Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Show 2 - 1st February 1988

Show 2 opens with a clip of the recorded version of She Loves You.

The Beatles' invasion of the States in February 1964 occupies the opening segment of today's broadcast. Elliot Mintz, the show's host, announces that the song became The Beatles' second consecutive No 1, knocking I Want To Hold Your Hand off the top spot. We are informed that the tour lasted two weeks, commencing 7 Feb 1964. Over an excerpt of the screaming fans awaiting the groups arrival at New York's JFK airport, the hastily organised press conference is described as chaotic. One of the journalist questions, and the band's witty response, is relayed.

Switching to a clip from December 1970s Rolling Stone interview with Jann Wenner, John talks about how the group had been preparing itself for four years for this moment, declaring they were confident of winning over the American audience once they were given the opportunity. This section closes with the playing of the released version of I Want To Hold Your Hand.

With The Beatles track Birthday in the background, the next part of this week's show concentrates on the change Sean made to the Lennon household. Elliot mentions how October 1975 was also significant, as it successfully signalled the end of John's immigration battle to remain in the States.

Christmas 1987 saw Sean give his first ever interview to Elliot, and we are treated to some of the highlights. With Yellow Submarine playing in the background on the show, we hear Elliot ask Sean if it is true that he first made the connection his father was famous by watching Yellow Submarine. Sean replies in the affirmative.  Next, sean describes how in Bernuda in the summer of 1980 his father would write his new songs there in private, but how he witnessed John sing them down the phone to his mother.

Elliot next asks if it bugged Sean that his father went back in the studio later on that summer. Sean states that he realised it was his father's job, and that he had to do it. Sean also recalls how he would sometimes go to the studio to watch his parents at work.

Next on the show, aired anywhere for the very first time, is a home demo of John singing Life Begins At 40, in 1980. The demo starts with a drum machine keeping rhythm, and John introducing the listener to the 'Dakota Country and Western Club.'  Strumming his acoustic guitar, the track has a strong country and western feel to it.

We are transported back to December 1970, to an excerpt from the Rolling Stone interview, following an airing of the album track Mother. The interview clip played finds John being honest and candid on the subject of the break-up of The Beatles. John describes the death of their manager Brian Epstein as being the beginning of the end, and how he was in Bangor, Wales with the Maharishi when the news broke to the band. John describes his initial emotions as being a little hysterical, with the thought of 'What can I do?'  John knew the band was in trouble at this point. In the Wenner interview, John describes how Paul (McCartney) thought the rest of the band should be grateful for what he did in keeping them going. The next project following their manager's death was the film Magical Mystery Tour. Elliot describes this as being the first perceived flop of the group, although it did have highlights. I Am The Walrus plays at this point.

Several Lennon facts pertaining to the first week in February are mentioned. 2 February 1969 saw the divorce of Yoko and her husband Tony Cox. 3 February 1969 saw Allen Klein become manager of The Beatles. 4 February 1970 saw John and Yoko have their long hair cut short, and traded for a pair of Mohammed Ali's boxing trunks. These were to be auctioned off and the proceeds donated to the cause of peace.

February 1970 saw the Live Peace In Toronto album reach No 10 on the Billboard chart, and become John's first solo gold album. This was a recording of the concert from 13 September 1969 that John participated in. The story of how it came about is explained in this section of the show. Blue Suede Shoes from the concert airs, before John tells Andy Peebles how the band line-up of Eric Clapton, Alan White, and Klaus Voorman was hastily assembled at short notice.

Elliot describes how Cold Turkey was premiered on this occasion at Toronto, the live version of which duly follows for the listener. The concert version of Give Peace A Chance plays next to end this short review of the Toronto Peace Festival of 1969.

An interesting take of Power To The People, found in John's personal collection, is aired. It does not have the 'echo' sound synomonous with the released version.

A rare piano demo of Cleanup Time follows.

Barely pausing for breath, Two Virgins is discussed next on the show. The album, recorded by John and Yoko in May 1968 finally saw its release in February 1969. John talks about how EMI and Capitol records wouldn't touch it due to the graphic cover, and the ensuing difficulties in getting it released.  Rolling Stone magazine, it is noted with a brief clip of Jann Wenner from the Dec 1970 interview, printed it in its 1st anniversary issue in November 1968.

The final item to note for this show is the reprinting of Grapefruit in February 1970. Yoko had given John a copy when they first met at the Indica gallery in November 1966, and it had a major influence on John. A live version of Imagine airs, recorded in November 1971 at the Apollo Theatre Benefit concert. John tells Andy Peebles how Imagine should be credited as a Lennon-Ono composition as the concept came from Grapefruit.

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