How did it come to pass, one might quite reasonably ask, that Apple Records released a single containing a cover version of “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” by the Scottish band Trash on this day — the very same day that the Abbey Road album came out?

To answer that question we must look to Richard “The House Hippie” DiLello, Apple’s token American. When Trash was first signed to Apple DiLello had christened them “White Trash,” an Americanism that no one in Britain really got. They released one single, “Road to Nowhere,” under that name to very little response.

In his memoir The Longest Cocktail Party, DiLello says,

White Trash had been signed to Apple on a single-record contract with the option to be picked up by the record company, meaning that the relationship could be terminated on any number of lurking technicalities.

For this reason, it was crucial that their next record be a hit. As White Trash was a special favorite of DiLello’s — and by extension of press officer Derek “Debonair Drug Aficionado” Taylor — they managed to get the band access to a prerelease version of Abbey Road, with carte blanche to pick any song they liked to cover.

After a couple of false starts the song was recorded and mixed. All that remained then was to get permission from The Beatles to release it. And here the tense state of inter-band politics came into play. Paul was initially for, then against:

“Paul’s furious!” said Jack Oliver.

“What?”

“He said, ‘I asked for a demo and I’m handed a finished master of a full production with strings on it and the lot!’ He wants to know who gave permission to do it.”

“But I thought you—”

“That’s funny because I thought you—”

“But didn’t what’s-his-name say that—”

“So what the fuck are we supposed to do now?”

“I don’t know. [Paul] says he doesn’t want it to come out at all.”

Thinking fast, Derek Taylor surmised that if Paul was against, John would be for.

The Press Officer grabbed the record and left the room at a gallop, headed for the ground-floor office. He explained the situation to John and then The Press Officer put the record on the turntable. When it was over John Lennon pointed to one of the speakers and declared, “That’s a good imitation of us! It’s going out!

In the end “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” — issued under the name Trash, “White Trash” having been deemed declassé and offputting — did become a minor hit, cracking the British Top 30. But it was not enough to save Trash, who never made another record.

Meanwhile, there is of course the matter of Abbey Road itself. We may already have analyzed it to death. Or there may be more to say once the new Deluxe Edition, with all the outtakes and whatnot, comes out tomorrow. We shall see, we shall see.

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