"The Ballad Of The Skeletons" session

October 1995 • For Paul McCartney

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the The Ballad of the Skeletons EP.
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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From The Beatles Monthly, N°244, August 1996:

Paul McCartney has recorded a new track, ‘The Ballad Of The Skeletons’, with legendary American poet Allen Ginsberg. The recording is the result of several transatlantic overdub sessions, which began in New York when Ginsberg, along with guitarists Mark Ribot and David Mansfield, recorded the basic track with producer, rock journalist and Patti Smith’s
long-term guitarist, Lenny Kaye, at Kampo Studios – a small, low-key facility in Greenwich Village. The tapes were then sent over to the U.K., where Paul added organ, drums and maracas. Once Paul returned the tapes to the States, minimalist composer Philip Glass added further keyboard overdubs.

We made a basic track and sent it to him, on 24 tracks, and he added maracas and drums, which it needed. It gave it a skeleton, gave it a shape. And also organ; he was trying to get that effect of Al Kooper on the early Dylan. And guitar, so he put a lot of work in on that. And then we got it back just in time for Philip Glass to fill in his arpeggios on piano.

Allen Ginsberg, from the Flaming Pie Archive Collection, 2020

Last updated on September 19, 2020

Going further

Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium

We owe a lot to Chip Madinger and Mark Easter for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details!

Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium is the ultimate look at the careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr beyond the Beatles. Every aspect of their professional careers as solo artists is explored, from recording sessions, record releases and tours, to television, film and music videos, including everything in between. From their early film soundtrack work to the officially released retrospectives, all solo efforts by the four men are exhaustively examined.

As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the authors' website

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