Tag Archives: Pete Best

Jan. 13: The Lunchroom Tape (Pt. 2)

The lunchroom discussion on January 13, 1969, winds and turns, overlaps and often overwhelms. It’s sincerely impossible to give a linear rundown of this 30-minute discussion, as it isn’t a linear discussion. So here’s another disclaimer: You may have already read some of the bits below in previous posts, and if you haven’t, you may eventually read some of it again. This isn’t a straight recap — instead I’m trying to follow themes as they developed at different points in the conversation.

Also, please read Part 1 first, if you haven’t already. It’s there I lay out the background of the lunchroom conversation and the key differences between the Nagra tapes and the Get Back docuseries’ portrayal of events. It’s not insignificant.

***

John, Paul, George and Ringo.

From 1962 to this very moment, it’s how we break down the Beatles. It’s the quintessential ordinal.

Open up your eyes now, tell me what you see: From the closing credits to A Hard Day’s Night

At once, it’s a simple accounting of tenure in the Beatles dating back to the Quarrymen days, but also a power ranking, a long-term hierarchy openly affirmed during the January 13, 1969, lunchroom tape. Yet at its most elemental, it’s a listing of four ostensibly separate co-workers assigned to the same group project. They’re still individuals with their own names and agendas.

After all, “we have egos,” to quote John Lennon in the opening moments of this recorded conversation.

The full half-hour of audio from the lunchroom reveals periodic contention between John and Paul McCartney, but it’s based in candor not animosity. You can hear it in their spoken tones.

Still, John is constantly raising the subject of ego and individual and collective self to Paul. At this point early in the tapes, it’s in the specific context of wanting the departed George Harrison to return to the band. From around two minutes into the recording, following John’s “ego” declaration and in a sequence omitted from the Get Back docuseries:

Do I want him back, Paul? … [D]o I want it back, whatever it is? The myth? Then if it is, you know, I’ve had to smother my ego for you, and I’ve had to smother me jealousy for you to carry on, for whatever reasons there is.

It’s a strong statement, but Paul likely knew as much all along — he didn’t reply. John said he couldn’t be his real self, or who he wanted to be, to partake in the Beatles “myth.” He didn’t bury Paul; he’s saying he buried himself for the sake of Paul. John’s jealousy could be rooted in a lot of things — later in the lunchroom we hear John and Paul seriously discussing John’s feelings of submission at Paul’s musical direction. We’ll get to that another time.

John continued to unload in a sequence that’s complicated to follow, speaking at times to Yoko Ono and at others directly to Paul. He may even be speaking just to get his thoughts gathered out loud. Part of John’s argument is that Paul only “this year” came to recognize his own shortcomings and took responsibility not just for Paul’s treatment of George but his relationship with John, too. But he also gets into Paul’s interpersonal approach, too.

There’s plenty to unravel. John’s liberal use of pronouns instead of given names and constant shifting from first to third person is dizzying. I want to get this right, but I’m not sure this can be gotten right entirely. (I covered some of this territory earlier, in the recap of the band meeting the day before.)

John: It’s only this year that you’ve suddenly realized, like, who I am, or who he is or anything like that. But the thing is … you realize that like you were saying like George was some other part. But up till then, you had your thing that carried you forward. … I know, I’d deduced it before you … that would make me hipper than you, but I know that I’d deduced it to you before that for selfish reasons and for good reasons, not knowing what I was to do, and for all these reasons I’d adjusted to all these, and allowed you to, if you wanted to let me be that guy, whatever it is.

But this year, you’ve seen what you’ve been doing and what everybody’s been doing, and not only felt guilty about it, the way we all feel guilty about our relationship to each other, is we could do more.

I’m not putting any blame on you for only suddenly realizing it, see. Because this was my game, you know. It might have been masochistic, but me goal was still the same — self-preservation, you know. And I knew what I liked. I know where, even though I didn’t know where I was at, you know, the table’s there, and just let him do what he wants, and George too, you know? …

But this year, see, it’s all happening to you. And you’re taking the blame suddenly as if he’ll say, “Oh yeah, you know I’m a mean guy” as if I’ve never known it. And then I thought, “Fucking hell, I know what he’s like. I know he used to kick people. I know how he connived with Len, Ivan, and I now know, you know? Fuck him.” And then, “Oh, but right, I’ve done such things.” All that.

So you’ve taken the five years … of trouble, this year. So half of me says, “All right, you know I’d do anything so save you, to help you.” And the other half of me goes, “Well, serves him fucking right. I chewed through fucking shit because of him for five years and he’d only just realized what he was doing to me.”

This is a lot, spoken rapidly and emotionally in a little under three minutes. Some takeaways, from John’s perspective, via my own perspective and listening of the discussion:

• Without visuals to help clarify who John is talking to or any body language we can decode, no amount of AI and crisp audio will get us to  understand this sequence satisfactorily, much as we’d like to. It’s in the ear of the beholder whether John was talking about George’s relationship with John and Paul or John is talking about his own dealings with Paul. Or maybe John was projecting! With every repeated listen, I try to convince myself John is complaining about Paul, but if he is, Paul’s reaction (none) is so stark and tame, it forces me to reconsider that it must instead be about George’s relationship with the others after all.

Not guilty? On the contrary! Not only John, but all the Beatles feel guilty about their treatment of each other, and he believes they can improve. This certainly makes sense. George’s departure from the group, the second by a Beatle in 4 1/2 months over real or perceived treatment from the others, could represent a tipping point to John.

• It’s not just guilt, though. Saying it “might have been masochistic,” John admitted to probably finding pleasure in the treatment of George — and in Paul bearing the recent brunt of the conflict with George.

• John’s explicit goal is” self-preservation,” without any elaboration.

• While he said he didn’t want to put any blame on Paul, that’s exactly what he did throughout.

I’m open to the description of George as “some other part” having  a further meaning beyond him simply existing as a separate entity outside the Lennon-McCartney songwriting and social circle. George is literally another part of the Beatles, and wasn’t previously treated as earning that full share.

Connivin’ with Ivan: Paul and Ivan Vaughan at Cavendish in 1968 — the year Paul suddenly realized it.

And then there are the remarks about “this year,” when Paul finally started figuring things out. Not yet a fortnight into 1969, “this year” certainly must refer to part, if not all, of 1968. That’s the year of India, the launch of Apple and the recording of the White Album. And personally for Paul, the end of his relationship with Jane Asher and the start of his life with Linda Eastman. In other words, a transitional, emotional year for Paul.

This was, in large part, a few moments of John speaking openly and directly about Paul (which viewers of Get Back were led to believe were the discussion’s only two participants).

That was enough for Yoko to interrupt at one point and plead for John to shift the conversation, without a spoken explanation. Was she uncomfortable by the discussion? Did she just want John to focus? (Why not both?)

“Go back to … talking about George.”

Moments later, she interrupted again to ask, “What about George?”

I’ve written about this next sequence over several other posts. But it’s worth a revisit and recontextualization. (When I eventually ask you all to buy They May Be Parted: The Two-Ton Tome, this will be a more orderly read.)

Paul was an optimist. He didn’t view George’s absence as a problem quite yet. (This moment comes about 5 1/2 minutes into the full recorded conversation, but it in the closing seconds of the Get Back cut).

Paul: See, I’m just assuming he’s coming back, you know? I’ll tell you, I’m just assuming he’s coming back.

John: What if he isn’t?

Paul: If he isn’t, then it’s a new problem.

It’s at this point — when he suggests that “as a policy” they should retain George in the band — ostensible Beatle boss John pitched a corporate reorg that would essentially result in the Plastic Beatles Band (or is it the Plastic Ono Beatles?).

“The Beatles, to me, isn’t just the four of us,” John said with the implicit suggestion Yoko could be a Beatle if the others acquiesced.

“I think that I alone could be a Beatle. I think [Paul] could. I’m not sure whether [Ringo] could. … I’m just telling you what I think. I don’t think the Beatles revolve around the four people.

“It’s like [Ringo] joining instead of Pete [Best]. To me, it is like that.”

Of course, it’s not really like that. (As I wrote previously, going from Pete to Ringo was a crafty personnel decision and musical upgrade, not part of a disruptive strategy or to keep the band fresh by employing a rotating lineup.)

“You have always been boss,” Paul continued, about 6 1/2 minutes into the near 30-minute sequence on the Nagra tapes and about halfway through the four-minutes dedicated to the lunchroom sequence in the Get Back documentary. “Now I’ve been sort of secondary boss. George has been the third boss.” (Previously, I wrote that it sounded like “third rung” — I even found a picture of George on a ladder to highlight the point! — but on fresh listen prompted by the cleaned-up audio in Get Back, I do think it’s “boss.” Regardless of exact wording, the point is the same.)

In a grand comic concession, Ringo admitted, “I’ve been the rabbit.”

The documentary doesn’t include the reference of George’s ranking, much less Ringo’s joke. Instead it ends with Paul’s placement as “sort of, secondary boss.”

John, Paul, George and Ringo. That’s what the Beatles became when Pete was sacked, and that’s the order they had in place at the beginning of these sessions in January 1969. And that’s probably why Paul was pushing for John to step up.

(Interestingly in a 1971 interview that went unpublished until 1984, John explicitly said, “What I think about the Beatles is that even if there had been Paul and John and two other people, we’d never have been the Beatles. It had to take that combination of Paul, John, George and Ringo to make the Beatles.”)

Paul had been very conscious of this concept of band leadership. Just a week earlier, he gave a vague statement about this very point.

I’m scared of that, ‘You be the boss.’ I have been for a couple years. We all have, you know?

It’s unclear if in that January 6 quote Paul meant “for a couple years, he was scared” of taking on a leadership role or if he was acknowledging he had felt he “acted as boss, for a couple years.” If on the lunchroom tape he’s explicitly recognizing John at the alpha, then it sounds like the former.

Later during the lunchroom Nagras — about 18 minutes in and in a sequence ignored in Get Back — Paul evoked cinema’s rebellious, anti-hero “King of Cool,” Steve McQueen.  It didn’t sound like Paul was attempting to fill any power vacuum himself, but instead was giving John the space to fill it again in some fashion.

Here’s a separate mini-post snuck inside a caption. I can’t track down the exact source of this photo, although I’ve seen some say it’s one of Linda McCartney’s Polaroids. Anyway, if legit, it’s Paul and Steve McQueen, probably in the LA area around April 1974. Everybody’s hair in his era checks out. John, meanwhile, attended a benefit for actor James Stacy a few weeks earlier in 1974, and seems to to have at least met McQueen there. In 1973, when Paul was vacationing in Jamaica, McQueen and Dustin Hoffman were filming Papillon. That’s when Hoffman challenged Paul to write a song that resulted in “Picasso’s Last Words.”

Rattle the cage. Make a scene. And make a splash — on your own if that’s what it takes.

“You’re unsure because you’re not sure whether to go left or right on an issue,” Paul said to John. “You’ve noticed the two ways open to us. You know the way we all want to go. And you know the way you want to go. Which is positive! … So your positive thing might actually be to kick that telephone box in. It might occasionally be to do that.”

The metaphorical phone booth could be inspired by something in the room, outside the window or simply from thin air.

“Everybody would want to see that, actually,” said Yoko, the first to reply.

“But you don’t want to actually look like you’re kicking the telephone box in,” Paul accused John in this scenario. “So you have to sort of say to everyone, ‘Look at that over there, everyone!’ And while they’re looking, you’ll kick the telephone box in, and sort of [Paul whistles innocently like somebody who’s guilty].”

John laughed and said that wasn’t a fair representation of him.

“But I think the answer is that while you’ve got us all looking at nothing over there, and you’ve thrown us for a minute, we would actually all have dug to see you kick that telephone box in,” Paul said. “Because we wanna see you do it! … We would actually want to watch the Steve McQueen film where he kicks the telephone box in. We all want to see that.”

John: But it must be our own faults that we’ve built it up that I can’t kick the telephone box, apart from it being my fault.

Paul: You can. You could.

In preparing this post, I watched Steve McQueen’s filmography through the beginning of 1969 and asked around to more educated fans of his, and there doesn’t seem to be a scene where he explicitly kicks a phone booth. There are similar moments, like one in Bullitt (which was playing at the very hour of this discussion at the Warner West End theater, just a 10 minute walk from the Beatles’ Savile Row headquarters). McQueen doesn’t quite kick in a telephone box with no one watching, but he does get a little aggressive with a newspaper box.

McQueen was a metaphor. John’s directionless — or is it multi-directional? — impression was a reality. As Paul put it, John was “unsure if he wants to go left or right on an issue.” That included the issue of George, but really the group as a whole. But the solution — John showing some leadership, even if it’s not necessarily something directly leading the Beatles in a specific direction — was all they needed. It feels like Paul just wanted to believe in John and inspire John to believe in himself. An adjacent Plastic Ono Band, in this scenario, was a greater solution to Paul than some kind of expanded Plastic Beatles Band.

A solo career may have even been the better consequence than a compromised Beatles, and would solve the ego problem. Paul made his case by laying out an imaginary scenario in which at the end of the night, he was drunk and got on the piano just because he felt like it and he would be “singing because I don’t particularly want to show off.” In turn “everyone in that room will dig it, because it’s me really doing it.”

By contrast, when he “half-means” — a complaint that had been leveled already during these sessions, like Paul saying “sometimes [we] blow one of your songs cause we come in in the wrong mood”  — that’s when the problems emerge.

“What I’d like to do is for the four of us … I see it as you go one way, you go one way, George goes one way, and me another.”  Paul worked to continue his point but the conversation veered into a more specific discussion about musical arrangement on recent songs. We’ll get back to that digression in another post.

Sandwiching the invocation of McQueen, Paul and John sounded off on a potential solo project by Ringo, and took opposite points of view in using the LP as a representation for a larger ideal.

“Just you talking about the Stardust album … it isn’t as daft as you sort of find that it might sound,” Paul said.

Still more than a year out from being released, Ringo’s debut solo project was purely in the conceptual phase. (Eventually titled “Sentimental Journey,” the LP wouldn’t begin its recording sessions for nearly 11 months, and ultimately it came out at the end of March 1970, a few weeks before Let It Be.)

“But the great thing is that you singing like you really sing will be it. It will be!”

Ringo: Yes, but the only way is to do it on your own.

Paul:  …Until then … you’ll half-sing. … And it’s probably when we’re all very old, we’ll all sing together.  And we’ll all really sing, and we’ll all show each other … fucking die then, I don’t know.”

Singing how you really sing is a solitary endeavor. And the reunion of John, Paul, George and Ringo — once the solo careers are have concluded and in their twilight when they reassemble in the departure lounge — that is the epilogue.

Paul’s advice emerged in Get Back in condensed form, with another mis-transcription and served outside of this context as the final statement of the lunchroom sequence (emphasis is mine):

And probably when we’re all very old, we’ll all agree with each other, and we’ll all sing together.

Needless to say there’s a significant difference in saying an eventual reunion would come after “we’ll all show each other” and “we’ll all agree with each other.”  Paul very clearly predicated his concept on the Beatles requiring a controlled implosion before the individuals operated apart to some degree to reach their full potential, and then — for the sake of their egos, in part — they would prove their strength to each other. Reuniting wasn’t, as the Get Back transcription asserts, something they would simply do based on unanimous consent.

This is all consistent with Paul’s contemporary statements, like the one before the lunchroom gathering when he went as far as suggesting staging the group’s breakup. (And that’s not inconsistent with various statements the four Beatles made in the breakup period regarding solo projects and an eventual reunion).

Still John echoed Ringo’s insecurities, explaining on the heels of the Steve McQueen thread that it must be “our own faults” he couldn’t kick the metaphorical phone box.

“But the feeling that I …” John stammered, “like Ringo said about his album, that what was it, ‘I won’t do it, ’cause I’m gonna let us down or look a fool.'”

This wasn’t a self-centered approach. Letting the group down. Making them look a fool. This was about the Beatles.

Earlier John made his goal explicit: “Me goal was still the same — self-preservation”

That self wasn’t just John Winston Lennon alone. It was John, Paul, George and Ringo, too.

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Jan. 12: A family outing (Pt. 2)

FYI at the outset: I’m applying the same disclaimer from last time, when I started recounting the Beatles’ January 12, 1969, meeting at Ringo Starr’s house.  For this series of posts, I’m going to jump between various parts of the January 13 Nagra tapes that directly address January 12, for the sake of the overall narrative.  Specific quotes and certain discussion topics conspicuously absent here will soon be tied back into the story. I promise!

****

Twenty years after the breakup of the Beatles and in the midst of leading his own supergroup, George Harrison characterized the “Wilbury Attitude.”

From the March 1990 issue of Musician:

Somebody wrote in a paper things like, ‘Little Richard is a Wilbury. Madonna wouldn’t be a Wilbury but Cyndi Lauper would be.’ It was quite funny.

While there may have been “about 500” fifth Beatles, as George estimated in that same Musician profile, the four proper members of the Beatles were set in stone (Pete Best and Stu Sutcliffe screw up this accounting, so let’s just stick with the figure of four), and the lineup had been stable for more than six and a half years by the time we reached January 1969.

John Lennon proposed expanding the group more than once over the course of that month. The Beatles’ board meeting on January 12 was one such occasion.

Most of what we know about that meeting we learned from recordings of John, Ringo and Paul McCartney — among several other key figures — captured a day later. And while some of those January 13 conversations were filmed openly at Twickenham Studios on the set, so to speak, of Let It Be, a clandestinely recorded lunchroom discussion fleshed out the story.  Remember Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s spy microphone? Documenting this lunch became the device’s greatest legacy.

It must be repeated to make it clear: This meeting was not merely between Paul and John, as suggested by the 2021 Get Back docuseries. There were at least half a dozen people present.

“The Beatles, to me, isn’t just limited to the four of us,” John said on the 13th, candidly recounting what became a contentious point discussed during the previous day’s meeting and in response to Ringo relaying that George wanted a meeting limited to the four Beatles. It’s worth noting there were multiple occasions during lunch that Ringo and Paul explicitly referred to the “four” Beatles.

“I think that I alone could be a Beatle. I think [Paul] could. I’m not sure whether [Ringo] could. … I’m just telling you what I think. I don’t think the Beatles revolve around the four people.”

Maybe it’s hindsight speaking, but of course the Beatles revolved around four people, and it had since Stu stepped out in 1961, even if their nominal leader suggested otherwise by calling a critical upgrade at drums merely a reorientation.

“It’s like [Ringo] joining instead of Pete,” John continued. “To me, it is like that.”

We don’t hear Yoko Ono’s name explicitly mentioned in the context of being a part of an expanded Beatles, a proto-Plastic Ono Band, but it’s the clear suggestion amid her omnipresence and in the wake of her taste of the fab experience 48 hours earlier.

For her part, Yoko didn’t see George’s departure as anything but temporary. His return was, in her eyes, completely in the hands of the others.

“You could get back George so easily, you know that,” Yoko said during the lunch.

****

Reputation’s changeable, situation intolerable: George stuck on the third rung

“The third boss.”

That’s how Paul plainly described George’s place in the Beatles hierarchy on the lunchroom tape. (Paul conceded John was at the front and himself secondary.)

It was only a few days prior when George openly bemoaned his status within the group and the dead-end destiny of so many of his contributions: “I’ve got about 20 songs from 1948, because I knew very well at the moment I’d bring them into the studio that [splat sound], there its gone.”

This complaint on January 7 came immediately before he called for “a divorce,” which he pursued when he walked out January 10. At the January 12 board meeting, it only got worse, according to John.

“It’s a festering wound … yesterday we allowed to go even deeper,” John said early in the recording of the lunchroom discussion. “But we didn’t give him any bandages.”

Not only a reluctant medic, John wasn’t sure he wanted George to even be a Beatle anymore. Maybe the Beatles could be a four-piece after all, just with Yoko and without George.

“Do I want him back, Paul?” John said. “I’m just asking, do I want it back, whatever it is — the myth?”

That remark echoed George himself from the divorce conversation, in his response to Paul, saying the band used to be “switched on,” George had replied, “If that’s what doing it is, that’s why I don’t want to do it.”

Like George, John was searching for motivation to maintain the group’s status quo, even when the Beatles’ status quo was really a constant state of invention and reinvention, at least to the point of view of us on the outside.

During lunch on January 13, Paul and John agreed the duo would “connive,” when it came to their marginalization of George within the band and their maintenance of creative control. This, while George “could afford to be more insensitive” himself, as “some other part,” an other acting separately from the other members of the band, perhaps musically, perhaps socially.

“I do think that as grim as it all is,” Paul said, “that [George] is right. And I do think that our sole approach is exactly what he’s been saying.”

John simply said that he knows he’s treated people this way since primary school and offered the customary breakup excuse, “It’s not him, it’s just me.”

Yet while the duo acknowledged the problem of their treatment of George as a tertiary Beatle — later Paul would admit they treated him “a bit like a mongrel” — they didn’t set forth a path to solve it directly. The board meeting on the 12th, which was supposed to be a general business meeting, went so far beyond just an attempt to reconcile George’s walkout. The band’s very existence was in question. Again.

“It’s like George said. It doesn’t give me much satisfaction anymore,” John said on the 13th. “Because of the compromise we’d have to make to be together. The end result of the records now aren’t enough. …  When something came out like Revolver or Pepper or whatever, there was still that element of surprise that we didn’t know where it came from. But now we know exactly where it comes from, and how we arrived at that particular noise and how it could have been much better.

“The only way to get it satisfactorily for yourself is to do it on your own. And then that’s fucking hard.”

Here John again mirrors another of George’s points from January 7, when the latter said he wanted no part of performing any of his own songs at the presumptive forthcoming concert “because they just turn out shitty. They come out like a compromise.”

A fab feast, July 1969

Linda Eastman, who like Yoko was at the lunch on the 13th, responded by throwing some of John’s words back in his face. “But you were saying yesterday … you write good songs and it can’t be any better way. You don’t want just studio musicians. I mean, that’s how I look at it. You make good music together, whether you like it or not.

John admitted that he liked it. Still, he was dissatisfied with the White Album. Not his own contributions, which he remained happy with, but the sum of the parts. While Ringo said he dug it “far more than Sgt. Pepper,” John struggled to reconcile how good the White Album was and what he felt it should have been.

As difficult as the situation was, Paul was the optimist. He didn’t even see George’s absence as a problem — yet.

“See, I’m just assuming he’s coming back, you know? I’ll tell you, I’m just assuming he’s coming back.

“What if he isn’t?” John asked.

“If he isn’t, then it’s a new problem.”

****

A “new” problem implies previously existing problems, and on January 12, 1969, the Beatles definitely had other problems.

With the benefit of hindsight,  we know Yoko was right and Paul’s optimism was justified. It was easy to get George to return to the group. It took a couple painless concessions from the others, and he was back with the Beatles just a few days later — this wasn’t any protracted estrangement, just one with good retrospective drama and publicity. For context, Ringo’s resignation during the White Album sessions lasted almost twice as long.

While acknowledging the issue, why didn’t John and Paul go a step further and apply the bandages to salve George’s festering wounds? It’s unclear, as they had recognized, at least in the wake of the meeting — if not during it — their “conniving” problem.

“Our brains sort of … con him,” Paul said at lunch, calling those moments “so innocent” and “so simple.”

That kind of treatment came completely natural to John. “It might have been my game. It might have been masochistic,” he said describing his approach. “But the goal was still the same: self-preservation.”

Yet, John said he “had to fight it the last three years,” saying he overcompensated by feeling he was actually giving in to George for several years, going out of his way to work with and relinquish a territory on their records, while George was creatively on “a good ride.”

He didn’t use the word “connived,” but in later interviews George did consider the others’ actions selfish. None of this should surprise anyone who has followed the Beatles for the last half-century.

From George’s terrific 1977 interview with Crawdaddy:

There were too many limitations based upon our being together for so long. Everybody was sort of pigeonholed. It was frustrating. The problem was that John and Paul had written songs for so long it was difficult. First of all because they had such a lot of tunes and they automatically thought that theirs should be the priority, so for me I’d always have to wait through ten of their songs before they’d even listen to one of mine. … I had a little encouragement from time to time, but it was a very little. It was like they were doing me a favor. …

Paul would always help along when you’d done his ten songs, then when he got ‘round to doing one of my songs, he would help. It was silly. It was very selfish, actually.

Then there’s Yoko, who George didn’t want around the studio as a non-participant, much less as an artistic partner. He may have been insensitive to her when she entered John’s life (invoking her “bad vibes”), but he clearly felt that behavior was justified. This emerged as the red line for John. We know how the story ended, and Yoko didn’t leave John’s side while the Beatles were together. John won that part of the battle, even if she wasn’t elevated to a member of the group.  (Through tragedy she ultimately became a member of the Apple board.)

There was no punch-up on January 10, 1969, that pushed George to take a break from the Beatles, it was just, largely, the simple, sweeping con he endured for years. You could almost say George had been fobbed off and he’d been fooled, he’d been robbed and ridiculed. John and Paul recognized and acknowledged as much on the lunchroom tape.

Like it or not, in the words of Linda, the Beatles made good music together. After the meeting on January 12, 1969, it was an open question if the four of them had any mutual desire and consensus to resume doing so.

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