What Goes On
What Goes On: The Beatles Anomalies List

Extras - Anthology Chatter

Here is a collection of chats from the Anthology series of discs, simply because I've been asked about these quite a few times. Some of this is quite hard to hear, some are hard to understand, so I hope this helps.

My explanations are my own opinion of what I think may have been happening at the time, based on what we're hearing.

Jump forward to ...

One After 909
Moonlight Bay
Mean Mister Mustard
Glass Onion
Good Night
Mother Nature's Son
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite
A Day In The Life
I've Got A Feeling
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
Dig A Pony
Two Of Us
Maxwell's Silver Hammer
Ain't She Sweet
I Me Mine

One After 909

>     I've read that the chat is about Paul's suitcase
> where he left his plectrum.

Basically, but it's deeper than that. Listen to the track. Listen to Paul's bass line. He's playing 8 notes to the bar in the verses, then funky runs in the "pick up my bag" part, all still 8 notes to the bar. This is tiring. They're probably all a bit fed up of doing this track by this point, especially if they can't complete a take!

At 0:20 Paul fluffs a note, just after "station". Then at 0:27-0:28 seconds, he does a little slide note, and picks it up again for 3 seconds. That slide note should be used to lead back into the "Well, my baby says..." part of the song, but of course there's another part to the middle bit to come yet! Paul's getting tired, playing odd notes and getting the format of the song wrong.

Finally the take breaks down, probably looks are being exchanged between them to say "We'll not get away with this." Paul's mistake here, I think. But he won't admit that he "screwed up, let's go again." See ...

John: "What are you doing?"

[ You messed that up, man! ]

Paul: "I just... Ah... It's murder! I can't do it, I
      can't keep it up, I just go [thud thud thud    

[Paul complaining about the tone of the bass guitar here, he exaggerates the poor sound]

      "And I'm trying to keep this ..."

George: "Use your plec?!"

[Half question, half statement. It would be easier to play the bass line, with a plectrum.]

Paul: "I haven't got one. Ffffking hell. 'Use your 
      plec', I've been trying to cadge one all day!" 

[Cadge is slang for borrow]

John: "Well your clothes have been brought hours ago" 

[And there's a plectrum in there, so stop moaning!]

Paul: "I know but the cases aren't even here!" 

Neil Aspinall: "I said to you before, Paul, I didn't 
      get your plec, I didn't want to go through your 
      clothes ..."

Paul: "I know but the cases are still up at the door!" 

Neil Aspinall: "... and I said 'Do you want me to 
      bring your case in' and you just walked away." 

Paul: "I didn't think, I'd thought you'd said I didn't think you want ..." 

[Floundering for an excuse]

George Martin: "Here we go..." 

[Let's get on with the take, chaps]

Paul: "George..." 

[Probably to George Martin, for interrupting the argument]

Next take: Notice that the bass line is now simpler on this take. Paul's stopped trying to play 8 notes to the bar, and is doing more like 4 to the bar.

Now, you know how the middle of the song should go, right? But in these recordings, they are probably still changing things and making decisions on how to present the song. The band are playing a long middle, and get through 6 bars of playing, when John comes back in. An interesting thing happens here. Either :-

Paul goes back to the verse bass line, Ringo carries on as ever, John starts singing. It's just that George decided to do a full 8 bar solo. (George's error).


Paul realises John's mistake in going back to singing the verse too early, and adapts his bass line, Ringo carries on as ever, George gets confused by all this and stops (John's error).

Without knowing what had been said before ("We'll do it shorter, we'll do it longer"), it's hard to correctly apportion blame here.

John: Oh, bloody hell, I told you!

Paul: It's you, It's you, you (f*cker?), George.

John: We said we'd miss out the middle eight

George H: You know I'm just not there ...

John: Oh.

Paul: You come in in the wrong ... half way through the solo [Said to John?]

Paul: So don't think you blame me, y'know?

George H: What was it, a 12 bar? 

Paul: Wasn't.

George Martin: Yeah Yeah Yeah, four bar, twice.

Paul: Two, three. One, two, three, four!

Moonlight Bay

[Group and Ernie Wise]          [Eric Morecambe]
We were strolling along         Twist and shout
On Moonlight Bay                ooooo ...
We could hear the voices        I like it ...
They seemed to say                      
"You have broken my heart       Oh, Twist and shout
So don't go away"               Have the Beatles gone?

                            [Ernie: No, they're 'ere!]
                            [Eric: Oh!]

With your short [some sing "big"], fat, hairy legs
On Moonlight Bay

Eric and Ernie, UK comedy duo, used to have an ongoing joke about Ernie having "short, fat hairy legs".

Mean Mister Mustard

Left channel:

"He's such a dirty, dirty man, you oughta have him put away with [...]"

["Put away" is slang for being put in prison or a mental institution, etc.]

Right channel:

"Ah, you got [..] oh come here, I grip you, I grip you, I do"

[This piece is in a mock country bumpkin or yokel accent.]

Glass Onion

At the start :-

George: Sorry about that. [off microphone by a long way]
John:   I told you 'bout Bethlehell Bill ...

[a play on Bungalow Bill, and on Bethlehem/Hell]

In the middle :-

Left side:

[Absolute nonsense, mimicking a foreign language]

John: Zep A Boo shee de da doh doh. 
      Looking through a  glass onion 
      (Me and my buddies)

Right side:

John: Looking through the bent back tulips
      To see how the other half lives (Oh wali dadja)

[mock Pakistani? accent]

      Looking through a bent glass on 
      (yuhu me and my friend lubajab byjiver) 

[Irish? accent, sounds like corruption of "Bejabers!"]

And, in the end :-

Left side:

John: Looking through a glass onion
      (by permission of the county council and all the
      friends and neighbours of the old El Chi Chau?)

Right side:

John: Looking through the
(scat singing: da ba doo doo diddle diddle dow doo)

John: (Zebedee and Gene Vincent Fan Club)
      Looking through a glass onion
      (By courtesy of the community council Oklahoma 
      town town oowwww)

Good Night

John:  ... sound quite nice.
Ringo: What?
John:  It sounds nice starting like that anyway.
George Martin: Okay.
George: ... said we'd have a count-in on there. 
        One, two, three, four.
George: Dreams, sweet dreams...
George Martin: Right, Off you go
George: That's it!
George Martin: You do the count-in then
George: The beginning's different now. Okay.
Ringo: Yeah.
George: Ready?
Paul: How does it go ... 
George: It's from `Dreams, sweet dreams'...
Paul: I'll just go in ...
George: One, two, three, four.

Mother Nature's Son

At the start:

Paul: Could you take this thing off my voice I've got,
      like, the speaker. I can hear... 
      Ah. Thenk Yow...

??:   It's a nice effect on your voice

Paul: Okay, leave it on then. Good.

In the end:

Paul: Next item on this evening's agenda, I'd like 
to give you my version of Londonderry Air

[This is a verbal joke, it doesn't work written down]

"Londonderry Air" - a piece of music (an Air) about Londonderry, in Ireland. However, "London Derriere" - with derriere being French for backside/bum/ass ...

You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

John: One, two, three, one, two, three. 
      Hold on, hold on!

Ringo: I was out...

(Ringo probably assumed the reason John said "Hold on" was because of his drumming error, and was confessing to it).

There is an edit of some kind immediately between the word "out" and this next section, removing some section of dialogue!

John: ...ow, I'm just gonna raise this, so as it's nearer the bass 
      strings than the top string.

I originally suggested that John is modifying the microphone position for a different tone for the acoustic guitar. However, Hippie2768 has a better idea ...

The false start is [due to] a capo mis-adjustment and NOT a mic repositioning as stated. I believe the mic adjustment would be the responsibility of a studio engineer and by the sound of the first few strums of the acoustic guitar, capo adjustment makes more sense.


George: What key is it in?
Someone: What key is ...
Paul: It'll be in F for you. 'Yesterday'.
George: What key are you playing in?
Paul: I'm in G, but it'll be in F... 
      and it goes Em to A7 to Dm, ready?
George Martin: Here we go
Paul: Okay man.

The reason behind this is that Paul played Yesterday with the guitar tuned down 2 semitones (a whole note) to give a different sound. So George asks what key, the song is in (F). But, George being a sharp eyed guitarist, notices that fingering looks wrong for F, and says "So what are you playing it in?" As Paul's guitar is tuned down, he has to play a G shape to get an F chord. The strange thing is that George isn't playing along in this recording, or in any other recording of Yesterday. So why was Macca explaining the chords?

Ugo Coppola writes

I'm only adding here that maybe Paul explained the song to George because, at this stage, "Yesterday" wasn't meant to be like it is on the record, i.e. it was meant to be played by the whole group. It was only after Paul played "Yesterday" to George Martin on his acoustic guitar that the producer decided that nothing else (except later strings) was to be added to it because it was nice that way. At least this is what Paul and George Martin himself say about the song in Volume 3 of the Video Anthology...

Additionally, Roland Porth says

Watching the Anthology Videos, there is a video of The Beatles playing "Yesterday" in Japan, and all 4 are playing.

So George would indeed need to know the chords...for live performances, if not for the original intent to record as a group.

Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite

John: For the benefit of Mr. Kite ... there will
Geoff Emerick: "For the benefit of Mr. Kite!".
               This is Take One.

John: Being for the benefit

(Geoff is using the "talkback", a system so that the engineers can talk to the artist and 'slate' the tape, to mark the track start, and he (logically) drops a word from the title. John, sounds a bit peeved at this modification, points out his error).

Paul: One, two, three, four.

Doesn't this bit sound like a cross between "Yesterday", and the intro to A Day In The Life (the guitar strummed bit) ?

Geoff Emerick: Take Two.
Paul: That's a bit too slow!
John: [laughs] [nonsense sound "Durrup", probably "For the b", but drunken]

[I guess they were trying to get the speed and feel right]

Paul: One, two, three, four.
Geoff Emerick: Take Three.
Paul: Try and sing it as though you, er, know about
      the show, especially in the last verses,
      when you don't know about the show ...
John: Hehehe ... When? ten some ... Ten somersets?
      you know?

[ John found Paul's advice funny, considering he doesn't know what it's about. "How can I sound as if I know about ten somersets, what the hell are they?" Somerset is an alternative word for Somersault, by the way! ]

Paul: Just trying to foresee it as a big gettin' in,
      you've gotta get it in, in all the little breaks
      that are left for your singing...
Paul: For the benefit of da da da,
      da da da da sa-de-lite ...
      da da de la
Paul: I don't know.

[ I think Paul lost the plot of what he was trying to explain ]

SynovitzR@rferl.org made me recheck the following, which is very quiet, and needs some processing to get it audible, it's in amongst instruments, loud bits etc.

Simultaneous with above, on the right is ...

Ringo? : I'll have water ... About all we've got 
         (rattling noises)
George : See Mal ...
Ringo? : ... He'll take it away 
George : Tell me, what is that?
Ringo? : Water.
George Martin: Okay, man, let's go, lights on!

George: Did you rub the acid in it ? 

Paul: One, two. One, two, three, four.

A Day In The Life

John: Dab the mic on the piano, and quite low, this,
      just keep it in like, maracas you know. 

      You know those old pianos. Okay we're on. 

      Sugar plum fairy, Sugar plum fairy 


Paul: made my way upstairs and had a smoke, and
      everybody spoke and I went into a dream 
      (Oh sh*t!) 

(Paul blew the vocal, "somebody spoke")


Some bloke: Oh, really? I ... 
             [very English, "oh, raaahtherrr" accent] 
Paul: See, the worst thing about doing this, that 
      we're doing something like this, is that I think 
      that at first people, sort of, are a bit 
      suspicious. You know, "Come on, what are you up 
      to?". But the thing is it really is just ... 


Paul: ... again 
Paul: That was a great take, you know, the er... 
John: It was till then 
Paul: ... try it again, there was one or two little 
John: There was just the one, wasn't there? 
Paul: You're great, really great. Well, let me tell 
John: Couldn't I .. ... Couldn't I go from there, you 
      know?.. 'Cause it ... 
Paul: Yeah, sure. We can drop in, if you like, if you 
      want, John. 
John: No. 
Paul: You're doin' great 
John: 'Cause that one was perfect, wasn't it? 
Paul: Yeah, great, we can drop in if you like, yeah,  
      because that was ... 

[Basically John made a couple of little mistakes earlier, that he thought he might get away with, but Paul heard them - that's the "one or two discrepancies"]

I've Got A Feeling


Paul: Yes, he does now. 


John: I cocked it up trying to get loud. 

[ His guitar gets louder just before this, I think he went to turn up the amp/pickup and then got the playing wrong! ]

Paul: Yeah. 
John: Not bad though. 
???: Not bad. 

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Paul: See, that what you were doing then, it sounded 
      like... that's the kind of thing that'd be nice 
      to have one of the verses like that, like, er,    
John: What's that? 
Paul: What you were doing "Didn't any...", have a 
      couple of them, "Didn't anybody tell her?" But 
      then just a... "Sunday's on..." You know, that 
      kind of variation it needs a bit, 'cause it's 
      very much ...

Dig A Pony

John: Sha la ba. 
Glyn Johns: Ah, very. 
Paul: Shaloom! 
Glyn Johns: You even got the end right. 
Paul: Ah, you see, you see. We improve with time... 
John: You're not talking to Ricky and the Red Streaks, 
      you know 
Paul: ...Like a fine wine really. I put us down as 
      Beaujolaise '62 
John: Oh, I think we should buy some fans 
Paul: Coton ... (Or Cote D'En ...)

Two Of Us

Paul: ... adjust everyone in there 
John: Okay. What is there? 
Paul: Dunno 
Paul: You'll hear it ... 
John: Yeah. 
Paul: y'know, just the first occasion you get. 
John: I did with me thumb. 
Paul: Yeah. 

Maxwell's Silver Hammer

Paul: One more. It was good, you know, it had nice 
      bits in it, but with, be nice to have the nice 
      bits and the other bits. 

Ain't She Sweet

Note: These deviate from the normal lyrics a little.

Ain't she nice?
Well look her over once or twice.
Well, I ask you very hydrophollicky 
Ain't she nice?

Just cast an eye
In her direction.
Oh me! Oh my!
Ain't that perfection?
Mouldy Old Dough

Did he just say "Mouldy old dough"? There's a song by a group called "Lieutenant Pigeon" with this title. Lt. Pigeon is in fact a Coventry born man, pretty much only famous for that one hit in the 60/70's. But also Lennon is drawing on the old style singing, where phrases like "Boop boop be doop" (e.g. Betty Boop and Marilyn Monroe) and "Foldy oldy oh" (very 1920's) appeared. What a strange cross of styles!

John: I hope you liked that trip/trick

I Me Mine

George: You all will have read that ah... Dave Dee is 
        no longer with us. But Micky and Tich and I 
        would just like to carry on the good work 
        that's always gone down in number two. 

Reference to John, absent at this session (holidaying in Denmark), George is carrying on with Ringo and Paul to record his own song.

No 2 is Studio 2 at Abbey Road.

Of course, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich was another group of the era, so Dave Dee is John, Mick and Tich are Paul and Ringo (which is which?) and George is either Dozy or Beaky.


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