Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lennon Revealed

by Larry Kane
Author of Ticket To Ride

Exclusive new interviews with Yoko Ono and more than 100 friends and family

DVD Exclusive: Final interview with Lennon and McCartney

"He didn't want people to just adore him. He wanted people to know what he is made of."
--Yoko Ono

John Lennon. The name resonates still, 25 years after his murder on December 8, 1980. Much has been written about the man who started the Beatles, but little has been revealed to answer the questions:

Who was John Lennon? What was he really made of?

A musical genius filled with self-doubt. A dedicated husband and insatiable philanderer. An acerbic wit and soft-hearted teddy bear. House father, peace warrior, and comeback kid. No artistic genius was more complex, and none more misunderstood.

Looking for rumor, innuendo, and sensational fantasy? Plenty of works will take you across the bridge from truth to tabloid, but not here. In Lennon Revealed, Emmy Award-winning journalist Larry Kane--who had a professional relationship with Lennon that spanned fifteen years--draws from personal experience and over 100 interviews with John's friends, family, and associates to craft a portrait of Lennon that truly captures the man's essence.

Longstanding myths are imploded and new truths revealed concerning the major events and themes that defined Lennon's life--his loves, musical genius, the Beatles years, New York City living, peace activism, vices and other desires, the triumph of his spirit, and his ultimate demise.

Did John Lennon have a sexual relationship with Beatles manager Brian Epstein? What was John's involvement in the death of his friend and muse, "fifth Beatle" Stuart Sutcliffe? Why and how did John's relationship with young assistant May Pang begin and evolve?

More than a list of stunning revelations, Lennon Revealed weaves together insights and recollections from those who knew Lennon best to create a picture of the artist as a man, with all his faults, strengths, desires, and demons intact.

Larry Kane's Emmy Award-winning career spans more than 45 years, including anchor positions at all three of Philadelphia's network-TV affiliates and the ABC network in NYC. But the thing that stands out most--and the thing people ask about most often--is his adventure as the only American journalist to travel in the official Beatles entourage during the legendary 1964 and '65 tours of North America. Kane told that story to great critical and commercial acclaim in Ticket to Ride. Now he digs deeper to tell the real story of John Lennon.

Larry Kane lives outside Philadelphia with his wife.

"A fascinating look deep inside the heart and soul of a man whose promotion of love and peace reverberates even stronger today. Lennon Revealed is a great read with many surprises revealed through Kane's exhaustive research and interviews. A must-own for Lennon and Beatle fans."
--Joe Johnson, host of the nationally syndicated Beatle Brunch Radio Show

"Kane guides the reader through revelations large and small, old and new, drawing on his solid journalistic experience to set records straight without imposing his view on the reader. Lennon Revealed makes us love and admire John for all his imperfections--quite an achievement."
--Pauline Sutcliffe, sister of original Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe

"An entertaining, informative and compelling look at a rock & roll icon. Larry was there from the beginning, and he explores this complex man's life with humor and honesty. Plus, it's refreshing to read a book on the life of John Lennon that doesn't trash Yoko Ono, as has been customary with recent biographies. Larry tells the story, and Beatles and John Lennon fans will be riveted. And just WAIT till you see the exclusive 1968 interview with John and Paul on the DVD!"
--Andre Gardner, host of Breakfast with the Beatles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Jose

"Drumming with the rhythm and authenticity of insider insight, this book will become the state-of-the-art work on John Lennon 'the man'. Written as if by a heartfelt, yet truthful friend, it chronicles a life overflowing equally with accomplishment, regret, hope, and love. You will want to call Larry to express gratitude for his writing it."
--Scott Regan, radio legend

Friday, September 26, 2008

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band - It's Gonna Be Alright

Label: His Master's Choice, HMC 002

CD 1

1. Mother [alternate mix with alternate vocal and longer fade] 5:02
2. Hold On [take 1] 3:13
3. Hold On [take 2] 2:52
4. I Found Out [rough 'carl wolf' mix] 3:57
5. Working Class Hero [censored version] 3:47
6. Remember [take unknown] 0:50
7. Remember [take unknown] 3:21
8. It'll Be Me [improvisation] 1:17
9. Love [acoustic guitar rehearsal] 1:19
10. (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care [improvisation] 0:24
11. Love [acoustic guitar rehearsal] 1:19
12. Well, Well, Well [rough mix] 5:54
13. Look At Me [rough mix] 2:51
14. God [acoustic guitar demo] 3:42
15. God [acoustic home demo] 2:11
16. My Mummy's Dead [complete acoustic guitar demo] 1:15
17. Hold On [unknown up-tempo take] 1:05
18. Hold On [take 30] 1:00
19. Hold On [instrumental take unknown] 2:15
20. Hold On [take unknown] 1:55
21. Love [acoustic guitar rehearsal] 2:40
22. Love [acoustic guitar rehearsal] 2:03
23. Love [acoustic guitar rehearsal] 2:29
24. Love [acoustic guitar rehearsal] 1:29

All tracks written by John Lennon, except track 8 written by Jack Clement and track 10 by Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller

CD 2

1. Love [piano rehearsal] 1:09
2. Love [acoustic guitar/piano take 1] 4:02
3. Love [acoustic guitar/piano take 2] 3:02
4. Love [improvisation] 0:41
5. Love [acoustic guitar/piano take 14] 1:33
6. Love [acoustic guitar/piano take 15] 3:18
7. Love [acoustic guitar/piano take 16] 3:58
8. Love [acoustic guitar/piano takes 17 & 18] 1:26
9. Love [acoustic guitar/piano take 19] 3:09
10. Love [acoustic guitar/piano take 20] 1:09
11. Love [acoustic guitar/piano take 21] 3:12
12. Love [acoustic guitar/piano takes 21 & 22] 0:40
13. Love [acoustic guitar/piano take 23] 3:13
14. Hold On [take 3] 1:52
15. Hold On [take 4] 2:17
16. Hold On [take 5] 1:52
17. Hold On [take 6] 2:48
18. Hold On [take unknown] 3:33
19. Hold On [take unknown] 0:55
20. Hold On [take unknown] 1:54
21. Hold On [take unknown] 1:52
22. Hold On [take unknown] 2:04
23. Look At Me [take unknown] 0:48
24. Hold On [take unknown] 1:52
25. Hold On [take unknown] 1:53
26. Hold On [take unknown] 2:05
27. Hold On [take unknown] 2:27

All tracks written by John Lennon

Lennon on Janov

"His [Arthur Janov's] thing is to feel the pain that's accumulated inside you ever since your childhood. I had to do it to really kill off all the religious myths. In the therapy you really feel every painful moment of your life - it's excruciating, you are forced to realise that your pain, the kind that makes you wake up afraid with your heart pounding, is really yours and not the result of somebody up in the sky. It's the result of your parents and your environment. As I realised this it all started to fall into place. This therapy forced me to have done with all the God shit... Most people channel their pain into God or masturbation or some dream of making it... [It's] facing up to reality instead of always looking for some kind of heaven."
from the Red Mole Interview, 1971

"There's no way of describing it, it all sounds so straight just talking about it, what actually you do is cry. Instead of penting up emotion, or pain, feel it rather than putting it away for some rainy day... I think everybody's blocked, I haven't met anybody that isn't a complete blockage of pain from childhood, from birth on... It's like somewhere along the line we were switched off not to feel things, like for instance, crying, men crying and women being very girlish or whatever it is, somewhere you have to switch into a role and this therapy gives you back the switch, locate it and switch back into feeling just as a human being, not as a male or a female or as a famous person or not famous person, they switch you back to being a baby and therefore you feel as a child does, but it's something we forget because there's so much pressure and pain and whatever it is that is life, everyday life, that we gradually switch off over the years. All the generation gap crap is that the older people are more dead, as the years go by the pain doesn't go away, the pain of living, you have to kill yourself to survive. This allows you to live and survive without killing yourself."
from the Howard Smith Radio Interview, 1970

Fresh from his London April and California summer of Primal Scream therapy to exorcise the various demons that had been "torturing and scaring him for twenty-odd years", John had written a batch of songs that reflected what the therapy had made him face: the pain of his mother-and-fatherless childhood, the death of his mother, and the sometimes-Hell of Beatlemania and the subsequent breakup, among other topics.

After returning to England, John and Yoko rounded up familiar faces for what would become the sessions for the couple's respective Plastic Ono Band LPs, which would be recorded in tandem as well as released simultaneously that December. Ringo and old Beatle pal/bassist Klaus Voormann would make up the core backing group to match the sparse tunes John had penned (Billy Preston can be heard on God). Many of the songs had been written prior to the trip, but these were polished and several more were composed in California. As John stated, "the ones I play on guitar I wrote on guitar, the ones I play on piano I wrote on piano". Sessions began on September 26, 1970 with pre-production work beginning two days earlier. In usual Lennonesque fashion, they were swift, described by John as being "done in ten days". Ten sessions would have been a more accurate assessment.

Phil Spector, having proved his mettle on Instant Karma! (We All Shine On) and Let It Be as well as George's forthcoming All Things Must Pass brought his "back to mono" sensibility to the sound of the record, resulting in it being a very "in your face" LP. Other than this element though, one would be hard-pressed to know that Spector was even involved, given the lack of his usual kitchen-sink production. Work on the LP, including all overdubs (which were few) and mixing, took place on the 8-track desk at EMI. The Beatles Book Monthly reported sessions taking place at EMI on 7 days in October, with initial mixes being produced on the 22nd. All other work was completed by the October 29th.

The tapes were delivered to EMI on October 29th, with acetates of the final lineup cut at Apple the next day. Upon release it was hailed as the best solo Beatle release yet, and to this day stands as arguably John's most consistent effort. It's a harrowing listen even 30 years on: however this did not deter it becoming a top-ten LP.

from MOJO magazine's John Lennon special (2000)

How did you come to treat John and Yoko?
I think, unbeknownst to me, the publisher sent him a review copy of The Primal Scream (Janov's first book on the subject). Then he or Yoko called me and asked me if I could come to England. I said there was no way, and so I hung up. But at that time, I had two kids who were fully into Beatlemania - so when I told them we weren't going to England they started screaming and yelling. They said "You've got take us". They were about 10 and 13. So I took them out of school, and it was the best time of their lives.

Can you recall your first meeting?
Oh... we did a lot of the therapy at Tittenhurst Park. That huge white house. We did a lot of it in the recording studio, while they were building it. That was kind of difficult. But it went very, very well. John had about as much pain as I've ever seen in my life. And he was a very dedicated patient. Very serious about it. When I said to him, "You've got to come to L.A. now, I can't spend the rest of my life in England," he said, "Fine," and he came.

In lots of Lennon books, his treatment is written about very melodramatically: "John screamed helplessly like a child, while Janov pulled him deeper and deeper into the darkest corners of his past..."
Oh God. That's just nonsense. We don't do anything like that.

He responded well to therapy, anyway?
Yeah. He had tremendous insights. I just found out this morning that they're re-releasing the Primal album [John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band]. And if you look at that album, it's very evident what he got out of it. I love that album. After he finished it, he sent it to us, and I played it to a group of about 50 people, and they were all in a heap. They really understood what he was doing. It sent off everybody into their Primals. It was a whole new direction for him, the level of simplicity was amazing.

Were you aware that he was writing the album in L.A.?
He and I talked a lot about some of that stuff. He would say, "What about religion?" and I would say something like, "People in pain usually seek out religion". And he would say, "Oh, God is a concept by which we measure our pain". So some of those songs came out of our discussions.

Did he talk to you about acid and its effects on him?
Well, I knew about it. I can't disclose specifics, but in general, I'll tell you this: LSD is the most devastating thing for mental health that ever existed. To this day, we see people who've been on LSD, and they have a different brain-wave pattern, as if their defences are totally broken down. It stays.

Timothy Leary was in favour of the idea of ego-destruction...
I think he destroyed so many people by touting LSD. It's a very, very dangerous drug.

To what extent was John's therapy cut short by the U.S. Immigration authorities?
One day, John came to me and said, "We've got to get out of the country". The immigration services and, he thought, Nixon was after him. He said "Could you send a therapist to Mexico with me?" I said "We can't do that, John". We had too many patients to take care of. They cut the therapy off just as it started, really. We were just getting going.

Inside two years of the release of John Lennon/Plastic Ono band, John was back in L.A., in the worst possible frame of mind - doing drugs, drinking...
Well, that wouldn't be surprising to me. We had opened him up, and we didn't have time to put him back together again. I told him that he had to finish it, but... I forget what happened then... he moved to New York, so it wasn't possible.

Was that a source of regret?
It would be with any patient. John was really a genius, but he was just another patient. We care about everybody we treat, and we try very hard not let anybody go too early.

You used the word 'genius' then. So you think there's a lot of truth in that notion...
Oh, I think so. He had this perception - he could see inside people in a way that I've rarely seen.

Did you find, in the wake of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, that you became a fashionable name to drop?
Yeah. John wanted to put an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle saying "This is it: Primal Therapy." I said to him, "I don't want you to do that. This therapy's far more important than The Beatles in the long run of history, and I think it's got to stand on its own." I couldn't stop it... but we've since done a tremendous amount of science and research, and it holds up.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Beatles Story: The Lifetime Biography

Label: Sanctuary Digital Entertainment, SDE0003

This one-hour documentary recounts the musical career of the "Fab Four" in its entirety: from their early days in Liverpool to the peak of their success as the world's most successful pop group. The film is largely archival and built around extensive footage that chronicles the phenomenon of Beatlemania as it rapidly spreads across the globe. Much of the material has not been seen before and includes a number of interviews with the Beatles at critical moments in their career; plus fascinating footage from their final American tour. To complete the film there is also recent footage and retrospective interviews with members of the Beatles' entourage as well as those who have spent time analyzing and evaluating the Beatles' musical and social impact on our lives.

1. Introduction
2. Birth of The Beatles
3. Hamburg
4. The Cavern
5. Merseybeat
6. Enter Brian Epstein
7. Decca Records
8. Parlophone
9. Ringo
10. A Punishing Schedule
11. Beatlemania
12. Working Class Roots
13. International Stardom
14. Returning Heroes
15. Members of The British Empire
16. Girlfriends and Wives
17. Troubled Waters
18. "Bigger" Than Jesus?
19. End Of The Road
20. Transitions
21. Apple Corps. and The Maharishi
22. Drugs
23. Yoko & Linda
24. The Beginning Of The End
25. The Beatles' Legacy
26. Closing Credits

Extra Feature: History Of The Beatles - DVD Diary

Rent or purchase this DVD from

Blockbuster Total Access - 2 Weeks Free Trial

John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth

a photographic biography by Elizabeth Partridge

FEBRUARY 7, 1964
The Beatles landed in New York--and nothing was ever the same for rock'n'roll.

Together, John, Paul, George, and Ringo were electrifying, funny, British, and so different. Each of the Beatles projected a strong individual identity, but John's persona especially captivated fans, who picked up on his uniquely introspective, dark, and bluesy approach to music--and to life.

Award-winning biographer Elizabeth Partridge dives into Lennon's life from the night he was born in 1940 during a World War II air raid on Liverpool, deftly taking us through his turbulent childhood and his rebellious rock 'n' roll teens to his celebrated life writing, recording, and performing music with the Beatles. She sheds light on the years after the Beatles, with Yoko Ono, as he struggled to make sense of his own artistic life--one that had turned from youthful angst to suffocating fame in almost a split second.

Partridge chronicles the emotional highs and paralyzing lows Lennon transformed into brilliant, evocative songs. With over 140 striking black-and-white photographs spanning his entire life, John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth is the unforgettable story of one of rock's biggest legends.

Elizabeth Partridge was thirteen years old when the Beatles landed in America. When they appeared in Candlestick Park, she and her best friend made sure they were there. After college, Partridge studied acupuncture in London, where her fantasy of the city was rooted in her love for the Beatles. "I remember being in a small shop in London and hearing an early Beatles song, 'Love Me Do' and just thinking, This is it!"

Though her big crush was always on George Harrison, it was John Lennon who had the most profound effect on her. She admired his sharp humor, his books, and his willingness to speak out politically. Swept up in the music and antiwar protests of the early seventies, she watched as Lennon shaped both. She admired John's feminist side, encouraged by Yoko, and saw him as the most complex and contradictory of the Beatles.

The award-winning author of numerous books for children, Elizabeth Partridge won the 2002 Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Award and was a National Book Award Finalist for This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie. She lives in Berkeley with her husband, Tom.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Making of The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour

by Tony Barrow

The story behind The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour is even more bizarre than the film itself...

In September of 1967, The Beatles and a motley entourage got on a bus and set off for two chaotic weeks of location filming...

Here, for the first time, is the inside story on one of The Beatles' most bizarre creative adventures.

- Magical Mystery Tour was a 55-minute TV movie filmed in colour but broadcast in black & white...

- The supporting cast included Viv Stanshall, Neil Innes, Mal Evans and complete strangers picked up along the way...

- The resulting film attracted almost unanimous criticism when shown but has since been universally praised...

Beatles' press officer Tony Barrow went along for the ride and his account of the chaos that ensued makes outrageous and revealing reading.

Featuring many previously unseen photographs, Magical Mystery Tour has an introduction by Brian Epstein's personal assistant Alistair Taylor who was also part of the legendary trip.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Beatles

by Allan Kozinn

The Beatles follows the extraordinary development of four self-taught musicians from Liverpool who revolutionized the world of popular music and created a treasury of songs astonishing for their variety and innovation. From the time of 'Love Me Do', their 1962 debut single, until their breakup in 1970, they consistently explored new compositional territory with each new recording. By the time of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, they were writing songs steeped in sophisticated imagery, and had added harpsichords, sitars, backward-running tapes and orchestral instruments to their original guitar, bass and drum format. Well before Sgt. Pepper, though, the Beatles were enthusiastically embraced by composers and critics of classical training, who saw in their early work an originality that transcended both the ambitions and traditional limitations of pop music.

Discussion of the Beatles' music is expanded here by a consideration not only of the group's commercially released disks but also of rare working tapes which illuminate the compositional process and reveal how some of their milestone recordings took shape in the studio. This study is presented within the context of the group's broader evolution -- from the skiffle and dance band, via its flirtations with folk, country and electronic music, through to its final flowering in the extended suite that closes Abbey Road -- and set against the backdrop of the popular culture explosion of the 1960s.

Allan Kozinn has been a music critic for the New York Times since 1977, and has also written for High Fidelity, Opus, Keynote and Gramophone, among many other music and arts magazines around the world. He is the author of Mischa Elman and the Romantic Style and a co-author of The Guitar: The History, The Players, The Music.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Memories of John Lennon

Edited and introduced by Yoko Ono

John Lennon . . . as much a part of our world today as he ever was

He touched many lives in his brief forty years, and continues to move and inspire millions more to this day. Now, invited by Yoko Ono, friends, family, and fans from all walks of life--including some of the great artists of our day--reminisce about Lennon as a visionary and friend, musician and performer, husband and father, activist and jokester.

In their own words and drawings, poems and photos, Lennon's life from his childhood through the Beatles years to the happiness and tragedy of his final days becomes stunningly vivid.

Intimate glimpses gathered from musicians who knew John, such as Pete Townshend, Sir Elton John, Billy Preston, and Joan Baez; friends and relatives such as producer David Geffen, publicist Elliot Mintz, and cousin Mike Cadwallader; and artists who followed him such as Bono, Alicia Keys, Steve Earle, Jello Biafra, and Carlos Santana.

And, for the first time, renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz presents every frame of the historic last session with John and Yoko.

Memories of John Lennon is a rich and deeply felt appreciation of a truly great man.

Yoko Ono is a musician and multimedia artist. She lives in New York City.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

John Lennon Yoko Ono - Remember New York City

Label: His Master's Choice, HMC 003

CD 1

1. New York City [takes unknown] 8:39
2. New York City [take unknown] 3:58
3. New York City [takes unknown] 1:13
4. New York City [take unknown] 2:30
5. New York City [take unknown] 1:06
6. New York City [take unknown] 4:15
7. New York City [take unknown] 4:48
8. New York City [take unknown] 1:55
9. New York City [take unknown] 4:43
10. New York City [take unknown] 3:52
11. New York City [take unknown] 4:29
12. New York City [takes unknown] 2:36
13. New York City [take unknown] 3:28
14. New York City [takes unknown] 0:46
15. New York City [take unknown] 3:04
16. "Let's Ride" [improvisation] 0:43

CD 2

1. Remember [takes unknown] 4:00
2. Remember [takes unknown] 9:03
3. Remember [takes unknown] 9:28
4. Remember [takes unknown] 3:30
5. Remember [takes unknown] 4:33
6. Remember [takes unknown] 8:49
7. Remember [takes unknown] 2:15
8. Remember [takes unknown] 5:15
9. Remember [takes unknown] 3:20

All tracks written by John Lennon.

Liner Notes

John Lennon and Yoko Ono moved to New York City in September 1971 and found themselves confronted with fiercely political issues. Living initially in Greenwich Village, they were quickly contacted by activists Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, appeared at benefits for John Sinclair, spoke about situations such as the Women's Liberation movement, the problems in Northern Ireland, the Attica Prison riots and the jailing of Angela Davis.

At the same time, problems were beginning to occur regarding John and Yoko's visa statuses; Senator Strom Thurmond had written a memo on 4 February to John Mitchell, President Nixon's Attorney General, advising him of the fact that the Lennons had been taking part in some demonstrations which were unsavory to Mr. Thurmond's way of thinking. Since the Lennons' visas expired on 1 March 1972, on 29 February extensions were granted for both, but were abruptly cancelled on 6 March, in the midst of the LP sessions. Deportation orders came ten days later on the 16 March, but John and Yoko won a delay on these proceedings, managing to have them postponed until April. On 18 April, deportation proceedings began and John & Yoko appeared at the INS hearing before Judge Ira Feldsteel (in reference to this issue, a petition was inserted in the initial copies of Some Time in New York City for concerned purchasers [along with their friends] to fill out to keep John and Yoko in the U.S.).

Throughout May, and throughout the next four years, John spent much time, energy and would sacrifice much of his sanity in a bitter fight to stay in the U.S. John's paranoia was only beginning regarding his highly visible activities and the Nixon Administration's dim view of said actions. Thus, there was a rather highly charged atmosphere for recording. It was to this background that Lennon and Ono hired Elephant's Memory to back them musically, with the assistance of studio drummer Jim Keltner, to record an album John described as "the first pop/rock record we have made together... done in the tradition of minstrels who sang about their times and what was happening". Their agenda was to protest against the social injustices they saw in the U.S. Phil Spector co-produced the new studio album along with the Lennons in February and March 1972. With most of the gatefold cover space taken up by printed lyrics and photographs, the album credits appeared on the first disc's inner sleeve.

Seeking to make the package more attractive, Lennon and Ono's 15 December 1969 live performance of Cold Turkey and Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For A Hand In The Snow) at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, from a UNICEF charity show with Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Keith Moon, among others, was unearthed. In addition, a sampling of performances with Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention from a Fillmore East gig in June 1971 was added, in effect creating a bonus live album for the Lennon/Ono faithful. The inner sleeve for the second disc featured Lennon's doodling over the cover of Zappa's album Fillmore East - June 1971, adding his credits and commentary to Zappa's.

The opening song of the studio album, Woman Is The Nigger Of The World (a phrase Ono had coined in the late 1960's), was intended as a negation of sexism and was also issued as a single in the U.S. to controversial reaction, and - as a consequence - little airplay and much banning. The Lennons went to great lengths (including a press conference, attended by staff from Jet and Ebony magazines) to explain that the word "nigger" was allegorical and not an affront to African-Americans. While many understood their intentions and considered the gesture a brave one, it was simply too taboo to be accepted by the masses. The dismissal of Woman Is The Nigger Of The World, as a result, proved to have a detrimental effect on Some Time in New York City's commercial appeal. Lennon's other tracks include the biographical New York City, an engaging Chuck Berry-styled rocker that details the Lennons' early months in their new home, as well as John Sinclair, his musical plea for Sinclair's release from a ten-year sentence for giving two marijuana joints to an undercover policewoman.

Yoko Ono, very much a feminist supporter, responds musically with Sisters O Sisters, tackles the lacking education system with Born In A Prison, and celebrates a culture of one in We're All Water. In fact, this album is generally seen as the beginning of Yoko's emergence as a songwriter after her rather challenging previous two releases. Together, Lennon and Ono lament police brutality in Attica State, the hardships of war-torn Northern Ireland in and Sunday Bloody Sunday and The Luck Of The Irish and pay tribute to Angela Davis with Angela. Some Time In New York City was packaged like a newspaper of the events covered in the album, causing even more consternation with an altered photo of Richard Nixon and Mao Tse-Tung dancing nude together (the photo was stickered over on many of the issued copies, with a non-removable seal).

They finished the LP on the morning of their third wedding anniversary, 20 March 1972, releasing it three months later in the U.S. However, a publishing snafu regarding who would claim the copyrights on the tunes caused the LP to not be issued in the U.K. until several months after the U.S. release, making it even more outdated in that region. In addition, the inclusion of a parody of Britain's Sun tabloid newspaper on one of the inner sleeves had to be replaced, which may have contributed to the delay. Its release in the U.S. was apparently also fraught with problems for the same reason, with Maclen, John and Paul's publishing arm in the U.S., claiming rights along with John and Yoko's company, Ono Music. On 22 January 1973, Northern Songs (UK) and Maclen sued John over these assignments. Perhaps the most important factor in the LP's issue was the fact that John's manager, Allen Klein, didn't want the LP to be issued at all! A clause in the Beatles' renegotiated contract with Capitol in the U.S. stated that the group would be entitled to a royalty increase if the last two records released by any of the four by 31 August 1972 achieved minimum sales of 500,000 by 26 January 1976, the last day of the Beatles' recording contract with EMI.

The last two LPs released prior to Some Time In New York City (Paul's Wild Life and The Concert For Bangla Desh) both exceeded the magic 500,000 number. Klein thus tried to prevent release of the album, knowing there was no way the album would do that well (he also stalled the previously announced release of the Live Jam LP, originally to be issued on its own at the end of 1971). This ended up being the big issue in the lawsuit brought against Capitol years later by the Beatles: could Some Time In New York City be considered a Beatles LP? Capitol could and did deny the increase since it sold less than 200,000 by 1976. This example of commerce over art enraged John, who was furious at this intrusion on his "art," referring to Klein as "Alice Klien" in the liner notes (among other reasons, this was a primary factor in John not renewing his contract with Klein when it expired in March of 1973).

After all of these hassles, Some Time In New York City was considered overly radical in its political slant by critics, while many of Lennon's fans stayed away from the double set in droves, causing it to merely limp to #48 in the U.S. Although the U.K. release managed a healthy #11 peak, Lennon was devastated at its commercial failure and would not record any music for almost an entire year.

On 30 August 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono performed two charity shows at Madison Square Garden for the mentally challenged at friend Geraldo Rivera's request; the event was called One To One, and New York mayor John Lindsay declared the date "One To One Day". Both performances were filmed and recorded, with the evening show broadcast on ABC Television, and the earlier matinee show compiled for release as the 1986 live album and video "Live In New York City". It was one of the few times any material from Some Time In New York City was performed by the duo. Some Time In New York City was remixed, remastered and reissued in 2005 as a single CD, removing, in the process, several of the live jam cuts, while adding on Happy Xmas and Listen, The Snow Is Falling.

John & Yoko
Plastic Ono Band with Elephant's Memory and Invisible Strings

John Lennon
Yoko Ono
Jim Keltner
Stan Bronstein
Richard Frank Jr
Gary Van Scyoc
Adam Ippolito
Wayne Gabriel


John and Yoko
and Phil Spector
John and Yoko
String Orchestration:
Ron Frangipane
Roy Cicala and
Danny Turbeville