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   :29.10.09 11:38.:BEATLES


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   :03.11.10 13:07.: ..

1974 .

Come Together: The Night Lennon and McCartney Reunited

Valiant Paul McCartney, I presume? said John Lennon. Sir Jasper Lennon, I presume, responded Paul McCartney.

Such was the manner in which the two former Beatles greeted one another when McCartney showed up, unexpectedly, at a recording session Lennon was conducting on March 28, 1974. In the throes of his Lost Weekend period, Lennon was in a Los Angeles studio overseeing production of Harry Nilssons Pussy Cats album. Present were a number of players including Stevie Wonder, guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, saxophonist Bobby Keys and Nilsson himself. McCartney was accompanied by his wife, Linda. Lennons then-girlfriend, May Pang, was there as well.

We had no clue he was coming, said Pang, referring to McCartneys visit in Peter Ames Carlins recent McCartney biography, McCartney: A Life. All of a sudden we turned around, and Paul was there.

So began the only instance in which, post-Beatles, Lennon and McCartney ever joined forces in the studio. Remarkably, although Pang had made reference to the event previously, it wasnt until May 1992 that McCartney confirmed that the studio reunion had occurred. Its very difficult to remember those days, because it was all a bit crazy and everyone was getting out of it, McCartney revealed. But yes, John was doing some recordings in Los Angeles and I showed up.

Indeed, the night was late, the days official sessions were complete, and, by all accounts, the gathered musicians including Lennon and McCartney were, to varying degrees, in chemically-induced altered states of mind. Disappointed he had missed the session, McCartney edged toward the drum kit, where Ringo Starr had been sitting earlier, and picked up the sticks. Ah, okay, Lennon said, looking around for his guitar. Maybe well have a little jam.

As detailed by Carlin, Linda then seated herself at the organ, Wonder manned the electric piano, Jesse Ed Davis picked up his six-string, and a musician from a session next door strapped on a bass. Lennon began ad-libbing some vocals, and Wonder launched into a gospel-style progression that evolved into a funky version of Lucille. Stand By Me came next, with Lennon, McCartney, and Nilsson sharing vocals. Pang later recalled that the ad-hoc group also pulled together a skiffle rendition of the Leadbelly classic, Midnight Special.

The session sputtered on into the wee hours, but technical problems were rampant, and Lennon became progressively irritable. Still, in the words of Pang, the Lennon-McCartney reunion was like yesterday they didnt skip a beat, just went right into it.

Even more enticingly, although Beatles fans never knew, the spontaneous jam session very nearly sparked a full-on Fab Four reunion. The day after the jam, at Lennons invitation, McCartney, Linda, and the couples children went to Lennons rented Malibu home. Gathered around the pool were Ringo, Keith Moon and a handful of others. Lennon soon joined them. McCartney sat at a piano for most of the afternoon, playing Beatles songs and some standards. Ringo seated himself on the bench next to McCartney, singing along and having a rollicking good time.

As day turned to night, Lennon and McCartney bid their adieus. Lets see each other again, McCartney said. Lennon nodded in agreement. Afterwards, Pang overheard Lennon tell Nilsson, Wouldnt it be fun to get the guys back together again? In the minds of Nilsson and Pang, there was no doubt which guys Lennon was referring to. Some might dismiss Lennons remarks as whimsical musing, but years later, in an interview with Earcandy magazine, Pang insisted otherwise.

He wanted to write with Paul again, she said. He asked me if I thought it was a good idea. I told him I thought it was a great idea. Solo they were great, but together they were unbeatable. He thought about it and he said, You know what? Lets go down and visit Paul and Linda.

The proposed visit was to take place in early 1975, in New Orleans, where McCartney was working on Wings Venus and Mars album. Lennon was back in New York by then, still living with Pang. Just before the trip was to be arranged, Yoko Ono phoned Lennon, insisting the stars were aligned for him to undergo a smoking cessation program. The trip to New Orleans was postponed, and was ultimately abandoned altogether.

Following Lennons death, Pang told McCartney about the planned visit that never happened.

I said to [Paul], For what its worth I just want you to know that John really loved you, said Pang. He said, Oh, I know that. Then I said, You know, we were going to come down to New Orleans because he wanted to write with you again. Paul looked at me and said, Oh yeah that would have been great. I could tell he thought I was just being nice.

Pang went on to say that McCartney seemed not to want to entertain the thought, perhaps because the idea of such a missed opportunity was too painful. A year later, however, at McCartneys annual Buddy Holly tribute party in New York, the former Beatle rushed over to Pang as she was talking with Linda McCartney. Tell her! McCartney said. Tell me what? said Pang. One of Derek Taylors postcards from John fell into our hands, McCartney said. John had written, Thinking of visiting the Macs in New Orleans.

The postcard was evidence to McCartney that Lennon had wanted, perhaps only briefly, to try and rekindle the greatest songwriting partnership of the century.

Red lights, green lights, strawberry wine

A good friend of mine follows the stars

Venus and Mars are alright tonight

Venus and Mars, 1975


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   :08.11.10 12:11.:Unseen Beatles photo..

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   :08.11.10 12:17.: ..


BBC film unearths Beatles photos

The Beatles were snapped by Sandra Blaken during their week in Weston

John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney in Weston-super-Mare, July 1963
The Beatles were snapped by Sandra Blaken during their week in Weston

Unpublished photos of The Beatles taken in 1963 when they spent a week at the seaside in Somerset have surfaced during the making of a BBC film.

Just before Beatlemania broke out, the band played twice-nightly for six days at Weston-super-Mare's Odeon Cinema.

As a 16-year-old fan, Sandra Blaken took photographs of John, Paul, George and Ringo outside their hotel.

She also sneaked into one of their bedrooms and took an underwear label which she later got them to sign.

Beatles climb the steps in the rock face at Birnbeck after a photo-shoot in 1963
The Beatles were on the brink of world fame when they were in Weston

Sandra, now a 63-year-old grandmother who lives in Bristol, is among Beatles fans who have shared their memories for the BBC regional programme Inside Out West to be shown on Monday, November 8.

She spent two days waiting outside the Royal Pier hotel watching The Beatles coming and going and managed to take some pictures.

"I had my camera with me and took photographs of them in vehicles driving themselves - John in his big white van, George in his dark green Jag.

"They went down for an official photo-shoot on the rocks at Birnbeck and I took pictures of them sitting there and then coming up the steps."

Sanda also confessed she was the ringleader of a group of girls who rushed into the hotel when they noticed all The Beatles had gone out and the doorman was not at the entrance.

"We had found out which bedroom number to look for and went in and looked around for a memento.

Joyce with mongramed handkerchief taken from Paul McCartney's pocket
Joyce Stott still has the handkerchief she took from Paul McCartney's pocket

"The wardrobe was open and I spotted all these new white cotton pants with cards in between so I took one of the labels and my friend took a record sleeve."

Sandra was chased out by the manager but she later asked The Beatles to autograph the underwear label.

"Paul said to me: 'Now we know who was in our room' but it was all very friendly.

"I think the only time I saw Paul a little bit upset was when my friend [Joyce Stott] pinched his handkerchief out of his pocket - there was a corner poking out and she whipped it away.

"I think sometimes they were a bit exasperated at what these fans, mainly girls, were doing - trying to get a little bit of The Beatles to take away with them."


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