“But then [producer Richard Perry] called back and said ‘Why don’t we do it in Los Angeles?’ So I said “Okay, we’ll come down to Los Angeles for a week,’ and I thought that we would just do a couple of tracks, but in a week we had eight backing tracks and we only needed two more for an album. So we felt that we had to carry on. The tracks were sounding good, we had four good songs, and John was in town, and so was George. They wrote me some songs and then I didn’t want to leave Paul out, so I phoned him and we flew back to England to do Paul. It just came about like that.”
-Ringo Starr, 1973
Playboy: And the Beatles taught people how to swim?
John: If the Beatles or the Sixties had a message, it was to learn to swim. Period. And once you learn to swim, swim. The people who are hung up on the Beatles’ and the Sixties’ dream missed the whole point when the Beatles’ and the Sixties’ dream became the point. Carrying the Beatles’ or the Sixties’ dream around all your life is like carrying the Second World War and Glenn Miller around. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy Glenn Miller or the Beatles, but to live in that dream is the twilight zone. It’s not living now. It’s an illusion.
Playboy: Yoko, the single you and John released from your album seems to be looking toward the future.
Yoko: Yes, “Starting Over” is a song that makes me feel like crying.
-John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Autumn 1980
“Paul McCartney is a dope. Why? Because he smokes much too much cannabis. I reckon he and Linda sometimes get through as much as two ounces a day, that’s about £1000 a week. Personally, I wish he’d just stop being so silly.”
-Denny Laine, 1984.
In January 1980, Paul McCartney spent nine days in Japanese prison for carrying just under half a pound of weed with him into customs. The bust scuttled Wings’ first tour in three years and spurred guitarist Denny Laine to quit. Without Laine, the only true member of the band other than Paul and Linda, Wings as an entity ceased to exist; McCartney II, initially planned as a solo “side project,” became Paul’s first true solo album in a decade upon its release in July 1980. John Lennon’s death in December of that year drove McCartney into seclusion, and he emerged in April of 1982 with Tug Of War, a slick collection of varying merit, produced by old friend George Martin and boasting the enormous, ghastly hit “Ebony and Ivory.” McCartney spun his wheels with Pipes Of Peace the following year, and by 1984 had prepared a more elaborate project.
I hope you never know, dear boy,
How much you missed.
And even when you fall in love, dear boy,
It won’t be half as good as this.
-Paul McCartney, “Dear Boy,” Ram, 1971.
The only thing you done was “Yesterday,”
And since you’ve gone it’s just “Another Day.”
Oh, how do you sleep?
Oh, how do you sleep at night?
-John Lennon, “How Do You Sleep?”, Imagine, 1971.