During the session for ‘Don’t Pass Me By’, The Beatles were interviewed in the studio by the presenter of BBC radio’s weekly The Kenny Everett Show.
The recording begins with just Everett and Lennon, explaining that two incomplete songs had so far been recorded for The Beatles’ next album, one of which, Starr’s first composition, had been written “in a fit of lethargy”. Asked to pick a record to be played, Lennon chooses Harry Nilsson’s version of River Deep, Mountain High, which leads into a parody of Leadbelly’s Cottonfields.
Everett, clearly concerned that the interview so far is yet to yield much usable material, asks whether the success of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band had set the bar too high for future recordings. “It only got high ’cause everybody said how high it was,” Lennon replies. “It’s no higher than it was when we made it.”
Paul McCartney then joins the interview, and they improvise a jingle for Everett’s show, after which George Harrison and Ringo Starr also enter the studio. Starr records another jingle, followed by McCartney’s lounge singer versions of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Christmas Time (Is Here Again)’.
Following a playback break, producer Tony Olivestone takes the microphone and describes the scene in the studio as The Beatles play a variety of instruments in the background.
The interview was broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on Sunday 9 June between 10am and midday. It was later pressed as a 7″ vinyl disc by Apple for promotional use in Italy, as Una Sensazionale Intervista Dei Beatles.
Also on this day...
- 2018: Ringo Starr live at the Olympia, Paris, France
- 2014: Ringo Starr live at Casino Rama, Orillia, Ontario, Canada
- 1968: BBC interview with John Lennon and Victor Spinetti
- 1968: Recording, mixing: Don’t Pass Me By
- 1966: Recording, mixing: And Your Bird Can Sing, For No One, I’m Only Sleeping, Tomorrow Never Knows, Eleanor Rigby
- 1964: Live: Blokker, the Netherlands
- 1962: Recording: Besame Mucho, Love Me Do, PS I Love You, Ask Me Why – The Beatles’ first Abbey Road recording session
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
- 1960: Live: Grosvenor Ballroom, Wallasey
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.