Some technical jiggery-pokery was done today, including mixing for “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” but the big event was the recording of a new George Harrison song — working title “It’s Been a Long Long Long Time.”

It took 67 takes, more than 12 hours, and at least one bottle of Blue Nun, but eventually The Beatles (minus John, who was absent today) emerged with the song that we know today as “Long, Long, Long.”

Although George had sworn off Deep Meaning in his songs, this one has a definite mystical edge to it. It is one several Harrison tunes that outwardly appears to be a love song, but “the ‘you’ is God,” as he said in his autobiography I Me Mine. George was a born seeker, and try as he might, he just couldn’t get away from the Big Questions.

With “Long, Long, Long” he seems to have successfully summoned a higher power of some kind. It is a strange, elusive, hypnotic song that sounds out of place on the White Album, as it would on any album I think. I’ve heard it many, many times but it somehow doesn’t quite stick in the brain; it almost seems to erase itself upon ending.

But there is magic here, and it serendipity played a role in its creation. Someone had left the empty Blue Nun bottle atop the Leslie speaker cabinet in the studio, and according to Chris Thomas, “Paul hit a certain organ note and the bottle started vibrating. We thought it was so good that we set the mikes up and did it again.”

The rest of the band then improvised around the rattle, creating the unsettling soundscape that closed Side 3 of the White Album. On the CD it segues into “Revolution 1,” which never seems quite right; in this case, as in so many, the original version is the best.

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