Olympic Sound Studios, London
Producers: Glyn Johns, Steve Miller
The Beatles’ earlier mixing session at Olympic had ended in acrimony when John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr had attempted to persuade Paul McCartney to sign a contract to officially appoint Klein as Apple’s financial manager.
The other three Beatles had signed the contract on the previous day, but McCartney wanted to hold out. All four Beatles and Klein were present in the studio, but the session ended when all but McCartney walked out.
There was a big argument and they all went, leaving me at the studio. Steve Miller happened to be around: ‘Hi, how you doing? Is the studio free?’ I said: ‘Well, it looks like it is now, mate.’ He said: ‘Mind if I use it?’ So I ended up drumming on a track of his that night. It was called My Dark Hour – a good track actually. He and I made it alone. I had to do something, thrash something, to get it out of my system.
Glyn Johns had been producing an album for The Steve Miller Band. On this occasion Miller turned up at the studio alone, and McCartney found him a sympathetic listener. The pair jammed, with Glyn Johns in the control room, and a song eventually emerged.
Steve Miller happened to be there recording, late at night, and he just breezed in. ‘Hey, what’s happening, man? Can I use the studio?’ ‘Yeah!’ I said. ‘Can I drum for you? I just had a fucking unholy argument with the guys there.’ I explained it to him, took ten minutes to get it off my chest. So I did a track, he and I stayed that night and did a track of his called My Dark Hour. I thrashed everything out on the drums. There’s a surfeit of aggressive drum fills, that’s all I can say about that. We stayed up until late. I played bass, guitar and drums and sang backing vocals. It’s actually a pretty good track.
It was a very strange time in my life and I swear I got my first grey hairs that month. I saw them appearing. I looked in the mirror, I thought, I can see you. You’re all coming now. Welcome.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
McCartney recorded drums, bass guitar, backing vocals and guitar to the track. Miller sang and performed all the other instruments. My Dark Hour appeared on Miller’s 1969 album Brave New World, and was released as a single in the US on 16 June, though it failed to chart.
McCartney didn’t receive a composer credit, but his performance was attributed to Paul Ramon, the pseudonym he had used in 1960 while on a tour of Scotland with The Silver Beetles.
Also on this day...
- 2020: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr pay tribute to Little Richard
- 2013: Paul McCartney live: Estádio Governador Plácido Castelo, Fortaleza, Brazil
- 2011: Paul McCartney live: Estadio Monumental, Lima, Peru
- 1969: Mixing: Get Back album inserts
- 1969: UK album release: Unfinished Music No.2: Life With The Lions by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
- 1969: UK album release: Electronic Sound by George Harrison
- 1967: Recording: Untitled
- 1966: Recording: For No One
- 1965: The Beatles watch Bob Dylan perform in London
- 1965: Filming: Help! – various scenes around London
- 1962: Live: Star-Club, Hamburg
- 1962: George Martin offers The Beatles a recording contract
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.