I’m back with day two of The Beatles’ sessions in January, 1969. Today the Beatles continue their discussions about the upcoming TV special but don’t really get anywhere.
We will get to hear versions of an otherwise completely unknown song by Ringo as well as a few of the first songs John & Paul wrote together. I chose to spare you the worst of John’s organ playing on “All Things Must Pass,” but you’ll still get to hear a really nice vocal from George. We will also listen in on a rehearsal of one of Paul’s new tunes.
Let me give you some background on all this. January 1969 is the best-documented month of the Beatles’ entire career. You might think that maybe their first US tour, with the three Ed Sullivan shows and all the press conferences, might be better recorded. Or possibly early 1963 when they were playing tons of concerts and doing all those BBC sessions. Those are good guesses, but January 1969 was special because their rehearsals were actually filmed.
If you have read Mark Lewisohn’s books that detail the Beatles’ recording sessions, you know that only a very few recordings of their rehearsals exist. All the rehearsals in January 1969 were filmed and taped. This allows us to get a close look at how the Beatles’ created most of the songs on Let It Be. The cameras kept rolling during the breaks so many of their conversations were preserved as well. This was not long before they broke up, so some of those conversations are a little exciting. Stick with me for another week and you’ll see how bad things can get.
The Beatles’ activities on January 4 and 5 aren’t documented so there will be no podcast for those days. Check back here on January 6 for more music and mayhem.