Blogoversary week continues with a look back at my posts about today in Nagra tapes history: Jan. 7, 1969, a dramatic, dynamic day rich in music that has proven eternal and one that brought the Beatles to the brink as they questioned why they were even together.
- Still they lead him back: Jan. 7 begins with a proper debut for “The Long and Winding Road,” poignant and revealing given the mood at the sessions and the prior day’s tension.
- Sing a lullaby: “Golden Slumbers” debuts, and the day-old “Carry That Weight” isn’t all a hurting Paul fits it with that morning.
- Signature song: It’s the origin story for “Get Back,” the song perhaps most identified with these sessions, featuring Paul, George and an absent Jackie Lomax.
- Power Hour: Putting Paul’s Jan. 7, 1969, morning session in context, 44 years later.
- On their own at the holiday camp: As Mr. Epstein’s ghost lingers, what motivates The Beatles in January 1969? The group openly questions that very thing.
- Taking the easy way out, now: The Beatles, comfortable as a studio-only band and admittedly shy to perform live but also fed up playing together, get a pep talk as they try to find the desire to stage a concert.
- Ain’t got no ‘pow’: Still searching for the elusive hook to their live show, the Beatles recall a misguided fan-club show, consider their lack of charity and foretell one of rock’s iconic moments.
- Entertainment is almost enough: In which the Beatles are asked to embrace showbiz, because “you may never do another television show.” Perhaps a captive audience is the answer.
- Have a divorce: The Beatles’ frustration with each other and the state of the group — an issue they admit dates back more than a year — reaches a tipping point as a conversation that began with the continued search for a live venue concludes with the band’s future in question.
- Pulled their socks up: “Divorce” was all talk, no action for the Beatles, who casually moved to “I’ve Got a Feeling” and “Oh! Darling” (briefly) after agreeing they should split up — without actually doing so — moments earlier.
- Joke whistlings: Amid the “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” origin story, Paul wants a little more “razzmatazz” but please keep the whistle solos “straight,” OK?
- Bangers and mashups: After making accidental musical history, The Beatles whistle while they work extensively on “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.”
- Tumble blindly: The anachronistic, symbolic “Across the Universe” returns to The Beatles orbit, while the group also has a brief re-exploration of another John tune, “Gimme Some Truth,” as a Beatles number.
- Et cetera: Picking up the pieces from remaining storylines of the day, including a few covers and a link between “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Devil in Her Heart.”
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