Saturday, June 24, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 22 1969

And so it continues down on January 22 1969 at Apple Studios. The project started with a few takes of the Lennon composition "Dig A Pony" (or "I Dig A Poly" depending on what country you live in). Three takes were recorded and the first take would end up on the commercial Apple 3 LP/2 CD "Anthology 3" with the beginning pre-Spector editing that would occur later on the "Let It Be" Apple LP/CD. They also worked on Paul's "I've Got A Feeling" but nothing was recorded.
It was on this day after a lunch break that the great Billy Preston was invited down in the basement of the Savile Row building into Apple Studios. This added a different dimension and also diffused some of the natural tension of the project. One of the early things recorded when Billy joins in the project is contained on the first Glyn Johns mix entitled "Rocker"/"Save The Last Dance For Me"/ "Don't Let Me Down". The former being a Fats Domino composition followed by the The Drifters and finally the Lennon original. Bootleg LP/CD "Get Back" early mix compilations have this track edited.You can also hear this medley on the WBCN Acetate bootleg LP. Both versions of "Dig A Pony" (this time with Billy Preston) and "I've Got a Feeling" (also with Billy) appears on the bootleg Glyn Johns mix LP/CD and "I've Got A Feeling" also appears on the Apple 2-CD/3-LP "Anthology 3". A break ensues with The Beatles and Billy Preston listening to the playbacks in the control room.
After this break, they try "Don't Let Me Down" and "I've Got A Feeling" a few more times. One of the false starts appear on both mixes of the Glyn Johns mixes on bootleg. Interestingly, one of the studio visitors that way was the Beatles old Liverpool manager, Allan Williams..would have loved to be a fly on the wall for THAT one !!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 21 1969

At this point in the month of January for the "Get Back/Let It Be" project, the venue for recording had changed in order (for one thing) to appease George Harrison who had decided to re-join the group at this point once the location of filming/recording convened at the new (for the time) Apple Studios at 3 Savile Row in London. At this time, there was no conclusion to the filming or recording planned although the time line was currently slated for the end of the month.
On January 20 1969, The Beatles arrived at Apple Studios but found that the recording equipment set up by their electronics "friend" Magic Alex was non-functional and a call was put in to EMI to bring in an eight track, desk, monitors, etc. This was all formalized by the next day. It would also mean that Ringo's drum kit would be recorded in stereo for the first time in the band's recorded tenure.
On January 21 1969, The Beatles got down to work by recording "I've Got A Feeling", "Shout!", "Don't Let Me Down" but mostly concentrated on the song "Dig A Pony". This is also the day where the introduction with Lennon's famous quote "I Dig a Pony by Charles Hawtrey and the Deaf-Aids...phase One, in check Doris gets her oats!". The quote can be heard as the very first thing on side one of the Apple LP/CD "Let It Be" just before the song "Two Of Us" kicks in.
Work continues with a nice take of "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window". This particular take can be heard on the Apple 3 LP/2 CD "Anthology 3".

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" project January 13/14 1969

Although George Harrison had decided to leave the band on January 10 1969, the remainder of the band continued on the process of recording and filming at Twickenham Studios in London for at least two days afterwards.
On January 13 1969, The Beatles and girlfriends (minus George) arrive at Twickenham Studios and produced minimal results. They end up basically having luch and then rehearsing a bit of "Get Back" before calling it quits.
On January 14 1969, most of the early session has John Lennon sitting in Twickenham Studios during a CBC interview with a reporter (some clips from the interview can be seen in the documentary "Imagine: John Lennon". During this time, both Paul and Ringo are at the grand piano pounding away Jerry Lee style and this is capture on film and can be seen in the "Let It Be" film. Once the CBC interview is over, the three Beatles sit around and improvise on some titles such as: "Mean Mister Mustard" and "Watching Rainbows" among others. The cameras present caught some of the set being dismantled at the end of the day and it was decided to leave Twickenham and move to Apple Studios in order to appease George Harrison who would return to the band under this condition.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 10 1969

January 10 1969 was the last day that all four Beatles would be present at Twickenham Studios in London in order to continue on the "Get Back" project with rehearsals of two McCartney songs: "Get Back" and what was assumed to be the first song of a live set "Two of Us". Beatles' music publishing and majority owner of "Northern Songs Ltd" visited the set in the morning as well.
Things got heated later in the day between John and George (not Paul and George) as some books have indicated - the "I'll play whatever you want me to play" scene from the "Let It Be" film was taken from January 06 1969 and not on this day the 10th.
It must have been pretty heated as this was the rehearsal session which saw George Harrison leave the site and return home; essentially quitting the band. He was the second to quit after Ringo had left during the White Album sessions a year earlier but eventually returning. Same would happen with George.
There is some footage of the remaining Beatles jamming with Yoko from later in the day as well. There is an attempt to continue rehearsing with some tunes such as "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and "Don't Let Me Down" being performed but all of this is of no use at the moment. The session ends with discussion and review of the day between the band members and the director of the television/movie special. Nothing from this day appears in the final cut of the film.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" project January 09 1969

On January 09 1969, Paul McCartney arrived a little earlier than the others in the band in order to review some of his latest compositions while sitting at the piano - some of the titles include "The Long And Winding Road", "Oh! Darling", "Let It Be", "Another Day", etc. Also on this day, George Harrison arrived with a new composition to demo for the band based on a twelve bar blues and eventually becoming "For You Blue".
Once the group have arrived and are ready to rehearse, some of the songs performed include "She Came in Through The Bathroom Window", "One After 909", "Across the Universe", "Two Of Us", "Don't Let Me Down" and "I've Got A Feeling".
Apart from the Beatles jamming around with George's new blues tune, also improvised is a made up jam eventually entitled "Suzy Parker"; the genesis of another improvisation materializes into the chords for "Get Back" and another improvisation titled on bootlegs as "Commonwealth/Get Off." Some bootlegs from this day also contain improvisations of "House of The Rising Sun" and "Tennesee".
Bits and piece from this day's rehearsal session can be seen in the "Let It Be" finished film including "Suzy Parker", "Two of Us", "One After 909".

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 08 1969

The Beatles gathered at Twickenham studios in London to continue filming and recording sessions for their upcoming live project. In fact, some locations were discussed for the live show but it seems that nothing came from the conversations and no decision for a location was confirmed at this point.
George Harrison showed Ringo and his mates a new composition at the time entitled "I Me Mine" of which a portion can be seen in the "Let It Be" film. Other songs that were rehearsed on this day include "Don't Let Me Down", "Two Of Us", "One After 909" and "I've Got A Feeling", "All Things Must Pass" and "She Came in Through The Bathroom Window".
Later during the day, The Beatles run through "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and proceed to clean up and tighten up George's new "I Me Mine" tune. In the "Let It Be" film, you can see the group going over the song minus John and Yoko who are mock waltzing in front of the band. The quote by John "The Queen Says "No" to Pot Smoking FBI Member" which can be seen in the film and heard on the "Let It Be" commercial Apple LP/CD is taken from this day as well.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" project January 07 1969

Rehearsals for the upcoming live show (at this point) resumed at the Twickenham Film Studios in London by the Beatles on January 07 1969. The day started with some discussion as to the location of the upcoming show and it was decided that it be held in England although no central location was decided upon.
A couple of Paul's songs were rehearsed in the morning including "I've Got A Feeling" and a recent composition entitled "Maxwell's Silver Hammer". Paul showed off the chords to the rest of the band as he sat at the piano.
A couple of John's songs were rehearsed in the afternoon including the resurrection of "Across The Universe" as well as "Dig A Pony" and "Don't Let Me Down". You can see some of the footage from this day in the final "Let It Be" movie with Paul showing the band how to play "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" as well as John going over both "Across The Universe" (with nice harmonies by Paul) and some of "Dig A Pony" from this particular day.