114: A Week In The Life – July 1969

July 22, 2017

Podcast, Podcasting

While echoes of 1967 live on this year with 50-year commemorations of Sgt. Pepper and the Summer of Love, the events of two summers later were, if anything, even more portentous as far as the Beatles’ story goes. In this episode, Richard and Robert examine one specific week: July 1 through July 9, 1969. These eight days marked the resumption of the Abbey Road sessions after a month-long break. During this time, several tracks were recorded or developed –  John crashed his car in Scotland – Brian Jones died – the Rolling Stones performed a free concert in Hyde Park –  “Give Peace A Chance,” the Plastic Ono Band’s debut single was released, and John returned to work (along with Yoko – and her bed). The period saw the group compartmentalizing a 3-1 business split while striving to remain functionally harmonious musically.
Songs include “You Never Give Me Your Money” and “Give Peace A Chance.”
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    16 Responses to “114: A Week In The Life – July 1969”

    1. Cajun Queen Says:

      haha, *great* graphic. 🙂


    2. rickylee369 Says:

      Fantastic episode.


    3. David M Says:

      Very enjoyable apart from the gratuitous (and sexist) swipes at Yoko. Not sure it was even a serious thought to put her on a Beatles album, she wouldn’t appear on a proper studio Lennon solo album for 3 years. And Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band is awesome, do a show on it one day …


      • Colin Ricketts Says:

        I agree. The predictable, reflexive Yoko bashing and silly John-v-Paul sniping are the least entertaining and enlightening bits of a fantastically entertaining and enlightening podcast.


    4. WingsFan2012 Says:

      Great show guys. A fascinating time in the group’s history. Robert this would make for a great discussion topic at the upcoming Beatlefest!


    5. J Neo Marvin Says:

      So which came first, Remember Love or Sun King? John plays the same finger-picking pattern on both. That caught my ear immediately when I first heard Abbey Road.


      • Us Says:

        We first hear Sun King at Twickenham during the January 1969 sessions; presumably it was written (or at least conceived) sometime before the new year. But most accounts assert that Remember Love came from the couple’s first burst of musical collaboration, also in 1968; along with Look At Me. So it’s really tough to pinpoint a precise which came first; at the very least, they came about roughly concurrently.


    6. J Neo Marvin Says:

      Honestly, a few Yoko vocal interjections would have improved Maxwell’s Silver Hammer a lot.


    7. Jim T, Says:

      Serious (but weird & practical) question: So when Yoko was in bed in the studio, did she stay there 24/7?
      Did she leave home, travel to the studio, then get into bed?
      When they finished for the day did she get out of the studio bed, travel home, and return to her own bed?
      Did she stay in the bed 24/7 and was it moved to & from the studio with her in it?
      How did that work, exactly?


      • Us Says:

        Inferred by what we glean from contemporaneous accounts, which aren’t all that explicit: the constant was her sticking to John’s side, coming to and leaving the studio when he did. The fact that she was on “bed rest” didn’t reduce her to the level of a quadriplegic (since she clearly had the mobility to make a beeline over to George’s digestive biscuits, and – presumably – bathroom breaks; John’s and her’s).

        Her actual injuries in the accident involved her head, where she received stitches. The “bed rest” was ordered after she complained of a sore neck and back. (Plus, she was pregnant.) There was no specific injury to them beyond what might be expected from being in a car that rolled. Really, what the whole episode speaks to is the couple’s flair for the dramatic. Since they were coming late to the July sessions, some way of making an entrance was evidently called for.


    8. BeatleDave Says:

      Yoko wants a mic
      Yoko wants a biscuit
      Yoko wants a bed
      Yoko wants a Beatle…

      Could someone set that to music ?
      Could be like “God” from POB with a bit of work.


    9. Colin Ricketts Says:

      “John and Paul got married in March.”

      A brief double-take on that sentence!


    10. Cajun Queen Says:

      Super episode continues the high quality of this pod.

      lol, you are right, they really did film the wrong sessions. 🙂


    11. Bill Slocum Says:

      Love these Goon shows!

      How about a couple of suggestions: 1. Fabs in Asia – a review of the band’s tours in Hong Kong (1964, with Jimmy Nicol), Japan (1966, the Budokan being the site of one of their best recorded if underperformed shows), and of course their blissful time in the Philippines.

      Outside the tours, there’s also Yoko, actually like Linda E. a longtime New Yorker but obviously born and raised in Japan. The band’s huge and enduring popularity in Asia has been an under-reported constant of their legacy for us in the West; us older fans remember Japan saw the first release of Abbey Road on compact disc. Also, Wings was supposed to tour Japan in 1980, but something happened; maybe Richard can fill us in.

      2. Beatles Vs. The Beach Boys – Obviously a lot of cross-pollination went on there, with the Beatles’ output spurring the Beach Boys onward, and vice versa. It would be great to figure out who helped who most and how.

      I knew Paul was a big fan, but was surprised to find this quote by John Lennon in Wikipedia regarding one of the Beach Boys’ rare flop singles, “The Little Girl I Once Knew”: “This is the greatest! Turn it up, turn it right up. It’s GOT to be a hit. It’s the greatest record I’ve heard for weeks. It’s fantastic. I hope it will be a hit. It’s all Brian Wilson. He just uses the voices as instruments. He never tours or anything. He just sits at home thinking up fantastic arrangements out of his head. Doesn’t even read music. You keep waiting for the fabulous breaks. Great arrangement. It goes on and on with all different things. I hope it’s a hit so I can hear it all the time.”


    12. Rob W Says:

      Absolutely fascinating stuff! Love your site and I am a “first generation” Beatle fan going back to 1963 who’s dad was from Liverpool. Love you blog!


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