Paul McCartney performs on The Beach Boys’ Vegetables

The day after their arrival in Los Angeles, Paul McCartney and Mal Evans spent the day shopping at Century Plaza, where Evans bought a talking pillow.

In the afternoon the pair visited John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas And The Papas. After a while McCartney left alone to meet The Beach Boys, leaving Evans with the Phillipses.

At the time Brian Wilson was working on the song ‘Vegetables’, or ‘Vega-Tables’, which was intended for the Smile album but eventually released on Smiley Smile. McCartney was recorded chewing celery.

Yeah, that is true, yeah! I mean it was wild and wacky days, you know, and I just went round to the studio because they invited me. I just thought it would be fun to sit there and watch them record, ’cause I’m a big fan. And so I was there, and then it was, I think, Brian who came over and said, ‘Oh Paul, got a favour to ask: would you mind recording something?’ I thought, ‘Oh, no! But great, I could do that!’ Oh God, I’m gonna be singing on a Beach Boys record or something, you know! I got a bit kind of intimidated and thought, ‘Okay, here goes nothing’. And they said, ‘Well, what we want you to do is go in there and just munch!’ …Well, I can do that! So, if you hear somebody munching celery, that’s me!
Paul McCartney, 12 December 2016

Vega-Tables by The Beach Boys

The night before a big tour, I was out in the studio recording the vocal when, to my surprise, Paul McCartney walked in and joined Brian at the console. And, briefly, the two most influential musical Geminis in the world had a chance to work together. I remember waiting for long periods of time between takes to get to the next section or verse. Brian lost track of the session. Paul would come on the talkback and say something like ‘Good take, Al.’
Al Jardine
The Beach Boys

McCartney also performed on an unreleased version of ‘On Top Of Old Smokey’. Shortly after midnight he arrived back at the Phillipses’ house.

Last updated: 31 July 2023
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Paul McCartney performs with Brian Wilson and John and Michelle Phillips
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