Monday, December 14, 2009

Chris Thomas on Producing the Beatles During the White Album Sessions

"George Martin said, 'I'm going on holiday. You take over the Beatles for a little while.' So, of course, I was very nervous. But I didn't really think I was there to produce the Beatles, because I didn't really have any experience at producing. George just said, 'Go down there and make yourself available.' The Beatles had done ten songs in the previous three months, and we did ten songs in those next three weeks. So, when George came back, he was quite pleased that things were moving along. I was surprised at just how good the Beatles were playing in the studio. Considering the fact that they weren't doing any gigs, you'd imagine they'd be a bit rusty and that everything was just sort of pieced together but, no, they were great! The Beatles were a very, very good band. And they were a very funny band, as well. I had some really funny times with them.

"Every night they used to have a meeting. They were running Apple, so they'd arrive from home and go straight to the studio. Then, at one point in the day, they had to discuss business matters as well as everything else. They recorded as a band. I hadn't worked with them before, so I couldn't really tell, but I got the impression that everybody else was like the backing man. They'd all play together on the backing track. It was the four of them playing live definitely. Paul wouldn't play bass necessarily. He'd probably play the instrument he wrote the song on. He might play piano or guitar again and put the bass on later. So it was a band in that way, except they didn't play together on 'Blackbird,' for example."

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