Radio: Everett Is Here

4.00pm, Thursday 14 August 1969 (44 years ago)

BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Kenny Everett was present during the mixing sessions for the Abbey Road album which took place on this day. During a break in the session, Everett interviewed John Lennon.

The interview took place in Studio Two at EMI Studios, Abbey Road. It was recorded in mono on EMItape reel E93325, using the studio equipment rather than the BBC’s.

The Beatles – and Lennon in particular – had appeared several times on Everett’s Radio 1 shows. On this occasion it was for the Saturday morning show Everett Is Here, and focused mainly on The Beatles’ recording methods.

Lennon told Everett that the album The Beatles were working on would be titled after the street on which the studio stood. He also said that the next LP, Get Back, was complete for release, but the group “got fed up [and] just left it.”

He asked to have Gene Vincent’s Be-Bop-A-Lula played on Everett’s show, specifying that he wanted “the real old [version] with the tape echo.” Everett told Lennon that the early rock ‘n’ roll songs were recorded with a single microphone, and noted that The Beatles seemed to use “millions of tracks”, but Lennon replied that most of the group’s backing tracks were done live.

Everett complimented Lennon on his patience in the studio, as the Abbey Road album was being painstakingly assembled. Lennon said that Strawberry Fields Forever had been their most complicated work due to the various remakes and recordings required.

Lennon revealed that he played Beatles recordings to Yoko Ono, as she was unfamiliar with them, and said that he only knew one joke – the first dirty joke he’d ever been told. The BBC being a somewhat conservative institute in 1969, he didn’t reveal what the joke was.

During that day’s mixing session, the songs Sun King, Mean Mr Mustard, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window and You Never Give Me Your Money were being worked upon. Although it is unlikely that Everett was given copies on this day, he did recreate Sun King, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and Mean Mister Mustard using his own four-track tapes for use as radio jingles.

Everett’s recordings were used as an audio bed underneath the interview, leading many fans to presume it was The Beatles’ own work. The interview and Everett’s jingles now circulate on bootlegs.

The interview with Lennon was broadcast in two parts on Everett Is Here, on Saturdays 20 and 27 September from 10am until midday.

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