Alistair Taylor, 1967 In 1960, Alistair Taylor was a newly married 25-year-old office clerk when he applied for a sales job at NEMS. He had never met Brian Epstein before, but the two men hit it off immediately. The sales job morphed into an offer to be Epstein’s personal assistant, and Taylor jumped at the chance. If you’re looking for a Lewisohnian-type account of Beatle history, this isn’t the book to read. Taylor is charmingly unsophisticated and his recollections are quirky and hyperbolical (and sometimes a little suspect). But hey-- that’s part of the book’s (and the author’s) charm. [...]
Mike and Nancy’s great posts about Starostin's critique of Abbey Road led to a lively discussion about how Paul McCartney is viewed and treated by music critics, particularly with respect to his early solo efforts. This is a great topic and one that I think deserves its own post. Why is it that Macca seems to run afoul of critics? Is there a particular set of reasons or circumstances we can pinpoint which would explain it? In their interview with author Tim Doyle, author of Man on the Run, Paul McCartney in the 70’s, Mike and Nancy asked a similar question: Why [...]
Frank Zappa tells an interesting story about John and Yoko and their guest appearance at Zappa’s 1971 live album concert at the Fillmore East. After briefly meeting them through a reporter, Zappa invited John and Yoko to come to the Fillmore that evening to jam with the band. Nervous but buoyed by cocaine, The Lennons played with the Mothers for nearly an hour and performed four songs, including a 5-minute jam. According to Zappa, “we played for about 40 minutes I guess, and it just so happens that we had made arrangements to record that night...and the whole thing got laid down on tape. [...]
In the fall of 1979, John sat down with a tape recorder and began to tell his life story. But these Lennon audio diaries were a non-starter: in true Lennon fashion, he got bored after 1.25 minutes and let his thoughts drift to his usual preoccupations—Paul McCartney, his mother Julia, and his fear of professional redundancy. According to Rolling Stone magazine, the 13 minutes or so of audio tapes were found in a fan’s garage (?!) and were sent to a voice analysis expert by News of the World for authentication. (They needn’t have bothered; the voice on the tapes is so clearly [...]
Sometime in the mid-70’s, John wrote a letter to his Aunt Mimi asking her for information about the family genealogy. Mimi replied in the form of a recording. I found this little gem on Amoralto’s excellent tumblr blog and wanted to share it with fellow dullbloggers. But first, a little background on the lady who played such a significant role shaping the personality of one of the biggest rock artists in history. Bob Spitz, in his book The Beatles, describes Mimi Smith thusly: a sharp-tongued, high-principled, duty-bound young woman....There was nothing, no situation or dilemma, that Mimi was unequipped to handle. Her method [...]
Get Back: The Beatles’ Let It Be Disaster (Doug Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt, 1994) In January, 1969, The Beatles began a project that ostensibly marked their return to concert performances, something they hadn’t done in over three years. The project was the brainchild of Paul McCartney, who hoped that performing before a live audience would restore the group’s fading morale and creative ennui. Michael Lindsay-Hogg was hired to direct a television documentary which was slated to accompany the concert’s live television broadcast. Alas, the concert never happened, the band broke up, and out of the rubble came the feature film, Let It [...]
"Yoko, smell this flower! It's like I've never even smelled flowers before!" In 1969, Gerald Le Dain, a Canadian lawyer and Supreme Court Justice, headed a government commission on the “non-medical” use of cannabis and other drugs, with the ultimate aim to develop pertinent social policy. This commission, which ran from 1969 to 1972, was known as the LeDain Commission of Inquiry Into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs. Le Dain sought input not only from medical, legal, and law enforcement sources, but also from well known celebs like our very own John Winston Lennon, who gave private testimony while on [...]
I found this photo in my archives and wanted to share it for those Dullbloggers who may not have seen it. It’s a photo collage John made for Paul, which Paul subsequently copied to Julian, who in turn added it to his Beatles’ Memorabilia book. (If you want the exact circumstances, I think Julian describes them there.) Any comments out there as to what you think inspired this Lennon collage?