"I've lost all that negativity about the past and I'd be happy
as Larry to do 'Help!' I've just changed completely in two
years. I'd do 'Hey Jude' and the whole damn show,
and I think George will eventually see that."
John records 'Across The Universe' and 'Fame' with David Bowie at the Ladyland Studios in New York. John remembers this session: "David rang and told me he was going to do a version of 'Across The Universe' and I thought 'great' because I'd never done a good version of that song myself. It's one of my favourite songs, but I didn't like my version of it. So I went down and played rhythm on the track. Then he got this lick, so me and him put this together in another song called 'Fame' ... I had fun!" (John first met Bowie at Elizabeth Taylor's birthday party in Los Angeles in February 1974.)
This month, John also receives an invitation from Paul to join him in New Orleans on the sessions for his new album Venus And Mars. Meanwhile, it seems that Los Angeles has become the residence of choice for ex-Beatles. Paul has just instructed his representatives to look for a property in Beverley Hills and George has just purchased a property belonging to the comedian Dan Rowan, of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In fame. Ringo, meanwhile, is about to go looking for a home while John has revealed that he aims to keep his in Hollywood Hills ... provided he is allowed to stay in the country.
The musical Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which only opened last November, collapses before it can even leave New York. Law suits and counter lawsuits are to blame.
Thursday January 2
The US district court judge Richard Owen rules in New York City that John and his attorney, Leon Wildes, are to be permitted access to US Immigration and Naturalisation Service files that deal with John's ongoing deportation case. John is also permitted to question the INS officials. This decision is designed to give John the opportunity to determine whether or not the deportation order against him is really based on his 1968 UK drug conviction or because of his opposition to certain US political activities.
Thursday January 9
The last remaining links which still legally bind the four Beatles together are finally severed when the April 1967 The Beatles & Company partnership is formally dissolved at a private hearing in London's High Court. The ruling comes just over four years after Paul had originally requested that The Beatles' partnership be dissolved. (Even so, following various last minute hold-ups, the ultimate absolution of their partnership will not take effect until April 9.)
Friday January 10
Paul, Linda and family leave Heathrow Airport en route to New York. In light of yesterday's High Court judgement, Paul remarks to the waiting reporters: "I'm relieved that the legal links between The Beatles have been separated!"
Saturday January 11
'Junior's Farm' reaches number three in the American singles chart. (The flip-side 'Sally G' makes number 39 on February 22.)
'Dark Horse' reaches number 15 in the American singles chart.
Thursday January 16 (until Monday February 24)
Wings assemble at Alien Toussaint's Sea Saint Studios in New Orleans where they begin recording songs for the album Venus and Mars. Paul reveals that he is recording there to ... "achieve an even greater flexibility with the blues-rock sound". The sessions produce the following tracks: 'Venus And Mars', 'Rockshow', 'You Gave Me The Answer', 'Magneto And Titanium Man', 'Letting Go', 'Venus And Mars (reprise)', 'Spirits Of Ancient Egypt', 'Medicine Jar', 'Call Me Back Again', 'Treat Her Gently - Lonely Old People', 'Listen To What The Man Said', 'Love In Song' and 'Crossroads Theme'. They also record the tracks 'Karate Chaos' and an instrumental piece entitled 'Sea Dance'. Although they remain unreleased, Paul will copyright these two tracks on June 16. During the recordings, Geoff Britton mysteriously quits the band after playing on only two Venus And Mars album tracks. Paul calls on the services of the New York drummer Joe English.
Paul is asked at a press conference in New Orleans why he recorded the 'Crossroads Theme': "It's a joke! It's after 'Lonely Old People', you see. They are sitting there in the park, saying, 'Nobody asked us to play'. It's a poignant moment. Then there's a little break and then 'Crossroads' starts up. It's lonely old people. It's just the kind of thing that lonely old people watch. It could just as easily have been Coronation Street, but we knew the chords to Crossroads. I just thought that it would be nice to do it." (Crossroads was a soap-opera set around a fictional hotel in "Kings Oak". Produced by ATV in the British midlands, it ran for 4,510 episodes on the ITV network between November 1964 and April 1988.)
Wings hold a press conference aboard the boat Voyager while sailing through Bayou country down the Mississippi River, and Paul and Linda visit the annual Mardi Gras festival where he performs on stage with The Tuxedo Jazz Band. This will inspire Paul to record the song 'My Carnival' on February 12 but it will not see the light of day until 1985, when it appears on the B-side to 'Spies Like Us'. A local news team, for their evening programme News Scene 8, is present in the studio to capture the recordings of 'My Carnival'. The recordings for the album Venus And Mars will be concluded at the end of the month in Los Angeles at the Wally Heider Studios where they also record the instrumental 'Lunch Box'/'Odd Sox'. (See entry for February 25.)
When Geoff Britton returns to the UK, he is extremely evasive over the events that led to his departure from the group. All he will reveal is: "I completed half the tracks on the album and then a local drummer called Joe English did the rest." Britton, who is considering an offer to appear in an Italian spaghetti-kung fu film, concludes: "It's a funny band. Wings. From a musician's point of view, it's a privilege to do it. From a career point of view, it's madness! No matter how good you are, you're always in the shadow of Paul."
Monday January 27
Ringo's single 'No No Song'/'Snookeroo' is released in America.
Friday January 31
John pays a visit to Yoko at the Dakota. To friends, he gives his reason for the visit as:
"Yoko has a cure for my smoking". Later in the year, John recalls this day: "I was just going over for a visit and it just fell in place again. It was like I'd never left. I realised that this was where I belonged. I think we both knew we'd get back together again sooner or later, even if it was five years, and that's why we never bothered with divorce. I'm just glad she let me back in again. It was like going out for a drink, but it took me a year to get it!"
As John will later recall in 1980, the reasons behind his return ran a lot deeper. "I really needed to be with her," John freely admits. "I wanted to be with her and could not literally survive without her. As a functioning human being I just went to pieces. I didn't realise that I needed her so much. I was haunted all right, because I needed her more than she needed me and I always thought the boot was on the other foot. That's ashonest as I can get."
John moves back into the Dakota apartment over the coming weekend.
George's Apple film Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs premieres in London at the West End, where it will soon sink without trace. George and Olivia are present at the first screening. Also, early in the month to coincide with the film's premiere, Sarah Dickinson of LBC (London Broadcasting Company) station interviews George to help promote the film.
Monday February 3
Ringo begins shooting the Warner Brothers film Lisztomania, starring Roger Daltrey, of The Who, at Shepperton Studios, Middlesex and on location, working with the controversial director Ken Russell. The movie has an 11 week schedule, which will eventually run to 15 weeks, but Ringo is only present this month and in March. The film, in which the former Beatle is cast in the role of The Pope, is premiered in New York on October 10 and in London on November 13.
Tuesday February 4
In New York, John bumps into May Pang at a dentist's surgery. He informs her, "I've now gone back to live with Yoko."
Wednesday February 5
In England, Terry Doran, George's long time personal assistant, resigns from Oops Publishing Ltd., one of George's publishing companies. Doran, a Liverpudlian who had been responsible for maintaining The Beatles' cars for many years, was immortalised as "the man from the motor trade" in 'She's Leaving Home'.
Friday February 7
Ringo and 24-year-old American Nancy Andrews leave Heathrow Airport en route to California. This visit to England had been Miss Andrews' first visit to Europe and Ringo had been serving as her guide around the sites of London.
In England, Dark Horse records release the George produced Splinter single 'Drink All Day (Got To Find Your Own Way' b/w 'Haven't'.
Also today, Warner Brothers release the Paul produced Mike McGear single 'Sea Breezes' b/w 'Givin' Grease A Ride', co-written by Paul and Mike.
Saturday February 8
The album John Lennon Sings The Great Rock & Roll Hits (Roots) is released in America via heavy television and radio mail-order advertising. The record, which depicts a picture of John from 1968, features the following tracks: side one: 'Be-Bop-A-Lula', 'Ain't That A Shame', 'Stand By Me', 'Sweet Little Sixteen', 'Rip It Up', 'Angel Baby', 'Do You Want To Dance' and 'You Can't Catch Me'; side two: 'Bony Maronie', 'Peggy Sue', 'Bring It On Home To Me', 'Slippin' And Slidin' ', 'Be My Baby', 'Ya Ya' and 'Because'.
The album had been produced by Morris Levy, without John's permission, from an early mixed tape of his Rock 'N' Roll oldies recording sessions. John promptly sues Levy, rightfully claiming that this release is illegal. (See entries for January 23 and February 20, 1976.) John later states that when Roots first became available, he had to wait some three weeks for its delivery! This could well have been due to its scarce availability, with a reported 2,500 copies of the album and only 500 copies of an 8-Track cartridge, being produced.
Meanwhile, George's 'Ding Dong' makes number 36 in the US singles chart. Also today, George boards a plane at Heathrow Airport and heads for Los Angeles.
Thursday February 13
John (totally uninvited) gives another radio interview to Scott Muni, on his WNEW-FM New York show. He brings with him an early copy of the Rock 'N' Roll album. (The 90-minute broadcast is repeated in its entirety on the Cleveland station WGCL on December 11, 1983.)
Monday February 17
To combat the sales of Roots, John's official Apple album Rock 'N' Roll is rush-released in America. (The UK release takes place on February 21.) "You Should'a Been There ..." is the record's advertising slogan.
The cover features a picture of John taken in a doorway in Hamburg in 1960. The shot re-emerged at the Beatlefest convention held in New York last September where the original photographer, Jurgen Volmer, was holding an exhibition of his early Beatles photographs. The three blurred figures walking in front of John in the snap are, from left to right, George, Stu Sutcliffe and Paul. Coincidentally, through his purchase of the Buddy Holly song catalogue, Paul receives royalties from the album because of John's recording of 'Peggy Sue', and Allen Klein receives money from John's recording of 'Bring It On Home To Me', of which Klein owns the publishing.
At the time of its release, John reflects on the history of the recordings of the Rock 'N' Roll album: "The LA sessions gradually collapsed into mania. That's one way of putting it. It definitely got crazy, you know. There are twenty-eight guys playing a night and fifteen of them are out of their minds ... including me! The sessions broke down. We broke them down pretty well, me and Phil. They got really barmy! I'm not even going to say what happened. There are about eight tracks, half of them you couldn't use for one reason or another... 'Angel Baby' is a phenomenal track. Some of it was ridiculous. That's the first time I let an album out of my control, since the first Beatle album. I'll never do it again! Phil had the tapes and I waited for eight months in LA for him to recover. I came home to New York and the day before we go in to record Walls And Bridges, I get the tapes back. So I did the rest of it myself using the basic unit that I usually use of about eight guys. I did it in five days, three tracks a night. I just said: 'Rock'n'roll, okay, rock!' And we just went in ... I'd rehearsed them a couple of days beforehand, so they were loose. Then we just went in and: 'Okay, take one, "Stand By Me". Take two - "Be-Bop-A-Lula".' You know. The opposite of what was going on down on the West Coast and this was a year later.
"It was a choice of either just leaving it forever and never putting it out, or trying to find some format for four or five Spector tracks, which I didn't think were singles. I was so sick of it. So I thought: 'Now what can I do? Leave it in the can?' I hate leaving stuff in the can. I've got no stuff in the can, neither have The Beatles!* And I thought: 'Okay, finish it off and see what it is. Then once it went out I felt great! It's out, it's out. I've never been so long on an album in my life! It was longer than Sgt. Pepper and I normally only take eight weeks to make an album from start to finish and out in the shops, you know, otherwise I get bored."
(* John's comment comes just under 21 years before the release of the official Beatles six-CD Anthology series!)
Friday February 21
Ringo's single 'Snookeroo'/'Oo Wee' is released in the UK. (Promotional pictures for the release feature Ringo and the robot, as featured on the Goodnight Vienna album sleeve, pasted over the top of his 1952 half-yearly school report.)
In the UK, just two weeks after their last single, Dark Horse records release the George produced Splinter single 'China light' b/w 'Drink All Day (Got To Find Your Own Way)'.
Monday February 24
DJM release (simultaneously in both the UK and the US) the Elton John single 'Philadelphia Freedom' which features on the B-side 'I Saw Her Standing There', as performed by John and Eiton, live at Madison Square Garden in New York on November 28,1974. The track is credited to John Lennon and The Muscle Shoals Horns.
Tuesday February 25
A happy looking John is pictured outside the Dakota building wearing a large silver Elvis badge.
Wings move on to Los Angeles to resume recordings for Venus And Mars. On the way to the studios in their car, Paul invites Joe English to become a permanent member of Wings. During their stay in Los Angeles, Paul and Linda will attend the annual Grammy Awards ceremony on March 1 (see entry), where they receive awards for the album Band On The Run. (Incidentally, the Venus And Mars album will become Paul's first release for Capitol Records in America under his new contract.)
Thursday February 27
In England, tonight's edition of Top Of The Pops (transmitted on BBC1 between 7:20 and 7:59pm) features the first UK screening of the film shot by the BBC of John wandering around New York on Friday November 15 last year. Originally filmed to accompany 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night', the film was re-edited Casting two minutes 25 seconds) to accompany John's latest single 'No. 9 Dream'. Incidentally, some of the film unveiled tonight receives its worldwide television premiere, as some scenes were not included in the original 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night' promotional film. Introduced by Dave Lee Travis, tonight's Top Of The Pops also features music by The Rubettes, Showaddywaddy, Mud, The Hues Corporation, The Shadows, Cockney Rebel and Duane Eddy and The Rebellettes.
Friday February 28
George's single 'Dark Horse'/'Hari's On Tour' is released in the UK
A copyright for the instrumental version of Paul's 'Tomorrow' is registered. A vocal version has originally appeared on the Wings album Wild Life in August 1971.
Ringo is frequently seen out socialising in LA. This month, alongside Alice Cooper, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, Bemie Taupin, Richard Perry and Stevie Wonder, he attends an Arista Records party in Bel Air.
Saturday March 1
At the annual Grammy Awards show, televised live from New York, John puts in a guest appearance as an award presenter. He is seen with Paul Simon and Andy Williams presenting the award for 'Records Of The Year - Artist & Producer'. The three singers, standing at the podium, before the presentation, partake in a cleverly scripted comedy routine, which pokes fun at their three respective former partners.
John (wearing his trademark beige cap and scarf): "Thank you mother, thank you ... Hello, I'm John. I used to play with my partner Paul."
Paul Simon: "I'm Paul. I used to play with my partner Art (Garfunkel)."
Andy Williams: "I'm Andy. I used to play with my partner Claudine (Longet, his former wife)." (The audience breaks into laughter.)
With spontaneous applause, Andy continues with another swipe at his former wife. Turning to John and Paul, he continues: "The music that you fellows wrote, though, really did influence my life. As a matter of fact, it helped tell the story of me and my partner."
John asks: "Any song in particular Andy?"
He replies: "Well, let's see. It started off with 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' and finished off with 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'."
John replies: "Touching, touching." Then, in an attempt to get things back on track, he continues: "Shall we get on with it? My God, so this is what dawn does, is it?" (Producing more laughter from the star-studded audience.)
John gives out a loud cheer when it's announced, by Simon, that Elton John's 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me' is one of the nominees for the award. At this point television cameras catch sight of Yoko sitting in the front row of the audience, clearly enjoying the antics of her husband. As if this ceremony wasn't chaotic enough, humour continues when, of all people, Art Garfunkel appears from the audience to receive, on behalf of Olivia Newton-John, an award for the song 'I Honestly Love You'. With Art now standing on the podium, John introduces him to his former partner Paul, adding: "Which one of you is Ringo?", following this with: "Are you ever getting back together again?" Simon retorts by asking John: "Are you guys getting back together again?" With a sigh, John replies: "It's terrible, isn't it?"
With that, a rather serious Art Garfunkel leans towards the microphone and asks Paul:
"Are you still writing?" To which, Simon replies: "I'm trying my hand at a little acting Art." John chips in by enquiring: "Where's Linda?" The joke is somewhat lost, prompting him to add: "Oh well, too subtle that one," before handing the award to Art with the words: "There you are my dear." Then, at the conclusion of a rather passive acceptance speech by Art, John remarks: "You're so serious."
During the extravaganza, Paul wins two 1974 Grammys for his Wings album Band On The Run, one for 'Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Group' and the other for 'Best Produced Non-Classical Recording'. The Beatles are also given a special 'Grammy Hall Of Fame Award'.
After the ceremony, John attends an after-show party with some of the other guests, which include Roberta Flack and David Bowie. Yoko Ono is seen chatting with John backstage and is later pictured with him leaving the event. This is big news back in England, making the front page of the Daily Mirror on Monday March 3.
Meanwhile in today's Melody Maker, in a story entitled "John's No. 1 Dream", Chris Charlesworth reports that John's negotiations to remain in America will reach a climax within the next three months. His lawyer, Leon Wildes, says that he has "... information that shows that the Government deliberately ignored his application, actually locking the relevant document away in a safe. This was because of a memorandum which was circulated by an unknown Government agency to other Government agencies which stated that John and Yoko were to be kept under physical observance at all times because of possible political activities." Wildes goes on to add that he is currently trying to find the source of this document and if he does it will "break the case wide open and prove that there has been a miscarriage of justice".
Monday March 3
In Los Angeles, Paul, Linda and the three children are driving out of Los Angeles, heading back to their temporary base in Malibu, when Linda is arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana. Police had only stopped Paul and Linda's car for running through a red traffic light. The California Highway Patrol announces later: "Mr. McCartney and his wife Linda and their three children were driving along Santa Monica Boulevard when the car went through a traffic light soon after midnight. While a patrolman was writing a traffic ticket, he said he smelt the odour of marijuana in the car and ordered the McCartneys out. He found a plastic bag containing a quantity of marijuana which Mrs. McCartney had allegedly carried in her purse." Linda insists that the drug is hers alone and is detained for two hours while Paul is freed to drive the children back to their hotel. Linda is subsequently charged with possession of marijuana and released on $500 (£200) bail. She is ordered to appear in Municipal Court on March 10.
Thursday March 6
John's single 'Stand By Me'/'Move Over Ms. L.' is released in America. (The UK release takes place on April 18.) John also issues a press release, officially announcing that he has now returned to Yoko, adding that "our separation hadn't worked out".
Friday March 7
John is sued for $42 million (£18 million) by the Big Seven Music Corporation of America on the grounds that he has "monopolised the sale and distribution of his records and tapes". The suit results from the Morris Levy publishing case.
Still in America, Dark Horse records release the George produced Splinter single 'China Light' b/w 'Haven't Got Time'.
Saturday March 8
Melody Maker published an interview with John undertaken by Chris Chariesworth at the Capitol Records offices on 6th Avenue in New York. Before their chat, a buoyant John talks on the telephone to no less than 35 different disc jockeys simultaneously across America. "I like 'Stand By Me' and 'Be-Bop-A-Lula' is one of my all-time favourites," he says. "There's been more trouble with this album than soft mick." John discusses the chequered history of this infamous album: "... I just finished Mind Games when I started the new album and I just wanted to have some fun. It was so soon after Mind Games that I didn't have any new material. I wanted to just sing and not be the producer. I thought, 'Who's the one to do it with?' and I thought of Phil Spector. We went down to the Record Plant and started cutting and, well, it got pretty crazy... it really got wild at times. But we managed to cut seven or eight in the end before it collapsed... which is the only way to put it.
"Next thing Phil had apparently had an auto accident. Only he knows whether he did or didn't, but that's what the story said. That was the end of it then, because he'd got the tapes and I didn't get them back until two days before I went into the studio to cut Walls And Bridges. I went on to do the Harry Nilsson thing (Pussycats) and I tried everything to get them (the Rock 'N' Roll album tapes) back, even just hanging around LA to see if Phil would get better. I couldn't think what to do, so I did the album with Harry while I was waiting. When I got the tapes, I couldn't get into them because I was all geared to Walls And Bridges. When I did get into them, I found that out of the eight, there were only four or five that were worth using. The sessions had twenty-eight guys playing live and a lot of them out of tune, which is too much, even for rock and roll. So I didn't know whether to forget it or carry on, but I hate leaving stuff in the can. I thought about putting out an EP - remember them? But they don't have them in America, and thought about a maxi-single. In the end I decided to finish it off and produce the rest myself.
"I did ten tracks in three days in October, all the numbers that I hadn't got around to with Phil. I had a lot of fun and mixed it all down in about four or five days. My one problem was whether it sounds weird going from the Spector sound to my sound from twenty-eight guys down to eight. But they match pretty well I think. So there it was, I suddenly had an album."
Chris mentions to John how Paul will profit from the album. "What a clever move that was," he replies. "I hope he gives me a good deal. I don't care who gets the money. With Paul it's cool, 'cos we're pals, and even Klein's all right really. I'm not gonna get much money from this album anyway."
John seems happier with his past than at any time since 1970. "I've lost all that negativity about the past and I'd be happy as Larry to do 'Help!' I've just changed completely in two years. I'd do 'Hey Jude' and the whole damn show, and I think George will eventually see that. If he doesn't, that's cool. That's the way he wants to be."
John also announces that he is now back with Yoko. "I'm happy as Larry," he beams, "and she is ... I hope. We've known each other for nine years. I met her in 1966. We had a sort of breakdown last year, one way or another, but we called each other often even when I was going crazy out on the West Coast, and I probably said a lot of barmy things to her which I'll regret."
Monday March 17
In preparation for his new series of The Old Grey Whistle Test for BBC2, Bob Harris and its producer Michael Appleton travel to America to conduct various interviews with contemporary rock and pop stars, one of whom is John at his Dakota apartment. For the first day, after being given a box of Chocolate Olivers (part of the deal for doing the show), he gives a fascinating interview on all manner of subjects. These include living m New York, the recording studios there, missing England, the recording of Sgt. Pepper and the putting together of a TV show around a new album. Harris asks John about the green card situation.
John: "Well, the situation is that I'm still appealing. Like every now and then they'll say, "You've got thirty days to get out', and my lawyer will appeal and we'll go to another court, or something like that. It'll just go on forever."
Bob: "Do you think they are kind of picking on you?"
John: "Oh yeah, they picked on me. I'm telling you, when it first started I was followed in a car and the phone was tapped. Now we lost the phone tapping case, because how do you prove that your phone was tapped? At that time it was pre-Watergate, so you can imagine! It was: 'John Lennon says his phone was tapped and there were men following him in a car.' I went on a TV show here, a talk show (The Dick Cavett Show - September 12,1971), and I said that this was happening to me, and it stopped the next day. I think they wanted me to know to scare me. And I was scared! Paranoid! People thought I was crazy then. They do anyway! But I mean more so, you know? 'Lennon, you're a big-headed little maniac. Who's going to follow you around?' Well, what do they want? That's what I'm saying. What do they want? I'm not going to cause them any problems."
Bob: "Presumably, when the green card comes through, we will see you in England."
John: "Oh you bet! Of course! I've got family in England. I've got a child who has to keep travelling over. Hello Julian. I've got my Aunty Mimi. Hello Mimi! And all my other relatives, who are furious with me, but I won't tell you why. But I'll tell you Mimi isn't."
Bob: "The inevitable question. Are they..."
John (interrupting): "Are they ever going to get back together again?"
Bob: "Yeah. But first of all, is there any possibility? But secondly, more important, do you think it's a good idea?"
John: "Well, that's another point altogether, whether it would be a good idea or not. You see it is strange, because at one point, when they were asking me, I was saying, 'No, never. What the hell. Go back? Not me?' And then came the period when I thought, 'Well, why not? If we felt like making a record or doing something.' Everybody always envisaged the stage show, but to me, if we worked together... studio again, you know. The stage show is something else. If we'd got something to say in the studio, okay. Now, when I'm saying that I am keen to do it, I turn the paper and George is saying: 'Not me!' Right? It's never got to the position where each one of us wants to do it at the same time. I think that over the period we've been apart, we've all thought, 'Oh that would be nice. That wouldn't be bad.' And the other question is: 'Would it be worth it?' But that is answered by if we wanted to do it. If we wanted to do it, then it would be worth it. If we got in the studio together and we thought we turned each other on again, then it would be worth it, again. And sod the critics, you know. They've got nothing to do with it. The music is the music. If we made a piece that we thought was worthwhile, it goes out. But it's such a pie in the sky, you know. I don't care either way. If someone wants to pull it together, I'll go along. I'm not in the mood to pull it together that's for sure!"
(The show is edited for transmission on Tuesday April 15, and then first broadcast on Friday April 18 on BBC2 in a special early-evening slot between 8:09 and 8:59pm to coincide with the release of the 'Stand By Me' Apple single. John's piece totals 29 minutes 36 seconds, with the rest of the show being made up of a studio performance by A Band Called O and music by Emmylou Harris. Due to the success of the show, a repeat screening, albeit edited, occurs between 10:20 and 10:59pm on September 30, when it is screened as a prelude to the fifth series of The Old Grey Whistle Test. A third screening, repeating the edited version, occurs on October 11,1980, between 10:30 and 10:59pm and again on BBC2, when it is because John is again recording and the Suntory World Matchplay International Golf Championship had been postponed due to bad weather. Immediately following this rebroadcast, the promotional clip for 'Stand By Me' reappears as part of the 350th Old Grey Whistle Test programme celebrations on BBC2.)
Keith Moon's album Two Sides of the Moon is released in the US. Ringo is featured as the announcer on 'Solid Gold' and on drums and "rap" on the track 'Together'. (The album appears in the UK on May 23.)
Tuesday March 18
At the Dakota, John records his second interview with the journalist Jean-Francois Vallee (his first being on December 14, 1971), this time for inclusion in the French television programme Un four Future. His piece, entitled Il Etait Une Fois John Lennon (Once Upon A Time There Was John Lennon), is produced by Michael Lancelot and features John, besides speaking on the telephone, being interviewed while sitting on the floor. Among many topics of conversation, he discusses Paul's drug taking admission to ITN news in 1967, The Beatles as "world leaders", his visit to Paris in 1961 and the trademark Beatle haircut and collarless jacket. He also reveals how he incorporated reggae into the 1964 Beatles tune 'I Call Your Name'. At one stage, he goes out onto the balcony and performs a mock magical trick with a handkerchief, which appears from the bottom of his trousers. Inside his apartment again, this time solo on the piano, John performs a unique version of Labelle's hit 'Voulez Vous Coucher Avec Moi, Ce Soir (Lady Marmalade)'. (John appears in the interview wearing a T-shirt that has that logo stamped on to it.) For its first television broadcast, on Saturday June 28, and for the benefit of the non-English speaking French viewers, Lancelot strangely dubs John's answers with two separate male/female French voices. Sections of the interview where John speaks frankly about sex and drugs are deemed too risky for transmission and are never screened. Following the French TV filming, John records another transatlantic telephone conversation with the Capital Radio DJ Nicky Home for his programme Your Mother Wouldn't Like It. A planned meeting between John and Ringo, who is scheduled to appear in Capital's US studio to ask John some questions, fails to materialise as Ringo fails to show because he had to return to England for additional work on Lisztomania at Shepperton Studios.
Later in the day, the concluding part of the Old Grey Whistle Test show takes place at the Hit Factory studios in New York, where John and his band film studio performances of 'Slippin' And Slidin' ' and 'Stand By Me'. The production of these are carried out by Apple and subsequently licensed to the BBC for inclusion in the programme. ('Slippin' And Slidin' ' is filmed because, at this stage, this is the choice for the second single from the Rock 'N' Roll album.)
Monday March 24
Paul holds a party celebrating the end of the recording sessions for Venus And Mars aboard the ocean liner Queen Mary, which is permanently docked in Long Beach, California, and converted into a hotel. Among the 200 guests present to wave goodbye to Paul, Linda and Wings after two months of recording are former Monkees Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Marvin Gaye, The Faces, Rudy Vallee, Phil Everly, The Jackson Five, Bob Dylan, Ryan and Tatum O'Neal, Dean Martin, Tony Curtis, Paul Williams, Cher, David Cassidy, members of Led Zeppelin and their manager Peter Grant, Mal Evans, Derek Taylor and George Harrison. This marks the first time that George and Paul are seen socialising together since the break-up of The Beatles five years earlier. As the guests file into the Grand Saloon, they are greeted by large posters which read: "Venus & Mars Are All Right Tonight". Paul, dressed in a silk shirt and slippers, spends the evening greeting guests while music is provided by The Meters and Professor Longhair, aka Henry Bird. His performance is recorded by Paul and released on the MPL album Live On The Queen Mary, which Paul co-produces. (Although this party serves as their farewell to America, Paul and Linda will not actually leave America until April 2.)
Wednesday March 26
Paul and Linda remain in America to attend the Los Angeles film premiere of Tommy, the big-screen version of Pete Townshend's rock-opera, which stars Ann-Margaret, Oliver Reed and Roger Daltrey in the title role. David Frost, who covers the event for his ABC TV show Wide World Of Entertainments, interviews the McCartneys for the programme.
Saturday March 29
Ringo attends the European premiere of the film of Pete Townshend's rock opera Tommy at the Leicester Square Theatre in London. The former Beatle, wearing a top hat adorned with a Tommy badge, joins members of The Who, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Brit Ekiand, Andy Fairweather-Low and David Essex. Capital radio DJ Nicky Home broadcasts his whole Your Mother Wouldn't Like It show from the theatre's lobby, intercut with interviews, including one with Ringo. Following the screening Ringo attends a party for 800 at the Inn On The Park hotel. A torrential downpour soaks both stars and waiting fans.
Monday March 31
In London, the financial returns for McCartney Productions Ltd. reveal, for the year 1974/1975, sales of £473,576, while outgoing expenses are £231,324, resulting in a first time profit for the company of £196,631 after the company is liable for a tax bill of £45,621.
The Beatles' former personal assistant Peter Brown arrives in London from New York to oversee plans for the £1 million production of Robert Stigwood's big screen version of John, Paul, George, Ringo... And Bert. Shooting is scheduled to begin in July.
Wednesday April 2
Paul, Linda and the family arrive back in England at Heathrow Airport. Reporters at the airport remark somewhat unkindly that Paul, who is carrying a large portable radio, is wearing the exact same outfit, suit, shirt and shoes, that he wore when he left the country on January 10 earlier this year.
Friday April 4
Ringo forms a new record label called Ring O'Records, a name suggested by John. To promote the label, he begins a heavy round of promotional interviews, one of which is for Melody Maker. The feature is published on April 12 (see entry). During his interview for BBC Radio One, he puts a damper on The Beatles reunion rumours by announcing: "I am not keen on reforming The Beatles!"
Saturday April 5
Ringo's 'No No Song' peaks at number three in the US singles chart.
Tuesday April 8
In New York, it is reported that Linda will not fight a charge of marijuana possession against her. She reveals that she is "ready to attend a class on the evils of drug abuse in expiation".
Wednesday April 9
In London, one day short of five years since Paul announced that he had quit The Beatles, the partnership of The Beatles & Co. is finally dissolved at a private hearing before a High Court. Solicitors announce: "All matters in the dispute between Mr. McCartney and John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have been fully settled."
Thursday April 10
Pre-recorded interviews with John, recorded in New York to promote the album Rock 'N' Roll, form the basis of a Capital Radio special, transmitted tonight, entitled An Evening With John Lennon.
Saturday April 12
Melody Maker publishes an interview with Ringo, carried out by Steve Lake, entitled "Why I Don't Want To Play Drums Like Buddy Rich". The feature is by way of a promotion for his new record label called Ring O'Records. Melody Maker naturally asks: "What will Ring O'Records do that Apple couldn't?"
Ringo: "What people don't realise is that Apple was never really much more than an extension of Parlophone."
The conversation shifts to Ringo - the drummer. "Nothing is more satisfying than playing the kit. I prefer studios to being on the road, mostly because it's so much more relaxed ..." On his drumming style ... "Buddy Rich might be the fastest thing on two feet, but I've got no interest in trying to play like him, not that I could anyway." On his songwriting: "I only know three chords, and when I'm writing, I use three guitars, one tuned to each chord ..."
Friday April 18
On the day that BBC2 transmits John's Old Grey Whistle Test interview (see entries for March 17 and 18) for the first time in England, Lennon himself is to be found in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in New York City, recording an appearance for the ATV/ITC TV special Salute To Sir Lew - The Master Showman. This is a star-studded cabaret event to celebrate the distinguished career of Sir Lew Grade, the former tap-dancer and now the cigar-puffing head of Associated Television (ATV), who had recently been honoured by the National Academy of Television and Sciences. John's appearance is also part of a belated settlement, arising from a publishing dispute over material co-written by him and Yoko, which caused the delay of John's UK release a few years earlier.
For tonight's show, John, sporting a pair of dark round glasses, appears with his long hair tied back into a ponytail and is dressed in a bright red boiler suit covered in zips. Clutching an acoustic guitar, he performs live vocal versions of 'Slippin And Slidin' ', 'Stand By Me' and, rather nervously, 'Imagine', in which John changes the lyrics to "brotherhood and sisterhood of man", a reference to his espousal of feminist politics. He is joined by the eight-piece band Etcetera, who appear dressed in matching boiler suits and, rather strangely, face masks attached to the back of their heads. John is naturally asked about the significance of these masks. He replies: "It was a sardonic reference to my feelings on Lew Grade's personality!" (His resentment stems from Grade's ATV company taking control of The Beatles' Northern Songs in 1969. The Beatles, most significantly John and Paul, were forced to sell their remaining stock in Northern Songs to ATV for a sum reputed to be in excess of $5 million.)
Incidentally, John's backing band, Etcetera, is actually the group BOMF, which stands for Brothers Of Mother Fuckers, a name still visible on the bass drum during their performance. (BOMF had actually originated from the group Community Apple, whose previous lead singer Joey Dambra sang backing vocals on John's track 'No. 9 Dream'. At John's suggestion, BOMF will later change their name to Dog Soldier - the words from one of his songs.)
John returns at the very end of the Salute To Sir Lew show to take a bow with the rest of the cast, this time dressed in a more formal blue shirt and white trousers, plus, of course, his trademark cap and scarf. Joining him on the star-studded bill tonight is the host, the Irish comedian Dave Allen, plus singing stars Tom Jones and Julie Andrews, comic genius Peter Sellers and the Dougie Squires Second Generation dance group. The show is watched by an equally star-studded audience, which includes from the world of American entertainment, George Segal, William Conrad, Shirley MacLaine, Kirk Douglas, Gene Kelly, Goldie Hawn and Lauren Bacall. The 52-minute videotaped show is first transmitted in America on June 13,1975, while the UK TV screening takes place one week later, across the ITV network on June 20 at different times throughout the evening. Both US and UK versions of the show cut 'Stand By Me' from John's three-track live performance which will turn out to be John's last. (Incidentally, Sir Lew Grade died in London, aged 91, during the early hours of December 13,1998, following complications with a heart operation.)
Saturday April 19 & Sunday April 20
At his home in Los Angeles, George records a two-hour radio interview with Dave Herman of the New York radio station WNEW. The DIR syndication network in America transmits the interview on May 24, with a further airing taking place on August 17 as part of the King Biscuit Flower Hour.
Thursday April 24
In England, Badfinger's Pete Ham is found hanged at his home in Woking, Surrey. He was only 27 years of age.
Monday April 28
Since the demise of The Beatles five years previously, the appearance of an individual Beatle on a nationwide television programme is a guaranteed audience puller. However, tonight, on Channel 4, WNBC TV in America, the station manages to pull off a major scoop by screening separate appearances by two former Beatles on the one channel. Firstly, almost seven years since The Beatles appeared on the show by way of a pre-taped video, Ringo reappears solo to perform again on the top-rated variety show The Smothers Brothers Show (transmitted between 8:00 and 9:00pm ET), hosted by Tom and Dick Smothers. The pair, of course, were infamously involved with John during the Troubadour Club fracas on March 12,1974. On tonight's show, Ringo performs, with The Smothers Brothers, a rendition of 'No No Song', at the end of which, as part of the act, a US policeman appears to arrest whoever is carrying the "substance" outlined in the song they've just sung. A member of the studio audience shouts out, "Share it!" to which they cry out the lyrics of the song, "No, no, no, no, we don't smoke it no more!" Also shown is the rarely screened promo film for 'Snookeroo'. Joining Ringo on tonight's show is the comedy actress Lily Tomlin.
Later in the evening, (between 1:00 and 2:00am ET), John is interviewed by Tom Snyder for the programme, The Tomorrow Show. Such is the importance of an appearance by John that the entire 50-minute programme is given over to him and, during the final part of the show, his lawyer Leon Wildes. Snyder begins the interview recalling The Beatles' impact in America during their first visit in 1964, and visiting a concert in Philadelphia in 1965 where, he remembers: "So much screaming and so much carrying on." He asks John, "Did this bother you at all while you were doing these concerts, that people couldn't hear your music and that all they could hear was themselves screaming?"
John replies: "It got a little boring. It was great when it first happened, when you first come on, all you got was 'wah!' But then it became lip-synching, miming, sometimes things would break down and no one would know... It wasn't doing the music any good."
Tom: "As I recall, there were fan clubs or clubs of followers for each of the individuals in the organisations ..."
John (interrupting): "Well, it was mainly a 'Beatle-Club' but they fanned it out a little just to keep a..."
Tom (interrupting): "Now, I'm just wondering just how unified any group can be when the audience have certain favourites. Maybe they like Paul more than they like John..."
John (breaking into laughter): "That's true."
Tom: "I just wondered if it's awfully difficult to be friends. And do you really care about whether or not you're friends when you are a group such as The Beatles, or whether you are The Rolling Stones or whatever?"
John: "We didn't break up because we weren't friends. We just broke up out of sheer boredom, you know, and boredom creates tension."
Tom (naively): "How can you get bored doing what you did?"
John: "Because it wasn't going anywhere, you know. We'd stopped touring and we'd just sort of say, 'Time to make an album'. You know, go into the studio, the same four of us, be looking at each other and be playing the same licks..."
Tom (interrupting): "In those silly haircuts."
John: "Those silly haircuts that you have now. If you notice, he's got his now." (John points to Tom's haircut, reminiscent of The Beatles, circa 1964.)
Tom continues the conversation by asking John about his 1969 Bed-Ins with Yoko.
John: "What we virtually had was a seven-day press conference in bed. The first day they fought at the door to get in, thinking there was something sexy going on."
Tom: "Like sensuous."
John: "That was the word I was looking for, and they (the reporters) found two people talking about peace. Reporters always have about five minutes with you, ten minutes with you. We'd let them ask anything for as long as they wanted for seven days, and all the time we just kept on plugging peace."
The exchange continues with Tom asking about people in the public eye not being able to enjoy their privacy.
John replies: "I can walk down the street and somebody'd say, 'Hi John' or 'How's your immigration?' They don't hassle me. I might sign one autograph -1 don't get hassled. I actually went through that period when I couldn't go anywhere. We go and eat, we go to the movies, we go wherever we want... but if we decide to go and eat, it's cool. We're probably less recognisable than you."
Snyder moves on to talk about drugs in the music business.
John: "There's as much dope in the music business as there is in virtually every other business now. Dope is so out in the open that you can go anywhere and it's there. There's no underground movement of people taking dope. The most extraordinary straight people are taking dope, including cocaine, anywhere and at any time. If you want it, you can have it."
This leads to John recalling his infamous 1968 drugs bust when he, along with fellow pop stars were targeted by the late Sgt. Pilcher of Scotland Yard in London, and the subsequent difficulties these stars encountered when trying to get in and out of America. "That's why Leon is here," says John, introducing his lawyer Leon Wildes.
Wildes: "John was charged as being deportable in the United States, for being an over-stay. The IS (Immigration Service) created the very status that they charged him with being deportable for. We fought that deportation case, and a decision was finally rendered, after about a year, that he was, an over-stay." (In 1973, the IS revoked a two-week extension at the end of the first week, and thus cited that John had been an over-stay for a week.)
Tom turns to John and says: "When all of us were little, we were told, 'Why try to be some place when they tell you you're not wanted.' You could live anywhere you want in this world. If you're getting hassled this way, why put up with it?"
John: "Because I'd like to live in the land of the free, Tom and also, if it's up to Joe Doe on the streets, he doesn't care about it, or would be glad an 'El Beatle' is living here. If I get in the cab, he says, 'How's it going? I hope you can stay.' I like to be here, because this is where the music came from; this is what influenced my whole life and got me where I am today, as it were. I love the place, I like to be here, I've got a lot of friends here, and it's where I want to be. Statue of Liberty... welcome!"
(Repeat screenings of the show are suitably renamed The John Lennon Show.)
(The day after John's assassination in 1980, the Tomorrow Show, accompanied by studio interviews with journalist Lisa Robinson and Jack Douglas, the producer of Double Fantasy, is re-broadcast. In 1983, this re-broadcast is released on Star Box home video sporting the suitable title The John Lennon Interview.)
Rumours circulate in the music industry that Wings is to play at this year's Knebworth Festival. The group spend most of this month rehearsing and recording, alternating between Abbey Road Studios and a soundstage at Elstree Film Studios in Hertfordshire.
In Los Angeles, George records songs for his album Extra Texture (Read All About It). The sessions produce the following tracks: 'You', 'World Of Stone', 'The Answer's At The End', 'This Guitar (Can't Keep From Crying)', 'Ooh Baby (You Know That I Love You)', 'A Bit More Of You' (continued from the Abbey Road February 1971 sessions), 'Can't Stop Thinking About You', 'Tired Of Midnight Blue', 'Grey Cloudy Lies' and 'His Name is Legs (Ladies And Gentlemen)'. (The recordings continue into June.)
Friday May 2
In London, at 3 Saville Row, the end of an era dawns when Apple's basement recording studios officially close down.
Monday May 5
An interview with Paul is transmitted on BBC Radio One.
Friday May 9 (until Sunday May 11)
As part of a succession of high-profile appearances, John travels to Philadelphia where, for three days and nights, he helps out for the second successive year on the WFIL Helping Hand Radio Marathon, an event to raise money for multiple sclerosis. John talks on the phone and even does a short stint reading the weather. He was invited to do the shows by the DJ Larry Kane, whom John met during The Beatles first visit to the States in February of 1964.
Friday May 16
The Wings single 'Listen To What The Man Said'/'Love In Song' is released in the UK. (The American release takes place on May 23.) This is the first release to include the MPL logo on its label.
Wednesday May 21
In one of the very first "Beatles History" type show, the ABC TV programme David Frost Salutes The Beatles is transmitted in America. The 60-minute special tells the story of the group from 1962 through to the current day, using film clips (usually from ABC's own archive) and recent exclusive interviews with Beatle associates George Martin, Derek Taylor, Peter Brown and Mal Evans, in one of his very rare personal appearances. The Beatles' influence on contemporary musicians is featured in interviews with David Essex, Bobby Vinton, Chuck Berry and Andy Williams. The archive clips include 'Some Other Guy', from the Cavern in August 1962 and, receiving its first airing in a decade, The Beatles' January 1965 appearance on Shindig! Representing The Beatles as they are now, the show includes clips from the February 1, 1972 Wings rehearsal for 'Give Ireland Back To The Irish', Ringo in That'll Be The Day and John during his Malibu Beach Eyewitness News interview with Elliott Mintz during November, 1973.
Tuesday May 27
The Wings album Venus And Mars is released in America. (The UK release takes place on May 30 where it will win 'Album Cover Of The Year' for 1975 from Music Week magazine.) This becomes the first Beatles-related album since 1968 not to feature the Apple logo. (See entry for June 26.)
Saturday May 31
To promote Venus And Mars, Melody Maker publishes an interview with Wings carried out by Chris Welch at Paul's London offices in Soho, London. The piece is entitled: "McCartney: 'Abbey Road' Revisited".
Paul talks about recording the album: "I'd never been to New Orleans, except on tour when we never saw anything except the inside of a trailer. The only thing I remembered about New Orleans was the vibrator bed in the motel and it was sweating hot. So we went down to New Orleans in search of a musical town and the weather. Then we found out Mardi Gras was on while we were there. I'd written most of the stuff before we got there and Jimmy had written one of the tracks with a mate of his. We'd been in Jamaica before we went to New Orleans and for the first time ever, I'd got all the songs together like a scroll that went from here to the end of the room. So I had all that together and we just went and turned up and started recording. With this new album I did this scroll thing and sat down and put one song there, and another song here. Fiddle about. Fiddle about. The only time I've done this before was on the mini-opera on Abbey Road, the only time I've sat down with four sheets of paper and put them in order."
MM: "Does Venus And Mars have any astrological or astronomical significance?"
Paul: "It's really a total fluke. I was just sitting down and started to sing anything and some words came out. And I got this whole idea... well, the bit on the second side came first... and I got this idea about a fellow sitting in a cathedral waiting for this transport from space that was going to pick him up and take him on a trip. The guy is a bit blotto and he starts thinking about a 'good friend of mine studies the stars. Venus and Mars are all right tonight'. And the next bit was 'your ruling star is in ascendancy today', but 'Venus and Mars are all right' was better, it flipped off the tongue. I thought, well I know Venus and Mars are planets so I can't go wrong there. But afterwards somebody said to me, 'Did I know that Venus and Mars are our closest neighbours' and I said 'wow'... you live and learn. And then somebody told me, 'Venus and Mars have just eclipsed the sun', or something, I'm not exactly sure, you'll have to check up with Patrick Moore. But they did something and aligned themselves exactly for the first time in 2,000 years. I swear I had no idea about all this going on. It was just stuff that happened afterwards."
Paul talks about his plans for Rupert The Bear. "I've got a big plan to do Rupert. I've been saying this for years unfortunately, but I would like to get together a big Bambi if you like. A Disney style cartoon - which will be the first actual film score I've bothered to try and get into, and I'd really love to do that... I did a couple of the main themes in The Family Way (1966) and then handed them over to George Martin."
John pops up again on the radio, this time being interviewed by the DJ Scott Muni. With his spate of promotional appearances concluded, he and Yoko move to a house on Long Beach for the summer.
In England, at Abbey Road studios, Paul records the instrumental track 'Rudolph The Red Nosed Reggae'. Meanwhile, following their holiday in the South of France, Paul, Linda and the family take up residence in a two-bedroom cottage called Waterfall near Rye in Sussex. The property, with over 160 acres of farmland, is purchased from Mr. Jim Huggs for £40,000. Their farmyard includes 11 horses and ponies, 10 sheep, 18 pheasants, ducks and hens, three dogs and an aviary of budgerigars. Also, unconfirmed reports in the music press reveal that Wings will be touring America at the end of the year and that Wings have been invited to appear at this year's Reading Festival in Berkshire, scheduled for the weekend of August 22-24. (The offer is ultimately rejected.)
Monday June 2
In the States, the Wings album Venus And Mars is awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.
Still in America, Ringo releases the medley single 'It's All Down To Goodnight Vienna' - 'Goodnight Vienna' (reprise)/'Oo-Wee'.
Monday June 9
George signs a second rock group to his Dark Horse label. They are called Jiva, a four-piece band that originate from America. Also today, BBC Radio One transmits the pre-recorded interview with George carried out by the DJ Paul Gambaccini for his programme Rockweek.
Thursday June 12
Tonight's edition of Top Of The Pops (broadcast on BBC1 between 7:10 and 7:40pm) features the popular all-female dance troupe Pan's People dancing to the Wings track 'Listen To What The Man Said'.
Friday June 13
John's pre-recorded appearance on the ATV/ITC television special^ Salute To Sir Lew Grade is aired on American TV. (The UK transmission, featuring the alternative title of Salute, occurs across the ITV network on June 20, at different times throughout the evening. See entry for April 18.) One of John's three songs, 'Imagine', is later released in 1992 on the PMI home video The John Lennon Video Collection.
Saturday June 14
Venus And Mars tops the UK album charts. (It will reside in the charts for a total of 22 weeks.)
Thursday June 19
At the Federal Court in Manhattan, John files a suit against the former Nixon administration attorneys General John Mitchell, Richard Kleindienst and officials of the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service. The suit charges that John had been singled out for selective prosecution because of his political views and that he was not being deported, as previously stated by the US government, because of his 1968 drug conviction in England.
Saturday June 21
At Wembley Stadium in London, Ringo is to be found backstage in the VIP area at the concert by The Beach Boys and Elton John.
Thursday June 26
A 60-second TV commercial to promote the Venus And Mars album begins transmissions across the UK ITV network tonight and tomorrow. The piece, made by Karel Reisz at a private house in Holland Park, London last month, features the band playing a light-hearted game of snooker, accompanied by a soundtrack featuring excerpts of 'Venus And Mars', 'You Gave Me The Answer', 'Listen To What The Man Said', 'Treat Her Gently', 'Medicine Jar' and 'Venus And Mars' (reprise). Also this evening (in most ITV regions), Paul's version of the Crossroads theme appears for the first time closing tonight's edition of the soap opera. (It will subsequently run at the end of each edition for the next four years.) The star of the serial, Noelle Gordon, who plays Meg Richardson, the owner of the Crossroads motel, is asked about the introduction of Paul's music: "I am in favour of the switch," she replies. "After all, we're eleven years on and it's time for something a little more advanced."
Saturday June 28
The Wings album Venus and Mars reaches number one in the UK.
At his Dakota apartment, John shaves off all his hair, thereby becoming the first totally bald Beatle!
Paul and Linda return to Nashville, this time purely for a holiday. They go to see the critically acclaimed film Nashville starring Uly Tomlin and Shelley Duvall, but find it not to their liking.
Shooting begins on Robert Stigwood's John, Paul, George, Ringo ... And Bert at several key locations in Liverpool and London. Shooting is eventually scrapped and filming will not resume until 1977 by which time it will have a completely new story and cast.
Friday July 4
In the UK, Wamer Brothers release the Mike McGear single 'Dance The Do', a song co-written by Paul (who also produces) and Mike. Promotions for the single involve the participation of the Top Of The Pops dance troupe Pan's People.
Saturday July 5
A scheduled interview with Paul by Charles Shaar Murray, due for publication in the NME today, fails to materialise due to industrial action.
Monday July 7
As a special surprise for Ringo's 35th birthday, Keith Moon arranges for a skywriter to write in the sky "Happy Birthday Ringo". Later, a birthday party is held at the Beverly Wiltshire Hotel in Los Angeles. Among those in attendance are The Rolling Stones.
Saturday July 12
Ringo's 'Goodnight Vienna' reaches number 31 in the US singles chart.
Thursday July 17
In London, a decree nisi, based on the grounds of adultery, is granted to Maureen Starkey against Ringo. He does not fight the action.
Saturday July 19
The Wings single 'Listen To What The Man Said' and the album Venus and Mars both reach number one today in the American charts.
George spends time in Los Angeles, where he sees shows by The Rolling Stones and Carlos Santana and socialises with Ringo.
Also this month, Ringo, accompanied by his new companion Nancy Andrews, attends the first annual Rock Music Awards in Santa Monica, California.
Saturday August 16
The musical John, Paul, George, Ringo... And Bert closes at the Lyric Theatre in London's Shaftesbury Avenue after running for a year.
Saturday August 23
To preview the upcoming British tour by the new-look Wings, Melody Maker publish, on its front, a picture of Linda during the Venus And Mars recording session. "Linda McCartney," the report reads, "faces her sternest test this autumn when Wings start a major British tour, the opening part of a mammoth world-wide trek..."
Meanwhile in Los Angeles at the Cherokee Studios, Ringo plays drums with Eric Clapton, joining him on guitar for a promotional appearance by Mac Rebennack (aka Dr. John). For the show, United Artists turn the studio into an imaginary night-spot, all to celebrate the fact he has just been signed to their label.
Monday August 25 (until August 29)
During his time in Los Angeles, George drops in to play slide guitar on the Tom Scott track 'Appolonia (Fostrata)', which will appear on Scott's album New York Connection, which is released in America on December 8 and in the UK on April 2,1976.
An interview with John, carried out by the reporter Penny Grant, is printed in the American magazine Game.
The legendary sax player Bobby Keys signs a long time contract to Ring O'Records. His first release is the single 'Gimme The Keys'/'Honky Tonk'.
George grants another interview to the DJ Paul Gambaccini for his BBC Radio One programme.
Friday September 5
The Wings single 'Letting GoVYou Gave Me The Answer' is released in the UK where it will reach the number 41 position. (The American release takes place on September 29.) On the same day, the single 'Listen To What The Man Said' is awarded a gold disc by the RIAA in America.
Saturday September 6
At 7:45pm, prior to the start of the Wings 1975/1976 world tour, the group performs live on Stage 5 at the Elstree Film Studios in Hertfordshire for 1,200 EMI employees, tour associates, and 100 members of the Wings fan club, randomly chosen from those who live within the greater London area. Also present are 100 specially invited guests including Ringo (who arrived late from Los Angeles and missed chatting with Paul and Linda at the start of the concert), Victor Spinetti, Twiggy, Elton John, Harry Nilsson, the actor Richard Chamberlain, Dave Mason, Long John Baldry, all four members of the group Queen and even a real life Womble. Following their performance, the Wings troop across to Studio 8 at Elstree where Elton John's manager John Reid is having a birthday party. On the wall is a fifty-foot high tapestry design of Eiton. The setting for the party is an old western town, which had been constructed earlier by the studio stagehands.
Meanwhile, "George Bounces Back!" George appears on the front page of Melody Maker to promote his latest album Extra Texture (Read All About It). Inside, he breaks his long silence to talk exclusively to the paper about Bob Dylan, the sitar, the playfohn, Paul, George, Ringo.... and Bert, California, The Bay City Rollers, Bob Marley, his new album and, of course, The Beatles.
"I'd rather be an ex-Beatle than an ex-Nazi!" he exclaims.
"George Harrison went to see the celebrated play John, Paul, George, Ringo ... And Bert in London last week. He left the theatre at the interval. He could not stand the pain of seeing himself and the Beatle years being re-enacted so uncannily, and he questioned the fundamental need for the show," the Melody Maker report states. "He had been persuaded to go by close friend Derek Taylor. 'George found it hard work to watch, and I found it hard work sitting with him. It was a genuine form of suffering for him.' It was hardly surprising that George didn't enjoy it - after all, he was hardly in love with The Beatles story while it was happening."
"In some ways I feel like I'm out of touch!" says George.
On Bob Marley, whom George has seen perform three times in Los Angeles at the Roxy Theatre: "... best thing I've seen in ten years. Marley reminds me so much of Dylan in the early days, playing guitar as if he's so new to it. And his rhythm is so simple yet so beautiful. I could watch The Wallers all night."
On the sitar: "I haven't played the sitar since 1968 or '69, and the funny thing is that I keep winning the Playboy polls for playing it... I'm still trying to master the guitar!"
MM: "Do you ever play Beatles albums, George?"
George: "No, I haven't played one for years."
MM: "How do you remember them when you look back?"
George: "Oh, I think The Beatles were, or are ... very good. After all, we went through it all together and we were all very young when The Beatles happened. We've still got plenty in common even though we're different people - naturally, we're about ten years older!"
On Bob Dylan: "... he is still the most consistent artist there is. Even stuff which people loathe, I like ... I've seen him quite a bit recently - he's the looniest person I've ever met."
"... To tell you the truth, I've still never heard The Bay City Rollers."
Later this evening, BBC Radio One broadcast the programme Rockweek, where George discusses the Extra Texture album track by track.
Sunday September 7
Paul and Linda pay a visit to the Hammersmith Odeon in London to see Dave Mason in concert. Following the show, they join the former Traffic guitarist backstage for a chat.
Wings World Tour 1975/1976
Part One - Britain and Australia
September 9 - November 14
Paul and Wings begin a thirteen-month tour often countries, beginning with Britain and Australia. Their repertoire, which will ultimately be played to over two million people, consists of the following: 'Venus And Mars', 'Rock Show', 'Jet', 'Let Me Roll It', 'Spirits Of Ancient Egypt', 'Little Woman Love', 'C Moon', 'Maybe I'm Amazed', 'Lady Madonna', 'The Long And Winding Road', 'Live And Let Die', 'Picasso's Last Words', 'Richard Cory', 'Bluebird', 'I've Just Seen A Face', 'Blackbird', 'Yesterday' (the last two featuring Paul solo on acoustic guitar), 'You Gave Me The Answer', 'Magneto And Titanium Man', 'Go Now', 'Call Me Back Again', 'My Love', 'Listen To What The Man Said', 'Letting Go', 'Medicine Jar', 'Junior's Farm' and 'Band On The Run'. The encores are 'Hi Hi Hi' and 'Soily'.
The UK dates kick off with shows at:
Southampton Gaumont (Tuesday September 9)
Bristol Hippodrome (Wednesday September 10)
Cardiff Capitol (Thursday September 11)
Manchester Free Trade Hall (Friday September 12)
Birmingham Hippodrome (Saturday September 13)
Liverpool Empire (Monday September 15)
Newcastle City Hall (Tuesday September 16)
Hammersmith Odeon (Wednesday September 17 and Thursday 18)
Edinburgh Usher Hall (Saturday September 20)
Glasgow Apollo (Sunday September 21)
Aberdeen Capitol (Monday September 22)
Dundee Caird Hall (Tuesday September 23)
Prior to the start of the tour, Paul and Wings briefly record at Abbey Road. Meanwhile, footage of Paul, Linda and Wings departing from their home in London on Monday September 8 to start their tour is filmed and included at the start of the 'Letting Go' promotional film. Accompanying Wings on their trip is a special tutor for Paul and Linda's children, Mary and Heather. Ticket prices for the Wings' provisional concerts cost between £1 and £2.50, while for the London dates, tickets cost between £1 and £2.80. Every night, for the benefit of the group's entourage, Paul lays on a film show, which usually includes the 1972 Woody Allen film, Play It Again, Sam, Mel Brooke's Blazing Saddles and French Connection 11.
The concerts at Elstree (September 6), Liverpool (September 15), Newcastle (September 16) and Glasgow (September 21) are all filmed for Paul by the London based Production Company Tyncho Films. To date, only clips of 'Venus And Mars', 'Rock Show' and 'Letting Go' from the Glasgow Apollo show have seen the light of day.
Thursday September 11
The morning after the concert at the Hippodrome in Bristol, Wings give a press conference at the Post House hotel, situated just outside the town. Paul is asked: "Just what keeps you going?"
"Drugs" he jokingly replies. "No. I just like the music."
Reporter: "Have you seen The Beatles lately?"
Paul: "We run into each other and stuff - we're just good friends."
Reporter: "Is Wings really a logical development from The Beatles?"
Paul: "Well, I've always written songs, but with The Beatles we only ever rehearsed for three days at the most. With this band we rehearse a lot."
Reporter: "Are you looking forward to playing in Cardiff?" (The show scheduled for tonight.)
Paul: "Of course."
Reporter: "Why did you decide to go back on the road?"
Paul: "Well, either we sit at home and do it, or we play in front of people. Now it's a pleasure to do it and we want to keep on working."
Reporter: "Will Wings ever become as big as The Beatles?"
Paul: "I think it could be, funnily enough. The whole thing is bigger now. We're having a great time - we like to play music and people like to come and hear it."
Reporter: "How different is Wings from The Beatles?"
Paul: "They scream at our concerts, but they don't scream as much. People used to come and scream and didn't hear any of the music. Now they can."
Reporter: "Do you want to bring back The Beatles?"
Paul: "It wasn't within my power to bring back The Beatles. It was a four way split and we all wanted to do different things. We're all very good friends. John is keeping very quiet at the moment, while unfortunately I'm out working ... I like it."
Before departing for Cardiff, Paul and Linda give interviews to news crews from BBC TV and Harlech ITV. As the entourage head off up the motorway, a camera team zooms up alongside Paul and Linda's car, filming the couple in the back of their black Rolls Royce.
Monday September 15
During tonight's concert at the Liverpool Empire, the song 'Soily' is temporarily forgotten by the band and has to be inserted into their encore, where it will stay for the remainder of the tour.
Wednesday September 17 & Thursday September 18
To promote the two Hammersmith Odeon concerts, Paul commissions a special 30-second television commercial which is screened across the South East areas (Thames and Southern) of the ITV network only days before the shows are scheduled to take place. The irony is that the adverts are selling a concert that have long since been a sell-out. During Wings' second concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London (September 18), a fan shouts from the audience: "What about John Lennon?" Paul quickly replies: "What about him?"
Following the show, Paul throws a party, which is attended by Ringo, Alice Cooper, Harry Nilsson, Lynsey De Paul, David Frost and various members of Pink Floyd and Queen.
Friday September 19
A pre-recorded interview with Paul on the tour is transmitted on Capital Radio in London.
Saturday September 20
Linda remarks: "They'll keep asking about The Beatles forever... all four of them get so bored with it."
With Wings in the middle of their UK tour and about to prepare to take to the road in Australia, Melody Maker publishes the first of a two-part report on the group by Chris Welch. (The second part, which features an interview with Linda, is printed on September 27.)
Sunday September 21
For their encore tonight at the Glasgow Apollo, the group reappears on stage wearing kilts.
Saturday September 27
Melody Maker publishes the second part of its two-part feature on Wings, focusing entirely on Linda. She discusses her love for British football. "I love it. Manchester United - and Everton. Everton were good last year. I love watching Match Of The Day. I've always loved sports and football is the game to watch on a Saturday night on telly, y'know."
She is asked if she ever saw herself becoming a musician? "Not even when I married Paul I didn't. It never entered my mind. If he hadn't said anything I wouldn't have done it. It was his idea - it wasn't like me saying, 'Listen I can do this ...' I never tried to sing or play or anything."
Chris Welch points out that she seems very relaxed and competent on this tour: "I never was on any of the other tours. But I think that's 'cos I like it now and know a few chords. Last night a few things kept going out of tune, like the Moog bit on 'Band On The Run' and the Mellotron went out a bit - that sort of thing. It happened on 'Live And Let Die'. During rehearsals I used to get really really nervous when a solo bit came up because it all depended on me, but it's funny in front of an audience, I feel more relaxed."
Wednesday September 17
Chris Charlesworth, in his Melody Maker review of Wings' opening night concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, concludes by writing, "An excellent concert, and one which must surely go to America soon. After George Harrison's dismal tour in the States last year, Paul will reawaken Beatlemania should he choose to take Wings across the Atlantic."
Meanwhile in Australia, one month before the Wings concerts at the Melbourne Myer's Music Bowl are scheduled to take place, tickets for the two shows on November 13 and 14 go on sale in the city at the Tivoli Arcade. Approximately 1,500 fans queue through the night and endure thunder, lightning and heavy rain in order to get the best seats for the shows. The box office finally opens at 8am, and within two hours 2,000 seated tickets, priced at $10, are sold and by noon 11,000 lawn seats, priced at $6.80, are sold to fans.
Following Paul and Linda's two-week holiday, Wings, and half of their entourage, arrive in Perth on Tuesday October 28. Even though an official press conference had been arranged for the following Sunday (November 2), Paul still finds time to speak to a small cluster of reporters who are standing on the tarmac to greet him. The Australian leg of the Wings World Tour, before crowds totalling 60,000, goes as follows:
Perth Entertainment Centre (Saturday November 1)
Adelaide Apollo Stadium (Tuesday November 4 and Wednesday November 5)
Sydney Horden Pavilion (Friday November 7 and Saturday November 8)
Brisbane Festival Hall (Monday November 10 and Tuesday November 11)
Melbourne Myers Music Bowl (Thursday November 13 and Friday November 14)
During the tour...
Saturday October 25
'Letting Go' reaches number 41 in the UK and number 39 in the US singles charts.
Monday October 27
The start of the Australian leg of the world tour begins shakily when Paul, Linda and their family oversleep, forcing the passengers already seated on the Qantas Jumbo jet to Australia to wait for 45 minutes while the McCartneys rush to London's Heathrow airport. Paul's fine works out at $200 a minute.
Wednesday October 29
Following a lengthy Wings rehearsal in Perth, Denny is presented with a huge cake to celebrate his 31st birthday. Later in the day, the group travel to Rottnest Island and return to their base by hydrofoil.
Saturday November 1
A 12-minute interview with Wings, carried out backstage this afternoon at the Entertainment Centre in Perth, is transmitted later this evening on the Channel 7 programme The Mike Walsh Show. Tonight's Wings concert at the Entertainment Centre is recorded by the Australian radio station 3XY and transmitted the following evening.
Sunday November 2
Still in Perth, Wings give a press conference in front of over 200 reporters and photographers, one of which is with the top Australian comedian Norman Gunston, who flies in especially to interview Paul and Linda for his Channel 9 programme, The Norman Gunston Show. Chaos ensues as Wings arrive. In the room, primarily to greet the Australian press and to receive some gold records acknowledging vast record sales in the country, the group find Gunston asleep in their chairs. Amid the scenes of pure chaos, Gunston (real name Garry McDonald) first asks Linda:
"It must be difficult, Mrs. McCartney, being married all day, you know the two of you, and then at night having to perform together on stage."
Linda: "We're about to have a fight on stage one night."
Gunston: "Do you ever feel like sometimes saying, 'Not tonight, thanks darling. I've got a headache?' They'd slow hand clap you if you did."
After a break to allow the laughter from around the room to die down, Gunston continues: "Would you coax one of your children to go into the 'overnight sensation' world of the music industry?"
Paul: "Well, if they wanted to, Norman, I'd let them."
Gunston: "I suppose anyway, if they didn't do too good they could always open up a sandwich shop using your name, you know, something like Paul McCartney's Son's Take Away Foods ... except that fruit shop of yours didn't do too good in London did it?"
Paul (rather bemused, asks inquisitively): "The McCartney fruit shop? (Then, with the joke suddenly dawning on him) ... Apple!... oh Apple!"
Gunston: "That didn't do too good!"
Paul: "Give that man a drink."
Gunston: "Was that one of John's ideas?"
Paul: "It was, Norm, yes."
Gunston: "There are two sides to every story, but I've heard the other Beatles used to get a bit annoyed because Mrs. McCartney used to invite them over for long boring slide evenings all the time ..." (He pauses again while another round of laughter fills the small room.)
Gunston: "When you did that LP Abbey Road, was there any truth in the rumour that you were dead?"
Denny Laine: "He's not really here." Paul refuses to comment.
Gunston: "Did you have any Beatlemania Mrs. McCartney?"
Gunston: "Which one was your favourite, before you was related?"
Linda: "Er... Mick Jagger!"
Gunston (whispering towards his television camera): "I think she got him (Paul) on the rebound!" Then returning to his questions directed at the couple: "Er... the marriage is OK? The marriage is OK?" (He asks desperately.)
Paul: "It's all right, but you're not helping it, Norm!"
Gunston: "It's funny, you know (looking towards Linda), you don't look Japanese!" (A 1' 28" excerpt from this press conference reappears in the 1979 MPL documentary Wings Over The World)
Tuesday November 11
Bad news reaches Paul when the Japanese government ban him and Linda from entering Japan for a series of concerts. They cite the British drug conviction of March 8,1973. Paul remembers the problem: "It was the Minister of Justice's fault. I suppose he'd say it was my fault for having smoked some of the deadly weed. But we had our visas signed by the London Embassy. Everything had been cleared and David Bailey was coming over to do a film. We were in Australia, just about a week from going to Japan when a little note arrived saying the Japanese Minister of Justice says 'No'... It was just one of those things but we felt a bit sick about it. They're still old fashioned over there. There's a generation gap and the wrong end of the gap is in the Ministry of Justice, as it is here."
Thursday November 13
Wings arrive at Melbourne's Myers Music Bowl for an afternoon rehearsal where Paul and Linda's arrival is covered by Channel 9 news. Due to the incredible demand for tickets in Australia, this evening's concert at the Bowl in Melbourne is taped for an Australian TV special. Paul dedicates the show to "all the people who couldn't get in to see us".
For the transmission, the show includes the following songs: 'Venus And Mars', 'Rock Show', 'Jet', 'Let Me Roll It', 'Maybe I'm Amazed', 'I've Just Seen A Face', 'Blackbird', 'Yesterday', 'Listen To What The Man Said', 'Call Me Back Again', 'Letting Go', 'Band On The Run' and 'Hi Hi Hi' (for the encore).
Aware now that he cannot enter Japan, Paul requests a copy of the Melbourne television show be sent to the country to compensate disappointed fans. (Paul also videotapes a special 30-second message of apology to be shown on Japan's NHKTV channel.) To accompany the Wings live broadcast on Japanese TV, a programme is tagged onto the show which discusses the merits and demerits of marijuana. Wings return home early to England on November 15. With extra time on their hands, Paul, Linda and their family then take a vacation in Hawaii.
Friday September 12
George's single 'You'/'World Of Stone' is released in the UK. (The American release takes place on September 15.) In the UK on BBC Radio One, the single becomes the David Hamilton Record Of The Week for the period Monday September 8 to Friday September 12. This evening, George makes a somewhat late live appearance on Nicky Horne's Capital Radio show Your Mother Wouldn't Like It (broadcast between 9:00 and 11:00pm, with George scheduled to appear at approximately 9:30). Horne covers the countdown to George's arrival at the Capital studios in London as the former Beatle battles his way through the heavy traffic. Shortly after this show, George will return to Los Angeles.
Saturday September 13
In England, the UK music newspaper Record Mirror & Disc publishes an interview with Paul.
Wednesday September 17
From his LA home, by way of a promotion for the new album Extra Texture (Read All About It), George is interviewed by the US DJ Dave Herman.
Monday September 22
George's album Extra Texture (Read All About It) is released in America. (The UK release takes place on October 3.)
Tuesday September 23
In Washington, the American Justice department delays a deportation order against John. Mr. Oswald Kramer, the acting commissioner for the Immigration and Naturalisation Service in the north eastern States, says: "Mr Lennon is entitled to a delay on humanitarian grounds because of his wife's pregnancy."
Friday September 26
In the UK, Island Records release the Peter Skellern album Hard Times, which features George playing guitar on the track 'Make Love Not War'.
Saturday September 27
In South Africa, at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Ringo takes part in an all-star celebrity tennis tournament.
In Los Angeles, following his recent visit to South Africa, Ringo attends the opening night concert performance by Dr. John at the Roxy club.
Saturday October 4
Melody Maker publish: "Just An Ordinary Superstar - Fresh from a highly successful Wings tour, Paul McCartney talks to Chris Welch."
"... It occurred to me the other day I can now afford to sit down and see what everyone else has been doing all these years instead of doing it myself. We came back with Wings and proved we could still play. 'He's proved he can still sing, pull an audience and sell out - what more do you want? So he's proved that - now good night!' "
On George seeming to be the most anti-press: "Oh no he isn't. George is so straight. He's so straight and so ordinary and so real. And he happens to believe in God. That's what's wrong with George, to most people's minds. He happens to believe in God, y'know which is a terrible crime and that's so mad. There's nothing freaky about George at all. Some people think he's freaky because he's grown a beard ... all George is - he's a grown-up teenager, and he refuses to give in to the grown-up world. He won't do it -just because everyone says: You're a freak, you're a recluse.' "
On John: "John's supposed to be a loony according to some people and I know he isn't. If you ask me, The Beatles are very sane but they're cheeky with it. With The Beatles our great 'in-joke' was always that whenever we split up we'd do a Wembley concert and John was gonna do this big thing like: 'Fuck the Queen!' We were really going to blow it. It was a beautiful dream."
Why didn't you do it? "You're joking, aren't you? Up on the roof at Apple was probably the last time we played together. I can't remember. I'm not a great Beatle-ologist. The Sixties for me are a blur. Sixty-three is the same as sixty-seven. It was all one big time. I read the Hunter Davies book and bits of the Allan Williams book too, which John gave me a copy of the last time I saw him. That's a laugh that one. I mean blimey, that's slightly exaggerated to put it mildly. The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away, eh? My brother was thinking of writing one called The Man Who Couldn't Give The Beatles Away."
Sunday October 5
With Wings now most definitely a force to be reckoned with, BBC Radio One finally dedicate a whole show to the group. The show, transmitted today between 5:00 and 5:59pm as part of the Insight documentary series, is titled Wings - The Birth Of A Band, and features Paul discussing the current Wings tour, their music and their plans for the future with Paul Gambaccini.
Monday October 6
In America, Dark Horse Records release the Splinter album Harder To Live, featuring production by George and Tom Scott. The record also features the Mal Evans track 'Lonely Man', which appeared in the Apple film Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs.
In England, the hit musical John, Paul, George, Ringo... And Bert, starts a tour of the provinces featuring a different cast to that of its year long London run. Tonight the musical play opens at the Ashcroft Theatre in Croydon, with its tour ending at the Rex in Wilmslow on December 20.
Tuesday October 7
John wins a further victory in his three-and-a-half-year battle to remain in America, when a three-judge US court of appeal in New York City overturns (by a two to one decision) the order to deport him. The court ruling states that John's 1968 UK drug conviction was contrary to the US understanding of due process of law and therefore did not justify deportation. The ruling notes that: "Lennon's four-year battle to remain in our country is a testimony to his faith in the American dream." The court orders the Immigration and Naturalisation Service to reconsider John's request for permanent resident status and rules that his 1968 drug conviction in England did not make him an "excludable alien".
Thursday October 9
Two days after winning another significant point in his fight to remain in America, John becomes a father for the second time, when Yoko, through caesarean section, gives birth to their son, Sean Taro Ono Lennon at the New York hospital. He weighs in at 8 pounds 10 ounces. John is quoted as saying: "I feel higher than the Empire State Building!" Elton John becomes the child's godfather.
Friday October 10
The Warner Brothers film Lizstomania, featuring a cameo by Ringo in the role of the Pope, premieres in New York. It will open in London on November 13, and becomes the top grossing film of the week, beating strong competition from Walt Disney's Jungle Book and a re-issue of the classic Gone With The Wind. Lisztomania takes in £13,240.
Friday October 24
John's compilation album Shaved Fish is released simultaneously in the UK and the US. The album features the following tracks: side one: 'Give Peace A Chance', 'Cold Turkey', 'Instant Karma', 'Mother', 'Woman Is The Nigger Of The World'; side two: 'Imagine', 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night', 'Mind Games', 'No. 9 Dream', 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over)', 'Give Peace A Chance'. (Note: The first and last track, 'Give Peace A Chance', are short extracts from the August 30, 1972 One To One Concert performance at New York's Madison Square Garden.) Also today in the UK, John's single 'Imagine'/'Working Class Hero' is released for the first time.
Monday October 27
The Wings single 'Venus And Mars', 'Rock Show'/'Magneto And Titanium Man' is released in the US. (The UK release is on November 28.)
Saturday November 1
George's 'You' reaches number 38 in the UK and number 20 in the US singles charts.
Friday November 7
In the UK, Atlantic Records release the Steve Stills album 2 Originals Of Steve Stills (1 & 2), featuring Ringo drumming on the tracks 'To A Flame' and 'We Are Not Helpless'.
Tuesday November 11
George's album Extra Texture receives a gold disc from the RIAA, representing the high record sales in America.
Friday November 14
In the UK, Charisma Records release the George Harrison produced Monty Python single 'The Lumberjack Song'.
Sunday November 16
Ringo's film That'll Be The Day is reissued to London cinemas, playing as a support to its follow-up movie Stardust, also starring David Essex. The double-bill goes on general release the following day.
Thursday November 20
In Los Angeles, Judge Brian Cahan dismisses marijuana charges against Linda after she completes a psychiatric and drugs counselling course in London.
Saturday November 22
In the UK charts, John's Shaved Fish reaches number eight while the single 'Imagine' hits number six.
Monday November 24
The pre-fab four, The Rutles, enter our story when today, at Denham's Memorial Hall in Buckinghamshire, rented for a fee of £6.75, the group is filmed performing the Neil Innes song 'I Must Be Love' for inclusion in the BBC2 comedy series Rutland Weekend Television. (Innes, of course, was a member of the sixties comical-musical act The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, who recorded 'I'm The Urban Spaceman', which was produced by Paul, using the alias of Apollo C. Vermouth.) The three-minute item features the group miming the song, inter-cut with scenes filmed in the style of 'Can't Buy Me Love' as it appeared in A Hard Day's Night. Although intended for the Rutland Weekend Television series, the clip actually first appears in America where it is transmitted on WNBC (between 11:30pm and 1:00am) during NBC TV's Saturday Night Live on October 2, 1976 (see entry). The first UK TV airing of the clip takes place, as intended, during the first show of the second series of Rutland Weekend Television, which is transmitted (between 9:01 and 9:29pm) on November 12, 1976. Incidentally, at this stage, the line-up for The Rutles is Dirk, Stig, Nasty and Kevin, with Eric Idle in the role of the George character. (Idle, of course, moves to the Paul role, Dirk McQuickly, in the full-length 1978 TV version of The Rutles.) George will also appear personally on Rutland Weekend Television (see entry for December 13).
Tuesday November 25
Ringo's compilation album Blast From Your Past is issued in America. (The UK release, with a Red Apple label, takes place on December 12. This is the last original album to appear on the Apple label in Britain.) The tracks include on side one: 'You're Sixteen', 'No No Song', 'It Don't Come Easy', 'Photograph', 'Back Off Boogaloo'; side two: 'Only You (And You Alone)', 'Beaucoups Of Blues', 'Oh My My', 'Early 1970' and 'I'm The Greatest'.
During the first part of the month, Paul and Linda are seen briefly in Los Angeles, between flights from Hawaii to New York, where they also visit the Starwood Club to check out the latest rock & roll talent. On returning home to England at Christmas, Paul spends time recording in his Scottish studios the unreleased songs 'Thank You Darling', 'When I Was In Paris' and 'The Great Cock And Seagull Race'.
ABC Records in America is set to conclude a $5,000,000 recording deal with Ringo which will tie him to their label for five years. At this point, for tax purposes, Ringo officially moves to Monte Carlo, to live with his girlfriend Nancy Andrews, although he returns to England to spend Christmas at his Tittenhurst Park mansion in Ascot in Berkshire.
Monday December 8
George's single 'This Guitar (Can't Keep From Crying)'/'Maya Love' is released in America today. (The UK release takes place on February 6,1976.)
Thursday December 11
The photographer Bob Gruen is invited to the Dakota apartment by John and Yoko to take Sean's first official baby snaps. For the occasion, John, Yoko and Sean dress up in Japanese kimonos and John ties his long hair into a ponytail.
Saturday December 13
Today, at the BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane, London, George, as pirate "Bob", records a special Boxing Day edition of Rutland Weekend Television, featuring his exclusive performance of the Harrison/Eric Idle composition 'The Pirate Song' which appears at the very end of the show with the credits running over the top. George also makes further cameo appearances in the 31-minute programme, including one where he is dressed as a pirate. The show, which also features such comic delights as How To Ski In Your Own Home and the Christmas play entitled Santa Doesn't Live Here Anymore, is broadcast for the first time on BBC2 on December 26 between 10:55 and 11:26pm. (Rutland Weekend Television, besides being the show that first introduced The Rutles to the nation, is a comedy series centred around a small TV station in Rutland and was created by Eric Idle, one of the brains behind The Rutles and a founder member of the Monty Python comedy team.)
The Wings single 'Venus And Mars' - 'Rock Show' reaches number 12 in the American singles chart, but fails to crack the UK charts, Paul's first ever chart miss.
Sunday December 14
Shortly after his return from the tax haven of Monte Carlo, Ringo is present in the audience at Queen's concert tonight at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.
Thursday December 18
At the Odeon Theatre in London, Ringo, joined by the singer Lynsey De Paul, keeps up his high profile by attending the Royal European Film Premiere, in the presence of Princess Anne, of The Man Who Would Be King, starring Michael Caine and Sean Connery.
John, Yoko and Bob Gruen are enjoying a quiet drink at the Dakota Building when they hear a loud knock on the door, followed by carol singing. Bob opens the door to discover that the carol singers are none other than Paul and Linda, currently in New York to visit Linda's family. The Lennons and McCartneys, together with Gruen, spend the next few hours relaxing together.
Thursday December 25 & Friday December 26
The Beacon Theater in New York presents a two-night film presentation entitled Celebration Of The Beatles, featuring archive newsreels, live clips and excerpts from BBC TV and US TV specials. There are different clips on both nights, repeating the successful Beatles Festival that took place in New York last year. Meanwhile on Boxing Day back in the UK, The Beatles' 1970 film Let It Be receives its British TV premiere on BBC1 between 10:55 and 12:13pm. This is the last of six successive years of BBC1 Christmas screenings of Beatles' movies, although "The Beatles At Christmas" theme will be resurrected in some style for Christmas 1979. (See entry for December 21 of that year.)
Saturday December 27
The year ends with good news for John when his attorney Leon Wildes tells Melody Maker. "As far as the case is concerned, we are just about through. In two or three months I estimate the whole thing will be over and John will be free to remain in the US and travel abroad."
Monday December 29
Michael Abdul Malik, better known as Michael X, is executed by hanging in Trinidad for the murder of Joseph Skerritt. John and Yoko had, for some years, worked for a reversal of his conviction to prevent his execution.
Wednesday December 31
In its annual report for the year, Apple Corps Ltd reveals a turnover of £2,540,979 which, after tax and expenditure, results in a profit of £261,075.
December (into early 1976)
In his Dakota apartment, John records a number of acoustic home demos, one of which is 'Mucho Mungo', the track he wrote for Harry Nilsson in 1974.
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