Who Would Turn Down a Beatle? Wishbone Ash Did!
RNRU : Also during the early 70's, you played on some sessions for George Harrison and Ringo Starr at the Apple studios, and at the time you declined working on John Lennon's 'Imagine' recording sessions. How did those sessions come about, and what do you recall about them?
AP : Well, we were sharing the same road manager at the time, living in London, as were The Beatles. Of course, The Beatles weren't touring at the time, they were doing a lot of recording at Apple. They were signing up artists like James Taylor. It was interesting because we were poor, starving musicians with no money. Our road managers would show up in John Lennon's white Rolls Royce or something. (Laughs) Or George's Pullman Mercedes, and we'd end up going out for a beer. He just happened to mention to us, and we always were dying to hear any news of The Beatles, "George is in the studio at the moment, he's laying down tracks, he's looking for a bunch of acoustic guitar players, do you want to come down?" It was literally like that. You'd go down to Apple, and there was George. He was very low key, very humble. We were the new wave of bands. They had ceased to be, but everybody... The Beatles are rock royalty. They were in those days. It was a great honor to play. The thin gs I worked on, I don't think particularly saw the light of day. They're all sessions that are in the vaults somewhere. There was an Australian artist that they signed up, Ringo was the producer and drummer on that session. With Klaus Voorman, and a couple of other noted players. I did a session with George, and I think Ringo was on that one too, actually. There was a John Lennon session that came up, that Ted Turner took. I, naively, had been rehearsing all day, and I said I was too tired. Which, I regret eternally. That was for the 'Imagine' album. It was recorded in London. Actually, it was down at his house in Surrey. Ted went along and played on that, and he's actually on that album, on the song "Crippled Inside." There's a little bit of Wishbone Ash in there somewhere.
RNRU : Were The Beatles aware of you as a band at that time?
AP : Oh, I'm sure they were. When we went in, speaking to George and Ringo, they were very deferential. I couldn't believe it. It was very nice to be acknowledged, for sure. [see the full story for a lot more including a discussion of the sessions that produced the classic 'Argus' album.]
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