Congratulations on a hit, everybody!
By Derek Taylor
of The Plastic Ono Band
First published in the July 26th 1969 edition of 'Disc and Music Echo'
The Ad said “YOU are the Plastic Ono Band” and that is the truth. You are and I am and the Beatles are, any of them, or none at all, Anyone. The first record was “Give peace a chance” and it is a good thing that this is so because it is nice to launch a band with a number one record, but it wasn’t necessarily the first release; it just happened that way; it just happened. It could have been a song written against a track recorded for Sgt.Pepper and not used in that most wonderful of all albums. It could have been a track recorded by Swinging George Harrison and his All stars - a beautiful thing he recorded especially for the Plastic Ono Band - recorded expressly by George and his friends because they love John and will do his bidding. It was “Give peace a chance” because it happened. And all its other releases will happen as they happen.
The band was made in perspex in Hoylake, in Cheshire (where Selwyn Lloyd and I were brought up separately) by an inventor I know called Charles Melling. It was Yoko’s idea, with John, made to her specifications; four pieces - like John,Paul,George and Ringo, three taller and one shorter. Two rectangular, one cylindrical and a cube. One column holds a tape-recorder and amplifier, another a closed circuit TV set with live camera, a third a record player with amplifier, and the fourth has a miniature light show and a loud speaker. But they could hold anything, they are as adaptable as the Beatles. The perspex columns were fitted with their equipment by Apple electronics under the direction of (Magic) Alexis Mardas and here ends the first and last technological press release you will have from me. To other details of the Plastic Ono Band....
The band may be the property of Apple, but it also belongs to everyone
because what it represents is freedom, freedom for performers to be themselves,
taking no heed of who they are or what they look like or where they have
been or what their music is supposed to be. It could be children in a playground
screaming their release from the bondage of the classroom or it could be
John and Yoko screaming their love one for another. It could be anything.
The band will tour - the British band will tour here, and in the US another band is to be built, built to withstand the long hauls across that amazing continent and maybe beyond, maybe far beyond one day.
Who knows, any more?
“Give peace a chance” was born in Montreal one Saturday night when the mood was right and the moon was full. John had written it maybe for the Beatles, maybe for anyone who turned up and seemed right. That night in Montreal forty or more seemed right and ready: Tim Leary, Tom Smothers, John, Yoko, a few journalists, many friends, a few activists from the peace movement now proliferating in North America (and not without reason) and dare I say there was a member of the CIA there in drag.
I don’t know what the Plastic Ono Band is; the more I think about it
the more I don’t know what to say it is. But I know it’s right and I know
it’s good. I know it works. You only have to feel it to know it’s good
and right and workable.
I just phoned John to ask him what he would say the Plastic Ono Band was. He wouldn’t know what to say except to repeat the ad, the ad that says it all.
YOU are the Plastic Ono Band, And because you are you , you understand. Don’t you?
GROW YOUR HAIR
STAY IN BED
John Peel added these thoughts in the August 2nd 1969 edition.
It is nice to be, as Derek Taylor pointed out last week, a member of the Plastic Ono Band. If you remember, you are too - our first hit record and it is a good feeling. Play it somewhere friendly, and sing along and it does feel right.
Sometimes you must read the papers or hear the radio or even watch the degrading spectacle of television (remember when television had a capital "t"?) and feel sad at the cruelty, the stupidity and the selfishness of a great number of those with whom we share this planet. They will take it from us if we don't stop them. Then think, when you are saddened, about some of the good people who breathe the same air you do, who walk the same land you do and who see the same sunshine and feel the same rain as you. Most of them you'll never see or meet or know-but they're there and you'd like them, love them if you did meet then. John Lennon and Yoko are two of them.
I don't know the other Beatles - I've only met
John and his lady twice and briefly: However I honestly feel as close to
Yoko and John as I do to any other people on earth. To talk to the two
of them is to talk to one person which sounds daft but isn't. The chances
are good, that you'l1 never meet them and I probably won't again. It doesn't
matter much anyway because it is a joy to know that they are alive somewhere.
It is a joy to know that so many good and thoughtful people are alive somewhere
- and some are no longer alive in the very narrowness of the idea of "living."
It is good to know that YOU are alive. Perhaps it's just another record. Apple IS just another company, John and Yoko are just other people. To me it's a magic record and they are magic people.
HAIR PEACE , BED PEACE