Newly Released Pics Show Post-Breakup Beatles in LA
Part 2 of NBCLA's "Rock 'N Roll Treasure"
By TARA WALLIS-FINESTONE
Tue, Sep 14, 2010
Daley's 1974 photo of John and George taken at the Troubadour nightclub is believed to be the last known photo of the two of them together.
The images are incredible. They're candid, personal photographs of rock royalty: John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney.
They are from the personal collection of Patti Daley, a Southern California woman who has stored them for decades underneath her bed in her home two hours east of Los Angeles. The collection features dozens of photographs of the Beatles post-breakup in the early 1970s.
Inside the photo albums are documented proof of what Beatles fans have only read about in books and magazines: the biggest rock stars in the world were still working, playing and at times even living with each other in Southern California in the early 1970s.
"All of them were very good friends and always kept in touch," said Daley.
Daley was the ultimate rock 'n roll insider. Her boyfriend at the time was Jesse Ed Davis, the go-to guitarist on nearly all the Fab Four's solo albums.
The now 64-year-old Daley said she always carried her camera in her purse, ready to capture the rock icons who drifted in and out of her life.
Often the gathering place for Lennon's crew of musicians and friends was his rented beach house in Santa Monica. Daley captured that era like no other: photos of Ringo Starr leading backgammon games around the pool; Eric Clapton with his then-girlfriend Patti Harrison shooting pool inside the house. She also photographed a young Mickey Dolenz goofing around on the beach, and a picture of legendary "The Who" drummer Keith Moon lying on shag carpet inside the house.
"Keith was one of a kind. I always called him 'Moon the Loon,'" Daley said.
She also has two rare photos of Paul McCartney playing a baby grand piano in Lennon's living room. It was the first meeting between the two musicians since the Beatles breakup in 1970.
"I had gone into the house to use the bathroom," said Daley. "He was playing. It was so full and so beautiful, and I just crouched down and took the shot. But it didn't even faze him."
As for what Daley remembers about that legendary meeting: "I wasn't sitting right there when they were talking. I was always off doing something else. I didn't want to intrude. But I remember it being very pleasant."
Daley's favorite picture is one of Lennon and Harrison at the Troubadour nightclub in west Los Angeles.
"It just shows who they were. John with his rock 'n roll button and George just being his beautiful, spiritual self," said Daley. "And that was his mate. He was just being patient and loving him."
Daley was there during the now-legendary, alcohol-fueled recording sessions for singer Harry Nilsson's "Pussycat" album, a record that Lennon produced.
She has several shots of Ringo Starr during that time, as well as Lennon's then-girlfriend May Pang, who was his constant companion during his 18-month separation from wife Yoko Ono.
"I think John had left and wanted to get away and do something different," remembers Daley. "I know he missed Yoko, but I think he was just letting it out, being with the boys."