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John Lennon meets Paul McCartney for the first time

John Lennon meets Paul McCartney for the first time


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The front-page headline of the Liverpool Evening Express on July 6, 1957, read “MERSEYSIDE SIZZLES,” in reference to the heat wave then gripping not just northern England, but all of Europe. The same headline could well have been used over a story that received no coverage at all that day: The story of the first encounter between two Liverpool teenagers named John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Like the personal and professional relationship it would lead to, their historic first meeting was a highly charged combination of excitement, rivalry and mutual respect.

It’s easy to assume that John and Paul would eventually have met on some other day had a mutual friend not chosen that hot and humid Saturday to make the introduction. But as much as they had in common, the two boys lived in different neighborhoods, went to different schools and were nearly two years apart in age.

Only John was scheduled to perform publicly on July 6, 1957. The occasion was the annual Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete, a parade and outdoor fair at which John and his Quarrymen Skiffle Group had been invited to play. The main attractions were a dog show and a brass band, but a family connection had helped get the Quarrymen added to the bill as a nod to the hundreds of teenagers in attendance. Midway through their first set, 15-year-old Paul McCartney showed up and watched, transfixed, as John, despite his rudimentary guitar skills and his tendency to ad-lib in place of forgotten lyrics, held the crowd with charm and swagger. After the show, it was Paul’s turn to impress John.

A mutual friend made the introduction in the nearby church auditorium, where John and his bandmates slouched on folding chairs and barely acknowledged the younger boy. Then Paul pulled out the guitar he was carrying on his back and began playing Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock,” then Gene Vincent’s “Be Bop A Lula,” then a medley of Little Richard numbers. As Jim O’Donnell writes in The Day John Met Paul, his book-length account of this historic moment in music history, “A young man not easily astonished, Lennon is astonished.” Paul’s musicianship far outstripped the older Lennon’s, but more than that, John recognized in Paul the same passion Paul had detected in John during his earlier onstage performance. Soon Paul was teaching a rapt John how to tune his guitar and writing out the chords and lyrics to some of the songs he’d just played.

Later that evening, walking home with one of his bandmates, John announced his intentions toward their new acquaintance. Two weeks later, John Lennon invited Paul McCartney to join the Quarrymen.


The Truth About John Lennon And Paul McCartney's First Meeting

The Beatles could easily be considered one of rock and roll's most significant influences. Their talented songwriting defined the music of their time, and the group that featured John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr shaped the industry and culture as the world knows it today.

However, the English rock band would have never happened if it wasn't for John Lennon and Paul McCartney. McCartney and Lennon alone were responsible for writing over 200 Beatles songs, according to NPR, such as She Loves You, In My Life, All You Need Is Love, and more. The musical duo began writing songs together in 1957, after meeting for the first time, and these early songs included classics like Too Bad About Sorrows, Just Fun, and Hello Little Girl. They would become as close as brothers, but they weren't always that way — in fact, McCartney and Lennon initially met by chance.


John Lennon meets Paul McCartney for the first time - HISTORY

It was the autumn of 1960 in Hamburg, Germany.

The young, fledgling group who had recently changed their name officially to “The Beatles” were playing at a local club called The Kaiserkeller. Hamburg was a vice-ridden city, a 24-hour-a-day unofficial red light district in itself. Hookers, pimps, thugs, gangsters, drug dealers, and various sundry “characters” and habitues roamed the streets during the day, and came to the clubs to hear the raucous music and bands a night.

At the time, the Beatles consisted of five members- John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, plus their then-drummer Pete Best and their pretty mediocre bass player, Stu Sutcliffe.

During this time, the Beatles were playing 8-hour shifts at the club, alternating with another band that had come over from Liverpool called “Rory Storm and the Hurricanes”. Each band would play five or six 90-minute sets every night, shifting back and forth. (Although the Beatles had arrived in Hamburg first, the Hurricanes were the higher paid of the two groups, being the “bigger name” band at this point in time.)

Rory Storm, the Hurricanes’ front man and lead singer, was a very colorful fellow who stuttered in real life, but was able to sing clearly and plainly. In fact, his stutter was so bad that his friends often wouldn’t let him do things like order in restaurants or introduce songs during the act because it took too long.

The members of the two bands got to be good friends during their time playing together. They all lived at the “Seaman’s Mission” and would join together to go out for breakfast at “Harold’s Cafe” next door after the long nights, devouring Corn Flakes and milk (pretty much the only real nourishment they got, after drinking bottles of beer and taking pills called Preludin (“Prellys”) to stay awake through the night.

The boys also all indulged in the local prevalence of both local girls (“groupies”) and local prostitutes, as one could imagine red-blooded young musicians in their late teen years would.

The Hurricanes’ drummer was a bearded, sad-faced but pleasant chap named Richard Starkey, who went by the nickname “Ringo Starr”. (He loved jewelry, especially his beloved rings.)

During these 8-hour shifts, the Beatles would play for a stretch, take a break (a “Powzer”) and Rory and his boys would take over.

The stage of the Kaiserkeller was nothing but a bunch of wooden planks balanced on beer crates. The Beatles and the Hurricanes once made a bet to see which group could break through the Kaiserkeller stage. After several failed attempts to crash through, the Hurricanes finally won the bet, stomping and jumping as hard as they could, before smashing through and laughing in the rubble.

Bruno Koschmider, the owner of the club, was furious at the two groups (as the stage was broken up, he had to use a jukebox to play music for his customers while it was being repaired.)

When the two bands went out to breakfast the next morning at Harold’s Cafe, he sent a group of his henchmen over to beat them with blackjacks.

The Beatles were to have many wild and crazy times in Hamburg, but more importantly, it was in Hamburg that they really started to “come together” and gel as a band. One day, unknowingly at the time, musical history was made.

On October 18, 1960, one of the Hurricanes named Lu Walters was scheduled to record a few songs at a local studio. John, Paul, and George were hired, for a modest fee, to accompany him and provide instrumental backing.

As luck would have it, Pete Best, the Beatles’ drummer, was off that day, buying new drumsticks. And so, Ringo Starr was taken on to play drums for this seminal session. (Fate? Kismet? Or just poor Pete’s first stroke of the “bad luck” that was to plague him so many times in the next few years.)

The session took place in a small booth on the fifth floor of the “Acoustik Studio”. Three songs were recorded that day: “Fever”, “Summertime” and “September Song”. This session was to be the first time John, Paul, George and Ringo ever played music together.

The session ended and the three Beatles and Ringo went their separate ways. But on several occasions over the next year and a half, when Pete Best was ill, indisposed, or otherwise unavailable, Ringo would climb aboard his drum kit and sit in for him.

On February 5, 1962, Pete Best was ill and Ringo sat in for him at a lunchtime gig at a local club, The Cavern.

He played with the boys again that same evening at another gig. Finally, in mid-August of 󈨂, Ringo was officially asked to become a “Beatle” and permanently replace Pete Best.

At this same time, Ringo had been offered 20 pounds a week to play for another band called “Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes.” The Beatles offered him 25 pounds, so he took the Beatles offer.

Originally, it was suggested that the Beatles and the Hurricanes just “swap drummers”, with Pete Best moving over and joining Rory Storm’s band. Pete was, understandably, upset at being dropped from the Beatles, and refused the swap. (The “firing of Pete Best” is a murky chapter in Beatles history to this day, as Beatle fans continue to argue and dispute the exact reason or reasons poor Pete got the axe.)

Rory storm was also angry at first, but being a very decent chap, he ultimately wished Ringo and his new band good luck. We all know what was to become of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. They, of course, went on to unimaginable riches, fame, and glory, revolutionizing music and bringing joy into the lives of untold millions all over the world.

The luckless Pete Best was to join a band called “Lee Curtis and the All-Stars”, which met with little success. Finally, in 1968, Pete retired from show business and got a job in a bakery.

Pete, a kind and gentle soul, understandably never really got over being dropped from the most successful band in the history of rock music. (Who would?)

Fortunately, although it took a few decades, Pete was to get his much-deserved millions when a few recordings he had played on were released in the Beatles “anthology” in the mid-1990s. Pete started performing again, had a happy marriage and managed to somehow survive happily after the biggest screw job in the history of show business.

With the Beatles huge, unprecedented success, many other groups close to them were to also meet with success, riding their huge coattails. Unfortunately, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes were not to be one of them. Rory and his Hurricanes were to go through several drummers in the next few years. But Ringo Starr was to prove irreplaceable. After a few failed records, he returned to Liverpool and was still a local star. But finally, after a band member died, his Hurricanes officially disbanded in 1967 at which point Rory took on a new career as a disc jockey.

Rory remained in Liverpool and lived with his mother in a house he dubbed “Stormsville”. In the early 1970s, he developed a severe chest infection that made it difficult to sleep. He resorted to pills and booze to help the condition, but overdosed in September of 1972. (It is disputed by fans, to this day, whether or not it was an accidental death or suicide.)

To compound his tragic end, Rory’s mother found his dead body in the home they shared and committed suicide herself.

If this isn’t a big enough downer, the Beatles’ original bass player, Stu Sutcliffe, was to die at the age of 21 from a brain hemorrhage resulting from an injury he incurred at a local concert.

The lives of pretty much the entire world were to be affected by the Beatles and their music- and the Beatles themselves each had their own particular up-and-down journeys after the group’s break-up in 1969.

John finally found the life he was always searching for in bizarre Japanese artist Yoko Ono, who was to become his wife and close companion.

George found his salvation in Eastern religion and philosophy.

As all know, both John and George were to experience untimely, unfortunate, and violent deaths (George was to die of cancer, but his condition was definitely exacerbated by a knife attack made on him by a home invasion intruder a few months earlier.)

Paul and Ringo have each been through their own share of misfortune too, but are both still very active as performers, as well as apparently happy in their personal lives.

Who could ever have imagined the repercussions and ramifications of a minor recording session at a cheap, little-known studio called “Kirchenalle” (The Klockmann House)- the day it all started- all those many years ago?

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:


60 years ago, John Lennon met Paul McCartney. The rest is history

Something historic happened 60 years ago Thursday. That's when 16-year-old John Lennon and 15-year-old Paul McCartney met for the first time.

Lennon's skiffle band the Quarrymen was getting ready to perform at the Woolton Parish Garden fete in Liverpool. Ivan Vaughn, who played tea chest bass in the Quarrymen, knew McCartney from school and introduced him to Lennon and the band.

He impressed them with his knowledge of American rock and roll and ability to play songs like Eddie Cochran's "Twenty Flight Rock."

Though they wouldn't take the name The Beatles for another three years, that meeting between two boys on a sweltering summer afternoon kick-started a creative partnership that yielded nearly 200 songs valued at close to a billion dollars. Right now, the 50th anniversaries of The Beatles' most famous albums are arriving in quick succession: "Revolver" last year, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" earlier this year and, in 2020, "Let It Be."


In the summer of 1957, The Quarry Men were setting up for a performance in a church hall when another member of the band introduced Lennon to Paul McCartney, then a 15-year-old self-taught left-handed guitar player. He auditioned for the band when they finished their set and was immediately invited to join, which he did in October 1957.

By February 1958 Lennon was moving increasingly away from skiffle and toward rock 'n' roll. This prompted the band's banjo player to leave, giving McCartney the opportunity to introduce Lennon to his friend and former classmate, George Harrison.

The band, which then consisted of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, piano player Duff Lowe and drummer Colin Hanton, recorded a demo consisting of Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" and a Lennon-McCartney original, "In Spite of All the Danger."


John Lennon meets Paul McCartney for the first time - HISTORY

Much of the genesis of the Beatles is a bit nebulous and is often argued, but most Beatles historians cite the date, July 6, 1957, as the official beginning of the Beatles.

John Lennon, a neighborhood guitar-player (local trouble-maker, part-time shoplifter and full-time egomaniac) had been playing around at a few local gigs in the area for a year or so. John’s initial band was called “The Blackjacks”, consisting of a few of his mates from school. Soon thereafter, the band’s name was changed to “The Quarrymen”, in honor of their present school, Quarry Bank High School.

It was on July 6, 1957 that John and his ragtag band were playing twice at the St. Peter’s Church fête in the Woolton Parish. The Quarrymen, led by John, played on the back of a coal truck, giving one performance in the morning and another in the early evening. Several cameras were snapping shots of the fête, and the very brash Lennon took the lead vocals on a few of the popular rock ‘n roll songs of the day.

Lennon was decked out in a checked shirt, tight pants (“Drainies”) and his hair was slicked-up in the fashion of his supreme idol, Elvis Presley. (Who incidentally was naturally a blond) John’s beloved mother, Julia, was there in the crowd, rabidly cheering her teenage son on. (As a sad sidebar, Julia was to be killed tragically, a little over a year later in a car accident- Julia was killed by a drunken, off-duty policeman as she was walking across the street to catch a bus. John was never to really get over the sudden loss of his mother and called it “the worst thing that ever happened to me”.)

Paul had been invited to watch the Quarrymen by a mutual friend. After the band’s first concert, Paul was introduced to John, who, Paul recalled, had breath smelling of illegally-obtained beer. The man who introduced the two budding musicians was Paul’s pal, Ivan Vaughn, who coincidentally enough was born on the exact same day as Paul (June 18, 1942.) After the brief introduction, Paul played John the song “Twenty Flight Rock” by Eddie Cochrane.

The two were very impressed with one another. As John recalled, “I dug him.” So much so that John asked Paul to join his fledgling band the next day. John stated that he made the momentous decision somewhat begrudgingly. “I was the kingpin”, John said- far more talented than his fellow bandmates. But he knew how talented Paul was from the initial meeting. Thus, with Paul’s obvious talent and personality, his agreed-upon and unquestioned position as the group’s “leader” would be in jeopardy, or at least, lessened to a degree. “I had to decide whether to make myself stronger or make the group stronger”, John recalled. Fortunately for the sake of music fans the world over, John decided to “make the group stronger” and asked Paul to join.

Although Paul was invited and he accepted sometime in July of 1957, he did not join the Quarrymen right away. Paul and his kid brother Michael were scheduled to go away on a summer boy scout jamboree in the following weeks. It was at this jamboree that the young Paul made his public singing debut, getting up and singing in front of his fellow scouts and scout masters, along with his brother Mike.

On October 18, 1957, Paul McCartney made his non-boyscout public singing debut with John Lennon and their now-mutual band, The Quarrymen. The historic occasion took place at a local dance joint called “The Conservative Club”. Paul was extremely nervous and during his first-ever solo number, his voice kept cracking, much to the gleeful delight of John, who kept breaking up every time Paul’s voice cracked.

Ridicule aside, John and Paul were soon to become nearly inseparable “best mates”. The two would often play hooky from school together, sneaking into Paul’s deserted house and playing records, chatting and filling Paul’s dad’s pipe with tea leaves and “having a smoke”.

Paul showed John the first song he ever composed: “I Lost My Little Girl”. This spurred John into composing too, and he came up with his first composition, the similarly titled “Hello Little Girl”. Soon the two boys started composing songs together.

Paul kept the songs neatly arranged in a notebook and each new tune was listed as “Another Lennon-McCartney Original”. The two made a lifelong pact to continue composing in this way and earnestly shook on it. (This handshake was the only actual songwriting agreement the two had they never signed a written contract as inevitable co-composers.)

Although both John and Paul continued to compose songs on their own too, they never broke their pact and every song, whether solo or co-written, was given the “Lennon-McCartney” label, though strangely, on the Beatles’ first album, “Please Please Me”, the songs were credited as “McCartney-Lennon”. But this was to be the exception to the rule, as John’s slightly stronger personality made sure the “Lennon-McCartney” handle stuck forever after. Even when Paul composed a motion picture score completely alone for a 1966 film called “The Family Way”, he still made sure his partner John Lennon received half of all royalties.

With over 200 “Lennon-McCartney” songs composed over the next decade, John and Paul were to become the most beloved and successful songwriting team in the history of popular music, all thanks to a friend of Paul’s encouraging him to go check out The Quarrymen on that fateful Saturday- July 6, 1957.


On This Day: John Lennon Meets Paul McCartney

The front-page headline of the Liverpool Evening Express on July 6, 1957, read “MERSEYSIDE SIZZLES,” in reference to the heat wave then gripping not just northern England, but all of Europe. The same headline could well have been used over a story that received no coverage at all that day: The story of the first encounter between two Liverpool teenagers named John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Like the personal and professional relationship it would lead to, their historic first meeting was a highly charged combination of excitement, rivalry and mutual respect.

It’s easy to assume that John and Paul would eventually have met on some other day had a mutual friend not chosen that hot and humid Saturday to make the introduction. But as much as they had in common, the two boys lived in different neighborhoods, went to different schools and were nearly two years apart in age.

Only John was scheduled to perform publicly on July 6, 1957. The occasion was the annual Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete, a parade and outdoor fair at which John and his Quarry Men Skiffle Group had been invited to play. The main attractions were a dog show and a brass band, but a family connection had helped get the Quarry Men added to the bill as a nod to the hundreds of teenagers in attendance. Midway through their first set, 15-year-old Paul McCartney showed up and watched, transfixed, as John, despite his rudimentary guitar skills and his tendency to ad-lib in place of forgotten lyrics, held the crowd with charm and swagger. After the show, it was Paul’s turn to impress John.

A mutual friend made the introduction in the nearby church auditorium, where John and his bandmates slouched on folding chairs and barely acknowledged the younger boy. Then Paul pulled out the guitar he was carrying on his back and began playing Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock,” then Gene Vincent’s “Be Bop A Lula,” then a medley of Little Richard numbers. As Jim O’Donnell writes in The Day John Met Paul, his book-length account of this historic moment in music history, “A young man not easily astonished, Lennon is astonished.” Paul’s musicianship far outstripped the older Lennon’s, but more than that, John recognized in Paul the same passion Paul had detected in John during his earlier onstage performance. Soon Paul was teaching a rapt John how to tune his guitar and writing out the chords and lyrics to some of the songs he’d just played.

Later that evening, walking home with one of his bandmates, John announced his intentions toward their new acquaintance. Two weeks later, John Lennon invited Paul McCartney to join the Quarry Men.


Sir Paul McCartney looks back 'like a fan' on first time he met John Lennon

Sir Paul McCartney has opened up about the first time he met Beatles bandmate John Lennon, admitting he looks back “like a fan”.

The 78-year-old singer spoke to Lennon’s son Sean Ono Lennon, 44, and widow Yoko Ono, 87, for new BBC Radio 2 documentary John Lennon At 80.

McCartney recounted the day on 6 July, 1957, when he was introduced to Lennon, then aged 16, in Liverpool.

He said: “I look back on it now like a fan, how lucky was I to meet this strange teddy boy off the bus, who played music like I did and we get together and boy, we complemented each other!”

McCartney and Lennon went on to form The Beatles with the late George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and they became one of the world’s most famous bands, with 13 studio albums and 17 number one singles.

But the Hey Jude singer admitted that when he and Lennon first started writing songs together, they weren’t all destined to be hits.

McCartney said: “There were a few songs that weren't very good… you know, clearly young songwriters who don't know how to do it.”

He then played an example on his guitar of a Lennon-McCartney track called Just Fun that they never recorded.

McCartney said: “Eventually we started to write slightly better songs and then enjoyed the process of learning together so much that it really took off.”

The Beatles released their last album Let It Be in 1970 before breaking up. Relations were strained between Lennon and McCartney at the time.

But McCartney revealed that while he always believed it was a gloomy time, he saw a picture taken by his late wife Linda that reminded him of the strength of their friendship.

The Beatles star also spoke about Lennon’s insecurities, claiming his bandmate’s confidence was a “shield”.

McCartney said: “Wait a minute, there's this guy 'John Lennon' who's like a genius, clever, witty, confident, and everything, why would he have insecurities? Because we're all fragile beings.”

Lennon was murdered by obsessed fan Mark Chapman outside his New York apartment on 8 December, 1980, aged 40.

Chapman recently apologised for killing the singer.

He told the parole board at New York’s Wende Correctional Facility in August this year: “I just want to reiterate that I’m sorry for my crime. I have no excuse. This was for self-glory. I think it’s the worst crime that there could be to do something to someone that’s innocent.”

The two-part documentary will mark what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday on Friday, 9 October.

John Lennon At 80 will air on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 October at 9pm on BBC Radio 2.


July 6, 1957 — John Lennon meets Paul McCartney for the very first time. "That was the day, the day that I met him, that it started moving

There is audio of that very day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSGvznibHdA Amazing to think that this was one of the most important days in musical history. The Quarrymen played 2 sets on that day and John met Paul inbetween the 2 sets, the audio is from the second set. Gives me goosebumps to know that when this was recorded John had already met Paul.

Yeah that blows my mind too. I wonder who taped it and what kind of equipment they would have had in 1957, maybe a reel to reel? It's hard to believe that someone thought this otherwise nondescript fete was worth recording.

Imagine if they had disliked each other and went their separate ways instead.

Read about this in Paul’s autobiography. Apparently Paul had known him before this but he never spoke to him, because he was a year older and everyone was scared of being beat up by 17-year-old John Lennon. When they finally did meet Paul didn’t know what so say, so he just picked up one of their guitars and absolutely shredded on it and then banged out Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On on the church piano. John even sang along. Needless to say they were impressed.


The Beatles: Sean Lennon INTERVIEWS Paul McCartney on meeting father John Lennon

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Paul McCartney discusses John Lennon and new documentary

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The Beatles fans were robbed of the glory years of John Lennon. After the band split in 1970, each of the fab four went off to do their own thing. While Paul McCartney was eager to get some solo music out, so too was John Lennon. Unfortunately, Lennon was killed just ten years later by Mark David Chapman, who shot him in New York.

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40 years later, to commemorate what would have been his 80th birthday, Lennon's son, Sean Ono Lennon, is featuring on a BBC Radio 2 special.

This special will not only play a lot of music written and performed by Lennon, but it will also see Sean interviewing McCartney for the first time.

During this broadcast the pair will talk in depth about John's life, and indeed about his music.

The first clips of the interview were released by the BBC, in which McCartney tells of being a "fan" of the late Beatle.

The Beatles: Sean Lennon will be interviewing Paul McCartney (Image: GETTY)

The Beatles: Julian will be joining Sean Lennon on the show (Image: GETTY)

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"I look back on it now like a fan," he told Sean Lennon.

"How lucky was I to meet this strange Teddy Boy off the bus, who played music like I did and we get together and boy, we complemented each other!"

Sean went on to ask McCartney about his grandmother, Julia Lennon, who died when John was a teenager.

To which McCartney replied: " She was a doll, you would have loved her."

John Lennon and The Beatles awarded MBEs in 1965

The Beatles: Sean Lennon will be featured throughout the program (Image: GETTY)

He added how much "like John" she was.

McCartney even explained how his and John's early work "wasn't very good".

"There were a few songs that weren&rsquot very good," he explained.

"You know, clearly young songwriters who don&rsquot know how to do it."

Related articles

Sean will be joined in talking about his father by his half-brother Julian Lennon, and indeed his godfather, Elton John, as well as McCartney.

Helen Thomas, the network's head of station, said: "John Lennon is one of the Radio 2 audience&rsquos most popular and best loved musicians.

"So we&rsquore thrilled and honoured that Sean&rsquos first-ever radio program in which he talks at length about his father, alongside his brother Julian, Paul McCartney and Elton John, will be broadcast on our network."

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Speaking to Jann Wenner in 1970, Lennon retold the story of his exit from the group, saying: "When I got back [from Toronto] there were a few meetings and Allen said: &lsquoCool it',

"'Cause there was a lot to do [with The Beatles] business-wise, and it wouldn&rsquot have been suitable at the time."

"Then we were discussing something in the office with Paul," he added. "And Paul was saying to do something.

"And I kept saying: &lsquoNo, no, no&rsquo to everything he said. So it came to a point that I had to say something."

The Sean Lennon and Paul McCartney interview will be available on 3 and 4 October on BBC Radio 2.


John Lennon and Paul McCartney's secret 'cocaine-fuelled' final recording

In an interview in 1975, John Lennon admitted that he and Paul actually did record after the Beatles split up in 1970. “I jammed with Paul,” Lennon confirmed, “I did actually play with Paul. We did a lot of stuff in L.A., but there were 50 other people playing—all just watching me and Paul.”

Although every member of the Beatles collaborated with one another after the split, Paul and John never appeared on an album together and frequently trashed each other in the press. The brief admission of a secret recording led many to believe that the Beatles may actually get back together someday, but what recording was he referring to? It remained a mystery until Lennonʼs mistress, May Pang, released her first book ‘Loving John’ in 1983 which confirmed that John and Paul actually did record together March 28, 1974, in Burbank, California. Pang remembers, “They made joyous music together that night.” So what happened to this historic recording, who are the “50 other people” and what was recorded?

In 1973, Lennon was becoming disillusioned by his life in a post-Beatles world and was in the middle of his “lost weekend” in which he and Yoko split up for 18 months. John was attempting to make his album Rock ʼNʼ Roll with Phil Spector and was slipping deeper into alcohol addiction. The tumultuous recording sessions at one point saw Spector coming into the studio dressed as a surgeon and firing a gun near Lennon, hurting his ears. Spector was also taking the master recordings home every night without Lennon knowing. This became problematic when Spector was in a car crash that left him in a coma, thereby halting the project altogether.

Lennon decided to produce his friend Harry Nilssonʼs album Pussy Cats while Rock ʼNʼ Roll sat in limbo. Lennon and Nilsson were notorious drinking partners, who were a part of the legendary ‘Hollywood Vampires’ drinking club, and at one point were allegedly tossed out of the Troubadour for heckling the Smotherʼs Brothers. Two weeks after the event, Nilsson and Lennon found themselves in Burbank studios with none other than Paul McCartney.

Something that has always fascinated me is how insecure Paul and John were despite being the most prolific musicians of the 20th century. Whether it is John overproducing all of his vocal tracks because he didnʼt like his voice or Paul fighting to get his name in front of Lennonʼs on some of the Beatlesʼ songs they co-wrote, each had their own private struggles. Perhaps that is why Lennon says, “…there were 50 other people playing” out of his insecurities over what was recorded that night. In fact, there were seven people in the studio that night in addition to Paul and John: Linda McCartney, May Pang, Harry Nilsson, Stevie Wonder, Jesse Ed Davis (guitar), Ed Freeman (bass), and Bobby Keys (sax). The result of the chance encounter is The bootlegged tape, A Toot and a Snore in ’74.

When Lennon and McCartney met up that night it was the first time they had seen each other in three years. Since that time, each had fired off diss tracks at the others expense. On McCartneyʼs ‘Ram,’ Paul fired the first shot with ‘Too Many People’ which attacked Johnʼs relationship with Yoko Ono, the scapegoat of Beatles fans for decades to come. John responded with ‘How do You Sleep?’ which contains the brutal dig, “The only thing you done was ‘Yesterday’ / And since you’ve gone, you’re just ‘Another Day.ʼ” But time had passed and May Pang was encouraging John to mend his relationship with Paul, and also with his estranged son Julian, which John did. Upon meeting Paul in the studio that night, it is reported that John said: “Valiant Paul McCartney, I presume?” which was a reference to a Christmas special the Beatles did in the early days. Paul responded with, “Sir Jasper Lennon, I presume?” (The name I later would give my son.)

Before listening to the tape it is important to lower your expectations. I remember almost losing my mind when I heard that there was a secret recording of John and Paul in 1974. After processing that idea I had to come to terms with the fact that Stevie Wonder was there to jam just seven months after releasing Innervisions. What you have to consider before listening is that Lennon was not used to working in such an unstructured studio. As May Pang said in her second book ‘Instamatic Karma’: “There mustʼve been something in the California air—between the ‘Pussy Cats’ sessions and Johnʼs initial ‘Rock ʼNʼ Roll’ sessions, the studio mood was a bit more ‘Partyʼ than John was accustomed to. Things were not going as John had planned.”

This idea is evidenced by the first 20 seconds of ‘Toot’ in which Lennon says to Stevie Wonder, “You want a snort Steve? A toot? Itʼs going around.” When asked about the night McCartney said the “session was hazy… for a number of reasons,” which kickstarted the most mysterious of Beatles fan conspiracy theories of a ‘cocaine-fuelled’ recording session like no other.

What ensues can only be imagined as one of the most coked-up alcohol-fuelled recordings of all time. It is difficult to know exactly how long the group was in the studio recording this mess. Several times throughout the recording Lennon complains about the sound in his headphones, other times he is asking for a drink. The only songs that really comes to fruition is the Little Richard classic ‘Lucille’ and the Santo & Johnny track ‘Sleepwalk’. From there it is fragments of songs and a massive struggle to get through ‘Stand By Me’. I assume these songs were where Lennonʼs head went while his Rock ʼNʼ Roll album sat on the shelf.

For years I was always led to believe the relationship between Paul and John never recovered after the Beatles split in 1970. Now, nearly fifty years later, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this is not the case. If nothing else, this bootlegged album may not provide us with much in the way of music, but it does provide us with evidence of a major moment in rock history, it also provides a delicious taste of the Lennon/McCartney relationship in a post-Beatles world.


Watch the video: The Place John Lennon Met Paul McCartney in HD (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Donzel

    I am sorry, that has interfered... At me a similar situation. Let's discuss. Write here or in PM.

  2. Shajora

    I think that is the mistake. I can prove.

  3. Blayney

    It's not as easy as it seems

  4. Faris

    Well, so-so......



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