There was one last session at Twickenham today, after which John, Paul, and Ringo decided that it was pointless to continue as a trio. As The Beatles Bible puts it, “motivation and inspiration hit a low mark.”

Even so, the day was not a total loss. It began with Paul and Ringo wishing each other good morning and duetting on a brief boogie-woogie piano piece:

Still at the piano, Paul played a couple versions of his composition “The Back Seat of My Car” (which would appear on his 1971 album Ram):

as well as a goofy ballad called “Song of Love”:

Covers assayed today included “Hello Dolly,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “San Francisco Bay Blues,” and a couple of Johnny Cash tunes (“Cocaine Blues” and “Flushed from the Bathroom of Your Heart”). There were also quite a few seemingly off-the-cuff numbers that would never be officially recorded, or even titled. On bootlegs these are listed as:

  • Madman
  • Watching Rainbows
  • Oh Baby I Love You
  • As Clear as a Bell
  • You Are Definitely Inclined Towards It
  • Don’t Start Running

But enthusiasm waned throughout the day and by the time this session was over, the Threetles were ready to give George anything he wanted to return to the band. Even John, who had been so keen on trying to get Eric Clapton, was ready to cave.

In the middle of all this, John and Yoko were interviewed by a Canadian TV reporter. Says The Beatles Bible,

Lennon was clearly high on heroin during the interview, growing paler and more restless as it progressed. Eventually he said “Excuse me, I feel a bit sick” and the camera was turned off. The second half of the conversation was noticeably livelier, and Lennon discussed live performances, inspiration, and the couple’s future plans.

See if you can spot the transition here, about three minutes in. It is not hard.

It’s all a bit sad but also a perfect time capsule of the era: The junk-sick Beatle and his weird new girlfriend vaguely answering vaguely worded questions about the Revolution and what they’re trying to accomplish through their Art. Long gone are the exciting early days of the Great Acid Wave, replaced by heroin numbness and torpor.

Or maybe that’s overstating the case; I don’t know, I wasn’t there. But on the bright side, The Beatles would soon be back at full strength, at least numbers-wise, and working on an actual album (sort of) in an actual recording studio (sort of). And yeah, I know, that’s a lot of qualifiers; everything seems to be up in the air at this time. Things will become clear, or at least clearer, in the days to come.

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