Paul McCartney recorded a demo of ‘Junk’ at George Harrison’s house in Esher, Surrey, towards the end of May 1968. The Beatles recorded demos of at least 26 songs, many of which subsequently appeared on the White Album.
‘Junk’ was one of many songs written by The Beatles in Rishikesh, India, where they studied meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The Kinfauns demos – named after Harrison’s bungalow – were widely bootlegged from the 1970s. Unofficial copies of the ‘Junk’ recording last 2’38”, and feature a guitar introduction and harmony vocals unavailable elsewhere. When the recording surfaced in 1996 on Anthology 3, it lasted just 2’25”.
The song was never recorded in the studio for the White Album, perhaps due to McCartney’s prolific songwriting upon his return from India. A very rough version, lasting just 16 seconds and sung in mock French, was busked on 9 January 1969 during the Get Back/Let It Be sessions in Twickenham Film Studios.
‘Junk’ did eventually surface in 1970, on McCartney’s self-titled debut solo album. Lasting just 1’57”, it was a four-track home recording, made in late 1969 or early 1970, with McCartney playing all instruments. It was later transferred to eight-track at Morgan Studios, London, where further overdubs were added.
An instrumental version with additional Mellotron string effects, titled ‘Singalong Junk’, also featured on the McCartney album.