Show 6 of The Lost Lennon Tapes, from 29th February 1988, features several rare demos, the usual blend of recorded Beatles and solo material, as well as an interesting, informative radio interview featuring a relaxed, good natured Lennon from 1974.
To kick off we hear what is described as the rock demo version of Revolution. For those of you unfamiliar with Lennon's dilemma with Revolution's lyrics, about whether to be counted 'out' or 'in' when it came to advocating destructive behaviour, Elliot Mintz notes that for this demo Lennon sings 'out.'
A large section of today's show features a fantastic appearance on Dennis Elsis's WNEW-FM New York radio show. Primarily there to promote his LP Walls and Bridges, it finds Lennon on top form and sounding happy and contented with life.
Elsis, in 1988, tells Mintz the background story behind how Lennon actually came to be a guest. Having met him just a few days prior, Elsis had told Lennon's people that John was welcome to go onto the show and talk about the new set of songs. With nothing confirmed, Elsis recounts how Lennon turned up unannounced at the radio station on 28th September 1974. Elsis, in the middle of his show, himself dashed down to the reception area, having first put on a long running track that would allow him time to go downstairs and return.
The scene set, the show now cuts into the original 1974 appearance. Lennon announcing himself with the line 'Surprise surprise, it's Dr Winston O'Boogie at your service.' The recorded version of Whatever Gets You Through The Night follows.
A full discussion of Walls and Bridges between Elsis and Lennon ensued. Lennon describes how the track No 9 Dream was originally titled Walls and Bridges, but became the album's title as it didn't seem to fit any of the songs. As Lennon says 'some of them (the album tracks) had 20 titles.' Elsis and Lennon run through the significance of the number 9 in his life to date. Lennon then gives a humourous weather forecast for the New York area, followed by an airing of the track No 9 Dream.
Mintz draws this first section of the show to a close, promising more of the 1974 interview later in the show. The second part opens with a demo track that was recorded upon Lennon's return home from India in May 1968, which had failed to be included on the White Album. The acoustic track Child Of Nature plays, and the listener instantly recognises it as the melody to what would become Jealous Guy. To compare the differences, Jealous Guy follows from the Imagine album 1971 release.
The remainder of today's show returns to the Lennon-Elsis 1974 radio show. Lennon reads out the station's radio adverts in his own unique style. This is followed by the Ritchie Barrett song Some Other Guy, recognisable as a tune The Beatles would cover in their Cavern days. Lennon points out the similarity between the intro to SOG and his own song Instant Karma. The relationship between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones is discussed. Lennon describes their first meeting at the Crawdaddy club in Richmond, England. From this they became friends, and he goes on to say how himself and Paul finished writing the song I Wanna Be Your Man in front of them. The Stones needed a quick follow up to Come On, and were given this as their next release. Both bands' finished versions are then played for comparison.
Lennon talks about how he still sees Mick, the last time being at the Grammys in Los Angeles. He also mentions how when both bands were riding high in the 60s they would frequent the Ad Lib club in London, where they would dance, get stoned and drunk. A song that was popular in the club at this time was Daddy Rolling Stone by Derek Martin.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT TODAY'S SHOW
It is interesting to hear Lennon's appearance with Dennis Ellis, not something I had previously heard. With all of the interviews he gave in his life that have been used on the Beatles Anthology, and other documentaries, I can't recollect any of the clips from this show being used, so they sounded refreshingly new.
I enjoyed discovering the little facts I was unaware of, such as how he relinquished control over the artwork and packaging for the Walls and Bridges release for the first time in a long while, as he didn't have the time to do it himself.
As always the demos. I had previously heard Child Of Nature some 8 years or so ago, but if I had been listening to this show originally in 1988 I would have been doing cartwheels at hearing a new song. As a historical piece it is of interest, but I found myself thankful that it did fail to be recorded and released in 68, as the world may have been denied the classic Jealous Guy.