Lizzie Bravo

Related people

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.


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

What originally brought you to London in February 1967?

When The Beatles stopped touring at the end of 1966, my friend Denise and I realized we would never see them. She convinced her parents AND mine to send us to London as a gift for our 15th birthdays, which had happened in May and June. The sole purpose of the trip was to see the Beatles. She went a few weeks ahead of me since my father was abroad, and he needed to sign for me to travel alone. I saw the four Beatles, Brian Epstein, and Mal Evans the same day I arrived, leaving EMI Studios at night. They were recording Sgt. Pepper.

Describe the fateful invitation you received to contribute to a Beatles recording. What feelings and emotions were going through your mind when you got invited into Abbey Road Studios?

There was only a handful of us fans waiting for them to come out that night. It was a Sunday; they didn’t normally record on weekends. The doorman had let us inside the building. Paul came out of the glass doors and asked: “Can any of you girls hold a high note?” I went in and asked to bring my friend Gayleen. You have to realize that we were used to seeing them almost every day, so this particular night was just a much nicer situation since we were inside and not outside the studios. We were just enjoying our time with them (approximately two hours), we were too young to realize what was really going on: we were recording with the biggest rock and roll band that ever was… sharing a microphone with John and Paul (there were two mikes, I was with John first and then we switched).

How were you received by The Beatles during the “Across the Universe” recording session? What did you notice about their interaction as a band?

They were very nice and made us feel at home. They were funny and we laughed at the jokes and situations. They seemed to get on well. You have to realize we were 16 and 17, just enjoying our time with them. We weren’t there to analyze them as a band or as people.

What were your initial thoughts about “Across the Universe” as a song?

It took a long time for us to hear it for the first time. For me, it was on Kenny Everett’s radio show. I thought it was beautiful.

How did your family and friends respond to this extraordinary event of you singing on a Beatles song?

I personally didn’t tell very many people. There was a note in the March 1968 issue of The Beatles Monthly and that was it. For many years it never appeared in any books or magazines. I don’t remember anyone making a big fuss out of it. It happens a lot more nowadays.

What is the one lingering memory from recording with The Beatles that has stayed with you over the years? 

There are many moments I remember vividly, too many to list here. Being beside John Lennon, my idol, singing on the same microphone with him, so close…

Please share any other encounters you have had with The Beatles.

As I said before, we used to see all four of them almost every day, it would be impossible to list. My book (Do Rio a Abbey Road, for now only in Portuguese and sold out) has my diary entries and photos. I left London in late October 1969. In February 1990 I saw Paul at a conference for Brazilian press in Indianapolis, Indiana. As he shook my hand, he asked me “why do I remember you?” So, I told him, and he remembered. […]

Lizzie Bravo – From Another Fifth Beatle: Lizzie Bravo – CultureSonar, October 6, 2021

Last updated on February 26, 2024

Recording sessions Lizzie Bravo participated in

Recording "Across The Universe"

Feb 04, 1968 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Anthology 2

Albums, EPs & singles which Lizzie Bravo contributed to

No One's Gonna Change Our World

By Various Artists • Official album

Contribution: Backing vocals • 1 songs

Let It Be (Limited Edition)

By The Beatles • LP

Contribution: Backing vocals • 1 songs

Let It Be

By The Beatles • LP

Contribution: Backing vocals • 1 songs

1967-1970 (US version, 1973)

By The Beatles • Official album

Contribution: Backing vocals • 1 songs

1967-1970 (UK version, 1973)

By The Beatles • LP

Contribution: Backing vocals • 1 songs

Rarities (US - 1980)

By The Beatles • Official album

Contribution: Backing vocals • 1 songs

Past Masters Volume 2

By The Beatles • Official album

Contribution: Backing vocals • 1 songs

Mono Masters (Mono - 2009 remaster)

By The Beatles • Official album

Contribution: Backing vocals • 1 songs

Let It Be (Stereo - 2009 remaster)

By The Beatles • Official album

Contribution: Backing vocals • 1 songs


Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *