A Toot and A Snore in '74 (Album) John Lennon & Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder

A Toot and A Snore in '74 John Lennon and Paul McCartney 

Recorded in Los Angeles, California in 1974

 

A bootleg album of the only known recording session in which John Lennon and Paul McCartney played together after the break-up of the Beatles.  The two former bandmates collaborated during one coke-fueled, slapdash night on March 28, 1974, at the Burbank Studios in Los Angeles. It was more than enough to fuel years of comeback rumors.

 

Lennon was producing his drinking buddy Harry Nilsson's forthcoming release Pussy Cats when Paul and his wife Linda McCartney unexpectedly stopped by. The two men had started off tentatively, with a handshake and an inside joke: "Valiant Paul McCartney, I presume?" Lennon said, referencing an early Beatles Christmas special. McCartney immediately responded: "Sir Jasper Lennon, I presume?" The first music made by Lennon and McCartney since the sessions for 1969's Abbey Road -- and alas, the last -- would commence from there, almost on a lark.

 

They found common ground again in music, even as a collection of lubricants and libations (some legal, some not) helped allay whatever bad feelings had lingered from years of fighting over what remained of the Beatles empire. Also on hand were Stevie Wonder, session guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, saxophonist Bobby Keys and, apparently, mountains of cocaine. Despite having this all-star amalgam on hand, however, the results were a goofy mess. Several '50s-era oldies make brief appearances throughout a series of loose, unstructured jams, including "Cupid," "Chain Gang" and "Lucille," but not much becomes of them.  Lennon was on lead vocals and guitar, with McCartney singing harmony and playing the drums. Wonder also provided a few vocals and played electric piano. Linda took over on organ, while Lennon's mistress May Pang played tambourine. Nilsson sings some, too.

 

The heart of the evening finds Lennon taking a trio of frustatingly incomplete passes at "Stand By Me" - a song that would eventually appear on his 1975 release Rock 'N' Roll, rising to No. 20 on the pop charts - but he spends most of the time complaining about the sound through his headphones. At one point, Lennon's vocal drops out completely, leaving only harmony contributions from McCartney and Nilsson. Their sloppy take on Little Richard's "Lucille" (a favorite of McCartney's from the earliest days of the Beatles) features McCartney's only other significant vocal collaboration with his former bandmate. Meanwhile, Lennon repeatedly asks for another drink, and at one point can be clearly heard saying: "You wanna snort, Steve? A Toot? It's goin' around." Thus, the title of the legendary, and legendarily disjointed, bootleg that followed: A Toot and a Snore in '74.


[Mistral MM 9225]

A Toot and A Snore in '74 (Album) John Lennon & Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder

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