At this point the clock was ticking — everyone knew that Ringo was scheduled to take off at the beginning of February to appear in The Magic Christian with Peter Sellers, so whatever it was that The Beatles were doing, it would have to be finished by then. But there was still no consensus as to what, exactly, that was. There was a vague conception of a live performance, and a general idea that an album could be assembled from what had been or would be recorded, but no real plan per se.

Nonetheless everyone showed up today at the studio, where, says The Beatles Bible,

The Beatles recorded a total of 32 takes of Get Back [including the one that ended up on Let It Be], experimenting with different tempos and styles – including mock Japanese and German versions and alternative lyrics. One of John Lennon’s ad-libs – “Sweet Loretta Fart, she thought she was a cleaner, but she was a frying pan” – was included in the warm-up to the song on the Let It Be album.

Also receiving attention were “Let It Be” (12 takes), “I’ve Got A Feeling” (9 takes), “The Long and Winding Road” (6 takes), and “Don’t Let Me Down” (5 takes). All of these were rounding into a shape where no one would be embarrassed to have them heard in public. George, meanwhile, had brought in yet another new song — he was en fuego in those days. After the relatively light and conventional “For You Blue,” he was thinking deep again. Says Steve Turner’s A Hard Day’s Write:

The lyric had its origins in George’s religious view that we must free ourselves from the reality of the material world as it is illusory. Once absorbed into the divine consciousness, there would be no right versus wrong, body versus soul, spirit versus matter…. It wasn’t a song which told much of a story and the intriguing title was pinched from a line about stepping out of “this old brown shoe.”

So I guess it isn’t really about shoes after all. Who knew?

As with many George songs, this one failed to garner much enthusiasm from his bandmates. But he stuck with it, recording a demo in late February, and it ended up being the B-side to “The Ballad of John and Yoko.”

Also played today:

  • “Strawberry Fields Forever” (with Paul on solo piano and vocals)
  • Two never-completed Paul compositions that bootleggers have named “Water, Water” and “You Won’t Get Me That Way,”
  • Two iterations of a lengthy group jam, called “I Told You Before” that had first been attempted the day before, Billy Preston’s keyboards taking a lead role.
  • Covers including Elvis’s “Baby, Let’s Play House,” Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me,” Ray Charles’s “Take These Chains from My Heart,” Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s “Little Demon,” “You Are My Sunshine,” and “Hava Nagila.” The version of the Drifters’ “Save the Last Dance for Me” recorded today was included on the Get Back album Glyn Johns assembled, which was never released but is available today as a bootleg.
  • The version of “Oh! Darling” that was included on Anthology 3. At the conclusion of the take, which features Paul and John duetting playfully, John announces breathlessly that Yoko’s divorce has just come through and ad libs some new lyrics for the occasion. See if you can hear Paul’s lack of excitement over the news:

And one could go on from there, but Sweet Loretta Fart, isn’t that enough for one day?

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