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 on 1 July 1970 in Studio Three at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, on the same day as ‘Plug Me In’.
‘Thanks For The Pepperoni’ 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.