As “Hey Jude” continued to take shape today, a film crew happened to be in the studio, taking footage for a documentary sponsored by the National Music Council of Great Britain. Thus it happens that we can, if so inclined, watch them recording take 7:

And take 9:

A few things to take notice of:

  • George Harrison is in the control room with George Martin, rather than playing with the band. Apparently he had pushed for a guitar part that Paul didn’t like, and ended up being invited to sit this one out. George added this to his long list of resentments against Paul, and would refer to it again as they bickered during the “Get Back” sessions in 1969; but in the moment he doesn’t seem to be all that bothered, smiling and bantering with the other George.
  • Yoko, as always, is sitting right next to John — often hidden behind a lyric sheet, but she’s there.
  • The seats are arranged so that Paul is looking right at John as he sings, really making it feel like the song is addressed to him, as previously discussed.
  • Ringo. I mean, just Ringo.
  • The catchiness of the coda is such that even those who harbor a grudge against “Hey Jude,” like George and I, can’t help singing along.

While this song won’t be the subject of quite so much neurotic fussiness as “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” it will still occupy a whole week’s worth of sessions; leading one to wonder, how much “Hey Jude” can a person take? I guess we’ll find out.

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