I love Leon’s soulful playing and that voice. I’m reading a book now about a lady named Chris O’Dell who worked for the Beatles at Apple records. She dated Leon Russell for around 4 months before she went back to London to finish working for Apple. I’ll be reviewing the book in a few weeks…after the Beatles, she worked for Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and The Rolling Stones.
O’Dell was Peter Asher’s personal Assistant and she booked studio time for the Beatles and other artists. George Harrison was working on a Jackie Lomax session and needed a piano player. George wanted Nicky Hopkins but he was in America so O’Dell mentioned Leon Russell who visited Apple earlier that day. George was ecstatic and later on, Ringo and George played on Leon’s sessions at Trident studio. After work, she walked into the studio and they were recording this song. She began to figure out it was about her (she is a Pisces) and that was Leon’s way of saying he fell in love with her.
This is not the only song inspired by Miss O’Dell. George Harrison wrote a song called Miss O’Dell and Leon wrote another song about her called Hummingbird. Both Pisces Apple Lady and Hummingbird were on his debut album released in 1970 along with his song about Rita Coolidge that Joe Cocker covered… Delta Lady.
Leon was able to get Ringo, George, Charlie Watts, Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, Bonnie and Delaney, Steve Winwood, Jim Gordon, B.J. Wilson, Mick Jagger, Joe Cocker, and more…on this album.
The album Leon Russell peaked at #60 on the Billboard Album Charts in 1970.
Leon Russell: “I met her when she was working at Apple Records. We had a little thing for a minute. She wrote an autobiography, and she sent me an advance copy. I’m sorry to say, as a young man, I was capable of some actions I’m not proud of. So I was afraid to read the advance copy, I gave it to Jackie [his bass player Jackie Wessel] and I said, ‘Will you read this and see if there’s any untoward activity in it?’ He read it and said, ‘It’s a beautiful little show-business autobiography. There’s no untowardness in it.’ So I was happy.”
Pisces Apple Lady
Get off your bottleGo down and see a friend He’ll know what to do, lordy When you tell him how bad it’s been He said you oughta get away To the English countryside This cryin’ won’t help you now boy Why don’t you look how many tears you’ve cried
When I got down to ChelseaI had no expectations Oh, But to get away from the delta girl And the painful situation But I hardly had the time Oh, to laugh and look around And I found my heart was a-goin’ again Like a-English leaps and bounds (yeah)
And she’s a Pisces apple ladyWhen she speaks softly She screams, (She really got herself together) whoa-whoa (oh-oh) And she’s a Pisces apple lady Took me by surprise And I fell into a hundred pieces I said a-right before her eyes
Now were togetherAll the way to L.A. I know she that loves me ‘Cause she can brighten up a smoggy day If I believed in marriage Oh, I’d take her for my wife And move on down into high gear baby For the rest of my natural life
And she’s a Pisces apple ladyWhen she speaks softly She screams, (She really got herself together) yes she does (oh-oh) And she’s a Pisces apple lady Took me by surprise And I fell into a hundred pieces I said a-right before her eyes