Friday, December 22, 2017

Another "Octopus's Garden" session.

On April 29 1969, work continued on Ringo's composition "Octopus's Garden". This time Ringo was a the microphone in order to overdub not one but two lead vocals over the backing track. Also added around this time was the piano bit in the bridges although it's not been confirmed who's played the instrument; maybe Paul or as John C. Winn has suggested; maybe Chris Thomas who also produced this particular session from Studio 3. The tune was still incomplete as sessions would continue in July for this song.
In any case, this is an early mono
version from this evening that can be heard on bootlegs such as "No. 3 Abbey Road N.W.8" as well as on the bootleg CD "Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 05".

Saturday, December 9, 2017

"John ! Yoko !"

In the afternoon of April 22 1969 John Winston Lennon changed his to John Ono Lennon legally on the roof of the Apple building at 3 Savile Row in London. Once the ceremony was photographed and completed, the couple went along to a recording session at EMI Studio 3 in order to record for their third joint album which would eventually be released commercially as the Apple LP box set "Wedding Album".
The first side of the LP consists of a sensitive microphone picking up the heartbeats of both John and Yoko who were both lying on the studio floor which was recorded for about 20 and a bit minutes. Overdubbed on top of the heartbeats were John saying "Yoko!" and Yoko saying "John !" for 20 and bit minutes. This vocal was pronounced in various emotive tones such as teasing, pleading, inquisitive, yelling, etc.
A first attempt at a stereo mix (with the two voices in the left and right speakers accordingly) and the heartbeats centered. This mix was not used and a second mix on the 26th of that month had a second attempt at a stereo mix.
Finally on April 27 1969 (five days later), the heartbeats had to be re-recorded and it was mixed the same day and released on the commercial Apple LP "Wedding Album" as side one. Pictured above is the Japanese label re-issue on Odeon.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Start of the Abbey Road Sessions: "Oh! Darling"/"Octopus's Garden"

There is a bit of blur between the end of the "Get Back/Let It Be" sessions and "Abbey Road" in the sense that the month of February 1969 contained some undocumented sessions at Apple Studios with the Beatles completing overdubs of the former and beginning a song for the latter. The song "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" was recorded; or at least the basic backing track was recorded during a session in February for example and worked on in April at well.
The April 20th session which took place in Studio 2 of EMI in London saw work on a song that was started for the "Get Back/Let It Be" project with Paul as main composer. The song "Oh! Darling" had John playing piano, Paul on bass and guide vocal, George on electric guitar and Ringo on drums. There were 26 takes with a hammond organ overdub. This was left alone until six days later (April 26) when Paul added some vocals and overdubbed his own backing vocals as well. This early version as it stand can be heard on CD bootlegs such as "Unsurpassed Masters, Vol. 5" and "No.3 Abbey Road N.W." as well as the vinyl bootleg of the same name.
Also recorded on April 26 was Ringo's composition "Octopus's Garden". The instrument line up was basically the same as the early Beatles' records with John/George on guitar, Paul on bass and Ringo on drums and guide vocal. In all, the basic track reveals that 32 takes were required, but take 2 has appeared commercially and can be found on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3" project. Interestingly, Ringo's comment at the end of the song comes from a different take edited in.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

"Old Brown Shoe/Something" Sessions

On April 16 1969, The Beatles entered Studio 3 at EMI in London in order to record some George Harrison compositions. After listening to a recorded demo of "Old Brown Shoe", four takes of the song with Ringo on Drums, Paul on piano, George on guitar and vocals and John on guitar were completed. Overdubs included John and Paul on backing vocals, Paul adding his bass with George doubling some of the lines with Paul on his guitar. Lastly, George re-did his lead vocals.
The next attempt was laying a basic track for "Something" with George on guitar, George Martin on piano, Paul on bass and Ringo on drums. It took 13 takes - but the song would be returned to in May of that year. At the end of the session, there was an attempt to mix "Old Brown Shoe" for stereo.
Two days later on April 18 1969, George Harrison with Chris Thomas as producer returned to Studio 3 at EMI in order to add the guitar solo in the middle of the song played by George as well as having George add an organ to the song, effectively erasing John's earlier guitar track. The song would be mixed into stereo after 19 attempts and would be originally released as the B-side to the commercial Apple single "The Ballad Of John and Yoko".
"Old Brown Shoe" would later be available on various Apple/EMI compilation LPs including "The Beatles Again", "The Beatles 1967-1970", "Past Masters Vol. 1 and 2", etc. The song remains available in stereo only and was never mixed in mono. Any claimed mono mixes are simply a stereo "fold down".

Saturday, November 18, 2017

"The Ballad of John and Yoko" recording session.

Recorded in one day on April 14 1969 at EMI Studios (number 3). The session was originally a mixing session but both John and Paul attended the session and decided to record a new song by John describing his latest antics with Yoko.
George Martin produced and Geoff Emerick engineered (Mr. Emerick had not engineering a Beatles recording since July 1968 during the "White Album" sessions). It was said that George Harrison was busy shopping for a new home - moving out of Kinfauns in Esher; he would eventually move to Friar Park. Ringo was busy acting in the movie "The Magic Christian".
The original title for the song was "The Ballad Of John and Yoko (They're Gonna Crucify Me)" but the second half of the title was dropped for obvious reasons.
John played acoustic guitar and sang vocals/ Paul played drums. They played the song through eleven times and take ten was chosen for the commercial release.
Overdubs include Paul on bass, John on electric guitar twice. Once this was completed, Paul moved on to add some piano and then backing vocals. For percussion, John hit the back of his guitar and Paul shook some maracas. An eight hour session, all completed on eight tracks !! Only two Beatles and the beginning of an era: The song was mixed in stereo only; there are no true mono mixes, most so-called "mono" mixes are simply the stereo mix folded to one channnel.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Another Apple Session

On March 11 1969 (which was the day before Paul married Linda Eastman), two songs were worked on in order to present Apple artist Jackie Lomax with a second 45 single on the Apple label (the first one being "Sour Milk Sea" written by George Harrison and featuring the Beatles (minus John), Eric Clapton and Nicky Hopkin).
The two new songs consisted of a cover of the Coasters "Thumbin' A Ride" with the B side an original composition (by Jackie) entitled "Going Back to Liverpool".
On "Thumbin' A Ride", Paul plays drums and the song was produced at the Apple Studios on Savile Row. George was also present and contributed some guitar. The second side, "Going Back to Liverpool" also features Paul on bass and George on backing vocals and probably guitar as well. Both of these songs had been worked on this evening as well as probably other sessions around the same time frame.
Also, the single was not to was eventually decided to release "Thumbin' A Ride" as a B side to the "New Day" Apple 45 single (in North America) and to the B side of "How The Web Was Woven" (in the UK).
"Going Back to Liverpool" was consigned to the vaults for the longest of time until finally released as bonus material for the re-issue of the "Is This What You Want" LP and CD re-issue by Apple circa 1991.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Cambridge 1969

On the second of March, 1969 , Yoko was invited to perform at a "Natural Music" concert to be held at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. The performance was recorded live from the Lady Mitchell Hall on the premises.
John had brought along his guitar - the Epiphone Casino - and his amp and was creating feedback in order to accompany the vocal talents of Yoko Ono. The entire performance would last over 20 minutes and other musicians on the track included John Stephens on cymbals and percussion as well as John Tchicai on the sax (both of whom come into the performance after about 15 minutes). This performance is completely undertaken as performance art and is faded out on the record ending with a lone sax improvisation.
The track can be found on side one of the Zapple LP/CD "Unfinished Music No. 2; Life with the Lions" by John and Yoko.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

"Under The Mersey Wall" Session

When George Harrison was in Los Angeles back in November of 1968, he had shown interest in the Moog III synthesizer which was a gigantic patch cord affair (monaural key capability). This keyboard was demonstrated to him by Bernie Krause. Mr. Krause had been hired to play Moog on tunes for the upcoming Apple artist Jackie Lomax's LP (which George Harrison was producing). Intrigued by the machine, George asked that a demonstration of the machine and it's sound be shown and the demonstration was recorded. The tapes of the demo were kept by Apple. The track which would be eventually released as the A-side of the "Electronic Sound" LP was mainly white noise and bleeps. One of the synths was then purchased by George and shipped to his home in England - the synth would eventually be brought to EMI Studios and used on some of the "Abbey Road" sessions.
Fast forward to mid February 1969; Bernie Krause visits George at his home and learns that his demo back in November 1968 had been recorded and would be released as "No Time or Space" on a "Zapple" LP (a subsidiary to Apple). Of course, Mr. Krause disagreed and backed out of the project. George promptly removed the Bernie Krause credit from the back of the LP jacket before being printed.
The B-side to the LP was therefore recorded solely by George at his home. He named it "Under the Mersey Wall" and it consists of some musical phrases and experimentation played on the synth keyboard.
Eventually, both sides were officially released as the Zapple LP "Electronic Sound". On the US release, the side titles are switched so that the A-side plays the B-side and the B-side plays the A-side. This experiment was also released on CD back in 1996 and as part of the "George Harrison: The Apple Years"  box set from 2014 on a remastered CD with a nice gatefold cover showing the Moog keyboard and patches.
The LP didn't sell we, it wasn't promoted very well - typical of Apple Records at that time with non-Beatles produce. George Harrison himself hardly talked about it at all during his lifetime.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

George Harrison Beatles Demos February 1969

On February 25 1969, George Harrison entered the EMI studios in London specifically to demo three of his latest (at the time) compositions. George had not contributed any songs for the rooftop session nor for the next day's basement session although several of his tunes were committed to tape during both the Twickenham rehearsals and the Apple Studios recordings during the "Get Back/Let It Be" session a month earlier. It also happened to be George's 26th birthday.
The new tunes included "Old Brown Shoe" (take 2) with George singing and playing piano. Two electric guitars were overdubbed as well. This demo can be heard on the commercial recording for the Apple 3LP/2CD "Anthology 3" project.
Up next is a beautiful version of "All Things Must Pass" (take 2); this consisted of George playing an electric guitar with the tremolo effect up full and vocal. A second vocal and plain electric without the effect was also added. There are two mixes available of this tune. One is on the bootleg "More Masters" which contains the second vocal - the other being the version on the official recording for the Apple 3LP/2CD "Anthology 3" project whereby there is only the single vocal.
Finally, the third demo consists of George's masterpiece "Something". The recording is built on an electric guitar and George's vocal. This version can also be found on the Apple 3LP/2CD "Anthology 3" project. All three tunes were mixed and given to George on acetates for him to take home.
As an aside, the George Harrison demo version of "Something" was most likely the demo given to Joe Cocker to record (as well as a demo of "She Came In through The Bathroom Window" which was also recorded by Joe). It's ironic that Joe Cocker recorded both songs in LA but that the songs were released after the issuance of "Abbey Road" in November 1969.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Mary Hopkin's Second Apple Single

Sometime in early February 1969, Paul McCartney wrote a lovely song intended to be recorded by Apple artist Mary Hopkin for her second single. The first single being "Those Were The Days". Instead of pulling another song off of her debut Apple LP "Postcard", an original was written and then a demo was recorded for her.
The name of the song is "Goodbye". The demo consists of Paul on acoustic guitar and vocals. The song was most likely recorded at Paul's home in London on his own recording equipment from 7 Cavendish Avenue in London. The tape was most likely brought over to Dick James' Nothern Song publishing offices and was pressed on an acetate.
The acetate came under the hammer and sold at an auction back in 1981. As a result of this, the demo can be heard on bootlegs such as "File Under: The Beatles" (LP) and "Not For Sale"(LP and CD) as well as "Acetates" (CD). I remember when the "Anthology" series was commercially released and there was a discussion with other fans about why this particular demo was not on those disc - probably due to the fact that it was technically a solo performance. The song is credited to "Lennon/McCartney" although it is obviously a Paul song.
The commercial single with full band was released on April 07 1969 as Apple 1806. "Goodbye" was the A-side and "Sparrow" being the B-side. Both labels have full Apples. It came in a nice picture sleeve with a tear running down Mary's cheek. An excellent coupling.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 31 1969

On January 31 1969, The Beatles descended downstairs in the basement of Apple Studios for the last true session of the "Get Back/Let It Be" saga. This day was spent recording songs on film for the cameras and for the soundtrack of the film as well.
Three songs were scheduled to be recorded; namely "Two Of Us", "The Long and Winding Road" and "Let It Be". The first song would be performed by The Beatles with John and Paul on acoustic guitars while the other two would have the addition of Billy Preston on organ while Paul played piano.
"Two Of Us" was up first. Take 11 (all songs started with take 10 for the benefit of the cameras) was used on the Apple LP/CD "Let It Be" as well as on the "Let It Be...Naked" LP/CD (with an improved mix). The "Let It Be" film included an edit of both take 11 and the end of take 12.
Once this wrapped up, the instrumental section was changed and Billy Preston was added to try a few takes of "The Long And Winding Road" as well as rehearsal of "Let It Be" although there was no used footage of these takes.
Once the Beatles and crew completed their lunch break, more takes of the piano songs were recorded. After fooling around musically with "Lady Madonna", The Beatles take 19 of "The Long and Winding Road" is captured on film was eventually released on the final "Let It Be" film and in a different improved mix for the Apple/EMI "Let It Be...Naked LP/CD. ( A take from an earlier January 26 session was used on the Apple LP/CD "Let It Be".)
Finally, the third song recorded was the eventual title track "Let It Be". The film uses one of the choruses from take 24, although the main body of the song seen in the film comes from take 27A. Lastly, the entire performance of take 27B (the last take) was marked as best and used - with later overdubs in April 1969 and January 1970 - on the Apple LP/CD "Let It Be" as well as a different mix and overdubs for the Apple/EMI LP/CD "Let It Be...Naked".

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 30 1969

And so it was that on this day of January 30 1969 that The Beatles performed live on the rooftop of the Apple building at 3 Savile Row in London.This would mark the last time The Beatles performed live although the audience was very limited. The lucky few who were on the roof or who happened to be on the adjacent roofs got to see them live. Most people would only hear the songs reverberating on the street below.
All four Beatles and Billy Preston on Rhodes piano warmed up with a rehearsal of "Get Back" which also allowed the sound technician (in the basement of the building) to adjust the sound faders and EQ. Once this was completed, a few bars of "I Want You (She's So Heavy) was played and then a second take of "Get Back" was performed. A stereo mix of this second take with the count-in from the first rehearsal is available in the film "Let It Be". Up next is a take of "Don't Let Me Down" which was also used in the film "Let It Be" and this take was used in the documentary "Imagine: John Lennon" although it has been edited for the documentary.
The next song performed is "I've Got A Feeling" which ends up on both the film and the Apple LP "Let It Be". After this, the next tune is "One After 909" with a snippet of "Danny Boy" (only one version is performed on the roof) and this tune appears on the official Apple "Let It Be" LP/CD, the film of the same name and the Glyn Johns "Get Back" LP tapes as well.  An alternate mix of this tune can be found on the Apple/EMI LP/CD "Let It Be...Naked". A request comes in for "Dig a Pony"; this performance can be seen unedited in the film including the false start and ended up on the official "Let It Be" LP with edits but the false start remains on the Phil Spector version. An alternate mix of "Dig A Pony" was released on the Apple/EMI LP/CD "Let It Be...Naked"The reels are changed at this point and The Beatles play a loose rendition of "God Save The Queen"!
A second performance of both "I've Got A Feeling" and fragments of "A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody"/ a snippet of "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down" are performed but these two songs only appear on bootlegs and not used commercially. Both "I've Got A Feeling" and "Don't Let Me Down" are edited from the first and second performances and end up on the Apple/EMI LP/CD "Let It Be...Naked" with cleaner mixes.
A final take of "Get Back" is attempted although by this time the London Police have made their way up to the roof to try and shut down the concert. Mal Evans (the Beatles' roadie) starts to shut off some amps to no avail as the band continues trying to get a proper take. This fails when the last chorus goes off time but the band continues until the end. John Lennon steps up to the microphone and does his famous "I hope we passed the audition" quote which is used at the end of the Apple LP/CD "Let It Be" and also used on the Glyn Johns "Get Back" tapes at the end of "One After 909". This final take of "Get Back" can be found on the Apple 3LP/2CD "Anthology 3" project.
Most of the rooftop concert can be heard on the vinyl bootleg from "Swinging Pig" entitled "The Rooftop Concert" as well as a CD bootleg containing the same material from Yellow Dog "The Complete Rooftop Session".
It is also interesting to note that the first version of the Glyn Johns "Get Back" LP mixing was completed at Olympic Studios during the evening and later released on bootlegs such as "WBCN recordings" and "Kum Back" and finally "Posters, Incense and Strobe Candles" all from vinyl.

Friday, September 1, 2017

The "Get Back/Let it Be" Project January 29 1969

January 29 1969 was the big day before the big (and last) Beatles' concert. In the end, everyone agreed to have the musical equipment moved from the basement Apple studios onto the roof of the Apple building at 3 Savile Row, London and get set up for a free lunchtime show and entertain the surrounding buildings. At first it seems that both Paul and George were a little reluctant but history shows that they all agreed in the end.
So the first order of the day was to rehearse the songs to be performed. The first part of the rehearsal consisted of tunes to be played on the roof such as "I've Got A Feeling", "One After 909", "Don't Let Me Down", "Dig A Pony", "Get Back" and "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window"( the latter of which was never played). A couple of George Harrison composed songs were also rehearsed but never played on the roof or recorded in the Studio the day after the show: "Let It Down", "All Things Must Pass" and "For Your Blue".
After being joined by Billy Preston, the discussion of having some of the acoustic guitar/piano songs recorded the day after the live concert back in the studio included the rehearsal of "Let It Be" and "The Long And Winding Road".
Now that the original and self-penned numbers had been rehearsed, The Beatles decided to do a bit of jamming on some oldies but moldies including a version of "Besame Mucho" which appears in the "Let It Be" film as well as "Not Fade Away" (appearing on the bootleg vinyl "File Under: the Beatles" as well as the bootleg CD "Turn Me On Deadman: The John Barrett Tapes").
Another song that was contemplated for the 1984 compilation of unreleased material entitled "Sessions" was a cover of "Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues" originally recorded by Buddy Holly. John takes the vocal on this one. The song was remixed and heavily edited due to the fact that when it was recorded, Glyn Johns delayed in pressing the "record" button on the eight track machine -and it has appeared on various "Sessions" bootlegs and was ultimately released on the Apple 3LP-2CD "Anthology 3". Both the bootleg version and the commercial version have the same mix and edits applied back in the early 80s.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" project January 28 1969

The day started with The Beatles having a go at "I've Got A Feeling" until Paul has to leave for a meeting (probably to discuss the upcoming release of the Mary Hopkin LP "Postcard") while John, George , Ringo and Billy Preston continue on with the latter song for a while.
The Lennon tune "Dig A Pony" or "I Dig A Pony" (depending in which country you bought your "Let It Be" album) is recorded but none of the takes are released. The next song being recorded on this day was the ending or the reprise for "Get Back". The reprise was added on to the previous day's take and released on the commercial single for Apple as well as used on the first two Glyn Johns LP reels.
The Beatles ( and Billy Preston) also recorded the B-side "Don't Let Me Down" with addition overdubs completed during a February recording session which unfortunately remains undocumented. Other songs rehearsed and recorded on this day at Apple Studios include more of "I've Got A Feeling", "One After 909" and "Teddy Boy". One of the takes of "Teddy Boy" was used for the Apple 3LP/2CD "Anthology 3" with an edit of segments from this day's session paired with segments from the January 24 1969 session.
The "Get Back" take with coda was mixed for mono on March 26 1969 at Abbey Road and then again at Olympic Studios on April 07 1969. The stereo mix for "Get Back" (with coda) and "Don't Let Me Down" (with overdubs) was completed three days earlier on April 04 viola....the "new" Beatles' single was ready. As nature intended.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 27 1969

The Beatles gathered into Apple Studios on this day to continue their work on the project, all four Beatles; Billy Preston as well as George Martin and Glyn Johns were all present.
The day started with a bit of work on an untitled composition written by George Harrison which would evolve into "Old Brown Shoe". The song would remain un-revisited for the time being and the piano songs "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road" are rehearsed.
The main focus of the day was the rehearsal and recording of the upcoming single "Get Back". There were various reels of recording tape used this day to record the song and one of the takes (27.63) was used for the commercial Apple 45 single - without the coda at this point. It was produced by George Martin and the credit was "The Beatles with Billy Preston" on the label once it was released.
Also on this day, a nice take of "Oh! Darling" with Billy Preston on Fender Rhodes Electric piano surfaced on the Apple 3LP/2CD "Anthology 3" which also features John Lennon's comment the Yoko getting her divorce from Tony Cox !!
During the afternoon, an improvisation of a Blues type number was played by The Beatles and eventually molded itself into the Jimmy McCracklin hit "The Walk" - this was recorded on tape and used on some vinyl bootlegs including the "Beatles: On File" bootleg.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 26 1969

The Beatles were back at the Apple Studios on 3 Savile Row in London. George and Ringo were the first two Beatles to arrive and with George on acoustic and Ringo on piano, a bit of composing work was undertaken for the Ringo penned song "Octopus's Garden" which would feature later in the year. Paul, John and George Martin arrived as well as Billy Preston.
The rehearsals start with "Let it Be"- Paul on piano, John on bass, George on guitar, Billy on keys and Ringo on drums. The song leads into some jamming for the morning with a lot of improvisations and some oldies thrown in for good measure. The tape is rolling as the Beatles jam on the song "Dig It" with the longest version of the song at twelve and a half minutes and in mono captured on the vinyl bootleg "Dig it!". An edit of the performance down to four minutes was used for one of Glyn Johns "Get Back" LP tracklists. Finally, slightly less than a minute of this performance was used on the official Apple LP/CD "Let It Be" shortened by Phil Spector.
The Beatles continued to jam on oldies after this point which included a performance of "Rip It Up" and going into "Shake, Rattle and Roll". These performances can be heard in mono on such bootleg LPs such as "Singing the Blues" and "Celluloid Rock". They have been released commercially on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3" project with the addition of another oldies performance from this day: "Blue Suede Shoes". The latter can also be found in mono on the bootleg LP: "File Under: The Beatles".
Another set of oldies from this day consists of the medley "Miss Ann/Kansas City/ Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and this can also be found on the bootleg LP: "File Under: The Beatles" as well as on the bootleg CD: "Turn Me on Dead Man: The John Barrett Tapes".
Finally, the song "You Really Got A Hold On Me" is attempted in a higher key than they originally played it, with John Lennon struggling on the lead vocal. This can be seen in the film "Let It Be". It can also be found on the bootleg LP "Singing The Blues" although the ending is faded out.
In the afternoon, there are attempts at both "Let It Be" and "The Long And Winding Road" (which is new to Billy Preston and he learns it on this day). The basic track for the commercial single comes from one of the performances of "Let It Be" and also appears on an early version of the Glyn Johns "Get Back" LP. It can be heard pre-overdub on the "WBCN" acetate and bootleg of the same name.
Finally, a version of "The Long And Winding Road" also appears on an early version of the Glyn Johns "Get Back" LP, the "WBCN" acetate and on the commercial Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" project.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 25 1969

The Beatles entered Apple Studios with out Billy Preston on this day. Billy was busy taping a television show with Lulu so he was away for this day's session. The morning consisted of some acoustic work including the rehearsal of "Two Of Us" with some skiffle thrown in as well as a version of "Bye Bye Love" originally done by the Everly Brothers. Another interesting tune played on acoustics this particular morning was the McCartney original "I Lost My Little Girl" performed by John Lennon of all people !!
The afternoon consisted on rehearsals and taping for George Harrison's composition "For Your Blue". George is on acoustic, Paul on piano, John on slide and Ringo on drums. Take seven (with later vocal overdubs by George in January 1970) was used on both the bootleg of the second edition of Glyn John's "Get Back" LP ( pre-overdubbed vocals) and on the Apple LP/CD "Let It Be" and B-side to the "Long And Winding Road" (post-overdubbed vocals). The Apple 3-LP/2-CD would include the first take of "For You Blue" and finally the "Let It Be" film uses an edit of takes nine and six (pre-overdub)!!
Later in the afternoon and before the end of the session, The Beatles go through some takes of  "Let it Be" with Paul on piano, John on bass, George on electric guitar and Ringo on drums.One of the takes (without Billy Preston) was eventually released on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3".
At the very end of the day, George plays a version of "Isn't It A Pity" for John. Unfortunately, no interest is shown for the song. It would eventually be released commercially on George's triple album "All Things Must Pass" in November 1970.

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".

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.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" project January 06 1969

After a couple of days break, The Beatles would return to Twickenham Studios to continue recording and filming for the project. One of the song tackled in the morning was a new George Harrison composition "Hear Me Lord" that was written over the previous week-end. This composition wasn't chosen for consideration although George would later record it for his triple LP "All Things Must Pass".
A variety of tunes are rehearsed on this day including "Don't Let Me Down" with footage used for the final film as they try various vocal harmonies. Also "Two Of Us" was worked on as well. Another piece of footage from this session appears in the final "Let It Be" film where George and Paul clash with each other and contains George's famous quote "I'll play if you want me to play...".  Other footage from this day includes Paul's brief appearance at the piano singing "Oh! Darling" at this early stage.
Two more songs are rehearsed from this day include (oddly enough) George's composition "All Things Must Pass" and Paul's "She Came In through The Bathroom Window". Both of these songs would not make the final line up for "Let It Be" but the latter would appear on the next LP and George would use his composition as a title track for his solo triple LP.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 3 1969

As the day began at Twickenham Film Studios in London, The Beatles continued work on their new project with Paul beginning the morning playing some piano improvisations until the others arrived. The main focus of the morning once everything got started was John's "Don't Let Me Down" and Paul's "I've Got A Feeling" and a bit of work going through "Two of Us" as well before a break.
In the afternoon, most of the focus for the band was running through the George composition "All Things Must Pass" which would not feature on a Beatles' LP but was obviously the title track recorded for George's solo album almost two years later. A new Paul composition "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" was also begun with Paul teaching the band the chords for the new song.
Some of Paul's improve on the piano and some of Paul showing the chords to the band for "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" can be seen in the "Let It Be" film.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 02 1969

The month of January 1969 was put aside for a new Beatles project. The plan was to record an upcoming live show and to film the rehearsals leading up to this show. In the meantime, it seems that new songs had been written and the rehearsals eventually led up to songs for a new LP.
The venue for filming consisted of a hangar at Twickenham Film Studios in London, England. The start of the project was January 02 1969 and the filming was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg and the sound would be engineered by Glyn Johns although George Martin would be present certain times during the month to review the audio.
Visual footage from this first day can be seen in the (still unreleased) "Let It Be" movie where there is a scene of Mal Evans setting up the equipment. The song that were worked on include "Two Of Us", "Don't Let Me Down" and "I've Got a Feeling".

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The "Is This What You Want" Sessions

In mid October to the end of the year 1968, George Harrison participated in the recording sessions for the Jackie Lomax LP "Is this What You Want" for Apple records. George, Jackie and Mal Evans traveled to Los Angeles to work at Sound Records in L.A. to produce the sessions. We have George on guitar as well as some of the "wrecking crew" recording personnel such as Larry Knechtel on keys and Hal Blaine on drums with Joe Osborne on bass. Three tunes containing the aforementioned line up included "Take My Word", the title track and "Speak To Me". Orchestral strings were added at the end of that month.
Fast forward to December 1968 and we see some of the session continue with the musicians consisting of Eric Clapton, George and Ringo producing the song "You've Got Me Thinking" as well as the addition of horns for various tunes from the LP.
Also in mid December 1968, John and Yoko are filmed sitting on a bench at Coventry Cathedral dressed all in black with John strumming his acoustic guitar and singing his latest composition "Everybody Had A Hard Year" which of course would develop into the addition to Paul's "I've Got A Feeling" for the Get Back/Let It Be sessions the following month.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Dirty Mac Sessions

On December 10 1968, a link before the performance of the "Dirty Mac" band (with John Lennon on vocal/guitar, Eric Clapton on guitar, Keith Richards on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums) was recorded. The link to the performance includes John sitting on a high bench with Mick Jagger and both introducing the "Dirty Mac" and the song "Yer Blues" (from the current LP "The White Album" as it was known). Both have a deadpan mocking voice calling each other "Winston" and "Michael".
The performance itself was recorded specially for the Rolling Stones' "Rock And Roll Circus" television special. The band was warming up on the afternoon of December 11 1968 when a blues jam was captured on tape. The blues jam can be found on the vinyl LP "The Lost Lennon Tapes Volume Eight" in mono.
As far as the song "Yer Blues" is concerned, there are two takes available from the camera tapes (nagra tapes) and one take available from the four-track audio tape. Take one from the camera tapes can be found on the vinyl bootleg LP "The Lost Lennon Tapes Volume Thirteen". Take two from the camera tapes can be found on the vinyl bootleg LP "The Lost Lennon Tapes Volume Eighteen".
If you are looking for the stereo version of take three of "Yer Blues" from the four-track tape you can find it on an old bootleg LP "Not for Sale".
There is an addition to "Yer Blues" when Yoko steps up to the mic with the encouragement from John and adds her vocals to a jam that the band are performing. This has been released under two names: "Her Blues" or "Whole Lotta Yoko". This masterpiece can be found on the bootleg LP "The Lost Lennon Tapes Volume Eight" as well.
Finally, both "Yer Blues" and "Whole Lotta Yoko" along with the introduction/link were released commercially in 1996 on the video tape/CD "Rock And Roll Circus".

Sunday, March 12, 2017

December 1968 Lennon Demos

While Paul was working on the "Postcard" LP by Mary Hopkin for Apple Records, John Lennon was busy during the month of December 1968 working on some new songs
Most of the performances were conducted at his home (still) in Kenwood. The Beatles had agreed to meet in the New Year and start rehearsing for some kind of television special so some new songs might be in order.
We hear two versions of "Oh, My Love"; these are very John/Yoko centric and would evolve to the same title with changes for the eventual 1971 Lennon solo LP "Imagine".
We also get to hear the song "A Case Of The Blues" which is demoed during the month and you can hear some snippets of this tune during the "Get Back" rehearsals the following month but it was never properly recorded or released as a Beatles tune.
There is a demo of "Everyone Had a Hard Year". This riff and repetition would be added to Paul's number "I've Got A Feeling" as the Beatles would meet in a few weeks in January 1969 at Twickenham studio to start rehearsals for the television special.
Finally, two nice takes of "Don't Let Me Down" (very unfinished) have surfaced from these demos.
The tunes can be found on various "Lost Lennon Tapes" LP bootlegs. All of them can be heard on the bootleg CD "The 1968 Demos" and the "Oh My Love" outtakes can also be heard on the bootleg CD "Imagine...All the Outtakes".

Friday, March 3, 2017

The "Post Card" Sessions

At the end of the year 1968 during the months of November and December, Paul McCartney was busy at Trident Studios/ EMI Studios (mainly Trident) completing an LP with Apple artist Mary Hopkin. He is listed as the producer.
Paul also plays on the LP (of course) with the following instruments: Tambourine on "The Honeymoon Song" which was also performed by The Beatles on the BBC; "Happiness Runs" written by Donovan and featuring Mary Hopkin on the acoustic and Paul on bass; both Paul and Donovan play their acoustic guitars for the songs "Voyage of the Moon" and "Lord of the Reedy River". Another track, "The Puppy Song" written by Harry Nilsson has Paul playing piano.
"Love Is the Sweetest Thing" features Paul on the acoustic guitar alongside the band. Paul also plays acoustic on "Lullaby of the Leaves". Finally, Paul plays acoustic guitar, bass and drums on "Prince En Avignon".
All of these tunes can be found on the Apple LP/CD "Postcard" by Mary Hopkin.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Beatles' Sixth Christmas Record

Usually the Beatles would be together in the studio to record their annual Christmas flexi discs for the Fan Club but this would be the first time that the Christmas messages would be recorded separately. Most of the tapes were probably recorded in early November 1968. The tapes would be co-ordinated by a radio DJ Kenny Everett and edited and presented as a whole piece.The recordings were produced as follows: Ringo's contribution was from his home; Paul's contribution was probably recorded at Trident Studios in London where he was working the Mary Hopkin LP for Apple; John and Yoko recorded their contribution at John's Kenwood attic studio and George recorded his contribution at Nat Weiss's apartment with Tiny Tim at the end of November.
The flexi disc starts with Ringo's greeting, Paul's ditty about the old and new year and then John and Yoko's poem "Jock and Yono" with Yoko playing piano and John reciting the poem. George then gives a greeting along with Mal Evans who also greets the fans. It's back to Ringo for an introduction to Paul's acoustic/vocal contribution and then back to John for his second poem entitled "Once Upon A Pool Table" with some eerie effects on his voice. Finally, we go back to George who introduces Tiny Tim who plays his version of "Nowhere Man" and is thanked by George. An orchestra IV-I outtro  and the final drumbeat of "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" completes the disc.
Interestingly, there are two unedited versions of the John and Yoko poems which were aired on the "Lost Lennon Tapes" and can be found on the bootleg CD "The Ultimate Beatles Christmas Collection".

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Life With The Lions Project

Between November 4 and November 25 1968, Yoko Ono and John Lennon were at the Queen Charlotte Maternity Hospital in London, UK due to complications whereby Yoko would require an emergency blood transfusion. The couple were holed up in a hospital room for three weeks where unfortunately, Yoko had a miscarriage.
During this time, John had brought his acoustic guitar and recorded some material for an upcoming John/Yoko experimental event. Included in the collection is "No Bed For Beatle John" with Yoko reciting newpaper headlines and articles relating to recent Beatle activities.This would appear on the John/Yoko LP "Life With the Lions" opening side two. This is followed by a baby's hearbeat and then two minutes of silence. Finally, the last track  "Radio Play" is a radio dial being "played" by John whereby he would turn the dial and get a millisecond of sound from the radio - back and forth.
A medley of songs was also recorded for a flexi disc issued with "Aspen" magazine #7 including the titles : "Song for John/Let's go On Flying/ Snow is Falling All The Time/ Mummy's Only Looking For her Hand In the Snow". There is also a John and Yoko duet guitar/voice rendition of  "Don't Worry Kyoko" as a bonus track on the CD "Wedding Album" version recorded during this time. Also included as a bonus track on the CD "Wedding Album" is another piece from this time frame entitled "Mulberry" consisting of Yoko mouthing the words in her various styles while John plucks at a guitar.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Paul/Donovan Tape

At the end of November (probably the 22nd) 1968, both Paul McCartney and Donovan appeared at Trident Studio in London to work on Apple artist Mary Hopkin's LP eventually entitled "Postcard". The reason for the session seems to be that they were looking to cover an original song written by either of them in recent times.
Paul McCartney and Donovan both are playing together on acoustic guitars. Paul sings a song entitled "How Do You Do" which remains unreleased in commercial form. Paul also performs the current "Blackbird" for Donovan with Mary Hopkin joining in here and there. A third "Paul" song is introduced as "Heather" which is a musical nursery type song probably played to Linda's daughter for her entertainment.
Donovan plays "The Unicorn" which sounds like it's a very recent idea of a song. He also plays his current US single "Lalena" for Paul. Donovan completes the titles with three children's songs entitled "Mr. Wind", "The Walrus and The Carpenter" and finally "Land of Gisch".
As a side note, Mary Hopkin covered some tunes featuring both Paul and Donovan on acoustic guitars notably "Voyage of the Moon" and "Lord of The Reedy River" and the Donovan composition "Happiness Runs".
All of these acoustic tunes can be found on the vinyl bootleg "No.3 Abbey Road NW 8" although ironically none of it was recorded there, but at Trident.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

" I Will" (Ballad)

On September 16 1968, work began at EMI Studio2 to complete a basic track for a new Paul McCartney composition entitled "I Will". It was also known very briefly as "Ballad". The song was written earlier in the Spring while The Beatles were in India. Paul plays acoustic guitar while John and Ringo play various percussion instruments.
You can hear take 1 with an edit of takes 34 and 35 of the song commercially released on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3" project. This version is great with the exception of a few lyric changes. Also interesting is Paul's improvisations during these sessions. During take 19, for example, one of the improvisations include the snippet of "Can You Take Me Back" which would wind up on the new LP as a fragment before "Revolution 9".
The band is in an improvisational mood as well during take 30 and you can hear Paul singing a tune about the city of Havana for what is now entitled "Down In Havana".
During takes 34 to 36, you can hear Paul covering one of his recent compositions, a tune written for Cilla Black entitled "Step Inside Love" and eventually into another improvisation entitled "Los Paranoias" which is probably an inside joke as the band utilizes their percussion/acoustic guitar instrumentation to full use including a somewhat samba beat. Finally, during take 36 you can hear Paul covering the song "The Way You Look Tonight" somewhat mixed in with an attempt at "I Will".
The take selected for the commercial release was take 65, taken from a four track machine and copied to an eight track machine and re-named take 68.
The following evening on September 17 1968, Paul overdubbed another acoustic guitar, a second vocal, a mouthed bass and maracas. The song was mixed for mono on September 26 1968 and stereo on October 14 1968. The mono mix has the mouthed bass starting later in the song than the stereo mix.
The outtakes/ improvisations can be heard on various bootlegs including the CD versions of "Turn Me On Dead Man", "The John Barrett Tapes","Down In Havana" and "Mythology Volume 3",

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Peter Sellers Tape

In late August of  1968, Ringo Starr was busy at home compiling a cassette tape of the upcoming new Beatles' songs up to that point for his friend Peter Sellers. Ringo was scheduled to appear in a movie with Peter Sellers eventually released as "The Magic Christian" whereby Ringo plays the son of the title character played by Sellers.One of the connections with Peter Sellers is that George Martin (The Beatles' producer) recorded Sellers during the late 50s/early 60s for his comedy records and released by EMI at the time.
The duration of the tape is approximately 60 minutes and contains recent "White Album" recordings started back in May of 1968. Some of the tunes have early mono mixes and they are as yet incomplete so you get various edits that would be changed before the final mixes were authorized for disc which is why this tape is so interesting.
Side one opens with "Back In The USSR", "Rocky Raccon", "Wild Honey Pie", "Mother Nature's Son", "Sexy Sadie", "Don't Pass Me By" and ends with applause and Ringo announcing - "What A Show! Bravo! More !, etc". You can hear Ringo instruct Mr. Sellers to turn over the tape for more crazy music !!
Side two opens with some exotic music and noises made up by Ringo until we hear "Yer Blues" followed by "Good Night", "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey", "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", "Blackbird" and "Not Guilty". All of this is in mono.
Some of this material can be heard on the CD "Unsurpassed Masters, Volume 4" as well as "The Peter Sellers Tape". An excellent vinyl bootleg including the entire tape in order can be heard on the title "How Pink Is Your Panther?".

Saturday, January 14, 2017

"Dear Prudence" Mixes

"Dear Prudence" was a John Lennon composition written about Mia Farrow's sister, who was constantly meditating in India during the Beatles' 1968 spring visit in that area of the world.
On August 29 1968, The Beatles entered Trident Studios in London to record the song. The studio had an eight track machine at the ready whereby EMI Studios still relied on four track for the moment. After 14 hours of work, take 1 was used for the basic track and all other instruments and voices could be added without any reductions in tracks. Ringo was absent for this session and it was Paul McCartney who handled the drums on this track as well as adding backing vocals and percussion. John and George handled the electric guitars while Paul played piano and backing vocals were done with all involved including a visiting Jackie Lomax (Apple artist) and roadie Mal Evans amongst others. Bass guitar by Paul was also overdubbed on to take 1.
The next day August 30 1968, mono and stereo mixes were created at Trident Studios. There are two alternate mono mixes that have seen the light of day and are available on bootleg. The first alternate mix may have come from John Lennon's collection as this was aired on the radio series "The Lost Lennon Tapes" in the late 1980's/early 1990's. The mix contains a round of applause at the end of the song along with John Lennon asking "Should I Just Do The Last Verse?", a blast of a horn and a drum roll. It can be found on the vinyl bootleg "The Lost Lennon Tapes, Volume Six" as well as a bonus track on the Retro-man version of a bootleg CD entitled "Gone Tomorrow, Here Today".
The second alternate mix of "Dear Prudence" has some extra bass guitar notes occurring during the opening verse and the last verse of the song. There is also a round of applause contained at the end and the extension of the tune includes the horn blast, drum roll, some extra guitar and a voice saying "OK. Rolling". This version is contained within the Midnight Beat version of a bootleg CD entitled "Gone Tomorrow, Here Today" (an earlier version of the above) as well as being available on the bootleg CD "Mythology, Volume 3".
The commercial mixes for the "White Album" were completed at EMI Studios on October 13 1968. The vocals on the song have less reverb (drier) than the alternate mixes listed above.

Friday, January 6, 2017

"What's The New Mary Jane" Session and Mixes

On August 14 1968, John, George, Yoko and Mal Evans were present at EMI Studio 2 and were feeling a bit out of their heads as John would later say. It was decided to record a new composition by John entitled "What's The New Mary Jane". John was playing piano and vocals while George would strum the guitar.
The fourth take would last over six minutes long - the main body of the song is only two minutes and the rest of the tune consists of experimental noises by all involved. The piano and guitar were doubled and a second vocal was added to the first part of the song; the second part of the song includes percussion like rachets, handbells, cowbell, tambourine, drums, etc.) as well as Yoko's wailing. The song ends with the John Lennon statement "Let's hear it before we get taken away"!
A stereo mix of the song let's us hear the first two minutes including three verses and choruses, Yoko joins in with the addition of an accordian and piano (with someone just playing the strings of the piano), some slide whistle is also added before the percussion and chaos continues.
On September 25, 1968 two mono mixes and two stereo mixes were completed and the song was edited down to just over three minutes. One of these mixes can be heard on a very early vinyl bootleg entitled "Mary Jane" and on "Spicy Beatles Songs" (in mono).
Of course, the song never made it to the new LP but it re-surfaced later in the next year when John thought he may use the tune as a Plastic Ono Band single. Fresh stereo mixes were completed and a stereo mix from November 26 1969 is used on the 12 inch vinyl bootleg: "What A Shame Mary Jane Had A Pain At The Party".
Finally, circa 1984, a stereo mix was created by Geoff Emerick using the original tapes and going back to the original length of six minutes. The mix remained slated for release on the cancelled "Sessions" commercial LP but ended up on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3" project.