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14 June 2017
10.04am
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Beatlebug
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Dark Overlord said
It’s funny you mention #12 because we have a great record of who played what on this song, except for the solo, due to the fact that unlike most songs, they actually filmed the recording sessions, so we know that it’s John on lead vocals, piano, and his Epiphone Casino in the state where it’s pickguard is removed but the sunburst finish is still there, Paul’s on Rickenbacker bass, backing vocals, and tambourine, George’s playing his Gibson SG, and Ringo’s playing drums and says yeah at one point during the verses. It’s just the solo that’s a mystery.  

Well, yeah, everything but. Could have been better! a-hard-days-night-paul-11

And yeah, George can play me any day a-hard-days-night-paul-7
a-hard-days-night-george-10

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14 June 2017
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Von Bontee
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I think it’s George. To the extent that I can tell his playing from John’s, the solo has a bit of “fluidity” and logic that sounds more like George, altho the way those fast chords that finish it off do have a touch of John-style aggression. Ultimately though, the fact that Emerick credits it to George despite his apparent usual reluctance to give him credit for anything is a convincing factor.

Really, though, I’m not really invested in the argument. I think J/G/P were all equally capable of playing this one.

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14 June 2017
11.25am
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I think Paul could’ve easily played this one as well and if it weren’t for the promo, i would be saying that it was Paul.

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14 June 2017
8.56pm
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Elementary Penguin
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Based off what is in the footage I would say it could either be John or George.

I listened to to the song again and the solo does have an aggressive feel that John’s solo’s tended to have but I still think it is George that plays this solo as it also has a melodic feel to it that is more George’s style. I am only assuming but at a guess I think it is George.

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28 December 2017
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sigh butterfly
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Here’s a documentary about Hey Bulldog (apple01 has been generous these last few months):

 

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28 December 2017
2.41pm
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Elementary Penguin said
Based off what is in the footage I would say it could either be John or George.

I listened to to the song again and the solo does have an aggressive feel that John’s solo’s tended to have but I still think it is George that plays this solo as it also has a melodic feel to it that is more George’s style. I am only assuming but at a guess I think it is George.  

Agreed. It does have the aggression but still very melodic.

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28 December 2017
3.20pm
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Dark Overlord
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I wish Geoff never said anything that would make people question his credibility, then none of us would be debating the ahhhs or who played the solo on Hey Bulldog because he gives an answer to both (John and George respectively) but due to people questioning his credibility, he isn’t taken as seriously as other eyewitnesses.

Great song though and a great solo too.

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18 February 2018
2.26pm
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Beatlebug
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We watched Yellow Submarine last night, and it occurred to me that out of all the songs in the film, I think this one is the most effective: due to its informality and studio ad-libs, it has a rather cinematic feel — there’s the soundscape of Paul and John barking and shouting as if at a dog, and then ‘running away’ during the fade-out at the end — rather than just being a straight number.

And then I went and learnt the solo, and my GOD. I do not believe that it was John — only the Hari could have come up with a fluid, chompy, melodic, fiendish thingie like that. blue-meanie

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And then, when I went to bed, I listened to it about a dozen times on repeat, and felt it was the most perfect piece of record in existence. heartapple01heartapple01heartbeatlemaniacs_02_gif

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18 February 2018
6.52pm
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Dark Overlord come quick! They’re talking about who played the Hey Bulldog guitar solo!

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19 February 2018
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sigh butterfly said
Here’s a documentary about Hey Bulldog (apple01 has been generous these last few months):

Lennon’s “She Can Talk To Me” demo sounds very much like a variation on the “We Can Work It Out ” verse, even though that was McCartney’s work.

19 February 2018
11.35am
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I’d say that whoever played the solo on ‘Good Morning, Good Morning’ likely played this one as well…  they’re very similar in timing and feel…  I’d even go so far to say that the same guitar was used on both solos…:-)

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19 February 2018
1.03pm
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Billy Rhythm said
I’d say that whoever played the solo on ‘Good Morning, Good Morning’ likely played this one as well…  they’re very similar in timing and feel…  I’d even go so far to say that the same guitar was used on both solos…:-)  

Paul played the solo on Good Morning Good Morning on his Epiphone Casino, if I remember rightly. Hey Bulldog sounds much more composed than either GMGM’s solo or the one from Taxman , which Paul also played, and is very similar.

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19 February 2018
2.17pm
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Good Morning Good Morning is much more similar to Taxman than Hey Bulldog IMO. Just because they’re both aggressive and distorted doesn’t mean they’re both Paul, I’d compare Hey Bulldog ‘s solo with George’s one on the album version of Let It Be .

Billy Rhythm said
I’d say that whoever played the solo on ‘Good Morning, Good Morning’ likely played this one as well…  they’re very similar in timing and feel…  I’d even go so far to say that the same guitar was used on both solos…:-)  

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19 February 2018
2.18pm
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QuarryMan said
Good Morning Good Morning is much more similar to Taxman than Hey Bulldog IMO. Just because they’re both aggressive and distorted doesn’t mean they’re both Paul, I’d compare Hey Bulldog ‘s solo with George’s one on the album version of Let It Be .  

I completely agree @QuarryMan!

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20 February 2018
7.06am
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An excerpt from a Guitar World article:

The authorship of the stinging guitar solo has been up to debate over the years—some say it recalls McCartney’s solo performance on “Taxman ”—but engineer Geoff Emerick says it was definitely played by Harrison.

“[It was] one of the few times that he nailed it right away,” he wrote in his 2006 memoir, Here, There And Everywhere . “His amp was turned up really loud, and he used one of his new fuzz boxes, which made his guitar absolutely scream.”

The part I highlighted could account for what some of you hear as aggression. The first line of the quote – the backhanded compliment – is classic Emerick. You can practically hear him choking on the words while he complimented the lead guitarist on this absolutely brilliant song.

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21 February 2018
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5 April 2019
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Coming back to this topic of debate, I think the fact that Emerick specifically mentioned how George got that particular guitar sound, as well as what @vonbontee said about his usual reluctance to credit George, makes it pretty convincing that this was played by George. Presumably if he has a clear memory of George doing that to get a specific tone in these sessions, then it would make sense for him to have played the solo, rather than saying “Here, John – take my guitar. I’ve spent ages working out the perfect guitar tone for you to play the solo on”.

Stylistically? It could be any of them. It has a choppy quality similar to some of John’s other lead work, but it’s more complex than what he normally played. It could also be Paul, as it is somewhat similar to his aggressive style of playing on Taxman and Good Morning Good Morning , but Paul isn’t shown playing guitar at all in the promo. It’s most similar to George’s solo in the album version of Let It Be , in my opinion, and that combined with Emerick’s comment convinces me that it was him. 

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5 April 2019
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Can’t you tell who’s playing what from the video?

or am I very confused :/ which is very possible

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5 April 2019
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50yearslate said
Can’t you tell who’s playing what from the video?

or am I very confused :/ which is very possible

  

Well we know who’s credited on what instrument, but the credits don’t tell us who played the solo. 

And as we can see from the video, both John and George are seen playing guitar, whether it’s the same guitar I’m not sure.

Geoff Emerick credits it to George, but his reflections tend to be unreliable, so people don’t trust his word on the specifics. 

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5 April 2019
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50yearslate said
Can’t you tell who’s playing what from the video?

or am I very confused :/ which is very possible

  

The cameras packed up late in the day, just before they recorded the final overdub: the guitar solo. Which is why there is this debate, otherwise the cameras would have recorded it.

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