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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Terry Manning => Topic started by: compasspnt on March 02, 2005, 08:52:50 am

Title: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 02, 2005, 08:52:50 am
This happened a while ago, but it is still very fresh in my mind, and has always been a mystery.  Since it is the 38th anniversary of the incident, almost to the day, here it is.

One day in the famous 1960's, I was working at Ardent Studios' original commercial location on National Street in Memphis.  I was, as often happened, the last one to leave the studio that particular night.  I straightened things up in the control room sometime between midnight and 1 AM, and walked through the entry lobby, past the front desk, and prepared to leave by the front door.  As always, I turned and gave one last look to see that everything was OK; all looked normal.  The front desk was right there beside me, and was completely free of anything on it.

Well, as also often happened, I was the first one back the next morning (except for Janie the Maid, who always came about 8 AM to clean).  I showed up to unlock and get ready for the day's session about 10.  When I entered through the same front door through which I had left a few hours earlier, I immediately saw an acetate disk laying right in the middle of the front desk.  I was sure it had not been there the night before, and I had never seen this particular disk before.  I immediately asked Janie if the door had been locked, or if anyone had come by to drop this off.  She answered that no, she had come in through the back door, locked it immediately as always, and no one had been there at all.

I was puzzled.  There was no writing on this acetate, neither on a label, nor in grease pencil (Chinagraph).  [For those of you who are post acetate-lathe-vinyl records, an acetate was a phonograph-type disk cut manually on a lathe, usually for reference purposes.  The grooves were somewhat soft compared to a pressed vinyl record, and it was thus only playable a few times before degradation occurred.  This was usually placed in a paper sleeve, and sometime had a label manually applied, with the hole in it, of course.]

As I wasn't sure exactly what this was or why it had appeared there, I was determined to find out some answers.  But first, I had to turn on some control room equipment, and be sure everything was operational and ready for the upcoming session.  I performed these tasks quickly, so that I would have time to check out the mystery acetate.  Finally, I was able to put it on the turntable, and listen through the JBL control room monitors.  There was one song only, on one side only, of this 10 inch disk.

A plaintive acoustic guitar started playing...

...then a voice...

........"I heard the news today, oh boy..."

This song was unknown to me, but it sure had a hauntingly familiar sound to it...

The track progressed through the verses.  Long languid tom rolls, perhaps slowed down...sure sounding like a group I knew about...

Then the bridge...a familiar type of chord change...

"Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head..."

OK, this was certainly either an amazing copy of The Beatles sound, or...but it couldn't be The.......impossible...

Well, MAYBE someone could imitate Lennon somewhat, and MAYBE someone could imitate McCartney somewhat...there were some pretty good Beatle knock-offs out there on occasion...but surely NO ONE could imitate BOTH singers so closely....???  What was going on?  I immediately grabbed a roll of Sony 1/4" tape (thank goodness!) and made a dub of the song.

Soon, other people arrived.  I related my story to, and played the song for, John Fry, owner of Ardent.  He knew nothing about how the acetate might have gotten there, but he agreed it sure did sound like you-know-who...A couple of other people also heard and agreed.  But NO ONE had any idea where the mystery acetate had come from.

Later in the day, I was really bursting with puzzlement, and couldn't stand it any longer.  So I found the phone number for Abbey Road Studios in St. John's Wood, London (still remember that number, too), and placed a transatlantic phone call.  This was a really big thing to do back then...one didn't often correspond with "the rest of the world" as we do today.  The phone rang...and rang...and rang...finally someone answered, so far away from little National Street in Memphis, Tennessee.

Of course, at Abbey Road (as I found out so well several years later when I based myself out of that wonderful building), they were completely used to, and quite btired of, strange people calling up trying to talk to The Beatles, or to ask Beatle questions, or some sort of tomfoolery.  So I wasn't exactly greeted warmly.  But I explained to the receptionist, very slowly and carefully, that I was calling from a professional recording studio in the United States, I was not a rabid fan, and I was pretty sure I had a copy of an unreleased Beatles' song, AND I had no idea from whence it came!  Eventually she was persuaded, and asked me to hold on...I held on, and held on....and held on.  Finally, a male voice came on the line.  It was a man who said he "worked with" the Beatles.  I explained my story to him, and he laughingly said that thanks, but this was impossible.  So I sang him the first verse of the song...."HOLD ON A MOMENT PLEASE!!!!!"

After a great pause, another male voice came on the line.  This was someone I definitely knew about...Mr. George Martin, speaking from the control room of Studio 2.  I told him the story, sang him the song, and thoroughly befuddled and confused him.  He agreed that yes, this was indeed a Beatles' song.  It was brand new, having been recorded only some days earlier, and was to be included on a new album to be released some time later.  But he had NO CLUE as to how I had this.  Nor did I!  A complete mystery!

I promised that I would do nothing untoward with this, as I was a professional in the same business (well, maybe not quite the same business as Mr. Martin, but related), and I understood the need for privacy...I wouldn't sell it, nor give it to radio, nor do anything else unacceptable with it.  He asked me to send him the acetate, if I could, but he still had no explanation. He thanked me.  Interestingly, in the background, I could clearly hear toms being bashed repeatedly on a music backing track.   "Boom, boom, boom..."  It was "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" being recorded.  What a privilege to listen in to a Beatles' session!!!!!

I took the acetate, and carefully hid it, inside of a large book in John Fry's bookshelf, in his office.  I put the 1/4" dub away in a box of other tapes.  I did plan on returning the disk to Mr. Martin.  However, when the next day I went to retrieve the acetate, it had disappeared!  Honestly, it just wasn't there!  No one else had known where I put it, nor seen me hide it.  Another strange mystery.

I never saw that acetate again.  Nobody ever had any explanation.  I asked everyone I possibly could think of, but NOTHING.  I do still have the dub, however.  I listened recently, just to "pinch myself" again, as I have done several times over the years.  This version of the song is obviously not the final released mix.  AND, it starts cleanly...only the acoustic guitar.  On the album, there are sound effects cross fading into it...no hint of those here.

As strange as this sounds, I swear every word of this is completely true.

Terry
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Otitis Media on March 02, 2005, 09:36:03 am
That has got to be the coolest story ever.  Holy shit.  Sgt. Pepper's is one of my fave albums of all time, it still holds up today, and when you realize WHEN it was all done.  My god!

I inherited, well, took for myself, my parent's (boomers) copy of the LP.  How amazing not only to have the dub, but have heard it as it was going down.  Of course, nobody knew what it was at that point in time, but still...holy shit.  
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Bob Olhsson on March 02, 2005, 09:49:47 am
Brian Holland got one at Motown too around the same time and from an unknown source!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Barry Hufker on March 02, 2005, 09:52:29 am
I have to admit Terry that's the best story I've ever heard.

Barry
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: ajcamlet on March 02, 2005, 10:08:13 am
that is so strange!!! i cannot belive that after all this time, someone hasn't owned up/confided in you as to why Ardent would get that disc....
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 02, 2005, 10:34:02 am
Bob Olhsson wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 09:49

Brian Holland got one at Motown too around the same time and from an unknown source!



WOW!  This makes it doubly strange...what in the world was going on?
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: McAllister on March 02, 2005, 10:41:48 am
That is so unbelievably rad.
Stax AND Motown each get one. . .

Boggling, but very, very cool.

M
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Jose Mrochek on March 02, 2005, 10:44:50 am
compasspnt wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 15:34

Bob Olhsson wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 09:49

Brian Holland got one at Motown too around the same time and from an unknown source!



WOW!  This makes it doubly strange...what in the world was going on?


Wow, definetly the coolest story every. Thanks for sharing it Terry. I got goosebumps from reading, that song is one of my beatle favorites, amazing.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Bob Olhsson on March 02, 2005, 10:50:10 am
We figured it was some Beatle trying to mess with our heads. (Not to mention succeeding!) I wonder if ours came from Ardent or yours came from Motown...

To offer some perspective to the readers, "A Day In the Life" was a lot more radical at the time we got the acetate than it was by the time the album got released. Motown went right out and bought the third or fourth Moog modular synthesizer!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: McAllister on March 02, 2005, 11:01:46 am
I would very much like to hear that mix.

*hint hint*

M
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 02, 2005, 12:06:24 pm
Bob Olhsson wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 10:50

We figured it was some Beatle trying to mess with our heads. (Not to mention succeeding!) I wonder if ours came from Ardent or yours came from Motown...


I wondered that myself...2 different acetates?  The same one moving around?  There was a Stax session in our studio that day...so Motown AND Stax...two of The B's faves?   .....arrrgh....

Quote:

To offer some perspective to the readers, "A Day In the Life" was a lot more radical at the time we got the acetate than it was by the time the album got released. Motown went right out and bought the third or fourth Moog modular synthesizer!


Absolutely...this was 'rad' for the time.  I went to Trumansburg, NY myself shortly thereafter, met and worked with Bob Moog, who taught me synthesis, and also bought a Moog IIIC.  While I was there, a package was delivered one morning.  I happened to look at the box, and noticed that the return address was George Harrison's,,,,I was very interested in this.  When Bob came in, I asked what the box was.  He answered that it was a keyboard that Harrison had bought, and GH thought there was something wrong with it, because the synth wouldn't "stay in tune."  Bob said that he suspected the keyboard was just fine, and that GH just didn't realise that the oscillatores would drift in temperament...all of us who got one soon found THAT out for ourselves!  So I told Bob that this was the keyboard I wanted in my unit!  I obviously desired to have an actual Beatle keyboard on my Moog (rhymes with "Vogue").  So I made a tiny mark on the bottom of the keyboard to identify it, and Bob promised that would be mine.  George would get a brand new one.  When it later was delivered, it indeed was the Beatle keyboard.  That's the one I played on the Big Star stuff, and lots of other things, including also "Stranger in A Strange Land" by Leon Russell.


McAllister wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 11:01

I would very much like to hear that mix.

*hint hint*

M


I would have to think about that very carefully...


Best to all,

Terry
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Radd 47 on March 02, 2005, 12:21:52 pm
That's the spookiest music story I have ever heard.

Were all the Beatles back at Abbey Road when this went down?

Maybe Elvis did it for revenge!

Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: David Kulka on March 02, 2005, 01:14:38 pm
Terry, that truly is a strange and wonderful story.

I wonder where the acetate had been cut -- in the US or the UK.  Do you know what brand it was?  I'm trying to recall what brands were around then in the US -- Transco, Audiodisk, and maybe someone else? I seem to recall that some were made in Germany as well.  I wonder what brand was used at Abbey Road, and whether this might be a clue.

Did Ardent have an alarm system back then?  Bob, do you know the circumstances surrounding the mystery acetate's appearance at Motown?  I wonder if Mike McLean will remember this, I expect to be seeing him next week and will definitely ask him...

As an uninvolved third party hearing your tale (and Bob's recollection of the same thing happening at Motown!), my best guess would be that one of the Beatles was playing an elaborate practical joke, and arranged the whole thing through American contacts.

Terry, I imagine that you asked a few people at Abbey Road when you worked there but considering your position in the industry, I'd think you could penetrate the layers of management and get in touch with Ringo or McCartney directly to see whether they might be able to solve the mystery.  If nothing else, they'd probably enjoy your story as much as we have!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 02, 2005, 02:05:27 pm
David Kulka wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 13:14

Terry, that truly is a strange and wonderful story.

I wonder where the acetate had been cut -- in the US or the UK.  Do you know what brand it was?  I'm trying to recall what brands were around then in the US -- Transco, Audiodisk, and maybe someone else? I seem to recall that some were made in Germany as well.  I wonder what brand was used at Abbey Road, and whether this might be a clue.


I do not rmember what brand of disk it was, unfortunately.  I only had it for a few hours, 38 years ago!  But if I HAD to guess, it was cut at Abbey Road upstairs; that's where The Beatles had 'take-home' references made whenever they wanted.  Others please remember, this was BEFORE the advent of even the cassette...references were less common then, but an acetate was much preferable to a reel-to-reel!  The B's were in the enviable position of having the lathe right upstairs, and could get them whenever they wanted.

Quote:

Did Ardent have an alarm system back then?


No alarm system, just the locks on the doors.

Quote:

As an uninvolved third party hearing your tale (and Bob's recollection of the same thing happening at Motown!), my best guess would be that one of the Beatles was playing an elaborate practical joke, and arranged the whole thing through American contacts.


An awfully elaborate and expensive joke...there was no Federal Express yet; it wasn't even a gleam in the eye of our friend and cohort Fred Smith yet...he was still in Arkansas learning to fly.  (By the way, when years and years later I bought my first airplane, it was Fred's old one...the very FIRST Federal Express plane!  [Piper Arrow!])  Also, a dangerous joke, if an unreleased Beatles track ended up in the wrong hands!  And this was only a matter of a few days from the time the song was tracked!  In my best recollection this happened on or about Feb 28 or Mar 1, '67.

Quote:

Terry, I imagine that you asked a few people at Abbey Road when you worked there but considering your position in the industry, I'd think you could penetrate the layers of management and get in touch with Ringo or McCartney directly to see whether they might be able to solve the mystery.  If nothing else, they'd probably enjoy your story as much as we have!


I asked around a tiny bit at AR, but many of the people from 15 years earlier were gone...no one instantly knew of this, but I was assured The B's did often get ref's cut right after a new tracking.  When I met Sir George M. in person at AIR (original, on Oxford Street) in about '86, I didn't bother to mention it.  I assumed it meant a lot more to me than to him, and that he'd probably barely remember, if at all...didn't want to bother him like a 'fan.'  And I've never been one to try to hook up with people at a high level.  I always feel like I'm still an intruder into this music scene somehow, and again, don't ever want to come off as a punter!

Thanks, David,

Terry
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: wwittman on March 02, 2005, 03:15:29 pm
Hey Bob,
Why did Motown buy a synthesizer after Sgt. Pepper?
The Moog didn't appear on Beatles records until Abbey Road.
Did it?
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: neve1073 on March 02, 2005, 03:54:43 pm
This is one for Sherlock Holmes. It couldn't be a Beatle prank; you could have got some musicians in that day to learn it, record it and release it first.

The strangest thing is that it then disappeared as mysteriously as it came. And then Bob Ohlsohn had the same experience?

Maybe the FBI working with MI5, eager to sabotage the beatles, broke into various studios to steal and plant beatles material hoping it would somehow drive the fab four round the bend. Or maybe aliens.....never mind. Wink

You know, if I didn't know better, I'd guess this was an early april fools joke on this forum!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 02, 2005, 04:21:51 pm
neve1073 wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 15:54

This is one for Sherlock Holmes. It couldn't be a Beatle prank;... if I didn't know better, I'd guess this was an early april fools joke on this forum!


I can assure you on my part that this is no joke, april or otherwise.  I'm sure Bob would say the same on his part.

And if indeed Holland got the same or a similar disk around the same time, I must admit that I am totally stunned.  I have lived with this for years, not ever knowing how or why, only discussing it a time or two with John Fry, just to reassure myself that it did indeed happen, and telling the story to only a select few friends, until today.  Otherwise, I COULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED that anyone else had a like experience!  I really do think that someone out there in the world somewhere must know the answer...it's time for them to let me, at least, know!

Incredulously,

Terry
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Level on March 02, 2005, 04:28:32 pm
Well....every studio has a ghost.

This is quite wild indeed. I would also like to see if this particular mix has "floated" around some other facilities...and I would love to hear it one day/
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: neve1073 on March 02, 2005, 04:39:15 pm
So George Martin never called you back to find out why you hadn't posted the acetate? The fact that he wasn't extremely worried sounds a bit suspicious as I think about it.

A great story. That guy charles kaufmann should write a screenplay based on this event.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 02, 2005, 05:01:56 pm
neve1073 wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 16:39

So George Martin never called you back to find out why you hadn't posted the acetate? The fact that he wasn't extremely worried sounds a bit suspicious as I think about it.


He was worried, but I did a good job of assuring him that it would go no further than me, where it was in my power.  I think he had a lot more to be worried about at the time than this, though.

Quote:

A great story. That guy charles kaufmann should write a screenplay based on this event.



Have him call me; I've got one underway, but what the...
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: JGreenslade on March 02, 2005, 05:41:45 pm
Genuinely mind-boggling, thanks for sharing Terry.

Did you try and get some answers when you were based at Abbey Rd?



Justin

Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Radd 47 on March 02, 2005, 07:21:12 pm
The weird part is that someone managed to get into the studio. Unless it was an inside job, they must have figured a way in.
Obviously, they were watching the place, as they had a small time frame to do this.

And how did it get over here from the UK?

Yhe Beatles stopped touring by the time this happened, correct? So it's not like someone found it at a concert backstage or at their hotel room.

Possibly a disgruntled employee at Abbey Road?

Maybe George was shopping for a new label? He was not too thrilled with EMI, I know that.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Bill Mueller on March 02, 2005, 07:21:46 pm
Terry,

What an incredible story. Wow.

While most everyone is concentrating on how the acetates got in Ardent in the first place, I am most interested in how it disappeared from your bookshelf! Sounds like the CIA/FBI to me. I do remember something about Elvis and the FBI and his dislike for the Beatles.

Kind of brings back that "Paul is dead" feeling.

Best Regards,

Bill
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 02, 2005, 07:36:47 pm
A couple things here ...

Terry, let me get this straight ... that's YOU playing that line on "Stranger In a Strange Land"?  OK, you have worked on too many of my favorite albums.  No fair.  What other Leon stuff did you work on?  I don't know if you saw me ask the question in the weird session thread, but do you know who "Shootout On the Plantation" is about?

BTW, did you know that they wanted to call the first album "Can a Blue Man Play the Whites?"  You probably did, but how many other 35 year olds do you think know that.   Cool

Next, Bob Moog pronounces his last name like 'vogue', but apparently the company is pronounced like 'droog'.  (The only word I could think o that rhymed.)  This is according to Brian Kehew, and everybody at the Moog booth at NAMM pronouced it that way, too.  Go figure.  I always say it halfway in between the two so nobody can tell me I'm saying it wrong.   LOL.

Lastly, I know Bob Olhsson hasn't responded yet, but the earliest synth I can think of on a Motown song is the Supremes' "Reflections".  Does anybody know?
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 02, 2005, 08:16:09 pm
J.J. wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 19:36

A couple things here ...

Terry, let me get this straight ... that's YOU playing that line on "Stranger In a Strange Land"?  OK, you have worked on too many of my favorite albums.  No fair.  What other Leon stuff did you work on?  I don't know if you saw me ask the question in the weird session thread, but do you know who "Shootout On the Plantation" is about?


Didn't work a lot more on Leon, although he was a good friend, and came around a lot.  But yes, that's me playing that synth line.  He was very excited by the new Moog instrument.

Quote:

BTW, did you know that they wanted to call the first album "Can a Blue Man Play the Whites?"  You probably did, but how many other 35 year olds do you think know that.


I do remember that, now that you mention it...wouldn't have thought of it otherwise, though.
Quote:


Next, Bob Moog pronounces his last name like 'vogue', but apparently the company is pronounced like 'droog'.  (The only word I could think o that rhymed.)  This is according to Brian Kehew, and everybody at the Moog booth at NAMM pronouced it that way, too.


Respectfully to you JJ, I am sorry, but any Moog (as in "Vogue") employees, including all the way to the top, who pronounce the word wrong are, well, wrong in my opinion.  I was there at the very inception of the company, working with Bob, although for a short while, and the company name was Moog as in "Vogue."  They made a product, however, called the "Rogue," and THAT NAME rhymed with "droog."  Not really.  When Bob sold out, all hell broke loose, semantically.

Quote:

Lastly, I know Bob Olhsson hasn't responded yet, but the earliest synth I can think of on a Motown song is the Supremes' "Reflections".  Does anybody know?


Bob?


Respectfully, Terry




Later that same evening...

"perhaps I should edit this post...hmmm...Brian K. might not like it....oh well, never mind....maybe I don't know what I'm talking about anyway....but I do wonder why in Heaven's name a man would NAME HIS OWN COMPANY AFTER HIMSELF, but then MAKE SURE that the company's spoken name DID NOT RHYME with that  name....???"


{See Brian's response to that below!}
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: neve1073 on March 02, 2005, 08:27:40 pm
I'm telling you, it's government conspiracy. It's a good thing you told us all publicly because now they can't harm you.

Razz
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 02, 2005, 08:33:31 pm
neve1073 wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 20:27

I'm telling you, it's government conspiracy. It's a good thing you told us all publicly because now they can't harm you.



54-12 stuff!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 02, 2005, 08:39:36 pm
JJ (and anyone else who cares),

As a Leon fan, you surely know about the Asylum Choir ("Welcome To Hollywood," +).

This was a GREAT, pre-Leon-goes-solo album that is a lost masterpiece.  Know why the tissue paper roll was on the original artwork?

Also, forgot to answer, but I unfortunately I don't know who "Shootout/Plantation" is about.  Maybe someone else?

TM
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 02, 2005, 08:40:19 pm
Speaking of things Bob (pronounced like cob), here he is standing next to me and my awesome studio tan.

index.php/fa/734/0/
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 02, 2005, 08:42:29 pm
Nice pic!  Which one is Bob?






only joking!  (But I don't use the smiley picture things...)
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 02, 2005, 08:49:31 pm
Dude, are you kidding?  I hope my hair is as good as his when I'm half his age!

BTW, I only know Asylum Choir II.  "Welcome to Hollywood" was a single, no?  I don't know about the toilet paper.  Do tell.  
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Level on March 02, 2005, 08:58:30 pm
Bobs sideburns are the key!

They are!!!!!!!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: David Kulka on March 02, 2005, 09:00:04 pm
The Beatles were heavily influenced by the American R&B sound and they had a bit of a reputation for being jokesters, so I still think one of them was behind this.  Terry, you rightly point out this this would have been an expensive and dangerous prank, but to me this points to them even more, because they could have afforded to set it up, and they personally may have had the least to lose if the disk wound up being bootlegged, or got radio airplay.

In the go-go 60's the Beatles must have had trusted friends who travelled between England and the U.S. and would agree to such a stunt, perhaps as an untraceable gift or tribute to the people who contributed to their sound?

An inside job, with the help of an employee (or owner!) who had a key, but never said a word, seems unlikely.  A private investigator who had break in skills but could be relied upon could be hired to plant the disk, keep an eye on things, and then retrieve it.  Think of the Great Train Robbery, D.B. Cooper, Watergate...  Seemingly impossible things happen that none of us could ever anticipate or explain...There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy...

Terry, let me turn this around and ask, how do you think it happened?  Do you have any gut feeling, or theory?

Oh, and one more question, do you think the vocals on your mystery recording are the same takes as those on the commercial release?

(By the way, I have a small and slightly funny Ringo session story of my own, but it doesn't belong here, so I'll save it for one of Terry's other threads!)
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Bob Olhsson on March 02, 2005, 09:37:22 pm
wwittman wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 14:15

Hey Bob,
Why did Motown buy a synthesizer after Sgt. Pepper?...

I'm pretty sure we bought it before Sgt. Pepper came out. The acetate told us that things were changing fast and obviously we had no idea of the Moog's stability issues.

I just asked Mike McLean what he remembers. He thinks someone may have given it to Brian Holland at a convention. I've also been trying to pin down exactly when Tom Nixon left Motown for Stax because there might be some connection there. Mike remembered the acetate as sounding exactly like what eventually came out on the LP as do I. Then we talked for 90 minutes about Bob Moog and his wife!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Greg Dixon on March 02, 2005, 10:02:01 pm
Bob Olhsson wrote on Thu, 03 March 2005 13:37

wwittman wrote on Wed, 02 March 2005 14:15

Hey Bob,
Why did Motown buy a synthesizer after Sgt. Pepper?...

I'm pretty sure we bought it before Sgt. Pepper came out. The acetate told us that things were changing fast and obviously we had no idea of the Moog's stability issues.

I just asked Mike McLean what he remembers. He thinks someone may have given it to Brian Holland at a convention. I've also been trying to pin down exactly when Tom Nixon left Motown for Stax because there might be some connection there. Mike remembered the acetate as sounding exactly like what eventually came out on the LP as do I. Then we talked for 90 minutes about Bob Moog and his wife!



This theory doesn't fit, as Terry said it had only been recorded a few days earlier.

It sounds like a Beatles prank to me. There is a 'Making of Sgt. Pepper's documentary, when Paul talks about how the press were accusing them of drying up, as it had taken them so long to record the album. He says that they knew it was great and were going 'just wait until they hear this'. So, I can imagine that they'd be wanting to show off what they'd done, to people they respected and knew could be trusted.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Bob Olhsson on March 02, 2005, 11:52:05 pm
The Moog fascinated us but wasn't practical at that stage in its development. "Reflections" just used a signal generator with some echo on it.  (Prior to Lexicon, "reverb" was normally referred to as "echo.")

Here's a bit of a time line according to Lewisohn:

"A Day in the Life" was completed February 23rd, 1967

"Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds" was recorded Feb 28 through March 2nd.

The album was released in the UK June 1 and in the US June 2.


The version Terry heard was apparently not the final while the one we had was the final or at least had the strings and the piano decay at the end. I'm also sure I heard it more than two months before it was released, it seemed like an eternity at the time.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Brendan Thompson on March 03, 2005, 04:25:58 am
Level wrote on Thu, 03 March 2005 12:58

Bobs sideburns are the key!

They are!!!!!!!


And it all starts to make sense...

Bob's sideburns transported the Acetate from Abbey Road and placed it right where Terry would find it... and then removed it from the premises once he had made a copy...

Very Happy
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Brendan Thompson on March 03, 2005, 04:29:57 am
Going by Bob's post, perhaps then, Terry's copy WAS an old "reference", from BEFORE the song was completed - that gives PLENTY of time between then and the recording of Lucy for the record to have somehow drifted it's way across.... by today's standards anyway - could it have been posted over?
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Brian Kehew on March 03, 2005, 07:59:48 am
Dang. This thread has my name all over it (literally and figuratively!) From the Beatles to Shirleigh Moog! We named our band - the Moog Cookbook - after her paperback work of the late 1960's.

Back to topics -

1) I hear the Jefferson Airplave (and maybe the Dead) got ahold of some acetates before the Pepper release - mono. Maybe a connection there.

2) [i}"but apparently the company is pronounced like 'droog'. This is according to Brian Kehew, and everybody at the Moog booth at NAMM pronouced it that way, too." [/i]

Well - Bob says it's "Vogue", the company is called that too (always has been, except in England) and everyone at the booth does say Mogue correctly, except me. But I only say it "isn't" because Shirleigh told me it USED to be Moooog and they changed it. So I side with the ingorant and the genius, not in the middle...



Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: bblackwood on March 03, 2005, 08:06:32 am
Terry, are you sure John had nothing to do with it?
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 03, 2005, 01:50:51 pm
bblackwood wrote on Thu, 03 March 2005 08:06

Terry, are you sure John had nothing to do with it?


John claimed at the time, and at a later date, to have had no knowledge of the what, whom, and why...

He would certainly have no reason not to tell me otherwise.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 03, 2005, 02:04:16 pm
Brian Kehew wrote on Thu, 03 March 2005 07:59

Dang. This thread has my name all over it (literally and figuratively!) From the Beatles to Shirleigh Moog!


I  hereby humbly dedicate the topic to you Brian!

[quote...I hear the Jefferson Airplave (and maybe the Dead) got ahold of some acetates before the Pepper release - mono. Maybe a connection there... [/quote]

Could be a connection; but San Fran was almost as far away as London from where I was...farther, in cultural terms!

Quote:



Well - Bob says it's "Vogue", the company is called that too (always has been, except in England) and everyone at the booth does say Mogue correctly, except me. But I only say it "isn't" because Shirleigh told me it USED to be Moooog and they changed it. So I side with the ingorant and the genius, not in the middle...




Have you never heard of "The Golden Mean?"  (Only kidding...again!) I now have decided that it rhymes with "mug."  That should dissatisfy everyone...

(By the way, I hope everyone realises that my sense of humour is sometimes hard to discern...I was of course only joking in an earlier post when I appeared to malign anyone pronouncing the word "wrongly."  Naturally, everyone is free to pronounce anything any way they please!  That post has now been edited.)

Best regards,

Terry
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 03, 2005, 02:51:11 pm
Brian, I could swear I heard somebody at the booth say "Mooog".  I think you rubbed off on them.  (Wait.  That doesn't quite sound right...)


Well, I am just going back to saying Moog the Canadian way, like Andy Moog.  (vogue)  You've fucked me up the last 5 years ever since you told me it's called "Moooog"!  Damn your eyes!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Brendan Thompson on March 03, 2005, 03:04:41 pm
J.J. wrote on Fri, 04 March 2005 06:51

Brian, I could swear I heard somebody at the booth say "Mooog".  I think you rubbed off on them.  (Wait.  That doesn't quite sound right...)


...And he'll do it again if they don't obey! Laughing
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: drumsound on March 04, 2005, 12:07:31 am
Terry,

This story alone is worth the price of my internet connection for the month!

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Brian Kehew on March 04, 2005, 06:45:33 am
>>I now have decided that it rhymes with "mug." <<

Well...... it IS a Dutch name, and correctly - it would be pronounced more like "Moook".

(Sorry for the topic to diverge so far - it still is a great story.)
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Kendrix on March 04, 2005, 08:25:20 am
Wow. What a story.  Totally baffling.    
As someone who has had a few "unbelievable" experiences myself I must say Its brave of you to post it.  

Im tempted to make some joke about how good the acid was at the time.  But even that couldnt explain getting the lyric correct  and the conversation with Sir George.

Is it possible it might have been a rough demo cut elsewhere at an earlier time?
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Bob Olhsson on March 04, 2005, 09:58:11 am
A little more of the story unfolds.

Mike McLean just found a copy he had Larry Miles make of Brian Holland's acetate. The label says the copy was made May 5, 1967. It is titled "I Heard the News Today" but Mike doesn't remember there being any title on the original.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Lee Flier on March 04, 2005, 10:32:33 am
Unbelievable, Terry!  I agree with the "this was worth the price of my Internet connection for the month" sentiment!

I would agree with the others who said it was probably a Beatles prank, set up through a friend or two who was travelling back and forth.  I don't think they had any worries that someone else would release it first, not in those days.  It was a lot more difficult and expensive to just duplicate stuff and release it than it is now, and anybody who did it professionally would have known it was obviously the Beatles, and would have reacted as Terry did.  Even if anyone HAD managed to leak it privately, it would've certainly made for good advance publicity!

I'm guessing the Beatles knew exactly what they had on their hands - a truly revolutionary record - and they were just dying for their peers and heroes in the industry to hear it.  Think about it... you've just recorded Sgt. Pepper.  You know it's not going to be out for two or three MONTHS yet.  How could you stand it? Very Happy
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: JGreenslade on March 04, 2005, 12:13:14 pm
Quote:


set up through a friend or two who was travelling back and forth.



Who could this friend be? Who would've worked with the Beatles, and at the same time had security clearance for Motown and Ardent?

It can only be one person...










Bernard Purdie  :-)


Justin
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: David Kulka on March 04, 2005, 12:28:25 pm
I think J. Edgar Hoover disguised himself as Janie the maid, and planted the disk.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 04, 2005, 12:52:36 pm
Maybe Bernard "The Hit Maker" Purdie played on the soundtrack for the Robert Stigwood 'Sgt. Pepper' movie, and that's what he has been trying to tell us all these years?

Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: JGreenslade on March 04, 2005, 01:09:08 pm
I don't know if you're joking, but according to a Google search, Bernard reckons he played on 21 tracks on the 1st 3 LPs: http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=bernard+purdie+be atles&meta=

Taken from http://aboutthebeatles.com/misc_timeline_postbeatles.html

Quote:


1978
February - in an interview with 'Gig' magazine, session drummer Bernard Purdie claims to have played on 21 tracks on the Beatles first three albums, adding that he was paid by Brian Epstein to keep his mouth shut in the amount of "five figures". He also claims to have played on tracks by the Animals and the Monkees. Also, he claims that guitar overdubs were made on several additional tracks. It is believed that Purdie overdubbed drums on the Atco US Single "Ain't She Sweet", and that he may have performed overdubs on other Tony Sheridan recordings which did not feature the Beatles, and was confusing Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers with Tony Sheridan and another backing band.



Regardless of his claims / ego, Bernard remains one of my favourite drummers. If you consider how many hip-hop cats have sampled him I guess that says something about his timing, particularly in the pre-waveform editing early days of sampling with S900s etc (unless you could afford a Fairlight).

Justin
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 04, 2005, 01:17:17 pm
Thermionic, yes we know and we are joking.  And regardless of his immense ego, I would use Bernard on a session any day of the week, especially if Chuck Rainey is the other half of the rhythm section.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 04, 2005, 01:26:54 pm
My main drum kit, which I've used on almost everything for about 17 years, was one of Bernard's before I got it.  It does have a certain "Strange Magic" to it (apologies to Jeff L).
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 04, 2005, 01:46:22 pm
compasspnt wrote on Fri, 04 March 2005 10:26

My main drum kit, which I've used on almost everything for about 17 years, was one of Bernard's before I got it.  It does have a certain "Strange Magic" to it (apologies to Jeff L).


One of the Sonor ones?
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: David Kulka on March 04, 2005, 02:28:06 pm
Getting back to the topic, i spent a little time scanning Google for possible clues.  Here are a couple of links that might relate to the Motown and Stax mystery disks...

g. 1967 ("Parlophone" PCS1967)

     ...Unlike the other titles on this list, "1967" is a compilation album of material previously available on other bootlegs (A bootleg of a bootleg, if you would). However, it's probably the easiest way for a new collector to get a sample of material available from this era, and includes several demos from "Magical Mystery Tour", as well as an amazing early acetate of "A Day In The Life"...
http://www.recmusicbeatles.com/public/files/faqs/rare.html

RM1, 30 jan 1967
...Vocal overdub recorded 20 Jan 1967 with this rough mix been made 30 Jan prior to Paul's vocals being wiped on a subsequent overdub on the 03 Feb 1967.

The famous 'Oh Shit' version
(different than on Anthology 2 because here it is complete).
You can hear the counting clearly.Paul is laughing while singing and forget his lyrics...
   http://www.bootlegzone.com/album.php?name=acetates&secti on=1

And this is a nice account of the Day In The Life sessions.  http://www.ereader.com/product/book/excerpt/4419
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 04, 2005, 02:31:58 pm
J.J. wrote on Fri, 04 March 2005 13:46

compasspnt wrote on Fri, 04 March 2005 10:26

My main drum kit, which I've used on almost everything for about 17 years, was one of Bernard's before I got it.  It does have a certain "Strange Magic" to it (apologies to Jeff L).


One of the Sonor ones?



This is a Pearl Studio maple kit, like Larrie London used to use also.

By the way, here's a GREAT interview with Larrie (real name Ralph), but I'll include some BP related comments from it here afterwards:

http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Venue/9362/larrie.html

"JF:
In the book, THE BIG BEAT by Max Weinberg, Bernard Purdie claims that Bennie Benjamin  was a junkie and that he (Purdie) actually played on some 500 of those Motown sessions,  only he claims that the rhythm tracks were cut in New York and shipped to Detroit where  vocals were laid on.

LL:
Well, some of that may or may not be true about Bennie. Bennie was a very sick guy and  it's no secret that he had a problem with the junk. As far as Purdie's claims go I don't  want to get into a big thing about it but the guy's got some kind of a problem of his own.  I mean - his memory's not too good.

JF:
Without actually naming you he claimed that he, had to fix up go in and overdub a lot  of the Motown stuff, because it wasn't right."

LL:
Yeah, I've read that interview. He also claims he played drums on the early Beatles  records too. There's no doubt that he was a great player, with King Curtis, James Brown,  Aretha ... but I was there and I can tell you he didn't do some of the stuff he claims  because I did it. Those sessions were live, vocals and all, and overdubs were unheard of  in those days. If someone goofed we just did it over.



JF:
In the Weinberg interview, Purdie seems to be hedging - he's very reluctant to name  any of the tracks he claims he doctored with The Beatles or for Motown.

LL:
Well, that's because he didn't play on COME SEE ABOUT ME, or BABY LOVE or SUGAR PIE  HONEY BUNCH, or any of the others. Lots of witnesses were there, so ask them if it was a  tape from New York or a fat scared white kid named Ralph. (Laughs.) I really hate to call  someone a liar, but he called me one first. Ringo called his story rubbish and said you  don't bother disputing that shit. Those were his words...I just never bothered. There were  other drummers from time to time - Purdie may have been one of them. I don't deny that,  but 500 tracks? I have fond memories of playing double drums with Stevie Wonder on the  UPTIGHT sessions. It was a gas - he was soooo funky!

....

JF:
You've played on more hit records than any other drummer.

LL:
(Grins) If you say so. I think maybe it's Hal Blaine.



JF:
Or Benard Purdie?

LL:
No (Laughs.)"
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Lee Flier on March 04, 2005, 02:47:38 pm
... And let's not forget Earl Palmer...
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: neve1073 on March 04, 2005, 03:00:29 pm
thermionic wrote on Fri, 04 March 2005 17:13

Quote:


set up through a friend or two who was travelling back and forth.



Who could this friend be? Who would've worked with the Beatles, and at the same time had security clearance for Motown and Ardent?

It can only be one person...










Bernard Purdie  Smile


Justin



That's Purdie good!

The beatles prank theory doesn't explain how it got into the building and, even more difficult to explain, how it was removed from the hiding place in the office.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: neve1073 on March 04, 2005, 03:18:47 pm
but if it was a beatle prank, it was a classic.


At Abbey Road, George Martin receives a transatlantic phonecall.

GEORGE
Hallo, George Martin here

TERRY
Uh, I'm TM calling from Memphis. Um, I work at Ardent, uh, and I found this acetate--I have no idea how it got here--and I've listened to it and it IS the beatles but it's unreleased stuff and I don't understand....

GEORGE (cupping his hand over the receiver)
Boys, we have another one from the colonies calling about the acetate.

(Riotous laughter)

GEORGE (feigning concern)
Well, sir, I do believe you MUST be mistaken. How does the song go?

TERRY
Well, it goes..

I read the news today ooooh booy  (Terry sings with feeling)


Cupping his hand over the receiver, Sir Martin and the four beatles, who are all huddled around the phone, are laughing hysterically.

GEORGE (to the boys)
Shhhhh, would you be QUIET!


GEORGE (to Terry)
Well, Sir it seems you have in your possession a track off our next record. Will you be a good man and send it back expeditiously?

TERRY
Of course, Mr Martin. You can trust me......




Smile









Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 04, 2005, 03:58:40 pm
I had no idea anyone was listening in to the call!

Actually, our tech genius at the time, one Rick Ireland, was feverishly trying to hook up a patch to record the call, but I just couldn't wait long enough.  Naturally, I've always wished I had.  That would have been a GREAT tape to have today!

(Similar to the "...wish I had taken a camera and recorder with me when I went to the.....OOPS, CAN NOT tell that one!)
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Jose Mrochek on March 04, 2005, 05:01:26 pm
neve1073 wrote on Fri, 04 March 2005 20:18

TERRY
Well, it goes..

I read the news today ooooh booy  (Terry sings with feeling)






This cracked me up



Laughing
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Radd 47 on March 04, 2005, 07:13:22 pm
I think Yoko planted the discs. No wait, I mean Brian Wilson.
Or was it Phil Spector?
Smile
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: JGreenslade on March 05, 2005, 06:38:25 am
I just want to publicly apologise for bringing Purdie into the conversation, I won't do it again, honest.

JJ: hope it didn't look as if I patronised you, I had a mad day yesterday (gear pimps, or should that be gear pillocks grrr) and too much caffeine was imbibed.

Justin
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 07, 2005, 11:19:45 pm
Then there is this Beatles' gem:

Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: neve1073 on March 08, 2005, 12:04:24 am
Thanks for posting that one! That's genius. What is that from?
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: David Kulka on March 20, 2005, 09:32:53 am
Over the last couple of weeks I did some web searches and had a chance to hear Mike McLean's disk-to-disk copy of the version that landed at Motown.  Unfortunately I didn't come away with much in the way of answers, but here is what I can report.

It seems that many acetate versions of "A Day In The Life" circulated.

Brian Epstein played one at a get-together in New York.  http://64.177.126.79/articles_epstein.htm

Paui McCartney visited Brian Wilson during the recording of the Smile album, and played one for him.  http://earcandy_mag.tripod.com/rrcase-1.htm

Jackson Browne recalls hearing an acetate on the radio, before the album was released.  http://www.superseventies.com/ssjacksonbrowne.html

I saw many references to "A Day In The Life" acetate versions that wound up on bootleg records -- particularly, a bootleg called "Acetates" on the Yellow Dog label.  http://www.geetarz.org/reviews/beatles/acetates.htm.

From the descriptions I read, most of the bootleg versions differ substantially from the commercial release, although Mike's is very close.  When I A/B'd his recording against the album I couldn't hear any differences in the performance or the mix (which is mono), except for the beginning and end.

The beginning doesn't segue from sound effects like album version does.  (Terry said the same about his recording.)

The end is much shorter.  Mike's disk times out at 4:33, compared to 5:33 on the CD.  The song itself is the same, but the decay of the orchestral climax is only a few seconds long, versus half a minute or more on the release.  The ending on the CD has a few seconds of 15 KHz tone ("especially to annoy your dog - at the request of John Lennon", per the liner notes) followed by a few seconds of chatter and nonsense.  My Capital LP has neither.

As a further step in all this scientific testing I brought my dog into the shop and played the end of the CD, rather loud.  During the HF tone (which I measured at 15,038 Hz) the dog yawned, not interested or annoyed in the least.  My wife heard it though, and was annoyed.  Actually, she found this whole project annoying, and suggested that my time could be better spent on something else, like helping with yard work.  Oh well.

Google had several hundred hits to sites that mention bootlegs and acetates of "A Day In The Life", and I'd hoped to find something that specifically answered this, but the most intriguing links just pointed to this thread.  (Google is fast.)   If Terry has a chance, maybe he can play his tape copy and see whether it agrees with my description of Mike's recording.  If there's an answer out there to this mystery, I wasn't able to find it!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: rankus on March 20, 2005, 02:38:32 pm


Wow,  Yet another amazing thread!

Thanks Terry!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: M36LINZ on March 23, 2005, 08:01:58 am
Regarding: ...had a chance to hear Mike McLean's disk-to-disk copy...

David,

You did a very nice job on that report. I am sure that my girlfriend would think I was wasting my time as well.

I believe that the acetate that I have was made by playing the original acetate on an Empire turntable equipped with a Stanton eliptical stylus cartridge, and making a 15 IPS tape copy. This tape was then used to cut my acetate.

It is unknown if Brian Hollands's "original" was an original cut from the first generation mix tape, or if additional generations were involved.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: David Kulka on March 23, 2005, 06:08:36 pm
Mike, thanks for contributing to the thread.

It wasn't just Cholada who thought this exercise a bit absurd -- before we listened to the disk, you said "Why are you so worried about a 40 year old acetate", or words to that effect.  While Terry's story is quite amazing, and it's stranger still that you guys had a similar disk at Motown, the recording itself is really no big deal, as you forewarned.  No undiscovered vocal tracks or lyrics, no Jew's harp played by George Martin, no backwards masking, no Morse code, no Romanian propaganda speeches, nothing special -- just a scratchy, shorter, mono version of the album cut.

Still, I'm glad you held on to the disk all these years.  I'm sure that readers of this thread would enjoy seeing a picture of it, should you care to post one here...

David
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 23, 2005, 08:29:28 pm
Ahem ... that's "juice harp".  LOL.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: David Kulka on March 23, 2005, 08:45:12 pm
Ahem...tell it to these guys...

http://www.jewsharpguild.org/
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Tomás Mulcahy on March 23, 2005, 09:53:46 pm
Ah! Like Duct tape/ Duck tape...

The 15kHz tone was added originally at the disc cutting stage, and the seques and SFX were achieved by mixing down onto four track.

There is a version of "A day in the life" on the "Lennon Legend" soundtrack CD. There are no segue/sfx and it sounds a helluva lot clearer than the Pepper CD.

Which leads me to wonder if they mixed to stereo, then laid them all back to four track for the segues... so I can't wait for a Sgt.Pepper remix with sund quality as good as what they've done with "Let it Be (Naked)".

Mr. W.Whitman refers in another thread to Help being remixed for CD from a copy on Mitsu X850. That would explain why the CDs sound crap. I am amazed that they had the audacity to actually remix!

Thanks for the research David.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: natpub on March 23, 2005, 11:20:39 pm
Tom
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 23, 2005, 11:23:42 pm
David Kulka wrote on Wed, 23 March 2005 17:45

Ahem...tell it to these guys...

http://www.jewsharpguild.org/


Bwahaha!  I stand corrected!  Wow, how incredibly not PC.  LOL.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: maxim on March 24, 2005, 02:13:36 am
for a while, in my early twenties, i believed that there was literally no problem in existence that couldn't be solved with duck tape (or 'gaffa' as it's known in oz)

i challenged people to come up with problems, and come up with duck tape solutions

my favourite was the issue of world peace

my solution was to gaffa the world leaders together until they had no chance but to work out their differences

i wish now that plan was put into fruition

cheers
max
'the duck tape freak'
paris, france
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Otitis Media on March 24, 2005, 07:32:36 am
Most likely a mutation of "gaffer's" tape, which we use all the time lighting film and video shoots.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: David Kulka on March 24, 2005, 08:05:15 am
Ahem...getting back to "A Day In The Life", here's a question that someone here can probably answer.  Just how did they get that very long decay at the end?

I read somewhere that "electronic trickery" had been used, but I'd like to know the rest of the story.  With an EMT plate, maybe you could come close by opening the damper plate all the way and hitting the input hard, but my gut feeling is that you still wouldn't get that much decay time without picking up hum and hiss towards the end.

When I was listening in the shop last week I watched this part of the track on a scope looking for an edit point but if one was there, I must have blinked and missed it.  Maybe they simply fed the output of the reverb back into the input -- common enough now, though pretty much unheard of back then.  But that might have a fluttery effect, or sound unnatural.  Does anyone know how this was done?
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: retrograde on March 24, 2005, 09:26:05 am
I read in an interview with Geoff Emerick, that he compressed the heck out of it and started with the faders low and rode them up during the decay of the piano notes.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: David Kulka on March 24, 2005, 09:36:09 am
Do you mean that we're just hearing the natural sound of the piano with a lot of gain fiddling, but with little or no reverb added?
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on March 24, 2005, 10:33:10 am
David Kulka wrote on Thu, 24 March 2005 09:36

Do you mean that we're just hearing the natural sound of the piano with a lot of gain fiddling, but with little or no reverb added?

It is my understanding that is correct...but at least 2 pianos, not just one.  The mic noise does increase as it goes along.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: wwittman on March 24, 2005, 03:20:53 pm
I love the 'flip' at the end of A Day In The Life where everything that was left goes right and vice versa.
A liittle treat for headphone listeners just to be weird!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 24, 2005, 03:55:37 pm
What's that sawtoothy wave sound in the left side of the mix during the piano(s) note?

BTW, as I'm listening to the song right now ... my god!  What incredible sounding toms.  Definitely no tea towels on this track.

And one more note, as ar as David asking about reverb.  An open sustain pedal on the piano will totally give the impression that there is reverb.  Maybe that is what you are hearing?
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: wwittman on March 24, 2005, 04:12:58 pm
Calf skin heads, on the drums. Ringo was in that phase.

and that great Studio 2 live reverb chamber.

I believe the "noise" you are talking about on the other side is an acoustic guitar!
(Probably their ubiquitous J-160e... but no doubt Brian Kehew is sneaking up about to say the usual: "No One Knows")
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: J.J. Blair on March 24, 2005, 04:14:50 pm
wwittman wrote on Thu, 24 March 2005 13:12

Calf skin heads, on the drums.


No doubt before Paul became a vegetarian!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Brendan Thompson on March 26, 2005, 06:28:40 am
maxim wrote on Thu, 24 March 2005 18:13

for a while, in my early twenties, i believed that there was literally no problem in existence that couldn't be solved with duck tape (or 'gaffa' as it's known in oz)


Are you sure Duct and Gaff are the same thing? I always thought Duct had the shiny silver back and the adhesive that leaves sticky residue but comes off easily, while Gaff has the black backing and leaves no residue (but will peel off paint and varnish)...
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Bob Olhsson on March 26, 2005, 08:20:14 am
A gaffer is the person who sets up and adjusts the lighting on a movie set. Gaffer tape was developed by Permacel for a photographic lighting manufacturer for use with a light weight fixture that could be taped to the walls or anything handy on a set without damaging it or risking the light falling off.

The real deal is pretty expensive. There are cheaper knock-offs that aren't as easy to use and cause more damage. Duct tape is also 2" wide and looks a lot like gaffer's tape only it wasn't designed to be removable. Because it's a high-volume commodity, it's lots cheaper than the other two.
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: maxim on March 26, 2005, 08:31:33 pm
right, thanks, bob

no, only gaffer for me (and only the real thing)

as you say, it's expensive, but worth every cent

i've seen houses where everything has fallen down, inc walls and wallpaper, but the gaffer's still standing
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: compasspnt on April 02, 2005, 07:59:55 pm
I have dug out of the vault my 1/4" dub made from the Original Beatle Mystery acetate.  Holding it in my hand now.  It's on a reel of Sony PR-150 "Professional Recording Tape."  I will play it tomorrow.

TM
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: rankus on April 03, 2005, 04:06:15 pm

Gasp.  Would it be possible for you to post a copy for us somewhere?  I know it may not be possible, but, I must point out that this take has already been widely distributed in bootlegs...

Must have the precious.....  Razz  


Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Brendan Thompson on April 04, 2005, 03:22:24 am
rankus wrote on Mon, 04 April 2005 06:06

I must point out that this take has already been widely distributed in bootlegs...


Although probably not sourced from a 3rd generation copy like this would be!

Master -> Acetate -> Tape -> Digital...
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: ajcamlet on April 04, 2005, 10:04:42 am
compasspnt wrote on Sat, 02 April 2005 19:59

I have dug out of the vault my 1/4" dub made from the Original Beatle Mystery acetate.  Holding it in my hand now.  It's on a reel of Sony PR-150 "Professional Recording Tape."  I will play it tomorrow.

TM



Wow.....could you post it (or part of it) as parting forum gift?

ajc
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: neve1073 on April 04, 2005, 02:28:40 pm
Let us know your thoughts after you listen to it again Terry!
Needless to say, I would do cartwheeels to hear it myself.

More beatles porn!
Title: Re: The Bizarre Beatle Mystery Story
Post by: Scott Helmke (Scodiddly) on April 05, 2005, 09:55:27 am
Very cool story!

But nobody's pointed out the most obvious culprit yet - Terry himself!  His "mysteriously gone" hidden acetate is a less likely than that he's making up the "mysterious" part, and was a willing participant in the joke.