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 Beatles were last photographed together on Friday, August 22, 1969, at John and Yoko’s home, Tittenhurst Park. The Lennon’s lived there from the late summer of 1969 until August 1971. On September 18, 1973, Ringo Starr purchased the property and it became the home of Starr and his family until the late 1980s.
This historic photo session occurred two days after the Beatles’ last recording session together. On hand to shoot film were American photographer Ethan Russell, Monte Fresco from Daily Mail, and the Beatles’ assistant Mal Evans. Amateur film footage of the event was also shot on this day.
Three of the Ethan Russell photos formed the front and back covers of the Capitol compilation album Hey Jude (original title: The Beatles Again), issued in February 26, 1970. (Note: One of the three photos is a small picture superimposed over the door, in the top center of the Hey Jude album cover photo.)
Ringo and Barbara were dating and spending a holiday together in December 1980, when the news broke about the murder of John Lennon. The couple flew to New York to comfort John’s widow, Yoko, and the Lennon’s son Sean.
Over the years, Bach has appeared in some of Starr’s music videos, and has accompanied him on his tours. She also appears with Ringo in Paul McCartney’s 1984 film Give My Regards to Broad Street.
Just before her 18th birthday, Barbara was in attendance at the famous Beatles’ August 1965 concert at Shea Stadium in New York. Not really a Beatles fan, she was only there as a chaperone to her younger sister Marjorie, as Barbara preferred the music of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan. Coincidentally, another future Beatle wife, Linda Eastman, was also at the Shea Stadium concert.
John Lennon was in the one-time English supergroup The Dirty Mac for The Rolling Stones’ TV special “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus”, recorded on December 11, 1968. Since becoming a Beatle, this was the first time that John had performed in public in any group other than The Beatles. He came up with the name The Dirty Mac as a play on “Fleetwood Mac”. In addition to Lennon on vocals and rhythm guitar, the band consisted of Eric Clapton (from Cream) on lead guitar, Mitch Mitchell (from The Jimi Hendrix Experience) on drums, and Keith Richards (from The Rolling Stones) on bass. The band performed the Lennon-written “Yer Blues” from the then recently released Beatles’ ‘White Album’. They also backed up Yoko Ono and violinist Ivry Gitlis on a song titled “Whole Lotta Yoko”.
John and Yoko’s Plastic Ono Band, formed in 1969, also included Eric Clapton as an occasional member.
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus album and home video of the event wouldn’t be released until 1996. The DVD was issued in 2004.