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1969, January

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 31, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 31, 1969

Today was the final day of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions. The Beatles performed the songs which had been judged unsuitable for the previous day's rooftop concert.

The main purpose was to allow the film crew to capture satisfactory versions of the songs. Primary among them were Let It Be, The Long And Winding Road and Two Of Us.

Various other songs were also performed during the day, including a version of Lady Madonna featuring the lines "Lord and lady docker, in your private yacht/All the people wonder why you have such a lot". McCartney also sang on I Want You (She's So Heavy), which The Beatles had played earlier in week and were clearly keen to work on further.

Most of the takes of The Long And Winding Road were recorded after a lunchtime break. Among them was the version included on the 2003 album Let It Be... Naked. The song Let It Be proved slightly more troublesome, with The Beatles recording a total of 22 takes, beginning with a skiffle-style one with John Lennon on lead vocals, singing the words to a different melody.

Lennon was visibly bored and interjecting mischievous lines such as "And in my hour of darkness she is standing left in front of me, squeaking turds of whisky over me". McCartney, too, changed some of the lyrics, including a reference to "Brother Malcolm" (presumably Mal Evans), and changing "times of trouble" to "times of heartache".

The group did eventually record a take which – with overdubs recorded at a later date – was used on both the single and album. This was the penultimate take of the day; an edit of this and the final take was used in the Let It Be film.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 30, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 30, 1969

The Beatles perform on the rooftop of the Apple offices at Savile Row, London. The Beatles played tracks including "Don't Let Me Down", "I've Got a Feeling", "Dig A Pony" and "Get Back". The police arrived to halt the proceedings, but the band continued to play. Despite their protest, no arrests were made, and the performance continued for 42 minutes.

Ringo said "It was a memorable day for me - we were doin' what we did best - making music. But I am still disappointed the policemen didn't drag me off me drums!".

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 29, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 29, 1969

The Beatles are still working on the Get Back/Let It Be sessions. They also finally decide to perform a concert the following day on the roof of their Apple headquarters.

They spent much of the day working on versions of Two Of Us, The Long And Winding Road and Let It Be, plus others which didn't make it to the Let It Be album.

The Beatles tackled a number of George Harrison's songs, perhaps hoping that one would be suitable for inclusion in the film. The album version of For You Blue had been taped on 25 January, but three more takes were performed on this day. Also played were Something, All Things Must Pass, Let It Down and Old Brown Shoe, although none sounded like polished versions ready for release.

The final part of the session was mostly devoted to cover versions. Among them was Buddy Holly's Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues, which was heavily edited and included on Anthology 3. The Beatles also played Besame Mucho, as seen in the Let It Be film.

The session ended with a return to Teddy Boy and Two Of Us. Paul McCartney aside, the group's enthusiasm for playing the songs was noticeably waning by this stage.

Source: Mark Lewisohn - The Complete Beatles Chronicles

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 28, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 28, 1969

The Beatles rehearsed most of the songs which would end up on the Let It Be album.

The first song to receive significant attention was I've Got A Feeling, one take of which featured a three-chord coda lasting a full 15 minutes, and others which had John Lennon on lead vocals.

The single version of Don't Let Me Down was recorded as well as seven versions of Get Back, the coda from one of which was used on the single.

George Harrison had introduced Old Brown Shoe during the previous day's session. It had further work on this day, and after one of the takes The Beatles and Preston began experimenting with a stylophone. This is The Beatles' only known use of the instrument popularised by Rolf Harris.

Something, made its debut during this session. Five versions were taped of the song, which still lacked some lyrics and final chords, and Harrison can be heard on the tapes asking for help finishing it off. "Just say what comes into your head each time," Lennon tells him. "'Attracts me like a cauliflower'. Until you get the word."

Although Lennon and Paul McCartney seemed willing to help Harrison with the song, there is less enthusiasm for All Things Must Pass, which had last been played on 8 January. The Beatles performed it one more time the following day, before giving up on it completely.John Lennon introduced a new song, I Want You (She's So Heavy), which would eventually be recorded for Abbey Road. The first of four versions from this day was instrumental, and featured the main guitar riffs that made it to the final recording, although it was little more than a jam at this stage.

Source: Mark Lewisohn - The Complete Beatles Chronicle

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 27, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 27, 1969

The sessions today continued with Get Back/Let It Be. Although the group still hadn't decided whether to perform live at the end of the sessions, they knew a resolution was needed for the project as Ringo Starr was due to start filming The Magic Christian in early February 1969. The Beatles recorded a total of 32 takes of Get Back on this day, experimenting with different tempos and styles.

One of John Lennon's ad-libs – "Sweet Loretta Fart, she thought she was a cleaner, but she was a frying pan" – was included in the warm-up to the song on the Let It Be album.

Let It Be, The Long And Winding Road, Don't Let Me Down and I've Got A Feeling were all performed numerous times. Apart from Don't Let Me Down, they were included on the Let It Be album, although not recordings made on this day. All the arrangements were mostly in place, although some takes involved slight lyrical or musical variations.

Oh! Darling was also performed four times, one of which lasted nearly seven minutes and featured Lennon and Paul McCartney bantering in high spirits. An edited version of this take was included on Anthology 3, complete with Lennon's announcement that Yoko Ono's divorce had been finalised.

One new song to be introduced on this day was George Harrison's Old Brown Shoe, which would become the b-side to The Ballad Of John And Yoko later in 1969. The first version on this day featured just vocals and piano, but a second saw the rest of the band join in. Work on Old Brown Shoe continued the following day, although the released version was recorded at Abbey Road.

Other original songs included McCartney singing a version of Strawberry Fields Forever, and more performances of I Told You Before, a Beatles jam first played the previous day, featuring Billy Preston to the fore.

Source: Mark Lewisohn - The Complete Beatles Chronicles

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 26, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 26, 1969

The Get Back/Let It Be sessions continued on this day with the Beatles focus mainly on two songs: Let It Be and The Long And Winding Road.

Today was Sunday and Linda McCartney and her daughter Heather came to the recording studio.

George Harrison and Ringo Starr arrived, and the session began with Harrison performing some of his own songs alone on an acoustic guitar: Isn't It A Pity, Let It Down and the unreleased Window, Window.

Billy Preston was also back in the studio, helping with the arrangement. For example, Let It Be, in particular, benefited from Preston's organ playing, and by the end of the day they almost had a version suitable for release.

The session ended with The Long And Winding Road, with Paul McCartney on piano and John Lennon playing bass guitar.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 25, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 25, 1969

The sale of John and Yoko's Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins is banned in Union County, New Jersey, and in the city of Cleveland, Ohio (due to the pictures of John and Yoko naked on the front and the back of the album cover). Police in Mountainside, New Jersey, confiscate 20,000 copies of the album.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 24, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 24, 1969

The Get Back/Let It Be sessions included Get Back and Two Of Us, along with a number of other cover versions.

The Beatles settled on the delicate folk-rock arrangement for Two Of Us. One take was included on the 1996 collection Anthology 3, and an alternative one was chosen by Glyn Johns for one of the unreleased Get Back albums.

Another Anthology 3 song, Teddy Boy, was taken in part from this day's recordings. The version on the album was an edit of takes from January 24th & 28th, with the segment featuring John Lennon's barn-dance calls coming from this day. The song was also mixed by Glyn Johns for inclusion on Get Back, although it was eventually re-recorded by Paul McCartney for his 1970 debut album McCartney.

Another song attempted on this day was Every Night and Hot As Sun. He also played three versions of There You Are, Eddie, which was never released by him nor The Beatles; the song was written in December the previous year for Beatles biographer Hunter Davies, while McCartney was staying at his home in Portugal.

Source: The Beatles Complete Chronicles/Mark Lewisohn

 
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 23, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 23, 1969

The Beatles (with Billy Preston) in the recording studio (Apple Studios, London). They record ten takes of Get Back. The tape operator for this session is Alan Parsons.

Billy Preston improved the shape of the song - but John Lennon was yet to develop his guitar solo and the galloping rhythm of the final version was not yet in place. And....Paul McCartney decided that Get Back would be complete with just two verses.

One of the takes was chosen by Glyn Johns for the first iteration of the Get Back album, which was rejected for release by The Beatles. This album was eventually circulated as Kum Back, one of the first Beatles bootleg collections.

Although work on Get Back dominated the day, The Beatles also spent some time on Oh! Darling, which was eventually held over for Abbey Road. Ringo Starr also played a piano version of Octopus's Garden, which was later developed further than the three-chord arrangement he had at this time.

Performances of Please Please Me and Help! both lasted less than a minute. Please Please Me was given a new, mostly atonal, melody, and Help! was performed with a slow swing rhythm.

No more successful was a version of Eddie Cochran's Twenty Flight Rock, one of the songs with which McCartney impressed Lennon by performing on the day they first met, 6 July 1957. Unfortunately, 12 years later McCartney was unable to remember all the lyrics, although The Beatles nonetheless managed a fairly spirited performance.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 22, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 22, 1969

Billy Preston had been invited to Apple by George Harrison. Preston had first met The Beatles in Hamburg in the early 1960s, and was in London playing with Ray Charles.

His presence improved the mood for the day. He played piano and keyboards which helped flesh out the sound considerably.

Three songs on this day - Don't Let Me Down, I've Got A Feeling and Dig A Pony were included on 1996's Anthology 3.

This version of I've Got A Feeling, plus different ones of Dig A Pony and Don't Let Me Down, were selected for Glyn Johns' first Get Back album, which was rejected for release by The Beatles. Also included were Rocker, a Beatles jam in the style of Chuck Berry, and a cover version of The Drifters' Save The Last Dance For Me.

The only other notable attempt at a cover version from this day was A Taste Of Honey, first recorded by The Beatles in early 1963 for the Please Please Me album. On this day, however, the performance broke down almost before it even got going.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicles - Mark Lewisohn

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 21, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 21, 1969

The Beatles resumed work the Get Back/Let It Be sessions with the film crew present. This was the first formal day of work following George Harrison's temporary departure from the group, and saw them relocate from Twickenham Film Studios to the group's own Apple Studios, in the basement of their headquarters in Savile Row, London.

Harrison had agreed to rejoin The Beatles on January 15th, though not without certain conditions being met. He insisted that they work at Apple Studios, and made it clear that he would leave for good unless the notion of a live show before an audience was abandoned. He did, however, agree to be filmed making an album, and for a potential live performance in some form.

The Beatles had met the day before at Apple Studios to test the equipment installed by Alexis 'Magic Alex' Mardas. It was found to be unsatisfactory, and new kit was borrowed from EMI. This day's session didn't start until the afternoon, perhaps due to installation issues.

The Beatles had barely moved on following their week off. They still spent much time working on Dig A Pony, I've Got A Feeling and Don't Let Me Down, but their playing was often sloppy and aimless.

One of the takes of Dig A Pony was introduced by Lennon as "I Dig A Pigmy by Charles Hawtrey and the Deaf Aids. Phase one, in which Doris gets her oats." This was later used as the opening for the Let It Be, immediately before Two Of Us.

Paul McCartney brought a new song, Every Night, to the session. This was performed again on 24 January, but was eventually held over until his debut solo album McCartney. A song by Harrison, titled Window, Window, was introduced on this day and took shape on 24, 25 and 26 January. However, despite recording a solo demo over a year later, it was never released in his lifetime.

John Lennon played a new song idea, All I Want Is You, which was unrelated to Dig A Pony. He also revived Madman, a song previously played on 14 January, but it, too, was taken no further.

The only song from this day to have been officially released was a version of She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, which appeared on 1996's Anthology 3 (the date was incorrectly listed as 22 January in the album booklet), featuring Lennon on Fender Rhodes electric piano.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 20, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 20, 1969

The Beatles are in the new studio in the basement of their Apple headquarters on Savile Row, London recording "Don't Let Me Down".

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 19, 1969 - 0 Comments

The Beatles are taking a short break. Too much stress in the studio.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 18, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 18, 1969

-Pete Best wins his defamation suit against The Beatles. He had sought eight million dollars, but won considerably less.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 17, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 17, 1969

UK release of The Beatles' LP Yellow Submarine (Apple). The Beatles' tenth album. Songs: Yellow Submarine, Only a Northern Song, All Together Now, Hey Bulldog, It's All Too Much, All You Need Is Love, and one side of George Martin instrumental music from the film. Highest chart position: #3.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 16, 1969 - 0 Comments

In today’s edition of Disc and Music Echo, John Lennon is quoted as saying that Apple is losing vast quantities of money, and that The Beatles are in danger of going bankrupt unless the situation is reversed.

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 15, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 15, 1969

The Beatles held a meeting today, and agreed to Harrison's demands to move the sessions from Twickenham to Apple's headquarters in Savile Row, London. These began a week later, on the 21st, in higher spirits and willing to continue with the Let It Be project.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 14, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 14, 1969

The Get Back/Let It Be sessions on day nine was the second full one without George, who had walked out of Twickenham Film Studios 4 days before.

It was clear by this stage that The Beatles were unable to function in any meaningful way as a trio, and motivation and inspiration hit a low mark on this day. As with other Twickenham rehearsals, it began with Paul McCartney working alone at a piano, although there is little of the energetic enthusiasm which he brought to the earlier days.

Once John Lennon and Ringo Starr had arrived, they performed a mix of improvised songs, golden oldies and original compositions, as had become customary in these sessions. One of the songs was Woman, the McCartney song given in 1966 to Peter & Gordon, which had the only known Beatles performance on this day. Another was The Back Seat Of My Car, later to be one of the highlights of McCartney's 1971 album Ram.

The day ended with McCartney alone at the piano, performing Oh! Darling and a brief version of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, for Glyn Johns to test the audio equipment. On this day Lennon and Ono were also interviewed by a reporter from Canada's CBC-TV. It took place around midday and lasted for 30 minutes, and has since become known as the Two Junkies interview.

Lennon was clearly high on heroin during the interview, growing paler and more restless as it progressed. Eventually he said "Excuse me, I feel a bit sick" and the camera was turned off. The second half of the conversation was noticeably livelier, and Lennon discussed live performances, inspiration, and the couple's future plans.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicles

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 13, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 13, 1969

The soundtrack LP for The Beatles' animated film Yellow Submarine was released in the United States on this day, with six songs by the group and seven orchestral pieces by George Martin.

There was no mono version of Yellow Submarine released.

Originally, the four new Beatles songs on the album – Only A Northern Song, All Together Now, Hey Bulldog and It's All Too Much – were to have been issued as an EP. This was deemed unsuitable for the US market, however, and so the full-length album was created.

Yellow Submarine peaked at number two in the US charts. It was prevented from reaching the top by the White Album, which had been issued two months previously. Sales were lower than normal, however, and The Beatles came under criticism for not giving their usual value for money.

The artwork of the US and UK albums were slightly different. In the UK the words 'Nothing is real' appeared in green below the title on the cover. This was removed from the US version.

The tracklisting for the US LP listed six tracks on side two: Sea Of Time and Sea Of Holes were combined into one track, listed as Medley: Sea of Time & Sea of Holes.

The back cover of the UK edition featured a review of the White Album written by The Observer newspaper journalist Tony Palmer, along with introductory notes by Derek Taylor. The US version, meanwhile, contained a fictional account of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band credited to Dan Davis.

 

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 12, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 12, 1969


The feud between Harrison and John Lennon remained unresolved, so a meeting was scheduled, but not a success and George Harrison left early without agreeing to rejoin The Beatles.-

Meanwhile, the London premiere of the motion picture "Wonderwall," happened this night which featured George Harrison's musical score.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 11, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 11, 1969

Today was the 11th day of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions at The Beatles' Apple Studios in London.

Billy Preston was present (invited to Apple by George Harrison). Preston had first met The Beatles in Hamburg in the early 1960s, and was in London playing with Ray Charles.

His presence on piano and keyboards helped flesh out the sound considerably, which was helpful given the 'no overdubs' rule of the sessions. The mood within the sessions was greatly improved, with greater focus on the songs they intended to perform in the live special, and fewer displacement activities such as cover versions and improvisations.

Three songs in particular received the bulk of The Beatles' attentions on this day: Don't Let Me Down, I've Got A Feeling and Dig A Pony. Versions of I've Got A Feeling and Dig A Pony from the session were included on 1996's Anthology 3.

This version of I've Got A Feeling, plus different ones of Dig A Pony and Don't Let Me Down, were selected for Glyn Johns' first Get Back album, which was rejected for release by The Beatles. Also included were Rocker, a Beatles jam in the style of Chuck Berry, and a cover version of The Drifters' Save The Last Dance For Me.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 10, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 10, 1969

George Harrison walked out of the studio today, unable to tolerate any longer the tensions within the group - just as Ringo Starr had temporarily quit The Beatles in August 1968,

The Beatles were at Twickenham Film Studios, where their rehearsals were being captured on camera. The day began with Paul McCartney working alone at a piano, playing through a number of songs that the group had been working on during the previous week. These included solo versions of I've Got A Feeling and Get Back, which were usually performed with guitars.

The Beatles, still as a group, worked hard on Get Back during the morning. McCartney still hadn't finalised the lyrics, but Tucson, Arizona was emerging as a setting. For one run-through John Lennon took the lead vocals.

Following several attempts at working Get Back into shape, The Beatles moved onto Two Of Us. After breaking for lunch, however, George Harrison walked out of the studio.

Everybody had gone through that. Ringo had left at one point. I know John wanted out. It was a very, very difficult, stressful time, and being filmed having a row as well was terrible. I got up and I thought, 'I'm not doing this any more. I'm out of here.' So I got my guitar and went home and that afternoon wrote Wah-Wah.

It became stifling, so that although this new album was supposed to break away from that type of recording (we were going back to playing live) it was still very much that kind of situation where he already had in his mind what he wanted. Paul wanted nobody to play on his songs until he decided how it should go. For me it was like: 'What am I doing here? This is painful!'

Then superimposed on top of that was Yoko, and there were negative vibes at that time. John and Yoko were out on a limb. I don't think he wanted much to be hanging out with us, and I think Yoko was pushing him out of the band, inasmuch as she didn't want him hanging out with us.

It's important to state that a lot of water has gone under the bridge and that, as we talk now, everybody's good friends and we have a better understanding of the past. But talking about what was happening at that time, you can see it was strange.

Source: Mark Lewisohn/The Beatles Complete Chronicles

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 9, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 9, 1969

The Get Back/Let It Be sessions began with Paul McCartney working alone on a number of songs on Day 6.

McCartney arrived first at Twickenham Film Studios, and he used the time to perform several songs at the piano. Making their debuts on this day were Her Majesty and Another Day, the latter becoming his first solo single in 1971.

Once the other Beatles arrived, work continued on several key songs, among them I've Got A Feeling, One After 909 and Two Of Us.  George Harrison played For You Blue. Less serious were performances of She Came In Through The Bathroom Window and Across The Universe, which featured The Beatles trying various non-serious arrangements and making several jokey lyrical changes and asides.

Let It Be was given more focused attention, and was played a total of 16 times. These performances were led by McCartney, who called out suggestions as the others played. John Lennon was on bass guitar for this part of the day, as the group were intending to record no overdubs and McCartney was at the piano.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 8, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 8, 1969

The Beatles' Get Back/Let It Be sessions were on Day 5 and the group continued to work. Early in the day, were rehearsals of Two Of Us, Don't Let Me Down, I've Got A Feeling and On . The Beatles were in reasonably high spirits at this point, playing through the songs with enthusiasm which was sadly lacking elsewhere for much of January 1969.

The group performed George Harrison's All Things Must Pass which the other Beatles remained unenthusiastic towards. Equally aimless were versions of She Came In Through The Bathroom Window and Maxwell's Silver Hammer, songs which The Beatles would return to with greater focus later in 1969.

Another Abbey Road song making its debut on this day was Mean Mr Mustard. John Lennon had recorded a demo of the song in May 1968, but it was not considered for the White Album. On this day The Beatles performed a rough version which wasn't much different from the final release, although in the lyrics Pam was known as Shirley.

Another Harrisong, I Me Mine, received more attention, with the group playing a total of 41 versions, although more often than not these were incomplete. This was the only day in January 1969 that The Beatles played it; although it was discussed in subsequent days, there was little inclination to return to it after this.

George Harrison had written I Me Mine the night before, and it began as a plain acoustic song. The Let It Be film showed some footage of The Beatles working on the song on this day, but the album version was a re-recording made in January 1970.

Two songs by Paul McCartney, Let It Be and The Long And Winding Road, had by this stage been established as proper contenders deserving sustained work. McCartney had by now completed writing both songs, so much of his efforts were devoted to helping the rest of the group learn the chord changes and arrangements.

Of the cover versions and improvisations, there was little from this day that was noteworthy, most of them being brief renditions in between proper rehearsals. Two early Lennon-McCartney compositions – Too Bad About Sorrows and Just Fun – were performed, but each lasted just seconds.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 7, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 7, 1969

The Get Back/Let It Be sessions were a typical blend of original song rehearsals and jam sessions on this 4th day of recording.

Get Back was lacking most of its final lyrics in the verses. Although it was later held over for the Abbey Road album, Maxwell's Silver Hammer also made an appearance on this day.

They also performed early versions of Golden Slumbers and She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, and Lennon led the group through three versions of Gimme Some Truth, a song which he'd later record for 1971's Imagine album.

John Lennon tried to get the group interested in Across The Universe, which they had recorded in February 1968. Nearly a year on, and Lennon struggled to remember the words, and the performance lacked the elegantly light touch that the earlier recording had.

The day was spent on I've Got A Feeling and Don't Let Me Down, which had been earmarked early on during the Twickenham sessions as contenders for the mooted live performance. At this stage the songs weren't developing significantly, but were instead being rehearsed multiple times until The Beatles were happy they were familiar with the structure.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 6, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 6, 1969

Get It Back/Let It Be Sessions - Today was made up of various jams, cover versions, improvisations, and attempts at recording the more complete songs. And this came with lots of tension within the group.

The songs rehearsed were Don't Let Me Down and Two Of Us. Various arrangements of the former were tested, including a Latin-style rhythm and some harmony vocals by Paul McCartney in the middle section.

Two Of Us was, at this stage, more of a straightforward rock song than in its final incarnation. During rehearsals for it, a terse exchange took place between McCartney and George Harrison which was included in the Let It Be film, and which seemed to encapsulate the strained relations within the group at the time.

The Beatles evidently lacked enthusiasm for a new Harrison song, Hear Me Lord, which its composer first performed acoustically, then on an electric guitar with a wah-wah pedal. He also attempted to enthuse the group in his All Things Must Pass, but to little effect.

Carry That Weight, later to feature on Abbey Road, made its debut on this day, and featured a bridge which was omitted in the final version. Also making first appearances were Octopus's Garden and For You Blue, both of which were brief, incomplete performances.

John Lennon, doubtless aware that his songwriting rate had slowed dramatically since the completion of the White Album, revived Across The Universe – a song the group had recorded early in 1968 but which remained unreleased.

Notable among the improvisations and jams were The Palace Of The King Of The Birds, a McCartney instrumental recorded years later for the unreleased Rupert The Bear album. It featured blues-style guitar and a flowing organ part. He also sang a blues improvisation, You Wear Your Women Out, and did a bit of Primal Therapy-style screaming on My Imagination.

George Harrison sang a song known as Maureen, accompanied just with wah-wah guitar. He is heard to claim that Bob Dylan wrote the song, but it is otherwise unknown and may in fact have been an original composition. Harrison also suggests that it might be a suitable single for Ringo Starr.

The day ended with some lengthy rehearsals of McCartney's new song She Came In Through The Bathroom Window.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 5, 1969 - 0 Comments

The Beatles working at Abbey Road Studios "Get Back" sessions.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 4, 1969 - 0 Comments

The Beatles working on "Get Back" Sessions.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 3, 1969 - 0 Comments
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 3, 1969

The Get Back/Let It Be rehearsals had The Beatles playingy a number of songs, many of which were rough versions of rock 'n' roll oldies, improvisations and numbers from the Lennon-McCartney back catalogue.

John Lennon arrived late at Twickenham Film Studios, Paul McCartney was on piano the first part of the day. He worked through a number of works-in-progress, including several songs which ended up on Let It Be and Abbey Road.

Ringo Starr played brief versions of songs he had written. After Lennon arrived most of the day was spent playing rock 'n' roll classics, including several from The Beatles' Cavern Club and Hamburg years. They also played a version of I'm So Tired with McCartney on lead vocals, and a swift rendition of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: January 2, 1969 - 0 Comments

The Beatles have their first sessions of Get Back/Let It Be.

THIS DAY IN ROCK HISTORY: January 2, 1969: The Beatles go into the studio to begin recording the LP "Get Back" which was renamed "Let It Be.

The Beatles recording of "Get Back" was not a good time for the group. With the exception of Paul McCartney, there was little enthusiasm for to do a live appearance or record songs for a television appearance. The group were still exhausted after the lengthy sessions for the White Album, and the presence of film cameras during the rehearsals created a further strain.

During the January 1969 sessions, the atmosphere was tense, The Beatles were often at odds with one another. George Harrison found McCartney bossy and domineering, John Lennon was addicted to heroin and unwilling to be parted from Yoko Ono, and Ringo Starr was largely subdued throughout the month.

Only Paul wanted to make the effort – George Harrison walked out of the group on on January 10, 1969, and the plans for the television special were abandoned. He agreed to rejoin The Beatles only if they moved from Twickenham Film Studios to their new recording studio in the basement of their Apple HQ in London's Savile Row. This they did from January 21st, in the process dropping plans for a live concert.

The Get Back sessions followed a Monday to Friday schedule, and each day started between 11am and 1pm. On this first day the group arrived at Twickenham at 11am, apart from Paul McCartney who was delayed on public transport, and arrived at 12.30pm.

This first day officially began at around 9.30am, however, with director Michael Lindsay-Hogg filming as Mal Evans and Kevin Harrington set up The Beatles' equipment onto stage one before the group began playing. The shots would eventually be used for the opening sequence of the Let It Be film.

The Beatles spent much of their time working on three songs: Don't Let Me Down, I've Got A Feeling and Two Of Us.

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