Released: 30 November 1970 (UK), 27 November 1970 (US)
All Things Must Pass
George Harrison: guitar
Eric Clapton, Dave Mason: guitar
Carl Radle: bass guitar
Bobby Whitlock: piano
Jim Gordon: drums
The title was taken from ‘Religions, Inc.’, the final track on the 1959 comedy album The Sick Humor Of Lenny Bruce.
If you listen to Lenny Bruce’s ‘Religions, Inc.’, he goes on about the Pope and things, and then he goes, ‘And thanks for the pepperoni’ [laughs]. I mean, you got random tracks, so it’s like, ‘What can we call it?’ For the jams, I didn’t want to just throw in the cupboard, and yet at the same time it wasn’t part of the record; that’s why I put it on a separate label to go in the package as a kind of bonus.
Billboard, December 2000
‘Thanks For The Pepperoni’ was based on Chuck Berry’s ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, which Harrison had recorded with The Beatles in 1963.
The track was recorded at The Beatles’ Apple Studios, and features some of Harrison’s longest recorded guitar solos. He is one of three lead guitarists on the track, trading licks with Dave Mason and Eric Clapton.
According to writer Simon Leng, the solos are as follows: Harrison from the start to 1:30, 3:00-3:17, and 4:47-5:52; Mason from 1:40-3:00; and Clapton from 3:18-4:46. However, there is some overlap in the performances, and the performers occasionally play a handful of lead notes before returning to the background.
‘Thanks For The Pepperoni’ was taped during the same session as ‘Plug Me In’. The day – commonly held to have been 5 August 1970 – also saw the formation of the band Derek and the Dominos.
In addition to the two Harrison cuts, the band recorded two Phil Spector-produced songs that day. ‘Tell The Truth’ and ‘Roll It Over’ were released as a single in the US by Atco Records, but was withdrawn swiftly in September 1970.