- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Let It Be (Limited Edition) LP.
- Timeline More from year 1969
- Twickenham Film Studios, London, UK
Some songs from this session appear on:
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This was the fifth day of rehearsals at Twickenham Film Studios. In the morning, The Beatles, in good spirits, focused on songs they had worked on in the previous days and provided solid performances of “Two Of Us“, “One After 909“, “Don’t Let Me Down” and “I’ve Got A Feeling“.
To start the day, George Harrison had introduced a new composition, “I Me Mine“, which was extensively rehearsed after lunch. In the afternoon, the band also spent a great amount of time on another Harrisong, “All Things Must Pass“, as well as on Paul McCartney’s “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window“. Paul also led them through their first group rehearsals of “The Long And Winding Road” and “Let It Be“. And John Lennon introduced a new song on this day, “Mean Mr. Mustard“.
Among the cover versions and improvisations played on this day, two early Lennon-McCartney compositions – “Too Bad About Sorrows” and “Just Fun” – were briefly performed. After “Too Bad About Sorrows“, John declared “Queen says no to pot-smoking FBI members“. This remark was included on the “Let It Be” album prior to “For You Blue” and was the only piece of audio recorded at Twickenham to be used.
Two Of Us, One After 909
It was a similar situation for “One After 909“, which had been worked on, on January 3, 6 and 7. They recorded it only once on this day, just to make sure they had the arrangement down reasonably well, which they did.
They would continue rehearsing the two songs on the next day, January 9.
Don’t Let Me Down, I’ve Got A Feeling
“Don’t Let Me Down” and “I’ve Got A Feeling” had been rehearsed on January 2, 3, 6 and 7. On this day, they performed the two songs twice and would continue working on them on the next day, January 9.
[One of the two rehearsals of “I’ve Got A Feeling”] was exceptional enough to be featured in the resulting “Let It Be” film, at least in part. Upon watching the footage in the film, Paul is standing and George is wearing a red shirt during the January 8th footage of the song. Paul enthusiastically shouts “Good Morning!” at the conclusion of the bridge and repeats John’s final line “everybody put their foot down” as the song concludes.
Paul’s scorching lead vocal is an irresistable feature that got this footage included in the film, although it wasn’t officially recorded and thereby could not be considered as a contender for the soundtrack album. Two things of note here is that there were four ascending and descending chord patterns in the instrumental section after John’s lead vocal part, which now were played by Ringo with a straight 4/4 drum pattern on his toms per Paul’s instruction.From beatlesebooks.com
I, Me, Mine
At the beginning of the day, when John was not there yet, George introduced “I Me Mine” to Paul, Ringo and Michael Lindsay-Hogg, playing it on guitar and singing the vocals. He explained he wrote it during the night. They then had an exchange on the grammar of one line of the lyrics:
George Harrison: Is that grammatical? “Flowing more freely than wine.”
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: Yeah.
George Harrison: “Flowing much freer”?
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: More freely.
Paul McCartney: “Freely”. “Freer”.
George Harrison: It’s funny when… If you’re writing, yeah, thinking of how you say it.
Paul McCartney: “Freer”. For it’s sticky out here. [laughter]
In the afternoon, the four Beatles rehearsed it extensively.
George then worked up his nerve to suggest that his band-mates learn and rehearse his new composition. “Would you like to learn a new one? Very simple,” he asks John who wasn’t present when he presented it to Paul and Ringo. After getting somewhat acclimated with it, John clowns around on guitar during a couple runthroughs, asserting his dissaproval of the waltz beat and mockingly suggesting that he play a barrel organ on the song. Since Paul owned an accordian, the bassist thought to put it to good use by making the serious suggestion, “Want the accordian?” George appears to consider this but, since the instrument wasn’t at Twickenham Studios on that day, replies, “If it’s not here, then just f*ck it.” George also voiced an idea to have a stand-up acoustic bass on the song, although this never came to fruition either.
John impatiently asks, “Are you going to teach us this?” George then complies by teaching Paul and John the chords. However, John loses interest and decides to dance the waltz with Yoko while the remaining Beatles rehearse the song extensively. Instead of taking offense, George was amused by their dance routine and suggested that this be John’s contribution to the song for their upcoming performance, since what Lennon could contribute instrumentally wouldn’t really be needed anyway.
George asked John, “Do you want to do that on the show? That’d be great, ’cause it’s so simple to do, the tune. But to do that waltz, or something, if you want to bag it up a bit.” Paul finds this humorous and, imitating a fictional Master Of Ceremonies for the event, accounces, “John and Yoko would like to waltz in their white bag!” adding, in his own voice, “and there’s a white bag dancing around.” In Paul’s MC voice he states “They were doing things inside it!” Paul adds, “We should do it as an escapologist thing, and we put the bag over them” the fictional MC voice announcing, “You can see their not tied at all! There’s nothing up their sleeves!” Interestingly, John and Yoko began their “Bagism” events two-and-a-half months later, their first occuring on March 31st, 1969, during their visit to Vienna to promote their film “Rape.”
From this point on, The Beatles become quite animated in their excitement about developing “I Me Mine” for their proposed upcoming show, displaying a comaraderie unlike what most assume dominated the entire “Let It Be” project. George even suggested “castanets on that bit” where the flamenco-style guitar part was. All in all, The Beatles gave attention to the song at five different times on this day, putting in a total of 41 rehearsals, albeit many of them being incomplete runthroughs. One such rehearsal was included on some 2021 Anniversary editions of the “Let It Be” album, which begins with George inquiring about the sound he was hearing. “Is this on echo?” After George Martin confirms that it is, Paul states, “It’s exciting; new developments!” and then references George’s first Beatles composition “Don’t Bother Me” just before the next rehearsal of “I Me Mine” begins. Meanwhile, John and Yoko’s dance routine was seriously considered to be a part of the arrangement, waltzing rehearsals continuing to the point of Paul and George giving the pair dance instructions. “You’ll spoil the spontaneity of the dance when you actually have to do it,” Paul comments about the frequency of their dance rehearsals. […]From beatlesebooks.com
Despite the amount of work done on “I Me Mine” on this day, The Beatles would not return to it during the rest of the “Get Back” sessions. Later in 1969, Michael Lindsay-Hogg decided to include it and the segment showing John and Yoko dancing the waltz in his film. It led the Beatles (minus John Lennon) to formally record the song in January 1970.
All Things Must Pass
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
They recorded thirteen rehearsals of it on this day.
John joined George in singing harmony during these rehearsals as Mal Evans began to improve in his anvil-hammering technique. Paul here began adlibbing lyrics in the third verse about a judge and courtroom scene, although he had yet to take the time to formally write these lyrics.From beatlesebooks.com
They would continue working on the song on January 10.
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
The Beatles had rehearsed this new number from Paul for the first time on January 7. They performed an uninspired version on this day and would spend more time on it on January 9.
The Long And Winding Road
During their extensive rehearsals of George’s “I Me Mine,” Paul decided to begin teaching John the chords to “The Long And Winding Road,” which the guitarist showed some interest in learning. Later, when he tried to spark interest in the song with two more run-throughs, John declined to participate.From beatlesebooks.com
Let It Be
After a lot of attention had been heaped upon George’s “I Me Mine,” this being the only day they actually worked on the song, as well as other new compositions, Paul played “Let It Be” on piano during an equipment set up in the earlier part of the day. Ringo joined in on drums for a bit, as did an uniterested John on guitar. Recognizing Paul’s changing the lyrics from “Brother Malcolm” to “Mother Mary,” John suggested changing it back to a reference to their loyal assistant and former roadie. Paul complied with this during the two renditions of the song they went through at this time, but only when it became obvious that it was a botched performance.
After a lunch break, they returned to “Let It Be” again, Paul calling out the chords to George during the performance. “You know the chords to ‘Mother Mary,’ don’t you?” he asked George, the group referring to the descending instrumental section as “the F bit.” Ringo also began working out his drum part while John occasionally sang during the choruses. Alot of the lyrics were in place at this point, although the final verse was yet to be written. The Beatles had only scratched the surface in becoming acquainted with the song.From beatlesebooks.com
Mean Mr. Mustard
John had written “Mean Mr. Mustard” in early 1968, had recorded a demo of it late May 1968 but decided to shelve it for the time being. On this day, he decided to resurrect it:
[…] Lennon revealed some proposed changes to the composition. One change was that the make-shift bridge now contained the repeated lyric “Mean Mr. Mustard, he’s such a dirty bastard,” which was then repeated. Also, another verse with a new chord pattern and melody line was premiered. This additional verse, which lyrically doesn’t make much sense and includes odd changes in time signatures as was John’s habit, could easily have been an ad lib made up on the spot, but nonetheless the lyrics appear to sound like the following:
“Man, I’m coming, gonna do you no harmFrom beatlesebooks.com
He’s wearing pink pajamas ’cause he comes from a farm
He’s gotta get some ’cause no one get’s so happy coming home
Well, everyplace you go is low, everyplace you go is low
Everyplace you go is low, everyplace you go is low, low, low”
Even if John brought a new song on this day, “Mean Mr. Mustard“, at some point, Paul asked him if he had written anything new.
Paul McCartney: Haven’t you written anything else?
John Lennon: No.
Paul McCartney: Haven’t you? … We’re gonna be faced with a crisis.
John Lennon: When I’m up against the wall, Paul, you’ll find I’m at my best.
Paul McCartney: Yeah, I know, John, I know… But I wish you’d come up with the goods.
John Lennon: Look, I think I’ve got Sunday off.
Paul McCartney: Well, I hope you can deliver.
John Lennon: I’m hoping for a little rock and roller.
Paul McCartney: (sarcastic) Yeah, I was hoping for the same thing myself.From Peter Jackson’s film “The Beatles: Get Back“, 2021
At the end of the day, a lengthy conversation took place, initiated by Michael Lindsay-Hogg and Denis O’Dell, to persuade The Beatles to go abroad for their live performance. The idea of going to Libya, already discussed on the first day of the rehearsals, was brought back. John was bought in, Paul tended to agree as well, but Ringo and George were against the idea. The Beatles agreed to sleep on the idea.
Paul McCartney: An outdoor scene has to be in England because…
Denis O’Dell: I don’t think it’s practical to do it in England. It’s too bloody cold.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: Yes, that was one of the reasons we started veering off on these ideas was when we were looking at locations that Friday after Christmas.
Paul McCartney: We are in a film studio. We’re going to build something so that… We shouldn’t just try and build something like the Tower Ballroom, ’cause we could go to the Tower Ballroom.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: But, once you get on a stage, you are performers and you gotta have someone to do it to. Either the camera or real people, I think.
Paul McCartney: Yeah, we haven’t… Any number we’ve done at the moment, if we’ve noticed the camera on us, we’ve tried to ignore it.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: But you’ve either got to be performing directly to the people at home or to an audience.
Paul McCartney: See that’s why I thought like a ballroom. If we did go right back. Like, “Come to the Tower Ballroom. There’s a dance on.” You know? Oh, incidentally, we’ll be the band there. And then we go on and we play all the numbers.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: But you’re just not the local dance band. I don’t think it’s quite enough scope.
Glyn Johns: I also think that people are very interested in seeing how an audience would react.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: Because the audience is so much part of the first half of you, musically.
Paul McCartney: Okay, so we’re all prepared to do it with an audience. But you can’t just have the same old audience.
Denis O’Dell: What can you do that’s new with them?
George Harrison: If we can just think of an image, how we’d like to be, which could be like a nightclub act. Just the smoochy low lights and about ten people.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: What’s the point, when you could be giving people happiness with a full house? Whatever kind of full house we decided. I mean, we have to think about the audience. It really ought to be the whole world.
Denis O’Dell: That’s where… Now we’re going right… the whole circle back to Sabratha.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: It is a location which is marvelous in itself, by the sea.
Denis O’Dell: What he’s saying is right. It’s the background.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: I don’t think anything is gonna beat a perfect acoustic place by the water, out of doors.
Ringo Starr: For a rock and roll group?
Denis O’Dell: I really think we ought to go over and set it up upfront. Shoot a day sequence, a night sequence, a torchlight sequence out there with sea, desert, four days. Make it comfortable for everybody.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: Yes, I think we’re gonna do rock and roll at dawn or at night. I’m sure we can do rock and roll there if we get the right audience.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: (talking to John Lennon joining the conversation) Come on. We’re going to Africa. We’re off.
Paul McCartney: No, we’re not. Not necessarily.
John Lennon: Yeah! Let’s go! Let’s go!
George Harrison: Where to?
Denis O’Dell: To Sabratha… Tripoli! Fantastic sound!
Ringo Starr: You’re thinking of yourself, ’cause you wanna be nice and warm and cosy!
George Harrison: What is the point of doing it abroad? I’d much rather do it, and then go away.
John Lennon: See, it’s like having the most fantastic set on Earth, but we haven’t made a set, you know?
Ringo Starr: How many are gonna be looking at the set besides us and him?
John Lennon: Every time we’ve done an album, we’ve said, “Why are we stuck in EMI?” We could be doing it in LA. We could be in France. And every time we do it, and here we are again, building another bloody castle around us.
Paul McCartney: Well said, John. Well said!
John Lennon: And this time we do it there. I’d be thrilled to do it. Just timing it so as the sun came up just on the middle eight.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: One of Russia’s points was that he wanted an English audience.
John Lennon: Oh Russia? That’s be great!
Michael Trommsdorff: No, no, no that’s Ringo’s code name. He’s Russia.
John Lennon: Just give me one reason to stay there?
Ringo Starr: For the people!
John Lennon: People? That’s the only reason. Alright, so we’ll take ’em with us.
Paul McCartney: Look, we were gonna give tickets away at this door here. We’d given out those tickets, but they include a boat ride as well.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: We take them with us, and that’s the show.
Paul McCartney: Okay, yeah. We’re doing a live show. And we’re doing it in Arabia. And it’s like… Whoever has been waiting to see the lads rocking again.
George Harrison: It’s just impractical to try and get all those… Lug all them people there and try and get all that equipment.
Paul McCartney: But then if it was their problem…
Denis O’Dell: But if you say, “That’s what I want,” that’s what has to happen.
John Lennon: That’s not our problem.
George Harrison: Of course it’s our problem.
Paul McCartney: Tell you what I’ll offer you. If we’re going away and we hire a boat to take the audience with you. We’ll do a bloody show on a boat.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: Wait here’s France coming in here now.
George Harrison: France? I can’t go to France!
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: No no, no. That’s your code name.
Paul McCartney: No, he smoked some garlic once. (laughing)
Paul McCartney: So, like, I’ll come in with you, as long as you can get a couple of boats.
George Harrison: And then we’re stuck with a bloody big boatload of people for two weeks. At least you can go home from here. You can get away from it all.
Denis O’Dell: It’ll take three days trip on the boat.
George Harrison: I think the idea of the boat is completely insane. It’s very expensive and insane, and…
Denis O’Dell: I think it should be the least of our worries. Money. I really do.
George Harrison: And who’s gonna cough up for that though?
John Lennon: If P&O will do a deal with Storm, they’ll do one with us.
George Harrison: They haven’t even made back the money it cost to buy the film for Magical Mystery Tour.
John Lennon: We should be able to get the boat for the publicity they get from it.
George Harrison: They won’t even give us a free Fender amp!
Ringo Starr: I’ve stopped being Russia now.
Denis O’Dell: It’s gonna be great. You’d love the place.
Ringo Starr: I’ve moved to Yugoslavia! [chuckles]
George Harrison: I may love the place, but I’d rather do the show, then go and love the place.
Ringo Starr: How’re you gonna get a ship in a couple of days?
John Lennon: We got the American Navy for “How I Won The War”.
Ringo Starr: I was there. Yes, I know. But they were passing by and you only used them for a few hours. I’ve seen it, John. I went to the premiere.
John Lennon: Did you enjoy it?
Ringo Starr: I thought you were great.
John Lennon: Thanks a lot, Ringo. (laughing)
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: How are we stacking? If there’s no problem with the equipment, and with the right audience, which will be basically English-speaking brought from here.
John Lennon: Broad-minded Englishmen wanted!
Ringo Starr: Still not the same.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: If you’ll say yes, and if we get it together, then will you go?
John Lennon: Well, if we mull it over tonight. Leave it in the air and that, just think about it.
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: Well, I feel, as the trade says, “The vibes are very good at the moment.”
John Lennon: But we can all say yes now and somebody can decide no tomorrow. It’s not gonna make any odds.
Ringo Starr: Good night, everybody!
Michael Lindsay-Hogg: Good night, Russia.
Ringo Starr: That’s a wrap.
Denis O’Dell: I’ll see you in Sabratha!From Peter Jackson’s film “The Beatles: Get Back“, 2021
Last updated on December 18, 2021
The performances are sequentially numbered using the nomenclature from the book "Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image" by Doug Sulpy. DDSI 2.01 is, for example, the first performance from January 2nd, while DDSI 31.65 is the sixty-fifth performance from January 31st. This numbering is at times different from the DDSI numbers used on the bootleg collection "A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions", likely because "Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image" was updated since the release of this collection.
Get Your Rocks Off
Recording • DDSI.8.06 • 6:44
- Performed by :
- George Harrison
You Got Me Going
Recording • DDSI.8.15 • 0:24
St Louis Blues
Recording • DDSI.8.19 • 1:09
Recording • DDSI.8.43 • 1:36
Right String, Wrong Yo-Yo
Recording • DDSI.8.48 • 0:15
Recording • DDSI.8.49 • 0:16
Baa Baa Blacksheep
Recording • DDSI.8.50 • 0:23
Recording • DDSI.8.51 • 0:18
Recording • DDSI.8.52 • 1:12
Recording • DDSI.8.53 • 3:26
Recording • DDSI.8.55 • 1:36
Life Is What You Make It
Recording • DDSI.8.67 • 0:09
Recording • DDSI.8.70 • 2:54
How Do You Think I Feel
Recording • DDSI.8.73 • 0:43
The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde
Recording • DDSI.8.74 • 1:28
Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh!
Recording • DDSI.8.75 • 1:43
I'm Going To Knock Him Down Dead
Recording • DDSI.8.78 • 0:32
Recording • DDSI.8.79 • 1:21
Recording • DDSI.8.83 • 1:08
Recording • DDSI.8.84 • 0:19
Recording • DDSI.8.85 • 0:20
Recording • DDSI.8.110 • 3:17
Recording • DDSI.8.112 • 1:20
Recording • DDSI.8.113 • 1:12
Recording • DDSI.8.115 • 0:22
Recording • DDSI.8.116 • 1:24
What Am I Living For
Recording • DDSI.8.117 • 1:37
Rock and Roll Music
Recording • DDSI.8.118 • 1:45
Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image - The Complete, Unauthorized Story of The Beatles' 'Get Back' Sessions
The definitive guide to the Get Back sessions, released in 1994 and updated in 2007. In the author's own words:
New, completely revised edition! This new volume isn t just a compilation of material from the 1994 book Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image (also later published as 'Get Back') and 'The 910's Guide To The Beatles Outtakes Part Two: The Complete Get Back Sessions' (2001). I've re-listened to the entire canon of available Get Back session tapes, come up with a bunch of new conclusions (and even a handful of new identifications!), and pretty much re-written half the book from scratch. In addition, great effort has been made to improve readability of the book. Songs have now been put into groups (generally by Nagra reel, or series of them), rather than describing each performance separately, as was done in the original. In every way, this is the book we wished we could have written in 1994.
As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the author's website
The Beatles Bible
If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.