Today Paul left London for Los Angeles, where he would be tasked with explaining to Capitol Records bigwigs why all future Beatle records would display the Apple Records label, instead of Capitol’s. When the plane stopped in New York en route, Paul pulled from his wallet the blank check that Linda Eastman had given him with her number on it. She was not home when he called, however; he left a message with her answering service to the effect that he’d be at the Beverly Hills Hotel for the next few days and that she should come hang out.

This is moderately perplexing behavior on Paul’s part. I’m pretty sure they had long distance in those days — he couldn’t have called ahead? I suppose he was trying to play it cool, but “come from New York to L.A. to see me” isn’t a exactly casual invitation. But he was, after all, a Beatle. He could get away with that sort of thing, and in this case he did.

In Paul’s absence John, George, and Yoko ran somewhat amok at Abbey Road, commandeering all three studios as they assembled the master tape of “Revolution 9.” The scene was reminiscent of the recording of “Tomorrow Never Knows,” with tape loops running everywhere, some of them held by studio staff with pencils. Amongst this chaos, according to Mark Lewisohn’s The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions,

John and George went on the studio floor to read out bizarre lines of prose  – in voices sometimes equally bizarre – into a couple of microphones, abetted by Yoko Ono humming at a very high pitch. These ran for the duration of “Revolution 9,” being faded in and out at John’s whim. Among John’s random pieces were “personality complex,” “onion soup,” “economically viable,” “industrial output,” “financial imbalance,” “the watusi,” “the twist,” and “take this, brother, may it serve you well.” George’s contributions included “Eldorado” and, shared with John and whispered six times over, “There ain’t no rule for the company freaks!”

And if you have 90 seconds to spare, it’s well worth listening to this brief but illuminating account from JL himself:

On the whole, it seems like “Revolution 9” was much more fun to create than it is to listen to. Paul, for one, was not impressed; but one way or another it ended up occupying more than eight minutes of Side 4 of the White Album. Well, you know what they say: There ain’t no rules for the company freaks.

 

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