1969 was a pretty incredible year for music. The Beatles delivered both Yellow Submarine and Abbey Road in the space of a few months, The Rolling Stones dropped Let It Bleed and Bob Dylan immersed himself in country music with his Nashville Skyline. However, according to reports in a new book, that golden period of music almost featured an epic collaborative album between all of the aforementioned music greats.
According to a new book, Sound Man, by renowned producer and engineer Glyn Johns, who worked on Abbey Road, Let It Bleed and many other notable records of the era, Bob Dylan at the time said he wanted to make an album together with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Reports Rolling Stone, during a brief encounter with Glyn Johns at a New York airport, the rock legend expressed interest in both Fab Four and the Stones’ music and then dropped his bombshell of an idea.
“He said he had this idea to make a record with the Beatles and the Stones,” John writes. “And he asked me if I would find out whether the others would be interested. I was completely bowled over. Can you imagine the three greatest influences on popular music in the previous decade making an album together?”
Johns writes that he immediately reached out to both acts to try and gauge their interest in the proposal. “Keith and George thought it was fantastic,” he says. “But they would since they were both huge Dylan fans. Ringo, Charlie and Bill were amicable to the idea as long as everyone else was interested. John didn’t say a flat no, but he wasn’t that interested. Paul and Mick both said absolutely not.”
While Johns doesn’t give an exact timeline for the encounter, Rolling Stone said he was travelling with the publications’s founder Jann Wenner at the time, who was in the process of editing his groundbreaking interview with Dylan. That puts the meeting around the summer of 1969.
Sadly the idea didn’t move beyond that point, however Johns said he had already started mapping out the project in his mind. “I had it all figured out,” he writes. “We would pool the best material from Mick and Keith, Paul and John, Bob and George, and then select the best rhythm section from the two bands to suit whichever songs we were cutting.”
“Paul and Mick were probably, right,” he concedes, “however I would have given anything to have given it a go.” So would we Glyn. So would we.
Sound Man is due to hit bookstores on November 13th.
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