Tuesday, October 30, 2012

So This Is What Dawn Does

To promote Walls And Bridges, John had done one-on-one phone interviews with dozens of radio stations from his base in New York. For Rock 'N' Roll, he decided to kill 35 birds with one stone; on February 21st, 1975, he hosted a conference call from the Capitol offices in New York and fielded questions from disc jockeys across the country in a single phone event.

Unfortunately, this format didn't lead to any in-depth discussion and the topics covered were par for the course: reunion rumors, the Roots LP, the immigration case, disco music, and his reconciliation with Yoko. He also discusses "Have You Heard The Word", "What's The New Mary Jane", and "How Do You Do It". The event ends in humorous chaos when a pre-recorded voice interrupts to repeat "please hang up and try again".

Former US Attorney General John Mitchell had been found guilty of conspiracy in the Watergate case earlier that day, and John is asked to comment. He also mentions being in the studio the previous day to add ARP synthesizer strings to the single mix of "Stand By Me". The single was released March 10th in the US, where it would peak at #20. It failed to chart in the UK.

John also mentions his plans to cut a new album soon, claiming to have plenty of new material composed. Whatever the case, when Yoko discovered she was pregnant soon thereafter, John decided to put his musical career on hold for a while. He was still seen in public, beginning with a memorable appearance at the Grammy Awards on March 1st. John co-presented the award for Record Of The Year with Paul Simon and Andy Williams:

John, Yoko, and David Bowie socialized at the Grammies after-party, and early the next morning the trio (prompted by their limo driver) decided to call in to WPLJ-FM and speak live on the air with Alex Bennett. Bowie sounded a bit reluctant to chat, but John brought him out of his shell with a faux-interview, while Yoko mostly remained silent. John also conflated hearing "Love Me Do" on the radio for the first time (October 1962) with President Kennedy's assassination (November 1963).


  1. I've never understood John's quip which you used for the title of this post. Maybe it's something to do with American pop culture. Can you explain?

    1. Pretty sure he's referring to Tony Orlando and Dawn, who had a variety show starting in 1974 with the same kind of corny banter they were reading at the Grammys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn_(group)

  2. Hey! Beatles Radio Waves has an improved sound quality version of the conference call!


    All the parts that become hard to hear (like John talking about George's tour, or John Mitchell) are now clear and audible! Someone did a great job on this one! Also, there's two versions of it, CD-2 has, I think, a radio station's broadcast of at least part of the call mingled with music. Disc 1 is the unadulterated tape. I don't think there's any difference between what was posted here already and what's over there, though I didn't go over it with a fine toothed comb!

    (the links are mediafire, should be no trouble downloading them).

    -mg (i'm gonna start signing my posts to differentiate myself from the other Anonymouses!)