John Lennon said making the "Let it be" album was Hell

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    John Lennon said making the "Let it be" album was Hell

    photo: Michael Putland/Hulton Archive

    Here's a link to watch the "Let it be" Naked  trailer:

    http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/stop-the-presses/john-lennon-says-let-sessions-were-hell-183651308.html

     

    In a newly discovered interview, John Lennon is heard saying recording The Beatles' "Let It Be" album was "hell."

    The interview was conducted by radio personality and Village Voice critic Howard Smith in Toronto in 1969 after The Beatles had completed the album that would eventually be released as "Let It Be." Smith spent an hour with Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono.

    In the tape-recorded interview that is being put up for auction later this month, Lennon is heard saying, "We were going through hell. We often do. It's torture every time we produce anything."

    "The Beatles haven't got any magic you haven't got," he continues. "We suffer like hell anytime we make anything, and we got each other to contend with. Imagine working with the Beatles, it's tough. There's just tension. It's tense every time the red light [in the recording studio] goes on."

    According to New Hampshire-based RR Auction, the hour-long interview is on two audio tape reels and was discovered in the back of Smith's New York loft, where it's been sitting for nearly 40 years. The recording will be part of the "Marvels of Modern Music" auction that runs from Sept. 19 through Sept. 26 online at RR Auction's website. The minimum bid for the Lennon tapes is $300, but RR Auction vice president Bobby Livingston expects it to sell for between $5,000 and $10,000.

     

    The unearthed Lennon quotes are similar to what George Harrison told me in an interview for"The Billboard Book of Number One Albums." "It wasn't very much fun," Harrison said. "Everyone was fed up and everyone wanted to leave the band. Although we salvaged it and we did some good tracks, it generally was done in a depression. It was done in a trough."

    Although "Let It Be" was released in May 1970 as The Beatles final studio album featuring new material, it was actually recorded in the first quarter of 1969, before the band began recording "Abbey Road."

    Initially the album was titled "Get Backand was engineered by Glyn Johns, who was also slated to produce the album. But the Beatles weren't happy with the "Get Back" album and yanked it from the release schedule.

    "About 18 months later, after the band had split up, John decided he was going to take the tapes and give them to Phil Spector and make an album for the tapes that I had recorded, which was basically all rehearsal tapes," Johns told me. "Phil Spector turned it into this sugary, syrupy pieces of sh-t with strings and choirs all over it."

    In 2003, "Let It Be...Naked," an alternate version of the album, which stripped away Phil Spector's lush production, was released.

      

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: John Lennon said making the

    I saw the Let It Be movie when I was 14 or 15 years old and it was so obvious that the mood of the boys was very bleak at the time.  Yoko Ono or not, they had had enough of each other and it was time to split up. 

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: John Lennon said making the


    Okay, I am going to make an assumption that has never been made before , at least to my knowledge.

    The Beatles were forced to stop touring early on in thier career because the screaming fans and near riots that were occurring in every city was just becoming too much to take. Adoring fans were just over-the-top and because of their overzealous behaviour the spoiled a good thing. Also , I remember where Lennon once sad that concert like Shea Stadium gig were frustrating for the group becuase they were artists and their art was not being heard...what with all the screaming and crowd noise. This much, I think, we all know.

    Part 2- Now, because of not being able to tour, the Beatles became a studio band. Being forced from a stage and into cramped quarters , the differences of opinion and style and approach became more magnified. McCartney, well known as a perfectionist , couldn't keep from being critical of George's guitar playing , and likely was critical of lots of other things and got under everybody's skin. Lennon, the orginal leader of the band from the Liverpool days, was high on LSD and heroin probably way too often....so not in great shape to make decisions, which is why McCartney took over and started playing boss. Harrison and Ringo , never really had any control , nor were their opinions ever considered.....they were 2nd class Beatles. Add the presence of Yoko in the studio ( probably offering opinions which were unwelcome...by Paul and likely George too) and you have a recipe for disaster.

    In the end, it was probably a good thing. I believe their was just too much songwriting talent present and that by going on to solo careers more music saw that light of day that would have never been recorded or released ( at least until the CD era , and all the "lost tapes of" and "unreleased demos of" collections. As music fans we benefit , because such great recordings like "All Things Must Pass", "Imagine" and "Band On The Run" , not to mention all those great Ringo singles like "Back Off Bugaloo" and " It Don't Come Easy" might never have been recorded , at least as we know them.

    I believe that had the Beatles continued to stay as a group through the 70's , the quantity and quality of the music would have been not as good. Harrison used top notch musicians on his LPs , Lennon was able to play live again and McCartney continued his assault on the Pop charts.

    Any disagreements with this?

    "Advertising is legalized lying."- H.G.Wells

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: John Lennon said making the

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    Any disagreements with this?

    "Advertising is legalized lying."- H.G.Wells



    Not me, I would say you nailed it.

     

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from SonicsMonksLyresVicars. Show SonicsMonksLyresVicars's posts

    Re: John Lennon said making the

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

     


    Okay, I am going to make an assumption that has never been made before , at least to my knowledge.

    The Beatles were forced to stop touring early on in thier career because the screaming fans and near riots that were occurring in every city was just becoming too much to take. Adoring fans were just over-the-top and because of their overzealous behaviour the spoiled a good thing. Also , I remember where Lennon once sad that concert like Shea Stadium gig were frustrating for the group becuase they were artists and their art was not being heard...what with all the screaming and crowd noise. This much, I think, we all know.

    Part 2- Now, because of not being able to tour, the Beatles became a studio band. Being forced from a stage and into cramped quarters , the differences of opinion and style and approach became more magnified. McCartney, well known as a perfectionist , couldn't keep from being critical of George's guitar playing , and likely was critical of lots of other things and got under everybody's skin. Lennon, the orginal leader of the band from the Liverpool days, was high on LSD and heroin probably way too often....so not in great shape to make decisions, which is why McCartney took over and started playing boss. Harrison and Ringo , never really had any control , nor were their opinions ever considered.....they were 2nd class Beatles. Add the presence of Yoko in the studio ( probably offering opinions which were unwelcome...by Paul and likely George too) and you have a recipe for disaster.

    In the end, it was probably a good thing. I believe their was just too much songwriting talent present and that by going on to solo careers more music saw that light of day that would have never been recorded or released ( at least until the CD era , and all the "lost tapes of" and "unreleased demos of" collections. As music fans we benefit , because such great recordings like "All Things Must Pass", "Imagine" and "Band On The Run" , not to mention all those great Ringo singles like "Back Off Bugaloo" and " It Don't Come Easy" might never have been recorded , at least as we know them.

    I believe that had the Beatles continued to stay as a group through the 70's , the quantity and quality of the music would have been not as good. Harrison used top notch musicians on his LPs , Lennon was able to play live again and McCartney continued his assault on the Pop charts.

    Any disagreements with this?

    "Advertising is legalized lying."- H.G.Wells

     



    Yes, Zilla, with respect, I disagree with your premise re internal pressure.  Forget the years of playing 3 sets/night in front of hookers and johns on the Reeperbahn pre-63 (it's still a rip-effing-roaring good time there if you're in Hamburg, btw), from '63-'66 they toured relentlessly until they chose to pack it in.  I'm not a musician, but I struggle to see how it's more stressful to live in mansions in London and get together now and again to record music in a studio than to spend your life on the road in relatively primitive 1960s tour buses still pressured to write/record music on demand.  

     

    I don't buy it.

     

     

     

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: John Lennon said making the

    In response to SonicsMonksLyresVicars' comment:

    Yes, Zilla, with respect, I disagree with your premise re internal pressure.  Forget the years of playing 3 sets/night in front of hookers and johns on the Reeperbahn pre-63 (it's still a rip-effing-roaring good time there if you're in Hamburg, btw), from '63-'66 they toured relentlessly until they chose to pack it in.  I'm not a musician, but I struggle to see how it's more stressful to live in mansions in London and get together now and again to record music in a studio than to spend your life on the road in relatively primitive 1960s tour buses still pressured to write/record music on demand.  

    I don't buy it. 



    Ego clashes, and simply being sick and tired of each other after spending 7-8 years in close proximity. 

    I think it's easy to understand because it has happened to tons of other bands as well.

    What Zilla is suggesting is that the claustrophobia became even worse after the hubbub of touring was over.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: John Lennon said making the

    In response to SonicsMonksLyresVicars' comment:



    Yes, Zilla, with respect, I disagree with your premise re internal pressure.  Forget the years of playing 3 sets/night in front of hookers and johns on the Reeperbahn pre-63 (it's still a rip-effing-roaring good time there if you're in Hamburg, btw), from '63-'66 they toured relentlessly until they chose to pack it in.  I'm not a musician, but I struggle to see how it's more stressful to live in mansions in London and get together now and again to record music in a studio than to spend your life on the road in relatively primitive 1960s tour buses still pressured to write/record music on demand.  

     

    I don't buy it.

     

     

     



    I think they were closer as a band in the early days of touring becasue it was them against the world. It was like being at war together, a bonding experience in which they relied on each other and were trying to prove themselves. When they stopped touring and started clocking in at the studio it is much like going to work in an office and being exposed to all the little things that annoy you about your co-workers. It isn't so much about stress but about difference between working for a common cause versus having to work together because it is your job. That's my take on it.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: John Lennon said making the

    Has the boat already sailed on a "Kanye interrupts" parody moment of the topic of the beatles' break-up...?

    The look on my cat's face says, "Yup," so I won't go there....

     

    However, it's worth noting that - after the initial breakup - ALL of the beatles eventually recanted some or most of their feelings in later years...some more than others....

     

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: John Lennon said making the

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    In response to SonicsMonksLyresVicars' comment:

     

    Yes, Zilla, with respect, I disagree with your premise re internal pressure.  Forget the years of playing 3 sets/night in front of hookers and johns on the Reeperbahn pre-63 (it's still a rip-effing-roaring good time there if you're in Hamburg, btw), from '63-'66 they toured relentlessly until they chose to pack it in.  I'm not a musician, but I struggle to see how it's more stressful to live in mansions in London and get together now and again to record music in a studio than to spend your life on the road in relatively primitive 1960s tour buses still pressured to write/record music on demand.  

    I don't buy it. 

     



    Ego clashes, and simply being sick and tired of each other after spending 7-8 years in close proximity. 

     

    I think it's easy to understand because it has happened to tons of other bands as well.

    What Zilla is suggesting is that the claustrophobia became even worse after the hubbub of touring was over.



    Thanks HF, I ( of course) probably confused everyone with the longwinded version of what you said so well in one sentence.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: John Lennon said making the

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:


    Okay, I am going to make an assumption that has never been made before , at least to my knowledge.

    The Beatles were forced to stop touring early on in thier career because the screaming fans and near riots that were occurring in every city was just becoming too much to take. Adoring fans were just over-the-top and because of their overzealous behaviour the spoiled a good thing. Also , I remember where Lennon once sad that concert like Shea Stadium gig were frustrating for the group becuase they were artists and their art was not being heard...what with all the screaming and crowd noise. This much, I think, we all know.

    Part 2- Now, because of not being able to tour, the Beatles became a studio band. Being forced from a stage and into cramped quarters , the differences of opinion and style and approach became more magnified. McCartney, well known as a perfectionist , couldn't keep from being critical of George's guitar playing , and likely was critical of lots of other things and got under everybody's skin. Lennon, the orginal leader of the band from the Liverpool days, was high on LSD and heroin probably way too often....so not in great shape to make decisions, which is why McCartney took over and started playing boss. Harrison and Ringo , never really had any control , nor were their opinions ever considered.....they were 2nd class Beatles. Add the presence of Yoko in the studio ( probably offering opinions which were unwelcome...by Paul and likely George too) and you have a recipe for disaster.

    In the end, it was probably a good thing. I believe their was just too much songwriting talent present and that by going on to solo careers more music saw that light of day that would have never been recorded or released ( at least until the CD era , and all the "lost tapes of" and "unreleased demos of" collections. As music fans we benefit , because such great recordings like "All Things Must Pass", "Imagine" and "Band On The Run" , not to mention all those great Ringo singles like "Back Off Bugaloo" and " It Don't Come Easy" might never have been recorded , at least as we know them.

    I believe that had the Beatles continued to stay as a group through the 70's , the quantity and quality of the music would have been not as good. Harrison used top notch musicians on his LPs , Lennon was able to play live again and McCartney continued his assault on the Pop charts.

    Any disagreements with this?

    "Advertising is legalized lying."- H.G.Wells



    Z, I agree with all of it except the last part.

    Had they stayed together in the 1970s, maybe the quantity wouldn't have been the same, but the quality would have been there. For all the good stuff they each produced, there was still a lot of mediocre. So I always felt that had they stayed together and you put their best solo stuff togehter in a few Beatles' albums, that there might have been some great albums that surpassed their individual solo albums.

    Of course, you don't know what would have ended up on these albums. The big beneficiary of breaking up was George Harrison who had a backlong of songs. In the best-cast scenario, they would have taken a break, produced some solo albums, then gotten back together like other groups have done.


    One thing to add about the breakup that can't be overlooked was how the business side of things, especially after Epstien's death, took its toll on them too and magnified their differences. It wasn't until the mid-'80s (I believe) that they were finally able to settle the business sides of their disputes. If Epstein hadn't died and handled the business stuff better, maybe they would have handled the personal and creative stuff better. The business stuff, I believe, pushed everything over the edge.

    I always wondered if they would have regrouped -- at least for a special occasion (Live Aid?) -- had Lennon not died. From what I've read, Lennon and McCartney were friendly again by the late '70s so who knows. They certainly needed a break.

     

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: John Lennon said making the


    Zilla, I think you're  right on, too. One thing I'll add: George especially was ticked off because he had written some damn good tracks that weren't being considered for albums. The awesome "Isn't It a Pity," for example.

    As an aside, the stripped-down version of "Let It Be" in my opinion is SO much better,  especially "Across the Universe" and "The Long and Winding Road." Even if he hadn't killed that woman, Phil  Spector would deserve to be in jail for what he did to "Let It Be."

     

     

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