john lennon

June 5, 1971, John Lennon and Yoko Ono sat in with The Mothers.
A recording of this event was released on Lennon's "Sometime In New York City", and in 1992 on Zappa's "Playground Psychotics".




  john & yoko / plastic ono band: sometime in new york city
    (1972, 2lp, uk, apple) - feat. zappa & mothers

  john lennon: john lennon
    (1978, 9lp-box, uk, jlb 8) incl. the "sometime in new york city" album
johnlennon_9lpbox.jpg (17090 bytes)
  john lennon: live in new york city
    (1986, cd, usa, capital records)
60 frank zappa: playground psychotics
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)

john: born oct. 9th, 1940 - killed dec. 8th, 1980

yoko: born feb. 18th, 1933

this is no place to go into the life and times of john lennon or yono ono, there are thousands of other good sources for that.  the main thing here is to recognize the event that occurred on saturday, june 5th 1971, when john lennon and yoko ono sat in with the mothers.  the resulting air sculpture was released the following year on the lennon album "sometime in new york city", and then again in 1992 on the zappa album playground psychotics.


     from: fz's liner notes to playground psychotics

(some of you might have heard another version of this material on the john & yoko album "sometime in new york city", when they sat in with us that night, we were in the process of recording the "live at the fillmore east, june 1971" album, and all of this insanity was captured on tape. after the show, john and i agreed we would each put out our own version of the performance, and i gave him a copy of the 16 track master tape. here is our version)


some european guy interviews frank zappa - 1984

transcribed by evilbob from frank zappa interview picture disc.

q:  i would like to ask you 2 questions: one is... on "sometime in new york city", the john lennon and yoko ono?

z: what about it?

q: what was it? how did it come about and all that?

z: the day before the show, a journalist in new york city woke me up - knocked  on  the  door  and is standing there with a tape recorder and goes:  "frank,  i'd like to introduce you to john lennon,"  you  know, waiting  for  me  to gasp and fall on the floor and i said "well,  ok. come on in." and we sat around and talked, and i think the first thing he said  to me was "you're not as ugly as i thought you would be." so anyway, i thought he had a pretty good sense of humor so i invited him to come down and jam with us at the fillmore east. we had already booked in a recording truck because we  were  making the  "live at the fillmore" album at the time.  after they had sat in with us, an arrangement was made that we would both have access to the tapes.  he  wanted  to  release it with his mix and i had the right to release it with my mix - so that's how that one section came about. the bad part is,  there's a song that i wrote  called  "king  kong" which we  played  that night,  and i don't know whether it was yoko's idea or john's idea but they changed the name  of  the  song  to  "jam rag", gave themselves writing and publishing credit on it, stuck it on an album and never paid me.  it was obviously not a jam session song - its  got  a melody,  its got a bass line,  it's obviously an organized song - little bit disappointing. i've never released my version of the mixes of that night.

q: do you ever intend to?

z:  one day yeah - but it would be drastically different because there were things that were edited out of their version  and  certain  words that  were being sung that were removed because of the editorial slant that they wanted to apply to  the  material  and  i  have  a  slightly different viewpoint on it.

      from: biffyshrew (

did you know that fillmore east: june 1971 was originally intended to be a double set, with a version of "billy the mountain" and the john & yoko encore jam on the second disc?  foot-dragging by lennon and his manager (allen klein) caused zappa to say the hell with it, let lennon put out the jam himself, and save "billy the mountain" for later...

      from: jon naurin (naurin@mbox300.swipnet.se_remove_to_reply)

yes, and this 2nd disc also reached the test pressing stage which somehow got into the hands of bootleggers. "studebaker hoch"/"don't fuck around" from "randomonium" (mystery box) is from this unreleased disc, and parts of it ended up on "apocrypha" too. copies of the whole disc have not been widely spread though.

side one of fe disc two consists of a long "king kong" jam, which i don't think is the one with lennon (no eternities with yoko at least). "billy the mountain" is not present in its entirety, but most of side two is taken up by "studebaker hoch"/"don't fuck around" and extended jamming.

      from: (fred h. banta)

isn't the guitar obnoxiously feeding back as she delivers her performance? was this intentional?  more aafnraa?

      from: biffyshrew (

just in case it isn't clear, that's lennon's guitar, not zappa's.  it was kind of standard procedure for jl to do feedback drones--even walking away with the guitar leaning on the amp--while yoko was singing.  compare "cambridge 1969" on the newly reissued _life with the lions_, or "john, john (let's hope for peace)" on _live peace in toronto_.

      from: chris roe (

john & yoko did a hack job with that material. they tried to edit out flo & eddies vocals on scum bag & took credit for all the material. doesn't even sound mixed at all.on one of the insert covers,they had the fillmore lp cover w/ scratch marks & scribbled their own junk on there.what a bunch o' chumps they was.

     from: (bill shoemaker)

not to mention having klaus voormann re-dub the bass, adding a ton of echo (though i suspect that was phil spector's doing), and removing the audience shouting "get her off!" at yoko.

 does anyone who might've heard the original bootleg or seen the bootleg video (neither of which i've seen/heard), know how well frank did on his version (on "playground psychotics")?  there's some stuff on lennon's version left out of frank's, and i was wondering if there was anything important performed that didn't make it onto either version.


i have the video and the only thing that is missing from both versions is a bit of jamming in "well (baby please don't go)".

lennon's version has a fade out in the middle of "well", where it crossfades into the improv right after the meltdown of "well". (this improv is also known as "say please".) afterwards, the entire performance is intact. zappa's version is shorter, but is much better. it has a jam edited out of the middle of "well". the meltdown connecting "well" and "say please" has been edited out and the tracks segue. the main theme to "king kong" has been removed, so the end of "say please" edits right into the "king kong" keyboard solo ("awwwk") . from that point on, the performance is intact.

i should also mention that the introduction is edited differently on both versions.

lennon's is the most complete, but it was butchered by phil spector, with possible help from john and yoko. also, yoko was insecure about the performance. she was heckled by the audience and teased by flo & eddie. flo & eddie were removed from lennon's mix, as well as don preston. and jim pons's bass was replaced. then a nice layer of echo was laid right on top. a disgrace.

lennon's mix is only for completists. zappa's mix is far superior.

      from: patrick neve (

as you probably know there is a video document of this event.

for more information on that please see:

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there's a john lennon tape for auction on which he plays frank zappa's "jelly roll gum drop" together with his daughter kyoko. want to know more, go to

Two previously unheard tapes of John Lennon telling stories, nursery rhymes and improvising songs are expected to fetch 70,000 at auction.

The 80-minute tapes were recorded in 1969 and 1970 and display for the first time the bond between Lennon and Yoko Ono's daughter, Kyoko.

On one of the tapes, which will be auctioned on Tuesday by Christie's in London, Lennon is heard singing "Oh Yoko" from the 1971 hit album Imagine.

He also joins Yoko for the 1966 chart-topper "Yellow Submarine" and also improvises blues, folk and funk guitar riffs.

Lennon is then heard accompanying Kyoko in an unlikely rendition of Frank Zappa's "Jelly Roll Gum Drop".

He also reveals a previously undocumented talent for penning children's ditties, including a touching one addressed to his own son Julian.

The second tape features Lennon and Kyoko playing the acoustic guitars of Tony Cox, Yoko's ex-husband. Ono and Mr Cox can be heard making occasional interjections.

Tuesday's sale also includes another unheard tape, recorded by Lennon at home in 1966 as he develops the lyrics and melody for "She Said, She Said", from the Beatles' Revolver album, released later that year.

A rare seven-inch acetate, "Don't Worry Kyoko", on the Apple label, recorded by Yoko in Queen Charlotte's Hospital for her daughter in 1968, should fetch up to 12,000, says The Independent.

At the same sale, a pewter tankard and a metal cigarette lighter Lennon gave to his Liverpool flatmate Rod Murray instead of rent money early in 1960 are expected to fetch up to 3,000.

Story filed: 09:22 Saturday 27th April 2002

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