Mixing: Get Back album inserts

3.00pm, Friday 9 May 1969 (44 years ago)

Studio One, Olympic Sound Studios, London
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Glyn Johns

This was the second stereo mixing session for the insertion of speech and song snippets into Glyn Johns’ unreleased Get Back album.

The session was attended by all four Beatles. It took place at Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes, London, and lasted from 3-11pm.

Towards the end of the day a playback of the completed songs was held in the studio. However, the session dissolved into animosity when an argument broke out over the appointment of Allen Klein as Apple’s financial manager. Klein was present at the studio on this occasion.

John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr wanted Paul McCartney to sign a contract to officially appoint Klein. The three had signed the previous day, but McCartney wanted to hold out.

Klein claimed that he needed to report the following day, a Saturday, to his company ABKCO’s board of directors in New York, and needed all four signatures on the contract.

John was going with Klein, and George and Ringo said, ‘OK, we’re going with John.’ I realised I was expected to go along with it, but I didn’t think it was a good idea – simple as that, really. Actually I asked Mick Jagger when he came round, ‘What do you think?’ He said, ‘Oh, he’s all right if you like that kind of thing.’ He didn’t really warn us off him, so there it was – and that then was the three-to-one situation.

In The Beatles, if anyone didn’t agree with a plan, it was always vetoed. It was very democratic that way, so the three-to-one situation was very awkward and as a result ‘things’ would happen.

I remember being at Olympic Studios one evening when I think we were supposed to be doing something on Abbey Road. We all showed up, ready to record, and Allen Klein showed up too. The other three said, You’ve got to sign a contract – he’s got to take it to his board.’ I said, ‘It’s Friday night. He doesn’t work on a Saturday, and anyway Allen Klein is a law unto himself. He hasn’t got a board he has to report to. Don’t worry – we could easily do this on Monday. Let’s do our session instead. You’re not going to push me into this.’

They said, ‘Oh, are you stalling? He wants 20%.’ I said, ‘Tell him he can have 15%.’ They said: ‘You’re stalling.’ I replied, ‘No, I’m working for us; we’re a big act.’ I remember the exact words: ‘We’re a big act – The Beatles. He’ll take 15%.’ But for some strange reason (I think they were so intoxicated with him) they said, ‘No, he’s got to have 20%, and he’s got to report to his board. You’ve got to sign now or never.’ So I said, ‘Right, that’s it. I’m not signing now.’

Paul McCartney
Anthology

The Beatles’ session fell apart when Lennon, Harrison, Starr and Klein walked out, with McCartney remaining behind at Olympic. By chance he encountered Steve Miller, who had arrived for a recording session, and the pair worked together on a song aptly titled My Dark Hour.

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