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2002-Mar-17: A Let It Be Recording Discovered

Beatles collectors of course have long heard this material which has been available on various bootlegs for decades. Please consult the Members Section of this site for details on such recordings. One particular CD with the mentioned material is YD016 All Things Must Pass, Part 1 (access requires membership).

The Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail today published a transcript of a long-lost recording from one of the Beatles Let It Be sessions.  The tape was obtained by the newspaper from a highly respected Liverpool Beatles memorabilia collector who thought it was important that the contents of tape be revealed.  He said, "I came across it when I was going through boxes of archive material after George's death last year.   At first, I didn't realize it had not been heard before. But then the full significance began to sink in.  It captures the moments leading up to George's famous walk-out. It's like having a ringside seat as the Beatles disintegrate."

Beatles experts are said to be excited by the discovery of this recording.  Peter Doggett, an expert in Beatles memorabilia for Christie's auction house said,  "I have never heard this. It's completely new and it's a fascinating insight into the band at that time.   There are film bootlegs of the Let It Be sessions but there are conversations here I have never heard of.  It's well known George was under pressure from both McCartney and Lennon.   John wasn't contributing much musically and Paul frequently criticized George's playing."

George's biographer, Alan Clayson, said,  "I have never heard of this recording even existing on a bootleg tape.   It shows George trying to have some creative input while trying to keep the band together.  At the time, he felt his power was somewhere between the road crew and the high command of John, Paul and the Beatles' main producer, George Martin.  But George had the last laugh, creating some of the most memorable songs on Abbey Road, such as "Here Comes The Sun", "Something" and then with his solo work."

The tape was recorded on January 8, 1969.   Here are some portions of the transcript:

 Lennon: I tell you what I'd like to hear after this.

 McCartney: After this TV thing?

 Lennon: After this show?

 Harrison: Yeah OK. You know there's so many songs that I've got that are, like, my quota of tunes for the next 10 years of albums ... I'd just like to maybe do an album of songs.

 Lennon: On your own?

 Harrison: Yeah.

 Lennon: Yeah.

 Harrison: But I mean I'd like it so that if, er...  Because it would be nice. It would be nice to get them all out of the way and, secondly, just to hear what all mine are like.

 Lennon: If we go out there just now  (in front of the cameras) and say "The Beatles are staying together but George is doing an album..."

 Harrison: Yeah well, but it would be nice if any of us could have separate things as well. But that way it also preserves this, the Beatle bit of it, more. Because...

 Lennon: Then you have an outlet for every little note you want.

 Harrison: No because all these songs of mine I could give to people who could do 'em good. But I suddenly realized... no f*** all that, just gonna do me for a bit. (laughter).
And you know ...  With all these tunes, I could do them in a week at the most. I could have it recordable, remixed and everything. Because they're all very simple, you know. I mean, I don't think they'll need much.

The tape then cuts to a brilliant rehearsal version of the Beatles playing All Things Must Pass, followed by a few more Harrison tunes including a short version of I Me Mine in which John sings along in a mock falsetto voice.
 Lennon: How did we do it that quick? Is that the end of it?

 Harrison: Yeah. It's only so long.

 Lennon: We could use it for a commercial. Yeah it's fine. And what do we do about that? It's not that hard to do. I mean for you.  (John continues to sing the song in the  falsetto voice). All the girls go mad, Harrison visualizes.

When George finishes the song, John says: Run along son. We're a rock'n'roll band you know. Ba boom ba boom ba boom ba boom.

Then George introduces his song "Something" with some interesting lyrics:

 Harrison: 'Attracts me like a pomegranate'. We could have that... We could have: 'Where did you go missed the show, I don't know I don't know.' Or 'Where did you go, Mr. Joe, missed the show, I don't know.'
Two days after this recording was made, George left the band.  Within days, he had a change of heart and returned to Beatles.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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