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Author Topic: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs  (Read 1734 times)

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Loco Mo

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Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« on: December 24, 2016, 12:22:06 AM »

I read something that suggested that session guitarists were used on "Til there was you" and the solo in "Let it be" because none of the Beatles were capable of playing them.  Has anyone else heard about this?  Is this a credible claim?

I also read that some of the early Beatles stuff, right after they became famous, had overdubs by other guitarists.  This implies that the Beatles were lacking in technical competence at the time.  True?  If so, they really kept this a very good long-time secret from the fans.  Also, it's hard to believe these other guys would have kept their roles secret after all these years.  I think they would ultimately want credit.  So that is why I'm disinclined to believe that session guitarists were used.  But yet it really seems very plausible and makes a lot of sense to me.  If your band isn't up to snuff and they're very popular, bring in professionals to fill the gaps (and to make them sound good).  But - I don't know.  What do you all think?
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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2016, 12:56:06 AM »

George was quite capable of playing and did play the guitar solos in both those songs...


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUjFpdxFWHU" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUjFpdxFWHU</a>



<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyaKumcg050" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyaKumcg050</a>
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Loco Mo

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2016, 01:21:03 AM »

Thanks, Hello.  I'm going to post something else about this.  I just have to find it.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2016, 01:38:02 AM »

I read something that suggested that session guitarists were used on "Til there was you" and the solo in "Let it be" because none of the Beatles were capable of playing them.  Has anyone else heard about this?  Is this a credible claim?

I also read that some of the early Beatles stuff, right after they became famous, had overdubs by other guitarists.  This implies that the Beatles were lacking in technical competence at the time.  True?  If so, they really kept this a very good long-time secret from the fans.  Also, it's hard to believe these other guys would have kept their roles secret after all these years.  I think they would ultimately want credit.  So that is why I'm disinclined to believe that session guitarists were used.  But yet it really seems very plausible and makes a lot of sense to me.  If your band isn't up to snuff and they're very popular, bring in professionals to fill the gaps (and to make them sound good).  But - I don't know.  What do you all think?

As time distances it's easier for people to make these claims. Like Bernard Purdie and his claim to have drummed on the early Beatle records (he'd only overdubbed some of the Decca audition tapes for use in the US to make up for Pete Best) But Lewisohn's comprehensive Beatle Recording Sessions should put most of them to rest.

As for claims the Beatles couldn't have played some of the early solos, George was more than capable of doing very good solo work,  even in the early stages of the Beatles career,  if he'd had time to learn his part and get it right. Where he struggled was improvising or coming up with things on the run.  And he was inconsistent.

And claims he couldn't have played the Let it Be solo is just ridiculous. George had developed into a fine guitarist by this stage. The Let it Be solo isn't technically difficult. Just typical melodic George. His work on Octopuses Garden was more technically demanding than that.

Certainly session musicians were used. The Kinks used a session drummer on some early tunes. The Byrds barely played on their first few songs, except for Roger McGuinn. And of course Ringo was elbowed aside for Love Me Do. It seems drummers were particularly prone to this, probably because the transition from live to studio was particularly difficult for them and, while you can work around a few bum guitar notes, a drummer who isn't keeping steady time or is clumsy will completely wreck your song.
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Loco Mo

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2016, 02:14:21 PM »

Okay, here's my last argument pasted from a YouTube fan's comment (Peter H):  "The evidence against "Til There Was You" is total and absolute.  The live version (which he plays on electric) bares not one trace of what is played on the recorded version.  YouTube it.  And here is the absolute proof!  The recorded version is played by a brilliant claw-hammer Spanish guitarist with FINGER NAILSYet Harrison bit his to the bone.  Tell me how did he manage that?  And let me tell you more - Lennon said no member of The Beatles could fingerpick and asked Donovan to teach him in India in 1968.  Yet according to you, Harrison is an expert and was all along!
If you read about Let It Be (Wiki), Lennon knows nothing about it because they weren't there! It was "a solo effort.”  What is written on the sheets is meaningless.  After all, Lennon is (according to the sheet) co-author!  Strange that he never played that well or in that style again, isn't it?  I mean he couldn't even play the strum lead on My Sweet Lord and yet here he is brilliant on a technically demanding track!  I rest my case."

Okay, I don't necessarily believe the above quote but I thought it was interesting.
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Loco Mo

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2016, 02:36:07 PM »

Hello:  The live version of "Til" seems to show all 3 of them very actively playing their guitars.  I don't know what John was doing but he really looked busy.  It's hard to tell if George was doing finger style picking but it kind of looked like that from the claw like look of his picking hand.  Video wasn't clear enough.

The Let it Be video doesn't show them playing.  The photo of George looks like he has a tight grip on his plectrum.  BTW and irrelevant, the background vocal accompaniment sounds sort of tuneless and uninspired.

Kind of hard to believe the Beatles wouldn't have been familiar with finger style because an awful lot of untutored guitarists throughout history and throughout the world all seem to discover it on their own or by just copying the old timers they've encountered who used that style.  You don't have to be anything brilliant to play finger style. 

But I guess there will always be these types of arguments about the Beatles and just how good they really were with their instruments.

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Moogmodule

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2016, 09:26:22 PM »

Okay, here's my last argument pasted from a YouTube fan's comment (Peter H):  "The evidence against "Til There Was You" is total and absolute.  The live version (which he plays on electric) bares not one trace of what is played on the recorded version.  YouTube it.  And here is the absolute proof!  The recorded version is played by a brilliant claw-hammer Spanish guitarist with FINGER NAILSYet Harrison bit his to the bone.  Tell me how did he manage that?  And let me tell you more - Lennon said no member of The Beatles could fingerpick and asked Donovan to teach him in India in 1968.  Yet according to you, Harrison is an expert and was all along!
If you read about Let It Be (Wiki), Lennon knows nothing about it because they weren't there! It was "a solo effort.”  What is written on the sheets is meaningless.  After all, Lennon is (according to the sheet) co-author!  Strange that he never played that well or in that style again, isn't it?  I mean he couldn't even play the strum lead on My Sweet Lord and yet here he is brilliant on a technically demanding track!  I rest my case."

Okay, I don't necessarily believe the above quote but I thought it was interesting.

I think a lot of this is just an example of what passes for thought on the internet.

Point 1: what he plays live on the electric is very close to the record in terms of notes. Its sound is totally different because he's not using his Ramirez classical.

Point 2: the writer uses a logical fallacy by assuming in his argument the point he wants to prove. Ie. the solo was played by a brilliant Spanish guitarist. To his mind ergo it couldn't have been George. As he wasn't a brilliant Spanish guitarist. Trouble is he hasn't established that it was a brilliant Spanish guitarist. He's assumed that.

Point 3: To my mind the sound and feel George gets in Til there was you is similar to And I Love Her. On the Hard Days Night Version (admittedly mimed but no reason why George wouldn't just mimic what he did for the recording)  George is clearly seen playing with a pick. Unless the writer thinks they had this Spanish guitarist on a confidential retainer to come back and play whenever an acoustic classical sound was needed.

As for the later things on George never playing that well again after Let it Be, the mind boggles. I'm not even sure what the writer means by George not being able to play the "lead strum" on My Sweet Lord? As I said previously, the lead on Let it Be isn't technically difficult. George did a hell of a lot harder stuff on slide in his solo years.

In short. The writer seems like a numpty whose ignorance is matched only by his lack of logical thinking skills.
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In My Life

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2016, 10:24:27 PM »

In short. The writer seems like a numpty whose ignorance is matched only by his lack of logical thinking skills.

Numpty. What a great word! There certainly is no shortage of numpties residing in the YouTube comments sections. In fact, that's how I discovered this forum. I was looking for some intelligent Beatles discourse where every discussion didn't include mention of William Campbell.
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Kelley

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Moogmodule

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2016, 10:37:03 PM »

Hello:  The live version of "Til" seems to show all 3 of them very actively playing their guitars.  I don't know what John was doing but he really looked busy.  It's hard to tell if George was doing finger style picking but it kind of looked like that from the claw like look of his picking hand.  Video wasn't clear enough.

The Let it Be video doesn't show them playing.  The photo of George looks like he has a tight grip on his plectrum.  BTW and irrelevant, the background vocal accompaniment sounds sort of tuneless and uninspired.

Kind of hard to believe the Beatles wouldn't have been familiar with finger style because an awful lot of untutored guitarists throughout history and throughout the world all seem to discover it on their own or by just copying the old timers they've encountered who used that style.  You don't have to be anything brilliant to play finger style. 

But I guess there will always be these types of arguments about the Beatles and just how good they really were with their instruments.

George had an interesting guitar style early on where  he used a pick but at the same time used his free fingers to pluck. You can see this on live videos. I think it was his Carl Perkins method.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2016, 10:40:00 PM »

Numpty. What a great word! There certainly is no shortage of numpties residing in the YouTube comments sections. In fact, that's how I discovered this forum. I was looking for some intelligent Beatles discourse where every discussion didn't include mention of William Campbell.

It is a good word. It's a favourite downunder  ;)

There is no end of blather on some sites. I recall one where someone decided Clapton did the guitar solo on Something. Just...just because. The guy used some argument that George's attempts to play it live were always disastrous. Not sure what live things he looked at. The ones I'd seen had George playing it fine.
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In My Life

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2016, 11:10:36 PM »


There is no end of blather on some sites. I recall one where someone decided Clapton did the guitar solo on Something. Just...just because. The guy used some argument that George's attempts to play it live were always disastrous. Not sure what live things he looked at. The ones I'd seen had George playing it fine.

Oh good grief! I've been really trying to avoid any kind of Internet comments sections of late. I always end up kicking myself when I do give in to the urge to look.
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Kelley

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blmeanie

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2016, 12:38:36 AM »

Numpty, love it. ;yes
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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2016, 12:51:46 AM »

Right.  If brains were dynamite, he wouldn't have enough to blow his nose.
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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2016, 01:15:36 AM »

But I guess there will always be these types of arguments about the Beatles and just how good they really were with their instruments.


Only if you keep reading those nillwits' comments on YouTube.




<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf5Eclt6_ac" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf5Eclt6_ac</a>



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And you thought Paul only played bass on Paperback Writer.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2016, 02:33:49 AM »



The Let it Be video doesn't show them playing.  The photo of George looks like he has a tight grip on his plectrum.  BTW and irrelevant, the background vocal accompaniment sounds sort of tuneless and uninspired.

It depends also which solo he's referring to. George did the original one on the single (the one he's seen playing in the movie)  but went back in to do the second which was used on the album.

The album version is considered superior so I assume this is the version the writer means. To me this is a good example of exactly how George liked to work. The first version was fine and was considered good enough for the single. George thought he could do it better and went in again to overdub after no doubt painstakingly composing the new one. The writer seems to be asking us to believe that, having done a solo everyone accepted, George decided to get another guitarist (Clapton of course. It was always Clapton) to come and do the solo to replace George's. Doesn't seem quite credible. In any case while it's a good solo it doesn't bear the hallmarks of the bluesier players of the time who would be the candidates for subbing in for George. To me it sounds like George's typical style of that era.  Subtle vibrato and bends for instance.
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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2016, 04:42:45 AM »

George had an interesting guitar style early on where  he used a pick but at the same time used his free fingers to pluck. You can see this on live videos. I think it was his Carl Perkins method.


George was a great fan of Carl Perkins.  And Chet Atkins, which was why he bought Gretsch Chet Atkins guitars.

No doubt he was a fan of Don Rich too...


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDmDwvZSlPw" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDmDwvZSlPw</a>






George Harrison had the chance to play a great guitar solo in Act Naturally.   Two...three...four...


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I04kEZcqvi4" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I04kEZcqvi4</a>




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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2016, 04:23:22 AM »

Right.  If brains were dynamite, he wouldn't have enough to blow his nose.

Heh, heh, heh... love this!
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Loco Mo

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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2016, 02:47:41 AM »

Well, after reading the comments, I recognize how silly the notion was - that a special Spanish guitar master was brought in to the finger picking bit.  Seems like the poster just couldn't believe the early Beatles could play so well.  But they did.  I think that's one of the reasons they were commonly referred to as "The Amazing Beatles" back then.
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Re: Session guitarists on 2 Beatles songs
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2016, 03:04:23 AM »

I think that's one of the reasons they were commonly referred to as "The Amazing Beatles" back then.


Or England's Phenomenal Pop Combo.  ;)



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