A Toot and a Snore in '74 is a bootleg album of the only known recording session in which John Lennon and Paul McCartney played together after the break-up of the Beatles. First mentioned by Lennon in a 1975 interview, more details were brought to light in May Pang's 1983 book, Loving John, and it gained wider prominence when McCartney made reference to the session in a 1997 interview. Discussing with Australian writer Sean Sennett in his Soho office, McCartney claimed the "session was hazy... for a number of reasons".
Lennon was producing Harry Nilsson's latest album, Pussy Cats, when Paul and Linda McCartney dropped in after the first night of the sessions, aka "the Jim Keltner Fan Club Hour", at Burbank Studios on 28 March 1974. They were joined by Stevie Wonder, Harry Nilsson, Jesse Ed Davis, May Pang, Bobby Keys and producer Ed Freeman for an impromptu jam session.
Lennon was in his "lost weekend", separated from Yoko Ono and living in Los Angeles with Pang. Although he and McCartney hadn't seen each other in three years and had lashed out at each other in the press, according to Pang they resumed their friendship as if nothing had happened. The jam session proved not very productive musically. Lennon sounds to be on cocaine and is heard offering Wonder a snort on the first track, and on the fifth, asks someone to give him a snort. This is also the origin of the album name, where John Lennon clearly asks: "You wanna snort, Steve? A toot? It's goin' round". In addition, Lennon seems to be having trouble with his microphone and headphones.
Lennon is on lead vocal and guitar, and McCartney sings harmony and plays Ringo Starr's drums. (Starr, who was recording with Nilsson at the time but not present at the session, complained at the next day's recording session that "[McCartney] always messes up me drums!") Stevie Wonder sings and plays electric piano, Linda McCartney is on organ, Pang plays tambourine, Nilsson provides vocals, Davis is on guitar, Freeman (who was producing Don McLean in the neighboring studio) fills in on bass, and Keys plays saxophone. Keys had been questioned on a number of times about the session, but he couldn't recall any of it.
The events of this night are intriguing to Beatle fans as it is the only known instance of the former songwriting team playing together between their 1970 formal breakup and Lennon's murder in 1980. Aside from informal, special occasions such as weddings, collaborations of more than two ex-Beatles were rare after the band's bitter 1969–70 split, especially between Lennon and McCartney, whose conflict was the most pronounced and long-lasting.
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