It was on one of these days — the exact details are a little slippery — that John, Paul, Ringo and their special lady friends attended a press party to promote a band called Grapefruit, a new Apple Publishing signing. (George was still in India). If Wikipedia is to be believed, Brian Jones, Donovan, Cilla Black, and Jimi Hendrix were also there.

I must admit that I knew nothing about Grapefruit until today, but in recent minutes I have learned the following:

  • Grapefruit’s vocalist and bassist called himself George Alexander, but his real name was Alexander Young. He had chosen to remain in the UK when the rest of his family — including brothers Malcolm and Angus, later of AC/DC — emigrated from Scotland to Australia in 1963. Confusingly, there was also a brother whose actual name was George. George Young was a heavy hitter in his own right — working always with his musical partner Harry Vanda, he was a songwriter and performer with the Easybeats and Flash and the Pan, and the producer of many AC/DC albums.
  • They were given their name by John Lennon, after the title of a book by one Yoko Ono, who apparently was much on his mind during this period. Though he is with Cynthia in the photo above, he’s probably thinking about Yoko.
  • It was this song that sold John on the band:

  • And you can see why. It is distinctly Lennonesque, to the point where it is sometimes passed off as a lost Beatles song. Both John and Paul worked on a rerecording of “Lullaby” that was supposed to be Grapefruit’s second single, but for some not-entirely-clear reason having to do with logistics, this didn’t happen and the song was relegated to an album track.
  • According to The Beatles Encyclopedia, Paul directed a promo film for the Grapefruit song “Elevator,” but it sadly does not seem to exist anywhere in the vastness of the Internets.

Despite their Beatles boost, Grapefruit never really made it big; they had a few minor hits in the UK, made absolutely no impact stateside, and released two albums before breaking up in 1969. So it goes.


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