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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: July 12, 1968

Recording, mixing: Don’t Pass Me By, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Revolution

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

Ringo Starr's first published composition Don't Pass Me By was completed during the first of this day's sessions, which began at 3pm and lasted eight hours.

Jack Fallon had been a booking agent for five English concerts played by The Beatles between March 1962 and June 1963. They were therefore surprised to see him turn up as the session violinist booked by EMI to perform on the song.

George Martin had jotted down a 12-bar blues for me. A lot of country fiddle playing is double-stop [two notes played simultaneously] but Paul and George Martin – they were doing the arranging – suggested I play it single note. So it wasn't really the country sound they originally wanted. But they seemed pleased. Ringo was around too, keeping an eye on his song.

The violin overdub was completed by 6.40pm. Afterwards Paul McCartney re-recorded his bass guitar part, and Starr added a piano part, fed through a Leslie speaker, which included the tinkling introduction.

Four mono mixes of Don't Pass Me By were then created. Starr took home a copy of the last of these, which he later gave to his friend Peter Sellers. The album contained a different mix, however, which was made on 11 October 1968.

Two mono mixes were also made of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, numbered 10 and 11, at the end of the session. These mixes were rendered unnecessary, however, after Paul McCartney decided to re-record his lead vocals on 15 July.

Source: Jack Fallon - The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

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