According to Keith Badman in his book, "The Beatles After The Break-Up," Klaus Voorman and his wife Christine quietly left their home on March 20, 1971 to move into George Harrison's Friar Park mansion. The Daily Mail had reported that morning that the bass guitarist had met with John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr the night before to discuss plans to record an album together.
In the same book, the entry for July 11, 1971 contains this quote from Ringo from Melody Maker: "I'll be in a group with John and George and Klaus and call it the Ladders or whatever you want to call it, but I don't think it would be called The Beatles." - Ringo.
Although the story caught fire and made worldwide news, the closest thing that ever came to a Ladders recording was the song "I'm the Greatest" on the "Ringo" album. The fifth Ladder, Billy Preston joined on that recording.
John Lennon had a tendency to look toward his wife when naming bands (e.g. Plastic Ono Band, Grapefruit) so it wouldn't be surprising if the often told story of their first meeting when John climbed a ladder, looked through a spyglass and saw the word "Yes" was the inspiration for the name "Ladders."
But the ladder concept was something John and Yoko would return to often, especially in the early 1970's. In October 1971, the WNET broadcast "Freetime," a trek with John and Yoko through various conceptual experiences, included a segment where audience members were given helmets and invited to climb to the top of a ladder and fly. There was also a ladder sequence during the track "How" in John and Yoko's 1971 Imagine movie.
We shouldn't forget that the ladder is a powerful religious symbol. Doris Troy's Apple single Jacob's Ladder refers to Genesis 28:11-19.
In a dream, Jacob sees "a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!" The ladder motif is common in many religions according to Peter Levenda in his book "Stairway to Heaven." (See related YouTube video where Levenda claims that there are seven levels. Where have I heard that before?) Actually Levenda ties the seven levels to the star cluster known as the Big Dipper or Ursa Major. Where have I heard that before?
This discussion of ladders would not be complete without a tip of the hat to Apollo C. Vermouth who repeatedly suggested that we look to Sgt. Pepper for answers.
On the cover of Sgt. Pepper we see Sigmund Freud, who believed that climbing a ladder in a dream was symbolic of the sexual act. Neo-Freudian dream interpreters have added that descending on a ladder through a fire may symbolize purification or overcommitment to something or someone. Sigmund Freud's grandson, Clement was on the cover of "Band On The Run."
Another character on the Sgt. Pepper cover composed a poem called "The Ladder." The poem quotes the Bible from Psalm 24:7 and Luke 15:18. It contains the line, "O may the Four avail me." It contains another line that says, "Dire chaos; see ! these new-fledged wings." It speaks of an "arrow" and a "shaft of fading fire."
The author of "The Ladder" was Aleister Crowley.
I realize that the last thing some people wanted was another Crowley connection. Let me just suggest that although Crowley must be part of the story, I don't think that he is any more significant than many if not all of the characters on the Sgt. Pepper cover.
Yoko Ono is still a fan of ladders.
Yoko Says: Ladders aren't just things for standing on while you remove wallpaper, they are steps that take you one bit closer to the sky.
Some new videos have appeared recently, one of which may ask the question, "Paul, why the long face?"
The Ressurection Of Paul Mccartney - Part 1 by WilliamShearsCampbel
The Ressurection Of Paul Mccartney - Part 2 by WilliamShearsCampbel
And it appears that BreadandCircusFilms is going to keep tweaking Episode Seven until they get it right. It seems they felt the Obelisks sequence dragged.
Special thanks for the help on this post. You know who you are.