Regent Sound Studio, London
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Adrian Ibbetson
This was The Beatles’ first EMI recording session to take place in a British studio other than Abbey Road. The studios there were all booked on this day, so the group decamped to Regent Sound Studio at 164-166 Tottenham Court Road, London.
The Beatles’ normal engineer Geoff Emerick was unable to attend the session as he was an EMI employee, so Regent Sound’s chief engineer Adrian Ibbetson took his place.
They began by rehearsing the rhythm track for ‘Fixing A Hole’, at least six takes of which were recorded. They then taped three proper attempts, the last of which broke down, but takes one and two were both considered possible contenders for further overdubs.
The basic track featured Paul McCartney on harpsichord, recorded to track one, along with Ringo Starr’s drums and maracas.
Bass guitar was recorded to track two, probably played by John Lennon. McCartney recorded a first lead vocal on track four, and double tracked it on track three.
The elements were then given a reduction mix, which became known as take two. It had the vocals combined on track four, and harpsichord, bass guitar, drums and maracas on track one.
George Harrison then double tracked an eight-bar guitar solo using his Fender Stratocaster. He did this onto tracks two and three, with backing vocals also recorded on the latter.
While it wasn’t unusual for friends to visit The Beatles in the studio, this particular session had a notable guest.
The funny thing about that was the night when we were going to record it, at Regent Sound Studios at Tottenham Court Road. I brought a guy who was Jesus. A guy arrived at my front gate and I said ‘Yes? Hello’ because I always used to answer it to everyone. If they were boring I would say, ‘Sorry, no,’ and they generally went away. This guy said, ‘I’m Jesus Christ.’ I said, ‘Oop,’ slightly shocked. I said, ‘Well, you’d better come in then.’ I thought, Well, it probably isn’t. But if he is, I’m not going to be the one to turn him away. So I gave him a cup of tea and we just chatted and I asked, ‘Why do you think you are Jesus?’ There were a lot of casualties about then. We used to get a lot of people who were maybe insecure or going through emotional break downs or whatever. So I said, ‘I’ve got to go to a session but if you promise to be very quiet and just sit in a corner, you can come.’ So he did, he came to the session and he did sit very quietly and I never saw him after that. I introduced him to the guys. They said, ‘Who’s this?’ I said, ‘He’s Jesus Christ.’ We had a bit of a giggle over that.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
Work on Fixing A Hole continued back at EMI Studios, without Jesus, on 21 February 1967.
Also on this day...
- 2012: Paul McCartney’s star unveiled on Hollywood Walk of Fame
- 1993: US album release: Off The Ground by Paul McCartney
- 1972: Wings live: Nottingham University
- 1970: Recording: Whispering Grass, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You by Ringo Starr
- 1964: The Beatles’ first Ed Sullivan Show
- 1963: Live: Empire Theatre, Sunderland
- 1962: Live: Technical College Hall, Birkenhead
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: The Beatles’ first Cavern Club show
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
Guide vocal and rhythm track taped onto the same channel? Is that to say that the guide vocal was kept, or was John’s rhythm track from the original session scrapped? I’ve read elsewhere that Paul played rhythm on this (using his righty Esquire), but the same source claims John played bass on the Rick, which seems doubtful.
There’s only a double-tracked lead guitar. What is that you’re calling “rhythm guitar”?
Wasn’t Regent Sound on Denmark Street ?
Lennon played maracas on the rhythm track. You can hear it on take 3.