January 9, 1969, marked the last full day all four Beatles worked together at Twickenham during the Get Back sessions. Here are a few loose ends worth tying up before the pivot point of January 10.
“Junk” (Paul’s hand-written lyrics, from the White Album deluxe companion book)
Conceived in India in 1968 and born at Paul McCartney’s home in 1970, “Junk” and “Teddy Boy” were under a period of gestation in the studio in January 1969. These brothers in song, destined to be releasedtogether on Paul’s eponymous solo record, were likewise introduced to the Get Back sessions in tandem on January 9, 1969.
“Remember that one?” Paul asked the room after a spinning off a quick, shuffling verse of “Teddy Boy.” That song’s story will continue later, after the action shifts to Savile Row.
“And ‘Junk’?” Paul continued.
That song, while lyrically incomplete, was formed enough to be among the May 1968 Esher demos, but except for this momentary appearance, it wouldn’t surface again during the Get Back sessions and it never seemed to be a contender for Abbey Road, either.
It’s a stretch to even call this a performance.
After mentioning the song’s title, Paul rattled off a few words (“epsilon,” “elephant,” “parachute” were the most recognizable) in an exaggerated French accent — John Lennon chipped in, too — to the tune of the song before they quickly return to “Across the Universe.”
A key takeaway from this sequence is the nostalgia with which Paul asks “remember that one” to John, as if these were songs from their childhood, not merely less than a year old. Paul, especially, will refer to the trip to India as if it was another era. More on that as we get to those portions of the tapes.
We’re living in the wrong timeline.
John: “I’d like to do a number just on electric”
In another universe, John’s “Quit Your Messing Around” is hailed as essential proto-punk, a harsh, noisy sound brought into the mainstream. In ours, however, the song is a sub-30 second blast of chords followed by John’s four-word request, obscured by so many other electric (and acoustic) numbers throughout the day’s songs on the tapes.
Surrounded by a film crew for a week already, the Beatles were still learning the extent of personal coverage a week into the sessions.
“This is the bugging device,” Michael Lindsay-Hogg said. “So we can surreptitiously bug your showbiz conversations.”
In this sequence, both Ringo Starr and George Harrison on separate occasions asked if “that” was the tape.
Ringo was consistent, at least. He resisted traveling abroad for a concert, and he lobbied against needless travel for his role in The Magic Christian, too.
Film producer Denis O’Dell was working on selling Ringo on filming a scene in New York, mostly to get a single distinctive shot.
“We thought of doing one day in Wall Street,” Denis said, though conceding he was “two-minded about it.”
“If we’re just going to America for one scene … I mean, I’ll do it. I don’t think it’s worth it.. .. And who knows Wall Street? I don’t know Wall Street. Unless you put up a sign that says “Wall Street,” I’d have no idea what it looks like.”
The scene was never filmed. But four months later, Ringo joined the rest of the cast and crew on the QE2 as it sailed for New York to celebrate the end of filming.
As the day’s session came to a close, John and Yoko Ono apologized to Paul — and notably not the film’s director or producer — for consistently rolling into the studio well after the others. Paul’s reply was a study in passive-aggressive behavior.
Yoko: Are we getting later and later? Paul: … It’s getting to be a habit. John: OK, we’ll come in … Yoko: … around 10, Paul: I’m getting used to it! Don’t throw me now.
It was becoming clear by the end of January 9, 1969, that the Beatles would end up opting for ad-hoc over adventure.
A lengthy discussion the night before found all four Beatles showing varying levels of willingness to travel by boat to Africa for a one-off show, and some sort of decision seemed imminent. With the planning needed and a schedule to keep before the band lost Ringo Starr to an imminent acting assignment, it had to be.
But after the group slept on it, pinning down a consensus was just a dream. Any momentum to raise anchor dissipated among the members of the band, despite the continued best efforts of director Michael Lindsay-Hogg to ship the group to a Roman-era amphitheater in Libya.
“If we do it here, then we’ll do it in here,” director Michael Lindsay-Hogg told Paul McCartney’s girlfriend Linda Eastman on her January 9 morning visit to the soundstage. “But if we don’t, it’s on a boat to Tripoli,” said Paul.
“Ordinary people like themselves.” On the Mad Day Out on July 28, 1968, the Beatles mingled with the British crowd at St Pancras Old Church and Gardens. Less than six weeks later, they filmed the “Hey Jude” promo film. (From Meet The Beatles For Real)
“So if you do it, it would be in here?” Linda asked.
“There’s many a story,” Paul replied.
“What will you do with all the equipment?” Linda asked. “Get it on the boat,” replied director Michael Lindsay-Hogg. “That’s what Apple’s for, really, isn’t it?”
Discussions over the show circulated around these unresolved issues: Where would it be staged, what would be its format and who would be the audience. Thus the seventh day of the session was not much different than the first, and it wasn’t even a matter of agreeing to some aspects and then pursuing another. Every aspect of the show was in flux, and every suggestion was repeated.
Airports, apartment houses, cathedrals, the Houses of Parliament — these venues were considered before and mentioned yet again on the 9th, along with a transformed Twickenham. Transformed how? That wasn’t elaborated.
The boat, which was brainstormed at length the night before, was in play. But Ringo, while never issuing his veto, was clear in his distaste for a trip to Northern Africa, much as that was Michael’s preferred and planned choice. A continued sticking point was the his loyalty to a British — or American — audience. Ringo cited long-running talent show Opportunity Knocks as an example to follow in ultimately challenging that mundanity transcends spectacle, obscurity over celebrity — at least when it came to the spectators.
“Just because he had granny on the show, someone’s mother, and they only win because audiences like to watch ordinary people like themselves. That’s one of the things to do it here. Because English people — and Americans — and the two main people, at least they can associate with them and say, ‘I could have gone there.'”
MLH: The only thing is, I really do think it’s going to be for the world. Ringo: The biggest part of our world is America and [here]. MLH: But funnily enough, I think the way they think of you is not only for themselves but they do think of you as for everybody in the world. That was one of the things things that was good about Jude, the guy in the turban. ….
Unfortunately, the tape cuts off during this dialogue, but we can assume it’s much of the same conversation that we’ve heard before with similarly little resolution.
(For the record, Opportunity Knocks provided Apple Records with one of its greatest success stories: Mary Hopkin’s winning performance in May 1968 directly led to her signing with the Beatles’ label).
Still, Michael was planning as if he could sway Ringo eventually.
“I think we spend till the middle of next week here or til the end of the week, go out on the and the following weekend. That’s eight days,” Michael said.
Ringo: Too long. MLH: Go out on Sunday and finish it on Sunday. Ringo: How about Sunday and finish it on Wednesday? Who wants to stay in Tripoli? MLH: Denis (O’Dell, film producer), isn’t Tripoli a great country? Denis: It’s the asshole of the world there. (Laughter) MLH: You didn’t take my feed! Denis: Look, I have to work with him the next six months and therein after! (More laughter)
Denis next related a story of how Ringo “saved his life” in India, thanks to the drummer’s cache of Western food he left behind when he returned to England. “[I] went back to Ringo’s room and I was rummaging around … found some powdered milk and baked beans, and it was a feast. … The stuff that you and Maureen left, and that’s what I lived on secretly.”
Uncommitted as they were to a destination for a live show, the Beatles comfortably and casually addressed the composition of the gig itself.
Many times I’ve bean alone: Ringo’s diet in India. (From Beatle Photo Blog)
The band discussed staging issues (“It is a bit silly to be rehearsing sitting, facing this way, when we’re actually to be playing standing, facing that way”) and between-song banter (“First chance we’ve had to play for you dummies for a long time”) — see Jan. 9: Jokes in between for more on that.
“Is Michael around?” George asked at one point. “If we are in a groovy location place, and if there’s just people there and we’re just playing anyway, [can] we make the show about different bits and pieces of what we’ve done or [do] we have to do it in one consecutive piece?”
John: We do both, you see. We set one way when we say, ‘This is the show,” But we do, like, a dress rehearsal and another rehearsal. George: (Laughing incredulously) Dress rehearsal? John: Well, you know, we do it as is, we try and do it one through. We should do it about three times, and probably the middle one will have the most. And see if there’s anybody around that played piano or anything we just get him up, and let’s have a gig.
John told the future well, unaware at the time Billy Preston would be that piano player. John also didn’t realize that the man he was speaking to would walk away from the group the next day.
The TV show’s title and tagline could have written itself:
“The Beatles are … ADRIFT.”
Picture yourself in a boat: The Beatles aboard the Fritz Otto Maria Anna, in the River Thames, on April 9, 1969.
It’s a simplistically obvious metaphor, and a literal description of what the group was seriously considering in the waning moments of their January, 8, 1969, session at Twickenham. If the TV show in production was to be episodic, this sequence would have provided a true cliffhanger.
Ringo Starr, codename “Russia,” wasn’t unwilling to drop his automatic veto, and it was John Lennon spearheading the effort withing the group, resurfacing as the group’s leader after so many years, who worked the sell on the drummer, along with Paul McCartney.
“Just give me one reason to stay here,” John asked.
“For the people,” Ringo answered with complete sincerity.
“All right, we’ll take ‘em with us,” John replied.
Paul McCartney clarified the pitch for a Winter 1969 rock cruise.
Look, we were going to give tickets away at this door here and say the first thousand people who come from Britian — British, white people (said to laughter as Paul was clearly joking; don’t write his reps). No, it’s going to be the first thousand that got here. We give them out, those tickets, but they include a boat ride, as well.
“We take them with us, and that’s the show,” Michael Lindsay-Hogg said.
France — aka George Harrison — took a more skeptical view of the potential naval movements than Russia and voiced several specific concerns with the plan:
Traveling with fans: “We’re stuck with a bloody big boatload of people for two weeks. At least you can go home from here, you can get away from it all. … It’d have be a bloody big boat, it’ll have to be bigger than the Royal Iris.”
Technical logistics: ” It’s just impracticable to lug all those people there and get all that equipment. … Of course it’s our problem.”
Cost: “I think the idea of a boat is completely insane. It’s very expensive and insane.”
While at apparent odds, all the Beatles were deeply engaged in the discussion, and Michael took a straw poll for this proposal. “If we can get the audience and the boat, who votes to go?”
One hand — undoubtedly John’s — shot up immediately. George, despite his vocal objections, would still grudgingly go along with a trip if everyone else was joining. “I just want to get it over with, you know?”
John piloting the ship (in 1975)
It was all coming together for Michael. The boat trip compromise to include a British audience was a bonus for him, an easy way to compile captivating footage for his documentary, another unusual setting — the Beatles not just mingling with fans, but doing it as they sail along the coasts of Western Europe and Northern Africa. It all would culminate with his deep wish to bring the group to the Sabratha amphitheater: the world’s greatest band making its stage comeback at a spectacular, unique venue.
“See, it’s like having the most fantastic set on earth, but we haven’t made a set, you know? It’s still simplicity itself,” John said.
Ringo still wasn’t sure.
Ringo: But how many’s going to be looking at the set besides us and [Michael]? … [Viewers] want to see what’s on, not what’s around.
John: We’re bound to get something from it.
Ringo: A nice time, get a bit of sun.
Michael: After you’ve had your nine or ten closeups each, we’ve got to have something else to shoot about.
John: It’ll be like being on the roof in India, only we’ll be fully equipped.
The roofs in India were where, not coincidentally, John was at his most prolific in this latter phase of Beatles history.
Even though, as Michael said, “the vibes are very good at the moment,” there was enough obvious dissent in the room to lead John to say that the group will mull it over that night. “We all could say yes now, and somebody could decide no tomorrow.”
Paul and Heather at sea, 1969. (Photo by Linda McCartney)
As they wrapped up, a final, spirited discussion — as animated as the room has been with no fewer than six people all talking at once (the four Beatles, plus Michael and Apple Films head Denis O’Dell) — emerged over the cost of the boat trip, Ringo and George most concerned.
“We should be able to get the boat for nothing,” John said. “We should be able to get the boat for the publicity they get from it.” Denis replied to Ringo’s skepticism that he could get a ship “in three hours on the phone.”
John confirmed Denis’ skills, relaying how the producer was able to secure a vessel for How I Won the War. “It was the American Navy making an antiwar film.”
Really, it was all falling into place.
January 8, 1969, was the band’s sixth day back to work at Twickenham, and while most of theirnewsongs were still a work-in-progress, the was actual progress. One day earlier, George was on the brink of leaving the group. Now, while he was bothered to do so, he was still seemingly willing to get on a boat with the group — and 1,000 fans he wanted little to do with — to go to Africa for a concert he didn’t really want to play. Ringo was dead-set against going, and now he was willing to bend. Paul was always ready “for an adventure” and as the group’s de facto musical director, he was shaping the material to have ready for the production. As for John, he wasn’t just finally involved — during the final conversation, you heard him speak on the tapes, not Yoko Ono — but he was the group’s leader again.
Days of discussion of where and how to stage the concert had been a distraction from the music-making process, which needed to continue. They were almost ready for a decision.
“Sleep on it then,” said Paul. “I am.”
One question remained as the working day ended: Would the great democracy that was the Beatles agree to this plan for a live show and have a goal they could rehearse toward, or would January 9, 1969, be just another day?
In a time of global crisis — isn’t it always, though? — it was the world’s greatest legislative body. OK, maybe the Beatles were the world’s greatest band that also tried to behave like a legislative body, and late in the day on January 8, 1969, it was nearing time for a decisive vote on a lingering issue: Where would the Beatles play their next — and presumably last — concert?
You know his name (look up the nation)
From the band’s outset to its imminent end, the Beatles prided themselves on what they called democracy, but it was really complete consensus. “We had a democratic thing going between us, particularly by 1962,” George Harrison told the high court in 1997 amid a lawsuit to stop the release of a Beatles recording from one of their residencies in Hamburg. “Everybody in the band had to agree with everything that was done.”
Unanimity isn’t necessary to the democratic model, but this model United Nations was extraordinary by nature of its four voting members: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The two serious veto threats earned code names from director Michael Lindsay-Hogg — Russia (Ringo) and France (George, so named “because he smoked some garlic once,” per Paul).
Continuing his earlier conversation with Ringo, and desperate to sell a show overseas, Michael laid out the situation as he saw it in hopes of chipping through the Iron Curtain.
The way it stacks up is, John is happy to go. … Paul is, I gather, in the middle, tending toward either side … and George is swinging more your way. So there’s quite a tough battle. The problem was we couldn’t talk about it because of Russia. And it’s the four powers. And if Russia says no, then the conversation is obviously in the bag and we can’t do anything with it. And I think if we now can talk about it, we may still discard it … or we may come up with something better.
In retrospect, the drama of the group’s incapability of finding agreement on a concert location, despite the suggestion of several intriguing venues, would have made for a captivating documentary for Michael. It would have given a narrative the Let It Be film lacked. But after less than a week of sessions, the director saw things differently.
“My documentary is running out of gas,” Michael admitted to John. “If we were to vote tomorrow, it’s not running out of gas.”
Fine-tuning the group’s intentions would do more than make for better television. “It might make it better again, whatever the wound is,” Michael told John moments earlier.
What octane do documentaries use? (Photo of the Beatles at Weston-super-Mare by Dezo Hoffman, 1963)
“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking,” John replied.
And here you thought John didn’t care about the band anymore. The Beatles were a wounded group before the Get Back sessions started, and salt would soon be added when George quit in two days’ time. But the Beatles were still worth saving in January 1969, even if John himself would call it quits well before the calendar year was out.
The day’s musical session was complete, Paul having walked the group through “The Long and Winding Road” and “Let It Be.” For these final 15 or so minutes on the tapes, all four Beatles are engaged, animated and opinionated concurrently to a degree yet unheard to this point on the Nagra reels.
All the principals immersed, Denis O’Dell makes the sell on Michael’s repeated preferred overseas adventure.
“I really think we could go and shoot a day sequence, a night sequence, a torch-light sequence, out there the sea, desert, in four days. Make it comfortable for everybody.”
Paul’s skepticism remained. But he was willing to keep options open and the live concert plans … uh, afloat.
My major objections to that: Traveling, one. Setting up and everything — I’m sure we can do that. Then, there’s that thing, which may not seem much, but we’re doing a live show, and we’re doing it in Arabia (laughter), and everyone’s waiting to see the lads rocking again. So, like, I’ll tell you what then, I’ll come in with it as long as you can get a couple of boats, the QE2. And then give away the tickets here, as you would have done, but the ticket includes a boat journey as well.
The composition of the audience was a sticking point, especially for Ringo, and there’s something virtuous to be said for the lads’ loyalty and desire to be rocking again before an audience that was with them from the start.
“We’ve got to get the right audience for Russia,” Michael said. “If we can get the right audience over there, which we can get over there.”
George wasn’t easily swayed. “What is the point of doing it abroad… apart from getting a great holiday? I’d much rather do it and then go away.”
Reminding the band of Twickenham’s relatively pedestrian features, Denis replied, presumably waving his hand at the scene around him, “To get away from that, that’s really the answer.”
“It’s ‘Around the Beatles ‘69′,” John acknowledged after a brief exchange about potential set possibilities on the Twickenham stage.
Paul, having had enough at the end of a long day, aggressively presented a compromise.
“I’ll tell you what I’ll offer you. If we’re going away, and we hire a boat to take the audience with you, we’ll do a bloody show on the boat, and then we’ll do a show when we get there, in the moonlight. … Final dress rehearsals on the boat.”
History never stopped chasing the Beatles, and sometimes it caught up to them. They didn’t want to repeat a past accomplishment, whether it was “Around The Beatles” or a stadium show. But Paul’s suggestion would have done just that: Bringing along a select audience to a performance at sea would combine a pair of episodes from the other side of their career.
Feb. 20, 1962, just a month after Brian Epstein formally signed on to manage them, the Beatles — that’s still John, Paul, George and Pete, at this point — performed an important show at Floral Hall in Southport. From Mark Lewisohn’s biblical epic Tune-In:
[Epstein’s] principal involvement in the Floral Hall night was two-fold: to help sell the 1200 tickets and to book the talent that would provide continuous dancing for four hours — five groups headed by POLYDOR RECORDING STARS, THE BEATLES. He circulated typed leaflets among Beatles fans and on the record counters at all three Nems shops, announcing affordable coach trips: fans could pay 8s, 6d for return transportation, admission to the hall and, afterwards, the chance to mingle with the musicians and get their autographs. These special all-in tickets were sold only in the Whitechapel shop, outside which the chartered buses would leave. The Beatles were taking a Liverpool audience with them for a night out up the coast.
Instead of towing British passengers across the Atlantic and Mediterranean, the Beatles brought their fans from their Cavern Club base in Liverpool about 20 miles up the A565.
That was by bus. Six months before the Floral Hall show, the Beatles made the first of four appearances on the Riverboat Shuffle, a concert series on the MV Royal Iris, a ferry cruising in the River Mersey.
For Paul — who would record parts of Wings’ London Town on a boat in the Virgin Islands in May 1977 — the Royal Iris performances made enough of a lasting impact that he referenced them decades later on his 2007 LP Memory Almost Full:
“I don’t think anything is going to beat a perfect acoustic place, by the water, out of doors, a perfect theater, with perfect acoustics,” he said.
John was on board. “Just singing a number, sunset and the dawn and all that. Gentle, and the moon, and all that for the songs, you know.”
“I think we’re going to do rock and roll at dawn or at night, and we can have the change of day over something like this,” Michael replied. “Because I’m sure we can do the rock and roll there if we get the right audience.”
All-important consensus was building between the two most powerful members of the band, and it was more than wanderlust and closer to finding a way to heal that wound — do something different, but still be together as The Beatles.
“Last year, when we were doing the album, like you said, we suddenly said we don’t need to do it here, in EMI in London,” Paul said. You can listen along to this particular sequence on the “Fly on the Wall” bonus CD packed with Let It Be … Naked.
John excitedly picked up the argument.
“Every time we’ve done an album, we’ve said, ‘Why are we stuck in EMI, we could be doing it in L.A.! We could be in France! And every time we do it, and here we are again, building another bloody castle around us, and this time we [should] do it there. And not only would we be doing it, physically making the album there, but it takes [off] all that weight of, ‘Where’s the gimmick, what is it?’ God’s the gimmick. And the only problem we’ve got now is an audience, you know.”
For a moment, at least, Paul’s skepticism vanished.
Beyond music, the daily pattern underlying the scene centered around discussion of the live concert the Beatles were trying to put together. At once a footnote to the songs, the show was simultaneously the purpose of these January sessions and thus ostensibly what mattered most. The push and pull between director Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s wanderlust and the group’s default stance — to stay put — was a constant. And the more they couldn’t settle on a British venue, the closer they collectively moved toward simply staying in the very room where they were rehearsing and ruminating.
January 8, 1969, then, was no different than so many other days the Beatles spent at Twickenham the first half of the month. Discussion about the concert surfaced late in the work day, concurrent with Paul introducing the unfinished “The Long and Winding Road” and “Let It Be” to the rest of the band for the first time, and with their initial attempts at a full-band arrangement.
Yet now, to stage the “honest” sound they sought to achieve these sessions, the Beatles began to consider an ersatz solution. Rock and roll begets rocks, or something imitating it, at least.
Denis O’Dell (left) with Ringo at The Magic Christian shoot. Photo from O’Dell’s book, At The Apple’s Core.
“If we try to cover all this (Twickenham’s sound stage) and build caverns and caves, it’s nice, you see,” said Denis O’Dell, the head of Apple Films.
Why perform at the Cavern in Liverpool for the nearly 300th time, when you can simply craft your own cavern indoors? (Please don’t answer that.)
Denis had been in the film industry since before the Beatles were born, and his association with the group began in 1964, when he was associate producer on the A Hard Days Night film. It was the start of a mutually beneficial partnership to this point, which included How I Won the War (associate producer and John starred), Magical Mystery Tour (producer) and led to his appointment as an Apple executive.
Denis had appeared sporadically on the tapes to this point, and here it dovetailed with one of the first times John seemed even marginally interested in what was going on with the live show.
“Then we could do what we’d like with a backing,” Denis told John. “Go black, or stark or something. Then we could control all our lights from a panel, and we could have all colors you’d like.”
“Yes. And they’ll be able to see us through everything.”
John invoked sets used by Stanley Kubrick, Denis’ boss on Dr. Strangelove (that film was the source of the footage used during the “Flying” sequence in Magical Mystery Tour), and the man floated to direct a version of Lord of the Rings starring the Beatles. An extensive recap of that aborted episode in Beatles history is discussed at length in Denis’ 2003 fine autobiography of his Beatles years, At The Apple’s Core.
The conversation would continue, with Denis asking someone to fetch George Djurkovic, art director of The Magic Christian, from the film’s set elsewhere at Twickenham to provide added insight. But while Paul continues to play “The Long and Winding Road” in the background the conversation on the tapes meandered to a new duo: Ringo — one of the stars of The Magic Christian — and Michael. While Denis and John spoke as if the live show was to be held at the studio, Michael continued negotiations on taking the show on the road with Ringo. They were the leaders of the rival factions: Stay-put Starr vs. the whole Hogg.
“If I do go, I think it’s better just to go for four or five days,” Ringo said, showing newfound flexibility. “We don’t need to go to rehearse.”
Ringo was willing to bend and travel, but there’s a catch: “I’d like to do it to a British audience.”
It’s a catch, but one Michael is willing to receive. “Can we all talk about it? Will you take the veto off if you can be convinced we can get an audience?” Michael asked.
A Roman amphitheater wasn’t artificial, but to Ringo, the whole reason to perform overseas was contrived. The only reason to travel was the “helicopter shot, you’ll see the sea, the theater. And that is, for one, two minutes, say, that shot isn’t worth me going down there when I really prefer to do it here.”
Two and a half months after Ringo suggested the Beatles perform before there for a “British audience,” John and Yoko would be married in Gibraltar (near Spain).
“I see us doing a good show here [at Twickenham], because it’s you [the Beatles],” Michael said, again conceding this could be the last TV program the band will ever do.
Speaking quickly, Michael continued: “Everything you do has got to be good. All your albums are good. …. It’s not only you as the band, it’s not only them as songwriters, it’s the four of you.
“It’s got to be the best.”
Of course they’re the best. Like Ringo doesn’t know that?
“Every time we do anything it’s going to be the best,” Ringo replied. “Can’t we just do something straight?”
And back to Twickenham, and staying precisely put.
“At the moment, that scaffolding set and the tubular thing, it is kind of like four years ago,” Michael said. “And there’s nothing wrong with four years ago. … We’re all 28 now, or whatever we are. The audience isn’t the same, life isn’t the same.”
For the record, John, Ringo and Michael were all 28, Paul was 26 and George a wee 25. But his point remained legitimate. This wasn’t 1965 anymore.
“This place, it could be rock and roll, ” Michael began.
“It could be rock and roll in Tahiti or wherever you want to put us. What’s it called? (laughing)”
Michael’s not even sure himself. “It’s either Tunisia or Tripoli.”
Ringo asks about a British possession likewise on the Mediterranean — “What about Gibraltar?” — before turning his attention back to the room he was in and the music, ignored during the conversation.
How’s this for an idea of stripping a show down?
“See, Ringo said, “I’d watch an hour of just [Paul] playing the piano.”