Today The Beatles found the Last Chord: the crashing, sustained piano noise that would serve as the climax of “A Day in the Life.” Each of The Beatles played a piano, except for George, who chose to be absent for whatever reason; he had something better to do, I guess. His place was taken by Beatles roadie Mal Evans, who struggled a bit with his piano:

Paul: “Have you got your loud pedal down, Mal?”
Mal: “Which one’s that?”
Paul: “The right hand one, far right. It keeps the echo going.”
John: “Keep it down the whole time.”
Paul: “Right. On four then. One, two, three…”

Nine takes were attempted, with the last one considered the best. Further layers of piano and a harmonium played by George Martin were overdubbed and hey presto — the sound of the end of the world.

At the end of the session a complete mono mix of the song was made — though it was still lacking, I believe, the babbling voices that serve as the denoument. Attempts to make a stereo mix proved unsuccessful due to uncooperative tape machines, and in the end the project was left for another day.

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