Sunday, February 1, 2009

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite

There are many interesting Beatles facts about this Lennon composition on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. While some listeners originally thought the song had some deep, enigmatic meaning (or that "Henry the horse" was an allusion to heroin), Lennon got the words almost verbatim from an old circus poster in an antique shop. The actual performance advertised on the poster was for Fewnruary 14, 1843. John purchased the poster while the group was recording "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane."

Lennon asked George Martin to help him produce the sounds of a circus fairground and was hoping to put a steam organ on the track. None could be found except ones that worked electronically, so Martin found tapes of old steam organs instead, cut them up into strips, threw them into the air, and then the strips were spliced together randomly.

Lennon sings lead vocal and plays the main melody on Hammond organ. McCartney plays bass, acoustic, and electric guitar. George Martin plays Wurlitzer organ and piano. Harrison and Starr play hamronica (as do Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall).

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