First off, The Magic Christian was even worse than I remembered — a painful example of the late-60s “let’s get stoned and make shit up” aesthetic. It’s incoherent, excruciatingly slow, and not at all funny; the genius of Peter Sellers is wasted and Ringo mostly just wanders around looking sad-eyed and lost. I wonder how many people at the premiere snuck out halfway through.

In other news, there was a Beatles-related record release today, the Plastic Ono Band’s Live Peace in Toronto 1969. Exactly how Beatles-related was a matter of some dispute; according to John,

[Allen] Klein had got a deal on that record that it was a John and Yoko Plastic Ono record, not a Beatles record, so we could get a higher royalty, because The Beatles’ royalties were so low – they’d been locked in ’63 – and Capitol said, “Sure you can have it,” you know. Nobody’s going to buy that crap. They just threw it away and gave it to us. And it came out, and it was fairly successful and it went gold.… And four years later, we go to collect the royalties, and you know what they say? “This is a Beatle record.”

Speaking of Beatle records, in an interview published today in the New Musical Express, John was equivocal about whether there would be any more.

The Beatles split up? It just depends how much we all want to record together. I don’t know if I want to record together again. I go off and on it. I really do.

The problem is that in the old days, when we needed an album, Paul and I got together and produced enough songs for it. Nowadays there’s three of us writing prolifically and trying to fit it all onto one album. Or we have to think of a double album every time, which takes six months.

That’s the hang-up we have. It’s not a personal “The Beatles are fighting” thing, so much as an actual physical problem. What do you do? I don’t want to spend six months making an album I have two tracks on. And neither do Paul or George probably. That’s the problem. If we can overcome that, maybe it’ll sort itself out.

None of us want to be background musicians most of the time. It’s a waste. We didn’t spend ten years ‘making it’ to have the freedom in the recording studios, to be able to have two tracks on an album.

It’s not like we spend our time wrestling in the studio trying to get our own songs on. We all do it the same way… we take it in turns to record a track. It’s just that usually in the past, George lost out because Paul and I are tougher.

It’s nothing new, the way things are. It’s human. We’ve always said we’ve had fights. It’s no news that we argue. I’m more interested in my songs. Paul’s more interested in his, and George is more interested in his. That’s always been.

This is why I’ve started with the Plastic Ono and working with Yoko… to have more outlet. There isn’t enough outlet for me in the Beatles. The Ono Band is my escape valve. And how important that gets, as compared to the Beatles for me, I’ll have to wait and see.

But at the same time, John was telling a South African radio station “The Beatles have a new album out in January, called Get Back.” That did not turn out to be exactly true, but close enough.

Also today, Delaney and Bonnie and their Friends including George Harrison and Eric Clapton played their third and last night in Copenhagen, Denmark. This was George’s last appearance with the band, but his performances did appear on the subsequent album Delaney & Bonnie On Tour with Eric Clapton. For legal reasons he was billed as “L’Angelo Misterioso,” which is almost as good a pseudonym as “Pierre Delecto.”

And yes, that is the first and probably last Mitt Romney reference in this blog. What a marvelous sense of accomplishment.

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