Legendary bassist Klaus Voormann recalled working with John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr during the early-1970's. Voormann, who first befriended the Beatles in Hamburg, Germany in 1960 while dating Astrid Kirchherr, went on to play bass on such legendary solo-Beatles hits as “Imagine,” “My Sweet Lord,” “Jealous Guy,” “It Don't Come Easy,” “All Things Must Pass,” “Cold Turkey,” “What Is Life,” “Mother,” “Back Off Boogaloo,” “God,” “Bangla Desh,” “Instant Karma,” “Oh My My,” “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night,” “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth),” “You're Sixteen,” “Stand By Me,” “Photograph,” “#9 Dream,” and many more.
During a chat with Rock Cellar magazine, Voormann was asked about the differences between the 1970 sessions for Lennon's groundbreaking solo debut, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band — recorded with Ringo Starr and it's followup, the 1971 commercial smash, Imagine — which featured George Harrison: “There was a definite difference. For all of us, even for Ringo, it was pretty new to have Yoko (Ono) on John’s side. It was very sad for Ringo; he felt sad to see that. Later on, John explained to Ringo he was now with Yoko and they were together and whatever he does, he does with Yoko. He said to him, 'We are like one,' and then he understood. But first, it was difficult for him to get used to that. On those sessions for the Plastic Ono LP that was still there. But from our point of view, Ringo and I, that album was fantastic. We loved playing on it. I loved playing with Ringo and Ringo loved playing with me. He even said, 'This band, just John, you and myself is the best band I’ve ever played in apart from the Beatles.'”
When asked about what George Harrison thought of Lennon's Imagine material, Voormann recalled, “He loved it. I was amazed too. George and I often went to the sessions together. George lived in Friar Park and then we drove in his car to Ascot Studios to Tittenhurst Park. Lots of times we went together and talked about the album. George and John locked well as players on the album. George always wanted to be able play like Eric Clapton or some great guitar player, but that wasn’t his thing. Eric himself said about his playing, 'those little lines and little melodies that George creates, they’re little gems, they’re just beautiful.'”
Voormann was asked about the sessions in which they recorded Lennon's vitriolic open letter to Paul McCartney, “How Do You Sleep”: “I know it was pretty heavy (laughs). I knew the situation and I found it perfectly right for him to do that because Paul was taking shots at him on his record so John said, 'F*** it, I’ll do the same for Paul' (laughs). Even though John said later about the song the lyrics could have just as well been about (himself). But you can’t take that song that seriously because John’s songs are mostly so strong as he wrote it about a particular situation and that situation was bad between them. It really was. That’s why he felt like that that day. The next week he could have felt differently. I think John underestimated how people were gonna react to the song and say, 'How could you do that to Paul? That’s not nice.'”
Klaus Voormann recalled that John Lennon never made apologies for his emotions: “John writes always about himself and it doesn't mean that he means that the rest of his life — like talking about Paul in that song — he felt like this at this particular moment. He uses the words, it's so strong, and it's always something he did himself. Something out of himself. He's very egotistical, you could say. Well, why not?”