Friday, 1 October 2010

Show 3 - 8th February 1988

Show 3 of The Lost Lennon Tapes continues with a really strong line-up of songs and interesting interviews that focus on this week in Lennon history. 4NKC9ZCTKCQR

Please Please Me is the opening track, and it is the early period in the career of The Beatles that is concentrated on first. Elliot informs us that the song Please Please Me entered the Top 10 British singles chart this week in 1963. February 11th finds the group at Abbey Wood recording studios with George Martin to record songs for what would become their debut album. Twelve hours later the songs are in the can, ready for national release in late March. Elliot rounds off this first point of interest in today's show by pointing out that Beatlemania was heralded in Britain when Please Please Me reached the top of the singles charts. A rare live clip of the track, aired originally on the BBC, ends our look at February 1963.

The show jumps forward a year to focus on The Beatles first TV appearance in America on the Ed Sullivan Show. Elliot was one of the 73 million viewers who tuned in to witness this new phenomenon. The now legendary introduction of Sullivan's is played, followed by the first two tracks they played live on the show - All My Loving and She Loves You.

The track Cry For A Shadow, a Shadows-esque instrumental introduces the next segment. This was just one of the numbers to feature on an album that was released on the MGM record label in America in 1964. Titled 'The Beatles with Tony Sheridan and Their Friends' it was an attempt to cash in on the band's burgeoning success stateside. Recorded in Hamburg in May 1961, it included Pete Best on drums. Cry For A Shadow was the only know song collaboration between George Harrison and John.  The theme of the Hamburg years continues with a clip of John from part two of the Jann Wenner interview (published in February 1971 by Rolling Stone magazine). We join him discussing how the group killed themselves to play straight rock. Twist and Shout follows, recorded in the Star Club on New Years Eve 1962. This was their final ever gig in Germany as relative unknowns, and ended their fifth German visit.

We are taken to New York of December 1975 next, with a charming recording of John playfully asking the then infant Sean a number of questions. This leads nicely to Elliot's December 1975 interview with Sean. Having been asked whether he recalls being looked after by his father during the househusband years, Sean replies that he would watch Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and the Muppet show with John. This would be followed by a playful wrestle before bedtime. Appropriately, an early demo of Beautiful Boy follows, featuring John on acoustic guitar, with an automated drum machine keeping rhythm. This version was recorded in Bermuda in mid-1980. Sean reveals how he considers this song to have a dual meaning: being directed to him, as well as being for all fathers in the world for their children too. Sean chats a little about his memories of Bermuda at this time. He recalls his father spending time alone in his room working on new songs, while being taken care of by his babysitter Helen.

Another demo track is played in its entirety. It is Girls and Boys, what would later go on to become Real Love when the remaining Beatles reformed in 1996. At this early form it is a charming track, featuring John with his acoustic guitar.

The Rock and Roll album is featured next. The section kicks off with Rock and Roll Music, the Beatles version of Chuck Berry's song from the 1950s. Elliot mentions the original artists like Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis who were strongly influential on John. Following the release of the Mind Games album, John decided to record a covers album. The opening track from the finished album - Be Bop a Lula - plays at this point. A clip of John explains how he eventually persuaded Phil Spector to produce it.  May Pang offers an insight into the actual recording process for this album, describing how on one occasion there were 27 musicians present in the studio !! John's interpretation of The Ronettes classic Be My Baby follows.

John next explains how the sessions collapsed into mania and broke down. Spector vanished with the master tapes and it took John eight months to retrieve them. By this time it was well into 1974, and he had already recorded Walls and Bridges. John explains how he recorded another set of covers in New York at this point, and what was finally officially released was a combination of the best tracks from both sessions. Rock and Roll was to be his final release until Double Fantasy five years later.

The final part of today's show reveals more of Elliot's interview with Sean, who recalls the family trip to Japan in the latter half of 1977, and lightheartedly tells how his father would tell him off for not using a knife and fork correctly. When asked what his favourite Beatles track is, he explains how he likes them all. A  home recording from 1979 has Sean singing A Little Help From My Friends. John momentarily forgets the songs title, and explains to Sean it is Ringo who can be heard singing, but himself and Paul also sing on it.

Sean reveals Woman to be his favourite post-Beatle track.  One of the earliest demos of the song airs, again featuring John on acoustic guitar and a drum machine accompanying him. This version was found in John's personal tape collection at the Dakota.

Elliot asks about Sean's relationship with Julian. They are really close, explains Sean, someone who he looks up to. Sean says his favourite Julian track is Sitting On A Pillow. Its official name is Valotte, and the released version of this tune closes today's show.

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