Tittenhurst Park

This Tittenhurst Park blog is dedicated to John Lennon's home in Sunningdale, near Ascot, Berkshire between 1969 and 1971. The aim is to gather as much material relating to the estate as possible - obviously with the emphasis on the Lennon-era, but also concerning Tittenhurst Park as it was before and after John Lennon's ownership. In addition, there will be posts about and associated with the Beatles, plus any other rubbish I feel like. The blog is purely meant for the entertainment of anyone (assuming there is actually anyone) who, like me, has an unhealthy interest in one particular Georgian mansion. Those with anything interesting to contribute in the way of links, photos, scans, stories etc. please do contact me: tittenhurstlennon@gmail.com
(Legal: this blog is strictly non-commercial. All material is the property of the photographer/artist/copyright holder concerned. Any such who wishes a picture etc to be removed should contact me and I will do so. Alternatively, if someone is happy to see their photo on here, but would like a credit/link then let me know and I'll be happy to provide one).


Live Peace in Toronto 1969

Live Peace in Toronto 1969 is a 1969 live album recorded by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as the Plastic Ono Band, at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival. Featuring Eric Clapton on guitar (fresh from the breakup of Blind Faith), Klaus Voormann on bass and future Yes drummer Alan White (who a few months later would provide the drums on the percussion-driven Plastic Ono Band single, "Instant Karma!") on drums, the line-up is filled out by Lennon on lead vocals and rhythm guitar and Ono on vocals. The album was credited to The Plastic Ono Band, a conceptual grouping that included Lennon and Ono and whoever happened to be backing them up at that particular moment. Both Lennon and Ono would use the nomenclature for several of their future solo albums.

The album is technically a soundtrack recording, being part of the audio portion of D.A. Pennebaker's documentary movie Sweet Toronto. Lennon and Ono made a deal with Pennebaker to license their portion of the show for record, in exchange for rights to include their appearance. Unfortunately the deal fell through, with Lennon and Ono changing their minds about the inclusion (Lennon had been ill the day of the concert, and it showed on camera), and the movie was never originally released. (Showtime ultimately presented the performance during the 1980s, and the full movie appeared later on home video and DVD.)

As initially released on LP and later cassette tape, 8-track and on video cassette, side one of Live Peace in Toronto 1969 comprised John's set, which included his two Plastic Ono Band singles for the year, "Give Peace A Chance" and a preview of the yet-to-be released at the time of the show "Cold Turkey;" "Yer Blues" from the White Album; and some favoured covers of 1950s rock and roll. Side two comprised Yoko's set, including the b-side to "Cold Turkey," "Don't Worry Kyoko," and featuring her trademark caterwauling stage act, which was not quite as well received as Lennon's performance. The album ends with Lennon, Clapton, and Voorman leaning their guitars against the amplifiers to create a sustained roar of solid feedback, while Yoko continues screaming as the rest of the band leaves the stage.

On the video cassette, Eric Clapton can clearly be seen looking at John Lennon with a look of horror on his face as Yoko starts her caterwauling. Additionally, as the band are leaning their guitars against the amplifiers to create the feedback, Clapton breaks the fourth wall by looking directly into the camera and rolling his eyes in frustration at Yoko's performance.

Unlike many Lennon and Beatles albums, the individual guitars are clearly distinguishable in the stereo mix, with Lennon's toward the left channel and Clapton's toward the right. Also, the movie mix of the soundtrack offers stronger vocals by Ono during "Yer Blues", and Clapton during "Give Peace A Chance". On the contrary, Lennon's guitar is hardly audible on the movie.

Admitting he could not remember the recorded lyrics ("I've forgotton all those bits in between, but I know the chorus"), Lennon improvised words to "Give Peace A Chance":

Everybody's talkin' about
John And Yoko, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann,
Penny Lane, Roosevelt, Nixon,
Tommy Jones and Tommy Cooper and Somebody!.

Live Peace in Toronto 1969, though not making the British charts, was a US hit album, reaching #10 and going gold. The original LP came with a thirteen-month 1970 calendar. Tape versions of the album included a mail-in coupon for the calendar.

The album was released to quash any bootleg versions that Lennon was sure would leak onto the market. EMI was reluctant at first to issue the album, after two commercial failures in a row (Unfinished Music No.2: Life with the Lions and Wedding Album) from Lennon and Ono. (Their first effort, Two Virgins, was distributed by Track Records, and had also failed commercially.) The album's success came as a pleasant surprise, changing EMI's perceptions.

Yoko Ono supervised a remixing of Live Peace in Toronto 1969 for its 1995 CD reissue. While the earlier fadeout between sides was eliminated for compact disc, the original ending to the album (a cut-off closing announcement) was eliminated. The CD booklet included a reproduction of the calendar, updated to 1995.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.