Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album artworkWritten by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 9, 21 February 1967
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Geoff Emerick, Adrian Ibbetson

Released: 1 June 1967 (UK), 2 June 1967 (US)

Paul McCartney: lead and backing vocals, bass
John Lennon: backing vocals
George Harrison: backing vocals, lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, maracas
George Martin: harpsichord

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Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Condemned upon its release for perceived references to heroin injection, Fixing A Hole was in fact a tribute to marijuana written by Paul McCartney.

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That's Paul, again writing a good lyric.
John Lennon
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

It has also been claimed that the song is about repairs undertaken by Paul McCartney on High Park, his farmhouse on the west coast of Scotland, although this is untrue.

It was much later that I ever got round to fixing the roof on the Scottish farm; I never did any of that until I met Linda. People just make it up! They know I've got a farm, they know it has a roof, they know I might be given to handyman tendencies so it's a very small leap for mankind... to make up the rest of the story.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

In truth the song, like Got To Get You Into My Life, was "another ode to pot"; it explored the joys of allowing one's mind to wander, and the freedom from being told what to do.

It was the idea of me being on my own now, able to do what I want. If I want I'll paint the room in a colourful way... I was living now pretty much on my own in Cavendish Avenue, and enjoying my freedom and my new house and the salon-ness of it all. It's pretty much my song, as I recall. I like the double meaning of 'If I'm wrong I'm right where I belong'.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

In the studio

The recording of Fixing A Hole began on 9 February 1967. The Beatles used Regent Sound Studio in London as Abbey Road was unavailable. It was the first time the group used another studio to record for EMI.

According to McCartney, an unusual guest was brought to the session.

A guy arrived at my front gate and I said, 'Yes? Hello,' because I always used to answer it to everyone. If they were boring I would say, 'Sorry, no,' and they generally went away. This guy said, 'I'm Jesus Christ.' I said, 'Oop,' slightly shocked. I said, 'Well, you'd better come in then.' I thought, Well, it probably isn't. But if he is, I'm not going to be the one to turn him away. So I gave him a cup of tea and we just chatted and I asked, 'Why do you think you are Jesus?' There were a lot of casualties about then. We used to get a lot of people who were maybe insecure or going through emotional breakdowns or whatever. So I said, 'I've got to go to a session but if you promise to be very quiet and just sit in a corner, you can come.' So he did, he came to the session and he did sit very quietly and I never saw him after that. I introduced him to the guys. They said, 'Who's this?' I said, 'He's Jesus Christ.' We had a bit of a giggle over that.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

The Beatles rehearsed Fixing A Hole a number of times before the tapes rolled. They then recorded three takes, the last of which was incomplete. The second take became the basis for the final version.

The backing track featured Paul McCartney on bass guitar, Ringo Starr on drums and George Martin on harpsichord on track one, and McCartney's guide vocals and John Lennon's rhythm guitar simultaneously taped onto track three. There was some bleed between the instruments which meant the guide vocal can be heard on track one.

Backing vocals were then overdubbed onto track four, and George Harrison added an eight-bar guitar solo onto track two.

On 21 February, back at Abbey Road, they recorded a fourth take, before deciding the Regent Sound take two was the best. They created a reduction mix to free up space, which combined the guitar and backing vocals on one track. The new mix became known, confusingly, as take three.

They then overdubbed backing vocals, guitar and maracas to complete the song.

McCartney then recorded over his guide vocals and John Lennon's rhythm guitar, adding in their place a new lead vocal performance. On the fourth track he double-tracked his vocals in places. Maracas were also added by Starr.

Towards the end of the session five mono mixes of Fixing A Hole were made. These were numbered 2-6, even though there had been no previous mix numbered one. The final version was an edit of mixes three and six; the edit can be heard at the 2'06 mark on the album.