The more I listened to it, the more I decided I didn't like the guitar sound I had. It was crap




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The Framus Hootenanny


Other new instruments appeared for these Help! sessions, including a German-made Framus Hootenanny 5/024 acoustic 1 2-slring, with full-size flat-top natural-finish body. Framus had been set up in Germany in 1946 by Fred Wilfer, and by 1965 the instruments were being distributed m Britain by the London-based Dallas company. The 5/024 sold for £42/10/6 (£42.52, about §120 then; around £490 or $690 in today's money).

Another new German-made instrument, the Hohner Pianet, made its way into the group's instrument collection. It seems that Roy Young's use of a Pianet on the same bill as the group last year had left an impression. McCartney and Lennon, at least, played the new Pianet during these February recording sessions. Hohner was an old German-based musical instrument manufacturer, founded by Matthias Hohner in the 1850s. Perhaps best known to the group for its harmonicas, Hohner also made keyboard instruments. Their first electric piano was the Cembalet of 1958, followed by the Pianet four years later, both designed by Ernst Zacharias. The Pianet has an unusual "acoustic" mechanism. Each key was linked to a short metal rod with a leather-and-foam adhesive pad on the end; the pad rested on an accordion-style reed, from which it pulled free when the key was pressed, vibrating the reed, the sound of which was then amplified. As a result the Pianet had a very distinctive and percussive piano-like sound that was subsequently used on many Beatle recordings. The model the group used was a Pianet C, with its classic wooden case, "coffee table" legs and a folding lid that doubled as a music stand when opened. At the time it retailed for £114/9/-(£114.45, about $320 then; around £1,400 or .$1,950 in today's money).

As with many new instrumental arrivals, the group tried to fit the Pianet's sound into virtually any new song. Recording continued on February 17th with work on a new Harrison tune, 'You Like Me Too Much', which clearly features Pianet. The group's classic 'The Night Before' was also cut on this day, with Lennon playing the Pianet while McCartney and George Martin took to Abbey Road's Steinway grand piano.

Further recording and mixing continued the next day and included 'Tell Me What You See', again featuring Pianet, this time played by McCartney. He also overdubbed the Latin-percussion sound of a guiro on to this track. Another song recorded on the 18th was Lennon's acoustic Dylan-like ballad 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' which featured the sound of the new Framus Hootenanny 12-string, as well as Harrison playing his Gibson J-160E - and Starr playing the drums with brushes. 'If You've Got Trouble' was also committed to tape, with Starr on lead vocal, although the track would not be released until Anthology 2.

The week-long sessions continued on Friday February 19th with the new Lennon original 'You're Going To Lose That Girl'. Overdubs included McCartney on the Steinway and Starr on bongos. Another new track recorded and shelved during these sessions was a ballad, 'That Means A Lot', later given to singer PJ Proby. Once again The Beatles' version of the song would not be released legitimately until Anthology 2.

With the bulk of their new album recorded, the group headed off for a few weeks in The Bahamas to start filming their new as-yet-untitled movie. The working title was Eight Arms To Hold You - another Ringoism - but of course this became Help!. Various location scenes were shot around the islands, and one of the freshly-cut tracks was immediately put to use as the group were filmed on the waterfront miming to 'Another Girl'. This light-hearted sequence shows all four Beatles switching instruments throughout the song: Lennon's Rickenbacker 325 with Vox Python strap, Harrison's Gibson J-160H, McCartney's Hofner '63 bass, and Starr's third Ludwig kit with the larger 22-inch bass that he'd used on the '64 US tour, with the same Beatles drop-T logo.

After the warm, sunny climate of The Bahamas, the group switched to the snow-capped mountains of the Austrian Alps. For almost a week, filming continued here with madcap antics on the ski slopes. No Beatle instruments were used during these sequences, but a grand piano was dragged out into the snow to film the 'Ticket To Ride' segment. This is not recommended.

Returning to England on March 22nd, the group continued work on the new film at Twickenham Film Studios. Amid an ever-hectic schedule, Epstein booked them for a further personal appearance on the Thank Your Lucky Stars television programme. They mimed to 'Eight Days A Week', 'Yes It Is' and 'Ticket To Ride'. Lennon used his Rickenbacker 325 with Vox Python strap, McCartney his Hofner bass and Harrison his Gretsch Tennessean, while Starr had his 22-inch-bass Ludwig kit. This would be the group's final appearance on the show.

Other TV appearances and recording sessions were slipped between film work. On April 10th they appeared on the BBC TV chart show Top Of The Pops performing 'Ticket lb Ride' and 'Yes It Is'. The following day the group once again played at the Empire Pool, Wembley, for the New Musical Express 1964-65 Annual Poll-Winners' All-Star Concert where they performed 'I Feel Fine', 'She's A Woman', 'Baby's In Black', 'Ticket To Ride' and 'Long Tall Sally'. Harrison played his Gretsch Tennessean with his Country Gentleman as a spare, while Lennon used his Rickenbacker 325 with his '64 Gibson J-160E as back-up. Both guitarists went through their Vox AC-100 amplifiers. McCartney played his '63 Hofner bass through his AC-100 bass rig, and Starr used his 22-inch-bass Ludwig kit.






WE JUST HAD TO DO IT. SING THE ROCKER, THAT'S DONE, SING THE BALLAD. AND YOU SEEMED TO HAVE PLENTY OF TIME FOR IT ... WHATEVER TIME THEY GIVE YOU IS ENOUGH.
Paul McCartney,

on the Beatles astonishing work-rate


Finishing the Help! sessions


With the title of the new film established, Lennon and McCartney now had to compose a title song. They did so quickly and brilliantly. On April 13th the group found time in their shooting schedule to hop into Abbey Road and work on 'Help!'. It was completed the same day. A recent bootleg which unveiled the building of the track in the studio revealed that Lennon played the Framus Hootenanny 12-string for the song's acoustic rhythm part.

Filming for the movie progressed, but back at Abbey Road producer George Martin completed final mixes of the songs needed for the film. The group were shot in further performance sequences, including one of the highlights, the superb opening scene with the group playing 'Help!'. The black-and-white scene shows Harrison using his Gretsch Tennessean, McCartney his '63 Hofner bass, Starr on his 22-inch-bass Ludwig kit with the number-four drop-T logo drum-head, and Lennon playing Harrison's Gibson J-160E.

More memorable clips include the mock recording-studio scene - actually made at Twickenham film studios - for 'You're Going To Lose That Girl'. Again Lennon uses Harrison's Gibson J-160E and McCartney his Hofner bass, while Harrison opts for his second Gretsch Country Gentleman. The sequence presents a "studio" set-up with the group recording, and Harrison, McCartney and Lennon singing through a pair of Neumann U-47 microphones. Starr is seen using his smaller Ludwig drum set with the 20-inch bass drum - the same kit used during the filming of A Hard Day's Night, with number-three Beatles-logo drum-head (the one with the exaggerated script-style L in Ludwig).

Another highlight from the film is 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away', where Lennon uses the Framus Hootenanny acoustic 12-string while Harrison plays his Gibson J-160E and McCartney his Hofner bass. Starr hangs out in Lennon's sleeping pit and accompanies the tune on a tambourine.

Some of the most visually effective scenes of the film were shot on location on Salisbury Plain. The surrealistic setting has the group ostensibly making a recording outdoors, protected by a division of British troops, and all against the backdrop of Stonehenge. The sequence for 'I Need You' has Harrison playing his Gibson J-160E, Lennon on Rickenbacker 325, McCartney using his Hofner bass, and Starr playing his Ludwig 22-inch-bass kit with number-four drop-T logo drum-head. 'The Night Before' was also filmed on this set, but with Lennon playing the Hohner Pianet and Harrison his Gretsch Tennessean.

Filming for Help! was concluded on May 12th, with post-production work commencing and the group called in to do various voice-overs for the film's audio track. The Beatles still needed to finish their forthcoming LP and yet another single release, so on June 14th they again journeyed to Abbey Road to record three more songs: 'I've Just Seen A Face', 'I'm Down' and 'Yesterday'. McCartney used his Epiphone Texan acoustic guitar to record the basic track for 'Yesterday' while simultaneously singing the lead vocal.

A few days later, producer George Martin arranged a string quartet of two violins, cello and viola for the song's string accompaniment. 'Yesterday' marks the first time that the group discarded their traditional instrumentation, instead employing an arrangement unexpected of a modern pop-group recording of the time.

The same day's sessions yielded a cover - of Buck Owens's 'Act Naturally' - with Starr on lead vocal, while another new Lennon-McCartney song, 'Wait', was also taped but, appropriately for a song with such a title, was shelved. It would be unearthed again in November during the Rubber Soul album sessions.

McCartney recently described the stringent recording schedules at Abbey Road. ''It was so organised, and there was not really [anything] laid-back about it. There were three main sessions of the day, 10.30 to 1.30, 2.30 to 5.30, 7.30 to 10.30, and that was how everyone worked. They used to give you time for lunch, which was mainly a cheese roll and half a beer, or tea - and that might be a quick meal.

"We hardly ever worked in the evening, actually - it was only later we got into those evening sessions. We mainly worked the two day sessions, so it was the pub in the evening, to talk about our exploits. Now, people drive themselves mad recording, going crazy, up all night, still up there doing funny things at six in the morning."






The scene where the band record 'You're Gonna Lose That Girl' from the movie Help! - actually shot in a mock studio set at Twickenham film studios. John is playing the Gibson J-160E, Paul his Hofner bass, George the Gretsch Country Gent, and Ringo his second 20-inch-bass Ludwig kit, with a good view of the Rogers Swiv-O-Matic drum mount on the bass drum. It looks like there's a Vox AC-100 amp lurking in the shadows too.
He recalls recording songs as diverse as 'I'm Down' and 'Yesterday' at the same day's session, and being asked now how they managed that. "We just had to do it. Sing the rocker, that's done, sing the ballad. And you seemed to have plenty of time for it ... whatever time they give you is enough."

For a 10.30am session, he remembers, they would arrive at Abbey Road at 10 o'clock. "You'd let yourselves in, test your amps, get yourselves in tune - which didn't take long really, as long as you knew you weren't going to fart around. It takes about half an hour to do that. And then George Martin would be there: 'Right, chaps, what are you going to do?' You'd sit around for about 20 minutes, and me and John normally would just show everyone what the song was ...

"We never rehearsed. Very, very loose. But we'd been playing so much together as a club act that we just sort of knew it. It would bore us to rehearse too much, we kind of knew the songs. So we'd get quite a lot done at those sessions." 5



This example of the German-made Hohner Pianet electric piano is the kind that The Beatles used extensively in the studio during the recording of the Help! soundtrack: on songs such as The Night Before'.



Paul playing the group's Hohner Pianet at Abbey Road studio 2 in February 1965 during the Help! sessions. In the background George plays his Tennessean, with the Rick 12 nearby

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