After completing his work on the White Album, George Harrison had flown to L.A. to produce an album for Jackie Lomax (the original J. Lo). Lomax, you may remember, was an Apple Records signing whose debut single (“Sour Milk Sea”) George had written and produced back in June.

Today the album sessions got underway at L.A.’s Sound Recorders studio. Among the hired guns on hand was legendary drummer Hal Blaine, who according to the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame “played on more hit records than any drummer in the rock era,” appearing on more than 35,000 tracks overall. The roster of artists Blaine worked with is enormous; Wikipedia has a complete-ish list, but here’s a sampling:

  • John Lennon
  • Elvis Presley
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Johnny Cash
  • Ray Charles
  • Roy Orbison
  • Sam Cooke
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Diana Ross & the Supremes
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
  • The Monkees
  • Simon & Garfunkel

And as a rent-paying session player, he also appeared on records made by such non-musicians as Lorne Greene, Roosevelt (Rosie) Greer, Richard Harris, and Ann-Margret. Now 89, Blaine is still around, but I don’t think he works anymore; in 2015, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Anyway — today George, Jackie, Hal and the others worked on the title track of the projected album, “Is This What You Want?”

Lomax is credited as songwriter for this one, though it sounds like he borrowed a little from “I Am the Walrus.” One wonders how Mr. Lennon felt about that; ironically he was the only Beatle who didn’t record with Lomax, though he was certainly there in spirit today.

 

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