- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Hey Jude / Revolution 7" Single.
- Timeline More from year 1968
- EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road
Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.
One notable evening, 30th July 1968 was spent in the studio in one of [The Beatles’] sessions for a change. To begin at the beginning, we had some free time and I was out carousing (as you do) in Wardour St. visiting the Ship pub, and later Jack Barry’s bar, which everybody did in those days. I hadn’t got to Jack’s Bar yet and I was sitting in the pub nursing a beer feeling pretty flat, with nothing going on, when suddenly I remembered that somebody had mentioned that ‘the Boys’ were going to be recording at Trident Studios in St Anne’s Court, just around the corner from the pub.
This seemed infinitely more interesting than what I was doing, so I went along and knocked on the door. It was opened by BIG Mal Evans The lovely Beatles roadie I’d met at IBC studios, who obviously knew me and said, “Hi John, the Boys are in here tonight d’ you wanna come in?” I was through that door before he could even blink.
It was here I watched the boys in action. It seemed that the piano and drums had been previously recorded as had the lead vocal, I’m pretty sure including the screaming ad libs on the end. So I witnessed John and George tracking on those lead guitar bits in the control room, watched Paul add his bass line, in the large downstairs room, which was phenomenal. I had always been a great admirer of Paul’s bass lines, they were almost songs in themselves having a melody and a groove that really fit whatever song he was working on. After this the
Boys came around the Neumann mic setup in the middle of the floor of the big downstairs room and started
adding the 3 part (drifters type) harmonies. All’s great and I’m very happy watching all this,’til they came to the part of the song that goes, ‘better, better, better, AAAAH’. I was by this time sitting on the floor just watching this film-like event unfold before me with the 4 Beatles around the mike singing various bits when the track got to the middle of the verse prior to the Better, better, bit. Paul, suddenly looks over in my direction and ushers me over to join them.
I look around to see who he’s talking to, and seeing only a wall concluded quite brightly that he must be talking to me. I get up and start to walk towards the mic (which J, P, G and R are standing around) – the track is still recording. Paul once again gestures at some headphones lying on the floor. I reach down and put them on, they are SO LOUD that I shout out ‘f**king hell’ (to my eternal shame or glory depending on your standpoint!). I then (nervously) sang along with the Beatles, the first layer of na-na-na’s (after the better better part) going right to the end of the song.
You know I can hardly believe I was there myself but I guess the proof that I was, unless Paul or Ringo can confirm, is that my expletive (undeleted) can still be heard on the record at about 2.59 where the line ‘Remember to let her under your skin, Then you begin, to make it better, better better, AAAH!’ under the word ‘BEGIN’. It’s clearly not a Liverpudlian accent – and as I was the only cockney in there…John Perry – From grapefruit-booklet-uncorrected-CopyTHIS-ONE.pdf (heartrecords.org)
From The Beatles Monthly Book, September 1968, N°62:
The next night we had a load of film people in to take movies of the “Hey Jude” session at EMI for a 50-minute feature about the national music of Britain.Mal Evans
Last updated on July 4, 2021
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!
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.
Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!