Monday, 29 October 2012

Mopeds, Minis and Moustaches Oh My!

~ Benjamin Franklin ~

Please note a pattern emerges. A theme. Around this theme floats debris and clutter, fact and fiction. These three things are integral to any speculation about what happened to whom, where, when and why. 

The Beatles Book Monthly, Issue 43 February 1967. Beatle News:

It is a bit suspicious, isn't it Paul. 

First thing we read about are those infamous mopeds again! Didn't John or Ringo learn anything from chipped teeth and scarred lips? No they did not. Is this really news though? Was it a slow day in The Beatles News office? Should we see John tearing across the country lanes on his Moped to see Ringo? Apparently we do. It's funny you should mention a Moped, because Paul had an accident on one in December 1965. 

What's the next article. OH!!!! An accident! Who was in it? Paul McCartney dead?? What??? Surely you must be mad. He's safe at home in his Aston Martin California Sage Green Metallic Mini Cooper. Wait a minute. You say Black, I say Green, was there a crash, what does all this mean. Oh no.  

Below this, is the Tale of the Moustaches, and how long some are in comparison to others, and is this one more black than this one or not. Black Black Black. 

Themes and Patterns. Integral. A swirling dervish of mythology dances chaos around the centre circle. 

Publisher: Sean O'Mahony
in association with
36 - 38 Westbourne Grove
London, W.2, England
Editor: Johnny Dean

Sean O'Mahony aka Johnny Dean.

Richard Desmond: The demon proprietor of Fleet Street

The Independent 25th October, 2004

Born in Finchley, north London, in 1951, Richard Clive Desmond left school at 16 and took a job in advertising. But his first love was music, specifically drumming for a progressive rock band. A year later he combined the two roles to become group advertisement manager for music magazine company Beat Publications Ltd. Nearly 40 years later, Desmond performed at Ronnie Scott's jazz club with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, and he keeps a drum kit in his office.
By the age of 21 he had his own house and two record shops. He established himself as chairman of Northern & Shell publishers and produces the magazine International Musician and Recording World in 1974, which was thought at the time to be a unique general music consumer magazine. During the next 15 years, it grew to separate editions for the US, Europe, Australia and Japan. Desmond later expanded his Northern & Shell empire into diverse areas of publishing, including fitness, cooking environment and business.

Baby, You Can Drive My Car

I was alone, I took a ride, I didn't know what I would find there.

~ Got To Get You Into My Life ~

Posted for two reasons.

  1.  It's Paul McCartney's 1965 Radford* Mini Cooper S. Colour:  Aston Martin California Sage Green Metallic.
  2.  For a general idea of what two adult men look like in size comparison to a thing called a Mini for a reason.

* some say Radford. some say Morris. some say Tomato, others say Tomato. 

14th November 1966

"The sweeter the apple, the blacker the core. Scratch a lover and find a foe!" 

 ~ Dorothy Parker ~

International Times, Issue No.3 runs the following article regarding the previous week's exhibition of Yoko Ono's Unfinished Paintings.

"Work on mounting the exhibition went on until the early hours of last Tuesday morning (which would be the 8th November, 1966; its opening date) Around three am, a group of people pressed their noses to the Indica Gallery window and demanded entrance. Included in the group was film director Roman Polanski, who rushed around the exhibits ecstatically shouting "this is the most beautiful apple I have ever seen" and "that is the very essence of a needle." Or so the story goes."

So let's re-cap. John Lennon attends a preview of Yoko Ono's exhibition, a night before it opens. The exhibition was to open on the 8th November, changed from its original opening date of 9th November as stated in issue 1 of the International Times. It was still being mounted until 3am on the 8th November, with an opening time of 2.00pm and closing time of 6.00pm. To preview the exhibition before it opened, Lennon would have to be there on the 7th November, or within that group of people with Roman Polanski. Lennon has just arrived back from Spain on the 6th November, hearing about the exhibition a week before. How he heard about it while in Spain? Who knows. 

Maybe Lennon believed the exhibition wasn't opened yet. Maybe he was invited in after the 6.00pm closing, as he did know those involved with the Indica Gallery. So I'm sure it would be arranged Lennon received a private viewing. Maybe he was just confused about how long the exhibition had been running.

Notable things in this article for future relevance:
Roman Polanski
Yoko Ono had been in England throughout the summer months of 1966. 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

He's a Real Somewhere Man

“Curiouser and curiouser!”
~ Lewis Carroll ~

 There he is! The man who knew about an upcoming exhibition in London a week prior to its opening, but only arrived back in London from Spain on the 6th November, 1966, with his lovely wife Cynthia. No wonder Paul McCartney went driving off to Spain to go looking for his writing companion. The day Lennon arrives back in London, McCartney leaves the very same day for France. Damn! So close!

26th December, 1965 aka Chippy

Last mid-December, Paul injured his lip and chipped his tooth in the moped accident. He honestly thought no one would notice the chip, for it is so small. I told him three times he should do something about it. It is in a place where there are no nerve ends, so there is no pain. Paul assured me that he would have the tooth capped, but - unfortunately - he has not done so. Could he be afraid of the dentist? It is my opinion that he will just let it be.
~ Brian Epstein ~

"Less severely hurt in a recent road crash was Paul McCartney. The Beatle was visiting his father and step-mother at their Cheshire home, just South of Liverpool."He was out riding around the Cheshire countryside on one of his two Moped motorized bicycles when the machine skidded on an icy road and threw him to the ground. Paul collected a deep cut to the side of his mouth and five stiches had to be put into the wound.
"Now it's healing nicely and Paul feels fine again. The injury is not leaving a scar and Paul says it hasn't turned him against his fave pastime of Moped cycle riding

~ Tony Barrow, KRLA Beat, 12 February 1966, p.1. ~
"He started to finger his lip, almost without thinking, and I asked him about the reports that he'd broken a tooth."You're right," he admitted candidly. "I did it not long ago when I came off a moped. Now I've had it capped... Look."
I looked but I couldn't see anything. A perfect mend. Only a small scar remains on his lip as a souvenir."
"It was quite a serious accident at the time. It probably sounds daft, having a serious accident on a motorized bicycle, but I came off it hard and I got knocked about a bit. My head and lip were cut and I broke the tooth."
I was only doing about 30 at the time, but it was dark and I hit a stone and went flyin' through the air. It was my fault... it was a nice night and I was looking at the moon."
He sipped his tea and reached for a cigarette.
"What about all this 'Didn't Paul McCartney look ill on TV,' then?" he went on, referring to Mama Cass' remarks in NME's 'America Calling' last week. "I haven't been ill. Apart from the accident, I'm dead fit. I know what it was though. When we filmed those TV clips for 'Paperback Writer' I'd only just bashed my tooth, and we'd been working a bit hard on the LP and I hadn't had much sleep. We haven't had much time for anything but the LP. I mean, 14 songs - all got to be written and recorded till you're satisfied with them. It's hard work, man.

~ Paul McCartney 16th June, 1966 NME ~

~ ~ ~

He certainly was afraid of the dentist, as Brian Epstein feared. He was scared for 6 months. Though in June, 1966, Paul obviously has suffered some head injury, because he believes he's only just bashed his tooth in. Though the cover of Yesterday & Today, butcher style, says he had it fixed, which was released that very same month as the NME interview. 

 But he hadn't. The photos for this proposed cover of ill repute, were completed in March 1966.

21st January, 1966. George Harrison marries Pattie Boyd. Paul McCartney serves as his best man. Look closely at this picture. I believe the chipped tooth is definitely there.

Paul is photographed 24th March 1966, out on a date with Jane Asher. I believe this is at the premiere of the film "Alfie". If you take a close look, it can be perceived there's an absence of tooth there. Whether this has been doctored, tampered with is unclear. Irregardless, what follows in May 1966, says Paul McCartney still had a chipped tooth.

 Late May 1966 ~ Paperback Writer / Rain promotional films.

So why did Paul McCartney walk around with a chipped tooth for so long?And why can't anyone get their story straight, when photographic and published/broadcast evidence exists to say this tooth remained chipped from December 1965 until June 1966.  

Let's see if we can find a picture from the Robert Whitaker photo sessions of 25th March, 1966, where McCartney actually smiles. This picture is of interest 042, as it is the one that was eventually used for the Butcher Cover. Compare to the "official" version, and one can see the end result has McCartney with a dental fix courtesy of photo manipulation. The photographs showing McCartney with his mouth open, or smiling are very few, while those of his companions are numerous. Should we assume that McCartney was reluctant to smile because of the chipped tooth? We could assume that. Picture 111 is also of interest. Though his top teeth are obscured, one can tell there's something going on there. In photos of this chipped tooth (the central incisor), it appears to jut out and overlap his other incisor. It seems to give his upper lip a slightly puffy appearance, along with the scar he received from the moped accident. 

The image at the beginning of this blog comes from these photo sessions. Compare that to how his lip appeared in the Paperback Writer promo. It almost appears as if he just had the accident. His lip is extremely "puffed" out in comparison to what it had been for the prior months. 

So ... what's going on here? It appears there are no tours/gigs for them from ... the last concerts in the UK December 1965 until ... Paul gets his tooth fixed and they're off to Japan. (28th June 1966 arrival.) Well that helped Paul avoid getting his tooth fixed for 6 months! Just completely stop touring. 

But then there's January 1967.

31st October 1966

The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust
~ Samuel Butler ~

In the second issue of the International Times, encompassing the dates 31st October (a Monday), 1966 through the 13th November (a Sunday) 1966, the following advertisement runs:

Yoko Ono's exhibition is re-titled "Unfinished Paintings", and the dates are changed to 8th November, 1966 through til the 18th November, 1966.

Speaking of the 13th November, 1966; this was the date that the Sunday Telegraph ran a front page article stating that two of The Beatles had approached Allen Klein for management representation. Which is interesting. As they still had Brian Epstein as a manager in 1966. The few things one can find on the internet regarding this matter, all mention that Epstein dismissed these claims almost immediately. John Lennon expressed anger that it appeared The Beatles were no longer happy with Brian. George Harrison and Ringo Starr were disturbed by these rumours. And Paul McCartney could not be reached for comment. As he was probably still searching for John Lennon somewhere in Spain. Allen Klein denied leaking this to the press. 

So who did leak this story to the press? Allen Klein may not be the one to trust on "who leaked what." Was this an early bid on The Beatles by Klein? It's not a tactic uncommon I imagine, because in truth, it's a competitive industry. The Beatles were on EMI, The Rolling Stones on Decca. And if one looks at The Rolling Stones Decca deal, it was pretty sweet! They had far more artistic control and residuals with Decca than The Beatles ever had with EMI. At the same time, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are friendly to one another, but in truth, their record companies don't have to be. It's about earnings and capital. So spreading a rumour that Klein was in negotiations with some of The Beatles, might serve a purpose. 

With the lull in Beatles proceedings that followed the release of Revolver in August 1966, The More Popular Than Jesus statements, and the last concert at Candlestick Park,  it seems Epstein was all over the place denying The Beatles were splitting, but also confirming that no tour dates were being set or planned. Rumours were flying all around.

There's also the matter that contract negotiations with EMI also took place in November 1966. Epstein allowed the contract to expire, then waited 17 months before renegotiating, keeping The Beatles receiving the very small royalty rate under that old expired contract the entire time. Did Klein get word of this? Were Epstein's managerial skills under question? And did two Beatles actually approach Allen Klein seeking a business manager that seemed to produce results?

All very interesting, as Klein would later represent 3 of The Beatles a couple of years later. But that's another story.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

He's a Real Nowhere Man

Out of sight, out of mind. The absent are always in the wrong.

~ Thomas Kempis ~

Something's not right here.

4th October, 1966 - Ringo Starr joins John Lennon in Spain.
9th October, 1966 - John Lennon celebrates birthday in Spain. Ringo Starr leaves soon after to return to England.
22nd October, 1966 - George Harrison returns to London from India.
6th November, 1966 - Paul McCartney leaves for France
9th (?) November, 1966 - John Lennon attends Yoko Ono's exhibition at the Indica. He states in 1971 he knew about it a week before the opening.
12th November, 1966 - McCartney arranges to meet Mal Evans under a clock somewhere in France. They then drive to Spain hoping to meet Lennon who they think is still filming How I Won the War.

If Lennon knew about the Yoko Ono exhibition a week before, did he get a telegram of such importance while he was in Spain notifying him of such an event? Was it that important? The very question being, was he still in Spain at all at the end of October/early November 1966. And if George, Ringo, and Paul are all accounted for being in England up until the 6th November, 1966, where was John Lennon? He was definitely in England to go to the exhibition the night before it opened. Whether that is the 7th November, 1966, or the 8th is in question.

So why is Paul looking for him in Spain.

Speaking on behalf of The Beatles on 6th November, 1966:
"On this day Brian Epstein, speaking on behalf of The Beatles, turned down a request for them to appear on a television special in aid of the victims' families. Several public figures called on the world's biggest band to make a gesture of support, but none was forthcoming.Although they were sympathetic to the people of Aberfan's plight, The Beatles were reluctant to be drawn into a benefit event. At the time the notion of a charity concert was unheard of. Furthermore, having recently given up touring, The Beatles were keen to avoid any actions which would have further turned them into public property."

Now of course, Brian Epstein can make that decision for all of them. He doesn't need to get all their opinions on the table before making a statement. He's got two at least to comment, Ringo and George. Paul has just flown out to France that very day. And John? Where is he?

14th October 1966

All these were Vera's playmates; and she loved

To watch them, wondering oftentimes how well
They knew their parts, and how the drama moved
So swiftly, smoothly on from scene to scene
Without confusion. But she sometimes dreamed
There must be something hidden in the play
Unknown to her, an utterance of life
More clear than action and more deep than looks.
~ Henry Van Dyke ~

In the first issue of the International Times, this advertisement for the Ono-Woman Show is run.

Named "Instruction Paintings", the exhibit was to run at the Indica Gallery from 9th November until the 22nd of that month.

Also within this first issue, appears an article written by a Tony Cox. Is it the same Tony Cox then married to Yoko Ono?

 An interesting article attributed to the writer "Millionaire" appears also in this issue, entitled Pop .. Pop .. Ouch. It's a general overview of the music scene in October 1966. It's noted because it plugs Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, whose "Freak Out!" was released in June 1966. It also mentions Peter & Gordon's current single, though not by name. It may have been "Lady Godiva", or "Knight in Rusty Armour". Peter & Gordon's association with The Beatles not only being the recipients of a McCartney penned tuned, but also Peter being Peter Asher, brother of Jane Asher, McCartney's lady in waiting.

 Just above Millionaire's summation of the Pop scene, is a cartoon which recurs in the pages of International Times for many issues. The cartooned accounts of one Clifton De Berry. In this first installment, names of note would be Albert Hall and Vera Groin. 8 months later Albert would make an appearance on The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", as would a Vera on the same album.
More on these cartoons and where they appear in the International Times later.

So there you have a date. 9th November until 22nd November, as announced in the 1st volume, 1st issue of the International Times. 


Love is being stupid together.
~ Paul Valery ~

So when did star crossed lovers John Lennon and Yoko Ono first meet?  Let's start here in 1971. Where John Lennon gives his account of the proceedings to Rolling Stone magazine.

 I got the word that this amazing woman was putting on a show next week and there was going to be something about people in bags, in black bags, and it was going to be a bit of a happening and all that. So I went down to a preview of the show. I got there the night before it opened.

Remember this. The night before it opened.