John Lennon and The Dirty Mac performing "Yer Blues" in 1968

One of my favorite tracks from The Beatles' "White Album" has always been John Lennon's "Yer Blues." Part parody of the British blues boom of the late 1960s, part earnest cry of addiction and pain. All John Lennon. He wrote the track while awash in the mixed feelings of The Beatles infamous retreat to an ashram in Rishikesh, India, in early 1968.

This live performance was part of the The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus TV concert. Lennon's band, dubbed The Dirty Mac, was a supergroup comprised of Eric Clapton (Cream), Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), Mitch Mitchell (Jimmy Hendrix Experience). The name "Dirty Mac" was a ribbing on Fleetwood Mac whose first album had broken big in the UK while The Beatles were in India.

This was the first time John had performed live since the The Beatles stopped touring in 1966 and it may have giving him the bug for playing live again, as he did with the Plastic Ono Band the following year.

"Yer Blues" is followed by a boogie jam called "Whole Lotta Yoko," with Ivry Gitlis on violin and Yoko Ono on screams.

The performance was recorded on Dec 11, 1968, but the program wouldn't be seen until 1996. The Stones prevented it from airing because they were unhappy with their performance — and probably because many people thought they were upstaged by The Who.

Here are performances from The Stones and The Who:

Thumbnail: Joost Evers/Anefo, CC0