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.
The first single by an ex-Beatle to reach number one was “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison. Released in November 1970 in the US, and January 1971 in the UK, the song reached number one on the charts in both countries, as well as in a few others.
“My Sweet Lord” appeared on Harrison’s number one hit triple album All Things Must Pass. George wrote the song in December 1969, while he and Billy Preston were in Copenhagen, Denmark. Originally intended as a song for Preston, Billy’s version appeared on his album Encouraging Words. He had a minor hit with the single in early 1970.
Harrison was involved in a lengthy legal battle due to musical similarities between “My Sweet Lord” and The Chiffons’ song “He’s So Fine”. A U.S. federal court decision in the case found that Harrison “subconsciously” copied the earlier song. He had to surrender the majority of royalties from “My Sweet Lord” and a cut of royalties from his All Things Must Pass album. In something of a twist, George would eventually buy the rights to “He’s So Fine”.
After George Harrison’s death from cancer in late 2001, “My Sweet Lord” reached number one again on the UK charts when it was reissued in January 2002.
The drummer on Wings’ 1973 album ‘Band on the Run’ was none other than Paul McCartney. Paul and his wife Linda were bored with recording in the UK, and decided they wanted to try a studio in a different locale. From a list of EMI’s international recording studios, they chose Lagos in Nigeria as the place to record the ‘Band on the Run’ album. In addition to the McCartneys, guitarist/pianist/vocalist Denny Laine, lead guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell were scheduled for the trip. However, a few weeks before departing, McCullough quit Wings in Scotland and Seiwell quit the night before the departure. This left only the core members, Paul, Linda and Denny Laine, to go to Lagos and record the album as a trio. Without a drummer, McCartney took it upon himself to handle the drumming duties.
This was by no means the first time Paul had played drums on a recording. He played all of the drums on his 1970 ‘McCartney’ solo album as well as on a few Beatles songs including “The Ballad of John & Yoko”, “Back in the USSR”, and “Dear Prudence”.
The “mountain” on the cover of John Lennon’s 1973 Mind Games album is the face of his wife, Yoko Ono. Lennon had designed the cover himself. It is seen by many as symbolism for John walking away from Ono’s huge influence on him. The Lennon’s had split up in mid-1973, around the time the recording sessions for Mind Games was to begin. Their separation was to last 18-months before they reconciled.