Did the Beatles ever meet The Doors?
Exactly 50 years ago, all four Beatles met for the last time. It was about the distribution of the royalties, and the meeting ended in a dispute again
On April 10, 1970, Paul McCartney announced the end of the Beatles. But the last time the Fab Four met was in September of the previous year. The breakup of the world's most famous band is as inglorious as this meeting.
Farewells are difficult. If they drag on for a long time, they can degenerate into agony. Beatles nostalgics must therefore be brave, because the sentimental moments pile up. The 50th anniversary of the slow end of the world's most famous band: The last public appearance, the Blitz concert on the roof of the Apple Studio in London, took place on January 30, 1969, the last joint studio production on August 20, 1969 and the last photo shoot was on August 22, 1969; the last jointly produced album "Abbey Road" was released on September 26th.
Now there is another date that is irrelevant in itself, but of epoch-making importance for the Beatles annals: on September 16 or 17 - one does not know exactly - John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo met Rigid in London to discuss the division of their tantièmen. The umpteenth session in the Causa ended again in an argument, this time between John and George. What nobody suspected at the time: It should be the last time that the Fab Four came together. This is what the renowned Beatles biographer Peter Doggett writes in his book about the inglorious end of the glorious band (“You Never Give Me Your Money”, 2009). Since that September 50 years ago, the four of them have never met again in the same place at the same time.
Crossfire of allegations
1969 was an ugly year. The band life degenerated into a permanent feud, in the studio they avoided each other. John annoyed with unpunctuality, Paul with pedantry, the two yelled at each other about little things. John boycotted George's compositions, Ringo jumped out as often as possible. And everyone was annoyed by John's mysterious muse Yoko Ono. Except for John, of course.
The mood was so bad that the sound engineer Geoff Emerick threw down the begging. There was no one to discipline the four divas arguing. Two years earlier, her longtime manager, Brian Epstein, had ended his life. Epstein had been a miserable rights negotiator, but the moral support of the band - alongside producer George Martin. And that, too, was becoming rare now. According to the Guardian and Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn, unknown tape recordings of an encounter between John, Paul and George on September 8, 1969, provide insight into the group's notorious dissonances.
Finished with "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah"
The late summer of 1969 brought the end of flower power. Charles Manson, the crazy cult leader who had his disciples slaughtered rich celebrities at night in Los Angeles, had given the happy hippie movement a cruel grimace. Manson claimed that songs from the "White Album" pushed him to the murders. The Beatles sued him, which was of course pointless. An act of helplessness, the lawsuit was lost in the murder trial.
The sixties shaped the Beatles and the Beatles shaped the sixties. But now Liverpool's decade has been returned to the fans damaged: “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” is long gone, from now on you have to do without us. Her music had become more serious, more complex. So complex that it could no longer be performed live. Hardly any other band has changed so much in so few years: musically, externally, personally. Beatlemania and the ubiquitous screaming fans robbed all privacy. The Beatles were prisoners of their success.
John fought his frustration with nonsensical song lyrics ("I Am the Walrus", "Glass Onion") to fool music critics who plagued him with their pseudo-intellectual interpretations. The Beatles finally wanted the freedom to no longer be the Beatles. In 1969 they worked on solo careers: John declared world peace in the hotel bed and founded the Plastic Ono Band. George started Sing Song Music to secure the rights to his tracks. Paul composed for his album "McCartney". On April 10, 1970, he then announced the official end of the Beatles.
But that was no redemption. The seventies should teach them that they couldn't do without each other, at least not musically. The fans do not forgive them the separation, their new careers had to measure themselves against their old successes, and hardly a solo album showed the power of that joint creation. "I'll be an ex-Beatle for the rest of my life," said John in 1974 resignedly. It was only later that John and Paul were able to admit to each other that despite all their envy and rivalry, they needed each other's stimulation and inspiration.
In an interview in 1987, Paul called the two years older John “our idol”, “our own little Elvis”. He was the quickest and the smartest. However, the word “congenial” does not apply to any other artist team as it does to Lennon / McCartney. Instead of building on, however, in the early seventies they wasted their talent in bickering, sending each other malice hidden on record covers and in song lyrics.
Despite separation and animosity, they occasionally kept bumping into each other. The other three wrote songs for Ringo's solo projects, George played guitar on "Imagine", John's legendary 1971 album, and Ringo kept stepping in on the drums. There have been several attempts to bring all four together, but all of them failed. In January 1970 they wanted to meet for more recordings at Abbey Road Studios, but John had to go to Denmark for hypnotherapy to quit smoking. In 1971, George called the others together for his Bangladesh benefit concert; John demanded that Yoko appear, which George declined. John, quite the choleric, yelled on the phone that George's inability to recognize Yoko's genius was symptomatic of his limited intelligence. John knew how to make his fellow men white-hot.
A lonely drummer
In 1976, an American music agent offered the ex-Beatles $ 50 million for a 20-minute show. Condition: He wanted to keep the marketing rights for himself. No chance. The attempt brought the jokes from "Saturday Night Life" on the scene: They promised $ 3,000 for an appearance on their TV show. When that didn't work, they raised $ 250 plus hotel expenses. In vain! Also in vain was the request of UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim in 1979 to persuade the Beatles to hold a benefit concert for the Vietnamese boat people.
With John Lennon's assassination on December 8, 1980, the reunification dream was finally over. Paul, who unplugged the phone at night because of annoying fan calls, did not find out about the fatal attack until the next morning in his country house in Sussex. "I had never seen an expression like this on his face," recalled his wife, Linda. Paul suffered a nervous breakdown - perhaps also because he had never really been able to make up with John. Two years later he dedicated the wonderful ballad "Here Today" to him, a declaration of love for his artistic alter ego.
On April 1, 1970, Ringo drummed the drum tracks for three pieces for "Let It Be", the final album, at Abbey Road Studios. It was the last lonely act of a Beatle. The end.
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