Today’s session was devoted to adding overdubs to two of John’s songs, “Good Morning Good Morning” and “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”

For “Good Morning,” John recorded a new lead vocal, he and Paul added backing vocals (at one point singing “guten morgan” instead of “good morning”), and Paul played a guitar solo. (It must have been a great source of aggravation to George Harrison – already somewhat marginalized – that Paul recorded a lot of guitar parts during this period, and that he seemed to have an easier time of it than George did.)

John had also decided to add a bunch of animal noises, which were lifted from tapes in the studio library (Volume 57: “Fox-hunt” and Volume 35: “Animals and Bees”). A rigorous logic was applied the ordering of these sound effects, says Geoff Emerick:

John said to me during one of the breaks that he wanted to have the sound of animals escaping and that each successive animal should be capable of frightening or devouring its predecessor.

For “Mr. Kite,” they went ahead and threw in the kitchen sink: organs, mellotron, tambourine, harmonicas, and more guitars. The finished track is fairly bursting with sound, and in its way the most truly psychedelic of the Sgt. Pepper songs, suggesting a trip that’s teetering on the brink of going wrong at any moment. Careful looking in that funhouse mirror; you never know what’s going to gaze back at you.

John later repudiated both of these songs, saying of “Mr. Kite,” “I was just going through the motions because we needed a new song” and calling “Good Morning”  “a throwaway, a piece of garbage.” In Revolution in the Head, Ian MacDonald diagnoses Lennon thusly:

Unable to appreciate the pleasure his imagination brought to others, he fashioned things like this with fluent ease only to reject them for having entailed none of the pain by which he measured creative authenticity.

Later still, John seemed to revise his opinion of “Mr. Kite” at least, saying “It’s so cosmically beautiful…. The song is pure, like a painting, a pure watercolour.” Had he lived, he probably would have changed his mind three or four more times by now.

Paul, meanwhile, has been keen to gain at least partial credit for “Mr. Kite”:

I have great memories of writing it with John. I read, occasionally, people say, “Oh, John wrote that one.” I say, “Wait a minute, what was that afternoon I spent with him, then, looking at this poster?” He happened to have a poster in his living room at home. I was out at his house, and we just got this idea, because the poster said “Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite” – and then we put in, you know, “there will be a show tonight,” and then it was like, “of course,” then it had “Henry the Horse dances the waltz.” You know, whatever.

Yeah, whatever, Paul…I’m in no position to judge the veracity of this, and it may well be so. The only other person who knows for sure is even now jamming with Chuck Berry in hell, mercifully uninterrupted by Yoko.

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