Helter Skelter (Isolated Vocals) | The Beatles
John Lennon covers NME magazine Jan/2014
Paul, John and George with Billy J Kramer in Margate, July 1963. Photo by Leslie Bryce. Scan from Beatles Book Monthy No. 143.
January 25th, 1969 (Apple Studios, London): As the band starts to meander after several imperfect and increasingly unserious rehearsals of ‘Let It Be’ (including a stray comment from Paul that prompts John and George to break into Chuck Berry’s ‘I’m Talking About You’), Paul tries to steer them back to a serious run-through. John protests in jest and, perhaps reminded of the Beatles’ improvised Christmas records, starts thanking the fans for all of the gifts they’ve sent. The next rehearsal of ‘Let It Be’ is foiled again by Paul and Ringo, however, enabling John to get into a mock-tirade about not even reaching the part of the song where he comes in (to the amusement of the group).
PAUL: Come on now, come on now, come on now. Come on now – back to the drudgery.
JOHN: It’s you that’s making it like this, it’s you that’s bloody making it like—
PAUL: The real meaning of Christmas. [starts playing ‘Let It Be’]
JOHN: I’d especially like to thank you for all the birthday presents…
PAUL: There will be an answer, let it be… [falters; laughs] Then, is it—
JOHN: You shook me. [to Ringo] You stuck in another verse there, Richard.
PAUL: Yeah. You send me.
JOHN: He’s got another verse in there, now. You come in with the flugle.
RINGO: Alright, John!
PAUL: [laughs] You only have to pick your nose and a camera and a boom is over there…
JOHN: Okay, this is your last chance.
PAUL: Now look boys, now come on. Enthuse a little.
JOHN: [mock-outrage] I can’t, I don’t even get up to my bit, you keep finishing! [everyone laughs] Show up, will ya, or I’ll have you banned from bloody Apple if you don’t show up! [Paul laughs; John subdues himself] Okay, ‘Let It Be’ is where I come in… [laughter]
In New York, we would often run in to Ringo Starr–he hung out in the clubs there. Or we might go to Max’s Kansas City and George Harrison would be there. But one day, Shep called me from his office on Thirteenth Street. We had just recorded the song ‘Elected’.
“You gotta come down here right now.”
“John Lennon is here.”
“What’s he doing there?”
“He’s listening to ‘Elected’. He heard about the song.”
The very idea that one of the Beatles knew any of our songs was pretty amazing. It was the first time Lennon and I had met. At the time, he was very political, and he loved the test pressing of the song. Of course, I was being satirical. I was just coming in just as he was leaving.
“Great record, you know.”
“Thank you,” I said.
Then out of the corner of his mouth he said, “Paul would have done it better.”
|—||Alice Cooper, Golf Monster. (2007)|