Friday, July 27, 2012

Lonely Far East Man

After the release of Living In The Material World, George retreated once again from the public eye for the remainder of 1973. One of his only Apple-related projects that year was producing the film Little Malcolm; George had seen the play on which it was based in 1966 and fell in love with the story.

The movie was filmed in February and March 1973 but not released until June 1974, when it was screened at a Berlin film festival. By that time, Apple was nearly defunct as a business, and the film remained mostly unseen until its recent DVD release. George also produced and played guitar on a song for the soundtrack, "Lonely Man", co-written by Mal Evans and performed by the duo Splinter.

As with most of George's musical efforts from this point forward, the song was recorded at his home studio, FPSHOT (Friar Park Studios, Henley-On-Thames). He invited guitarist Ron Wood to stay there in October 1973, and the duo co-wrote a song for Wood's next album, "Far East Man".

In November, George was ready to begin recording his own LP at home, inviting Ringo to participate. He would record his own versions of "Far East Man" and an earlier giveaway, "So Sad", for the album. Very little work on what would become Dark Horse was done by the time George took another trip to India in February 1974.

By that time, Ringo was hogging most of the spotlight as his LP Ringo had been a gold-seller, and the #1 single "Photograph" was followed up in December by another #1 US single, "You're Sixteen". On February 8th, 1974, "You're Sixteen" was issued in the UK (where it peaked at #3). By then, the US was up to its third single from the LP, "Oh My My", which came out February 18th. It reached #5, making Ringo the first (and to date, only) ex-Beatle to have three top five singles from the same LP.

On February 6th, Ringo sat down with Brian Matthew for an appearance on the BBC Radio 1 series My Top Twelve. As the title suggests, the show was an outlet for celebrities to choose 12 of their favorite songs, creating a fantasy LP. Ringo, whose record collection was legendarily enormous, made things easy on himself by selecting singles from his home jukebox. In addition to discussing the songs, he chatted about favorite drummers, films, seeing Elvis in Las Vegas, the Ringo LP, and his new home studio.


  1. Wow, '73 all done, amazing Johnny Winn O'Boogie! Just....thanks! And thanks again!

    Hey, in "8 Arms To Hold You", they seem to think "Ding Dong Ding Dong" might have been recorded during these end-of-year you disagree?

    Can't wait to hear this Ringo interview!!!!!

    Have a great weekend, generous Beatle-person!

    1. Makes sense that he would be in a "ring out the old, ring in the new" mood at the end of the year!

    2. That's what I thought! Thanks....if you had said otherwise.

      Hey, on a totally different note, I was shocked and stunned to see none other than beloved Beatle person Martin Lewis weighing in on Mitt Romney's gaffes in England on "The Ed Show" the other day.....and of course, I was just waiting the entire time for when he'd find a way to namecheck the Beatles....which he did, heheh. Here's the clip, for those interested:

      I know on another show, they had the Magical Mystery Tour logo, complete with the starbursts, but it was retitled "Magical Mitt Tour", really funny. And of course, one of the headlines in I think the Daily Mail was "Nowhere Man Romney", hehehe....

      Sorry to digress!

  2. Lonely Man is such a gorgeous song. I have nothing else to say about that.

  3. I think Dinsdalep is mad at us.... :(

    Just kidding! Welcome back from wherever you were (I saw you comment on the Meet The Beatles...For Real! blog.....that blog is awesome, iddn't it?!!!).

    Hey, this Ringo interview is GREAT!!!! I would NEVER have figured out that the "Cold Turkey" drum part (leaving the beat out during the end of the song) came from trying to approximate the Lee Dorsey song! That's the kind of info that I live for! And brilliant, instead of cribbing the exact beat, they take an idea from the beat and put it into a totally different context. Those crafty Beatles!

    All these years I had thought Alan White played drums on Cold Turkey, this is the second interview with Ringo that he talks about playing on it....and of course it's Ringo, it sounds just like him!

    Alan White's drumming on Instant Karma is pretty amazing though, so he still gets a gold star!

    Hey, getting to know our leader, Dindsdalep! Got some questions I'm dying to know your opinion on!

    1.) What are among YOUR favorite Beatle songs?
    2.) What ones do you personally not hold in the highest esteem (compared to the others, of course!)? Come on, Mr. Winn, stir up some controversy! Are you a "You Like Me Too Much" hater? You can tell us!
    3.) Favorite Beatle (if there is such a thing!)
    4.) Favorite Beatle solo albums
    5.) LEAST favorite Beatle solo albums.

    Hope you don't mind, just to know where you stand on these important issues!!! I intend to submit these same questions to Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Joe Biden, and President O'Bama-lang-a-lang-a-langa-lang!

    And, as always....thanks for the blog!!!

    1. 1) Help!, She Loves You, For No One, If I Fell, Glass Onion, Please Please Me, Here Comes The Sun, Rain, Long Tall Sally, Drive My Car... to name a few.
      2) Blue Jay Way would be dead last, not even close
      3) pass
      4) one from each - Plastic Ono Band, Ram, 33 1/3, Goodnight Vienna
      5) one from each - Sometime In NYC, Driving Rain, Extra Texture, Ringo IV

      And you're welcome! (I should be back to regular posting on Monday)

    2. Hey, John, I know it's been a while since this post(it seems like over a year ago, but I see it was just this past August)....but now I happen to be listening to Driving Rain...and I immediately had to find this post and write! Holy smokes, were you right or what! Makes you cringe!!! And the lame production! The lame mooning for Heather Mills! Oof! So yeah, way belated, but I have to agree...."Driving Rain" has to be Macca's worse (unless he's done something worse since then, I wouldn't know!). Atrocious!!!

      Worst lyric so far..."1 2 3 4 5...let's go for a drive....6, 7, 8, 9, 10.....woo-hoo!" (he doesn't even bother to put together a rhyme!!! Leaning back on the ole Little Richard woooooo!

  4. Very interesting!!!!!!

    Who would have thought "Blue Jay Way" was at the bottom of your list ("not even close" you say!!)?!!! THIS is EXACTLY why you are such a great Beatle/music writer. You do not betray at all your opinion of this song! Which happens to be one I like! (though it's not in my top fifty, of course!). I always hate it when a biographer disses my favorite album or song! (you know who's the worst at that? Clinton Heylin, the Dylan writer, oof! I can barely read him!)

    Is "Driving Rain" the one with a song called "Mr. Bellamy"? I remember picking up a Paul album, flipped it over, saw there was a song called "Mr. Bellamy" and thanks!

    Definitely agree with Extra Texture and Ringo IV!. 33 1/3, big surprise! It's totally good that one, but now I'm going to listen to it again!

    Wow, "Blue Jay Way" is held in lower esteem than "You Like Me Too Much".

    I used to play in the Fiery Furnaces....and on tour, we would pit Beatle songs against each other. "A Hard Day's Night"....or "Help"? "Hey Jude"....or "Let It Be"? It went on for days. "Back In The USSR"....or "Get Back"? Always lots of surprises.

    I love that you put "Long Tall Sally" up there, holy smokes, amongst other things it's one of Ringo's greatest performances. I heard someone diss "Long Tall Sally" recently and I looked at them as if they had just taken a dump out of their armpit (sorry to be gross....but it's Long Tall Sally we're talking about!).

    Well anyways, welcome back, and thanks for answering the questions!!

    (my faves: She Said She Said, Me & My Monkey, Getting Better, It's All Too Much, You Never Give me Your Money & Sun King.....and just in terms of "the greats", Hey Jude's got to be there and I believe Come Together to be the single greatest Beatles record in that each Beatle (as well as George Martin/Geoff Emerick) contribute 100% to the finished product. Paul plays bass, Fender Rhodes and sings harmony so I guess he contributes 300%!)

  5. Great post, John, as always. I like the comments too. My Top 12 would vary over time and depend very much on the particular mood I'm in. And FYI, the complete Ringo's Top 12 interview is here: