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Monday, 15 August 2016

Beatles Interview Series: 1971 - Lennon/McCartney Public Feud

In our tenth and final part of our Beatles Interview Series, we'd like to end with the very public war of words between John Lennon and Paul McCartney in 1971.

PAUL: "I just want the four of us to get together somewhere and sign a piece of paper saying it's all over and we want to divide the money four ways. No one else would be there, not even Linda or Yoko or Allen Klein. We'd just sign the paper and hand it to the business people and let them sort it out. That's all I want now, but John won't do it. Everybody thinks I am the agressor but I'm not, you know. I just want out."

"The Beatles never actually copped for all this money, everyone else did. I wouldn't care but you think we could have a new deal now. You'd think they'd release us. They've made a lot of money and we could shake hands and part company but now we can't. I'm being sued for a million pounds in New York by Northern Songs. It's so complicated."

"There was a bit of hype on the back of the (Let It Be) sleeve for the first time ever on a Beatles album. At the time, the Beatles were very strained with each other and it wasn't a happy time. It said it was a 'new-phase Beatles album' and there was nothing further from the truth. That was the last Beatles album and everybody knew it... (Allen) Klein had it re-produced because he said it didn't sound commercial enough."

"John's whole image now is very honest and open. He's alright, is John. I like his 'Imagine' album but I didn't like the others. 'Imagine' is what John is really like but there was too much political stuff on the other albums. You know, I only really listen to them to see if there's something I can pinch." (laughs)

"'How Do You Sleep'? I think it's silly. So what if I live with straights? I like straights. I have straight babies. It doesn't affect him. He says the only thing I did was 'Yesterday.' He knows that's wrong. (Paul motions to the studio below) I used to sit down there and play, and John would watch me from up here, and he'd really dig some of the stuff I played to him. He can't say all I did was 'Yesterday' because he knows and I know it's not true."

“You know I was asked to play George’s concert in New York for Bangla Desh and I didn’t. Well, listen. Klein called a press conference and told everyone I had refused to do it -– it wasn’t so. I said to George the reason I couldn’t do it was because it would mean that all the world’s press would scream that the Beatles had got back together again and I know that would have made Klein very happy. It would have been a historical event and Klein would have taken the credit. I didn’t really fancy playing anyway. If it wasn’t for Klein I might have had second thoughts about it but I don’t know, really. Allen’s a good talker. The others really dig him, but I’ve made the mistake of trying to advise them against him and that pissed them off. I think they might secretly feel that I am right though."

"John wanted to do a big thing in Toronto (9/13/69 concert, Toronto Rock and Roll Revival) but I didn't dig that at all. I hear that before he went on stage he was sick, and that's just what I didn't want. Like anybody else I have been nervous because of the Beatles thing."

"John and Yoko are not cool in what they are doing. I saw them on television the other night and thought that what they are saying about what they wanted to do together was basically the same as what Linda and I want to do."

"Before John was leaving the Beatles, I was lying in bed at home one night and I thought we could get a band together, like his Plastic Ono Band. I felt the urge because we had never played live for four years. We all wanted to appear on a stage but not with the Beatles. We couldn't do it as the Beatles because it would be so big. We'd have to find a million-seater hall or something."

"I wanted to get in a van and do an unadvertised concert at a Saturday night hop at Slough Town Hall or somewhere like that. We'd call ourselves Rikki and the Red Streaks or something and just get up and play. There'd be no press and we'd tell nobody about it. John thought it was a daft idea."

"My best playing days were at the Cavern lunchtime sessions. We'd go onstage with a cheese roll and a cigarette and we felt we had really something going on. The amps used to fuse and we'd stop and sing a Sunblest Bread commercial while they were repaired. I'd walk off down the street playing my guitar and annoying the neighbors. I couldn't do that now, but it's what I want to do with this new group."

"We just don't know how we are going to do. I don't want to start with a Wings concert at the Albert Hall with the world watching and analyzing. I just want to play a small dance, and rock a bit."

"We will start just by turning up at a place we fancy visiting, and just play a straightforward gig. We might use another name to keep it quiet. We have rehearsed and we can play live together. In fact it sounds quite good. It doesn't really matter that much."

"I don't want Wings to become a media group, with our signatures on knickers which are sold for promotion. I don't like that now. I was happy with that situation in the Beatles, but it died in the end. We are starting off as a new band, but if we ever get to be huge like the Beatles it will be very different." 


John replied with an open letter, written to Paul, in the pages of Melody Maker.

"Dear Paul, Linda et all the wee McCartney's,

Thanks for your letter.

1. We give YOU money for your bits of Apple.
2. We give you MORE money in the form of royalties which legally belong to Apple (I know we're Apple, but on the other hand we're not.).

Maybe there's an answer there somewhere, but for the millionth time in these past few years I repeat, 'What about the TAX?' It's all very well, playing 'simple honest ole Paul' in Melody Maker but you know damn well we can't just sign a bit of paper.

You say, 'John won't do it.' I will if you indemnify us against the tax man! Anyway, you know that after we have OUR meeting, the fucking lawyers will have to implement whatever we agree on, right?

If they have some form of agreement between THEM before WE meet, it might make it even easier. It's up to you, as we've said many times, we'll meet whenever you like. Just make up your mind! Eg. two weeks ago I asked you on the phone, 'Please let's meet without advisors, etc. and decide what we want,' and I emphasized especially Maclen (Lennon and McCartney's songwriting company) which is mainly our concern, but you refused, right?

You said under NO CONDITION would you sell to us if we didn't do what you wanted, you'd sue us again and that Ringo and George are going to break you John, etc. etc.

Now I was quite straight with you that day, and you tried to shoot me down with your emotional "logic." If YOU'RE not the aggressor (as you claim) who the hell took us to court and shat all over us in public?

As I've said before, Have you ever thought that you might POSSIBLY be wrong about something? Your conceit about us and Klein is incredible. You say you "made the mistake of trying to advise them against Klein and that pissed them off" and we secretly feel that you're right! Good God! You must know WE'RE right about Eastman.

One other little lie in your "It's only Paulie" MM bit: Let It Be was not the first bit of hype on a Beatle album.  Remember Tony Barrow? And his wonderful writing on "Please Please Me" etc. etc. The early Beatle Xmas records!

And you gotta admit it was a 'new-phase' Beatle album, incidentally written in the style of the great Barrow himself! By the way, what happened to my idea of putting the parody of our first album cover on the Let It Be cover?

Also, we were intending to parody Barrow originally, so it was hype. But what is your LIFE article? Tony Barrow couldn't have done it better. (And your writing inside of the Wings album [Wild Life] isn't exactly the realist is it?) Anyway, enough of this petty bourgeois fun.

You were right about New York! I do love it; it's the ONLY PLACE TO BE. (Apart from anything else, they leave you alone too!) I see you prefer Scotland! (MM) -- I'll bet you your piece of Apple you'll be living in New York by 1974 (two years is the usual time it takes you -- right?)

Another thing, whadya mean BIG THING in Toronto? It was completely spontaneous. They rang on the Friday, we flew there, and we played on Saturday. I was sick because I was stone pissed. Listen to the album -- with no rehearsal too. Come on Macka! Own up! We'd never played together before! Half a dozen live shows with no big fuss. In fact we've BEEN DOING what you've said the Beatles should do.  Yoko and I have been doing it for three years! (I said it was daft for the Beatles to do it. I still think it's daft.)  So go on and do it! Do it! Do it! E.g. Cambridge 1969, completely unadvertised! A very small hall. Lyceum Ballroom, 1969, no fuss, great show -- thirty piece rock band! "Live Jam" out soon! Filmore East, 1971, unannounced. Another good time had by all -- out soon!! We even played in the streets here in the Village (our spiritual home!?) with the great David Peel!! We were moved on by the cops even!! It's best just to DO IT.
I know you'll dig it, and they don't even expect the Beatles now anyway!

So you think 'Imagine' ain't political? It's 'Working Class Hero' with sugar on it for conservatives like yourself!! You obviously didn't dig the words. Imagine! You took 'How Do You Sleep' so literally (read my own review of the album in Crawdaddy.) Your politics are very similar to Mary Whitehouse's -- 'Saying nothing is as loud as saying something.'

Listen, my obsessive old pal, it was George's press conference -- not 'dat ole debbil Klein' -- He said what you said: 'I'd love to come but...' Anyway, we basically did it for the same reasons -- the Beatle bit -- they still called it a Beatle show, with just two of them!

Join the Rock Liberation Front before it gets you.

Wanna put your photo on the label like uncool John and Yoko, do ya? (Aint ya got no shame!) If we're not cool, WHAT DOES THAT MAKE YOU?

No hard feelings to you either. I know basically we want the same, and as I said on the phone and in this letter, whenever you want to meet, all you have to do is call.

All you need is love
Power to the people
Free all prisoners
Jail the judges
Love and peace
Get it on and rip 'em off

John Lennon

P.S. The bit that really puzzled us was asking to meet WITHOUT LINDA AND YOKO. I thought you'd have understood BY NOW that I'm JOHNANDYOKO.

P.P.S. Even your own lawyers know you can't "just sign a bit of paper." (or don't they tell you?)"


In hindsite, both John and Paul regretted the "feud" and admitted that through it all, the still loved each other.  Or, maybe that's just this author's opinion.  ;-)

PAUL circa-1994: "When John did 'How Do You Sleep?' I didn't want to get into a slinging match. Part of it was cowardice. John was a great wit, and I didn't want to go fencing with the rapier champion of East Cheam -- But it meant that I had to take shit -- It meant that I had to take lines like 'All you ever did was Yesterday.' I always find myself wanting to excuse John's behavior, just because I loved him. It's like a child, sure he was a naughty child, but don't you call my child naughty. Even if it's me he's shitting on, don't you call him naughty. That's how I felt about this and still do. I don't have a grudge whatsoever against John. I think he knew exactly what he was doing and because we had been so intimate he knew what would hurt me and used it to great effect. I thought, 'Keep your head down and time will tell,' and it did because in the 'Imagine' film (Imagine John Lennon, documentary) he says it was really all about himself."

JOHN 1974: "It's not about Paul, it's about me. I'm really attacking myself. But I regret the association... well... what's to regret? He lived through it. The only thing that matters is how he and I feel about these things and not what the writer or commentator thinks about it. Him and me are okay."

JOHN 1974: "When I slagged off the Beatles thing, it was like divorce pangs and, me being me, it was 'Blast this! Fuck the past!' I've always had a bit of a mouth and when a thing begins that way you have to live up to it. Then Paul and me had that fight in the pages of MM. It was a period I had to go through. I sort of enjoy the fight at the time -- that's the funny thing. Now we've got it all out and it's cool. I can see the Beatles from a new point of view."

Source: Transcribed by from original source material

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Tom Murray’s Mad Day Out With The Beatles by Paul Skellett & Simon Weitzman

Tom Murray's Mad Day Out with The Beatles.

During 1968, The Beatles were entering their final phase of being a group. With the death of Brian Epstein a year before, they had started to fight amongst themselves, tensions came to a head during the sessions for the White Album and things were never the same again. Still, photo shoots were a necessity to keep their evergreen image in the public eye and in July, they set up a photo shoot that became known as the 'Mad Day Out' shoot, as they constantly kept changing locations in London due to fans overrunning them. Tom Murray was the photographer and he took 23 fabulous shots of the band over the course of the day.

New York, NY – Tom Murray left his house on July 28th 1968 not knowing he would step into the most memorable photo shoot of his early career. Waiting for him were John, Paul, George & Ringo, of The Beatles, along with hurdles of screaming fans that pushed the group to move constantly from location to location and unknowingly inspiring the name of the famous collection of 23 photographs: The Mad Day: Summer of ’68. Almost fifty years later Tom Murray’s mad day has come back to life in a visual book, created by Paul Skellett and Simon Weitzman, that dives into the details, backstage, culture of the 60’s and anecdotes, that made the last publicity photoshoot done by the group before it split up, so glorious: Tom Murray’s Mad Day Out With The Beatles.

Published by Archivum, Tom Murray’s Mad Day Out With The Beatles, draws from the legendary impact that the band had-and continues to have- on society. Through Tom Murray’s photographs, memories and tales the book tells a visual story of how the Beatles weren’t only a music sensation but a phenomenon that influenced generations.

Murray retraces the locations that made the backdrop of the Mad Day photoshoot: The Docklands, Old Street Station (where Paul McCartney nearly fell off the roof), Regents Park, Paul McCartney’s house in St. John’s Wood, St. Pancras Church Garden and Wapping Pier Head. For each image shot Murray tells the story of how it came to be, depicting the playful and unexpected characters of each member of the band and recreating the energy of that moment. 

To buy the book, head here:

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Beatles Interview Series: 1970 - The Breakup

In part nine of our 10-part Beatles Interview Series, we continuing exploring the break up of The Beatles.  

First, we will look at the opening shot, which was fired by Paul in the press release for his advance, promotional copies of his first solo album, McCartney, from April 9, 1970.  Jay Spangler of The Beatles Ultimate Experience writes, "While John Lennon had privately left the Beatles months earlier, it was from this interview that the story of a Beatles' split spread instantly as news headlines around the world. On April 10th, the Daily Mirror ran a front-page story with the bold print headline, 'PAUL IS QUITTING THE BEATLES,' while CBS News in America declared, "The Beatles are breaking up."

Q: "Did you miss the other Beatles and George Martin? Was there a moment when you thought, 'I wish Ringo were here for this break?'"
PAUL: "No."
Q: "Assuming this is a very big hit album, will you do another?"
PAUL: "Even if it isn't, I will continue to do what I want, when I want to."
Q: "Are you planning a new album or single with the Beatles?"
PAUL: "No."
Q: "Is this album a rest away from the Beatles or the start of a solo career?"
PAUL: "Time will tell. Being a solo album means it's 'the start of a solo career...' and not being done with the Beatles means it's just a rest. So it's both."
Q: "Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones?"
PAUL: "Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don't really know."
Q: "Do you foresee a time when Lennon-McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again?"
PAUL: "No."


With the public still reeling from the news of a Beatles split, George Harrison took a quick trip to New York City in May, and was interviewed by WABC-FM radio's Howard Smith.  Below you will read a snippet from that interview.

Q: "You think the Beatles will get together again, then?"
GEORGE: "Uhh... Well, I don't... I couldn't tell, you know, if they do or not. I'll certainly try my best to do something with them again, you know. I mean, it's only a matter of accepting that the situation is a compromise. In a way it's a compromise, and it's a sacrifice, you know, because we all have to sacrifice a little in order to gain something really big. And there is a big gain by recording together -- I think musically, and financially, and also spiritually. And for the rest of the world, you know, I think that Beatle music is such a big sort of scene -- that I think it's the least we could do is to sacrifice three months of the year at least, you know, just to do an album or two. I think it's very selfish if the Beatles don't record together."
Q: "But everything looks so gloomy right now."
GEORGE: "It's not, really. You know, it's no more gloomy than it's been for the last ten years. It really isn't any worse. It's just that now over the last year -- what with John, and lately with Paul-- everything that they've thought or said has come out, you know, to the public. It's been printed. It's been there for everybody to read, or to comment about, or to join in on. Whereas before..."
Q: "But the things...The feelings had been there all along?"
GEORGE: "No, I wouldn't say that. In different ways, you know. We're just like anybody else. (laughs) Familiarity breeds contempt, they do say. And we've had slight problems. But it's only been recently, you know, because we didn't work together for such a long time in the Yoko and John situation. And then Paul and Linda. But it's really... It's not as bad as it seems, you know. Like, we're all having a good time individually, and..."
Q: "There seems like there's so much animosity between Paul and..."
GEORGE: Yeah."
Q: "You know, you three... I mean, it sounds like he is saying it's all over."
GEORGE: "But it's more of a personal thing, you know. That's down to the management situation, you know, with Apple. Because Paul, really -- It was his idea to do Apple, and once it started going Paul was very active in there. And then it got really chaotic and we had to do something about it. When we started doing something about it, obviously Paul didn't have as much say in the matter, and then he decided... you know, because he wanted Lee Eastman his in-laws to run it and we didn't. Then that's the only reason, you know. That's the whole basis. But that's only a personal problem that he'll have to get over because that's... The reality is that he's out-voted and we're a partnership. We've got these companies which we all own 25 percent of each, and if there's a decision to be made then, like in any other business or group you have a vote, you know. And he was out-voted 3 to 1 and if he doesn't like it, it's really a pity. You know, because we're trying to do what's best for the Beatles as a group, or best for Apple as a company. We're not trying to do what's best for Paul and his in-laws, you know."
Q: "You think that's what the key fight is over?"
GEORGE: "Yeah, because it's on such a personal level that it is a big problem, really. You know -- You imagine that situation if you were married and you wanted your in-laws to handle certain things. You know, it's like -- It's a difficult one to overcome because... well, you can think of the subtleties, you know. But he's really living with it like that, you see. When I go home at night I'm not living there with Allen Klein, whereas in a way, Paul's living with the Eastmans, you see. And so it's purely... it's not really between Paul and us. You know, it's between Paul's advisors who are the Eastmans and our business advisors which is Allen Klein. (pause) But it's alright."
Q: "Aw, I don't know!"
GEORGE: (laughs)
Q: "I'm not as optimistic."
GEORGE: "Yeah, it's alright. All things pass... away... as they say."
Q: "I somewhat detected some kind of animosity between Yoko and Linda. Is that part of what it's about?"
GEORGE: "Ahh, I don't know. I don't think about it, you know. I refuse to be a part of any hassles like that. You know, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna. Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare. And it'll all be okay, you know. Just give 'em time because they do really love each other, you know. I mean, we all do. We've been so close and through so much together that it really... to talk about it like this, you know, we'll never get any nearer to it. But the main thing is, like in anybody's life, they have slight problems. And it's just that our problems are always blown up, and uhh, you know, shown to everybody. But it's not really... it's not a problem. It's only a problem if you think about it."
Q: "So you don't think there's any great anger between Paul and John?"
GEORGE: "No, I think there may be what you'd term a little bitchiness. But, you know, that's all it is. It's just being bitchy to each other, you know. Childish. Childish."

Source: Transcribed by from radio interviews and from the reprinted interview in The New Musical Express - issue #1214

Monday, 11 July 2016

Tea & A Butty Podcast 13 - 'Abbey Road'

Here is, sadly, our last podcast in the Beatles album series. All about Abbey Road. We hope you all have enjoyed this series and we encourage you to listen back to our podcasts. We will be back with more podcasts in the future though and we want YOU to be in them with us!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The British Exit Of The EU: What Does This Mean For People Travelling To The UK?

The UK as it stands today: England is in Red, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are in white.

As many of you might know by now, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. This means that trading ties and immigration are under threat with continental Europe and much of Britain is divided.

For people travelling from the USA and other countries outside Europe to Britain, this shouldn't affect you. Things will stay relatively the same. So visiting the island should not be put off.

Prices for things might escalate, this includes food, travel and other such necessities and if you are worried about prices escalating in Liverpool for Beatles things to do, check on the relevant websites such as the National Trust and the Liverpool Tourism website.