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Did John Lennon Chant 'Let's Go Mets' on a 1972 Song?
Musician David Peel's “The Ballad of New York City," a track from the album "The Pope Smokes Dope," was produced by the Beatle and wife Yoko Ono.
Tom Frangione, the host of Beatles radio show Things We Said Today, is a big Mets fan, so much so that he wants to believe with all his heart that John Lennon contributed to the “Let’s Go Mets” chant that can be heard at the end of musician David Peel’s “The Ballad of New York City," a track from Peel's 1972 album, The Pope Smokes Dope, which Lennon and wife Yoko Ono produced and was released on Apple Records.
But Peel tells Billboard, “Lennon never said that. He never played on any of my songs. It was me and my hippie friends. Everybody who did the chanting was from the Bronx.”
The Mets, who hail from Queens and won the World Series in 1969, were the hot New York baseball team at the time. Even though Peel is a Yankees fan, he said they chanted “Let’s Go Mets” “because the Mets were the underdogs and the Yankees were the capitalists.”
Lennon was in the control room when Peel and his fellow singers belted out the chant, but he didn’t join them. “He didn’t want to upstage me,” Peel recalls. “He did what I wanted to do.”
Lennon and Ono met Peel in 1971 in New York’s Washington Square Park, where he played acoustic guitar and regularly led sing-a-longs. The novelty folk singer had two pot-centric albums on Elektra -- Have a Marijuana (1968) and American Revolution (1970) -- before hooking up with the couple. Lennon and Ono signed him to a one-record deal on Apple, making Peel one of a handful of non-Beatle acts to record on Apple (Mary Hopkin, James Taylor and Badfinger are among the others).
While Peel regrets not having Lennon play or sing on his album, he still revels in the 1972 One-to-One concert at Madison Square during which he performed on stage with the Beatle.
But back to the Mets, who are currently down 2-0 in the World Series against the Kansas City Royals. Was Lennon into sports? “No,” Peel says. “Yoko made sure of that.”
Watch a 1971 performance of "The Ballad of New York City" below: