Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 13, 1967

The Beatles enjoying a day off.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 12, 1967

Lennon and McCartney sing on The Rolling Stones’ We Love You

John Lennon and Paul McCartney attended a Rolling Stones recording session at Decca on this day, where they contributed backing vocals to the song We Love You.

The song was written as a token of appreciation to the fans who stood by the Stones in the wake of their drugs busts, and was also an ironic commentary on the authorities.

Beat poet Allen Ginsberg had been in London for a pro-marijuana rally at Hyde Park, and met Mick Jagger at Paul McCartney's house. Jagger invited Ginsberg, Lennon and McCartney to the session that night, although Ginsberg did not perform. "They looked like little angels," he later wrote of the groups, "like Botticelli Graces singing together for the first time."

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 11, 1967

The Beatles are relaxing today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 10, 1967

The Beatles are in-between recording today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 9, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

"You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" was first collated into something resembling the final form during this 7:00 to 11:00 pm session, with the editing and mono mixing of its various parts into one whole. This mix was then copied across to one track of a four-track tape ready for vocal over-dubbing.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn


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.