by Ken McNab
A chronicle of Beatle trivia for the year 1969. There was a lot more about the business angle than i was prepared to digest, and McNab does very little to clarify exactly what is going on (who the hell is “Nems”? what exactly is ‘Northern Songs”?). I had little choice but to glaze over during some of the business dealing discussions; I TRIED to figure out the answers to my questions by using the index, thinking it was just my lazy inattentiveness that was the problem; but no, it’s him. In fact he never really introduces Nems or Northern Songs properly; I guess we’re just supposed to know who they are. I get that John, Paul, George, and Ringo need no introduction, and it was fine to throw us right in the middle of January 1969 with little backstory insofar as the personal angle. But I really felt like I had missed some prequel volumes.
It was also repetitive. E.g. I get what a great song “Something” was.
I learned plenty of fun facts though.
– The ending medley on ABBEY ROAD, probably my favorite Beatle “song”, was recorded the week I was being born.
– “Because” is in 9-part harmony. Because they did not have 9 tracks available to tape on, John, Paul, & George had to sing three of the parts together on one track. They had not had to harmonize like that together in years, but they could still do it, even though they hated each other.
– George recorded the guitar solo to “Something” on the same track with the orchestra.
– John wanted “Cold Turkey” to be a Beatle song and actually thought it had great single potential.
– “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” which I always liked and Xopher always hated (“It just goes on forever”) just goes on forever because it’s actually two different takes back to back. John couldn’t decide which one he wanted so he used both of them.
I love learning tidbits about what went on behind the actual recording of the soundtrack to my brain. ( )