The Beatles taking a small break today.
The Beatles are busy recording "Revolution"
John and Yoko plant acorns for peace at Coventry Cathedral
Saturday 15 June 1968 John Lennon, People
In their first public event, John Lennon and Yoko Ono planted acorns for peace at St Michael's Cathedral, Coventry.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono plant acorns for peace, Coventry Cathedral, 15 June 1968
The site they had originally intended to use in the grounds of the cathedral had to be moved after Canon Verney refused to allow the unmarried couple to bury anything in consecrated ground.
Furthermore, the original acorns were quickly stolen by Beatles fans, and replacements sent by Lennon and Ono were placed under 24-hour guard.
-Paul McCartney is filmed in EMI Studios performing Blackbird for a short film being assembled to promote Apple Records.
The Beatles in-between recording "Revolution"
Recording, mixing: Blackbird, Revolution 9
Tuesday 11 June 1968 Studio
Studios Two and Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick
George Harrison and Ringo Starr were both in America on this day, but John Lennon and Paul McCartney made the most of the studio block-booking throughout June to continue work on the White Album.
A film crew from Apple, directed by Tony Bramwell, was present during the session, ostensibly to make a 10-minute promotional short for the company. Recorded onto 16mm film, the footage captured McCartney working on Blackbird and Helter Skelter on an acoustic guitar, as well as various other scenes from inside the studio, in the Apple Boutique, Apple Tailoring, McCartney's garden and other locations. Other people featured in the promo, which was simply titled Apple, included Lennon, Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Dick James, Alexis Mardas and NEMS's Alistair Taylor.
Fortunately, the sound recordist also made a 41-minute tape of McCartney rehearsing Blackbird, from which we can see the song take shape. The tape begins with a performance which producer George Martin is timing. Afterwards he tells McCartney that the song is just shy of two minutes and suggests he makes more of the break before the coda. McCartney then plays a half-speed version of the song, which morphs into Cliff Richard's Congratulations.
With Martin in the control room of Studio Two, McCartney attempts a complete run-through. Lennon suggests that the studio lights be dimmed to improve the atmosphere, and Martin suggests that a rough demo would help them decide an arrangement. Lennon, however, says that vocals and guitar are sufficient.
Lennon and Martin begin discussion Revolution 1's lengthy ending, and various recordings made for the stage play of In His Own Write. In the background McCartney plays a version of Helter Skelter in a falsetto voice.
There then follows a brief version of Blackbird featuring both Lennon and McCartney on acoustic guitars, before McCartney continues playing alone, singing in an Elvis style and ad-libbing a talking blues.
With Lennon in the
control room, they discuss the arrangement again. Lennon suggest a brass band, and McCartney plays a version of Mother Nature's Son. A number of versions of Blackbird follow, most of which end with a false start.
After a break, McCartney continues recording, and eventually manages a full take. His fourth attempt from this time was released on 1996's Anthology 3. Thirty-two takes of Blackbird were recorded during this session, just 11 of which were complete.
Take 32 was considered the best, and six mono mixes were made before the session ended at 12.15am. The last mix featured additional bars of guitar at the beginning, which were later omitted. The song was remixed on 13 October 1968, after McCartney realised that Blackbird would sound better with the sound of actual birds on it.
Meanwhile, between 7pm and 10.15pm, John Lennon was in Studio Three working on sound effects for Revolution 9. He spent the next few days working on the track, before a master tape was assembled on 20 June 1968.
Monday 10 June 1968 Studio
Studio Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick
John Lennon spent this session, which took place from 2.30-5.45pm, assembling sound effects for Revolution 9.
Lennon spent the next few days working on effects and tape loops, which were mostly assembled into a master reel on 20 June 1968. For this he worked largely just in the company of his girlfriend Yoko Ono, although he was joined on the 20th by George Harrison.
Paul McCartney was the best man at his brother Michael's wedding on this day.
Mike McCartney married Angela Fishwick, a hair stylist, at St Bridget's Parish Church in the small village of Carrog in Merionethshire, north Wales. It was the same church where the McCartneys' father Jim had married his second wife in 1966.
The other Beatles sent congratulatory telegrams. George Harrison and Ringo Starr were both in California, while John Lennon remained in London.
The wedding reception was held at Jim McCartney's home in Gayton, Cheshire. Paul led a singalong around the family piano.