Happy 50th Birthday, Lauren Helen Graham! (March 16th, 1967) ✨
Life doesn’t often spell things out for you or give you what you want
exactly when you want it, otherwise it wouldn’t be called life, it would be called vending machine. It’s hard to say exactly when it will
happen, and it’s true that whatever you’re after may not drop down the
moment you spend all your quarters, but someday soon a train is coming. In fact, it may already be on the way. You just don’t know it yet.
On March 29, 1967, around two p.m., John lennon came to Paul Mc- Cartney’s house in London, and they headed up to Paul’s workroom, a narrow, rectangular space full of instruments and amps and modern art. The day before, they’d started a new song, meant for Ringo Starr to sing. Today, they intended to finish it off. Hunter Davies, a columnist with the Sunday Times, was on hand, and his account offers a rare window onto how John and Paul worked.
John took up his guitar, and Paul started noodling at the piano “for a couple of hours,” Davies wrote, “they both banged away. Each seemed to be in a trance until the other came up with something good, then he would pluck it out of a mass of noises and try it himself.”
“Are you afraid when you turn out the light?” John offered.
Paul repeated the line and nodded. They could begin each of the verses with a question, John suggested, and he gave another one.
“Do you believe in love at first sight?”
He interrupted himself. “It hasn’t got the right number of syllables.”
He tried breaking the line between believe and in love, putting in a pause long enough to create the right rhythm. It didn’t work.
“How about,” Paul said, “Do you believe in a love at first sight?”
John sang it and instantly added another line “Yes, I’m certain it happens all the time.”
They switched the order of the lines and sang them over and over again.
It was now five o’clock. John’s wife came by with a friend. They talked about the lines to the song so far, and, in the midst of the chatter, John said — almost to himself — in answer to what’s seen when the light is out: “I know it’s mine.” someone said it sounded smutty.
They chatted some more. Paul started improvising on the piano before breaking into “Can’t Buy Me love.” John joined in, shouting and laughing. Then they both began to play “Tequila,” a 1958 hit by the Champs.
“Remember in Germany?” John said. “We used to shout out anything.” They did the song again, with John throwing in new words at the cres- cendo of each line: “knickers” and “Duke of Edinburgh” and “tit” and “Hitler”.
“They both stopped all the shouting and larking around as suddenly as they’d begun it,” Davies wrote. “They went back, very quietly, to the song they were supposed to be working on.” John sang a slight modification of the line they’d agreed on. “What do you see when you turn out the light?” Then he answered the question. “I can’t tell you, but I know it’s mine.”
Paul said it would do and he wrote the lines on a piece of exercise paper. Then he wandered around the room. outside the window, the eyes and foreheads of six girls could be seen as they jumped up and down on the sidewalk on Cavendish avenue, trying to catch a glimpse over the front wall into Paul’s property. John began to play a hymn on the piano.
After playing with his sitar, Paul went to his guitar, where, Davies wrote, he “started to sing and play a very slow, beautiful song about a foolish man sitting on the hill. John listened to it quietly, staring blankly out of the window.” Paul sang the song over and over again. “It was the first time Paul had played it for John,” Davies wrote. “There was no discussion.”
It was now about seven o’clock. They were due soon around the corner at the EMI studios on Abbey Road. They lit a joint and passed it between them. They decided to call Ringo and tell him they would do the song that night.
Powers of Two: Finding the essence of innovation in creative pairs - Joshua Wolf Shenk
John grabbed my cover and held it so close to his eyes that I thought his nose would pierce it. And for the first time I spotted a slightly sheepish look on his face, as if he felt embarrassed that a stranger noticed his short-sightedness. And, apparently, he wasn’t prepared for me confronting him with this question. It only took John a second to switch back to the nonchalant, grumpy rocker and he said in a tight-lipped manner: ‘Go to Stuart… He’s the arty one.’
That was my first contact with the lads, and to be precise, it was already the first step towards John’s phone call, which wasn’t until six years later, when he asked me in the early summer of 1966: ‘Any idea for our next album cover?’
[Klaus Voormann, on broaching the subject of album cover design with John in Hamburg, 1960. From Revolver 50: Birth of an Icon.]
Genesis Publications has announced a Grammy Anniversary edition of Klaus Voormann’s book, Revolver 50: Birth of an Icon, limited to 450 copies. Klaus won a Grammy Award for the artwork on 2nd March 1967, the first of its kind for a rock album.
In an interview aired on the SciFi channel in 1997, DeForest Kelley talked about the character of Dr. McCoy and the life he’d chosen in space.
“The common thought was, of course, that he had a very unhappy marriage, divorced, with a daughter whose name was Joanna. But he’s a southerner, out of the south and I think he was such an unhappy guy that he joined the service and decided he would abandon what practice he had.”
While this is never stated outright in the series, it informs one of Kelley’s finest performances, in “For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky.”
The groundwork for the episode had been laid in the Star Trek offices by D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold. Both of them had ideas for episodes featuring elements that had appeared in the third-season love story.
Fontana had written a memo in March of 1967 stating that she was considering “a love story for McCoy which sees him resigning his commission, actually getting married, then tragedy bringing him full circle back to the Enterprise.” In May of that year, she turned in a story outline entitled “Rachel” that followed that idea.
A few months before Fontana wrote her memo, David Gerrold had sent in a treatment entitled “Tomorrow is Yesterday” (not to be confused with the episode of the same name) about an interstellar ark that was rejected by Gene Coon for being “too big” for the TV series.
When first-time writer Rik Vollaerts met with Fred Freibeger and pitched the story (which was then centered on Scotty), the executive producer responded to the idea with enthusiasm, seeing it as a synthesis between the various treatments he’d read.
Aware that they needed a good McCoy story for the third season, Freiberger shifted the love story to the good doctor. In an interview by Edward Gross that appears in Captain’s Logs, he said:
“I was trying to spread the material to the other actors. And I wanted to give DeForest Kelley something, because he was always just kind of hanging around without a lot to do. I wanted him to have something a little more solid.”
The idea that a middle-aged man can fall completely in love in just a matter of hours may seem a bit hokey to modern audiences, but Kelley’s abilities as an actor sell it completely. Like “The Empath,” “For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky” uses our favorite doctor to his fullest abilities and serves as a highlight on an underbudgeted and underbaked last season for Star Trek.