"It's all a fantasy putting The Beatles back together again.
If we ever do that it's because everyone is broke. I'd rather
have Willie Weekes on bass rather than Paul McCartney.
Paul is a fine bass player but he's a bit overpowering.
I'd join a band with John Lennon any day, but I couldn't
join a band with Paul McCartney."
In Los Angeles, John records an acoustic demo of 'What You Got'. On the subject of a Beatles reunion, he remarks, "Nobody would mind doing some work together."
Eric Clapton tells George about his close relationship with Patti. Shortly after this, Patti moves out of Friar Park and takes up residence with Eric at his Hurtwood Edge home in Surrey.
Tuesday January 1
Ringo starts the New Year by announcing, in the press, why he turned down a role in the new David Essex movie Stardust, the sequel to the highly successful film That'll Be The Day. "I couldn't face Beatlemania again," he states.
Thursday January 4
With the tour of Australia now long since postponed, Paul begins a four-month on-and-off stint in 10cc's Strawberry Studios at Stockport producing his brother Mike's album McGear. He contributes two songs and co-writes a further five with Mike and one with the Liverpool poet Roger McGough. During this period, Mike's group Scaffold records the single 'Liverpool Lou', which Paul produces, and features, on the B-side, 'Ten Years After On Strawberry Jam', a track written by him and Linda. During the sessions the American brother and sister act The Carpenters, currently on tour of Britain, pay a visit to see Paul at work. He greets the duo by singing a brief snippet of the chorus of their hit 'Top Of The World'. Also this month, Wmgs are mmoured to be appearing alongside Stevie Wonder and Tony Orlando & Dawn at this year's Midem Music Business Fair, opening in Cannes in the South Of France later this month. They fail to show.
Saturday January 5
In England, Melody Maker publishes the results of its "Top Albums Of '73" poll. The Beatles 1967-1970 is placed at number six, The Beatles 1962-1966 - number eight, the That'll Be The Day Ronco film soundtrack album - number 19 and Wings' Red Rose Speedway is placed at number 36. (Voted number one in the poll carried out by MM readers is Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon.)
Tuesday January 8
In America, the Capitol compilation album The Early Beatles receives a gold record from the RIAA.
Saturday January 12
'Helen Wheels' reaches number 10 in the American singles chart. (The track will reach number 12 in the UK charts.)
Today's Melody Maker features, on its front page, a story headlined, "Beatles To Get Back?" The report reads, "The Beatles back together again? It could happen, according to Paul McCartney. Commenting in New York, he says: We have broken up as a band, but I'd like to see us work together on a loose basis - and I think we will.' "
Monday January 14
Ringo's film That'll Be The Day goes on general release in Sweden.
Saturday January 26
Ringo's single 'You're Sixteen' reaches number one in the US singles charts.
Monday January 28
Paul shelves plans to release, as the next Wings single, 'Jet'/'Mamunia' in America. (The next US release instead takes place on February 15.)
Thursday January 31
Ringo's You're Sixteen' receives a gold record from the RIAA.
John spends a part of the month on holiday in Miami, Florida with his son Julian.
Their activities include a visit to Disneyworld.
George spends the month in India where again he visits Ravi Shankar.
Wednesday February 6
Brian Matthew: "What about the business side of things. You're in charge of Apple these days aren't you?"
Ringo: "No, no ... I'm not even in charge of myself these days!"
In England at BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, Ringo records an appearance with Brian Matthew for the BBC Radio One programme My Top Twelve, which is transmitted on Sunday April 7, between 5:01 and 5:59pm. Among his choice of twelve tracks to make up an imaginary album, Ringo chooses: Cream - 'Strange Brew', Stevie Wonder - 'YOU Are The Sunshine Of My Life', Elvis Presley - 'Heartbreak Hotel', Eddie Cochran - 'Something Else' and Leo Dorsey - 'Everything I Do Has Got To Be Funkin' '. During the programme, Brian plays a tape of the two of them talking back in 1966 and Ringo admits: "I am not keen on a Beatles reunion!"
Saturday February 9
In the second part of the weekly Melody Maker tribute series "Rock Giants - From A-Z", John comes under the spotlight.
Friday February 15
The Wings single 'Jet'/'Let Me Roll It' is released in the UK. (The American release takes place on February 18.) Paul's Labrador puppy inspires the A-side.
"What with the energy crisis, vinyl squeeze and shortage of radio air space, we sent a top executive to Strawberry Studios, Stockport, to ask Paul and Wings to prepare a specially edited version of their new single 'Jet' (lifted from Band On The Run), losing about one minutes playing time. Their reply was: 'We'd love to cut it, but we don't know how.' We now agree with them." - Advertising slogan for Wings' news single.
Saturday February 16
The music industry is thrown into chaos when the Melody Maker publishes on its front page: "Beatles Get Together!" The report reads: "The Beatles are back together again! That was the strong report which swept through the American music business last week, adding fuel to the speculation which has been rife in London for the past few weeks. Informed sources in New York suggest that the four of them are preparing a joint statement to be released in the next few days, revealing their plans for a new Beatles album. Melody Maker understands all four ex-Beatles have been in New York during the last weeks for legal talks. Ringo Starr, indeed, is still believed to be in America. The New York reports suggest that financial reasons lie behind any decision to reform the band. Since the legal dispute started, it is believed that both Lennon and McCartney's songwriting royalties have been frozen. Only Harrison and Starr have benefited from publishing royalties during the past four years."
Interestingly enough, in light of these bold claims, spokesmen on behalf of Apple or the four ex-Beatles do not make any attempt to deny or confirm this story.
Sunday February 17
The newspaper the New York Sunday News, prints an interview with Yoko conducted by Mary Heinholz.
Monday February 18
Ringo's single 'Oh My My'/'Step Lightly' is released in America.
On Yoko's birthday, John and May Pang briefly visit the Dakota to help celebrate the
Wednesday February 20
John and May depart for Los Angeles. On their arrival, they meet up with The Beatles' former roadie Mal Evans. Later, they take up residence at the home of the record executive Harold Seiders.
Saturday February 23
Ringo is seen hanging out with Harry Nilsson down in Allman country, Macon, Georgia. Rumours persist in the industry that John, George and Paul will shortly join Ringo and Harry in the town's Capricorn studios to cut an album.
Meanwhile back in England, today's Melody Maker profiles Paul in today's "Rock Giants - From A-Z".
Monday February 25
In London at the High Court, Judge Megarry approves a scheme to help the receiver carry on running The Beatles' partnership affairs. On hearing this news, Paul releases the statement: "As soon as things are sorted out we can all get together again and do something. We've talked about it, but haven't been able to do anything because this has been going on and on."
Thursday February 28
From her Dakota apartment, Yoko drafts a letter to Rolling Stone magazine.
In the States, the music magazine Crawdaddy! publishes an interview with John carried out by Patrick Synder-Scrumpy and Jack Breschard. John is asked about his songwriting: "Do you ever sit down and decide, 'I want to write a song about such and such' and then do it?" John replies: "No. Sometimes I'll want to express something, like an emotion but that's about as far as it goes. Generally, it's whatever comes out, like diarrhoea. I try to sneak up on myself so I'm not too conscious of what I'm doing. If I can just open the plug it will do itself for good or for bad but then I don't have to sweat over it. But I do sweat a lot, usually over trying to do something, then I book the session and then, bam, there it is."
Paul and Wings spend the first part of the month rehearsing for their upcoming visit to Los Angeles. Prior to his departure, Paul gives an interview, carried out at his London offices, to NBC News, in which he discusses The Beatles, his desire to be a teacher, how young he still feels, the 1969 death hoax and his rebirth as a person. (The interview is transmitted on the station on June 12,13 and 14.) Also this month, Paul is nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy award for his title track of the James Bond film Live And Let Die.
Friday March 1
In the US district court, John asks for a temporary restraining order of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service appeal ruling on his deportation case. John's request is denied on May 1.)
Monday March 4
Apple Corps of London confirm in a brief statement that George is to tour America this year.
Tuesday March 5
In England, the Evening Standard gets Apple's statement yesterday slightly wrong by reporting that "George and Ringo are to join forces for a giant tour of America this year."
Friday March 8
At his MPL offices in London, at the end of the current Wings rehearsals, Paul gives a two-part interview to ABC TV of America to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his marriage to Linda. He also talks about writing 'Eleanor Rigby' and how he came to write 'Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me)' for Dustin Hoffman.
Paul is also asked: "Can The Beatles be recreated again?" To which he replies: "They might do bits together again, we don't know yet. Every time I say that, some paper prints a headline saying 'The Beatles To Reform', so I'm a bit cautious about saying anything ... I don't think we'll get together as a band again, I just don't think it'll work actually, it might not be as good. I just saw Jerry Lewis talking the other day about Dean Martin, it's a little bit like that."
Clips from 'My Love', 'Maybe I'm Amazed' and 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' accompany the feature. (The interview is transmitted in America on March 12 and 13.) Even though Linda sits besides her husband throughout the 15-minute interview, her participation in the piece is minuscule.
Apple 49 (featuring Badfinger's 'Apple Of My Eye' b/w 'Blind Owl') is released as a single in the UK, and thus becomes the last of the non Beatles-related singles released on the label. (The single had been released in America on December 17, 1973.)
Saturday March 9
Paul, Linda, their family and Wings head for Los Angeles for more rehearsals. Shortly after their arrival, Paul is interviewed at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the LA radio station KHJ. Rumours in the music industry begin suggesting that Paul's flight to Los Angeles is primarily to meet John. In fact, there is some truth to this rumour as both John and Paul are seen during the annual Academy Awards ceremony, where they meet up backstage for a chat. Paul and Linda watch the show from the audience.
Monday March 11
One week after Apple's statement comes a press release from George concerning his forthcoming American tour. This shows that the finalised details of the tour are far from concluded. The release reads: "Although I have been considering a US tour for the autumn of 1974, and although several promoters have been approached on my behalf with regard to a possible tour, no decisions have been taken either with respect to the tour itself, the promoters or the band." Unofficial sources in America suggest that the shows will encompass 25 concerts in 15 American cities and that Ravi Shankar will also be on the bill.
Tuesday March 12
John and Harry Nilsson watch a performance by the comedy duo The Smothers Brothers at the Troubadour Club in LA. During the show, John and Harry heckle the performance and, at about 12:20am, are thrown out. Witnessing John's drunken escapades in the star-studded audience are Paul Newman, his wife Joanne Woodward, TV personality Flip Wilson, singer Helen Reddy, pom star Linda Lovelace, comedy actress Uly Tomlin, actors Peter Lawford and Jack Hayley Junior and the actress Pam Grier. As John is escorted to his car, he tells the car park attendant, "Don't you know who I am? I'm Ed Sullivan!"
Things turn worse for John when a club waitress claims that Lennon assaulted her, but the charge is later dismissed, and a photographer, 51-year-old Hollywood Matron Brenda Parkins, files a complaint against John, at the West Hollywood Sheriff's department, claiming he hit her. (The case is settled out of court.) The incident draws public attention to the current drinking and carousing binge by John, Ringo, Harry, Keith Moon and various other "wild" rock stars.
In 1975, during an Old Grey Whistle Test interview, John recalls the event "I got drunk and shouted. It was the first night I drank Brandy Alexanders, which is brandy and milk, folks. I was with Harry Nilsson, who didn't quite get as much coverage as me, the bum! He really encouraged me, you know. I usually have somebody there who says, 'Okay Lennon. Shut up.' And I take it. But I didn't have anybody round me to say 'Shut up', and I just went on and on. There was some girl who claimed that I hit her, but I didn't hit her at all, you know. She just wanted some money and I had to pay her off because I thought it would harm my immigration. She said she was a press photographer and she had an Instamatic! She didn't even have any pictures. I was saying: 'If I hit her, why isn't there pictures of me like that?' They said, 'Okay, you'd better leave, Mr. Lennon.' And they took me out.
"Okay, so I was drunk. When it's Errol Flynn, all those showbiz writers say, 'Those were the days, when we had Sinatra and Errol Flynn socking it to the people. You know, they were real men.' I do it, I'm a bum! So it was a mistake, but hell, I'm human. I was drunk in Liverpool and I smashed up phone boxes, but it didn't get into the papers then. I didn't hit a reporter. She got one thousand dollars or some crap, because I had to pay her off. That's what it was. She wasn't a reporter, in fact."
Meanwhile in England, George puts a damper on the recent rumours that he and Ringo are going to get together for a major tour of America. "There will be no link-up," he states. "It is all speculation!"
Wednesday March 13
John appears on the front page of newspapers around the world following the incident at the Troubadour. Evidently overcome with remorse, a new clean and sober looking John is seen arm in arm with May Pang, attending the televised American Film Institute tribute dinner to the legendary film actor James Cagney at the Century Plaza. Earlier in the day, as an apology, John and Harry Nilsson send flowers to The Smothers Brothers with a note of apology for the whole incident. The short note reads: "With Love & Tears!" On receiving this, they announce to the press that... "the incident was partly our fault as we had engaged in banter with an already quite drunken John, and that the newspaper reports have blown the whole incident completely out of proportion." Asked her opinion in New York, Yoko sternly replies: "No Comment!"
Thursday March 14
John and Harry Nilsson return to the Troubadour Club to personally apologise to the club's manager, Doug Weston.
Wednesday March 20
Meanwhile, back in the relative tranquillity of Friar Park, where George is to be found contemplating the Universe and denying rumours of a US tour with Ringo, insiders suggest that his estranged wife Patti is returning briefly to her role as a fashion model.
Friday March 22
John, along with May Pang, takes up residence at new rented premises, a beach house in Santa Monica. Over the next two weeks, the place becomes a Mecca for local musicians and celebrities. Ever present during this month of frequent comings and goings are Ringo, his manager Hilary Gerrard, Keith Moon, Harry Nilsson, Klaus Voorman, his girlfriend Cynthia Webb, and many other top musicians.
Sunday March 24
At his beach house, John hosts the first of his planned weekly Sunday night musical get-togethers, open to any of his musical friends who just want to drop in and have a friendly jam session.
Wednesday March 27
Meanwhile in England, a petition from Beatles' fans containing over 60,000 signatures requesting a pardon for John from his 1968 drugs conviction, is delivered to Prime Minister James Callaghan at 10 Downing Street, in London today.
Thursday March 28
At Burbank Studios in California, John starts producing the Harry Nilsson album Pussycats, for which he writes the track 'Mucho Mungo' and records several demos of the song. John recalls the problems recording the album with Harry: "He'd lost his voice and I don't know whether it was psychological or what. You know, he was going to doctors and having injections and he didn't tell me till later that he was bleeding in the throat, or I would have stopped the session. But he had no voice. So what do you do? I'm saying: 'Well, where is all that yoooooo-deeeee-dooooo-dahh stuff?' and he's going 'croak'. Someone writes a story saying that he's imitating me. He wasn't imitating me. He couldn't . . . he had no voice. But we were committed.
"The main thing was we had a lot of fun. There was Keith Moon, Harry, Ringo and me all living together in the house and we had some moments. But it got a little near the knuckle. That's when I straightened out. In the middle ofthat album. That's when I realised: 'There's something wrong here. I mean, this is crazy, man!' I was suddenly the straight one in the middle of all these mad, mad people. I suddenly was not one of them. I pulled myself back and finished the album the best I could. I mean we'd already spent the money. Everything was booked in. We had the tapes. So me and Harry had the best out of it, you know, because we spent a few good nights together."
Paul and Linda drop by to watch the recording, and Paul joins in a jam session with John and the other musicians on the track 'Midnight Special', joining John for the first time in a musical environment since the split of The Beatles some four years ago. At the end of the day, John invites Paul to his beach house music session on Sunday (see entry).
Ringo features on drums on the Pussycats album, which is released on August 19 in America and on August 30 in the UK.
In London today, March 28, George registers his new company. It will be entitled Oops Publishing Ltd.
Friday March 29 & Saturday March 30
Additional recording sessions for Pussycats (one day only) take place at the Burbank Studios in California.
On Saturday, 'Jet' reaches number seven in both the American and UK singles charts. Also today, Paul and Linda, currently staying with the Eastman family in New York, take their children to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus at Madison Square Garden. Afterwards, the McCartneys board a plane at Kennedy Airport and return to Los Angeles.
Sunday March 31
"Don't get too serious, we're not getting paid. We ain't doing nothing but sitting here together, and anybody getting bored with me - take over!" - John Lennon.
With no recordings planned at the Burbank Studios, John spends the day relaxing by the pool and, later this evening, holds the second of his Sunday night music jam sessions at his beach house. Those in attendance include Paul.
"Just turn the fucking vocal mike up ... McCartney's doing the harmony on the drums," says John Lennon during the all-evening session, which is recorded for posterity on equipment borrowed from Burbank Studios.
Alongside the two former Beatles (John on guitar, Paul on drums and both often sharing vocals) are Linda, Stevie Wonder, Jesse Ed Davis and others. The session is recorded and among the songs they haphazardly perform are versions of: 'Never Trust A Bugger With Your Mother', 'Little Bitty Pretty One', 'I Left My Home And I Was Movin' Around', 'Lucille', 'Nightmares', 'Stand By Me', 'Cupid', 'Chain Gang' and 'Take This Hammer'. At the end of the session, in the early hours of April 1, Paul, Linda and family depart for their nearby hotel. During his 1975 BBC2 Old Grey Whistle Test interview, John briefly recalled the all-evening session: "I did actually play with Paul. We did a lot of stuff in LA. But there was fifty other people playing, and they were all just watching me and Paul!"
Ringo meanwhile is to be found out socialising in LA with Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson.
In London, there's bad news for Messrs Starkey and Moon when the Playboy club announces that they have banned them from using the club. The decision comes after a guardrail was smashed during a party they held there recently. A spokesman for the Playboy club announces: "It was decided to withdraw their membership because damage by Mr. Starr and Mr. Moon came to an amount totalling almost £30!"
Still in England, tax returns for the years 1973/1974 show all is not well with Paul's McCartney's Productions Ltd. company. Sales for the period total £39,142, while outgoing expenses reach £154,751, resulting in a loss of £115,609 - a loss for the fourth consecutive year.
After many refusals following his 1973 English drug conviction, Paul finally gets his American visa.
A statue of The Beatles by the sculptor Arthur Dooley, erected on the wall of the new Cavern Club in Mathew Street, Liverpool, is unveiled. The piece, produced from funds raised by the people of Liverpool and fans throughout Britain, features a Madonna holding three babies with the fourth (Paul) flying away. A plaque underneath reads: "Four Lads Who Shook The World".
Monday April 1
In the early hours of the morning and shortly after Paul and Linda had left, Ringo, along with Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson, arrive at the beach house. Noticing that someone had been playing his kit, Ringo asks: "Who's been fiddling with my drums?" John and the others reply, "Paul. Paul's been here." Later this morning, Paul and Linda return to the beach house, only to find John still in bed. Paul immediately heads for the piano and, along with Moon and Nilsson, performs a medley of Beatles tunes, with all three musicians happily joining in. Afterwards, Paul is offered some angel dust by Nilsson, which he refuses. John wakes from his slumber around 3pm and joins the other musicians and friends who are relaxing, sitting by the swimming pool. Keith Moon's friend and assistant, Dougal Butler, snaps pictures of Paul performing a Beatles' medley on the piano as well as John and Paul together by the pool. (This Polaroid snapshot will turn out to be the last ever picture taken of John and Paul together.)
The soundtrack album Son Of Dracula is released in America and contains excerpts from Ringo's film dialogue, and the Harry Nilsson songs 'Daybreak' (featuring Ringo on drums and George on cowbell) and 'At My Front Door', with Ringo on drums. (The album is released in the UK on May 24.)
Tuesday April 2
Ringo again visits the beach house; accompanied by Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson. The Beatles' former confidant and roadie Mal Evans is also present.
Wednesday April 3
Sessions for Pussycats take place at Burbank Studios (also on April 4, 6, 8,10 & 11).
Thursday April 4
While still in Los Angeles on holiday, Paul and Linda decide to pay a visit to Brian Wilson, the now reclusive member of The Beach Boys, at his Bel Air home. The McCartneys bang on the door for over an hour, but Wilson refuses to let them in. Paul and Linda know Brian is there, because they can hear him inside quietly crying to himself. With no alternative, Paul and Linda depart from the house and head on their way.
Monday April 8
The Wings' single 'Band On The Run'/'Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five' is released in America only.
Tuesday April 9
John records his second radio interview with Capital Radio in England on the transatlantic phone, talking with DJ Nicky Home for the programme Your Mother Wouldn't Like It transmitted the following night, April 10, between 9:00 and 10:59pm).
Wednesday April 10
Just over two weeks after moving in, John and May Pang again pack up their bags and move out of their rented beach house and into new rented premises, this time a house nearby in Santa Monica that once belonged to the film actor Peter Lawford. The rent on this Pacific Coast Highway house is $5,000 a month (approximately £2,500). Just over two weeks later (on April 27), with the Pussycats album sessions descending into chaos and with John fearing that his life is going nowhere, he and May head back to New York.
Saturday April 13
Band On The Run tops the American album charts. It will go on to sell over 6,000,000 copies worldwide and spend over two years on both the US and UK charts. Meanwhile, it is reported that Paul's former girlfriend, the actress Jane Asher, has given birth to a baby girl at the Middlesex Hospital. Wishing privacy, Jane tells the staff "not to release any details"!
Sunday April 14
In California, just before midnight, a somewhat intoxicated Ringo appears as a guest on Flo and Eddie's Sunday night radio phone-in show on the small Pasadena based station KROQ. (Flo and Eddie are Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, formerly with the American sixties pop group The Turtles, and more recently members of Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention.) Arriving with Keith Moon moments before the station ceased broadcasting for the night, Ringo is in no condition to be interviewed. During the first 90 seconds of his interview, as Volman recalls, he uses the word "fuck" no less than 14 times. Because of this, Volman, Kaylan and their producer are all sacked by the radio station shortly after transmission. Following several complaints from listeners, investigators from the Federal Communications Commission are called in to investigate Ringo's actions as well as the station and the programme itself.
Monday April 15
Meanwhile back in England on Easter Monday, The Beatles' 1968 animated fantasy film Yellow Submarine receives its UK TV premiere on BBC1, between 7:40 and 9:04pm. The BBC's weekly listings magazine Radio Times describes the film as: "The best full-length cartoon since the golden age of Disney!"
Friday April 19
The 91-minute Cinemation distributed Apple film Son Of Dracula, starring Ringo and Harry Nilsson, is premiered in Atlanta, Georgia, an amazing year and a half after filming was completed. Both Ringo and Keith Moon attend the premiere.
In New York, Yoko makes her second solo performance on The Mike Douglas Show. Backed again by Elephant's Memory, she performs the track 'Shirankatta'.
Saturday April 20
Beatles reunion rumours continue to dominate the music press around the world. Rumours suggest that John, Paul, George and Ringo are all gathered for a business meeting today in Los Angeles' Beverly Wiltshire Hotel.
Friday April 26
With the McCartneys now back in England, Paul holds auditions for a new drummer at the Albery Theatre in St. Martin's Lane, London. From fifty hopefuls, he eventually chooses Geoff Britton. Geoff recalls the audition: "You should have seen the people there. It was like a Who's Who of the music industry. But I was a bit disappointed actually because I thought it would be a chance to play with McCartney, but they'd hired session men to play with us instead. Wings just sat out in front of the audience and watched. I wasn't really nervous. I'm never nervous, although I might be a bit apprehensive. We had to play about four numbers - some of it quite advanced stuff for an ordinary rock and roll number. Anyway, I got up there and did my stuff... A few days later I got this phone call and they said I was on the short-list of five, and this time it would be Paul and the group playing. That time I had a 20 per cent chance, yet I felt it was more hopeless than ever. I met Paul and the group and they were really nice. After that I got a phone call saying they'd narrowed it down to two geezers. Each of us spent a whole day with the group and had dinner with them. Then one day the phone rang. It was Paul. He said, 'Well, we've decided' and he was mucking about, geeing me up ... In the end I said: 'Well, who's it gonna be?' and he said: 'YOU got the job.' "
Saturday April 27
John decides that he is tired of the crazy wild LA lifestyle and decides to return to New York, accompanied by May Pang and Harry Nilsson, where work resumes, on recording the RCA album Pussycats.
John: "What do you think, Ringo?"
Ringo: "I don't know John - I'll ask George. What do you think George?"
George: "I don't know Ringo, I'll ask Paul. What do you think Paul?"
Paul: "Our Linda says I've got to stop at home and prune the roses, George!"
(A cartoon from today's Melody Maker.)
With no sign of a let-up in the interest concerning the rumoured Beatles reunions, Melody Maker publishes the article: "Should The Beatles Come Back Together?" Among those offering their opinion on the matter is The Beatles' original manager Allan Williams, who says: "I don't think there's even a chance of The Beatles reforming. But if they did, I'd certainly offer my services as manager!"
Sunday April 28
With Beatles reunion nonsense whirling its way across the music press around the world, John appears briefly with Harry Nilsson at the March Of Dimes benefit concert, in New York's Central Park, at the start of the "walkathon" rally organised by a local radio station. They are joined on stage by local New York radio DJ Cousin Brucie. Besides ad-libbing their own 'March Of Dimes' song, dancing, signing autographs for the crowd and taking time to hold a baby, John is asked by Brucie about the latest news on the other Beatles. He also asks Harry about the recently released film Son Of Dracula. Their stint on stage goes largely unnoticed on the TV news and in local newspapers. WABCTV is there to shoot a two-camera 15-minute report on the proceedings. Unfortunately many of the teenagers in the 20-mile walk are taken to the nearby Roosevelt Hospital suffering from exhaustion. Now being back in New York, John and May Pang have taken up residence at the luxurious Pierre Hotel on Fifth Avenue. Soon after arriving back in the city John is visited by Derek Taylor.
Monday April 29
Catching up with old friends in New York, John drops into the Record Plant and meets up with Mick Jagger. Totally off-the-cuff, John produces the track 'Please Don't Ever Change', with Jagger singing lead vocals.
Meanwhile, Beatles reunion rumours continue unabated. The latest reads: "Beatles business meetings in Los Angeles are still going on. Sources close to the group suggest that the reformed Beatles' tour will open in Monticello, near New York, m June or July." (The journalist, who instigated this, fails to report that John, in fact, is no longer in Los Angeles.)
During John's absence, Yoko employs the Tarot card reader John Green to read her cards for the first time.
It is revealed that Paul and Linda are now not too strong in their vegetarian beliefs.
Friday May 17 & Saturday May 18
John donates two days of his time acting as a guest disc jockey for the Philadelphia based radio station WFIL's Helping Hand Marathon fundraising drive.
Thursday May 23
George launches his own record label Dark Horse Records. He also signs a worldwide distribution deal in Paris with A&M Records. Its first signing is Ravi Shankar, but the group Splinter turns out to be the only success for the label, other than George himself, when 'Costafine Town' reaches number 17 in the UK and number 77 in the US singles charts.
Friday May 24
In the UK, one month before the release of Wings' version, Pye-Bradley Records release 'Zoo Gang' as a single, as performed by Jungle Juice.
During the early part of the month, John records several demos prior to the start of the Walls And Bridges sessions, including the song 'What You Got'. Also this month, the controversial 1972 movie Oh Calcutta! based on the successful theatre production, featuring an all-nude cast and a scene scripted by John back in 1969, goes on general cinema release in America.
Paul produces 'Liverpool Lou' for his brother Mike's group Scaffold. The single reaches number seven in the UK charts.
Also this month at the annual Berlin Film Festival in Germany, the Apple film Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs wins the Silver Bear Award. The film features the Dark Horse signed duo Splinter performing the Mal Evans song 'Lonely Man'.
Tuesday June 4
In America, Paul's 'Band On The Run' single is awarded a gold record by the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America.)
Saturday June 8
The Wings single 'Band On The Run' reaches number one in America.
Thursday June 13
After The Who's concert at Madison Square Garden this evening, John and May are visited in their Pierre Hotel suite by Keith Moon, Moon's assistant Dougal Butler and Chris Charlesworth, Melody Maker's American correspondent. Keith being Keith, he suggests to John that they all have a drink, assuming, wrongly as it turned out, that John would have a huge bar stocked with drink. In the event, all he had was a bottle of expensive red wine, a very fine red wine, given to him by Allen Klein. Chris takes up the story: "John was a bit spooked that he got this bottle and mentioned that he was, at present, involved in a lawsuit with Klein who might have a good reason to poison him. John suggested that someone in the company should taste the wine. He said, Well Keith, you can't taste it because you're the drummer with The Who, you're doing a show tomorrow night and we don't want you to die. I'm John Lennon, the famous Beatle, and I can't die. I'm in love with May Pang, she's my companion at the moment and I don't want her to die, therefore the only person left to taste the wine is you Chris ... so here you are mate.' The bottle is duly opened, the wine is poured into my glass and I sampled it as the others all stared at me. To this day, that was the finest glass of wine I've ever had in my entire life ... it was so rich, full-bodied, it was just so fine. I said to everyone, 'It's absolutely beautiful,' and it was duly shared, but once the drink had gone, Keith was not keen to overstay his welcome and was eager to move on." (Their visit lasted less than an hour.)
Friday June 14
During a Walls And Bridges album planning session at the Record Plant Studios in New York, Al Coury, Capitol's head of promotions in California, informs John he's retrieved Phil Spector's Rock 'N' Roll album tapes, Capitol having handed over $90,000 to Spector.
Reports today indicate that Band On The Run, besides being number one in America, has also reached the top spot in Australia, Norway and Sweden, earning a gold disc in each country.
Saturday June 15
Following the split of the group Stone The Crows, the guitarist Jimmy McCulloch joins Wings. (He had first played with Paul and the group in Paris, back in 1972 on the sessions that produced the first version of 'Seaside Woman'.) Paul is reacquainted with him when he asks him to play on the album McGear, which Paul produced for his brother.
Monday June 17
At the Record Plant, John starts the recording sessions for Walls And Bridges. Joining him are the musicians Jesse Ed Davis, Kenny Ascher, Nicky Hopkins, Eddie Mottan and Arthur Jenkins. Work soon begins on 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night' (with Elton John on organ, piano and harmony vocals), 'Beef Jerky' (instrumental) and 'Bless You'. Later this night, Ringo phones John at his hotel asking him to write a new song for his next album. John will write (and demo record) the track 'Goodnight Vienna'.
Meanwhile, Paul, Linda, their family and Wings depart from Heathrow Airport en route to a 133-acre ranch in Nashville, USA, the home of the songwriter Curly Putnam, who, in 1966, had written the Tom Jones hit 'The Green Green Grass Of Home'. During their seven-week stay, Wings will record at the nearby Sound Shop Studios where, working between 6pm and midnight, they produce 'Junior's Farm', a song inspired by Curly and the place that Wings are currently renting, 'Sally G', and the instrumental 'Walking In The Park With Eloise'. The latter, written many years ago by Paul's father, James McCartney, will later become a choice of Paul's during his January 30,1982, BBC Radio Four Desert Island Discs appearance.
Linda tells the story behind the song and how it came to be recorded during these sessions: "When Paul was a little boy, about 10 ... he remembers sitting at the foot of the piano while his dad was playing the song. We were having dinner with the guitar player Chet Atkins and Paul had been playing a lot of his music to him and Paul said, 'Here's one that my dad wrote a long time ago' - and he started playing it.' Chet suggested that the song should be recorded and that it would be nice for his dad ... so we got Chet playing on it and Floyd Cramer, the piano player, and we got together a nice little band called Country Hams with lots of Nashville people."
Paul later reveals to Disc magazine that his father was extremely touched by the gesture: "He loved having his record out - but he's very shy... and he didn't like all the publicity. He was very emotional about it when I first played it to him - he said I really shouldn't have bothered, but I know he enjoyed it. And do you know what? My Uncle Joe has now written some words to go with it..."
The line-up also records 'Bridge Over The River Suite'. During these sessions Paul also records the unreleased tracks 'Hey Diddle', 'Send Me The Heart' (a track Denny will re-mix for his album Japanese Tears), 'Proud Mum' and demos of songs that will appear on the album Venus And Mars. Linda also records the song 'Wide Prairie', which will not see the light of day until October 26, 1998, when it appears on the album of the same name. Paul breaks from Wings' duty to spend time producing the Peggy Lee album Let's Love. (Paul will affectionately call these sessions The Peg 'N' Paul Show.) Linda surprises Paul by purchasing for him the original double bass as used on Elvis Presley's recording of 'Heartbreak Hotel'.
It is reported (incorrectly) that both McCulloch and Britton have left the group after recording only a handful of tracks. The story makes a headline in the New Musical Express during August that reads "Wings Upheaval". The report states: "The existing line-up of Paul McCartney's Wings appeared this week to have broken up, following what is understood to have been a major internal policy disagreement. Sources close to the band suggest that Denny Laine and the two unofficial members, guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and drummer Geoff Britton, are no longer working with Wings. A spokesman for Laine confirms that there had been 'personal difficulties', while another contact stated emphatically: 'Wings have split, the old band doesn't exist any more.' "
Meanwhile in a further NME report, sources close to the band reveal that Denny Laine has also just "fallen out with Paul and Linda over personal difficulties". The story adds a statement from a Wings spokesman who stipulates that: "Wings members are free to pursue their own musical careers. This will enable them to develop working relationships free of contractual ties. In future Wings will have a fluid concept, which will be adapted to suit current and future projects." When the spokesman is pressed by the paper to confirm or deny the split in Wings, he gave this response: "It is wrong to say that Wings are no more, because Wings are Paul and Linda McCartney."
Denny later gave his side of the story: "We went to Nashville with the idea that we'd get this group together and we'd all sign contracts and be Wings as a business thing... but then it seems as if it was being a bit rushed. I thought 'hang on - let's make sure that this is the right group.' Then I started thinking about contracts and I decided that I could be in any group without signing a contract. It just didn't seem necessary to me, and the minute I said this to Paul he said, 'Great, that's the way I want it too', and then I realised that we were only going through this thing with contracts because we'd all been advised to do it. It wasn't what we wanted."
Regardless of all this speculation, the Wings line-up of Paul, Linda, Denny, Jimmy and Geoff remain together, for the time being. The group returns home to England on Wednesday July 17.
Tuesday June 18
Paul celebrates his five-year marriage to Linda by telling the Daily Express: "I've discovered I'm rather old-fashioned - I believe in the marriage contract." Further comments from Paul during this period continue to appear in the music press, many of which stem from a press conference that took place in the front yard of Putnam's Nashville ranch.
Wednesday June 19
A copyright is registered for the unreleased track 'Where Are You Going?' co-written by Ringo and Billy Lawrie.
Friday June 28
During a break from the Walls And Bridges sessions, John records a demo version of 'Goodnight Vienna' for Ringo.
In the UK only, Wings release the single 'Band On The Run'/'Zoo Gang'. The B-side will later appear as the theme tune to the ITV UK action series of the same name, starring Brian Keith and John Mills. The first episode is transmitted across the ITV network on April 5 this year and will run to only six episodes with the final show being transmitted on May 10.
Towards the end of the month, on returning from Nashville, Paul commissions the director Jim Quick to produce an animated promotional film for the song 'Mamunia'. In a style reminiscent of the Sixties children's TV series Ivor The Engine, the clip features animated sequences that recreate the song lyrics. The short item, save for one isolated ITV screening late in the year, will remain unscreened. Incidentally, the popularity of Paul's group Wings is proven when the Wings Fun Club in London announces that they currently have a membership base of around 8,000 people, with some subscribers as far away as America, Japan and Australia.
This month, George spends time recording in his Friar Park studios in Henley.
The film Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs receives its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, where it wins the Silver Bear award.
Friday July 5
In America, the first US television screening of The Beatles' 1968 film Yellow Submarine is transmitted as CBS TVs Friday Night Movie, between 8:01 and 9:28pm. As expected, the clip of 'Hey Bulldog' is not part of this broadcast.
Saturday July 6
The Wings Band On The Run album reaches number one in the UK.
Thursday July 11
In London, George invests £5,000 in a new business venture with the fashion designer Ossie Clarke.
Saturday July 13
Band On The Run continues to top the UK album charts.
Sunday July 14
Julian flies from England to visit John in New York.
Today, at his private studio in Scotland, Paul records what is soon known as his "Piano Tape", comprising a number of somewhat uninspiring tunes, ditties and improvised songs on his studio piano. Among the highlights of the 61-minute recording are: 'Million Miles', 'Mull Of Kintyre', 'I'll Give You A Ring', 'Baby, You Know It's True', Women Kind', 'Getting Closer', 'I'm In My Dreams', 'Rockestra Theme', 'Letting Go', 'Call Me Back Again', 'Lunch Box/Odd Sox', 'Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People', 'You Gave Me The Answer', 'Waiting For The Sun To Shine', 'She Got It Good', 'Blackpool', 'Sunshine In Your Hair', 'Girl Friend', 'I Lost My Little Girl', 'Upon A Hill', 'Sea', 'Love Is Your Road, Love Is My Road', 'Sweet Little Bird', 'Partners In Crime', 'Suicide' and 'Dr. Pepper'.
Jonathan Clyde takes up his appointment as director of Dark Horse records in America.
Monday July 15
In New York, at the Record Plant, work continues with John recording a version of 'Move Over Ms. L', a track originally written for Keith Moon. He also writes the song 'Incantation' with Roy Cicala, but no recording of the song has yet surfaced. (Even though a copyright for the song is registered on November 15.)
Paul and Linda head out of Heathrow en route to New York to see John and his new companion May Pang at their new apartment.
Tuesday July 16
John and May Pang take up residence in a small apartment at Eddie Germano's two-storey building at East 52nd Street, in New York. Two of their first visitors are Paul and Linda. According to John, they spend a couple of... "Beaujolais evenings, reminiscing about the old times." Sharing the apartment with John and May are two kittens, one black, one white, named Major and Minor respectively. A seven-inch single often played on John's record player is a bootleg disc of 'How Do You Do It?', as recorded by The Beatles back in 1962. (Paul and Linda return to England on Sunday July 21, and return to New York on August 1.)
Wednesday July 17
The US Immigration and Naturalisation Service Board deny John's October 31, 1973, appeal against the deportation order that he leave America within 60 days. John files a further appeal.
Sunday July 21
Work on Walls And Bridges shifts to the more familiar surroundings of the Record Plant. Here John begins work on the following songs: 'Going Down On Love', 'Old Dirt Road','What You Got', 'Scared', 'No. 9 Dream', 'Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox)' (featuring Elton on backing vocals), 'Steel And Glass' (believed to be an attack on Allen Klein), 'Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out) ' and 'Ya Ya', featuring John's son Julian on drums. Alternative versions of several of these songs appear on the compilation album Menlove Ave. in 1986.) Elton John extracts from John a promise to appear with him at his Thanksgiving concert at New York's Madison Square Garden in November if 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night' should reach number one. John agrees to this, feeling certain that the song would not reach number one "in a million years!"
Wednesday July 24
In the UK, the London Evening News publishes an interview with Denny Laine, who boasts of his trusting relationship with Paul. "I have signed so many contracts that have got me into trouble that I never want to sign anything again!"
Friday July 26 - Sunday July 28
A three-day Beatles convention called Strawberry Fields Forever opens in Boston, Massachusetts.
Ringo records songs for his album Goodnight Vienna at the Sunset Sound Studios and Producers Workshop in Los Angeles, California. The sessions produce the following tracks: 'Call Me', 'Goodnight Vienna', 'Occapella', 'Oo Wee', 'Husbands And Wives', 'Snookeroo', 'All By Myself', 'No No Song', 'Skokiaan', 'Easy For Me' and 'Goodnight Vienna' (reprise). The title track is written by John, who recorded a demo of the track for Ringo and supervised the recording of the song. While there, John also cuts a studio demo of 'Only You'. Then, at John's suggestion, Ringo re-records his vocals over the top for a version to appear on the album.
On his way home from Los Angeles, John stops at the Caribou Ranch in Colorado to do back-up work on Elton John's recording of 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds'. With John still away with May Pang, Yoko prepares for her most testing concert tour in years, a six-date tour of her homeland, Japan.
Further awards are heaped on the film Little Malcolm, this time a gold medal at the annual Atlanta Film Festival. This month, George announces at a press conference that he has now opened Dark Horse offices in Los Angeles, London and Rotterdam. Also during this month, George is seen on holiday in Grenada, Spain, accompanied by his new female companion, 24-year-old Kathy Simmons. On his return to England at the end of the month, he takes time to promote his new Dark Horse Records signing, the unknown duo Splinter - Bobby Purvis and Billy Elliott. At a press gathering in London, George is asked why he signed the group. "When making Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs," George recalls, "big Malcolm Evans (Mal Evans, The Beatles' former roadie) materialised the ideal song required for a certain part of said film, and thinking it was a potential hit that may help to get the film noticed by the controllers of the film industry, I thought I'd try to produce a hit single by Splinter."
George introduces Ravi Shankar on stage at the Albert Hall in London. After a few words about Lord Krishna, George greets Ravi's appearance by kissing his feet.
Sunday August 1
Paul, Linda and the family arrive back in New York City.
Tuesday August 3
Yoko and her six-piece Plastic Ono Super Band leave New York en route to Tokyo, Japan.
Yoko Ono & The Plastic Ono Super Band
Tour Of Tokyo, Japan:
August 5 - August 16
With John still in Los Angeles with May Pang, Yoko sets out on her six-date tour of Tokyo, Japan, where she is accompanied by the six-piece group The Plastic Ono Super Band. This comprises a line-up of David Spinoza (guitar), Sneaky Pete (steel guitar), Ken Asher (keyboards), Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Gordon Edwards (bass guitar) and Jim Keltner (drums). Their concert appearances are as follows:
Kaiseizan Stadium, Koryama (Monday August 5)
Koseinenkin Hall, Osaka (Tuesday August 6)
Nagoya City Hall, Nagoya (Friday August 9)
Sun Plaza, Tokyo (Sunday August 11)
Koseinenkin Hall, Tokyo (Monday August 12)
Hiroshima Prefectural Gymnasium, Hiroshima (Friday August 16)
To coincide with her visit, Apple in Japan released a very limited editon promotional album featuring a selection of her best solo work to date.
Monday August 5
Yoko and The Plastic Ono Super Band perform on the second day of the two-day One Step Festival, an event organised by the locally published magazine One Step. Joining Yoko on the bill today is the singer Yuya Uchida.
Thursday August 15
At London's EMI Abbey Road Studios, working again with the director David Litchfield, Wings record songs for a proposed live studio album and an MPL documentary, entitled One Hand Clapping. The ambitious 50-minute programme includes live studio performances of 'Jet', 'Soily', 'C Moon', 'Maybe I'm Amazed', 'My Love', 'Bluebird', 'Band On The Run', 'Live And Let Die', '1985' and, to conclude the show, a solo piano performance by Paul of 'Baby Face'. Of most significance are the unreleased performances of 'Suicide', a track first "jammed" by The Beatles during the January 1969 Get Back/Let It Be sessions, a song he claims to have written for Frank Sinatra. Also, 'I'll Give You A Ring', which remains unreleased until June 1982 when it appears on the B-side to 'Take It Away'. Let It Be style behind the scenes footage of the group at work and at play is also included, such as Geoff Britton performing a drum solo and practising karate, as well as Paul and Jimmy jamming a version of Paper Lace's recent hit 'Billy, Don't Be A Hero'. Joining Wings at the sessions are the orchestral arranger/conductor Del Newman, and the Liverpool saxophone player Howie Casey, a veteran of the Liverpool music scene who first teamed up with Paul when he played in Hamburg with The Beatles in the early Sixties. Following this session, Paul invites Howie to join the group on a more permanent basis, later appearing on the Wings 1975/1976 and 1979 concert tours. The One Hand Clapping film again remains unreleased save for a brief snippet of 'Jet' being broadcast on Capital Radio in London during Christmas of 1976. Tracks recorded during this all day session which fail to make the finished One Hand Clapping edits include 'Let Me Roll It', 'Little Woman Love', 'Junior's Farm' (this will receive limited screenings on European television as a promotional clip to accompany the release of the single), 'Wild Life', 'Hi Hi Hi', Denny Laine's 'Go Now' and 'Blue Moon Of Kentucky' (see entry for Monday, September 9).
One segment from these sessions is later edited into another unreleased MPL film, this time entitled The Backyard. This 9-minute short film, features Paul alone with his acoustic guitar, seated on a stool in the gardens of Abbey Road studios where he performs a version of the unreleased track 'Blackpool' as well as four rock 'n' roll classics, 'Twenty Flight Rock' (which is interrupted at the end by the sound of a siren from an ambulance rushing past the studios), 'Peggy Sue', 'I'm Gonna Love You Too' and 'Sweet Little Sixteen'. The tracks 'Blackbird', 'Country Dreamer', 'Loving You', 'We're Gonna Move' and 'Blue Moon Of Kentucky' are also filmed, but fail to make the final edit. To date, only 75-seconds of 'Peggy Sue' has been seen in public, transmitted as part of the 1986 McCartney TV special, originally broadcast on BBC1, in England, on August 291986.
Meanwhile, today at the Lyric Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, London, Robert Stigwood's production of John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert, written by Liverpool schoolmaster Willy Russell opens. The play, originally presented for six weeks in Liverpool at the Everyman Theatre, tells the story of The Beatles from the days of the Cavern club to their break-up in 1970. The character Bert is the fictional Beatle who is booted out before the group became famous. He narrates the story in the guise of a fan who watches The Beatles develop and progress. George is the only Beatle to attend the opening but he leaves during the intermission. Paul reads the original script and decides it falsely portrays him as the villain and therefore denies Stigwood the film rights to the story. Coincidentally, Paul's brother Mike feels the play is "worthwhile!" Trouble occurs over rights to use Beatles music in the play when George orders Stigwood to remove the song 'Here Comes The Sun'. It is replaced by the Lennon & McCartney track 'Good Day Sunshine'.
Paul is forthcoming about his views on the play: "I certainly appear to come out as the one saying, 'No. No. Don't do Klein, and don't do this ...' I think I did have a good idea of what was going on there, because no one seemed to spot the Klein thing, and there was me left in a big bad situation. In fact, I'd like to use this interview to say that Willy Russell in his George, Bert and Thingy thing... he's got me saying, 'I'm leaving. I'm leaving the group' and the rest of the group saying, 'Oh no ... come on Paulie. It's the group. Let's stick together.' In fact, that is physically wrong. I was actually the last to leave the group!"
Friday August 16
Reports today indicate that both John and Paul have signed co-publishing agreements with ATV music. Experts predict this deal will "bolster Lennon's bank account by a sum in excess of £1,000,000!"
Friday August 23
On the roof of Eddie Germano's apartment at 9pm this evening, John, standing completely naked, witnesses his first UFO. As the object flies away, John screams out, "Take me with you!" Weeks later, he is still protesting that he saw the object and it was not something he imagined. "They all thought I was potty," John recalls. "It was there! I didn't believe it either. It was an oval shaped object, flying left to right with red lights on top. After about two minutes, the object disappeared over the East River and went behind the United Nations building. I hadn't been drinking. This is the God's honest truth. I only do that at weekends or when I see Harry Nilsson."
Saturday August 24
John and May fly out to California to supervise the recordings of 'Goodnight Vienna' and 'Only You' with Ringo (see August entry above for more information). John and May return to New York on August 28.
Saturday August 31
John testifies in the US Federal Court that officials of the Nixon administration sought to deport him on trumped-up charges strictly because of John's anti-Vietnam war activities and fears that he would lead anti-war demonstrations in Miami at the 1972 Republican National Convention. Following the hearing, John spoke to reporters about his 1968 drugs conviction in England, one of the stumbling blocks in his quest to stay in America: "I thought it would just go away, it'd be like a parking fine, you know. I was living with Yoko and she was pregnant and I thought they'd let her off if I pleaded guilty."
At Germano's apartment in New York, John and May play host to guests including Paul, Linda, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Glyn Johns and David Bowie. This month, John is also interviewed by Tom Donahue on the San Francisco based radio station KSAN-FM. Excerpts from this interview reappear on the American The Lost Lennon Tapes radio senes.
Friday September 6
At a London press conference, George launches his own record label Dark Horse and announces plans for a Ravi Shankar concert tour of Europe through September and October. Meanwhile, the first release on the Dark Horse label is to be the album The Place I Love by Splinter. Harrison also appoints Jonathan Clyde as a director of the company.
Saturday September 7
Melody Maker publishes the three-page article: "Do We Still Need The Beatles?" As part of the feature, Derek Taylor is quoted as saying, "I'm not interested in them getting together again."
Monday September 9
At EMI's Abbey Road Studios, in preparation for a proposed Wings Live In The Studio EP, a 6-track acetate is cut from Wings' One Hand Clapping session on Thursday August 15 (see entry). Songs featured are: 'Jet', 'Let Me Roll It', 'Junior's Farm', 'My Love', 'Little Woman Love - C Moon - Little Woman Love' (medley) and 'Maybe I'm Amazed'. (The release fails to materialise.)
Friday September 13
In America, Screen-Gems prepare for distribution of a 30-second Pussycats television commercial which features various animated stills of Ringo, Nilsson, Keith Moon and others, taken during the recording of the album, alongside images of the participants playing pool, relaxing and generally fooling about.
In England, Dark Horse records the Ravi Shankar & Friends single 'I Am Missing You' b/w 'Lust'. (The US release takes place on November 6.) This same day, Dark Horse also release the Splinter single 'Costafine Town' b/w 'Elly-May'. (The US release takes place on November 7.)
Saturday September 14
In today's Melody Maker, the American guitarist Todd Rundgren writes: "John Lennon ain't no revolutionary, he's a fucking idiot, man. Shouting about revolution and acting like a cunt, it just makes people feel uncomfortable. All he really wants to do is get attention for himself and if revolution gets him that attention, he'll get attention without revolution. Hitting a waitress in the Troubador. What kind of revolution is that? He's an important figure, sure, but so was Richard Nixon. Nixon was just like another generation's John Lennon. Someone who represents all sorts of ideals, but was out for himself underneath it all. Like The Beatles had no style other than being The Beatles. So the Nazz used to do, like heavy rock, and also these light, pretty ballads, with complex ballads."
John catches sight of this rant and, inevitably, drafts a reply on September 30 (see entry). Melody Maker publishes his reply on October 12. Today's issue of MM also features a lengthy article on John under the headline: "Lennon - A Night In The Life" which features an interview with John conducted by Ray Coleman during the recording sessions for the album Walls And Bridges. Coleman asks John: "Do you resent being a Beatle and having to live with it for ever?"
John replies: "No, no, no. I'm going to be an ex-Beatle for the rest of my life, so I might as well enjoy it."
Coleman: "Are The Beatles going to get together?"
John: "No! What for? We did it all. Christ, we can't even get the four of us together for a meeting, let alone play! The other month Paul and Ringo and me met in Los Angeles and we wanted George to be there but they wouldn't let him in at that time. So there was three of us and everybody says, 'Beatles getting back together'. Hey, hey, we can't even meet man!"
The first Beatlefest '74 event is staged over this weekend in New York at the Commodore Hotel. The brainchild behind this event is 26-year-old record shop assistant Mark Lapidos. "I first had this idea when I bumped into John in Central Park earlier this summer and I decided to do something about it," says Mark. "He really liked the idea and put me in touch with people who'd be able to help. From that point on, it was on the road."
The two-day event receives the blessing of the BBC TV and Apple in London, who both send over Beatles films from their libraries, including footage previously unseen in America. (Apple sends over a 16mm film print of the documentary The Beatles Live At Shea Stadium.) False rumours suggest that John, in heavy disguise, attends the New York event but May Pang is there, sent by John to acquire interesting Beatles memorabilia. Melody Maker's American correspondent Chris Charlesworth advises her on what to buy. She returns to John with some unique original pictures of The Beatles in Hamburg, taken in 1960 by Jurgen Volmer. (John will later use one of these for the front of his 1975 Apple album Rock 'N' Roll.) For the Beatlefest '74 auction, John and Paul supply guitars, George sends over a table while Ringo sends over some autographed drumsticks. From the sales, 10% of all money raised goes directly to charity (the sum actually donated totals $3,000). For a total of 24 hours of Beatles entertainment, including guest speakers and a non-stop film show, the admission price is only a very reasonable $10.
Tuesday September 17
In Los Angeles, Ringo announces that over the next twelve months he is to campaign against drug taking by young people.
Friday September 20
Two weeks after the launch of George's new label comes the news that Polydor Records will, in the future, be distributing records released on Ringo's new label Ringo O'Records. Also today, Dark Horse records release the Splinter album The Place I Love (US release on September 25) and Ravi Shankar's Shankar Family & Friends (US release on October 7).
While in America, further promotions for Walls And Bridges continue when John is interviewed on the radio station KHJ.
Monday September 23
John's single 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night'/'Beef Jerky' is released in America. (The single is released in the UK on October 4.)
Ravi Shankar's Music Festival From India, produced by George, takes place at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The concert is filmed and recorded by Dark Horse Records (the film, though, remains unreleased). The tour also takes in Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich and Copenhagen.
Wednesday September 25
John gives a 70-minute interview to RKO Radio.
Thursday September 26
John's album Walls And Bridges is released in America. (The UK release takes place on October 4.) As part of a huge advertising campaign on both sides of the Atlantic, items bearing the "Listen to this ..." slogan (featuring John's eyes) appear on press kits, billboards, matchbooks, T-shirts, cash registers, badges etc. The elaborate cut-up interchangeable headshots for the album sleeve, based on John's idea, are designed by Roy Kohara. To also help promote the release, the Califomian based Vidtronics Co. Inc. prepare, on behalf of Capitol, a 30-second 16mm colour TV commercial for the album. The advert features a voice-over by Ringo, who tells viewers to "Listen to this television commercial," accompanied by an animated sequence of the interactive album cover. Tracks from the album, such as 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night', 'Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out' as well as John's version of 'Oo-wee' are featured on the soundtrack. The latter is dropped from the line-up of the album at the last minute and subsequently given to Ringo for inclusion on his album Goodnight Vienna. The item concludes with Ringo announcing: "You've been listening to John Lennon's album Walls And Bridges."
John replies: "Thank you, Ringo."
Ringo: "It's a pleasure John."
John gives another interview, this time to CHUM Radio.
Paul is asked about the album: "It's a very good, great album, but I know he can do better. I heard 'I Am The Walrus' today for instance, and that is what I mean. I know he can do better than Walls And Bridges. I reckon 'Walrus' is better. It's more adventurous. It's more exciting."
Friday September 27
Between 6am and 8am John appears on the breakfast show as a special guest DJ on the Los Angeles radio station KHJ-AM. Whilst at the studios, he also records a 58-second radio "spot" for Walls And Bridges to be played by the giant record store Tower Records as well as a 61-second Listen To This Radio Spot commercial for broadcast on the KHJ-AM station. John also reads out commercials for Tobias Casuals. Following the broadcast, John records a telephone interview for a Detroit radio station then boards a plane and flies back to New York.
Saturday September 28
At just before 4pm, John makes another radio appearance, this time on the New York radio station WNEW-FM, where Denis Elsas interviews him. Among the many topics of conversation, John and Denis discuss The Beatles' original recordings, in particular the recent EMI greatest hits compilations:
Denis: "Many of these things have been re-mixed into stereo."
John: "Oh! It was awful!"
Denis: "I think the original monaural recordings are better."
John: "I didn't think it'd happen when they put out that package last year."
Denis: "The Blue and Red albums?" (1967-1970 and 1962-1966 respectively.)
John: "I just thought, or rather presumed, they'd just copy them off the masters and put them out. I didn't even listen to it, until it was out and I took it back and listened to it and I played it and it was embarrassing! Some of the tracks survive but it was embarrassing. Some fool had tried to make it stereo and it didn't work!"
Denis: "People should stay with the mono."
John: "Yeah, because there's a difference between mono and stereo obviously, and if you mix something in mono and try to fake it, you lose the guts of it. The fast version of 'Revolution' was destroyed! I mean it was a heavy record, but they made it into a piece of ice-cream!"
During his stint on the show, John acts as the DJ, reads out the weather forecast and even delivers, in his own unique style, the various radio advertisements, one of which is for a local nightclub: "Tonight at the Joint In The Woods, guess who's there? It's ladies night, featuring the eight-piece all female group Isis. All females admitted at half-price ... ah good! Bowie can get in! Also dance and party with Lock, Stock And Barrel, that probably is a group because it's in inverted commas, coming next Wednesday October 2 to the Joint In The Woods. Nothing like a joint in the woods ... he says losing his green card possibility in one blow! T.Rex on Friday. That's a good band. Buy a couple of his records ... he's getting fat with worry!"
Monday September 30
From his New York apartment, John types a letter of reply to Todd Rundgren against his outburst against him in Melody Maker on September 14. John writes:
An Open Lettuce To Sodd Runtlestuntie. (from dr. winston o'boogie). Couldn't resist adding a few "islands of truth" of my own, in answer to Turd Runtgreen's howl of hate (pain).
Dear Todd, I like you, and some of your work (including 'I Saw The Light', which is not unlike 'There's A Place' (Beatles), melody wise).
1. I have never claimed to be a revolutionary. But I am allowed to sing about anything I want! Right?
2. I never hit a waitress in the Troubador. I did act like an ass, I was drunk. So shoot me!
3. I guess we're all looking for attention Rodd, do you really think I don't know how to get it, without "revolution"? I could dye my hair green and pink for a start!
4. I don't resent anyone but my SELF. It sounds like I represented something to you, or you wouldn't be so violent towards me. (Your dad perhaps?)
5. Yes Dodd, violence comes in mysterious ways, it's wonders to perform, including verbal. But you'd know that kind of game, wouldn't you? Of course you would.
6. So the Nazz used to do "Like heavy rock" then suddenly a "light pretty ballad". How original!
7. Which gets me to The Beatles, "who had no other style than being The Beatles"!! That covers a lot of style man, including your own, To Date ...
Yes Godd, the one thing those Beatles did was to affect Peoples' Minds.
Somebody played me your rock and roll pussy song, but I never noticed anything. I think that the real reason you're mad at me is cause I didn't know who you were at the Rainbow (LA). Remember that time you came in with Wolfman Jack? When I found out later, I was cursing, cause I wanted to tell you how good you were. (I'd heard you on the radio.)
Anyway, however much you hurt me darling; I'll always love you,
J.L. 30th Sept. 1974.
September - October
George begins work on his album Dark Horse. The four-week sessions, carried out at his Friar Park studios in Henley, produce the following tracks: 'Dark Horse', 'I Don't Care Anymore', 'Ding Dong, Ding Dong', 'Hari's On Tour (Express)', 'Simply Shady', 'So Sad', 'Bye Bye Love', 'Maya Love', 'Far East Man' and 'It Is He (Jai Sri Krishna)'. (Additional recording and overdubbing on one track is carried out in Los Angeles.) George's laryngitis mars the recordings. By the end of October, his voice has deteriorated further and his North American tour in November and December is thrown into grave doubt.
It is also reported that George has had an affair with Ringo's wife, Maureen. By now, George and Patti's marriage has ended and Patti has settled in with George's close friend Eric Clapton. George writes new lyrics to the old Everly Brothers recording 'Bye Bye Love', in which he publicly criticises Eric and Patti and then, cheekily, asks them to take part on the recording of the song for his album. George will soon find a new girlfriend, the 26-year-old Olivia Trinidad Arias, a secretary from Dark Horse Records in Los Angeles, whom he will eventually marry.
The New York Yankees baseball team adopts the track 'Band On The Run' as their theme tune.
This month in Los Angeles, Ringo and Harry Nilsson begin shooting the half action/half animation film Ringo And Harry's Night Out, a comedy which centres around the pair's wild nights in LA and which also features a cameo appearance by Keith Moon. The film is being co-financed by Ringo and Mike Viners, the president of Pride Records in the States. (The film is neither completed nor released.)
In America, Dark Horse records release to US radio stations the George Harrison Interview Record, a special promotional disc to accompany the first distributed copies of the new George Harrison album Dark Horse. The American DJ Chuck Cassell conducted the interview, which was recorded at George's home in Los Angeles during August.
Tuesday October 1
In England, Paul and Linda are at the Wembley ringside to watch 23-year-old boxer John Conteh become the world light heavyweight boxing champion, the first British boxer to do so in a quarter of a century. Before the fight, the McCartneys had sent John a telegram, which reads: "You Made Me Number One. Now You Be Number One!" (A reference to Conteh's appearance on the Band On The Run record sleeve which, of course, had gone on to be a number one album in charts around the world.) The McCartneys will go on to play an integral part of Conteh's setup for the programme This Is Your Life (see entry for November 6). In America, the Peggy Lee album Let's Love, featuring production by Paul, is released. (The UK release takes place on November 8.) Shortly afterwards, Paul, Linda and Wings head off to the States to announce the details of their forthcoming US tour.
While in America, Alan Stone interviews John for the KWRS Radio station in Indianapolis.
Saturday October 5
The solo album from Paul's brother Mike, entitled McGear is released by Warner Brothers and features Wings playing on the backing tracks and production from Paul himself.
Monday October 7
In the States, the Peggy Lee single 'Let's Love', featuring Paul's production and taken from the album of the same name, is released. (The UK release takes place on October 25.)
Wednesday October 9
John celebrates his 34th birthday at an exclusive New York club with his close friends.
Saturday October 12
John tells the NME: "When we (The Beatles) see each other, there's no tension. We get on fine ... but I'm sure if we ever did anything it would be in 1976, when the (EMI) contract runs out... together we would sound exactly the same, only better - 'cos we're all better now, y'know." In today's Melody Maker, the paper prints John's reply to Todd Rundgren's previous outburst (see entry for September 30).
Also today at 4pm, outside The Beatles' offices at 3 Saville Row in London, The Beatles Fan Club International hold their first annual meeting. Those in attendance are given a free Beatles Fan Club International magazine and various free Beatles pictures.
Sunday October 13
In New York, the legendary American showbiz personality Ed Sullivan dies of cancer of the oesophagus. He was 72 years of age and is survived by one daughter. Friends of the legendary newspaper reporter and television personality say he never fully recovered from the death of his wife, Sylvia Weinstein, who died last year. He was responsible for giving The Beatles their live US TV debut on his long running CBS TV show The Ed Sullivan Show back on February 9, 1964. Sullivan is later buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum, in Hartsdale, New York.
Friday October 18
The Country Hams single 'Walking In The Park With Eloise'/'Bridge Over The River Suite' is released in the UK. (The American release takes place on December 2.)
Monday October 21
At the Record Plant, John resumes work on the ill-fated Rock 'N' Roll album. With John now back in possession of the original 1973 Los Angeles/Phil Spector produced tapes, this four-day session (which continues until the 25th) largely consists of John re-recording new vocals over the inadequate takes from 1973. The new tracks recorded for the album include 'Be-Bop-A-Lula', 'Stand By Me', a medley of 'Rip It Up' and 'Ready Teddy', 'Ain't That A Shame', 'Do You Want To Dance', 'Slippin' And Slidin' ', 'Peggy Sue', a medley of 'Bring It On Home To Me' and 'Send Me Some Lovin' ' and 'Ya Ya' (featuring John's son Julian on drums). Also recorded during these sessions are versions of 'Thirty Days' and 'C'Mon Everybody', as well as a brief 44-second burst of Link Wray's 'Rumble' and nine seconds of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love'. Apple releases the Rock 'N' Roll album in America on February 17,1975, and in the UK on February 21.
Tuesday October 22
John's album Walls And Bridges is awarded a gold record by the RIAA.
In America, Paul, Linda and Wings hold a press conference to announce the details of their forthcoming 1975/1976 Wings world tour.
Wednesday October 23
Today in America at the Beverly Wiltshire Hotel in California, George conducts a press conference to finally confirm his forthcoming North American tour. He announces to the waiting press: "I tried to squeeze in some concerts before Christmas, although all the places were booked out. Really, the feeling in the band was that we should do a gig in London."
He also touches upon his good friend Eric Clapton, who is now living with George's wife Patti: "Eric's been a close friend for years. I'm very happy about it. I'm still very friendly with him... he's great. I'd rather she was with him than with some dope."
Naturally, George is faced with the inevitable Beatles questions, and, as we've come to expect, his replies are honest and forthright.
Question: "What's your relationship like with John and Paul now?"
George: "It's very good. I haven't seen John since he's been in the States (Tuesday March 13,1973, during a brief rehearsal of 'I'm The Greatest' at the Sunset Sound Recorders Studios in Los Angeles). I spoke to him a lot on the telephone. He's in great shape. I met Paul recently, and everything is very friendly. It doesn't mean everybody is going to form a band."
Question: "Are you amazed about how much The Beatles still mean to people?"
George: "Not really. I mean it's nice. I realise that The Beatles did fill a space in the Sixties. All the people that The Beatles meant something to have grown up. It's like anything you've grown up with; you get attached to things. I understand The Beatles, in many ways, did nice things and it's appreciated that the people still like them. They want to hold on to something. People are afraid of change. You can't live in the past."
Question: "Are you involved with any serious negotiations to get The Beatles back together for one night?"
George: "It's all a fantasy, putting The Beatles back together again. If we ever do that, it's because everyone is broke. I'd rather have Willie Weekes on bass rather than Paul McCartney. With all respect to Paul, since The Beatles I've been in a box, taking me years to be able to play with other musicians. Paul is a fine bass player, but he's a bit overpowering at times. I'd join a band with John Lennon any day, but I couldn't join a band with Paul McCartney. That's not personal, but from a musical point of view."
Friday October 25
The first Wings single to feature Geoff Britton and Jimmy McCulloch, 'Junior's Farm'/ 'Sally G', is released in the UK (The American release takes place on November 4.) On February 7,1975, the single is re-issued with the sides reversed, as Paul reveals: "We flipped the single and I thought it might seem like we were trying to fool the public, but it isn't. It's only to get a bit of exposure on that song. Otherwise, it just dies a death, and only the people who bought 'Junior's Farm' get to hear 'Sally G'. I like to have hits, that is what I am making records for." This will be the last single to appear on the original Apple label.
Monday October 28
In the London High Courts today, Allen Klein loses his legal case against John, George, Ringo, Yoko and 28 English and American companies associated with The Beatles. The vice-Chancellor, Sir Anthony Plowman, gives Klein and his ABKCO companies leave to appeal.
Wednesday October 30
The famous picture of John, taken by Bob Gruen, giving a "peace" sign in front of the Statue of Liberty, is taken this morning.
At her bungalow in Poole in Dorset, John's Aunt Mimi meets up with Rudi Kamphausen, the president of the International Beatles Fan Club.
In the Kings Road, London, Paul and Linda purchase a brass bedstead from the antiques shop And So To Bed.
Friday November 1
John requests court permission to question the Immigration and Naturalisation Service regarding its motivation for deporting him and the former US Attorney General John Mitchell's role in the proceedings.
George's 'Dark Horse' North American Tour
November 2 - December 20
Even though George is suffering from laryngitis, his tour of North America still takes place. Accompanying him are Ravi Shankar, Billy Preston, Tom Scott, Jim Horn, Chuck Findley, Robben Ford, Andy Newmark, Emil Richards and Willie Weeks. George's repertoire includes 'The Lord Loves The One (That Loves The Lord)', 'Who Can See If (both dropped after the opening show), 'Hari's On Tour (Express)', 'For You Blue', 'Something', 'Sue Me, Sue You Blues', 'Maya Love', 'Sound Stage Of Mind', 'Dark Horse', 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)', 'In My Life', 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', 'What Is Life' and 'My Sweet Lord'. Controversy follows George on the tour when he decides to re-write some of the lyrics for the 1965 Lennon/McCartney track 'In My Life'.
The tour includes performances at:
The Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver (Saturday November 2)
Seattle, Washington (Monday November 4)
The Cow Palace, San Francisco (Wednesday November 6 and Thursday November 7)
Oakland Coliseum (Friday November 8-2 shows)
Long Beach Arena (Sunday November 10)
Los Angeles Forum (Monday November 11-1 show)
Los Angeles Forum (Tuesday November 12-2 shows)
Tucson Community Center, Arizona (Thursday November 14)
Salt Palace, Salt Lake City (Saturday November 16)
Denver Coliseum (Monday November 18-2 shows)
St. Louis Arena (Wednesday November 20)
Tulsa Assembly Center, Oklahoma (Thursday November 21)
Fort Worth, Texas (Friday November 22)
Houston's Hofheinz Pavilion (Sunday November 24)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Tuesday November 26)
Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis (Wednesday November 27)
The Omni, Atlanta (Thursday November 28-2 shows)
Chicago, Illinois (Saturday November 30-2 shows)
Olympia Stadium, Detroit (Wednesday December 4-2 shows)
Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens (Friday December 6-2 shows)
Montreal Forum (Sunday December 8-2 shows)
Boston Garden (Tuesday December 10-2 shows)
Providence Civic Center, Rhode Island (Wednesday December 11)
Capitol Center, Largo, Maryland (Friday December 13-2 shows)
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, Long Island (Sunday December 15-2 shows)
Philadelphia Spectrum (Monday December 16-1 show)
Philadelphia Spectrum (Tuesday December 17-2 shows)
New York Madison Square Garden (Thursday December 19)
New York Madison Square Garden (Friday December 20-2 shows)
Prior to the start of each concert on the tour, George plays over the PA speakers Monty Python's 'The Lumberjack Song'. Also, George writes the song 'It's What You Value', inspired by drummer Jim Keltner who requests a Mercedes 450SL car in lieu of money for working on the shows.
Wednesday November 6 & Thursday November 7
George gives $66,000 in proceeds from today's concerts in San Francisco to the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic. The money had been collected in a large box in the theatre's lobby underneath a huge sign, which requests the audience to "Put In Here All Your Loose, Dirty And Filthy Money!" Noting George's very weak voice at his first concert in San Francisco, one critic writes: "With a tour dictating 44 cities in 47 days, it isn't likely that he'll have much time to rest it and help it heal. There is talk that, by the time he hits New York, he'll be entirely mute! This, however, isn't much worse than what he's doing now!"
Monday November 25
During a break from the tour, George appears on the Houston radio station KLOL-FM, where he takes the opportunity to talk about Paul's law suit against him and to express his passion for the English comedy team Monty Python.
Saturday November 30
Things continue to go wrong on the tour when in Chicago, at the conclusion of tonight's performances, Ravi Shankar, still wearing his stage costume of Indian gowns, is rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack. His coronary turns out to be nothing more than a bout of serious indigestion, possibly caused by over-exertion. Ravi is forced to miss the next concerts, and will not return to the tour until December 19.
Friday December 6
Back in England on BBC Radio One, as promotion for the album Dark Horse, George's 30-minute interview with the DJ Alan Freeman, recorded at Apple's offices at 54 St. James's Street, is transmitted on the FM stereo programme Rockspeak between 10:00pm and midnight. (For his services, George is paid £22.) The interview is first aired in America, syndicated across the country during September 1975, re-titled Rock Around The World and re-cut to be used as a promotional interview to coincide with the release of George's follow-up album Extra Texture (Read All About It). Played during the American version of the interview are unreleased versions of the songs 'Dark Horse', 'I Don't Care Anymore', 'Far East Man' and 'Awaiting On You All' which were given personally to Freeman by George on October 18, specifically to play during the American broadcasts. The interview itself throws up some candid remarks from the "quiet Beatle" ... his feelings on John: "He was both a saint and a bastard"; on Paul: "He ruined me as a guitar player"; and of his former group: "I'm ready for The Beatles to reform and kick down some doors!"
Friday December 13
While in America, George, his father Harry, his girlfriend Olivia, Ravi Shankar and Billy Preston, visit US President Gerald Ford for lunch at the White House, at the invitation of the President's son John, whom they met on tour. Harrison announces later that he senses "good vibes" coming from President Ford's administration.
American news cameras and reporters are present to capture the party arriving. One of them asks George: "Do you think The Beatles will ever get back together for a concert?"
George: "I don't know... I don't know."
Reporter: "Would you like to?"
George: "Well... I'm having more fun with this band to tell you the truth. We (The Beatles) all grew up, lived in a room together for years and years, and it's a natural thing for each one of us to develop individually. Individually speaking, I'm having more fun doing this sort of thing... I've never been so happy in my life as with this band."
'For You Blue' from today's concert at the Capitol Center in Largo, Maryland, is officially released on February 15,1988, as part of the limited edition CD and vinyl EP contained in the book Songs By George Harrison. Also, the live version of 'Hari's On Tour (Express)', also from today's Largo concert, is officially released as part of the CD contained in the 1992 limited edition book, Songs By George Harrison 2.
Saturday December 14
George, fresh from Washington, arrives with Olivia Arias at the Plaza Hotel in New York where he has arranged to meet John and May Pang. They all spend the night at the hotel and the following day (December 15), George invites the couple to his concert in Nassau.
Sunday December 15
As planned, John and May attend George's second concert this evening at the Nassau Coliseum. John remarks that he is pleased that "he doesn't have to sit through Ravi's bit!"
Monday December 16
George's album Dark Horse receives a gold disc from the RIAA.
Thursday December 19
In New York, George and his band turn up at the NBC TV studios where they record a short live version of the track 'Dark Horse' for inclusion in a future edition of the comedy programme Saturday Night Live which is currently in the planning stages. George's live performance, which lasts just 1' 52", is never screened and Saturday Night Live fails to reach the American TV networks for another year.
The opening night at Madison Square Garden fails to sell out, leaving ticket touts outside the venue with red faces. They had originally planned to sell the $9.50 tickets for $25; instead, they are forced to virtually give the tickets away, making a loss of almost $5 on each. Ravi Shankar returns to the show. Paul and Linda, currently in town for the dissolution of The Beatles' business entanglements, watch the show in heavy disguise. John's son Julian also attends the show, accompanied by Ringo's manager Hilary Gerrard. A planned appearance on stage by John fails to materialise because, earlier in the day, he refused to sign the "Famous Beatles Agreement" forms, which were due to be signed by all four ex-Beatles at midnight tonight. According to May Pang in her book Loving John, George, over the phone, tells May to tell John: "I started the tour without him and I'll finish it without him." (Ringo, meanwhile, remains in London to sign the papers, refusing to come to America and therefore avoiding a subpoena from Klein.)
Friday December 20
Hilary Gerrard again takes Julian to see George's concert at Madison Square Garden and John meets with Lee Eastman to discuss the "Famous Beatles Agreement". Later, John, along with May Pang and Neil Aspinall, attends a party celebrating the end of George's tour at New York's Hippopotamus Club. Yoko, arriving separately, is among the guests in attendance.
John recalls: "George and I are still good pals and we always will be, but I was supposed to sign this thing on the day of his concert. He was pretty weird because he was in the middle of that tour and we hadn't communicated for a while because he doesn't live here. I've seen Paul a bit because he comes to New York a lot, and I'm always seeing Ringo in Los Angeles. Anyway, I was a bit nervous about going on stage, but I agreed to because it would have been mean of me not to go on with George after I'd gone on with Elton. I didn't sign the document on that day because my astrologer told me it wasn't the right day, tee hee! (John will finally sign the papers on Friday December 27 at Disneyworld in Florida - see entry.)
"George was furious with me at the time because I hadn't signed it when I was supposed to, and somehow or other I was informed that I needn't bother to go to George's show. I was quite relieved in the end because there wasn't any time to rehearse and I didn't want it to be a case of just John jumping up and playing a few chords. I went to see him at Nassau and it was a good show. The band was great but Ravi wasn't there, so I didn't see the bit where the crowd is supposed to get restless. I just saw a good tight show. George's voice was shot but the atmosphere was good and the crowd was great. I saw George after the Garden show and we were friends again. But he was surrounded by the madhouse that's called 'touring'. I respect George but I think he made a mistake on the tour. Mistakes are easier to spot if you're not the person making them, so I don't want to come on like 'I know better', 'cos I haven't done that... one of the basic mistakes seemed to be that the people wanted to hear old stuff. George wasn't prepared to do that, and I understand him. When I did that charity concert at Madison Square Garden, I was still riding high on 'Imagine' so I was OK for material. But when I did 'Come Together' the house came down, which gave me an indication of what people wanted to hear."
Following the Hippopotamus Club party, John visits George in his hotel room where they are interviewed separately by the KHJ Los Angeles radio station for a one-hour special.
Paul begins the recording sessions with Wings for his album Venus and Mars at Abbey Road Studios in London. The sessions are due to continue in New Orleans during January.
Friday November 1
"I would like," said John Lennon, drawing deeply on his cigarette, "The Beatles to make a record together again."
An exclusive interview with John, carried out by John Blake in New York, is published in the Liverpool Echo.
Monday November 4
While George is performing in Seattle, Washington, the stage show Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band On The Road, opens in Hartford, Connecticut.
Still in America, Mercury Records release the Rod Stewart single 'Mine For Me', a track written by Paul.
Tuesday November 5
At his Tittenhurst Park mansion, Ringo celebrates Guy Fawkes (Bonfire) Night with specially invited guests including Eric Clapton and Patti Harrison.
Friday November 8
Ringo makes a pre-recorded appearance on the BBC Radio One programme Rockspeak. Meanwhile in America, he joins Keith Moon to videotape an appearance on the USTV show ABC In Concert. (The programme is first transmitted on November 11 between 11pm and midnight.)
Saturday November 9
Today's Melody Maker pre-empts the other music tabloids by announcing: "Eiton And Lennon On Stage." The report continues: "When Elton John plays giant concerts in New York later this month, John Lennon is expected to join him for some songs on stage." In the same issue, Todd Rundgren concludes his feud with John by writing: "First, I would like to extend my apologies to John Lennon for the extreme nature of my remarks. I am often reputed to be over critical, and my comments do not reflect my personal respect for him. I would like to dissipate the idea that I am involved in a feud with anyone, as our prime interest, I'm sure, is the same, that being a little honest communication. Thank you."
Monday November 11
Ringo's single 'Only You (And You Alone)'/'Call Me' is released in America. (The UK release takes place on November 15.) 'Only You', written by Buck Ram and Ande Rand, dates back to 1955 when it was originally recorded by The Platters, who were then managed by Ram.
Wednesday November 13
In England, Paul and Linda, as part of a setup for John Conteh's appearance on the Thames/ITV Network programme This Is Your Life, invite the boxer to Abbey Road for a "supposed" celebratory snap shot after winning the world light-heavyweight boxing title at Wembley on October 1. With the picture taken, the show's host Eamonn Andrews pounces, to say "John Conteh, this is your life" while Paul and Linda stand laughing and applauding. The 26-minute show, the first in the latest series, is transmitted across the ITV network this evening between 7:00 and 7:28pm. Earlier in the day, Paul and Wings record a jingle intended for the soundtrack of a 30-second Mother's Pride bread commercial. Unfortunately, due to a controversy over increases in the price of a loaf of bread, the TV commercial is never screened and remains un-transmitted to this day.
Thursday November 14
The stage play Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band On The Road, directed by Tom O'Horgan, opens in New York at the Beacon Theater with John and May Pang in attendance. Later this evening, John and May attend a party celebrating the opening at New York's Hippopotamus Club where they mingle with guests, including Ronnie Spector and Mick and Bianca Jagger.
At the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood, Ringo shoots a commercial to accompany his album Goodnight Vienna. Produced by the Califomian based Vidtronics Company Inc., he is seen banging a drum amongst a marching band in the street when a flying saucer lands which subsequently captures and bundles him inside the craft which flies onto the roof of the Capitol Records tower. The 60-second (and re-edited 30-second) clip ends with Ringo, alongside the ship, waving from the top of the tower. To an accompaniment of the tracks 'Goodnight Vienna' and 'Only You', John assists Ringo with the narration of the commercial.
John: "Is that Ringo Starr advertising his new album Goodnight Vienna on Apple Records and tapes?"
Ringo: "It certainly is, John."
John: "My, you look so wonderful!"
Ringo: "Thank you!"
The commercial ends with the following banter:
John: "Goodnight Vienna on Apple Records and tapes."
Ringo: "Thanks John."
John: "It's a pleasure, Ringo!"
With shooting of the advert completed, work immediately begins on the promotional film for 'Only You'. Directed by the BBC Top Of The Pops and In Concert director Stanley Dorfman, the clip retains the flying saucer, which again lands on the Capitol tower where Ringo mimes the song alongside a cigarette smoking Harry Nilsson, who wears headphones and a peaked cap and is reading a copy of the music paper Radio & Records. The only UK TV screening of the film occurs on BBCl's Top Of The Pops, transmitted on Thursday December 19. Incidentally, at the end of the day's shoot, Ringo, still in his space suit, treats the neighbouring streets to a free laser show from the tower, when beams of lights are projected onto a star shaped mirror attached to his chest. The lights, reportedly, are visible for hundreds of miles beyond the Los Angeles city limits.
Friday November 15
With a two-man BBC film crew in tow (dispatched from the corporation's offices in the city), John ventures out in New York to shoot a 16mm colour promotional film for the song 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night'. For this wonderful piece of cinema verite, John wanders aimlessly round the city and sets about capturing on film whatever comes his way. Dressed all in black with a large floppy hat, long coat, flared trousers and platform shoes, John supervises the filming of street beggars, truck drivers, a father carrying his small child on his back and even the city's 25-cent adult peep shows at 42nd Street. John is also seen signing autographs, imitating a street puppeteer, playing a large church-style organ and, at a hot-dog stand in Central Park, performing an impromptu magic trick involving tin cans and paper bags to a small bemused looking crowd of onlookers. Memorable, brief, ad-libbed shots include John outside the Beacon Theater where, the previous night, he had seen the opening of the Sgt. Pepper's musical play. Outside the theatre, he takes a close-up of the musical's poster, and points at the words "John Lennon & Paul McCartney". As his personal tribute to the 1961 Audrey Hepbum and George Peppard film Breakfast At Tiffanys, John recreates the start of the picture by panning down the front of the Tiffany & Co. building. But instead of going to the side window, as Hepbum did to gaze adoringly at the expensive jewellery, John, in front of further bemused onlookers, enters the building only to reappear clutching and eating a hot-dog. Footage from this session will be seen for the first time in the UK on BBC1's Top Of The Pops (transmitted on Thursday February 27,1975, between 7:20 and 7:59pm), where an alternative two minutes 25 seconds edit is compiled to promote the 1975 single issue of 'No. 9 Dream'.
Meanwhile, also today in the States, a copyright is registered for the unreleased song 'Incantation', co-written by John and Roy Cicala during John's Los Angeles 1974 Walls And Bridges sessions.
Ringo's album Goodnight Vienna is released in the UK. (The American release takes place on November 18.) A planned American TV special utilising four tracks from the album fails to appear, even going so far as to have a US TV transmission date arranged for 1975. The sleeve of the Goodnight Vienna album, which features a still from the 1951 Michael Rennie Science-Fiction film The Day The Earth Stood Still, with Ringo's head superimposed over the top of Rennie's, curiously contains the word KLAATU, which was the name of the alien played by Rennie in the film. (Promotional posters for the album feature the cryptic slogan "Don't forget: Klaatu Barada Niktu", which was Klaatu's secret instructions to his robot Gort.) In 1976, a Canadian group adopts this name and releases an album on Capitol Records. The album, following rumours that Klaatu is in fact the reformed Beatles under an alias, will go on to sell a million copies.
Saturday November 16
John's single 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night' reaches number one in the US charts. This is his first American solo number one. The album Walls And Bridges also reaches number one in the US album charts on this date. Tonight, John is in the audience of Elton John's concert at the Boston Gardens. Immediately following the performance, John flies back to New York.
Sunday November 17
Late this afternoon, John spends time at the Record Plant mixing his Rock 'N' Roll album.
Monday November 18
George's single 'Dark Horse'/'I Don't Care Anymore' is released in America.
Wednesday November 20
Back in England, in Studio 8, at the BBC TV Centre in Wood Lane, London, Wings record their fourth studio appearance on Top Of The Pops, videotaping a performance of 'Junior's Farm' for inclusion in tomorrow night's show. The programme, hosted by Noel Edmonds, also features studio performances by The Rubettes, Queen, Alvin Stardust, Hot Chocolate, Hello, Lulu and Carl Douglas and is transmitted on BBC1 between 7:20 and 7:59pm. At the conclusion of the recordings, Paul, Linda and Denny reappear unannounced, miming backing vocals to David Essex's number one song 'I'm Gonna Make You A Star'. For the Wings' mimed performance of 'Junior's Farm', which is no longer in the BBC VT library, they command a fee of £170.
Saturday November 23
Today's Melody Maker publishes an interview with Ringo.
MM: "I know you've been asked this question 100 times, but is there any chance of you getting together as The Beatles?"
Ringo: "No! How can we get together if George won't play with Paul!"
On the subject of John's US green card problem, he states: "I think he should be able to stay. Give the guy a break! What's he done to anybody?"
Sunday November 24
John joins Elton John in rehearsals at the Record Plant studios in New York, for Elton's November 28 Thanksgiving concert at Madison Square Garden.
Wednesday November 27
In England, Paul and Linda turn up unannounced to provide backing vocals on the McCartney penned song 'Mine For Me' during a live concert performance by Rod Stewart and The Faces at the Odeon Cinema, in Lewisham, South London. Paul later reveals that they intended only to go and watch The Faces in performance and never had the slightest intention of appearing on stage with the group. Paul later admitted doing so because "the ham in him rose to the occasion" as Rod called them to the stage, helped of course by a bit of Dutch courage induced by the alcoholic drinks in The Faces' dressing room. The McCartneys' appearance with The Faces is filmed and broadcast in America on the music programme Midnight Special, transmitted on April 25,1975. An excerpt is also scheduled to appear in the 1975 Rod Stewart documentary Smiler, but the programme is never released. Asked why he wrote the song for Rod, Paul replies, "It was just the result of another drunken night, I suppose! It's nice to write for someone like Rod, because he's got such a distinctive voice. You can hear him singing it as you are doing it. Certain people ... well, they are just a bit boring, and you write boring songs for them."
In America, on the eve of the Thanksgiving concert, John and May visit Elton at the Sherry Netherlands hotel in New York.
Thursday November 28
Just one day after Paul and Linda made an impromptu appearance during a concert, John keeps his promise and also performs unannounced. Joining Elton John and his band at their Thanksgiving Concert at New York's Madison Square Garden, John performs 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night', 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' and 'I Saw Her Standing There'.
John recalls the event. "It was great. He was more nervous than I was, because he was nervous for me as well. Eiton used to be in the Dick James office when The Beatles sent in their latest demos, so he had a real emotional feeling for The Beatles. I went to see Elton at Boston and I was nervous just watching him. I was thinking 'Thank God it isn't me', as he was getting dressed to go on. I went through my stage fright at Boston so by the time I got to Madison Square I had a good time, and when I walked on they were all screaming and shouting. It was like Beatlemania. I was thinking 'What is this?' 'cos I hadn't heard it since The Beatles. I looked round and saw someone else playing the guitar. It brought the house down. It was deja vu for me, not like The Beatles screaming bit, but the place was really rocking.
"We'd had a rehearsal but we weren't that together. By the time we got to 'I Saw Her Standing There' Eiton's piano was jumping off the floor. It was his idea to do that song. We had to do 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night' because of a bet we had ... and naturally we did 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' because I did that with him at Caribou. That's me out of tune in the background, doing the reggae bit. I got it wrong just like I did the original on Pepper. Eiton wanted me to do 'Imagine', but I didn't want to come on like Dean Martin doing my classic hits. I wanted to have some fun and play some rock and roll and I didn't want to do more than three because it was Eiton's show after all. He suggested 'I Saw Her Standing There' and I thought 'great', because I never sang the original of that. Paul sang it and I did the harmony. When I came off stage I said to the waiting journalists, 'It was good fun, but I wouldn't like to do it for a living.' I'm not against live performances, but I haven't got a group and I haven't put a stage show together. I'm just not keen on it right now, but I may change my mind."
It is estimated that some 30,000 counterfeit tickets for the show had been circulated, resulting in thousands of disappointed fans being turned away from the venue. Following the show, John and May attend a special party at the Pierre Hotel, where guests are treated to mind-bending illusions by Uri Geller. Incidentally, John and Yoko have always insisted that John did not know that Yoko was in the audience. However, according to May Pang in her book Loving John, not only did John know well in advance that Yoko was attending but he had also reserved Yoko's tickets and that she had phoned him more than once to complain about the location of her seats.
Saturday November 30
While George is currently on a two-month tour of North America, an interview with Paul appears in today's Melody Maker in which he announces that his next tour with Wings will be a massive outing, taking in the world and is scheduled to last through 1975 and 1976. Also today, at the Michael Sobell Sports Centre in Islington, London, Wings' drummer Geoff Britton lines up for the Amateur Karate Association of Great Britain team in their competition against the World Karate Union of Japan, fighting in two bouts, losing the first but winning the second. Paul captures the event for the unreleased 32-minute MPL documentary Empty Hand. The production, featuring incidental music by Paul and a mix of black & white and colour sequences, is directed by David Litchfield, who previously worked with Paul in August during the also unreleased MPL film One Hand Clapping.
Paul, Linda and their family fly to the States for a short holiday. They return to England on December 22 to spend Christmas at home in Scotland.
George and Olivia spend Christmas in Hawaii. During their stay he writes the song 'This Guitar (Can't Keep From Crying)'.
Thursday December 5
Rolling Stone magazine reproduce a secret memo, dated February 4,1972, to former US Attorney General John Mitchell from Senator Strom Thurmond, which charges that John's deportation case is political.
Friday December 6
George's single 'Ding Dong, Ding Dong' (featuring Ringo on drums)/'I Don't Care Anymore' is released in the UK. The release makes number 38 m the singles chart. George talks about the A-side: "It's very optimistic. Instead of getting stuck in a rut, everybody should try ringing out the old and ringing in the new. I mean, they all hold hands and dance about, doing 'Knees Up Mother Brown' every New Year's Eve but they never apply it. They sing about it, but they never apply it to their lives. I mean, it is comical, but at the same time it is pretty good. I was just sitting by the fire, playing the guitar and I looked up on the wall, and there it was written, carved into the wall in oak: 'Ring Out The Old. Ring In The New' on the left and on the right of the fire: 'Ring Out The False. Ring In The True'. I thought 'God, it took me five years of looking at that, before I realised it was a song.' A loony, who used to own the house, he built it, and it has got all these great things written all over the place. 'Yesterday, Today Was Tomorrow' was written in the stone on a window in the garden buildings, and on the other window ''Tomorrow, Today Will Be Yesterday'."
Saturday December 7 & Sunday December 8
John visits Los Angeles where he spends the weekend hanging out with Ringo.
Monday December 9
Once again, John appears unannounced, this time following Ronald Reagan on the ABC TV sports programme Monday Night Football, where he is briefly interviewed by the host Howard Cosell during the intermission in a game between the Los Angeles Rams and the LA Redskins at the Los Angeles Coliseum. John tells the viewing public what he thinks of the American professional football scene: "It's an amazing event and sight," he announces. "It makes rock concerts look like tea parties." John also reveals that when he arrived at the stadium, the first thing he heard being played was The Beatles' tune Yesterday' which "cheered me up no end!" Of course, no interview will be complete without the perennial question, this time from Cosell: "Will The Beatles ever reunite?" John replies by saying: "You never know, you never know. I mean, it's always in the wind. If it looked like this (referring to the stadium and crowd), it might be worth doing, right?" John finishes off by plugging his own album Walls And Bridges and Ringo's latest Goodnight Vienna and then returns to watch the game.
George's album Dark Horse is released in the US. (The UK release takes place on December 20.) Besides 'Ding Dong, Ding Dong', Ringo plays drums on the track 'So Sad'.
Still in America, Ringo's album Ringo receives a gold disc by the RIAA.
Wednesday December 11
In the States, Ringo officially changes the name of his company from Reckongrade Ltd. to Pyramid Records Ltd.
Sunday December 15
Following almost three years of fighting to remain in the United States, reports published today offer further proof that the Immigration and Naturalisation services responded to political pressure in deciding to press its case against John. The report goes on: "They claim that John is unable to remain in the States due to his minor drugs offence in 1968, but today in Washington, records show that some 118 other offenders with more serious narcotics backgrounds have been allowed to live in the country."
Monday December 16
John's single 'No. 9 Dream'/'What You Got' is released in the US. (The UK release takes place on January 31,1975.) To coincide with its release, John makes the first of four scheduled American television interviews, in a period that will last until April 28, 1975. The first is for the NBC TV breakfast show Today. Introduced by the host as "John Lennon from The Beatles", he appears primarily to promote his latest single, but the continuing problem over his America residency is uppermost in the programme's agenda. John's lawyer, Leon Wildes, also appears. At 7:31am John sits smiling at the camera, giving a "V" (peace) sign while the host continues with his lengthy prologue. "John will not be singing for us this morning. He is deeply involved in trying to prevent himself from being deported," says the host. "The United States Immigration Department know that a drug violation for which he was found guilty, or pleaded guilty in 1968 in England, is grounds for his deportation..." Following cutaways to a news-break and a check on the latest weather, John takes his first question:
Host: "Do you get tired of people introducing you as the 'former Beatle'?"
John: "It's an improvement on ex. I like former better. In England I'm an expatriate and an ex-Beatle. Former looks nicer."
Host: "Do The Beatles still exist? When you disband, does the name go somewhere, and the whole thing just go off into oblivion?"
John: "The Beatles name will continue, because it's 'Beatles Limited' you know, and there's lots of Beatles products that are repackaged. For instance, last year, there were two sets of double-albums (1962-1966 and 1967-1970) that did as well as anything that we put out when we were together. And there's a film in the offing that's comprised of all the films we've collected from all the tours and all the interviews over the world ... which will be called The Long And Winding Road, no doubt. So they exist, but they don't work together anymore."
Host: "You haven't worked together in three or four years?"
John: "Well, let me say, I've worked with Ringo and George on Ringo's album. I worked with George on an album of mine. I worked with Ringo about two months ago and I might be working with George on Friday night, folks!"
Host: "What's happening?"
John: "Well, he's in town performing and we're still friends, you see, so we might have a laugh. It's the last night of the tour and (turning to the camera with a big smirk on his face) ... see you Friday!" *
Host: "Will The Beatles ever play together again as a group?"
John: "It's quite possible, but it's a question even cab drivers ask me. They ask me two things - 'Are you going to play together again?' and 'How's your immigration?' In what form we play together again I don't know. It's been a psychical impossibility for the four of us to be in one place at one time. I couldn't leave here because I couldn't get back in and George and Paul also have problems coming in and out. There's probably three here now, or by the end of the week, but Ringo's gone back. So it's really been an immigration problem that's kept us from even sitting in a room together to decide or saying, 'Hello', although we've done it in different combinations of the four."
Host: "So if the immigration problems were solved, you're saying there's nothing personal between the four of you that would prevent you someday playing again or making music albums or so on."
John: "For us to do that, we'd have to do it more than just to resurrect what went on in the Sixties. Whatever format, it's not in the offing but it's quite possible. Whatever format we did together, it would have to be interesting to us musically, as otherwise they'd be no point. We don't want to just do it for old times sake, you know."
(* Within days of this interview, John's planned concert appearance on Friday is changed to Thursday, a date John fails to keep. See prior entry - dated Thursday December 19.)
Today, in England, the Daily Mail reports that "a secret and near hysterical" White House report lies behind John's dispute with the US immigration authorities and that President Nixon had personally ordered officials to "harass Lennon and kick him out of America"!
Thursday December 19
Meanwhile, back in England, Ringo's promotional film for 'Only You' receives its UK TV premiere on tonight's edition of Top Of The Pops, transmitted on BBC1 between 7:19 and 7:59pm.
Saturday December 21
Full-page advertisements appear in the UK music papers announcing that Paul and Wings have been awarded a platinum disc for over 500,000 sales in Britain for their album Band On The Run.
Monday December 23
George's single 'Ding Dong, Ding Dong'/'Hari's On Tour (Express)' is released in the US. To coincide with the release, George, at his Friar Park mansion, shoots a 16mm colour promotional clip for the A-side where he is seen wandering (and tripping) around his vast land and pointing (with a false hand) at various bushes and twigs. Additional scenes shot include, this time inside the Friar Park mansion, George miming the song, dressed satirically to represent chronologically The Beatles years. He first appears sporting a Beatles mop-top wig, a collarless Beatles suit and playing a Rickenbacker guitar. (Still in this garb, George nips outside into the grounds of Friar Park to film a brief exterior shot.) Later, George dresses in his Sgt. Pepper outfit and films scenes with midgets miming the song wearing false hats, beards and eye patches. Retaining The Beatles' retrospective idea, George recreates John's Two Virgins cover by appearing naked save for a pair of large furry boots and a guitar to hide his modesty. The clip ends with George up on the roof of his mansion lowering a Pirates flag, replacing it with a flag bearing a Hare Krishna symbol.
Thursday December 26
For the fourth successive year, BBC1 transmits a Beatles film over Christmas. Today, in its traditional "Boxing Day With The Beatles" slot, this time between 10:28 and 11:55am, Help! receives its third television screening.
Friday December 27
John, May Pang, and his son, Julian spend the day at Disneyworld in Florida. "We went to Disneyland on what must have been the most crowded day of the year," John recalls. "It's funny, I was sitting on the monorail along with everyone else, not being recognised, and I heard someone with his back to me say that 'George Harrison was there today'. The guy was leaning on me at the time and he'd heard that a Beatle was there somewhere. He couldn't see the wood for the trees."
Today, in the Hawaiian Village hotel adjoining Disneyworld, John finally signs the papers dissolving The Beatles' partnership, the last ex-Beatle to do so. Thus, the end of The Beatles, as both a group and as a company, officially occurs in, of all places, Disneyworld.
Sunday December 29
John gives another radio interview, this time appearing on the CKLW station in Detroit.
Tuesday December 31
In London, the year-end financial reports for Apple Corps Ltd reveals a turnover of £3,759,127 which, after tax and expenses, results in a profit of £261,075.
Later in the day, at Tittenhurst Park in Ascot, Ringo hosts a New Year's Eve party for close friends including Eric Clapton and Patti Harrison.
December (until February 1975)
Back in New York, John records several demos of the song 'Tennessee', a track that will undergo a number of progressive changes, including the lyrics and even the working titles, later becoming 'Memories' and 'Howling At The Moon'. (A portion of 'Memories' will eventually form the basis to the 1980 Double Fantasy track 'Watching The Wheels'.) According to May Pang, during this period John also wrote a catchy tune entitled 'Popcorn'. During the month, John gives another transatlantic phone call interview to Kenny Everett on the London based station Capital Radio in the UK.
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