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One of the three titles which the Beatles recorded at the EMI St. John’s Wood studio in the first week of February, was “Across the Universe” with the lead vocal sung by John. The recording session was well underway on Sunday, February 4th, when John and Paul decided at the last moment that girls would be needed to sing a particularly high falsetto voice passage. So, Paul walked out and started talking to the crowd of Beatle people gathered outside the recording studio gates. Eventually, he invited two girls to come in for a tryout take — they were, Lizzie Bravo, 16 Compayne Gardens, London, N.W.6, and Gayleen Pease, 17 Amhurst Road, London, N.16.
The Beatles were delighted with the girls voices and so Lizzie and Gayleen were suddenly transported from being Beatle fans to actually recording with them.
Quotes from Lizzie and Gayleen:
Said Lizzie: “I still don’t believe it happened!” Added Gayleen: “It was like a dream. The Beatles are so easy to get on with.”
And from producer George Martin: “Considering the girls had never done any recording before, I think they were really great.”From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°56, March 1968
On Sunday February 4 another new number was started one which — was NOT used on the single. It is “Across The Universe” which is going to appear as one track on a special charity LP album. It was for this session that Paul invited two teenage girl fans to provide extra vocal accompaniment. “Across The Universe” has some very high bits in it so Paul went out of the front door of the EMI Studios in St. John’s Wood and chatted up the bunch of Beatle People who were waiting there in the rain. Eventually he chose Lizzie Bravo a 16-year-old who came from Rio de Janeiro and is hoping to become an actress plus Gayleen Pease, a 17-year-old who is studying for her ‘A’ level exams this summer. Lizzie lives in Maida Vale and Gayleen lives in Stoke Newington, both just a few miles from St. John’s Wood. It’s the first time fans have joined The Beatles in a recording session. The two girls had to repeat over and over the line of lyrics which goes “nothing’s going to change my world”.Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall – From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°57, April 1968
Last updated on September 14, 2021