First recording session for "Grapefruit"

Friday, November 24, 1967 • For Grapefruit
IBC Studios, London, UK

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Grapefruit, a London-based band, was assembled by Terry Doran of Apple Publishing, the music publishing company established by the Beatles. The group was formed in late 1967 and John Lennon bestowed upon them their name.

On this particular day, both John Lennon and Paul McCartney participated in Grapefruit’s inaugural recording session, working on their debut single “Dear Delilah.” Subsequently, on January 17, 1968, The Beatles attended a press conference to promote this initial release.

[…] Before we knew it, we were in the studio. Early sessions down at IBC studios, Portland place, were at once
fantastic and terrifying. Our producer was the American Terry Melcher (Doris Day’s Son) and producer of
the Byrds and others. On our first session John and Paul were there with various luminaries all puffing
various jazz woodbines and hanging out while we were setup in the middle of the studio floor, with
little rehearsal still getting to know George Alexander and his songs and how best to work together!

I think it was at this studio session, I first met big Mal Evans (the Beatles Road manager) and discovered what a nice, gentle chap he was, this became unintentionally advantageous later on. […]

John Perry – Guitarist and bassist of “Grapefruit” From grapefruit-booklet-uncorrected-CopyTHIS-ONE.pdf (

According to John Perry, guitarist and bassist of Grapefruit, The Beatles sometimes showed up for their next recording sessions.

Moving on, It was in the studio where we got our first taste of interaction with the Beatles. After our initial session at IBC we knuckled down to making our first album, and for the most part it would be just us. Memories of standing around the piano probably at Trident studios with the Grapefruit guys and Terry Melcher playing
Round Going Round. Unfortunately he had taken one of his little tablets which made everything half tempo
and although he was “feelin’ it”, it turned a bright happy song into a dirge! Fortunately it had worn off by the time we got to recording. So we kicked off recording where occasionally out of the blue, one or a couple of the Beatles would just turn up and hang out there. Memories of Paul playing Hey Jude to John, (possibly the first time he’d heard it) on a piano behind a curtain; a memory of Lennon, screaming at me trying to get me to play a certain way on a Grapefruit track: “I want it to sound like a f**king airplane coming into land” Bearing in mind
we didn’t even use overdrive guitar in the Castaways this was pretty terrifying. Also George came in a few
times and played around with the drum sounds and stuff.

Interaction with “the boys” was always fascinating and frightening at the same time. You gotta remember
I was a huge fan before I met them, and I have to this day got a collection of Beatles magazines, a monthly mag about the fab four that I devoured in younger days from cover to cover. Now I was hanging out with them and expected to be ‘normal’ in their presence, it was pretty weird. The thing is they were very normal together, the problem was they were THE BEATLES!!!

Here’s an example. We met up for a drink in a pub in Wigmore St. and were sitting round with the lads. I’m sitting between Paul and George and they start to talk to each other with me in the middle. The thing was that because at that time their every word if heard could make the front page, they put their heads very close together so their conversation couldn’t be overheard. Can you imagine when your idol’s face is about 6 inches from yours asking “what do you think” – pretty scary!

John Perry – From grapefruit-booklet-uncorrected-CopyTHIS-ONE.pdf (

A group called Grapefruit has been signed by Apple Music, the publishing company owned by the Beatles, and will have its debut disc “Dear Delilah” released by RCA in January. The group. which has signed an agency agreement with Nems Enterprises, will be managed by Terry Doran who is operating Apple on behalf of the Beatles.

From New Musical Express – December 30, 1967
From New Musical Express – December 30, 1967


FIRST bite at the Apple, the Beatles’ very own music publishing company, goes to a group with the suitably fruity name of Grapefruit. Their first single “Dear Delilah” launches the venture on January 19.

And apart from having the honour and privilege of being associated with the world’s top group, the four boys owe their name to the genius of John Lennon.

Explained 19-year-old Geoff Swettenham, who describes himself as their “ravey” drummer: “We were tossing around ideas for a name. Trying to be original, of course. And our manager, Terry Doran, just happened to mention us to John at the Speakeasy. When they met again, John said: ‘How about Grapefruit?’ So here we are!”

Grapefruit is a very new group. In fact, they’ve been together less than a month – and have yet to make any public appearances.

“We’ve spent all our time rehearsing,” added Geoff. “Actually, John and Paul came along to one of our sessions for the single. They gave us some very useful tips, too. We were very surprised when we met them. You tend to imagine some sort of God – but they are a lot more normal and unassuming than a lot of people in the business.”

Geoff is one of two brothers in the group. Pete, 18, is rhythm guitar ; and the others are John Perry, also 18 (lead guitar), and bass-player, 20-year-old George Alexander, reckoned to be their “prolific” songwriter, and the man behind “Delilah.”

How do the boys feel being the first outfit with the Beatles as their boss?

“We’re very lucky – and I must admit it’s a help to our career. But I think we’ll be able to live up to it. We have some nice commercial songs, and I suppose you could say we’re loosely on the rock ‘n’ roll-blues scene.”

And as if Beatles backing isn’t enough, Grapefruit have the celebrated figure of Terry Melcher as their recording manager. He has recorded the Byrds and been closely associated with the Beach Boys and Mamas and Papas.

From Disc And Music Echo – December 30, 1967
From Disc And Music Echo – December 30, 1967

Last updated on June 10, 2023

Songs recorded


Dear Delilah




Pete Swettenham:
George Alexander:
John Perry:
Geoff Swettenham:


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