Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blue Jay Way

"Blue Jay Way" is a Harrison composition that he wrote on August 1, 1967.  Harrison and his wife Patti had recently arrived at a home they rented on Blue Jay Way in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles.  The couple were waiting for friend and Beatles publicist Derek Taylor, who was delayed.

Harrison recounts the evening as follows: "Derek got held up.  He rang to say he'd be late.  I told him on the phone that the house was on Blue Jay Way.  He said he could find it okay.  He could always ask a cop.  I waited and waited.  I felt really nackered with the flight, but I didn't want to go to sleep till he came.  There was a fog, and it got later and later.  To keep myself awake, just as a joke to fill the time, I wrote a song about waiting for him in Blue Jay Way.  There was a little Hammond organ in the corner of this rented house which I hadn't noticed.  I messed around on this and the song came."

The song was recorded at Abbey Road on September 6, 1967 with overdubbing on September 7 and October 6.  The track was included on the album Magical Mystery Tour.

Harrison sang double-tracked lead vocal.  Harrison and McCartney both sang backing vocals.  McCartney played bass, Harrison Hammond organ, Lennon tambourine, Starr drums, and a session musician played cello.

The track was recorded on two separate tape machines and then played back slightly out of sync to produce the song's mysterious swirling atmosphere.  Electronic sounds were also added to enhance this aspect of the track.  The line "Don't be long" is sung twenty-nine times throughout the song.

"Blue Jay Way" was performed in the film Magical Mystery Tour.


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