Recording at Trident Studios rather than the usual EMI/Abbey Road, today The Beatles worked on two Paul songs. One was (ahem) “Honey Pie,” to which Paul “put the finishing touches,” says The Beatles Bible.

He resang the line “Now she’s hit the big time,” with the signal heavily limited to remove much of the bass and treble in his voice. The sound of vinyl surface noise was also added to give a suitable period feel.

Was this the first time the sound of vinyl crackle was intentionally added to a recording? No way to know, but let’s just say it was.

The other song was “Martha My Dear,” about which Mark Lewisohn (in The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions) is at pains to point out:

Contrary to popular opinion, it was not about Paul’s sheepdog of the same name. He may have got the title from his canine friend, but that’s where the association ended.

I’m not sure why he’s so adamant on this point; it’s as if he’s defending Paul from accusations of bestiality, which is not a rumor I’ve ever heard. (And if you think I’m going to Google “Paul McCartney bestiality,” think again.)1Clearly the song is at least a little bit about Martha, who was a beloved and admittedly handsome animal; just as clearly, Paul McCartney did not have an actual romantic relationship with his dog. (Though judging from the photo above, John might have.)

“Martha” had mostly been written back in Rishikesh, but when Paul sang it today, chances are he was thinking about Linda. I believe that she was in London at this point — my sources told me back in late September that she was coming soon, but no one seems to have actually recorded when she arrived. Which is a tad frustrating. Where are the paparazzi when you need them?

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