Lewisohn - Beatles - New Tape! - Abbey Road - 'Rewrites everything we knew about the Beatles'*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by 3coloursbeige, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. 3coloursbeige

    3coloursbeige Forum Resident Thread Starter

  2. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident

    Tokyo, Japan
    Little bit of an exaggerated title by The Guardian, lol...

    The only supposedly "new" thing here is the date of John's suggesting an equal split of songs -- Sept. 8th -- between he, Paul, and George. It's not really a new thing since George detailed that suggestion publicly in interviews from 1970. And we already knew that Paul (and probably George?) weren't keen on the split-the-pie equally way of doing Beatle albums. John clearly no longer wanted to fight for space on records.

    It does seem interesting that John swung around so quickly from September 8th to September 20th, when he supposedly told Paul and Ringo he wanted a "divorce". But I guess going to perform in Toronto kind of gave him the impetus.

    Regardless, this Lewisohn show sounds good. Anyone going?
    FJFP likes this.
  3. fdsfd

    fdsfd Forum Resident

    Oh, wow! Look at that script! I've always been a sucker for that Get Back nagra reels but that's a whole new level.
    FJFP likes this.
  4. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    Little Britain
    Interesting that they didn't think that Abbey Road was their last album... or was that already known by Beatles researchers?
  5. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident

    Tokyo, Japan
    I don't think anyone in the band knew anything in early/mid-September. It was up in the air. They were probably on a bit of post-LP high, too, in early September.
    Marty T and wore to a frazzel like this.
  6. AirJordanFan93

    AirJordanFan93 Forum Resident

    Gotta get those clicks
  7. Stan94

    Stan94 Forum Resident

    Paris, France
    Doesn’t the article say Lewisohn has the Olympic tape where Paul stormed out of the session ? Isn’t this new ?
    john lennonist likes this.
  8. Dave Gilmour's Cat

    Dave Gilmour's Cat Forum Resident

    I think it’s pretty amazing:

    “What they talk about is the plan to make another album – and perhaps a single for release in time for Christmas, a commercial strategy going back to the earliest days of Beatlemania. “It’s a revelation,” Lewisohn says. “The books have always told us that they knew Abbey Road was their last album and they wanted to go out on an artistic high. But no – they’re discussing the next album.”
  9. OobuJoobu

    OobuJoobu Forum Resident

    Leeds, UK
    I'm going to the show in Leeds on October 27th, hopefully it's as good as the "With The Beatles 1963" show he did last year, that was great! This seems to be on a much bigger scale though, last year was in the back room of a pub, this is a proper theatre tour.
  10. ralph7109

    ralph7109 Forum Resident

    Franklin, TN
    Is this actually a new discovery? I do remember the 4/4/4/2 split being discussed so maybe this is old news.
    But I was not aware that the audio tape was newly discovered and that they were open to a new album as recently in September of 1969.

    However, I am not surprised that McCartney was a bit of a jerk towards George as late as this and completely explains why George didn't want to work Paul (even if he did do more to assist with his song) but was inclined to do so with John (even if he was dismissive).

    Newly uncovered audio of one of the Beatles' final meetings proves they didn't want 'Abbey Road' to be their final album

    A newly uncovered audiotape shows the Beatles never planned for "Abbey Road" to be their final studio album.
    Mark Lewisohn, Beatles expert and rock historian, shared the tape with The Guardian ahead of his upcoming stage show "Hornsey Road," which will see him tell the story of "Abbey Road" 50 years on.
    On the recording, John Lennon can be heard talking about the group's plans to make another album, and even suggesting George Harrison should have a bigger role.
    "Doesn't that rewrite pretty much everything we thought we knew?" Lewisohn said of the recording.

    On September 8, 1969, the Fab Four (with the exception of Ringo Starr, who was in hospital at the time), met at Apple Records HQ on Savile Row in London for one of the last times before their breakup, and the entire encounter was captured on John Lennon's tape recorder.

    According to The Guardian, the audio starts with Lennon saying: "Ringo – you can't be here, but this is so you can hear what we're discussing."

    Having just wrapped up the recording of "Abbey Road," their final recorded studio album (though "Let it Be" was the last to be released), the group then go on to talk about their plans to make another album, with Lennon proposing that each of them suggest songs that could be used for the single.

    He also suggests he, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison should get four songs each, with two from Starr "if he wants them."

    It has previously been thought that Lennon was integral to the breakup of the Beatles, but the tape suggests that, at least at this point in their history, that was not entirely the case.

    Speaking of the tape, Lewisohn told The Guardian: "It's a revelation. The books have always told us that they knew Abbey Road was their last album and they wanted to go out on an artistic high. But no – they're discussing the next album. And you think that John is the one who wanted to break them up but, when you hear this, he isn't. Doesn't that rewrite pretty much everything we thought we knew?"

    In the recording, McCartney apparently doesn't sound too pleased about the suggestion that Harrison should have equal standing to him and Lennon, saying: "I thought until this album that George's songs weren't that good," to which Harrison replies: "That's a matter of taste. All down the line, people have liked my songs."

    The newly uncovered tape is a part of Lewisohn's upcoming stage show Hornsey Road, which will see him tell the story of "Abbey Road" 50 years on using tape, film, photos, new audio mixes of the music, and his own anecdotes and memorabilia.

    In it, the historian will seek to change the perception that the Beatles were at odds throughout 1969.

    "They were in an almost entirely positive frame of mind," he said of their time recording "Abbey Road."

    "They had this uncanny ability to leave their problems at the studio door – not entirely, but almost."
  11. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    whoa! this is pretty cool
    ralph7109 likes this.
  12. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Forum Resident

    Not sure why this seems so surprising. I’ve heard late ‘69 interviews between John and Howard Smith where John discusses The Beatles as a going concern and potential future recordings. He speaks kindly of the other members and even discusses the possibility of playing live again, though he admits he’s not sure in what manner he’d want that to happen.

    DK Pete likes this.
  13. Pines Brook

    Pines Brook That sums up Squatter for me

    New York, NY
    This has never been a contradiction to me. They could have gone into the studio in February 1969 determined to make one great and final record. Six months go by, the record is finished and very strong, something they are very proud of. So there may have been a day or a few weeks or who knows, where they considered continuing on anyway.

    Abbey Road is the last album the four of them put together, and it ends (more or less) with an epic statement called "The End." Lennon then coming in with a bunch of ideas for what they could do next, and then a couple of weeks later telling everybody he was completely done with the band...this tape doesn't change my opinion that that The Beatles recorded Abbey Road with some consideration that it could be their last, and wanted to make it an artistic high. Artists have gone on tour saying (and I think, believing) its their final tour and then they've come back later. If The Who went on a Farewell Tour, and then never toured again, would it really matter if there was a private tape revealed decades later where they briefly considered doing another tour?

    That being said, I wouldn't want to be one to disagree with the true expert, Lewisohn. But I just don't think it makes much difference, this feels far too hyped.
  14. Christian Hill

    Christian Hill It's all in the mind

    Part 2 must be coming out soon
    paustin0816 likes this.
  15. MortSahlFan

    MortSahlFan Forum Resident

    It would be nice to actually LISTEN to the audio.
  16. Chuckee

    Chuckee Forum Resident

    Upstate, NY, USA
    Maybe they could have had 2 albums released before they ever got around to Let It Be.
    FJFP likes this.
  17. brainwashed

    brainwashed Forum Hall Of Fame

    Boston, MA
    And no mention of John offering Cold Turkey as a single. This is as close to confirmation ( as I need) that John never offered them the song as we'll likely get. He seems keen to record a new album and do something for Christmas (a new single or continuing their Xmas greetings). And yea, he offers the new dynamic... George getting an equal share of songs per. Paul was probably lukewarm to this new direction because George was just starting to write good songs (in his opinion). And he let Paul know that weaker material should be culled and given to their Apple group of friends. Paul saying he did "Maxwell" because he liked it may not work in the future. Of course the others could just as easily told John that his non-commercial avant gard stuff was best left for future POB albums. Interesting stuff. Hopefully we'll be able to hear the tape some day. Transcripts are nice, but you don't get the subtleties of language and the tone. Ron
  18. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident

    In your mind
    Call me when he finds a tape stating their intention of getting back together. ;)
  19. TMegginson

    TMegginson Forum Resident

    Paul must be furious. He has been waiting out his victory in the tontine since December 1980, curating the legacy of The Beatles in his favour. Now we see him called out for his worst songs, and being the only one who still wanted to keep George down.

    "To the last, I grapple with thee" - John Lennon
    " From Hell's heart, I stab at thee" - George Harrison
    "Wait, what?" - Ringo Starr
  20. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Forum Resident

    Isle of Bute, UK
    Yeah, picked up a ticket for Edinburgh. Should be good.
  21. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Forum Resident

    Not sure why this seems so surprising. I’ve heard late ‘69 interviews between John and Howard Smith (Nov 69 I believe) where John discusses The Beatles as a going concern and potential future recordings. He speaks kindly of the other members and even discusses the possibility of playing live again, though he admits he’s not sure in what manner he’d want that to happen.

  22. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
    Though Cold Turkey was recorded three weeks after this meeting. Considering the rate they worked at, it was probably not a finished song yet.
    Neil Barrett likes this.
  23. jwoverho

    jwoverho Forum Resident

    Mobile, AL USA
    “I thought until this album that George’s songs weren’t that good,”
    Prime quote of the piece from McCartney.
  24. Fivebyfive

    Fivebyfive Forum Resident

    East coast, US
    Oh for god's sake. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

    Paul is conceding here that George should get 4 songs, too. He's saying that up until recent months, Paul thought George had weak songs -- and in those early years both Lennon and George Martin agreed with that assessment. Paul is not fighting John on the 4 songs for each of them going forward or arguing, "No George only gets two." Paul is agreeing (backhandedly) with John about this going forward.
    51IS, BeatlesBop, intv7 and 26 others like this.
  25. Elliottmarx

    Elliottmarx Always in the mood for Burt Bacharach

    Los Angeles
    It's cynical to believe that Paul's intention was solely to keep George down. Surely Paul wanted more of his songs on the album; more exposure for him, more revenue, more hits to his name. Yes, the by product of this would have been fewer George songs on the next Beatles album - but surely that alone was not the purpose. Plus Paul appears open to the idea.
    Hermes, Gila, Keith V and 3 others like this.

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