Tag Archives: John Lennon

Plastic Ono Some Time NYC

Plastic Ono Some Time NYC

John Lennon
Released June 12, 1972
“New York City” live @ Madison Square Garden Que pasa, New York?
Plastic Ono Some Time NYC

Life after the Beatles

The last Beatle album, Let It Be, was  already more than two years old. Each of the individual Beatles had been active since the breakup. Elvis met President Nixon and asked for a badge to be a drug czar. The FBI was investigating Lennon to back up a plan to deport him.

Life for John Lennon and Yoko Ono had become political. It is no surprise that Some Time in New York City happened.

Ironically, Lennon pursued this political avenue at the same time that traditional political singers such as Joan Baez and Judy Collins had moved away. No matter.

Plastic Ono Some Time NYC

In Your Face

The album was not a subtle one and smacked us right in the face with its first track: “Woman Is Nigger of the World.” To say some stations wouldn’t play it is an understatement.  The National Organization for Women awarded Lennon and Ono a “Positive Image of Women” citation for the song’s “strong pro-feminist statement” in August 1972.

The album cover resembled a newspaper with articles reflecting the songs. I’m sure the picture of President Nixon and Chairman Mao dancing nude didn’t help get Lennon off of Nixon’s Enemies List.

Plastic Ono Some Time New York City

Plastic Ono Some Time NYC

Some Time in New York City

It was a double-album with the second disc live material. The studio tracks were the main statements. All were co-written by Lennon & Ono except where noted:

Side one
  1. “Woman Is the Nigger of the World”
  2. “Sisters, O Sisters” (Ono)
  3. “Attica State”
  4. “Born in a Prison” (Ono)
  5. “New York City” (Lennon)
Side two
  1. “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
  2. “The Luck of the Irish”
  3. “John Sinclair” (Lennon)
  4. “Angela”
  5. “We’re All Water” (Ono)

Yoko Ono’s influence, presence, and art continued to rankle some fans and critics. Even today it seems de rigueur and reflexive for many to mock and demean her at the mention of her name .

Rolling Stone magazine still held powerful sway over what fans felt. Stephen Holden’s July 20, 1972 review read in part, ““except for ‘John Sinclair’ the songs are awful. The tunes are shallow and derivative and the words little more than sloppy nursery-rhymes that patronise the issues and individuals they seek to exalt. Only a monomaniacal smugness could allow the Lennons to think that this witless doggerel wouldn’t insult the intelligence and feelings of any audience.”

Time has been kinder than Holden, but still few today think of this work as Lennon’s best. [All Music review] [Ultimate Classic Rock review]

Having said that, Lennon on a bad day is far better than nearly all of us on any day.

Plastic Ono Some Time NYC

John Yoko Give Peace Chance

John Yoko Give Peace Chance

June 1, 1969

John Yoko Give Peace Chance

John Yoko Give Peace Chance

Apolitical Beatles

While the Beatles as a group typically remained apolitical, their fame visibility, and life style put them on the world stage whether they wanted to be there or not.

1969 and the Vietnam war continued despite new President Nixon’s promises to end it. The Beatles were still recording as a group (they’d begin the Abbey Road  album  in exactly a month) and were still controversial (radio stations were banning the “Balled Of John and Yoko” because of the line “Christ you know it ain’t easy.”)

John Yoko Give Peace Chance

John & Yoko

It seemed the more others criticized Yoko Ono and her supposed negative impact on The Beatles, the more John fell in love with her and wanted to prove to the world he wasn’t listening to those criticisms.

John and Yoko had married on March 20, 1969 and began a number of peaceful events to promote peace and end war. In an Amsterdam interview he said: What we’re really doing is sending out a message to the world, mainly to the youth, especially the youth or anybody really that’s interested in protesting for peace, or protesting against any forms of violence and we say everybody’s getting a bit heavy or bit intellectual about it. Everybody’s talking about peace, but nobody’s doing anything about it, except for a few people, and the things like the Grosvenor Square marches in London. The end product of it was just newspaper stories about riots and fighting. And we did the bed event in Amsterdam and the Bag Piece in Vienna just to give people an idea, that there’s many ways of protest and this is one of them. And anybody could grow their hair for peace or give up a week of their holiday for peace or sit in a bag for peace, protest against peace anyway, but peacefully. Because we think that peace is only got by peaceful methods and that to fight the establishment with their own weapons is no good, because they always win and they’d been winning for thousands of years. They know how to play the game ‘violence’ and it’s easier for them when they can recognize you and shoot you. They don’t know how to handle humor, and peaceful humor. And that’s our message really.

John Yoko Give Peace Chance

Toronto Bed-In


 One of these events, a Bed In, took place in Toronto and on June 1, 1969 they recorded “Give Peace a Chance” while in their room with several others helping such as including Timothy Leary, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, DJ Murry the K, Derek Taylor, and Tommy Smothers. Smothers also played acoustic guitar with Lennon.

John Yoko Give Peace Chance

Recording song

The recording became the first single released by Lennon while still a Beatle. It was even credited at first as a Lennon-McCartney tune.

Lennon and Ono performed the song live on September 13, 1969 at the Toronto Peace Festival. Their band was called the Plastic Ono Band and included Klaus Voorman, Alan White, and Eric Clapton.

John Yoko Give Peace Chance

Lyrics

Ev’rybody’s talking about
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

C’mon
Ev’rybody’s talking about Ministers
Sinisters, Banisters and canisters
Bishops and Fishops and Rabbis and Pop eyes
And bye bye, bye byes

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Let me tell you now
Ev’rybody’s talking about
Revolution, evolution, masturbation
Flagellation, regulation, integrations
Meditations, United Nations
Congratulations

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Ev’rybody’s talking about
John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary
Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper
Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer
Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna
Hare, Hare Krishna

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

John Yoko Give Peace Chance

Legacy

The song has become one of the most powerful peace songs ever written and is still sung today.

John Yoko Give Peace Chance

More about John & Yoko in Canada via The Conversation dot com

John Yoko Tittenhurst Park

John Yoko Tittenhurst ParkJohn Yoko Tittenhurst Park

Peter Cadbury

On May 4, 1969 John and Yoko closed on the purchase of Tittenhurst Park. The cost was £145,000 ($2,859,247 in 2021 dollars).

They did not move in until August because of renovations that included a lake. The renovations reportedly cost twice the price paid for the 72-acre estate.

John and Yoko bought it from Peter Cadbury, the same Cadbury family famous for Cadbury chocolates, though Peter was not involved in the business.

By late 1969, the Beatles were a band nearly in name only. On the cusp of a final break-up, what turned out to be the last pictures taken of the four together were taken at Tittenhurst Park on on 22 August 1969. The photos, by Ethan Russell and Monte Fresco, were used for the front and back covers of their Hey Jude album.

John Yoko Tittenhurst Park

Ascot Sound Studios

John and Yoko built a recording studio in Tittenhurst called Ascot Sound Studios. Lennon and Ono recorded their next several albums in it. The cover of Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band album was taken at Tittenhurst Park.

John Yoko Tittenhurst Park
photo by John Lennon and Yoko Ono

And the famous video recording of Lennon’s Imagine was done at Tittenhurst Park.

Homeless intrusion

And it was on the 22 May 1971 that John and Yoko spoke to a homeless man who had been hiding on the estate. After speaking with him, they invited him in for something to eat.

John Yoko Tittenhurst Park

Left never to return

John and Yoko moved to New York City in  August 1971. Lennon never returned to England.

On 18 September 1973 John and Yoko sold Tittenhurst Park to Ringo , who renamed the recording facilities Startling Studios.

According to the  Beatles Bible site, “He [Ringo] made it [Startling Studios] available to other musicians, including T.Rex who filmed Born To Boogie there. Starr sold Tittenhurst in 1988…to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi.

Tittenhurst Park may not be the best known words, even among Beatles fans, but one can see from the above that it played an important part in the Beatles’ final days as a group John Lennon’s final days in his native land, and Ringo recording life.

John Yoko Tittenhurst Park