First recording session for "Grapefruit"

Friday, November 24, 1967 • For Grapefruit
Timeline More from year 1967
Studio:
IBC Studios, London, UK

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About

Grapefruit was a London-based band, brought together by Terry Doran of Apple Publishing, the music publishing company started and owned by the Beatles. The band was formed late 1967 and was given its name by John Lennon.

On this day, John Lennon and Paul McCartney joined the very first recording session of Grapefruit. They started recording “Dear Delilah” which would become their first single. On January 17, 1968, The Beatles would attend a press conference to promote this first single.

[…] 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!

On the IBC website: https://www.ibcstudio.co.uk/historyindex.html it’s noted that, John and Paul later turned up at the studios on 24th November 1967 when they sat in on the Grapefruit session on their first hit, Dear Delilah.

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 – From grapefruit-booklet-uncorrected-CopyTHIS-ONE.pdf (heartrecords.org)

As explained by John Perry, The Beatles would sometimes show 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 (heartrecords.org)

Songs recorded


1.

Dear Delilah

Recording

Staff

Musicians

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

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