Rock music, Rock and roll
| 28 March 1974, Burbank Studios, Los Angeles|
John Lennon, Paul McCartney
John Lennon albums, Rock music albums
A Toot and a Snore in '74 is a bootleg album of the only known recording session in which John Lennon and Paul McCartney played together after the break-up of the Beatles. First mentioned by Lennon in a 1975 interview, more details were brought to light in May Pang's 1983 book, Loving John, and it gained wider prominence when McCartney made reference to the session in a 1997 interview. Discussing with Australian writer Sean Sennett in his Soho office, McCartney claimed the "session was hazy... for a number of reasons".
Lennon was producing Harry Nilsson's latest album, Pussy Cats, when Paul and Linda McCartney dropped in after the first night of the sessions, aka "the Jim Keltner Fan Club Hour", at Burbank Studios on 28 March 1974. They were joined by Stevie Wonder, Harry Nilsson, Jesse Ed Davis, May Pang, Bobby Keys and producer Ed Freeman for an impromptu jam session.
Lennon was in his "lost weekend", separated from Yoko Ono and living in Los Angeles with Pang. Although he and McCartney hadn't seen each other in three years and had lashed out at each other in the press, according to Pang they resumed their friendship as if nothing had happened. The jam session proved not very productive musically. Lennon sounds to be on cocaine and is heard offering Wonder a snort on the first track, and on the fifth, asks someone to give him a snort. This is also the origin of the album name, where John Lennon clearly asks: "You wanna snort, Steve? A toot? It's goin' round". In addition, Lennon seems to be having trouble with his microphone and headphones.
Lennon is on lead vocal and guitar, and McCartney sings harmony and plays Ringo Starr's drums. (Starr, who was recording with Nilsson at the time but not present at the session, complained at the next day's recording session that "[McCartney] always messes up my drums!") Stevie Wonder sings and plays electric piano, Linda McCartney is on organ, Pang plays tambourine, Nilsson provides vocals, Davis is on guitar, Freeman (who was producing Don McLean in the neighboring studio) fills in on bass, and Keys plays saxophone. Keys had been questioned on a number of times about the session, but he couldn't recall any of it.
The events of this night are intriguing to Beatle fans as it is the only known instance of the former songwriting team playing together between their 1970 formal breakup and Lennon's murder in 1980. Aside from informal, special occasions such as weddings, collaborations of more than two ex-Beatles were rare after the band's bitter 1969–70 split, especially between Lennon and McCartney, whose conflict was the most pronounced and long-lasting.
- "A Toot and a Snore" 0:27
- "Bluesy Jam" 2:33
- "Studio Talk" 2:40
- The group plays a few bars of "Little Bitty Pretty One" by Thurston Harris, and John sings the first line but says he can't remember any more
- "Lucille" 5:59
- "Nightmares" 2:38
- Actually the band is playing "Sleep Walk", the 1959 Santo & Johnny instrumental hit. Per author Kristofer Engelhardt in "The Beatles Deeper Undercover" p.234 "The historic evening ended with a jam of "Lucille", "Sleepwalk" (sic), "Stand By Me", "Cupid", "Chain Gang", "Take This Hammer" " (c)2010
- "Stand By Me" – 2:18
- Mostly Lennon complaining about the sound in his headphones and reminiscing about how it was better half an hour ago.
- "Stand By Me" 3:41
- Lennon complains about the sound again, saying that it was better two hours ago.
- "Stand By Me" 6:04
- Because of Lennon's complaints, the studio has changed the microphone levels on the recording itself (rather than the performers' headphones), and most of the lead vocals can no longer be heard.
- Medley 3:10
The album's front cover is based on Revolver and the 1971 compilation album The Songs Lennon and McCartney Gave Away.
A Toot and a Snore0:26A Toot and a Snore in '74 Wikipedia
Bluesy Jam Session2:31