Friar Park Studios, Henley On Thames England: time unknown. Recording: 'Thinking
Of Linking', 'Raunchy', 'Ain't She Sweet', 'Baby What You Want Me To Do', 'Love Me Do', 'I
Saw Her Standing There', 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'I Will', 'Dehra Dune', 'Blue
Moon Of Kentucky' (take numbers unknown) plus other unknown numbers.
George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr.
George, Paul and Ringo
convened (accompanied by their respective wives) at George's
studio at his Friar Park mansion, apparently to perform a symbolic version
of Let It Be to be filmed for the conclusion of the Anthology TV series.
John's absence was apparently so overwhelming that,
after a long private discussion between the three out in the garden (unconfirmed rumours suggest George was particularly unhappy with the plan and that the 'discussion' lasted three hours), the
idea was abandoned and the Fab Three turned their hands instead to
re-working rock and roll classics much favoured from their Quarry
Men and pre-Beatlemania days. Ringo confirmed
that the trio played an acoustic jam; "It was just two
acoustic guitars and me on brushes".
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Jeff Lynne: It was just like a time-warp kind
of thing. We played some old rock-and-roll stuff, a couple of Chuck
Berry's, even I Saw Her Standing There.
The jam was filmed for possible inclusion in the upcoming Anthology
videos but, initially, only a minute long segment of the threesome
performing Blue Moon Of Kentucky was screened publicly (on the
television program 'Good Morning America' December 6th 1996).
The original video release of the series featured Ringo drumming along (or so it appears) to Love Me
Do, an extremely brief run through of the White
Album track I Will and a longer performance of the
unreleased Harrison song Dera Dhune (both
performed out in the garden rather than the studio).
Speaking in late 1996, Bob Smeaton, Anthology
TV series director, was quite enthusiastic about the Friar Park
Smeaton: The more we
include of the three guys together, the more we realise that John
isn't there. In years to come people might get the chance to see that
footage of the three of them playing together at George's
place. Knowing the way Apple works, it'll come out eventually, in some
shape or form. There's a whole load of that stuff, we were there for a
full day and the Beatles started playing songs like
Thinking Of Linking and Ain't She Sweet. A little
bit of this film was used when George sang Dehra Dune.
They did a whole load of rock'n'roll songs. And we shot a load of stuff
at Abbey Road, with the three guys and George Martin,
which was fantastic. For the Beatles fan, it's
priceless, I'm sure that somewhere down the line, that stuff will come
The special features disc later included on the 2003 Anthology DVD set included much more footage from this day, including the performances of Raunchy, Thinking Of Linking, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Baby What You Want Me To Do, I Will, Dera Dhun and Ain't She Sweet. The songs performed out in the garden feature Paul and George on ukeleles.
Unconfirmed press reports at the time claimed that George,
Paul and Ringo had now completed
around ten hours of recordings, prompting rumours that the trio were
working on an entire album. What exactly was recorded (apart from the
above specified tracks) is still a mystery, although it's unlikely
those ten hours of tape all comprise new Beatles songs.
The August 1994 Beatles Monthly reported that
in recent weeks the Beatles 'came up with some
fresh musical ideas for the soundtrack of their Anthology series' and speculated the bulk of the recordings may
also be comprised of 'warm-up demos'. It's also possible that producer Jeff Lynne often left a tape running during the 'reunion' sessions to record the occassions for posterity.
Sources include: Goldmine Magazine; Beatles Monthly No. 220 Aug 94, No.
249 Jan 97 (Beat Publications Ltd), Daily Mail 24th Jun 94, Sun News
Services 20 June 96.
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