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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 8, 1967

Recording: You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road

The third recording session for You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) was one of the most interesting, involving a guest appearance from a Rolling Stone, and the recording of four separate parts of the song.

Paul McCartney had invited Brian Jones of the Stones to the session, although it was expected that he would bring his normal musical instrument.
It was Brian Jones of the Stones. He turned up very, very nervous with a sax, and we said 'Oh, we thought you'd bring a guitar!' and he'd brought a sax. I invited him to the session. Absolutely definitely Brian of the Stones. Unequivocably, as they say.
Paul McCartney
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles had decided to record numerous versions of You Know My Name (Look Up The Number), which would be edited together at a later date. Part one was to consist of take nine from May 17, 1967 which had been given overdubs on June 7th.

The only common instrument in the other four parts was McCartney's piano. Part two was recorded in 12 takes; part three in four; part four in six takes; and the final part in a single attempt.

Brian Jones performed on two parts: a ska section with piano, drums, guitar and saxophone, and a jazz rendition featuring piano, drums, guitar, saxophone, bass guitar and vibraphone.

Also recorded was a nightclub section in a rhumba style featuring piano, drums, maracas and congas; and the final part had bongos and piano playing alongside various comedic sound effects including bird whistles and quacking sounds. The session ended at 1am on the morning of 9 June 1967.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 7, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

More crazy "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) recordings, developing into more crazy untitled, unstructured instrumental jams, with numerous takes of an amateurish flute track (played, presumably, by a Beatle), electric guitar, drums, organ and tambourine. George Harrison took home a rough mono mix of take 24, comprising 20 minutes of just such sounds, at the end of this 7:00 pm to 2:00 am session.

A press release announces the beginning of the "Yellow Submarine" film project. It is reported that The Beatles will provide at least three new songs for the soundtrack.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 6, 1967

The Beatles in-between recording

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 5, 1967

The Beatles' album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band reaches #1 in the UK charts. It will hold the #1 position for 27 weeks.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 4, 1967

McCartney and Harrison watch Jimi Hendrix in London

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr had first seen The Jimi Hendrix Experience performing in January 1967 at the Bag O'Nails club in London. On this day McCartney and George Harrison watched them headline a bill at the city's Saville Theatre.

The bill also included Denny Laine & His Electric String Band, The Chiffons and Procol Harum. Hendrix opened his set with a version of the title track from The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, which had been released just three days before.

It would be one of his first gigs in London. Jimi was a sweetie, a very nice guy. I remember him opening at the Saville on a Sunday night, 4 June 1967. Brian Epstein used to rent it when it was usually dark on the Sunday. Jimi opened, the curtains flew back and he came walking forward, playing 'Sgt. Pepper', and it had only been released on the Thursday so that was like the ultimate compliment. It's still obviously a shining memory for me, because I admired him so much anyway, he was so accomplished. To think that that album had meant so much to him as to actually do it by the Sunday night, three days after the release. He must have been so into it, because normally it might take a day for rehearsal and then you might wonder whether you'd put it in, but he just opened with it. It's a pretty major compliment in anyone's book. I put that down as one of the great honours of my career. I mean, I'm sure he wouldn't have thought of it as an honour, I'm sure he thought it was the other way round, but to me that was like a great boost.

Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

Here's a performance of the song by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

https://youtu.be/HLEboBA-Xzk

 

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 3, 1967

The night Jimi Hendrix played "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band to The Beatles, June 3, 1967

Jimi Hendrix made a public display of his admiration for The Beatles when their seminal classic 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' was released during the 'Summer of Love' in 1967.

Purchasing the record on the day of its release, he performed the title track just two days later at the Saville Theatre in London's Shaftesbury Avenue.

Unbeknown to Hendrix, some of The Beatles were actually in the audience, listening intently to his audacious performance.

Speaking at a later date, Paul McCartney spoke of his honour of the tribute, calling the performance "simply incredible, perhaps the best I have ever seen him play".

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 2, 1967

US album release: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

The day after it was released in the United Kingdom, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely HEarts Club Band was issued in the United States of America.

Sgt Pepper was issued as Capitol MAS 6253 (mono) and SMAS 2653 (stereo). It topped the Billboard chart for 15 weeks, and in 1968 won four Grammy Awards: Album of the Year; Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts; Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical; Contemporary Album. It was nominated for a further three: Group Vocal Performance; Contemporary Vocal Group; Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists (for A Day In The Life).

Sgt Pepper was the first Beatles album to be released with identical track listings in both the UK and USA, as stipulated by the group. As it was arguably their first long-player to be a conceptual whole rather than a straightforward collection of songs, it was important to them that Capitol issued it in the form envisaged by the creators.

US copies of Sgt Pepper, however, didn't include the high-pitched run-out whistle following A Day In The Life, nor the gibberish in the side two runout groove.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 1, 1967

De Lane Lea Recording Studios, London

Engineer: Dave Siddle

On the evening that the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album had its UK release, The Beatles went to De Lane Lea Studios at 129 Kingsway, London, where between 10.30pm and 3.30am they recorded a number of instrumental jams.

The group had used the independent studio for the recording of It's All Too Much on May 25 and May 31st, 1967. For those sessions producer George Martin was not present, but he did attend this session.

The results of this session have never been officially released, and the most detailed description was provided by Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn:

On this day, 1 June 1967, perhaps the most celebrated day in their career, The Beatles went into the studio and recorded nothing but untitled, unplanned, highly tedious and - frankly - amateurish instrumental jams, with a bass guitar, an organ, lead guitar with reverb, guitar strings being scraped, drums and tambourine. the single-minded channelling of their great talent so evident on Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band did seem, for the moment, to have disappeared.
Source: Mark Lewisohn
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions

The Beatles returned to De Lane Lea on the following day to continue work on It's All Too Much, and also filled two more tape reels with untitled jamming.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 31, 1967

De Lane Lea Recording Studios, London

Back to Kingsway for a 7:00 to 12:00 pm session (George Martin still absent; the May 26th team operative again) in which George's lead vocal, John and Paul's backing vocal, additional percussion and handclaps were overdubbed onto a new reduction mixdown of "It's All Too Much". (This session was incorrectly reported in the Recording Sessions book as May 26th).

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 30, 1967

The Beatles in-between recording at De Lane Lea Recording Studios in London.