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Plastic Ono Band Album Cover

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The Plastic Ono Band remained dormant for most of the summer of 1969 as the Beatles worked on completing Abbey Road. On 12 September, Lennon received a call from John Brower, organizer of the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival (set to occur the following day), offering Lennon free attendance to the festival in order to boost its profile. Lennon offered instead to perform at the festival. Brower agreed, and Lennon quickly assembled a band. He initially approached Beatles bandmate George Harrison to play lead guitar, but Harrison turned him down. Eric Clapton (who had played guitar in Lennon's earlier live group, the Dirty Mac) was chosen instead. Bassist Klaus Voormann and drummer Alan White filled out the first performing lineup of the Plastic Ono Band. While organizing the band, Lennon privately decided to leave the Beatles, due to the tensions in the band at the time. The band rehearsed on the plane to Toronto, and performed both rock songs sung by Lennon and experimental pieces led by Ono. The show was recorded, and released in December as Live Peace in Toronto 1969, the first LP credited to the Plastic Ono Band.

The world held its breath when The Smiths split - would they be rubbish apart? Moz hooked up with Mancunian guitar hero Vini Reilly and some doubters claimed he would be no match for Johnny Marr… but the resulting album had some great moments, including the savage opener, Alsatian Cousin and the hits Suedehead and Every Day Is Like Sunday.


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