Saturday, May 24, 2008

Norman Smith Continues Talking About Balancing The Beatles

"I've been on all their sessions. I event went to Paris with them--they did 'Can't Buy Me Love' there. How have they changed? Well, I think they're much more fussy these days . . . more Hit Parade conscious, if you see what I mean, in terms of sound. They're absolutely determined not to duplicate tempos, or intensity of sound. They want to come up with something different each time in the studio. Maybe we put forward a suggestion. If the boys don't like it, they'll try it just the same--having turned up their noses. They then do it as badly as they can . . . until we get the point and forget all about the suggestion!

"Paul has a lot of musical ideas, though he's not so good at expressing them. I suppose there's been only one song that has got us beat--it's one written for the new film. I'm not supposed to mention the title as yet, but it's proving a problem for us.

"Ringo? Well, he still doesn't have a lot to say. He'll start off with one sort of rhythm, then be enlightened by John and Paul as to the particular way they 'hear' it in their original song. Usually, they make the point by referring to some American disc that I probably have never heard of. Ringo then comes up with it. It's fantastic the closeness of the group -- they way they're all on the same wavelength and read each other's thoughts.

"I'd say they are rather slower in the recording studios now than they were in the early days. It's a matter of comparison . . . I also do the engineering for Manfred Mann, Billy J. Kramer, Freddie and the Dreamers, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, Johnny Kidd and so on. So I can compare.


"The Beatles don't like working in the mornings. They always want to get some play time in, and that's usually most of the night. So if they turn up in the mornings, you don't get much done. It's really just loosening up. And of course they make the jokes. I think Paul is probably my favourite Beatle humorist . . . some of the things he says tickle me pink.

"My own favourite Beatle song? Hard to say. But 'This Boy' rates very high--I remember that as a thoroughly enjoyable session. The boys didn't think it was all that great at the time. But I think they've got a sneaking feeling for it now, after all our plugging for it.

"There was the 'Twist and Shout' session, too. A tremendous day's recording . . . an all-time record for the Beatles. We did thirteen titles in ten hours--all for the first LP. A day of musical excitement. Their voices must have been rasping. But John suddenly thought of 'Twist and Shout' and said he wanted to do it. We felt sure his voice would never stand it. But it was done in one 'take.' No over-dubbing. Just one straight take. Normally, we do four-track recording for the Beatles -- Ringo and Paul on one track, then John and George, then the voices, then any extras like Maraccas.


"No, the Beatles certainly know what they want. In that sense, they've really improved since their very first session. I don't know what to say about their songs. I mean, nobody could have foreseen just how important they would be in the world of music."

Norman Smith is obviously proud of the part he played in capturing Beatle techniques on record. An ever-present member of the team, in fact, since that day when the boys first wandered wonderingly into the studios in Abbey Road, North London. His personal ambition is to produce hit records himself, as A and R man.

And he says: "I'm also very keen on song-writing. The 'B' side of Freddie Garrity's latest, 'Things I'd Like to Say', was one of mine--I did it specially for Freddie. And I've written a lot of others . . . so the ambition is to have a hit in that way, too."

The man who wanted to be a musician but ended up a top recording engineer has led a well-varied life. And there's a lot of variety yet to come with the Beatles. That's for sure.


Beatles Talk

Another in the special series in which FREDERICK JAMES lets his tape recorder listen in on informal conversations between John, Paul, George and Ringo.

John Lennon and Paul McCartneyThis Month: PAUL AND JOHN

This month, Beatle People, I would like to give you an unbiased lecture about a truly sensational new book to be published, price ten and sixpence, on 24th June by Jonathan Cape, who are very good publishers as everybody knows.

PAUL: Hey! Wait a minute. He said an informal conversation not a flippin' commercial. We're both supposed to discuss things. Like the film frinstance.

You discuss the film, frinstance, and I'll discuss this book. It's called "A Spaniard In The Works", folks, and it would be cheap at half the price.

PAUL: Don't you mean twice the price?

You see, Beatle People, my learned colleague agrees that it's worth twice the price. Printed throughout in two glorious colours. Brown and green. Printed on real paper too, Beatle People. You can't lose, can you?

PAUL: Don't forget what John says. 24th June. Jonathan Cape. Ten and sixpence. "A Spaniel In The Circs."

"A Spaniard In The Works." Good grief, you'll have a Rolling Stone rushing out a book called "A Spaniel In The Circs" and all my good work will be undone. I say again, sir, undone with a capital UN.

PAUL: As I was about to say before I was Beatled, we've finished filming "Help!". Actually the last scenes were done at Twickenham a couple of weeks back but we've been called into the studios several times since for overdubbing. That means, well, you know when you see an outdoor scene in a film and the actors are miles away from the camera. Well, they can't use microphones or you'd notice them growing out of bushes or sticking round the corner of buildings. So if there is any dialogue in scenes like this they have to put it on the soundtrack afterwards. That's called overdubbing.

JOHN: There is no overdubbing in "A Spaniard In The Works", folks. No cheating and miming like that. "A Spaniard In The Works" is live, LIVE, L-I-V-E. All Live. The book was written indoors using only close-range microphones, typewriters, ciggie-packets and green and brown ballpoint pens for the drawings. Remember, folks, only "A Spaniard In The Works" comes to you completely free from skin-irritating overdub.

PAUL: In Nassau we had to keep out of the sun because the scenes we did out there come at the very end of "Help!" and it would look funny if we were all brown and tanned in the snow sequence which you see earlier on and then pale and unhealthly in the Bahamas bit. All sorts of odd people that you'll know play parts in "Help!". Roy Kinnear, Frankie Howerd. The Queen Mother was nearly in one scene--but that was unintentional. She was driving by the film location in Nassau on her way to the airport after touring Jamaica.

JOHN: Pity she didn't stop and join us.

PAUL: We had a fabulous time down on Salisbury Plain a couple of weeks back. We did four days of location filming there with tanks and troops which were on loan from the Army. Bit chilly after Nassau with lots of rain showers and a cold wind but, without giving away any production secrets, I think the Salisbury scene is one of the funniest of the lot!

Fun, fun, fun, with them chasing us, and us chasing them, as me chasing you and where's the tea Mal.

PAUL: One of the greatest free evenings we had during the making of the film was at Obertauern in the Austrian Alps. There isn't a great deal of night life but we made some of our own. It was the assistant director's birthday and we were at the Marietta Hotel. Dick Lester found an old piano in the hotel and we all had this gear sing-along session.

It's a new craze. Yes, folks, it's all the rage. Have your own read-along session at home! A complete do-it-yourself and read-along kit comes free inside every brown and green copy of "A Spaniard In The Works".

PAUL: There's not much more I can say about the film without giving away very hush-hush secrets about the story. There's going to be a Royal Premiere in London on 29th July. At the Pavilion in Piccadilly Circus where "A Hard Day's Night" opened last summer. Then the film will start going the rounds in August and there's a New York premiere a week later. We do a European tour in June but we'll be back home long before the premiere. All I can say is I hope everyone enjoys the film. In a lot of ways we're all sorry the production is finished 'cos we had a great time making it.

JOHN: Is that all you've got to say?

PAUL: Yes, I think so.

JOHN: Well, if you've quite finished, perhaps you don't mind me having a quick word with Beatle People about this book.

PAUL: Which book is that, John? it says on this ciggie paper you've just handed me.

I don't like talking about it really. People will think I'm plugging.

PAUL: Ah, go on, John, nobody'll think that.

No, I can't. I'm bashful.

PAUL: Please. . . .

All right. Read all about "The National Health Cow" and "Cassandle" (on different pages). Read all about "Silly Norman" and "Benjamin Distasteful" (both in glowing green and beatle brown). These and fourteen other unbelievable fables before your very mouth in "A Spaniard In The Works".

PAUL: Aren't there drawings too, John? you asked me to say when you stopped the tape recorder just now.

JOHN: Yes, yes. Well, sort of. One of them (in brown and green which are very artistic colours and especially cheap to print, you see) is a full-page drawing of a fat bugie. Beatle People will be interested to know that I ate nothing but SWILL, the new deodorant bird seed, for six weeks in order to get into the right mood to draw this particular picture.

PAUL: What happened?

I fell asleep on my perch--but the picture came out O.K. I drew it in two minutes flat. Flat on my face at the foot of the perch.

PAUL: And what is the title of this new book of yours, John?

JOHN: Oh, I'm so sorry. Didn't I mention it? . . . .

Thursday, May 22, 2008

John Lennon - Classic Albums: Plastic Ono Band


Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the April 29 release of Plastic Ono Band by John Lennon.

John Lennon was a tortured individual when he recorded his 1970 solo debut album, Plastic Ono Band. He had been in therapy with Dr. Arthur Janov whose controversial “primal scream” psychiatric techniques were raising eyebrows within the medical establishment. Lennon took the black hole of his depression and poured it into his music via such personalized mantras as “Mother,” “Isolation,” “God,” “My Mummy’s Dead” and nine others. Intense and shocking, Lennon spared no expense in skewering longheld beloved beliefs (“I don’t believe in Beatles”) while openly seething over his own lost childhood (“Mother, you had me but I never had you”).

For its latest “Classic Albums” DVD, Eagle Rock Entertainment has explored the creation of this painful masterpiece via archival footage, detailed analysis and new interviews with Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr and bassist Klaus Voorman, a longtime Lennon friend and confidant. Interview sections are entitled “Remember Remember,” “Working Klaus Hero,” “Well Well Well,” “Well Well Well Hidden Praise,” “Class Divide,” “Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band,” “God Is Alive And Living In The Eiffel Tower.” Performances include “Mother” live at Madison Square Garden and “Instant Karma” from the BBC’s “Top Of The Pops.” [Total running time for the extras are 36:43.]

The Classic Album series from Eagle Rock Entertainment takes a comprehensive look into the making of landmark albums that were integral in music history. Along with interspersed live footage, the DVDs feature in-depth interviews with band members, musical peers, relevant fixtures in the music scene and those who were simply a part of the party. Producers also elaborate on and break down studio tracks at the mixing board, further explaining the recording process. Every Classic Album DVD not only tells the story; it binds the pages, paints the picture and ultimately provides the soundtrack to the making of a seminal album.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Beatles - The Get Back Chronicles 1969 Volume Three

Label: A Fab! Production

1. January 29 1969
All Things Must Pass
Besame Mucho

January 30 1969
2. Discussion before rooftop performance
3. Entrance / Get Back rehearsal
4. Get Back
5. Don't Let Me Down
6. I've Got A Feeling
7. One After 909
8. I Dig A Pony
9. God Save The Queen
10. I've Got A Feeling
11. Don't Let Me Down
12. Get Back

January 31 1969
13. Two Of Us
14. The Long And Winding Road
15. Let It Be
16. Let It Be
LET IT BE Trailer 1970

17. Don't Let Me Down - Imagine Rough Cut 1988
18. Don't Let Me Down - Imagine 1988
19. Don't Let Me Down - Anthology Director's Cut 1993
20. Don't Let Me Down - Let It Be Naked 1999
21. Get Back - 1989 release remastered
22. Get Back - Anthology 1995

23. Get Back 1999 Promo Video
24. Trailer 1
25. Trailer 2
26. Trailer 3
27. Long Trailer with captions
28. Long Trailer with w/o captions
29. 30 second spot
30. Two Og Us 1999 Promo Video
31. Japan Ad
32. Sony TV Special
33. Target Ad

Monday, May 19, 2008

"The Beatles Get Back"

The Beatles: Get Back

August LP Surprises

10-year-old song is included! Skiffling Beatles do "Maggie May"! No vocals from Ringo! "The Beatles with their socks off" -- and they've re-recorded "Love Me Do" but it's not on the LP!


The Beatles' next LP album was finished at the end of May--with George the only Beatle remaining in Britain at the time, supervising the last of the re-mixing and re-balancing sessions to produce the final tapes from which the LP record will be made.

Release of the album is being held back until August so that it can coincide with the publication of a special book full of recording session pictures. Apart from the LP and the book, there's the film which was made while the new numbers were being rehearsed at Twickenham and recorded in Apple's own new studio in the basement beneath 3, Savile Row, our London headquarters. The fellows would like the film to go on television in August so that everything comes together at the same time.

Before I go into the new LP in track-by-track detail let me set down some of the background information.

The title of the album is The Beatles: Get Back. And indeed John, Paul, George and Ringo do get back with these recordings--all the way back to the simplicity of their earliest stuff.

Remember the fellows' first Parlophone album Please Please Me, issued in May 1963? Well, the photograph for the new LP cover was taken in exactly the same place by the same photographer, Angus McBean. With the four fellows grouped over the staircase at the offices of EMI Records in London's Manchester Square, just as they had done six years earlier.

The Beatles: Get Back is by far the most informal set of records The Beatles have ever put out. Everything was rehearsed, as you know, down at Twickenham -- both those sessions were really to get together the new songs and decide how each one would be treated. Once we moved from Twickenham to Apple all the recording we did was "live" with no "over-dubbing" of extra voices or instruments, no orchestras brought in boost the accompaniments, no special electronic happenings whatsoever. Just three guitars plus Ringo's drums--with piano and occasional organ contributions from Paul and from Billy Preston who was the only non-Beatle to work with us throughout the series of sessions.

The stereo version of the LP is particularly great--thanks to sound expert Glyn Johns who was the studio engineer for all the recordings.

Gradually since Please Please Me The Beatles have been going for greater and greater studio perfection, using every possible audio and electronic technique to add to and improve the finished productions. This time the policy has been entirely different.

The Beatles: Get Back is The Beatles with their socks off, human Beatles kicking out their jams, getting rid of their inhibitions, facing their problems and working them out with their music. During and in between most of the tracks you will hear lots of studio-floor conversation, each of the fellows chatting, preparing for the next number, shouting comments up to the control room. On other albums all this type of ad-lib stuff has been cut from the tapes before putting the tracks on disc. This time everything is left for you to hear--just as it happened. You even hear a clapper board banging down and a yelled instruction from one of the filming crew people who were making the separate visual recording of everything which took place.

In all there are nine entirely new numbers on The Beatles: Get Back--plus both sides of the recent single, Get Back and Don't Let Me Down. At the very end of the second side they get back to Get Back again for a brief encore version of that number. And between a couple of other items are brief "link" tracks featuring Save The Last Dance For Me and Maggie May the only non-Beatle compositions the fellows have put out on record since they made Act Naturally and Dizzy Miss Lizzy for their Help! album in 1965.

There is only one George Harrison composition--For You Blue--and it hasn't a trace of sitar or anything else Eastern about it.

Ringo stays with his drums all the way through this new programme and he DOESN'T have a solo vocal track of his own on this occasion.

Although this LP has only 11 main numbers on it far more tracks have been recorded. The Beatles didn't want to repeat the "double disc" idea and make everyone buy a pair of LP records together. Instead all the other tracks are held "in the can" so that they can be used later.

Amongst the stuff that "stays on file" so to speak is enough material for a special rock 'n' roll LP -- including famous American rock hits like Shake Rattle And Roll and Blue Suede Shoes.

What's more we even did a re-make of Love Me Do, The Beatles first single from October 1962! But one of the recordings which you WILL find on the new album goes back even further than that--it's a number called One After 909 which John and Paul wrote as long ago as 1959!

Oh yes, Ringo DID put down one vocal item, his own composition called Octopus's Garden, but along with at least another 15 others by George, John and Paul, it's "in the can" for future release unless now that all the Beatles are back they decide to make last minute additions to the August LP.

On the LP the version you will hear of Get Back is the same one which went on the single but we did a special LP version of the single's other side, Don't Let Me Down.

Everything you hear on The Beatles: Get Back was recorded at Apple and the starting dates for all recordings were during the last fortnight of January. The first one to get under way was Dig A Pony on January 20 and the last one we started work on was One After 909 (January 28).

As you may remember if you saw all the newspaper stories at the time or read what I had to say about it several issues ago, we recorded five numbers in the open air on the roof of the Apple HQ building. The five were One After 909, I've Got A Feeling, Don't Let Me Down, Get Back and Dig A Pony BUT only ONE roof-top version is included on the LP--and that's One After 909. We did fresh versions of the other items way down below in the basement.

O.K.--it's time to get back. Here's my run-down on all the LP recordings, the ones The Beatles have made just to please, please you:--

1. ONE AFTER 909

One After 909 was written by John and Paul ten years ago when they were not Beatles at all but The Nurk Twins or something like that.

Like I said a little earlier, this is the album's only Apple roof-top recording. It makes a punchy kick-off to the Get Back programme with Paul's raw voice ravin' all the way. It opens with a piano run and a guitar chord echoing out around the January sky--but that's just a false start. Then straight into the heavy rocking. Ringo on drums, John playing rhythm guitar, George on lead guitar, Paul playing bass guitar and good old Billy Preston adding his electric piano work. The vocal is shared by Paul and John.

You won't catch all the words at first hearing--except, perhaps, the line about "she said she was travelling on the one after 909" which tells you a missing bird and a train are involved in the story. Make up the rest for yourself. Sounds to me as if this fellow really knows how to mess things up. His bird isn't coming on the next train either. He's a right loser!


At the end of the first track there's a bit of applause and you'll hear Paul saying "Thanks Mo" to Ringo's Mo because she was clapping hardest! Then you'll hear a fragment of freaky vamping, just a nice bit of guitar stuff, and Paul saying "Just a minute boys". Then John and Paul go into the familiar old Drifters' hit Save The Last Dance--not much of it because this wasn't meant to be on the new LP at all but we left this bit to maintain the fun atmosphere of the whole session. Then:
Paul: "Do your thing man."
John: "I can't keep off it."
John again: "Give me the courage to come screaming in."


Nobody ever loved me like she does. You know that--and you know this track unless you've just never played the "B"-side of the Get Back single. For this LP version of Don't Let Me Down John sings with the guitar and drums line-up just as it was for One After 909 but Billy didn't play this time. Paul sings too but it's mostly John.

I love this slow, bluesy one with its banging beat and great wailing guitar from the fingers of G.H.

At the end of the track you'll hear this:
John: "We'll do Dig A Pony straight into I've Got A Feeling."

And, friends, that's what they do.


Mostly John this one, with occasional Paul again. Billy's back on electric piano, Paul on bass and lots of metal coming from Ringo's department. A bit of blues this, nicely heavy, with emphasis on the tune rather than the words.

In gist the line is that you can do anything you want to do so long as you set your mind to it. Overcome everything if you really try to work it out. You can even dig a pony. Lots of ad lib comments flung around, a crash of the cymbal and we're straight on into . . .


Paul and John sharing the vocal. Paul coming in with that great screamy style of his. John replying to Paul's lines and, later, coming in to take over the lead singing for a verse. And you'll just about hear him mutter to himself "I cocked it up trying to get loud."

Story comes in the middle with the tag-line "All that I was looking for was somebody who looked like you."

Between I've Got A Feeling and the last track of the first side you'll hear Ringo thump his tomtoms and ask: "What does that sound like?"


Get back to where you once belonged--obviously the main theme not only of this terrific track but of the whole album. The Beatles' whole frame of mind for 1969. Paul does a great job of the vocal. Again it's George on rhythm, John on lead, Paul on bass, Ringo drumming and Billy doing his bit on the electric piano.


George's composition, George as vocalist. You'll hear him say "O.K."? and give a bit of a false start on his guitar. Then he gets into this beautiful love song about the girl you're always dreaming of, the one who haunts you, the one you never quite meet up with. The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill. No bass here or on the next couple of tracks. Instead we had George playing acoustic guitar, John on steel guitar, Paul on piano--plus Ringo's drumming. Interesting middle with 12 bars guitar and 12 bars piano. Almost like a South Sea Beat Ballad with the "island" effect of John's Fender running through here.

"You're a sweet and lovely girl, I love you". Nice words, neat tune. When you hear this one you'll agree that George's songwriting is better than ever these days. I'd say this is one of the most pleasing things he's ever done. Thank you George and now for . . .


George switches to electric guitar here, John plays acoustic and Paul sings a simple story about a mother comforting her boy. Mama's going to see you through.

We all need someone to turn to--that's the message. We need people. No man is an island.

Later on the whole session gets a bit like a square dance with genuine (genuine?) calls. And we didn't cut out the electronic squeal that came halfway through this recording. The result of feed-back from one of the amps. All through the making of the LP we used portable equipment fetched over from EMI because the stuff being built into the Apple Studio wasn't ready for action.


Two of us riding nowhere. You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead. We're on our way back home. We're getting back.

John and Paul share the vocal on this pleasant medium-paced lazy Sunday afternoon sort of number. The two of them with their voices in good harmony. Still not using a bass here but George reaching his fingers down low to the bass lines of his electric guitar. All fades away . . .
"So we leave the little town of London, England. . . ." (Paul).


This is a riot. All the fellows getting together for a brief reminder that we're all Mersey Beat Boys at heart. Yes, this is THE Maggie May, dirty Maggie May who'll never walk down Lime Street anymore. Sung with much Liverpool gusto.


Fast and very rhythmic. A great big free-for-all. John takes over the bass guitar playing for this and the next two tracks with Paul playing piano and George on acoustic again. Paul singing here with John shouting enthusiastic remarks like "I can hardly keep my hands still."

Scatty vocal vamping above the piano and rhythm laid down as a solid base.

"I want it, I want it" (George).

"You're gonna get it all right, get it good" (John).

The words are saying you can't really knock anything--BBC, Doris Day, anything--because SOMEBODY digs it even if you don't.

John: "That was Can You Dig It. Now we'd like to do Hark The Angels Come." Yes the voice you'll hear at this point belongs to J. Lennon and not G. Fields.

Then you'll hear a voice say "Take 27" which is nothing to do with 27 different recordings "takes" -- just the filming people readying themselves to roll their cameras on the day's 27th bit of shooting.

"Take 27" (clap) "Sync the second clap" (clap).


This is the track I like best of the Get Back LP bunch. It's Paul using his soulful voice, sounding so very sincere, backing himself on piano.

When all the broken-hearted people living int he world agree, there'll be an answer--Let it be.

Behind Paul we had John and George doing the harmony. There's a lot of flowing piano above and around the vocal.

George plays his Lesley guitar--which can sound like organ and does here. Light metallic beat from Ringo with his foot right down to close up the hi-hat.


Paul again here on another slow, sentimental piece with much piano surrounding his plaintive balladeering. About the girl who left him standing there all alone and the many times he's cried. But "you'll never know the ways I've tried." Don't leave him there--lead him down the long and winding road to your door.

Back to the beginning to remind you what the album's all about. What else can I say in July about a recording which has sold a few million singles and was still at the top of the charts in Britain and America when we came out with The Ballad Of John And Yoko at the beginning of June?

So that's The Beatles: Get Back--the record, the book that's coming out with it and the film we've made to show people what LP making is really like. In fact that's the real intention of the album itself. All the off-the-record bits left ON the record for you to hear. None of the loose ends tied up. Just a friendly album that invites you to join in what happens in The Beatles' recording studio. Certainly something different. Quite unlike the carefully prepared, expertly edited LP production the fellows have spent so many months on in the past.

In just a few weeks from now you'll have the chance of hearing it all for yourselves. I hope you'll agree that The Beatles: Get Back is a very interesting addition to your collection and that you'll enjoy the come-and-join-us informality of the whole thing.

Derek Taylor Makes a Radio Teleprinter Call from the QE2

We were in Manzi's one night, a fish restaurant in London--John, Yoko, George, Patti, Terry Doran and Pete from Grapefruit, Pete Shotton, Joan and I, when John passed a note up the table to me. Would you and Joan like to come to America with Yoko and Me on the Queen Elizabeth?



All we needed was a visa for John. We had three weeks, or four and that seemed enough time. Allan Klein, The Beatles' new American business manager made an application in Washington and Peter Brown, their personal assistant in Britain made appropriate noises to the U.S. Embassy in London.

The three weeks, or four, passed. There had been faint answering echoes from Washington and Grosvenor Square, but none loud enough to sound like a visa. John however, and Yoko, pressed on as if everything were OK--which is the only way to approach anything--and packed into trunks the incredibly complex material on which they plan to base bag productions, their new joint company formed to funnel their creative energy into world markets. Films, books, records, miles of tape, clothes for a thousand occasions, white tail-coats, white top hats, black leather suits, tennis shoes, boots, fur-coats, acorns for peace, anything the everyday traveller would need to cope with the worst extremities of the equator, both poles and Manhattan, a concert at Madison Square Garden and a visit to the White House. Came the final week of preparation and the pressure was stepped up on the U.S. immigration authorities.

The Sunday Express forecast Johnw ould maybe not get a visa: but maybe he would, they said leaving the reader free to make up his mind or remain confused, whichever he chose. The Sunday Express also listed George and Patti as prospective passengers: this too was less than accurate. George and Patti had other plans--they were house-hunting in Gloucestershire.

By Wednesday, John and Yoko had decided they would fill the remaining two days in redoubled frenzy of preparation discarding sleep like Tom Jones his tie, or Jim Morrison his trousers. There was a new reason for their determination to sail on the QE2--Ringo and Maureen too had booked staterooms, one deck below John's on the starboard side. John and Yoko's room was to have been 1050, Ringo and Maureen's 2081.

Ringo (and Maureen, with Zak and Jason) was to be on the Queen with Peter Sellers (and his daughter Victoria) with Joe McGrath and Denis O'Dell (and their wives) as, respectively, the stars, director and producer of the Movie "Magic Christian" from the book by Terry Southern who also planned to sail with the Party, along with Tony Palmer, pop journalist and film documentarian. In short, the QE2 looked like being a very bright warm scene--a new, widely acclaimed ocean liner, old friends and new, free under God's sky for five wondrous 25-hour days (you gain an hour a day on the Atlantic run, westbound). By Thursday John and Yoko's packing was almost done. John was invited to the U.S. Embassy to re-state his reasons for travel. The Embassy official listened and said he would be in touch with them. They returned to their office in Apple to continue with the tin trunks. Their calm was undisturbed and down in Sunningdale, John and I prepared for embarkation next day, with Dominic and Annabel (at 20 months and eight weeks) the two youngest of our six children. We packed with some energy but with diminishing confidence for we saw the time running out for John's visa. Night came on Thursday without an answer from the U.S. Government or its London representatives.

At 1 a.m. on Friday, John called from Weybridge. "Did I wake you?" "No, we're still packing. How does it look?"

"I don't know," he said. "We're ringing Klein to see if he's had any word from Washington, I'm also trying to find Peter Brown but he's out. I don't know any man who spends so much time eating." I said it was after midnight, so maybe Peter reckoned he was eating in his leisure time. At heart a generous man (generous to a fault his uncle used to say). John agreed. "Probably, probably. He has a right to eat." Anyway, he said, "Joan and I were to sail anyway, no matter what happened to John and Yoko, we were to go if only to look after the baggage, which must surely be the biggest personal equipment consignment since lend-lease.

"What will you do?"

John said "We'll go to Southampton too, maybe the visa will still come."

Such a dear, optimistic man, so full of hope. It would break your heart.

At dawn we woke and moved the suitcases downstairs. Mal Evans phoned.

"I never have any sleep the night before a tour", he said. He was in Weybridge, rounding up the final bits and pieces for John and Yoko. The Mercedes would be down for us, he said. John and Yoko would come in the Rolls, and the Apple van would be down with their luggage and also with the equipment to be used by two men of the documentary film unit who had been hired to record the voyage for John and Yoko. The fourth car in the convoy would be Mal's. Thus in procession, would Apple bowl down the A30 to Southampton and the open sea.

In New York Harbour, John planned to lead the entire ship over the loudspeaker system in a "Song For Peace".

At 10 a.m. our car came and Mal also arrived. Joe our driver said John and Yoko were running out of time and also they were running out of confidence. The visa had not come.

Body blow. We saw the four elder children off to school. Said goodbye to Joan's Mother, got in the Mercedes and set off south. Somewhere around Camberley, half an hour later, a white Rolls Royce appeared int he wing mirror. It was John and Yoko, and they were going to Southampton. Yes! The car overtook us and John's amplified voice rang out over the A30. "Good morning". We followed the Rolls for a few miles and then she pulled into a car park near Basingstoke, by a tea shop. John got out followed by Yoko.

"We're not going," he said. "It's no good. I've been ringing from the car and the visa's not through. We're going to make a last call from this cafe, and then have breakfast. But you go, have a good time."

"Have another honeymoon," said Yoko.

They said they would make a film in Southampton to back up "The Ballad of John and Yoko" and then return to Apple.

It was abominable. They could bring more fun and peaceful energy to New York than any couple in England, but they did not have the rubber stamp of the U.S. Government in John's passport and what chance has fun in the face of authority or peace for that matter. We said goodbye to the two of them and to Mal and bashed on to the coast. Twenty miles from Southampton came another Rolls, a black one. It was Ringo, Maureen, Zak, Jason and their staff of two, Alan and Stella. We felt better. It was good to see friendly faces.

At Southampton we met Cunard's people--those with smiles and P.R. badges and those with small rank and loud voices. A small battle at the foot of a staircase was resolved in Ringo's favour and he and his party were allowed aboard.

We went to our rooms and the stewardess said "I believe you are my namesake . . . . . . Aspinall". It seemed Neil had been booked on the liner originally but he hadn't come because Susie had just had a daughter. That was the first disappointment for the crew because if you are looking forward to meeting your namesake, and your name is Aspinall, it is no big deal meeting a Taylor. The Steward came and asked after Mr. Lennon. I said he hadn't come yet. "A visa hold up, you know how it is". Probably he'd board at Le Havre our only port of call in France, we suggested. A man came to check the lights, and had that look of Beatle spotting. Someone else said "How are the Lennons?". And I said they weren't here. "Not yet". We still kept a small hope alive. Back in London helicopters were standing by for a Le Havre drop should the visa come. Another crew member said "Is John Lennon here?". I said "Not yet", and he said are any of the others on board. "Ringo" we said, "and his family". The sailor brightened up "Well that's good".

We sailed at lunchtime, 12.30. It was exciting, it always is, but there were two empty beds in the next stateroom and it didn't seem fair. It didn't seem fair.

We met Ringo and Maureen again on the way to dinner. "Hello Scouse" said a sailor "How's it going?". "Great" said Scouse Ringo Starr, public property, first class fare paying passenger in QE2 notwithstanding.

"You certainly messed up my daughter's life" said the sailor and Maureen looked puzzled.

"She worships you, never met you," said the sailor. We got in the lift to take us to the grill room and the sailor pursued his point. He tapped his nose and said in a confidential voice you could hear from one corner of the lift to the other, but no further.

"Sorry to hear the bad news about Len, Scouse".


"You know, John Lennon". Ringo said it was sad and we all felt bad again.

We were by now in Le Havre and Cunard's PR man said a helicopter drop was still possible. So we all felt better again. Up and down, up and down you go. The Grill room was lovely. Peter Sellers came by with Joe McGrath and Denis, one time head of Apple Films, now a close friend of the Beatle family Apple. We ate well and talked about the ship's night-time amenities. Ringo, addicted long ago to dark discotheques, as the only real dancer among The Beatles he was particularly hooked on the old ad lib. But recently he's been more settled in deepest Surrey. Ringo said he fancied a revival of old habits for the five days afloat. Maureen was delighted. But as the meal progressed, and though it was fine food in a room fit for a King, his face became smaller and smaller and his eyes darkened and he began to look, in short, smashed. He drank a desultory glass of champagne, a gift from the film's financiers, and said he had better go to bed, telling Maureen to go to the ship's discotheque anyway. But it isn't the same, it isn't the same at all on your own so the pair of them retired early and Joan and I with the film people, went up to the darkened club and stayed long enough to hear the Applejacks, an early Birmingham group once gifted with a Beatles song Like Dreamers Do (Remember?) Now playing their own material with some skill and about to rename themselves "Seth" as part of an image-change.

We took in Ronnie Carroll's floor show in the Q4 room, and so to bed. Sea calm. Next day I met Ringo in the corridor, clear eyed and fresh complexioned, dapper as hell, camera round his neck on his way to gamble with Denis O'Dell and the other punters on the ship's run. This is a game played daily in the theatre bar whereby you guess how far you have come. You lose, but you enjoy losing. That is the way with gambling. We are having a good time by now. We have learned with John's absence and I have photographed John and Yoko's empty beds in case they wish to use as the cover of their next Apple album which should be titled "John and Yoko Afloat" with nothing but the sound of a heavy sea running.

The heavy sea came by Sunday. Saturday night was the first sign that there is more to sailing than wandering around the Hiltonian luxury of a floating pleasure palace. There is the sea, the element our metabolism is not built for. We are in the discotheque on Saturday and Ringo decides to give the new Beatle album its first public performance anywhere in the world.

Alan brings it and it is played to the amazement of those with ears to hear. The waiters, led by a man who is as old as Long John Silver and not in the vanguard of pop-lovers, grumble about the decline of musical standards. A hundred yards away his contemporaries are dancing to the hokey cokey and the Gay Gordons. Ah, they could write music in those days.

Sunday, Peter Sellers, Tony Palmer, Denis, Joe, Ringo, Maureen, Joan and me, and Dominic we all go by invitation to meet the officers in the Ward Room. It is high on the ship, right at the top and it is swaying and we are swaying and we decide to a man that we are sea-sick. Ringo drinks half a glass of beer and says "Goodbye for now". We all take a pill. For seasickness. We then get better.

The QE2 is a splendid ship, we are thinking. We have phoned John and he asks is it swinging? Well no, there are only 620 people on board and it is capable of carrying 2,000 or more. It will be full returning. From New York. The QE2 is ahead of her time and, so the designers say, she will age gracefully. The aim was to make her a floating hotel resort able to compete with other great hotels for Cunard believe that the competition is not with the air which is transportation, but with the land.

There are so many dances on board you would have to be in a wheelchair to remain immobile. There is so much entertainment (from--on Radio, Dvorak's scherzo capriccioso Op 66 by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Wolfgang Sawalisch to Basil Stutely and his Orchestra in the Queens Room) that you would have to be the pinball wizard not to find something you can dig.

Anyway, Saturday Ringo and the rest of the gang met the Captain, and Sunday Peter Sellers saw the engine room. Sunday night we discoed again and drank too much. Monday Joan and I had a little party and John rang and asked me if I had written anything for the Beatles Book.

"Yes," I lied. So here it is, to be telexed by anyone with fortitude, to Apple's new telex system in Savile Row.

I hope you enjoy it. If it seems nothing much has happened, then that is how it is. It is a lovely leisurely life and it must be done by everyone before we die.

It is a wonderful escape from whatever reality is. Yet it is a reality of its own for the 900 officers and crew on board. For them, it is their home and their way of life and inveterate grumblers though sailors are, they have a way of coping which is very charming.

We are having a good time, our gang in our simple fashion. Ringo is over his sickness, Maureen cannot get enough of the Petits fours. Zak and Jason and Dominic play happily in one of the best nurseries in the world and God's sky is still overhead and his sea is to be overheard below. We are alive and well and at sea.

First Live Performances for Over 2 Years

The Beatles Live at the RoundhouseThe news that the Beatles are planning to appear on stage again has absolutely delighted every Beatles admirer. But their decision to perform in front of an audience once more seems to be a very sudden turn-about--a complete reversal of everything they have been saying for the past two years.

Many people have already been surprised that the new album has strong tinges of early Beatles about it. Simple cover, simple title, simple tunes. With certain exceptions of course (who said "Revolution").

Their intention, therefore, is to put on a series of shows which will culminate in a final performance which will be filmed for transmission in this country and overseas. Apple Corps managing director, Neil Aspinall, has already been negotiating for the sale of the programme to one of the major companies in the United States.

These are the essential ingredients to every Beatles enterprise now because, as they are running a very big empire with a very large and costly staff so, in turn, anything they do must make a hell of a lot of money to pay for it all.

Big Profits

It is not that they need the money, of course. As you may have read in the paper recently, Northern Songs made almost a million pounds profit this year alone and a very large chunk of this will go to Paul and John.

No, Paul summed up the whole basic idea behind the Apple operation the other week when he said on television that they needed this organisation and power and to make money so that they could do the things that they want to do in the future.

This basically means that they can help and back other talented people in show business. They remember the years when nobody would listen to them or Brian Epstein very well. Then, they were dismissed as being of no consequence. Now, when they come across talented singers or songwriters, the Beatles can offer immediate assistance.

Anything is possible, and they have even carried this into the field of big business with Alexis Mardas, the very talented Greek inventor who is coming up with the most extraordinary ideas which could well revolutionise whole areas, not only of British show business, but industry as well.

The New Year concerts will also do many things. Firstly, it will give the Beatles an opportunity to perform in front of their fans once again. Not a very large number admittedly, only a few thousand--but, nevertheless, it will have happened.

Secondly, the performance, by being shown all over the world, will enable their fans in all those overseas countries to see them probably much better than they would if they were sitting in the back row of a local stadium. And remember that stadiums can only hold a few thousand people whereas on television they are seen by millions.

Last Tour

Ever since that last tour of America, they have been voicing their intense dislike of personal appearances. So, what has happened to change their decision?

The total Beatles' mind is a very complicated thing. It can never be understood fully, but glimpses of the workings of the brains of John, Paul, George and Ringo can help to explain the sharp change of direction.

At the risk of appearing a Beatles heretic, or an infamous follower I, personally, have never believed that they did actually dislike performing on stage. What they got so completely fed up with was the whole business of touring that came before, and after, each performance.

Anyone who has not experienced it can never understand the feeling that they had when they were trapped inside that endless succession of theatres, stadiums and concert halls all round the world. Every hideaway, which was felt to be so impregnable by the local organisers, was found out and surrounded within a matter of hours of their arrival. And to stay in a hotel in the centre of any city was an open invitation to be besieged by thousands of fans every second of every day. Few people can ever have travelled to so many places and seen so little.

The demands of the local adults were also insistent and never ending. Every dignatory and person who felt that they were "somebody" thought that they should be personally greeted by the celebrated English teenybopper kings.

I shall always remember when I visited the Beatles on one of their first tours. We were pushed and shoved into a dressing-room by about 30 policemen who were protecting them from the fans. But, as soon as the Beatles were firmly ensconced in their suite, which consisted of a crummy, very narrow room with a table, four chairs and very little else, the policemen promptly started turning round and asking for autographs. No wonder the boys got fed up with it all.

But, at the same time, I remember very clearly the reactions of the Beatles on stage. I cannot believe that the enjoyment they showed was false. George, in particular, has always been completely transparent. If he is fed up, he shows it. If he is happy, he smiles, and he used to smile a lot during their stage performances.

All the Beatles used to bandy remarks amongst themselves during their act and they took a great deal of pleasure in their ability to send an audience into a state of frenzied enjoyment.

Everyone agrees that the atmosphere of a Beatles performance was unique. Until one had actually sat and heard the sheer sound of their amplification, coupled with the solid wall of teenagers screaming, which always accompanied it, one could not understand their personal magnetism. And, before everyone starts accusing them of favouring a few chosen fans during their performances at the Roundhouse, let's make it clear that they will also be working for all their followers.


But, there's still a lot of work to do before they get on stage. Firstly, they will have to rehearse the numbers and work them up into an act once again. Performing their songs in the recording studio will not enable them to perform equally well on stage. The two are not the same and the boys have always accepted this.

What will the performance actually consist of? Well, at the moment, I understand that they intend to base the whole thing on their new double album, with several oldies thrown in for good measure.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thirty New Beatle Grooves On Double Disc Album

(plus two extras not being released yet)


The final recording sessions took place as recently as the second week of October--which meant that The Beatles' self-imposed deadline date to complete all the tracks for their double-disc November LP album was missed by something like 13 days! But not to worry. A lot of people at Apple have been racing against the clock to make sure the set of two records will be ready on time to go into the shops.

If you want to check the actual running order of all the recordings take a look at this month's BEATLE NEWS page. Instead of showing them in that order I've listed everything in recording date sequence.

Incidentally I haven't wasted space telling you that almost all the songs are Lennon-McCartney but I have made a special note where there is a George Harrison or a Ringo Starr composition.

In most cases there is a main or lead singer and I've noted that but I haven't always added the fact that the other fellows are there in the background giving their usual vocal harmony support.

Very few of the recordings were started and completed at a single session. So I've shown you the date we started work on each particular title rather than listing lots of dates beside each one.

O.K. Are you grooving comfortably? Then we'll begin. . . . . .

Two different versions are included but NEITHER is the same as the recording which went out on the "B" side of "Hey Jude". Way back in the July issue I expect you read about the three different versions of "Revolution". The original full-length version ran for nearly 10 minutes. On the album you'll hear a four-minute version AND the full-length version pruned down to eight-plus minutes. Lead singer is John.
Recording began on May 30 at EMI Studios.

Paul sings the very plaintive little song to a simple backing, mainly guitars. About a blackbird singing in the dead of a dark black night and learning to fly for the first time.
Recording began on June 11 at EMI Studios

John and Paul wrote this sad, wistful song for Ringo to sing. Mind you the words aren't all that sad--just a very straightforward "goodnight, sleep tight" theme to them. 30-piece orchestra was brought in for the backing. Including even a harp! Also an eight-voice choir of four boys and four girls.
Recording began on July 1 at EMI Studios

This is Paul's gay calypso-style number telling the colourful story of Desmond Jones who has a barrow in the market place and the girl he marries, Molly the band singer. I'd describe the backing as a sort of ska-beat. Unusual ending to this track.
Recording began on July 2 at EMI Studios

Ringo's first songwriting effort and, naturally enough, it's in one of his favourite styles--Country. Ringo sings and plays piano here and there's a terrific Country fiddle sound by courtesy of a session musician. The lyrics tell an "I love only you" story about a boy waiting for his girl to knock on the front door and hoping she'll turn up. Later on in the song we find out why she's so late--she was involved in a minor car crash.
Recording began on July 12 at EMI Studios

The night we started making this one I jotted in my diary "That George sure wields a mean blues axe. That Paul tools a real smooth heavy--axe that is". This is John's number all the way with strong, heavy and very Lennon vocal. He also plays piano and organ. I suppose you could call this a Beatle-type nursery rhyme--all about the King of Marigold, his wife and kids. The Duchess of Kirkcaldy and her Duke. With a midnight seance round the table put into the last verse for good measure! George Martin plays harmonium.
Recording began on July 15 at EMI Studios

The first version of this one played for 24 minutes, but the finished one you'll hear on the LP is no longer than average. Paul sings this in his screaming rock voice and the backing features The Two Harrys on brass. That's Mal Evans on trumpet and John Lennon on saxophone! When we did the final version of this in the second week of September I made a note in my diary that The Beatles were the first people to use a brand-new 8-track recording machine just installed at the EMI Studios. Theme of the song's lyrics? Boy to girl: "Do you don't you want me to love you?" John plays bass which is unusual.
Recording began on July 18 at EMI Studios

This is another of John's bluesy story ballads and he backs himself on Gibson acoustic guitar. George plays Gibson electric and the pianist is Paul. Sexy Sadie ("the latest and the greatest of them all") made a fool of everyone.
Recording began on July 19 at EMI Studios

Originally this was called "Come on, come on" (taken from the first line of the lyrics) and it's another John-type rocker with nice weird words. Like f'rinstance: "the deeper you go the higher you fly".
Recording began on July 23 at EMI Studios

George is the writer and singer. This one is a plaintive blues with acoustic guitar accompaniment from John and George. In a way this might be classified as a love song--or, more precisely, a song about love and the idea that it lies dormant in far too many people's hearts. But there's a nice bit of hope in the song too with a line that goes: "with every mistake we must surely be learning". John on organ.
Recording began on July 25 at EMI Studios

This is one of two August recordings you WON'T hear on the new album because they were dropped at the last minute in favour of more recent numbers. Written and sung by George. Interesting note--he used Lucy for the first time on this session. Lucy is the fantastic solid red Gibson guitar which was given to George at the beginning of August by Eric Clapton.
Recording began on August 7 at EMI Studios

Mountain streams, fields of grass, swaying daisies. A lazy song sung beneath the sun. In fact it was sung by Paul in the middle of the night beneath the artificial moonlight of EMI studio lamps! Almost folksy simplicity about this little number. It was done at a sort of after-session session when the rest of the fellows had gone home. Paul just sat in the box, sang and played his acoustic guitar. At three o'clock in the morning.
Recording on August 9 at EMI Studios

Very much a blues number although it gets more and more of a rock feel to it towards the end. Wailing Harrison axe (well, guitar actually) behind John's singing. About a guy who is so lonely ("girl you know the reason why") that he just wants to die.
Recording began on August 13 at EMI Studios

Again a recording you WON'T hear on the new LP, but I thought you'd like to have my notes on it in any case. Very strange this one. John thought it up and John sings it. Outbreaks of raucous laughter here and there and many instrumental sounds. Gets quite chaotic at times but it's a controlled sort of Lennon chaos! The theme of the words? Well, you listen and you decide but it's a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party!
Recording began on August 14 at EMI Studios

Paul sings this Country & Western one and he's made the lyrics tell a complete story that starts simply to guitar accompaniment but spreads out later. It's all about young Rocky from the hills of Dakota and how his girl Lily McGill runs off with a nasty piece of work named Danny. Complete with saloon gunfire! Vocally it's particularly interesting because Paul's singing changes all the time according to the mood of the story. Started and finished at a single all-night session.
Recorded on August 15 at EMI Studios

Much later on, at the beginning of October, the fellows recorded "Honey Pie" at Trident. This is NOT the same thing. "Wild Honey Pie" is a very short "link" track on the LP, under a minute in playing time. Paul did this more or less on his own, almost a McCartney ad-lib in fact. He sings and plays both guitar and bass drum, double-tracking the whole thing so that he finishes up sounding like a couple of singers and a quartet of guitarists!
Recording began on August 20 at EMI Studios

You don't know how lucky you are, boy, back in the U.S.S.R.! This one's an absolute beauty. Paul punches it out in his hardest rock voice and there's a fantastic middle section to put you in mind of Beach Boys and California. John on six-string bass, Paul on electric guitar and George playing bass too.
Recording began on August 22 at EMI Studios

Mia Farrow's sister, Prudence, was at the Maharishi's place in India with us all earlier this year. She used to spend much longer than most of us meditating in her room. This song of John's suggests that it's time Prudence came out into the sunshine to "greet the brand new day". Written in India. A gay, sunny song. Paul plays piano and flugelhorn. John and I play tambourines. Clapping and chorus singing by all four Beatles. Paul's cousin John, Apple rocker, Jackie Lomax (with whom I've just been to America for a promotional tour but more of that next month), and yours truly.
Recording began on August 28 at Trident Studio

Mostly John's idea this one and he does the lead vocal with Paul joining him. John plays his acoustic Gibson and Ringo works with two drums kits instead of just one. Quite a nostalgic number this in that the lyrics include the titles of a few earlier Beatle Goodies like "Strawberry Fields", "Lady Madonna" and "The Fool On The Hill". What's more John lets the cat out of the bag at last--we find out who The Walrus really is!
Recording began on September 11 at EMI Studios

Written and sung by Paul. A love song. With forever and forever, all my heart, to be near you words. McCartney in romantic mood.
Recording began on September 16 at EMI Studios

A real rock-a-boogie thing, a gay party piece which will be requested for many a birthday on Radio 1! This was written in the recording studio with all four fellows working on it as a joint effort even if Paul seemed to contribute the most ideas. That night's session started a couple of hours early so that everyone--about 20 including the studio engineers and so forth--could nip round the corner and down the road to Paul's place at nine to watch The Hollywood Musical in colour on his telly. The movie was "The Girl Can't Help It". Back at the studio the new song began to happen after the fellows had done a bit of musical limbering up on old rock and skiffle numbers. This is 12-bar blues stuff with Paul and John sharing the vocal, George playing tambourine with a gloved hand to avoid getting more blisters and me joining in with Rigno on the handclapping. When you listen to the word "Birthday" repeated at the end of the chorus lines you will hear (amongst other famous voices!) the singing of Yoko Ono and Pattie Harrison. Curious sound which someone suggested was like an electric harpsichord is, in fact, a carefully prepared upright piano played by Paul--"prepared" to give it a very special sound with reverberation, wow-wow and technical things like that.
Recorded on September 18 at EMI Studios

Here is another of George's tracks and it's a social comment song. You know the piggies in "Animal Farm", all equal but some more equal than others? People who recognise themselves in George's lyrics here may get a bit uptight about it. George Martin's assistant, Chris Thomas, plays harpsichord on this one. Tambourine by Ringo. Tape loops by John.
Recording began on September 19 at EMI Studios

John got the title out of an advert for guns in an American magazine! His voice changes quite a bit during the song--all very tender at one end of the scale and Walrus Lennon at the other. Starts very simple and builds enormously. One of the most difficult recordings of the whole bundle because of the rhythms and counter rhythms with the guitars in 3/4 time and the drumming in 4/4 time. Paul and George do the harmony vocal work behind John. Yep--happines is a warm gun, mama!
Recording began on September 23 at EMI Studios

Jim Webb popped into the studios the night we started work on "Honey Pie". It has Paul doing the vocal and playing piano, John on electric guitar and George playing bass again. It's a really lovely number, one to appeal to all the mums and dads and remind them of their teendays. Fantastic 1920's big band sound. Fifteen session musicians provide the brassy backing. Mainly saxes. Lovely sliding sax sounds all scored by George Martin. The song is about a working girl from the North of England who has "hit the bigtime in the U.S.A." and become a movie star Hollywood-style. Won't you please come home, Honey Pie?
Recording began on October 1 at Trident Studio

Kind of bluesy with a warning of the dangers of The Good Life in its words. Another of George's numbers.
Recording began on October 3 at Trident Studio

Solo vocal by Paul but his voice is double-tracked. That means you hear him twice over although the blending of his two vocal "takes" has been done so well it's almost like hearing just one voice. NOT dedicated to Paul's Good Dog Martha! A lovely ballad with rich orchestral backing. Theme is You Were Meant For Me. Incidentally Ringo bashed a hole in his brand new bass drum skin the night we started this track.
Recording began on October 4 at Trident Studio

At first George called this "It's Been A Long Long Long Time", but he decided the title was too long long long! George again is composer and singer of this one. Theme is tears for lost love but: "Now I'm so happy I've found you". Difficult to classify this. It's quiet and then noisy with a rousing chorus. George plays acoustic guitar. Paul plays Hammond organ as well as bass.
Recording began on October 8 at EMI Studios

Completed in a single early-evening session with John as solo vocalist.
Recorded on October 9 at EMI Studios

This is actually "The Continuing Story Of . . ." and was recorded immediately after "I'm So Tired" (sometime between midnight and dawn!). Everyone joins in on the huge chorus here although John is the lead singer. John plays organ and George Martin's assistant, Chris Thomas, is on Mellotron.
Recorded on October 9/10 at EMI Studios

Presenting Beatle Paul's One-Man Band-show! Yes, folks, this is McCartney the Mad Musician singing and playing guitar, piano, bass and drums. Which meant a lot of recordings superimposed upon one another to get the finished effect.
Recorded on October 10 at EMI Studios

Recorded quite quickly one Sunday evening, this is a very simple and very impressive piece with John singing to his own double-tracked guitar accompaniment.
Recorded on October 13 at EMI Studios

The following day, Monday, October 14, Ringo and his family left for their holiday in Sardinia. On Wednesday, George joined me and Jackie Lomax in America. And meanwhile Paul and John got together with George Martin to do all the final re-mixing of the tapes and decide what order to put everything in on the two LP discs. A couple of other last-minute songs just couldn't be recorded in time--"Polythene Pam" and "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"--but that needn't worry anybody because the fellows already had too much rather than too little material to fill the four extra-long sides of the November LP records.