John Lennon gave two performances on August 30, 1972, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This would be his last and only full-length concert appearance since the breakup of The Beatles. The event was called “One To One,” which was a pair of afternoon and evening charity concerts to benefit the Willowbrook Home, a facility for children with mental challenges.
Geraldo Rivera, a friend of Lennon and Yoko Ono, requested their participation as headliners of the concert. They were backed by the band Elephant’s Memory. Also performing at the show were Sha Na Na, Stevie Wonder, and Roberta Flack.
In typical Lennon humor, during the afternoon show he introduces his song “Mother” by saying, “Here’s another one of those songs from one of the albums I made since I left The Rolling Stones.”
Both concerts were recorded and filmed, with most of the afternoon show being released in 1986 on the album Live In New York City. The filmed version of the afternoon show was released on VHS, but has yet to be officially released on DVD.
John Lennon never went on tour as a solo artist. The last time he was part of a tour was when he was with The Beatles, who retired from touring in 1966. The “One To One” concerts would be the last time John and Yoko would publicly perform live together.
Linda Louise Eastman and Barbara Bach were in attendance at the famous Beatles’ August 15th, 1965 concert at Shea Stadium in New York. Though they didn’t know it at the time, Linda would later marry Paul McCartney (March 12, 1969), and Barbara would go on to marry Ringo Starr (April 27, 1981).
Back in August 1965, the soon to be 18 year old Barbara Bach was not really a Beatles fan. She was only in attendance at the Shea Stadium concert as a chaperone to her younger sister Marjorie. Barbara preferred the music of Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles.
In contrast, Linda Eastman was there as a fan. Paul McCartney said, “Linda was also there — but as she was a real music fan she was quite (annoyed) with everyone screaming. I think she enjoyed the experience, but she genuinely wanted to hear the show. That wasn’t the deal though. Not then.”
“If I Needed Someone” was the only George Harrison composition ever performed live by the Beatles on stage. Otherwise, Harrison only sang covers during any of the Beatles’ tours. The song was performed in the Beatles’ Tokyo concerts in July 1966, as seen in a clip from the documentary The Compleat Beatles. The Beatles also performed the song during their very last concert, which was in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966. Although not confirmed, it is believed that “If I Needed Someone” was performed at every Beatles concert in 1966.
The Beatles recorded “If I Needed Someone” in October 1965 and it first appeared in the UK on 1965’s Rubber Soul album, and then later included on 1966’s Yesterday…and Today (released in the U.S.). The Hollies also recorded a version of the song as a single and it was released on the same day as Rubber Soul.
Jimmy Nicol temporarily replaced Ringo Starr after he collapsed and was hospitalized with tonsillitis on June 3, 1964. It was the eve of The Beatles’ 1964 Australasian tour. Rather than cancel part of the tour, manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin decided to use a stand-in drummer to take Ringo’s place. Martin suggested Nicol because he had recently drummed on a Tommy Quickly session. Also, Jimmy was familiar with the Beatles’ songs as he had drummed on an album of Beatle covers called “Beatlemania”. With a last-minute phone call from George Martin, Nicol rushed over to Abbey Road Studios, where he and The Beatles did a quick rehearsal of six songs from their tour repertoire. The next day he would be playing live with them in Copenhagen, Denmark.
On stage, Jimmy wore Ringo’s suit after some alterations. From June 4-13, 1964, Nicol played ten shows in six locations with The Beatles in Denmark, Holland, Hong Kong, and Australia. On June 14, Starr returned to the band in Melbourne, Australia. Nicol said he was “praying he [Starr] would get well at the same time I was hoping he would not want to come back.” For his efforts, Brian Epstein presented him with a check and a gold Eternamatic wrist watch inscribed: “From The Beatles and Brian Epstein to Jimmy – with appreciation and gratitude.”
In later years, it was rumored that Jimmy Nicol had died in 1988, but a 2005 report by the Daily Mail confirmed that he was actually still alive and living as a recluse in London.