George Harrison took part in a recording session for the British band Cream on this day, to record the song Badge. It took place at Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles, with a further overdub at IBC Studios, without Harrison, in December.
Badge was written by Harrison and Eric Clapton. Its title was adopted after Clapton misread Harrison’s handwriting on the lyric sheet, which contained the word ‘bridge’.
I helped Eric write Badge you know. Each of them had to come up with a song for that Goodbye Cream album and Eric didn’t have his written. We were working across from each other and I was writing the lyrics down and we came to the middle part so I wrote Bridge. Eric read it upside down and cracked up laughing – ‘What’s BADGE?’ he said. After that, Ringo walked in drunk and gave us that line about the swans living in the park.
Badge was produced by Felix Pappalardi, who had worked with Cream since their Disraeli Gears album. The song was credited to Clapton and Harrison on the UK single, but on the Goodbye album it was credited to Clapton alone.
Due to contractual reasons, Harrison was credited as L’Angelo Misterioso on the album. During the 1960s and 1970s it was often hard for artists to perform on songs for groups signed to rival labels, so pseudonyms were commonly used. Clapton received no credit for his guitar solo on ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, or for his work on Harrison’s 1970 album All Things Must Pass.
Above all, I would like to acknowledge my old friend Eric Clapton, who played many memorable guitar parts on the album. At that time we weren’t ‘allowed’ by our record companies to acknowledge our presence on each other’s albums so he hasn’t had a credit for thirty years.
Sleevenotes to All Things Must Pass
Harrison performs rhythm guitar on Badge. Although the arpeggiated guitars that enter midway through the song are similar to parts of Abbey Road, that particular passage was played by Clapton.
Also on this day...
- 2013: Paul McCartney live: Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan
- 2010: Paul McCartney live: Estádio do Morumbi, São Paulo, Brazil
- 1995: Album release: Anthology 1
- 1968: Yoko Ono suffers a miscarriage
- 1963: Live: ABC Cinema, Carlisle
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: Merseyside Civil Service Club, Liverpool
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1960: Live: Kaiserkeller, Hamburg
- 1960: George Harrison is deported from Germany
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
It’s possible that Clapton was not credited on the original UK LP of All Things Must Pass, but I used to own a US Apple pressing of that album from the ’70s (I bought it used in 1980) and Clapton was credited as one of the guitarists.
An indelible song for the ages but… some of the dumbest lyrics ever written.
“Ringo walked in drunk & gave us that line about the swans…” Eric should have asked Pete Brown to write the lyrics to this blockbuster but when you’re fulfilling a contractual obligation you’re tossing this off because you’re already gone?
Badge is one of those songs that characterize a particular moment in time, to me it always conjures the late 60’s in Britain, the wistful, whimsical aspects of it – surrealistic, but somehow a bit sad too – and that entrance of the arpeggio guitar, going through a Leslie cabinet, with another treatment (slight flange perhaps) in the ‘bridge’, is a moment of inspired musical artistry. I love the jangly piano, and heavy bass line too – heck, I just love that song!
I’ve seen Eric Clapton play that song many times, and he never quite nails that riff. He just can’t quite get it.
It was George!!!