Recording "Helter Skelter"

Tuesday, September 10, 1968 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the The Beatles (Mono) LP.
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Songs recorded


Helter Skelter

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 21


Musicians on "Helter Skelter"

Paul McCartney:
Ringo Starr:
John Lennon:
Piano, Tenor sax, Backing vocals
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Mal Evans:

Production staff

Chris Thomas:
Ken Scott:
John Smith:
Second Engineer


This was the second day of work on this remake of “Helter Skelter“, the basic track having been recorded the day before. As George Martin was on holiday for most of September 1968, Chris Thomas produced this session.

On this day, from 7 pm to 3 am, The Beatles added overdubs which included lead and backing vocals, a lead guitar part by Harrison, a trumpet played by Mal Evans, piano, further drums, and “mouth sax” created by Lennon blowing through a saxophone mouthpiece.

The first version of this one played for 24 minutes, but the finished one you’ll hear on the LP is no longer than average. Paul sings this in his screaming rock voice and the backing features The Two Harrys on brass. That’s Mal Evans on trumpet and John Lennon on saxophone! When we did the final version of this in the second week of September I made a note in my diary that The Beatles were the first people to use a brand-new 8-track recording machine just installed at the EMI Studios. Theme of the song’s lyrics? Boy to girl: “Do you don’t you want me to love you?” John plays bass which is unusual.

Mal Evans – From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°64, November 1968

The mono mix would be made on September 17, and the stereo mix on October 12.

Last updated on September 11, 2021

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