total running time of 7' 35", it features behind the scenes footage of the preparations for the album cover, set to the tracks '1985' and 'Mrs. Vanderbilt', and a series of shots of seagulls in flight superimposed with images of Paul, Linda and Denny set to 'Bluebird'. The complete MPL film is never released but a short clip from the film is seen on the back-projection video screen during the performance of 'Band On The Run' on the American leg of the Wings 1975/1976 world tour, also seen in the 1979 MPL Wings Over The World and Rockshow documentaries.
Friday December 7
In America, the Wings album Band On The Run receives a gold record from the RIAA.
Saturday December 8
A quick perusal of this week's record charts reveals ... in the UK singles charts -'Photograph' is at number seven, 'Helen Wheels' is number 13 and 'Mind Games' is a new entry. In the UK album listings, Ringo is at number two, and Mind Games is at number nine. While in the States, the US singles charts reveal that 'Photograph' is at number six, 'Mind Games' is at number 16 and 'Helen Wheels' is a new entry at number 23.
Sunday December 9
Radio Luxembourg organises a national petition to gain a pardon from the Queen for John's 1968 drug offences. Over the phone, the DJ Tony Prince interviews John who appeals for "clemency and the right to travel freely between America and Britain." Following the transatlantic phone conversation, Tony remarks, "I believe there is a terrible injustice taking place with regard to John Lennon. When found guilty of drug possession back in 1968 his sentence was a fine, which he paid, but the sentence hasn't stopped at this. Lennon misses Britain but he can't come home."
Monday December 10
John donates £1,000 to the ailing American 'underground' magazine, the International Times.
Sunday December 16
At Paul and Linda's home at St. John's Wood, London, the McCartneys record an appearance for the traditional BBC1 festive holiday programme Disney Time. During the show, which features a running time of 42 minutes, the couple introduce clips from past Disney classic films such as Pinocchio, Mary Poppins, Wild Geese Calling, Run Cougar Run, Bambi, The World's Greatest Athlete, 101 Dalmatians, Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, Herbie and, Disney's latest, Robin Hood. Paul, who is dressed in emerald trousers, a red, blue and white sweater and red and yellow 'two-tone' shoes, almost resembles a cartoon character himself. Throughout the show, flanked by daughters Heather, Mary and Stella, Paul and Linda are visited on set by a procession of cartoon characters including Goofy, Pluto, and a larger than life Robin Hood. The programme is first transmitted on the station on Boxing Day, December 26, between 6:16 and 6:58pm. Off-camera, Paul gives an interview, where he admits that he did the show because he was "knocked out by cartoons", revealing "we're working on a little production of our own at the moment, an animated film for TV, about a family of mice from an original drawing of mine". The production in question is The Bruce McMouse Show, originally started during the Wings Over Europe tour of 1972.
Wednesday December 19
In studio 6 at the Granada Television studios in Quay Street, Manchester, Paul and Wings assemble to perform a mimed version of 'Helen Wheels' in today's edition of Lift Off With Ayshea, hosted by Ayshea Brough, and transmitted live across the ITV network between 4:21 and 4:49pm. The show also features musical performances by Marc Bolan & T.Rex and Freddie Garrity, the former lead singer of Freddie and The Dreamers.
Tuesday December 25
On Christmas Day, Yoko performs a special solo concert in New York at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, backed by the guitarist David Spinoza.
Wednesday December 26
This morning, in its traditional "Boxing Day With The Beatles" slot BBC1 transmits the 1964 film. A Hard Day's Night (between 10:33 and 11:56am). It is the third UK television screening following its premiere broadcast, also on BBC1 on December 28, 1970. Later in the day, the station also broadcasts Disney Time, introduced by Paul and Linda (see entry for December 16).
Thursday December 27
Ringo's film Blindman finally receives its UK premiere with a screening this evening at the Astoria in Charing Cross Road, London.
Friday December 28
In America, Ringo's single 'Photograph' receives a gold record from the RIAA.
At the end of the month, at the Record Plant West Studios in Los Angeles, John produces an unreleased recording of 'Too Many Cooks', featuring Mick Jagger on lead vocals.
Ringo is asked, "Are you still a vegetarian?" He replies, "Yes. I eat meat twice a year. On Bonfire night I have a sausage and Christmas I have a turkey with the festivities, because it is exciting. I am getting excited over Christmas. So they are the only two days I have it."
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