Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fixing a Hole

One of the many interesting Beatles facts about "Fixing a Hole" is that it was the first time the group had recorded any track in a studio other than one owned and operated by EMI. The song was recorded on February 9, 1967, with overdubs added at Abbey Road Studios on February 21. The song was written by McCartney, although Mal Evans claimed to have contributed to its composition.

McCartney wrote the song after repairing a hole in the roof on his Scottish farmhouse. Many fans would later insist that the song was an allusion to a junkie shooting up, with "the hole" referring to a needle mark on the arm. This interpretation never made sense since, in the context of the song, "fixing" the hole stops the narrator's mind from wandering, the opposite one would expect from a drug-induced experience. Others have maintained that the song refers to a junkie "cleaning up his act," which would be more in keeping with the lyrics, although McCartney stated on many occasions that the song was the outgrowth of his handyman's work in Scotland--nothing more--and there is no reason to doubt his veracity. Both Lennon and McCartney believed the song to be very good, with Lennon complimenting McCartney on especially good lyrics.

McCartney also stated that someone showed up at his home before going to the studio that evening, claiming to be Jesus. He took the person to the session, which proved uneventful. Lennon himself would later claim to be Jesus, but this is attributed to a later period in Beatles history (at Apple headquarters at Saville Row).

McCartney handled lead vocal and played bass. Harrison played lead guitar (double-tracked) and added a backing vocal. Lennon played maracas and also provided a backing vocal. Starr played drums.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Me Mine

Not known as one of the Beatles mega-hits, there are still interesting facts about "I Me Mine." This Harrison composition was based on a tune played by a marching band George heard while watching television. In the film Let It Be, he plays the song for Ringo, describing it as a "heavy waltz." Ringo, George, and McCartney perform the song impromptu while Lennon and Yoko Ono waltz around the studio. The song was not laid down in its present form until one year later, when the group was informed that its rehearsal of the song would be included in the film.

The song as recorded on January 3, 1970 at Abbey Road Studios, minus Lennon. When the Let It Be project was handed over to producer Phil Spector, he overdubbed an orchestra and choir.

Harrison plays acoustic and lead guitar and sings lead vocal. McCartney plays piano and does background vocal. Starr plays drums, with Billy Preston on organ.

Harrison later titled his semi-autobiography I Me Mine, which was an odd assortment of pictures, handwritten song lyrics, and anecdotal material about his songs and his life. In the "bio," he wrote that the song was about problems people have pushing aside their egos. More specifically, "I Me Mine" grew out of his experimentation with LSD, after which he viewed everything as "mine" (Harrison's). After immersing himself in transcendental meditation, however, which demands that one clear the mind and transcend the ego, he claimed that he discovered the eternal observer within his consciousness, the self that represents what would later be known in quantum physics as non-local intelligence (or the Oneness or Divine Mind, as it is called in various belief systems).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

You Never Give Me Your Money

The Beatles facts for "You Never Give Me Your Money" are noteworthy because of the details relating to the song's inspiration. Apple Corps Ltd. was losing money because of a poor business plan that originally called for people to submit their artistic projects to the company--paintings, music, books, electronics, poetry, and much more. Apple, however, had no organized system to deal with (or execute) the massive number of submissions they received. (James Taylor is one of the few artists who was successfully signed by Apple and went on to have a successful, sustained career.) Also, Lennon and McCartney were fighting to own their own song publishing company.

The song was part of the B side of Abbey Road, beginning the suite (which was McCartney's idea). It leads into "Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard," "Polythene Pam," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight," and "The End."

It was recorded at Olympic Sound Studios on May 6, 1969. Overdubs were added in July and August at Abbey Road Studios.

McCartney plays bass and sings lead. McCartney and Lennon provide backing vocals. Lennon plays lead guitar, Harrison plays rhythm, and Starr plays drums and tambourine.

Harrison was very fond of the track because he thought it to be very melodic.