Throughout the decades John Lennon worked with a massive amount of artists. Not only did he meet the likes of Elvis Presley while he was still in The Beatles, but he also worked alongside Simon and Garfunkel on songs and lyrics, as well as many more. In 1984 the singer from The Mothers of Invention, Frank Zappa, explained how he worked hard on a song with Lennon, but lost out on all credit for it.
Zappa recalled first meeting Lennon in June 1971. He said: “A journalist in New York City woke me up – knocked on the door and is standing there with a tape recorder and goes: ‘Frank, I’d like to introduce you to John Lennon.’ You know, waiting for me to gasp and fall on the floor.”
The star was shocked to see Lennon, but more so because he wasn’t expecting the visit. Regardless, he invited Lennon in and was greeted with an unexpected insult. Lennon said: “You’re not as ugly as I thought you would be!”
From this, Zappa knew he liked the former Fab Four star.
Zappa revealed a song they worked on together eventually appeared in Lennon’s 1972 album Some Time in New York City. He explained: “The bad part is there’s a song that I wrote called King Kong which we played that night – and I don’t know whether it was Yoko’s idea or John’s idea – but they changed the name of the song to Jamrag, gave themselves writing and publishing credit on it, stuck it on an album and never paid me.”
Jamrag is the 14th song featured on the record and is, once again, a live track. It also sounds distinctly different to Lennon’s other tracks.
Some Time In New York City was a moderately successful album that reached number two in the album charts of Norway. In the USA it peaked at 48, while in the UK it hit 11. But Zappa was not happy about how things went down between them. He said: “It was obviously not a jam session song: It’s got a melody, it’s got a bass line; it’s obviously an organised song.”
The star added: “Little bit disappointing.”