Trident Studios, St Anne’s Court, London
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Barry Sheffield
Following two days of rehearsals and rough takes, The Beatles finally began recording Hey Jude properly.
The session took place from 2pm-4am at Trident Studios at 17 St Anne’s Court, London. Unlike Abbey Road, Trident had operational eight-track recording facilities, and The Beatles were keen to exploit the new technology.
The group recorded four takes of the rhythm track, with Paul McCartney on piano and guide vocals, John Lennon playing acoustic guitar, George Harrison on electric guitar and Ringo Starr on drums. Take one was considered the best, and further overdubs were added on this night and the next.
There is an amusing story about recording it. We were at Trident Studios in Soho, and Ringo walked out to go to the toilet and I hadn’t noticed. The toilet was only a few yards from his drum booth, but he’d gone past my back and I still thought he was in his drum booth. I started what was the actual take, and ‘Hey Jude’ goes on for hours before the drums come in and while I was doing it I suddenly felt Ringo tiptoeing past my back rather quickly, trying to get to his drums. And just as he got to his drums, boom boom boom, his timing was absolutely impeccable. So I think when those things happen, you have a little laugh and a light bulb goes off in your head and you think, This is the take! and you put a little more into it. You think, oh, fuck! This has got to be the take, what just happened was so magic! So we did that and we made a pretty good record.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles