Just before the release of the new album there was a "Sgt. Pepper" dinner party at Brian Epstein's house in Belgravia. The idea was that The Beatles invited a few journalists to come along and spend an evening with them, chat, eat, drink and hear "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Various deejays like Alan Freeman, Jimmy Savile and myself being thrown into the invitation list for good measure. For the first few hours we stood in the dining room discussing the album which was playing in the background.
The boys themselves were in an unusually talkative mood that night and were pouring forth with all sorts of interesting tit-bits of info about the LP. They were dressed in the usual Beatle-type garb consisting of a million different colours. John wore red trousers with a green shirt which had yellow flowers leaping about all over it. No pockets in his trousers of course so a sporran was the natural thing to wear--well, it was for him anyway!
LaterLater, when most of the writers had got their stories, I managed to get John, Paul, George and Ringo to come upstairs into the study where it was very quiet. Just what I needed--a place to tape comments from each of them for the special "Sgt. Pepper" album programme I was doing for the Light ("Where's It's At") the following afternoon. So--tapes at the ready--I fired away!
First TrackApparently the first track the boys worked on was "When I'm 64". This extremely simple but very effective number was written by Paul last September. I think I would have guessed that Paul was responsible even if he hadn't told me 'cos it just seems to be his type of thing.
According to John there is no set pattern for sitting down to write a number. If one day Paul calls round at John's house (or vice versa!) for a cup of tea suddenly something in the air can call for a song to be written. The bare skeleton is put down in their heads. Then when they've got it figured out it's taken to George Martin who puts it into dots and arranges it.
Weird SoundAt various places in the album--especially on songs like "Lucy" and "Little Bit of Help"--you may have noticed a weird sound. Paul calls this "phasing" and it occurs when you re-record the original sound (voice or instruments) and then play both copies alongside one another. Almost together (in sync, you know) but not quite so that one copy of the recording is very slightly ahead of the other by a split second. If you get all that you know how it's done. If you don't you shouldn't worry--just sit back and enjoy "phasing"!
The biggest thing on the boys' minds at the moment--apart from producing records--is a new type of religion of the mind. George practices it most and is completely obsessed with love-your-neighbour. Buddhism is the closest thing I can think of to compare with this way of thinking. Anyway, whatever it is, it's beautiful and everybody should be like that. We had long chats that night and Paul was abundantly talkative.