I bought the Let It Be single by the Beatles in the mid-1970s from a relative’s yard sale. I loved Let It Be and then I flipped it over. The song started off with a catchy piano riff and then took a left turn never coming back.
I won’t even attempt to describe it because it would lose everything in words. It is a funny record (I don’t mean “My Love” bad funny… wo wo wo wo, wo wo wo wo…sorry Paul) it’s a comedy record. You could tell they were having a great time doing it.
Brian Jones played saxophone on the recording. Yes, that Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. He dropped by the studio and John and Paul thought he would play some guitar but he had a sax so they thought of this tune and he played on it.
My friend and I would listen to this over and over. We would quote from it…”Welcome to Slaggers” at school. Sometimes…and this is probably sad but we still do.
The song was recorded in May of 1967 and June of 1969 and was released as the B side of Let It Be in 1970.
It’s just so off the wall. The thing that surprises me isn’t the 1967 sessions…it’s John and Paul working on this in 1969 when they were not exactly best mates anymore. How could you not get along and make this? I guess they went through bad and good periods like any friendship or partnership…
The original version was 6:08 long but John edited it down to 4:19 for the single release.
Here is a quote from John Lennon
“That was a piece of unfinished music that I turned into a comedy record with Paul. I was waiting for him in his house, and I saw the phone book was on the piano with ‘You know the name, look up the number.’ That was like a logo, and I just changed it. It was going to be a Four Tops kind of song – the chord changes are like that – but it never developed and we made a joke of it. Brian Jones is playing saxophone on it.”
Paul McCartney on Brian Jones
“I naturally thought he’d bring a guitar along to a Beatles session and maybe chung along and do some nice rhythm guitar or a little bit of electric twelve-string or something, but to our surprise, he brought his saxophone,”
“He opened up his sax case and started putting a reed in and warming up, playing a little bit. He was a really ropey sax player, so I thought, ‘Ah-hah. We’ve got just the tune.”
“It’s not amazingly well played but it happened to be exactly what we wanted. Brian was very good like that.”