The Paul McCartney Project

Home recordings, aka "The Kirchherr Tape"

circa April 1960 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Anthology 1 Official album.
Timeline See what happened in 1960
Studio:
Paul McCartney's Childhood Home - 20 Forthlin

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Songs recorded


1.

Instrumental #1

Recording

Album Bootlegged on The Silver Beatles - Lapis Lazuli


2.

Instrumental #2

Recording

Album Bootlegged on The Silver Beatles - Lapis Lazuli


3.

Instrumental #3 (aka "Turn The Switches Off")

Recording

Album Bootlegged on The Silver Beatles - Lapis Lazuli


4.

Cayenne

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially appears on Anthology 1


5.

Come On, People (aka "That's An Important Number")

Recording

Album Bootlegged on The Silver Beatles - Lapis Lazuli


6.

I Don't Need No Cigarette, Boy

Recording

Album Bootlegged on The Silver Beatles - Lapis Lazuli


7.

Well, Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Bootlegged on The Silver Beatles - Lapis Lazuli


8.

I Don't Know

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Bootlegged on The Silver Beatles - Lapis Lazuli

The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions • Mark Lewisohn

The definitive guide for every Beatles recording sessions from 1962 to 1970.

We owe a lot to Mark Lewisohn for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - the number of takes for each song, who contributed what, a description of the context and how each session went, various photographies... And an introductory interview with Paul McCartney!

Staff

Musicians

Paul McCartney:
Guitar, Vocals
John Lennon:
Guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Guitar
Mike McCartney:
Percussion
Stuart Sutcliffe:
Bass

About

From Early Beatles Songs:

In 1960, the Beatles convened twice at McCartney’s Forthlin Road home, and recorded themselves rehearsing on a Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder. From what is known, it seems that two separate sessions took place, one in April, and another in June, around the time of McCartney’s 18th birthday. Some sources state that the recordings were made in McCartney’s bathroom, although this would seem unlikely, not least because there were up to five people present.

When they had done, the Beatles copied the recordings onto three fresh reels, and as a result, the exact contents and ordering of the original tapes is not known. The three compiled reels eventually went separate ways, given to friends in Germany in 1961. Hans-Walther Braun ended up with one of them, Astrid Kirchherr another – and it is these two which were somehow obtained by bootleggers and released in full on The Braun-Kirchherr Tapes. The third reel is believed to be owned by Paul McCartney and is safely under lock and key. […]

From The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four:

In April 1960, the Beatals gathered at the McCartneys’ Liverpool home at 20 Forthlin Road, where they recorded demos for eight songs on a Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder that McCartney had borrowed from Charles Hodgson. Known as the Kirchherr Tape, the surviving copy of the April 1960 recordings was given by Stuart Sutcliffe to his fiancée Astrid Kirchherr. In 1994, she presented it to Harrison. In a November 1994 interview with Mark Lewisohn, McCartney recalled that “sometimes I’d borrow a tape recorder, a Grundig with a little green eye, and we’d sort of go ’round to my house and try and record things… But those were very much home demos. Very bad quality“.

The April 1960 demos represent some of the band’s earliest rehearsals with Sutcliffe, who had been struggling with the bass since joining the group. Recorded in the McCartneys’ bathroom, the demos include several meandering, largely shapeless instrumentals, and the band’s percussion was contributed by McCartney’s brother Mike. […]

The tape includes some 50 minutes’ worth of music, and while most of it is valuable simply for its historical merits alone, the instrumental, “Cayenne” credited to McCartney, offers a genuinely haunting piece.

Last updated on October 7, 2015


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