Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Pick A Moondog

The second song on side one of the fab "Let It Be" LP is an original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by John entitled "Dig A Pony" or is it "I Dig A Pony". Upon observation, I've noticed that the UK LP pressings show the song on the back cover and on the Apple label as "Dig A Pony". The CDs from 1987 and the remasters from 2010 also show the song as "Dig A Pony". The vinyl LP releases in their original form from the Candian Box set and the USA gatefold both have the title as "I Dig A Pony" on the back covers as well as on the Apple labels.

During the "Let It Be" film, there is a sequence of John playing the song to the other Beatles. This clip comes form the rehearsal sessions for the "Get Back" project at Twickenham Studios on January 07 1969. At this point the working title for the song was "All I want Is You".

The Beatles' first proper recording session for the "Get Back/Let It Be" fiasco was on Wednesday January 22 1969 at Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London. It is at this first session that "Dig A Pony" was recorded in several unknown takes. One of the "run-through" takes can be heard from this date on the Apple/EMI 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3". Another version (take) from this session can be heard on the vinyl bootleg "File Under".

Two days later on Friday January 24 1969 again at Apple Studios, a take of "Dig A Pony" was used by Glyn Johns for his version of the "Get Back" LP.

The song was rehearsed once again on Tuesday January 28 1969 at Apple Studios but no takes form this day have been released.

On Thursday January 30 1969, The Beatles performed on the roof of the Apple Headquarters building at 3 Savile Row, London for a lunch time session. The live rendition of "Dig A Pony" was recorded at this performance (only played once) and this version can be seen in the "Let It Be" film as well as being the performance used for the Apple "Let It Be" LP/CD. Both the movie and the recording have the false start included as part of the performance. Dialogue from the movie both before and after the song as also included on the LP/CD. (For the LP/CD recording, Phil Spector edited out the "All I Want Is..." words just before the first verse and at the end of the song as seen in the movie).

On Wednesday February 05 1969, "Dig A Pony" ( from the rooftop performance of January 30 1969) was given a reference stereo mix at Apple Studios, London.

On Monday March 10 1969, "Dig A Pony" (from the January 24 1969 Apple Studio performance) was given a stereo mix by Glyn Johns for the unreleased "Get Back" LP compilation. This mix was also used for the January 05 1970 second attempt at the "Get Back" unreleased LP.

On Monday March 23 1970, Phil Spector remixed "Dig A Pony" for stereo in two attempts at EMI studios, Room 4. The second attempt (along with the edits previously mentioned) was released as the commercial product we all know and love.

"Dig A Pony" is a great little deep track number. It is available on the Apple/EMI LP/CD "Let It Be". The version found on the Apple/EMI LP/CD "Let It Be...Naked" is practically the same mix as the "Let It Be" version with the electric piano played by Billy Preston brought up a bit in the mix. The same Phil Spector edits are also used.

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