Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Behind the Spotlight: Two Years Ago

by Billy Shepherd and Johnny Dean

A resounding plop echoed through the hallways of countless homes on a day early in December two years ago. A personal message from the Beatles, in the form of a six-minute record, the longest track they'd ever produced . . . and full of their zany sense of humour.

Called, simply, the "Beatles' Third Christmas Record," it started off with a crazy, off-key version of "Yesterday," and then John roared in singing "Bonnie Christmas" with a terrible old Scottish accent! And they also had their mickey-taking bit at the protest songs which were cluttering up the charts in the last few months of 1965. John wrote some special words to go with the tune "Auld Lang Syne," bringing in references to Vietnam and so on.

Good fun, all of it. And it ended with sincere messages of regard and thanks from each Beatle to all their hordes of fans. Took quite a while to get right, too--they spent several hours in the studios, working on ideas. It proved, once again, that the Beatles then, as now, are most anxious to keep faith with their supporters.

Actually this pre-Christmas scene in 1965 was much more hectic for the boys than life is this year. There was a tour due to start . . . and there were near-panic plans over their film scenes yet to come.

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