Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Guaranteed To Keep You Alive

Riding high on the success of his Ringo LP, which had just spawned its third top 10 single, Ringo was eager to get back into the studio with producer Richard Perry and his musical mates such as Harry Nilsson to record a follow-up album.

Sessions for Goodnight Vienna would begin at the end of May, 1974, but Ringo was plenty busy in the weeks leading up to them. On March 29th, he and Keith Moon taped an appearance on ABC-TV's In Concert, introducing the UK band Sparks to an American audience. The show was aired November 11th:

On April 14th, Ringo and Keith made a live appearance on KROQ radio in Pasadena, sitting in on the Flo & Eddie Show. Ringo knew the duo from his work with the Mothers of Invention on 200 Motels, and the obviously inebriated drummer sang a bit of his current hit single, "Oh My My", and took calls from befuddled listeners. Legend has it that Ringo came on the show and dropped 14 f-bombs during the first 90 seconds, leading to the show's cancellation, but the truth is a bit less sensational than that.

A few days later, Ringo, Keith, and Harry flew to Atlanta for the long-delayed April 19th premiere of their film Son Of Dracula, which had sat unseen in the can since 1972. To say the film was a flop would be an understatement, as it closed soon after the gala opening night, and rarely showed up on any other movie screens. Ringo (sounding drunk yet again) did a bit of promotion for the movie during an April 27th interview for the Dutch pirate station Radio Veronica, of all places; there's no evidence the film ever opened in Holland.

Meanwhile, John and Harry had been taping Pussycats at the Record Plant, but as events spiralled out of control, they opted to ditch the Los Angeles scene and return to New York, where they could finish the sessions in relative peace. They also decided to counter the negative press their drunken exploits had been receiving with a bit of positive PR.

On April 28th, they appeared briefly at a Central Park rally for the March Of Dimes charity. WABC's Cousin Brucie introduced John and Harry to the throng of marchers, and they sang a bit of "I'm Walkin'" and fielded a few questions from the crowd:

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