Beatles – She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Besides having one of the most unique names in the history of rock songs…this one is a really cool song off of Abbey Road. It’s always one of my favorite songs of the medley.

It’s in the medley on side 2 for those of you who have the vinyl album. I always wondered who that was coming through the bathroom window. Paul wrote the song about a fan, thought to be Diane Ashley. She said that there was a ladder in Paul’s garden and bunch of girls put it against the wall and Diane climbed up and went through the bathroom window when Paul was at the studio. I seriously doubt if she was the only one…more probable…They All Came Through Paul’s Bathroom Window. The girls that hung out waiting for the Beatles were called “Apple Scruffs” by the Beatles.

Now married with four children, Diane keeps a framed photo of herself with Paul on her kitchen shelf and looks back on her days as an Apple Scruff with affection: “I don’t regret any of it. I had a great time, a really great time.” It shows you how different of a time that was compared to now.

Margo Bird was on of the girls who Paul negotiated with to get some of his property back…he didn’t care if they got small souvenirs but when pictures went missing, Margo helped him track them down.

This was credited to Lennon/McCartney but seems to be all McCartney. The Beatles ran through it a few times earlier in the year in the Let It Be sessions. They were going to feature it in their rooftop concert but didn’t feel confident in it.

The song fit nicely between Polythene Pam and Golden Slumbers in the medley. Joe Cocker covered this song also.

Apple Scruff Margo Bird: “They rummaged around and took some clothes. People didn’t usually take anything of real value but I think this time a lot of photographs and negatives were taken. There were really two groups of ‘Apple Scruffs’ – those who would break in and those who would just wait outside with cameras and autograph books. I used to take Paul’s dog for a walk and got to know him quite well. I was eventually offered a job at Apple. I started by making the tea and ended up in the promotions department working with Tony King.”

From Songfacts

Paul McCartney wrote this about a fan who broke into his house. Diane Ashley claims it was her. “We found a ladder in his garden and stuck it up the bathroom window which he’d left slightly open,” she said. “I was the one who climbed up and got in.”

Landis Kearnon (known at the time as Susie Landis) gave us the following account:

Here, all this time I thought this song was written about me and my friend Judy. What a surprise to learn there was someone named Diane Ashley who put a ladder up to Paul’s house and climbed in through the bathroom window. This and the bit about “quit the police department” being inspired by an ex-cop taxi driver in NYC tells me something I already know about songwriting, which is that many songs are composites. This one obviously was because Diane wasn’t the only person having a profound effect on Paul McCartney by crawling in a bathroom window in 1967 (maybe ’68 in her case). Judy and I were paid $1500 by Greene & Stone, a couple of sleazy artist managers driving around the Sunset Strip in a Chinchilla-lined caddy limo, to “borrow” the quarter-inch master of “A Day In The Life” off of David Crosby’s reel-to-reel, drive it to Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood where Greene & Stone duped it, then put it back where we found it at Crosby’s Beverly Glen Canyon pad. Crosby was playing with the Byrds that day in Venice so we knew his house was empty. This was the day after a major rainstorm so the back of his house was one big mudslide. We climbed up it, leaving 8-inch deep footprints and, you guessed it, gained access via the bathroom window, leaving behind footprints and a veritable goldmine of forensic matter. We were really nervous and did not make clear mental notes of how the master reel was on the player, but did have the sense to leave Crosby’s front door unlocked while we drove across town and back. After the tape was back on the machine (badly) we changed out of our muddy shoes, drove to the Cheetah in Venice, and hung out with the Byrds into the evening, thinking we were awfully clever and cute. We did not know why Greene & Stone would pay so much money for a copy of a Beatles song, other than the fact that is was a groundbreaking and mind-blowing piece, but found out the next day when we heard “A Day In The Life” on KHJ, I think it was. Greene & Stone had used it as payola to get one of their groups, The Cake, singing “Yes We Have No Bananas,” on the air. Which they did, and it sucked, but oh well. By the following day “A Day In The Life” was no longer on the air. And just a day or two after that there was a front page blurb in the LA Times about “A Day In The Life” getting aired one month prior to the release date of the single and the Sgt. Pepper LP, which apparently cost the Beatles plenty and they were suing Capitol or Columbia, whichever the label was, for $2 million… and McCartney was flying in from London to deal with the mess. Oops. Judy and I nearly sank through the floor. Though we were active “dancers” in the various nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, we lay low for a while, not knowing what to expect. In fact, other than a song being written and a GREAT cover by Joe Cocker, nothing happened. We got our money, spent it on groovy clothes, of course (what else was there?) and never heard a word about it.

“I knew what I could not say” and “protected by a silver spoon” seemed to explain why there were no repercussions. My dad was a TV director who had already threatened to bust and ruin David Crosby for smoking pot with and deflowering his daughter; he had clout and David was afraid of him. Judy was from money and influence too. I feel that David knew exactly who had broken in and borrowed the tape but couldn’t press charges. He probably wasn’t supposed to be playing the master for all his friends and hangers-on, so there must have been hell to pay for him. I always felt bad for the cred it must have cost him with his friend Paul McCartney.

Oh, the bit about “Sunday’s on the phone to Monday, Tuesday’s on the phone to me” – that was somebody named Sunday, maybe a detective, I can’t remember now, calling the producer Billy Monday about the break-in and song leak. Billy Monday, knowing she was a friend of McCartney’s, called Tuesday Weld, and it was she who called Paul in London and told him the news. Well, I guess I didn’t make this very short after all. But you can’t tell me that this incident didn’t feed into the overall inspiration for the song. I’m just glad it turned out so cool and hope it made a heap for them in compensation for the publicity costs at the outset.

It was interesting and exciting then, that’s for sure. Even though I came of age into that scene and had nothing to compare it to, I still had a sense at the time of being at the epicenter of something big. Some of that was attributable to the hubris of youth, but some of it turned out to be real, as it happened. Now, present time, it makes my day to come across someone who still finds it interesting or even knows what or whom I’m talking about. By the way, I never did get to meet the Beatles, though I was invited to party where they were staying once, when I was 17. My mother wouldn’t let me go! I never forgave her.

I lived in LA until 1987 where I was a model, actress, (groupie, but that wasn’t professional), marching band manager, religious (Buddhist) leader, newspaper columnist, secretary, copywriter, copy editor, account executive, screenwriter, songwriter, band leader, session singer, textile designer, artist. Since then, in the Santa Fe area and now, since 1992, in Tucson, I continued my artistic and musical endeavors, ran a fabric-painting factory, was a jazz singer for several years (which has mutated to something more individual and artistic of late), have worked numerous odd jobs from pizza delivery to bookstore management, and am now close to completing my first novel, which is set in a Buddhist cult in the early ’70s.

In the ’70s I traveled halfway around the world on a square-rigged cargo ship, lived and sang in Europe for three years, and, as of 1991, am a mother of one though I never married.

Subsequent to the bathroom window event, my friend and partner in crime, as it were, Judy, went off with a Dick Clark Productions road show (can’t remember the name of it but it was something timely) as “Irma the Dancing Girl.” Her job, nightly, in each new town, was to put on a bikini, dance, and paint wild, acid abstract canvases with her extremely long blond hair. I, on the other hand, joined a Buddhist cult, which was like living on another planet entirely, and completely disappeared from view, as far as the “scene” was concerned. Judy and I didn’t hang out much after we realized the impact of our little romp. We didn’t talk about it, but we may have decided at some level that we pushed our combined wildness a bit too far on that one and moved on to “safer” friends. I saw her once in the early ’70s. She had been married and divorced, was the mother of one, and that was the last contact we had.

The Beatles recorded this as one song with “Polythene Pam.”

The Beatles gave this to Joe Cocker, who released it in 1969. The Beatles released their version first. Cocker’s version was used on the soundtrack to the movie All This and World War II, released in 1976. A strange mix of World War II documentary footage set to the music of the Beatles, the movie bombed and has barely been heard of since. Others who covered The Beatles on the soundtrack include Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Tina Turner, Leo Sayer, Frankie Laine and the Bee Gees.

This is part of a suite of songs at the end of Abbey Road. They used bits from many songs they never finished to put the suite together.

McCartney played lead guitar and Harrison played bass. It was usually the other way around.

McCartney said in a documentary shown February 6, 2002 in England that part of the lyric was inspired by sitting in the back of a New York cab. The drivers name was on display (Quitts) saying “Ex Police Department,” which inspired the line: “And so I quit the Police Department and got myself a steady job…”

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

She came in through the bathroom window
Protected by a silver spoon
But now she sucks her thumb and wanders
By the banks of her own lagoon

Didn’t anybody tell her?
Didn’t anybody see?
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday
Tuesday’s on the phone to me

She said she’d always been a dancer
She worked at fifteen clubs a day
And though she thought I knew the answer
Well, I knew what I could not say

And so I quit the police department
And got myself a steady job
And though she tried her best to help me
She could steal but she could not rob

Didn’t anybody tell her?
Didn’t anybody see?
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday,
Tuesday’s on the phone to me
Oh yeah

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

43 thoughts on “Beatles – She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”

  1. I always liked this song, but once Joe Cocker sang it, he owned it. The Grateful Dead covered several Beatles songs. Blackbird was performed twice by the Grateful Dead in 1988. Day Tripper was performed by the Grateful Dead in the mid-1980’s. Get Back was performed once by the Grateful Dead in 1987. Hey Jude was performed twice by the Grateful Dead in 1969 and about 30 times in the 1985-1990 period. I Want To Tell You was performed a few times by the Grateful Dead in 1994. It’s All Too Much was performed a few times by the Grateful Dead in 1995. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was performed a dozen times by the Grateful Dead in 1993-94. Rain was performed by the Grateful Dead during the 1992 to 1994 period. The Grateful Dead performed Revolution about a dozen times mainly in the 1983 to 1985 period. That Would Be Something was performed by the Grateful Dead in the 1990s. Tomorrow Never Knows was performed by the Grateful Dead in the 1992-1994 period. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road was performed by the Grateful Dead during the 1984 to 1986 period. Watching The Wheels was performed by the Grateful Dead during a soundcheck in 1995. Paperback Writer was performed by the Grateful Dead during a soundcheck in 1995.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. See I don’t care as much for the Cocker version…I’ll take the Beatles every day over his…now I did like his With A Little Help From My Friends better…but not this one.

      I’ve heard Rain before by them…it was really good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good god. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Grateful Dead but, was afraid to ask.

        I’ve only heard Joe Cocker’s version. This one is a little more polished in comparison…if you could apply the term “polished” to the Beatles…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Only on Abbey Road…not on the White album….it’s as raw as you can get…that was a complaint of it and a complaint of Abbey Road was…you guessed it…too polished.

        Like

      3. Yea when it was released the reviews were not good….now some consider it their best

        Like

      4. The policially correct RS magazine album polls…it’s the only Beatle album in the top 10… Sgt Pepper dropped 24 slots….and they admit…it’s because of the times we are in…

        Like

  2. great song – to me, the best part of that medley. I had no idea it was sort of fact-based in origin though, neat story. BTW, I like the Beatles version better, but Cocker did it quite well… that from me, a guy who honestly is no Joe Cocker fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not a Beatles song I’ve ever noticed too much, I’ll be honest – I knew of it at the time but didn;t get to hear it for at least 20 years! Nicking photos is real No-no, that’s outrageous enough but to take negatives really takes the biscuit! Photos are the most precious thing anyone can own, to me 🙂 Golden Slumbers is the track I’ve grown to love from that period over the last few years, though – it’s just not long enough! Just watched a Youtube video arguing Indiepop was invented by Macca on Ram, not too long after the frantic end of The Beatles. I was persuaded….!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I saw that video about Ram also…that was an interesting argument. I had never thought about it before. Golden Slumbers is a great one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cool…thanks I’ll watch it. I thought Ringo would have been missing but he rejoined them from his surgery right before New Zealand.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can’t imagine being in that bubble they were in. Every town they probably had to go through this. I see that Paul got up and talked to the crowd…you would never send Lennon.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Fun to learn about the back story of songs. Abby Road is one of my favorite Beatle albums. Cockers’ version is raw, as was most of his cuts. Two girls out of Austria, the Mona Lisa twins do all Beatles covers and are quite talented. Check out the “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” video, very inventive.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cocker was the master of the cover. But I agree his version of “With a Little Help From My Friends” was better than “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window”. Much better. In fact, I think it’s my all-time favorite cover!

    I also like Cocker’s cover of “I’ll Cry Instead.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea when McCartney sings “Step on the gas and wipe that tear away” I get chills for some reason…why I have no clue…this is the version for sure.
      YES! I do like that one! I forgot about it

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent info on the song. I liked re-listening with the knowledge of Geo on bass and Paul on lead. I agree that Cocker’s version is just as good as the Fab 4’s. Remembering back to when it first came out I remember thinking what a weird title for song but it’s an adventurous romp for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

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