McCartney Times

Hey Jude – Article by Bill Harry

Hey Jude – Article by Bill Harry

Hey Jude – Article by Bill Harry
April 23
11:58 2018

Hey Jude
(by Bill Harry)

John Lennon was to say, “’Hey Jude’ is Paul’s. It’s one of his masterpieces”.

The Beatles spent two days rehearsing the number at Abbey Road Studios in July 1968 and on the second day they were filmed for the film documentary ‘Music!’ They then moved to Trident Studios to begin recording the next day and on the day following they employed the services of a 36-piece orchestra.

Paul said that the song began life as ‘Hey Jules’ and was a message of encouragement to Julian Lennon at a time when his father and mother had parted the ways.

Paul was driving to Weybridge to visit Cynthia and Julian when he began singing ‘Hey Jules’. He recalled, “I happened to be driving out to see Cynthia. It was just after John and she had broken up, and I was quite a mate with Julian. He’s a nice kid. I was going out in my car, just vaguely singing this song, and it was like ‘Hey Jules.’ It was just this thing, you know. ‘Don’t make it bad, take a sad song…’ And then I thought a better name was jude. A bit more country and western for me. I finished it all up in Cavendish and I was in the music room upstairs when John and Yoko came to visit and they were right behind me over my right shoulder, standing up, listening to it as I played it to them.”

George Harrison wanted to answer each of Paul’s vocal lines with an electric guitar, but Paul vetoed it – and they were still arguing about it while making the ‘Let It Be’ film. Paul commented, “I remember on ‘Hey Jude’ telling George not to play guitar. He wanted to echo riffs after the vocal phrases, which I didn’t think was appropriate. He didn’t see it like that, and it was a bit of a number for me to have to dare to tell George Harrison – who was one of the greats – not to play. It was like an insult. But that’s how we did a lot of our stuff.”

The single was issued in both Britain and America on Monday August 26 1968 and topped the charts for three weeks. In the United States it topped the charts for nine weeks.

It was also a No. 1 hit in Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and West Germany.

The number was the first Beatles release on the Apple label and was also the group’s longest single, at seven minutes and eleven seconds in length. The fade to it took three minutes. Paul commented, “We liked the end. We liked it going on. The DJs can always fade it down if they want to. If you get fed up with it, you can always turn it over. You don’t always have to sit through it. A lot of people enjoy every second of the end and there really isn’t much repetition in it.”

The Apple boutique had closed, but Paul went to the shop and whitewashed the name ‘Hey Jude’ on the windows to promote the single. Neighbouring shopkeepers then objected, thinking it referred to ‘Juden’ and was an anti-Jewish slogan. Before an explanation could be given a brick was thrown through the window.

Julian Lennon bought Paul’s recording notes for ‘Hey Jude’ for £25,000 at Sotheby’s rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia action held at the Hard Rock Café in September 1996.

Another version of this number, lasting eight minutes and four seconds was included on the ‘Tripping the Live Fantastic’ album. It was recorded live at Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, Ohio on February 12, 1990 during the 1989/90 World Tour.

Paul had to apply to the High Court in April 2002 to prevent the auction house Christie’s from selling the handwritten lyrics to ‘Hey Jude.’ Paul’s representative stated that the lyrics were either stolen during one of several burglaries at Paul’s house or had been taken by someone working for him.

The single sheet from a notebook had been put forward by a Frenchman Florent Tessier, who said he’d bought them in Portobello Road for £10 in the early seventies.

Written by: Bill Harry ©2018. All rights reserved. No unauthorised copying or re-publishing of this material is allowed by law.
Please contact the writer for re-print permission.
(Contributor, McCartney Times)

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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