Wednesday, May 04, 2011
John Lennon Rock God / Lennon and Cheap Trick
I never knew that Rick Nielsen Bun E. Carlos played a track on Lennon's last recording sessions for Double Fantasy. I stumbled across a video on YouTube of this track. The amazing producer Jack Douglas, who produced the last Lennon albums...brought in Rick and Bun E. one day to try something different from the normal band they were using for the tracks. The result is what you see and hear below. It is said that even though John loved the outcome of this session, he thought the sound was to different from the rest of the tracks. Still....you can really understand what a GREAT ROCK VOICE John had....especially when being backed up by Real Rock musicians. As a side note, Tony Levin on bass. Here is the story direct from Rick Nielsen:
As Nielsen remembers it, before Cheap Trick achieved worldwide fame in the 1970s, they first needed to record an actual album and were seeking a rock culture giant to bring the release credibility. “We wanted John Lennon. This was in 1976, and he hadn’t done anything in so long.” But the rising artists got nowhere with that request, and the acclaimed first album was produced by Jack Douglas, a longtime studio master whose work over the years has included classic recordings by Aerosmith, Miles Davis, Alice Cooper and even Lennon, on his comeback album, “Double Fantasy.”
As Lennon hung out in his home at the Dakota in New York, famously tending to his new son, Sean, and making bread, Cheap Trick vaulted to worldwide fame with the stunning success of the triple-platinum “Cheap Trick at Budokan.” When Lennon dusted off his Rickenbacker and exhumed his legendary songwriting skills, he recruited Douglas to work on “Double Fantasy.” Recording commenced in the summer of 1980 in New York, and soon Douglas told Nielsen the sessions were “too studio musician-ish.” Lennon wanted some real, rough-around-the-edges rockers, and Nielsen was thrilled at the chance to record with a true rock legend. Problem was, his wife, Teresa, was about to give birth to their son, Daxx. “We were actually on tour, in Toronto, going to Japan the next day, when we heard about this, and the day of the session was the due date for Daxx. I asked (Teresa) about it, and she said, ‘C’mon, he’s your hero, you have to do it.' So on Aug. 12, we had a baby boy, and I was in Montreal. I smuggled a bunch of Cuban cigars out of Canada and flew into New York, showed up at The Hit Factory. After about an hour of setting up, in walks John Lennon.” After the clumsy introduction, Nielsen realized Lennon was a big Cheap Trick fan and started showing him some of his old tools. “He was playing this old Veleno guitar with dirty strings. He opened this case with an old Rickenbacker in it, and the set list from the Shea Stadium concert was scotch-taped to the back.” Lennon showed him a truly rare instrument, the Mellotron he played on “Strawberry Fields Forever” for soundscapes on “The White Album.” Nielsen was privy to conversation between Lennon and Ono as they planned arrangements for “I’m Moving On.” “She was asking him, ‘Should I do it fast or slow?’ He says, ‘Do it however you (bleeping) want, Mother!” “I’m Losing You” was knocked out in two takes but did not fit with the slicker material throughout the rest of the album and was left off the final printing of “Double Fantasy.” “It never fit with the continuity of the rest of the album. It’s like a lounge band, then this grungy song (“I’m Moving On” with Nielsen and Carlos also was left off). It was sort of embarrassing when people heard we were going to play on the album, then we weren’t on the album.” But the version surfaced on “John Lennon’s Anthology” in 1998, and Cheap Trick recorded a video to accompany the song several years ago. At the end of the session, Nielsen passed around his ill-gotten Cubans. Lennon joked with Carlos, “Hey, Bun E., I’ll see you at the hop,” and also told the Cheap Trick drummer, “I wish (Rick) had played on ‘Cold Turkey.’ Eric choked on that.” The “Eric” is Eric Clapton. “The whole time, it was just guy-to-guy, musician-to-musician,” Nielsen said. “Funny, I never got anything signed by him or anything like that.” Nielsen and Carlos did mention to Lennon the idea of him recording “Cheap Trick” years earlier. “We tell John this, and he says, ‘I would love to have done that.’ We wanted to kill our manager, of course. It was one of those what-if, never-happened things.”
Ain't that the truth!!! I was watching the Beatles Anthology the other night and heard The Beatles version of "Twist and Shout" 1964!!
Listen for yourself....God Love John Lennon!