Friday, September 21, 2012

Not like old times: John and Paul in '74

After revisiting the oddball joys of Son of Schmilsson the other day (see "Take 54," which features Ringo on the drum kit), I browsed for articles about Harry Nilsson and The Beatles, and came across a reference to "A Toot and a Snore in '74." Per Wikipedia, it's the name that was given to "the only known recording session in which John Lennon and Paul McCartney played together after the break-up of The Beatles." The "reunion" took place on March 28, 1974 at L.A.'s Burbank Studios. John was there with Nilsson working on Pussy Cats when Paul and Linda made an unannounced visit. Here's what happened next:
The room froze when McCartney walked in, and remained perfectly silent until Lennon said, ‘Valiant Paul McCartney, I presume?’ McCartney responded: ‘Sir Jasper Lennon, I presume?’ (Valiant Paul and Sir Jasper were characters played by the two, in a televised Christmas play early in the Beatles's career). McCartney extended a hand, Lennon shook it, and the mood was pleasant but subdued, cordial but not especially warm, at least initially. *
Then, along with Nilsson, Stevie Wonder and others, they jammed. The result: a slaphappy, drug-fouled mess. At the time, John was in the midst of his "Lost Weekend"; cocaine was his go-to muse. On the recording, he's an obnoxious wreck, constantly babbling and halting play. Paul has said he was under the influence too. What a waste.
The 1970s = the Lost Decade.
If you must, here's the tape:
(If the video is removed, go here.)
(*I found this quote on the same Wikipedia page. It's from Christopher Sanford's biography of Paul.)

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