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A Toot and a Snore in '74

The cover art of A Toot and a Snore in '74
Studio album (bootleg) by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Harry Nilsson, Jesse Ed Davis and Bobby Keyes
Released 1992
Recorded March 28, 1974, Burbank Studios, Los Angeles
Genre Rock
Length 29:12
Label Mistral Music
MM 9225

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. Mentioned by Lennon in a 1975 interview,[1] 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". The story is corroborated by biographies such as Christopher Sandford's 2006 McCartney.[2]


Recording history

Lennon was producing Harry Nilsson's latest album, Pussy Cats, when Paul and Linda McCartney dropped in on the Los Angeles Record Plant session, aka the Jim Keltner Fan Club, on March 28, 1974. They were joined by Stevie Wonder, Harry Nilsson, Jesse Ed Davis, May Pang, Bobby Keyes and producer Ed Freeman for an impromptu jam session. Also present that evening, though they did not participate in the jam session, were Ringo Starr and The Who drummer Keith Moon.

Lennon was in his "lost weekend", separated from Yoko Ono and living in Los Angeles with May Pang. In his 2006 book, McCartney, Sandford describes the scene as follows:

The room froze when McCartney walked in, and remained perfectly silent until Lennon said, ‘Valiant Paul McCartney, I presume?’ McCartney responded: ‘Sir Jasper Lennon, I presume?’ (Valiant Paul and Sir Jasper were characters played by the two, in a televised Christmas play early in the Beatles's career.) McCartney extended a hand, Lennon shook it, and the mood was pleasant but subdued, cordial but not especially warm, at least initially.

What followed was not very productive. Lennon sounds to be on cocaine—he can be 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, while McCartney sings harmony and plays drums. Stevie Wonder sings and plays electric piano, Linda McCartney on organ, May Pang on tambourine, Harry Nilsson provides vocals, Jesse Ed Davis is on guitar, producer Ed Freeman fills in on bass, Bobby Keyes plays saxophone.[3]

The events of this night are intriguing to Beatle fans as one of only three or four known instances of the former songwriting team meeting in person 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-lived of all the post-split infighting.

Track listing

  1. "A Toot and a Snore" 0:27
  2. "Bluesy Jam" 2:33
  3. "Studio Talk" 2:40
  4. "Lucille" 5:59
  5. "Nightmares" 2:38
    • Actually the band is playing "Sleep Walk", the 1959 Santo & Johnny instrumental hit.
  6. "Stand By Me" - 2:18
    • Mostly Lennon complaining about the sound in his headphones and reminiscing about how it was better half an hour ago.
  7. "Stand By Me" 3:41
    • Lennon complains about the sound again, saying that it was better two hours ago.
  8. "Stand By Me" 6:04
    • Because of Lennon's complaints, the studio has changed the microphone levels on the recording itself (rather than the performers' headphones), and most of the lead vocals can no longer be heard.
  9. Medley 3:10
    "Chain Gang"
    "Take This Hammer"


The album's front cover is based on that of the 1979 album The Songs Lennon and McCartney Gave Away.


  1. ^ John Lennon "Lost Weekend" Interviews. Event occurs at 1:45. Retrieved 2009-12-29. "I jammed with Paul, I did actually play with Paul, yeah. We did a lot of stuff in L.A., but there was 50 other people playing—they were all just watching me and Paul ..."  
  2. ^ Sandford, Christopher (February 2006). McCartney. Carroll & Graf. pp. 227–229. ISBN 978-0786716142.  
  3. ^ "John Lennon & Paul McCartney - A Toot And A Snore In 74". BootlegZone. BootlegZone & François Vander Linden. Retrieved 2007-02-18.  


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