george harrison 1971

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Candid photographs of John Lennon, George Harrison and Yoko Ono a year after the split of The Beatles. The photographs were taken by Phil Spector (an executive for Apple records and Decca who worked on The Beatles final album Let It Be) in July 1971, in a New York appartment where George asked John to perform at his charity concert for refugees in Bangladesh. But soon after the photos were taken a row sparked between John and Yoko, and John ended up pulling out. George stipulated it was only John he wanted to perform and not Yoko.

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George Harrison performing Deep Blue during a soundcheck before the Concert For Bangladesh. (1 Aug. 1971)

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“It’s a bit sad now that Apple is in the position all four of us planned three years ago. I just wish Paul would use the studio if he wants to. It’s silly not to. […] I can’t see the four of us working together again, but I’d like us to be friends. We all own the business and it’s doing well. I’d like all four of us to enjoy it now.“

[George, press interview at the launch of Apple’s new recording studio, 3 Saville Row, London, 30th September 1971]

George, with Pete Ham of Badfinger, at a party to celebrate the opening of Apple’s new £500,000 recording studio at their headquarters at 3 Saville Row, London on 30th September 1971. George was producing Badfinger’s album at the time. Brochures given away at the event stated that the studios could be hired for £37 per hour for 16-track recording and £31 an hour for 8-track.

Pics: Michael Putland. 

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Ronnie Spector cover shoot for her single “Try Some, Buy Some: (1971)

Ever since the Beatles came to the US, the group had been fans of Spector’s girl group the Ronettes (and it’s lead singer, Ronnie), who were also opening act for the Beatles on two UK tours.

After Ronnie married Phil Spector in 1968 he imprisoned her at home and forced her to abandon her own career. Following the successful Phil Spector and George Harrison partnership on All Things Must Pass (1970), they planned to  resurrect Ronnie’s career. The plan was a comeback album with Harrison providing many of the songs, and issuing it on Apple Records. Sessions took place at London’s Abbey Road Studios beginning on February 2, 1971. The album was scrapped soon after due to erratic behavior from Phil Spector.

In April 1971 Apple released the single ‘Try Some, Buy Some’, a Harrison-Spector production. The record pleased Harrison to the point that he later re-recorded it for his 1973 LP Living In the Material World (1973). The single was a commercial failure and Ronnie’s comeback was over before it begun. ‘Try Some, Buy Some’ has grown in status over the years. Though she initially didn’t like it, Ronnie performs it in her live shows these days and David Bowie even did a cover for his Reality album in 2003. 

“I think the fact that George took a big risk in assembling the whole thing and making it make sense, all for this cause, was a big move These things will always be remembered as times when we can be proud of being musicians. We weren’t just thinking of ourselves for five minutes. we were doing something for a bigger issue.” - Eric Clapton

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Did ya’ll know that in 1971, Fred Astaire appeared in John Lennon’s film Imagine? Yup, he walks Yoko Ono to a window at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. One of Mr. Astaire’s finest performances, no doubt.

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How Do You Sleep? (Takes 5 & 6, Raw Studio Mix Out-take) - John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band

“New & exclusive 2018 Raw Studio Mix video with never-before-seen footage.” - from the John Lennon YouTube channel