Sunday, January 22, 2006

Dear Prudence

AUTHORSHIP Lennon (1.00)
LENNON: "Written in India. A song about Mia Farrow's sister, who seemed to go slightly balmy, meditating too long, and couldn't come out of the little hut that we were livin' in. They selected me and George to try and bring her out because she would trust us." September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Mia Farrow's brother John and her nineteen-year-old sister Prudence travelled with her to India.

McCARTNEY: "Prudence Farrow got an attack of the horrors, paranoia, what you'd call these days an identity crisis, and wouldn't come out of her Butlins chalet. We all got a little bit worried about her so we went up there and knocked. 'Hi, Prudence, we all love you. You're wonderful!' But nobody could persuade her out. So John wrote 'Dear Prudence, won't you come out and play ...' He went in and sang it to her and I think that actually did help. We walked up to her chalet, a little delegation, and John sang it outside her door with his guitar. And she looked out, she improved after that. It was a turning point. I think it was quite sensitive of John to realise that she needed showing that she was okay, for someone to tell her that she was all right. You know, if you're used to McDonald's and Howard Johnson's, India is a little bit different. Looking at it now, from a nineties perspective, there was probably a lot of therapy needed for a lot of the people there. We were all looking for something. Obviously you don't go to Rishikesh if you're not looking for something. It's a long schlep otherwise. Prudence probably needed to talk about it rather than meditate." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

Prudence has no memory of ever hearing the song in India, but Paul Horn has said that she was in a semi-catatonic state from almost continuous meditation, against the Maharishi's wishes, and didn't even recognise her own brother at the time, so her memory is probably faulty. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

August 28, 1968, at Trident Studios, with overdubbing August 29 and 30

McCARTNEY: bass, piano, drums, flugelhorn, lead and backing vocal
LENNON: lead guitar (Epiphone), tambourine, lead and backing vocal
HARRISON: acoustic guitar, backing vocal
MAL EVANS: tambourine
JACKIE LOMAX: backing vocal
Lomax contribution from Crawdaddy (August 1975)

Overdubbing of the guitar parts six or seven times helped create the rich sound. Beatles Forever

A page containing the song's lyrics, with fourteen lines of verse and notes and doodles around the border, was sold for $19,500 to an unidentified investor June 27, 1987, at Sotheby's, New York. New York Times news service

This song is one of Julian Lennon's favourites. Circa 1984, Lennon : The Definitive Biography

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