Welcome to The Beatles Rarity of the Week. It was in the afternoon on January 28th, 1969 when this weeks feature was recorded and only one more full day left before The Beatles would culminate the Get Back sessions with their legendary unexpected lunch hour performance on the roof of Apple Headquarters in downtown London.
In the past half hour the band had successfully recorded the take of “Don’t Let Me Down” that would ultimately be out on a single in two and a half months as the b-side to “Get Back.” Now some wine was being passed around and the band was in high spirits and trying to figure out what to rehearse next.
As you hit the play button below you’ll hear some tuning and fooling around as the band and Billy Preston (on the keys) grasp for an idea on a song to do. As it starts to turn into “One After 909″ John Lennon, always a Chuck Berry Berry fan, decides to introduce a variation by instead singing a few misremembered lines from Chuck’s 1958 song “Jo Jo Gunne.”
As this winds down, Paul McCartney suggests they run through a proper take of “One After 909.” After a false start Paul vocalizes the guitar intro before they count it in. The tempo is a little slow, but the wine is flowing so John and Paul seem to be having a great time. When John forgets the lyrics during the second middle eight, he doesn’t let that stop him but presses on, making fun of his own error the rest of the way through.
The Beatles - One After 909
- The version of “One After 909″ used on the Let It Be album was actually recorded from the rooftop show two days later, as was “I’ve Got A Feeling” and “Dig A Pony.”
- “One After 909″ was written by John and Paul when they first started writing together in the late fifties. The Beatles used the song in their early repertoire at the Cavern Club in Liverpool and originally recorded it in an EMI studio session on March 5, 1963 which was the same day they recorded their third single “From Me To You” and it’s b-side “Thank You Girl.” An early account of the song from this session appears on the CD set The Beatles Anthology 1. The very first release of the song was not until 1970 with the Let It Be album.
- A thorough run-down of the officially released music from the Get Back sessions is available here.
Here are some Amazon links to read more on, or purchase, some music related to this post:
1) Let It Be – 2009 remastered CD version of original 1970 L including rooftop performance of “One After 909.”
2) Let It Be… Naked – 2003 stripped down mixes of tracks from the Let It Be album. Includes a special mix of “One After 909.”
3) The Beatles Anthology 1 – 1995 2-CD compilation of out-takes and extras by The Beatles from the earliest recordings through early 1965. Includes 1963 session material of The Beatles recording “One After 909″ in the studio.