Recording: Messages to Australia, Hold Me Tight, Don’t Bother Me, Little Child, I Wanna Be Your Man

2.30pm, Thursday 12 September 1963 (50 years ago)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

As with the previous day, two recording sessions at Abbey Road took place, with work on the With The Beatles LP and some messages to the group’s Australian fans. The sessions took place from 2.30-6.30pm, and 7-11.30pm.

The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein had arranged for the group to undertake a tour of Australia in June 1964. As their popularity was steadily rising there, it was agreed that they would record a series of messages for their fans, to be broadcast on Australian radio.

They began this day by recording four messages for Australia, three of which were addressed to Bob Rogers, a DJ at the Sydney station 2SM. The fourth was a generic message to be used by any station that wished to broadcast it. The recordings were a mixture of scripted and improvised lines.

Hello Bob Rogers in Australia, this is John Lennon of The Beatles here. Hope you’re OK Bob.
This is Paul McCartney of The Beatles speaking Bob. I hope you are still playing our records.
George Harrison here Bob, just like to say, hope our record, our current record does just as well out there as it has done over here.
Hello Bob, this is Ringo. Hope they’ve got the LP over there and it’s selling and hope we can come out and see you sometime soon.

Hello Bob Rogers in Australia. This is John Lennon of The Beatles here. We hear you’ve been playing our records…

Hello Bob Rogers in Australia. This is John Lennon of The Beatles here in London. We believe you’ve been plaing our records…
Hi Bob, this is Paul here and we’d like to thank you very much for playing them and keep going pal!
Yeah, this is George, Bob. Just like to say we hope our current release goes just as well in Australia as it has done here in England.
This is Ringo. I’d just like to say that we’ve heard such a lot of your country that I can’t wait to get out there and see it all.

Hello Australia, this is John Lennon of The Beatles here. Hope you’re all having a great time over there.
This is Paul speaking, we’re hoping to come over soon and visit Australia.
This is George. That’s if you move it a few thousand miles nearer…

After the radio messages were complete The Beatles turned their attentions to Hold Me Tight, a song first attempted on 11 February 1963 during the main session for the Please Please Me LP.

Although 13 takes had been recorded in February it was abandoned after being considered surplus to requirements. By September, however, the group had changed their mind, and they set about recording a remake. They started with take 20, and by take 29 were satisfied with the recording. The final version was an edit of takes 26 and 29.

After a half-hour break the day’s second session began from 7pm. The Beatles first attempted a remake of George Harrison’s first solo composition Don’t Bother Me.

Takes 10-19 were taped; four of the basic track plus six overdub attempts. The final version was take 13 with the overdub take 15. This consisted of a second Harrison vocal, Paul McCartney playing a woodblock, John Lennon shaking a tambourine and Ringo Starr on an Arabian bongo.

The Beatles had also started Little Child on the previous day, and today began a remake. Takes 3-18 were recorded; the album version was an edit and mix of the basic track from take 7, Lennon’s harmonica from take 13, McCartney’s piano part from take 15 and Lennon’s harmonica solo from take 18.

After this the group made another attempt at I Wanna Be Your Man, recording takes 2-7. However, it was again decided to leave any further work for another day.

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