Today there was more work on “Revolution” (the version eventually, but not yet, known as “Revolution 1”), with John double-tracking his lead vocal and Paul laying down a bassline. After that a reduction mix was made (i.e., existing tracks were mixed down to create room for overdubs) and backing vocals were added.

According to The Beatles Bible the“shoo-be-doo-wop”s were sung by “McCartney, his new girlfriend Francie Schwartz and George Harrison.” When I first read that I thought I must have missed something — wasn’t Paul still engaged to Jane Asher at this point? Yes, he was. But Jane was on tour with the Bristol Old Vic, and as Beatles associate Peter Brown drolly put it, “When Paul got bored, his dick got twitchy.”

Francie Schwartz (pictured above) was a 23-year-old American who had approached Apple to attempt to secure financing for a screenplay. Paul and his twitchy dick took a shine to her, and next thing you know, she’s singing backup on a Beatles song. For the second time in as many days a Beatle lady friend had penetrated the formerly inviolable sanctity of the recording studio. Was this Paul’s way of saying to John, “Whatever you can do, I can do too?” Of course it was, don’t be silly. These were the first volleys in a tit-for-tat between the two that would continue, on one level or another, until John departed the Earth.

Yoko is not mentioned in the record, but one assumes she was also present at today’s session. Bob Spitz describes her omnipresence during the White Album sessions thusly:

If John entered the control room to speak with George Martin, Yoko accompanied him. If he huddled with Paul regarding a song or arrangement, Yoko joined the discussion. Whenever Neil [Aspinall] arrived to review personal group business, Yoko sat among them. Studio grunts watched in amazement as she followed John into the bathroom.

Some people blame Yoko for having the temerity to be so intrusive; others blame John for putting her in that position. What seems clear is that finally, after all his years of seeking, John had finally found something to believe in. The others were just going to have to get used to it.

And however annoying Yoko’s presence may have been to the other Beatles and their studio crew, there’s no denying that John’s work during this period was astonishing, both in quality and quantity. The process of its creation may have been fraught with difficulty, but I for one will take my White Album just as it is, thank you very much.

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