The Beatles recorded ‘Helter Skelter’ for the White Album on 9 September 1968. They recorded 18 takes, numbered 4-21.
Prior to the first take, they warmed up with a version of Leiber and Stoller’s ‘(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care’. The song had been made famous by Elvis Presley in the 1957 film Jailhouse Rock, and was also recorded the following year by Buddy Holly.
The Beatles performed ‘(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care’ again on day four of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions, on 7 January 1969. That time it was begun and quickly abandoned by John Lennon, but picked up immediately after by George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Well you don’t know any dance steps that are new
And no one else could love ya like you do, do, do, do, do
You don’t like crazy music
You don’t like rocking bands
You just wanna go to a movie show
And sit there holding hands
You’re so square
Baby I don’t care
Baby, I don’t care
Yeah I don’t care
Hey I don’t care, yeah
The personnel needs correcting – seriously, if you listen to the recording, it’s more than evident that it’s likely to be Paul playing the walking bassline and I agree with HarryShowman’s statement of the likelihood of Paul being the bassist both in this song and “Helter Skelter”. Paul himself has stated that he was proud to be the bassist and Elvis showed him some bass licks or something – this is his interview with Tony Bacon https://reverb.com/au/news/interview-paul-mccartney-on-his-life-as-a-bassist.
It’s VERY unlikely that John would have switched to bass guitar for an Elvis cover, since he was a huge fan of Elvis and he would have flatly refused to swap guitar and bass roles with Paul on Elvis covers.
It’s more likely that the lineup was Paul singing and playing bass, John and George playing guitars (two guitars are evident) and Ringo playing drums, so Kevin Howlett unwisely relying on Mal Evans’s “Beatles Monthly” anecdote for the lineup of the final take of “Helter Skelter” is just preposterous, because for all we know, Mal may have been referring to the early bluesy takes.
I agree with you on that it sounds like Paul on bass, which makes the fact that he’s singing like that complete madness. To my ears, this is pretty clearly a searing rock ‘n roll trebly guitar from George (probably the Les Paul, I guess?), one of his greatest callbacks to his early club skills (along with 909). He’s playing the standard E riff (heard on the Carl Perkins’ songs), and those little chirps are perfect. It’s killer. But I can’t hear anything from John. It’s possible he’s buried or zeroed out, but I’m going to guess he’s not plugged in yet, but I’d love to know for sure. If anyone speaks to Giles, this is the song I hope they discuss. I think this is the best bit on the entire release; it’s the best rock recording of the Beatles ever (alongside “I’m Talking Bout You”). They should put out the whole thing. It’s essential listening.