"My Dark Hour" session

Friday, May 9, 1969 • For Steve Miller

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Brave New World LP.
Studio:
Olympic Sound Studios, London

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About

On this day, Paul McCartney was at Olympic Sound Studios with The Beatles, to mix the unreleased “Get Back” LP with engineer/producer Glyn Johns. The session ended on a sour note when business topics were raised.

The previous day, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr had signed a contract to officially appoint Allen Klein as Apple’s financial manager, and give him a 20% cut of their earnings. They wanted Paul to sign the contract, but he refused to do so. The three other Beatles, and Allen Klein who was there as well, stormed out of the studio.

Things came to a head on 9 May 1969. The Beatles were booked in, for a Friday-night session with the producer Glyn Johns at Olympia Studios in Barnes, but instead of recording, the session turned into an acrimonious argument about business. Klein had told the others that he had to have his three-year management contract signed immediately because he was flying back to New York the next day and had to present it to the board of his corporation.

Paul McCartney – from “Many Years From Now”, by Barry Miles, 1997

Paul, alone in the studio, then encountered American musician Steve Miller who happened to be there recording as well, and ended up playing on one of his tracks, “My Dark Hour“.

There was a big argument and they all went, leaving me at the studio. Steve Miller happened to be around: ‘Hi, how you doing? Is the studio free?’ I said: ‘Well, it looks like it is now, mate.’ He said: ‘Mind if I use it?’ So I ended up drumming on a track of his that night. It was called My Dark Hour – a good track actually. He and I made it alone. I had to do something, thrash something, to get it out of my system.

Paul McCartney – From The Beatles Anthology

Steve Miller happened to be there recording, late at night, and he just breezed in. ‘Hey, what’s happening, man? Can I use the studio?’ ‘Yeah!’ I said. ‘Can I drum for you? I just had a fucking unholy argument with the guys there.’ I explained it to him, took ten minutes to get it off my chest. So I did a track, he and I stayed that night and did a track of his called My Dark Hour. I thrashed everything out on the drums. There’s a surfeit of aggressive drum fills, that’s all I can say about that. We stayed up until late. I played bass, guitar and drums and sang backing vocals. It’s actually a pretty good track.

It was a very strange time in my life and I swear I got my first grey hairs that month. I saw them appearing. I looked in the mirror, I thought, I can see you. You’re all coming now. Welcome.

Paul McCartney – from “Many Years From Now”, by Barry Miles, 1997

Mum introduced me to a song [Paul McCartney] played drums on years ago, called “My Dark Hour”, by the Steve Miller Band. He’s credited as “Paul Ramon” and he does backing vocals, guitar, bass and drums. It was recorded in Olympic Studios in London towards the end of 1969, after an argument Dad had had with the others over Allen Klein becoming their manager. The others had gone off and he said Steve Miller walked in and asked if he wanted to play the drums on this track he was recording. I think the drumming on it is so good, but you can tell he’s letting out a lot of tension.

Mary McCartney – from Paul Weller in conversation with Mary McCartney: ‘We used to pinch a lot of Beatles songs’ | British GQ, June 4, 2021

Paul recorded drums, bass, guitar, and backing vocals, while Steve Miller sang and performed all the other instruments. Paul didn’t receive a composer credit, but his performance was attributed to Paul Ramon, the pseudonym he had used in 1960 while on a tour of Scotland with The Silver Beetles.

The track was released as a single in June 1969, and on Steve Miller Band’s album “Brave New World“.

Paul would work again with Steve Miller for his 1997 album “Flaming Pie”.

From Facebook – Paul recording My Dark Hour with Steve Miller, according to the 2020 Flaming Pie archive book. May 9th, 1969 (photos by Linda!)

Last updated on November 15, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

My Dark Hour

Written by Steve Miller

Recording

Staff

Musicians

Paul McCartney:
Drums, Backing vocals, Guitar, Bass guitar
Steve Miller:
Guitar, Lead vocals

Production staff

Steve Miller:
Producer
Glyn Johns:
Producer, Recording engineer

Going further


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.

Read more on The Beatles Bible

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Frank Dylon 1 year ago

That photo looks more McCartney 1 period than May ‘69


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