Friday, July 21, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 24 1969

This day being mainly an acoustic session for the Beatles at Apple Studios in London with the absence of Billy Preston who was busy at a BBC television session for most of the morning. Both John and Paul took out the acoustic guitars and George would be playing the bass notes on electric Fender guitar. Take one of "Two Of Us" can be heard on the commercial recording of Apple's 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3". The take is marred by a bit of feedback from the open-holed guitars as well as a mistake going into the second middle eight part of the song. Another song recorded on the eight track tape this morning would be a McCartney tune entitled "Teddy Boy" which would end up on his first solo album but was considered for the "Get Back/Let It Be" project and played through on this day. There are amazingly three different mixes of this tune with one of them mixed by Glyn Johns lasting over five minutes, later in the evening at Olympic Studios in London, an edited mix for the "Let it Be" LP (never released) by Phil Spector at four and a half minutes, as well as the commercial release on the "Anthology" which includes segment from January 28 - to be discussed under that day.
The skiffle classic "Maggie May" was recorded in the morning as well with versions from the Glyn Johns proposed LP and ending up on the commercial Apple LP/CD "Let It Be" as well. The Spector mix has a wider stereo range and ends side one on the vinyl version.
In the afternoon after a break, The Beatles once again pick up the acoustics and another take of "Two of Us" can be heard on some bootlegs including the "WBCN acetate" vinyl and the CD "Celluloid Rock" with a false start added. At this point, a bit of a jam occurs with The Beatles jamming on the lyrics "Can You Dig It" for a while and concluded with the words: "Ark The Angels Come" which was used on all versions of the Glyn Johns proposed LP line ups as well as using the quote on the commercial Apple "Let It Be" LP/CD. Billy Preston arrived later in the afternoon and run throughs of "Get Back" are performed with some takes put down on eight track; unreleased.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The "Let It Be/Get Back" Project January 23 1969

As The Beatles met once again at Apple Studios in 3 Savile Row, London, the work for most of the day consisted on perfecting the song "Get Back". Billy Preston was also present and played a Fender Rhodes electric piano. One of the takes for "Get Back" was issued on bootleg including on the WBCN Acetate broadcast. The version heard is followed by a take of "I've Got A Feeling" and then The Beatles fooling around and adding a jokey take of "Help!".
All of these can be heard on the aforementioned WBCN Acetate as well as on bootlegs such as "Singing the Blues" and the bootleg CD "Celluloid Rock".

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".