JOHN LENNON, YOKO ONO & FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS Live At The Fillmore East, June 5, 1971

Live At The Fillmore East
June 5, 1971
Lennon’s Mix & Zappa’s Mix, Side By Side

It stands as John Lennon’s most daring live performance. The night he and Yoko Ono stepped onstage with Frank Zappa’s Mothers during the final days of the Fillmore East. Lennon released the tapes on Sometime in New York City in 1972. Zappa re-edited the material 20 years later for his own Playground Psychotics. Both mixes differ and have their own strengths. Still, either version of Lennon & The Mothers’ hair-raising opening, the Cavern Club-era cover of “Well (Baby Please Don’t Go),” must be considered one of John Lennon’s finest live recordings (acting as a reminder of how good Lennon was with a great band behind him). Yoko detractors routinely dismiss this entire show because of her equal presence. Instead… it might be her shining hour, and maybe Lennon and Ono’s live high-water mark, filled with sounds most people had never heard before… including improvisational adventures via Lennon’s noise-making and Yoko’s two-ton balls. It would be decades before Sonic Youth and Yamatsuka Eye would make this show’s raw guitar feedback and genre-shattering vocals appear cool, though… this history witnessing crowd seemed to get it OK. Say what you will about the credibility of their experimentations together, John & Yoko’s antics introduced millions of teens to their very first taste of mind-altering anti-music with “Revolution #9,” and then got weirder after that. Here’s Lennon’s artistic revenge for Zappa’s We’re Only In It For The Money. (@320)

LENNON’S MIX (Sometime In New York City 1972)
Well (Baby Please Don’t Go) (4:40)
Jamrag (5:36)
Scumbag (4:28)
Au (8:02)

ZAPPA’S MIX (Playground Psychotics 1992)
Well (4:43)
Say Please (0:57)
Aaawk (2:59)
Scumbag (5:54)
A Small Eternity With Yoko Ono (6:07)


  • 1
    December 13, 2010 - 20:45 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • 2
    Colin H
    April 17, 2012 - 20:26 | Permalink

    a corner of (ex)Beatledom I have never explored somehow. Well, OK, I know why, too, but your writeup has convinced me a) to give it a try, and b) to do so in the absence of my 2 year old, in case she likes it and I don’t

  • 3
    April 17, 2012 - 20:40 | Permalink

    A lot of it is noise, but “Well” has always been one of my fave Lennon tracks.

  • 4
    Colin H
    April 17, 2012 - 21:17 | Permalink

    I liked quite a bit of Yoko’s Double Fantasy-era stuff… in time, and I managed a nice single disc or so comp from the Ono box when you posted that… but a 2 year old into Yoko at her shreikiest I don’t need.

    • 5
      April 17, 2012 - 22:25 | Permalink

      Well… some say that, musically, they have a lot in common.

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