Battle of the Bootleg Labels 4: John Lennon – One To One Concerts at Madison Square Garden, New York

When John Lennon stepped on stage at Madison Square Garden for the matinee performance on August 30th 1972, there was no shortage of recording devices capturing this historical event.  Multitrack tapes archived both shows, as well as several film cameras and amateur equipment in the audience. Despite all of this, several of the vinyl bootlegs reviewed here are still required to help us reconstruct both shows.


1 to 1 backstage

JL backstage 1 to 1 72



Photographed August 30 1972

Photographed August 30 1972

Photographed August 30 1972

The last 3 images were taken by John Skelson

The set list was:

01. Power To The People intro / New York City
02. It’s So Hard
03. Move on Fast
[# 5 in evening show]
04. Woman Is The Nigger Of The World
05. Sisters, O Sisters
[# 3 in evening show]
06. Well, Well, Well
07. Born In A Prison
[# 10 in evening show]
08. Instant Karma
[# 7 in evening show]
09. Mother [# 8 in evening show]
10. We’re All Water
[# 9 in evening show]
11. Come Together
12. Imagine
13. Open Your Box
14. Cold Turkey
15. Hound Dog
16. Don’t Worry Kyoko
[only performed at the matinee concert]
17. Give Peace A Chance
[only performed at the evening concert]

Although a website states that “The evening show featured fewer songs, with several sung by Yoko Ono omitted.”, the analysis based on the audience recordings shows that “Don’t Worry Kyoko” was the only Yoko song cut from the evening show.

The audience recording of the matinee show remained unreleased until Contraband released it on Hound Dog (5040) several years after the event.

The professional audio and video recording of 8 songs from the evening show (05., 08., 09., 11.- 15.) was broadcast in the U.S. on December 14th as part of an ABC TV “In Concert” special, with the soundtrack being in mono.

An FM simulcast was broadcast in many cities as well and from 1973 the King Biscuit Flower Hour live radio show produced a five song edit of highlights (09.+ 10. – 12. + 17.) from the evening performance, which was played on radio stations via a transcription LP (with Yoko’s song usually not being aired subsequent to its initial airing in 1972). This can be found on the wolfgangsvault website in complete form:

“Compared to the afternoon show, John seems more comfortable here and the band performances are stronger. One may wonder why the afternoon performances were favored for the officially released CD, when these may indeed be superior performances.” []

“The most recent issuance of One To One material was the inclusion of three tracks and Geraldo Rivera’s introduction from the evening on Anthology. Although the performances are considered to be superior to those of the matinee, they were considered unusable at the time of Live In New York City’s release du to unacceptable noise levels. Advances in digital restoration software allowed their inclusion on Anthology.” [Madinger & Easter, p. 80]

In the vinyl age, the TKRWM bootleg Joshua Tree Tapes probably had the best sounding (incomplete) version of the KBFH broadcast.


This 1973 Contraband LP was the first bootleg LP from the event:

Lennon one one

Lennon one one yel

Matrix #: WEC RI-3949-AX / WEC RI-3665-A

Side 1: Mother / We’re All Water (not listed) / Imagine / Come Together/ Give Peace A Chance    

The source was the very first KBFH broadcast, as this is the only bootleg LP to include “We’re All Water”. The quality only achieved a “Poor stereo” rating in Hot Wacks but a Japanese bootleg blog gave it a “relatively good mono” unless something got lost in translation.

Side 2 presents John & Yoko’s entire performance in Ann Arbor on December 10/11 1971 as part of the “John Sinclair Freedom Rally”: John Sinclair/Attica State/Oh Sisters/Luck Of The Irish  “The video feed, capture by Detroit television station WTVS (channel 56) was bootlegged in lo-fi on CBM’s Lennon-McCartney [which was a reissue of the side 2 master of this album as side 1] (the three John tracks were lifted from the CBM disc for release on Wizardo’s One – One Concert + More). ” [Eight Arms To Hold You, page 67]

Ann Arbor

Onstage at the Chrysler Arena in Ann Arbor

Lennon - McCartney

Here’s something new, dating a release by the cover image used. The John & Yoko image was taken in March of 1973, when they were on a house hunting trip to Greenwich, CT (more images are in Bob Gruen’s photo book John Lennon – The New York Years). This means that this LP was probably released in the second half of 1973 at the earliest.


In 1975, Wizardo issued their own version of the show as their very first release but taken from an ABC TV “In Concert” video sound track:

Lennon One + One rs

Does not look like a fake to me but what is it – an advance pressing?

Lennon 1+1 concert + more


Lennon 1+1 concert + more small insert

The last three songs on side two are studio recordings. The Wizardo LP makes the core list for the ABC broadcast versions of ‘Imagine’ and ‘Give Peace A Chance’.

The same Japanese blog hands the victory clearly to Wizardo on this one (“SIDE-A is overwhelming victory of 301. …very good to excellent,… For ONE TO ONE confrontation is 301 wins overwhelmingly. “), which is also reflected in the Hot Wacks ratings difference, giving this LP a very good mono.


Lennon Hound Dog

Lennon HoundDog

Instant Analysis label, released in spring of 1974 – Matrix: JL 5040A / B

The infamous vinyl bootleg that was destroyed in Hot Wacks’ description: “Very poor. Worst bootleg ever!”.

Hot Wacks listsCold Turkey” beforeHound Dog” and this is the order in which they had been performed. This LP was the first time any of the audience recordings were released. It featured three songs  from the matinee show, and three of them are still part of the core collection to this day: “Move On Fast” can only be found on this album, as it has never been released in any form and a video of that performance was only broadcast once, on UK’s BBC 2’s The Old Grey Whistle Test on 30 January 1973 [source: The Solo Beatles Film & TV Chronicle 1971-1980].

Two others, “It’s So Hard” and “Woman Is The Nigger Of The World” are also necessary from this LP to get the full audience mix from the matinee performance (the rest are found on the Japanese CD release mentioned below).

“The complete matinee performance circulates among collectors as a poor audience recording, most of which was unbootlegged until the release of the three CD Japanese set One To One Concert. […] side two of the Instant Analysis release Hound Dog included four cuts from the unprocessed audience tape, some of which are more complete than the Japanese collection. They too are in abysmal quality, but due to their content must be considered as the suggested bootleg source.” [Madinger and Easter, p. 81]”


Honorable mention goes to two later bootlegs:

Lennon Come Back Johnny!

This tastefully done Melvin Records release made the core list for the ABC broadcast versions of “Instant Karma”, “Come Together”, “Cold Turkey” and “Hound Dog” as well as “Mother”, which is called an “ABC Outtake” in Eight Arms….


I should also mention the Hoffman Avenue Records title Plop Plop….Fizz Fizz (which can be found here) and their dissing of how other bootleggers presented this material, featured prominently on top of the back insert:



Ono Y This Is Not Here detail

This 1990s Yoko Ono bootleg is a core release at least for the ABC broadcast version of “Sisters, O Sisters”.

This song was officially released on the Live In New York City where it was edited and features a single track lead vocal but it is unedited on the bootleg recording and due to some post-production for the ABC airing a second lead vocal has been dubbed. There are many more differences and explained edits for the available non-bootlegged versions, which are explained in detail in Eight Arms To Hold You or issue # 9 of the 1987 publication ‘Illegal Beatles‘.


Willowbrook Aug 30 72 ticket

Lennon concert for willowbrook

  1. demorenis said:

    “Hound dog” it’s so bad just like Hot Wacks said? This is the first time ever i see the cover… so thanks!

  2. The word used in the “Eight Arms…” book is “abysmal”, so yes, it is. The post is still a work in progress. I will add more tomorrow.

  3. erik said:

    please talk about Bag Records if you know anything. they released the whole Lost Lennon Tapes series on Vinyl, and that yoko boot above.

  4. I just spun the Contra Band version for the first time – my copy has the same blue slipsheet in your photo but lowercase “a” and “b” on the labels.

    The slipsheet is inaccurate, as the 3665 side (“a” on my copy) has Attica State, Luck Of The Irish, and Sisters O Sisters, with no sign of John Sinclair.

    The 3949 side (“b”) has Mother/We’re All Water/Come Together/Give Peace A Chance/Imagine, all from the KBFH radio broadcast. Quality is between fair and good throughout.

  5. arno said:

    I have a few things to add/few questions:

    – Above info about the King Biscuit “best of” is a little confusing: You mention “six songs”, but elsewhere I could only find mention of five songs that were aired. (Mother / We’re All Water / Come Together / Imagine / Give Peace A Chance) – which songs were actually distributed/broadcast?

    – And which songs were transmitted during the simulcast?

    – I can confirm that the “Hound Dog” LP has EVENING show songs on side A, taken from ABC TV (Come Together (w/TV voice-over) / Instant Karma / Cold Turkey / Hound Dog / Give Peace A Chance), and MATINEE show songs on side B, from an audience tape (It’s So Hard / Move On Fast / Woman Is The Nigger Of The World / Imagine) The fact that they both sound equally awful is obviously due to poor mastering and very low vinyl quality.

    – All songs on “Come Back Johnny” are indeed from the evening performance.
    Some are from an audience tape (New York City / It’s So Hard / Woman Is The Nigger Of The World / Well, Well, Well), some aren’t (Instant Karma / Mother / Come Together / Cold Turkey / Hound Dog) – but how can they be from the ABC TV programme, if “Come Together” does not have the spoken intro?

    – It should be noted, as above comment stated, that the 1973 Contraband LP “One/One” is, as far as I’m concerned, the only LP that contains “We’re All Water” (although not listed on the sleeve)

    – According to the book “The Solo Beatles Film & TV Chronicle 1971-1980”, the ABC TV special was never aired in the UK, however BBC2 did a one-off airing of the matinee video of “Move On Fast” on “The Old Grey Whistle Test” on 73-01-30 to promote Yoko’s new album – yes, that performance which is still only available on the “worst bootleg ever” – and it still sleeps in the BBC’s vaults…!

    • Thank you very much for your comments. It’s rare to get such a detailed response.
      I have corrected the info about how many tracks make up the KBFH recording and added to the CBM One / One release. Your comment has helped a lot.

      I’m sorry, I can’t answer your question about “Come Back Johnny”.

      Can you ask for a copy of that episode of OGWT from the BBC? I will send a tweet to Yoko.

      • arno said:

        Nice! Happy to help.

        Wow, it sure would be marvelous to get our hands on a video of that performance! It seems quite unlikely though to be granted access to BBC archives, since the video probably hasn’t been touched (let alone digitalized) since the 1973 airing… but one can always try of course!

        Three more additions (oh boy, I’ve been diving deeper into the One-To-One history than I’d planned, haha), two of which may or may not be worth mentioning here:

        – Whether the BBC video will be accessible or not, you might wanna update the sentence “”Move On Fast” can only be found on this album, as it has never been released or broadcast in any form.” – since it indeed has been broadcast, only unfortunately nobody was there to preserve it.

        – Then there is this bootleg:
        However, it most certainly doesn’t hold any new material – judging from the tracklist might be compiled from the Wizardo & Melvin LPs, but I can’t verify, since unfortunately, I don’t own it. At least one ebay seller has claimed it was released in the US in the 80s, so maybe it’s not worth being mentioned here.

        – And last but not least – this classic Hoffman Avenue Records boot from 1977 at least *claimed* to have some new material:

        Even if it doesn’t, it just suits the title of this thread all too well (“Battle of the Bootleg Labels”), since there is a funny rant about other booleg labels on the back of the sleeve: “Side one of this great album is from the OTHER One-To-One concert, and is NOT the same material that appears on the Wizardo LP. Unlike some of our competitors, we would never rip you off by copying another label’s releases and then re-titling them. We don’t need the money that bad.”

        Well, since it’s been pretty much proven that apart from the “Hound Dog” LP, none of the matinee songs saw the light of day in the 70s, plus there is “Give Peace A Chance”, it seems they were wrong. Maybe the difference was that they used the KBFH broadcast. Again, can’t confirm cause I don’t have it.

        A last funny side note, which renders the “battle” rather teasing than actual rivalry: on the sleeve of their 1977 “Oriental Nightfish”, released just before (number HAR 169 – “Plop Plop…” is HAR 170) they wrote on the back of the sleeve “Side two was an unexpected but much appreciated gift from John Wizardo, who was also kind enough to engineer and master the side for us.” (It was part of the Wings’ show in Offenbach, Germany 72-7-19, more of which Wizardo released the same year on his own “Live In (sic) Hanover”)

        So much about that, before I start to write novels here, haha.

        • Thank you again, Arno. I have made the appropriate changes. I never owned the 80’s release The One To One Concert either, unfortunately and couldn’t comment on it.

          I didn’t get a response from Yoko’s Twitter account (not that I thought I would). We may be in too deep here for even one of the main performers, ha ha!

          If you find anything else to add, please do so. Such a pleasure to get a comment from someone with such deep knowledge.

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