Then we were ready to attack Harrison's solo. George must have been having a bad day...because he was having real difficulty nailing it. After some discussion about having Paul play the part instead (McCartney was a fine guitarist himself and seemed always ready to jump in and show up his younger bandmate), George Martin finally decided to instead employ the same "wound-up piano" technique he had done the year previous on the song "Misery." I was told to roll the tape at half speed while George [Martin] went down into the studio and doubled the guitar solo on an out-of-tune upright piano. Both parts had to be played simultaneously because there was only one track [left on the tape; the other three had been taken up with the original take, plus double-tracked vocals, an acoustic rhythm guitar, cowbell and bongos], and it was fascinating watching the two Georges -- Harrison and Martin -- working side by side in the studio, foreheads furrowed in concentration as they played the rhythmically complex solo in tight unison on their respective instruments.Emerick is rather scathing on Harrison's often lugubrious guitar playing on other recordings too, and says that sessions would grind to a halt when it came time to record the guitar solos. Describing the session for Harrison's own song, "Taxman," he says,
There was a bit of tension on that session, though, because George had a great deal of trouble playing the solo -- in fact, he couldn't even do a proper job of it when we slowed the tape down to half speed.As I'm as expert a name-dropper as anyone besides my excellent friend Paul Newman, I'm pleased to report I've had an email conversation with Dave Gregory, the former lead guitarist and keyboardist of XTC and no stranger to a Rickenbacker 360-12 himself. Here's what he said about That Chord:
After a couple of hours watching him struggle, both Paul and George Martin started becoming quite frustrated -- this was, after all, a Harrison song and therefore not something anyone was prepared to spend a whole lot of time on. So George Martin went into the studio and, as diplomatically as possible, announced that he wanted Paul to have a go at the solo instead. I could see from the look on Harrison's face that he didn't like the idea one bit, but he reluctantly agreed and proceeded to disappear for a couple of hours.... Paul's solo was stunning in its ferocity -- his guitar playing had a fire and an energy that his younger bandmate's rarely matched -- and was accomplished in just a take or two.
More significant is your re-appraisal of the opening chord. I now realise that for the best part of 30 years I have been playing it wrongly! You are correct, [Neddie] - there is no 'F' in the chord. However, I must disagree slightly with your published diagram and refer you back to "Beatles: The Complete Scores" because for once, I do believe they've got this one right.I'm particularly tickled that he says he's been playing it wrong, as one of XTC's early hits, "This Is Pop," quite self-consciously quoted the chord... Says Dave,
The instrumentation I think is correct comprises 2 Rickenbacker 12-string parts and a high bass note. There is no piano or snare drum, as some have suggested, which came as another surprise to me after all these years!
Rick part one plays (low to high) (muted Es), open As, open Ds, open Gs, Cs at fret 1 on B-strings and Gs at fret 3 on high E-strings.
Rick part two plays a barre of Gsus4 at fret 3. Bass plays a D either at fret 12 of D-string or fret 7 of G-string.
What sounds like a snare drum creating the attack is actually the Altec compressor slamming in to attenuate the initial impact, only to slowly release the decaying chord, magically exposing those wayward overtones in the process. Try doing that with a plug-in!
We used the Andy Summers "Walking On The Moon" shape, of course. Or rather, Summers used Andy [Partridge's]'s...Not a whole lot of love lost between those two rivals....