Being For The Benefit

by Ron Synovitz, Prague

Anthology 2 throws a spanner at 1960s historians who say "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was N-O-T about LSD. Anthology 2, Disc 2 puts the record straight on the use of LSD in the Pepperland studio.
Listen closely to the dialogue between the takes of "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite." There are two conversations going on. In the fore, Macca explains to Lennon how he could sing the song.

But by adjusting the stereo balance, you also can hear a second conversation between Ringo Starr, Mal Evans and George Harrison. Here's the full text of both conversations:

John: (singing) For the Benefit of Mr Kite, there will....
Engineer: For the Benefit of Mr Kite. This is take 1.
John: Being for the Benefit!!!! Engineer: Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite (whistles) Paul: 1, 2, 3, 4...... (music/breakdown)

Engineer: Take 2
Paul: It's like a two-step.
John: Mmm-hmmmzzright. (demented laugh) Two-d up!
Paul: 1, 2, 3, 4.... (music)
John: (singing) For the Benefit of Mr Kite, there will be a show tonight on trampole-ee-een.

Engineer: Take 3
Paul: Try and sing it as if you, ah, know about the show. Especially in the last verses when you don't know about the show....
John: Mmmm...whatchu tryin' to say-tell me? (Lennonmmumbles) What was that?
Paul: Just try and sort of see it as a big "get-it-in." You got to get it in.... in all the little breaks that are left for your singing. Sing, "For the beneduh, duh, da la da...."

Under Paul's comment "get-it-in," Ringo says "Water" to Mal Evans as those two start the second conversation. (This is where you should adjust the balance control on your stereo.)

Ringo: Water.
Mal: (off mic) Do you want this?
Ringo: (to Mal) Yeah, take it away.
Paul: For the beneduh, duh, da la da....
George: What is that?
Ringo: I don't know.
Mal: Water
Control Room: Ok men! Let's go. Light's on!
George: Did you put the acid in it?
Paul: 1,2... (whistle) 1, 2, 3, 4... (music)

It's a given that this reference to LSD slipped past the folks who air-brushed the tobacco cigs from the Beatles' hands on the cover of the "Real Love" CD single. But if "every second" of anthology film and audio material was approved by Yoko and the surviving three (as the October 1995 press releases maintain) -- well, were the band aware of this buried conversation? Whatever the case, we still have the end of the story from George's later revelation about the "dreaded lysergic" under a microscrope. "It looked like rope," Harrison said. "I'm not putting that in my brain anymore."

Note: The transcription from Anthology 2, Disc 2, was taken from a Dutch pressing with the following serial codes:
7243 8 34448 2 3
(72438 34450 2 8)
Made in Holland
LC 0299

[Anthology News]
Created on Sun May 12 18:52:30 GMT+0200 1996