This week marks another milestone Beatles anniversary: 50 years ago they began recording "Hey Jude" at Abbey Road Studios in London.
One of the takes they did on July 29th was released on Anthology 3 in 1996, and the rehearsals on the 30th were filmed for a short documentary titled Music! But George Harrison was not playing in the film, possibly due to the fact that Paul McCartney did not want him to play a guitar phrase that mimicked his vocals, a story McCartney often tells.
The other “Hey Jude” story McCartney often refers to is the line in his lyrics that goes: “The movement you need is on your shoulder.” He told John Lennon he would change it but Lennon said it was the best line in the song.
Last week, during his Facebook Live Q&A from Liverpool, McCartney told a story regarding Ringo during those sessions.
“I remember, I think, sitting down doing ‘Hey Jude, don’t make it bad,’ and then just realizing Ringo had gone to the toilet. Now luckily he didn’t come in for a couple of verses. [Then] I just see him out of the corner my eye and I’m thinking, ‘This is quite a good take. I’m singing it well.’ I see him creeping in, he sits down at the drums... ‘Hey Jude, HEY!’”
The sessions moved to Trident Studios on July 31st, and the first take became the master. The single was released in the U.S. on August 26th, 1968 with "Revolution" on the B-side.