BDJ's Cellar Full of Remixes
A Splendid Time.....
Unpublished Rehearsal of Revolution 1
August 12, 2019 01:34 PM PDT
On Thursday, 30 May 1968, George Martin and The Beatles started to work on their next album, following Sgt Pepper. As the session got underway on 30 May, Lennon debuted a new song that would come to be known as “Revolution 1”, a standout composition from the Esher demos. With Martin and a whole array of people up in the booth, The Beatles perfected a rhythm track in eighteen takes, including Lennon’s lead vocal, McCartney’s piano, Harrison’s acoustic guitar, and Starr’s drums. As the longest performance of “Revolution 1”, the eighteenth and best take clocked in at more than ten minutes.
Th following Tuesday, June 4th, 1968, Yoko Ono attended these rehearsals and recorded them on a portable tape recorder. Unfortunately for Beatles fans, she also recorded her own voice, talking to herself, mainly about her relationship with John. She had met John not long before, and this was the first time she accompanied him into the studio. The one place where the Beatles had some privacy….. Although Yoko Ono was not the first (girl) friend that the Beatles had admitted there; McCartney had brought Francie Schwartz, Harrison had admitted his wife Pattie, and musicians such as David Crosby and Brian Jones had been invited. But in general, the studio was a place for the Beatles only.
Although it is not entirely clear, it seems likely that Yoko sat in the control room on that day, listening to the Beatles through the speakers there. We can hear others (including George Martin) on the tape, who appear to go about their business as usual, not bothered by Yoko or even noticing her. Later, she would go into the studio, and sit on McCartney’s amplifier and stroke Lennon’s hair while they were recording……..
In total, Yoko recorded more than an hour of these rehearsals. The Beatles went through Revolution 1 and played some jams in between. As far as I know these rehearsals have not been released or bootlegged elsewhere; possibly, these rehearsals were not even recorded by George Martin and his team.
For the moment we focus on the music of the Beatles. The jams (that seem to go on forever) are very repetitive and not very interesting. But the early rehearsals of Revolution are worthwhile. It is not entirely clear exactly on which date these recordings were made. Yoko says at some point “ This is Tuesday, sixth of June 1968”. That doesn’t help us much, since June 6 was a Thursday (not a Tuesday) in 1968. It seems likely that this part of the tape was recorded on June 4th, since it is less likely that she would make a mistake in the day of the week. Furthermore, Robert Kennedy was shot and killed on June 5th, so she would probably have commented on that. Yoko does mention the shooting of Andy Warhol, which took place on June 3rd.
During much of Yoko’s tape, the Beatles are remixing what would become the sound collage Revolution no 9. At this stage, it is still the outro of Revolution 1. Recently, these early takes of Revolution no 9 have become available in good quality. Listen to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XIRWpmqQV0 how Yoko captured the mixing of Revolution 1.
Although some part of the tape was probably recorded on June 4th, it is possible that some of the tape was recorded earlier. Yoko started to come along to the studio as they began work on the White Album, on May 30th. On May 31, they recorded much of what would become Revolution 9, and Yoko was in the studio to add some vocals (“if I become naked…”). According to Lewisohn, organ and vocal overdubs (with John lying on his back on the studio floor) were done on June 4th, suggesting that the instrumental part of Revolution 1 was more or less finished on May 31st.
Since some of Yoko’s recordings appear to be of an earlier version of Revolution 1, these fragments were probably recorded on May 30 or May 31st. Unfortunately, the usual reliable sources (Lewisohn, Emerick) don’t mention Yoko making any recording in the studio at all. Emerick remarks: “For the next couple of hours Ono just sat quietly with us in the control room. It had to have been even more uncomfortable for her than it was for any of us. She had been put in an embarrassing situation, plunked right by the window so that George Martin and I had to crane our heads around her to see the others out in the studio and communicate with them. As a result, she kept thinking we were staring at her. She’d give us a polite, shy smile whenever she’d see us looking in her direction, but she never actually said anything.”
Therefore, we looked closer at the rehearsal of Revolution 1 itself. There is a prominent organ part, probably played by Paul. At some point, he tries some different chords (probably to avoid too much repetition) but these did not make it onto the finished take. The organ plays long chords, as in – later – Pink Floyd style. The guitar part (played rather loud) is probably Lennon; he has not arrived yet at the ‘boogie-woogie’ rhythm that would characterise the finished take. But overall, the structure of the song is pretty much there.
There are no vocals on the tape, and since Paul played organ, there is no bass either. So we lifted the bass and vocals from the released version, maintaining the loosely played character of the rehearsal as much of possible.
So here it is, a hitherto unknown rehearsal of Revolution 1. We should be grateful to Yoko Ono for preserving the session for posterity.Goodbye in 2018
January 05, 2019 01:22 PM PST
In 2018, we again had to say Goodnight to a few famous names in Beatles history. The best known casualty is Geoff Emerick, so we begin and end this 'in memoriam' mix with Geoff.
Second to be heard is Tony Calder, the music manager who promoted the Beatles’ debut single Love Me Do, died on 2 January at the age of 74. The British record executive, producer and manager worked with acts including Marianne Faithfull, Black Sabbath and Fleetwood Mac.Calder was hired by Beatles manager Brian Epstein to promote the band in the early 1960s. Soon after, Calder and Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham – whom Calder had met while working at Decca Records – formed a PR company called Image. It managed the Rolling Stones and promoted the Beach Boys.
Then Ken Dodd. He was a comedian, singer and occasional actor. He was described as "the last great music hall entertainer", and was primarily known for his live stand-up performances. He also had 18 singles in the British Top 40, including a no. 1 ("Tears"). The Beatles' appeared only once on Ken Dodd's BBC radio show.
We then hear Kenneth Haigh, cast member in 'A Hard Day's Night'.He played the role of Simon Marshall in one of the best scenes. He was the man who didn't recognize George Harrison as he lectured him on how he was supposed to be hip to "Susan." "Oh, that posh bird who gets everything wrong," George snapped at him. But his other roles included playing Brutus in "Cleopatra" with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Grammy Award-winning audio engineer Geoff Emerick, who worked on several of the Beatles' most important albums, died from a heart attack. He was 72 years old.Emerick is credited as being an innovator, willing to do anything to help his demanding clients craft their sound. When John Lennon said he wanted to sound like the "Dalai Lama singing on a mountain" for the 1966 song "Tomorrow Never Knows," Emerick and other sound engineers fed his voice through rotating speakers to distort it. "I remember the surprise on our faces when the voice came out of the speaker. It was just one of sheer amazement," Emerick said, according to Beatles chronicler Mark Lewisohn.
My own Claim to Fame came last year: while attending a concert of the famous Beatles cover band 'the Analogues' I noticed that Emerick was sitting in the row behind me. After the concert I approached him, but I didn't have the courage to speak to him. The opportunity will not offer itself again......Billy Preston & The Beatles
October 30, 2018 01:32 PM PDT
Keyboard player Billy Preston is another excellent candidate to be called the Fifth Beatle. In April 1969 the Get Back single was credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston", as was its b-side, Don’t Let Me Down. Along with Tony Sheridan, he was one of just two non-members to receive top billing on a Beatles single.
On the Beatles albums ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Abbey Road’ we can listen to Preston’s keyboard playing. Here in the Cellar, for the first time ever, we have a recording of Preston singing, accompanied by the Beatles. He really makes ‘I’ve Got a Feeling’ his own!
Billy Preston is also associated with the history of the Beatles in many ways over the years. Billy Preston first met the Beatles in Hamburg in 1962. Preston was playing keyboards for Little Richard, and the Beatles were huge fans. Harrison, the youngest of the Beatles, bonded with the 15-year-old Preston, and they remained life-long friends. They met again in 1969, during the sessions for the Let It Be album and film. According to George Harrison, George had walked out of the studio and gone to a Ray Charles concert in London, where he saw Preston playing the organ. George brought Billy in to play keyboards on some of the Let It Be tracks, as the original idea of Let It Be was to be a "live" recording with no overdubbing, which left none of them to add things like a keyboard part. According to others, George invited Billy to say hello to the Beatles when they were recording in the Apple studios, and Paul invited him to jam along. Anyway, they probably all felt that bringing in an outsider would make the others behave nicer and make the Let It Be set a happier place to be, and it worked, albeit temporarily.
Billy worked with The Beatles from 22-31 January 1969, playing Fender Rhodes electric piano and a Lowrey DSO Heritage organ (not Hammond organ!). The Beatles were happy to have Billy in the studio, and after 2 days John suddenly said that he’d like to see Billy join The Beatles. Feeling that two days involvement is rather too short an apprenticeship for membership in the world’s most influential band, Paul half-jokingly stated that it’s bad enough with four of them. George settled the matter by saying that he then would invite Bob Dylan to join The Beatles! If only………..
Preston performed with The Beatles during their 42-minute performance on the rooftop of Apple, on 30 January 1969, which was the band's final public performance.
Billy Preston also played on the Abbey Road album. He performed on the songs I Want You (She's So Heavy) and Something, though was not credited.
Billy's relationship with the Beatles continued even after their breakup. George Harrison co-produced two albums for Apple with Billy. His greatest hit single, That's The Way God Planned It, was produced by George Harrison.
Preston was the first to record My Sweet Lord, for his 1970 album Encouraging Words, and this would come to haunt poor Harrison; Harrison wrote “My Sweet Lord” in 1969, while he, Eric Clapton, and Billy Preston were on a European tour backing Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Harrison had been listening a lot to the chart hit “Oh, Happy Day,” a gospel recording by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. George continued to develop the composition over the next few days, including a recording session during which Billy Preston recorded “My Sweet Lord,” featuring backing vocals from the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Billy Preston’s version was issued on Apple just prior to George's.
Unfortunately, My Sweet Lord sounds rather similar to another song: the Chiffons' 1963 hit 'He's So Fine'. A liability trial over “My Sweet Lord” began on February 23, 1976 in Manhattan. District Judge Richard Owen was also a trained pianist who composed publicly performed operas, sometimes sung by his soprano wife, Lynn. Harrison was accused that the songs were so similar that Harrison could have only written his by copying “He’s So Fine.”
Preston passed away in 2006. Intriguingly, in the years preceding his death Billy worked on a collection of Beatles cover versions, which remains unreleased……….
With thanks to P.R. Lee for the idea.I'll Still Love You.
October 14, 2018 01:26 PM PDT
This Harrison composition has a recording history that is far longer than the song itself....it was written during the All Things Must Pass period as "Whenever", after which it was copyrighted with the title "When Every Song Is Sung".
Harrison originally intended the song for Shirley Bassey, who had a hit in the summer of 1970 with a cover version of "Something".
Harrison recorded a demo of "When Every Song Is Sung" during the sessions for All Things Must Pass; some of the outtakes are available and show that his voice sounds tired, and he doesn't have all the words yet. The song is performed in a jazzy style, and Harrison is often barely audible above the instruments.
Obviously, the track "Whenever" was not included on All Things Must Pass. He went on to produce recordings of the track by Ronnie Spector in February 1971, and Cilla Black in August 1972, but neither version was completed for release. Mary Hopkin and Leon and Mary Russell also attempted the song during the first half of the 1970s. A later version by Black – produced by David Mackay and titled "I'll Still Love You" – appeared on her 2003 compilation Cilla: The Best of 1963–78.
The song was finally released in 1976 by Ringo Starr on Ringo's Rotogravure.
We used Ringo's instrumental track for this remix.
Musically, I Still Love you combines features of Harrison's greatest compositions. The verses have the same descending pattern as in "Something" and the middle eight is harsher compared to the verses, just like the middle eight in Something. And then the chords are very similar to those of While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Now, you can judge for yourself if I'll Still Love You is the greatest Harrisong that never was.
Many thanks to Paul-René Lee for alerting me to this possible Synmix.The Beatles in Dutch
July 24, 2018 11:52 AM PDT
The BDJ engineers at North End Music Studios seized upon the opportunity to release a new Beatles EP, in Dutch. Two Ductch authors, Bindervoet and Henkes, have just pulished a book (Alle 214 Goed) in which they translate the complete Beatles oevre. Some of these songs were performed in a podcast (Fab4Cast 96) by famous singer/songwriter Yorick van Norden. He accompanied himself on guitar in the studio. We post-produced these tracks into full-blown tracks with proper arrangements. Listen to It's Only Love, Norwegian Wood, Julia and I will. Time to learn Dutch!Lennon's Third Eye: the Bart Huges Story
June 03, 2018 12:11 PM PDT
Bart Huges, a former medical student from the University of Amsterdam and the grandfather of modern trepanation, recounts meeting with John Lennon in the 60s.
Huges, already having bored a hole into his own skull with a basic drill, was approached by Lennon who told of his desire to open up his own “third eye”. Huges advised that Lennon needed no such intervention. “Third eye people are your kind of people,” Huges told Lennon. Because of Lennon’s creative talents and the fact that a small percentage of the population has a skull with a naturally formed hole, Hughes deduced, “there’s no doubt about it, you have the hole.”
Lennon was unconvinced. “He kept wanting it,” Huges remembers, “and I kept contradicting him.”
Finally, Yoko chipped in. Hear Huges tell it all......Mumbo Back
March 30, 2018 10:09 AM PDT
A great fan of the Cellar, P.R. Lee alerted me to the similarities between two McCartney songs: Mumbo, and Get Back. In particular, some early versions of Get Back have a more improvised character, resembling the mumbo-jumbo of Mumbo.
March 18, 2018 03:14 PM PDT
Much has been said about the Rolling Stones vs. The Beatles. Which one was the better band, the most innovative, the loudest, the most anti-establishment?
Although the Beatles launched the Stones’ career by giving them I Wanna Be Your Man (the Stones’ first hit single), they parted ways musically thereafter. The Beatles never covered a Stones song, and the Stones covered Beatles tracks very rarely (recently they performed Come Together). But the bands remained friends and they sometimes attended each other’s recording sessions.
One song where the Stones and the Beatles appear to be approach each other is Sympathy for the Devil, and Hey Jude. The ‘na na’ section uses the same chord sequence as the verses of Sympathy for the Devil. Both songs were released in 1968; hey Jude was composed around June 1968, while Sympathy was recorded on June 4th. Hence, Sympathy was probably composed earlier, but there is no indication that McCartney had heard it before he wrote Hey Jude.
Sympathy tells about several atrocities (wars, murders) committed throughout the history of humanity as if they were somehow inspired by the Devil. No link with the Beatles, although one line might refer to them: The “troubadours who got killed before they reach Bombay” might refer to the Beatles visit to the Maharishi in India, but – fortunately – the Beatles didn’t get killed on the way….
This remix plays bot songs together. The Stones were well aware of the similarity of the chords; in a concert in Baltimore Nov 26, 1969 Mick Jagger actually sang ‘nana na’ and Hey Jude’ over the end of Sympathy. This fragment concludes this remix.Where did McCartney find "My Carnival"?
February 12, 2018 09:27 AM PST
I'm always thrilled when I discover where the Beatles found inspiration for their songs. And sometimes that inspiration bordered on infringing other's rights: examples are Harrison getting in trouble for My Sweet Lord vs. She So Fine, Lennon angering Chuck Berry's lawyers over Come Together, and McCartney.......
Some time ago, I heard the song "Hey Little Girl" by Professor Longhair. Professor Longhair blended Afro-Cuban rhythms with rhythm and blues. The most explicit is Longhair's Blues Rhumba,' where he overlays a straightforward blues with a clave rhythm.The piano part for the rumba-boogie "Hey Little Girl" employs the 2-3 clave onbeat/offbeat motif.
This song has nothing to do with Hello Little Girl, the first song known to be written by Lennon. But it did remind me of McCartney's style of songwriting. I felt there could be some influence of Hey Little Girl on Hey Jude (more than just the Hey"...), but could not pinpoint it exactly. And then I heard the song "My Carnival", on McCartney & Wings re-release of Venus & Mars. The music and melody of My Carnival is an exact copy of Hey Little Girl! In the remix in BDJ's Cellar you can confirm that yourself.
Where and how did McCartney pick up this song by the rather obscure Professor Longhair? Henry Roeland "Roy" Byrd (December 19, 1918 – January 30, 1980), better known as Professor Longhair, was a New Orleans
Wings flew to New Orleans to record their fourth album,“Venus and Mars.” And on Mardi Gras Day, Feb. 11,
Wings recorded “My Carnival” at Sea-Saint the day after Mardi Gras. The song’s piano, rhythm and vocals
So there we have it, clear evidence that McCartney copied others; we have to note that he single’s label says: “Recorded in New Orleans & dedicated to Prof. Longhair”. Now there's an understatement!The 5th drummer of the Beatles
January 09, 2018 08:54 AM PST
Who was the Fifth Beatle? There are a lot of candidates for this honorary title: some consider themselves the fifth Beatle, others could qualify through their merits for the Beatles. That's why we highlight a potential Fifth Beatle: Bernard "Pretty" Purdie. Purdie has clearly put his name forward with his bold statements:
- "I overdubbed the drumming on 21 songs from the first three Beatle albums".
Purdie is known as a groove drummer with flawless timing and precision half notes, backbeats and grooves. His groove sometimes combines different influences, such as swing, blues and funk. He created the now well-known drum pattern the "Purdie Half-time Shuffle".
He is widely appreciated and admired for his drum performance, so why would he say this kind of strange stuff?
It seems possible that Purdie has drummed on the American version of some of Tony Sheridan's songs and the Beatles. But otherwise, Purdie seems to exaggerate when he talks about 21 songs on 3 LPs. But how many songs should you record with the Beatles to be called the Fifth Beatle?
Here we made a remix of the German (with Pete Best on drums) , and the American version (with Purdie on drums) of "Take out some insurance on me". There is additional guitar, drums and harmonica. The drums are clearly improved, a hi-hat error by Pete Best towards the end has been eliminated.......
Once upon a time (or maybe twice) there were four magicians; and they made wonderful music, and called themselves The Beatles.
Tall, broad, and stout, with jet-black hair, unfailingly polite. Antecedents are vague, and never been heard to reminisce. Three wives live in harmony, the children are handsome and well-mannered. Q: Do you ever get lonesome, BDJ? A: Not with three wives and eleven children. Q: Whatever impelled you to settle here? A rather dismal world, on the whole, isn't it? A: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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