Apple Jam recordings

The last of the three All Things Must Pass discs was titled Apple Jam, and contained a series of studio jams and throwaway recordings.

Those jams happened all the time. You know, we were very relaxed: there was no pressure and we had time to jam as we warmed up, or after we did a track. It was never organised – somebody would just start playing something, we’d all join in and started jamming around. In the end, George had a whole tape of this stuff – he knew from all the past sessions that so many things were just forgotten, so this time he thought he’d just keep the machine on.
Klaus Voormann
While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Simon Leng

‘Plug Me In’ and ‘Thanks For The Pepperoni’ were both recorded on 1 July 1970 in EMI’s Studio Three. Both feature Harrison, Eric Clapton and Dave Mason on guitar, Carl Radle on bass guitar, Bobby Whitlock on keyboards, and Jim Gordon on drums.

‘Out Of The Blue’ was recorded as ‘Jam 3’ at EMI on 2 July 1970. It featured Harrison and Eric Clapton on guitar, Carl Radle on bass guitar, Bobby Whitlock and Gary Wright on keyboards, Jim Gordon on drums, Jim Price on trumpet, and Bobby Keys on saxophone.

‘I Remember Jeep’ was taped on 3 July as ‘Jam 4’. It had a different line-up, with Harrison and Clapton on guitar, Klaus Voormann on bass guitar, Billy Preston on keyboards, and Cream’s Ginger Baker on drums.

The remaining Apple Jam track, ‘It’s Johnny’s Birthday’, was the last of the album to be recorded. It was taped shortly before 9 October 1970, John Lennon’s 30th birthday, and had vocals by Harrison, Beatles roadie Mal Evans, and engineer Eddie Klein.

Harrison visited Lennon at EMI Studios on 9 October, during a recording session for the latter’s song ‘Remember’ session. Arriving in his dark blue Ferrari 330 GTC, Harrison presented Lennon with a plastic flower and the pair hugged one other.

George Harrison had a Ferrari, a 330 GTC, which was dark blue with a cream interior, and it was parked out the front of the studio. And stuck to his windscreen he had a little vase holder with a little plastic flower in it. He took it out, walked into Studio 3 and said, ‘Happy birthday, John.’ He gave him the plastic flower and they had a hug. Yoko had brought in this present for John, which was a sensory box. It was about twice the size of a shoebox, with lots of holes in it. You had to put your finger in – one hole would be warm and mushy, one would be wet, one would have a pin in it. John had such a ball with it.
Andy Stephens, EMI engineer

The Apple Jam sessions also led to the creation of a brand new band. Derek And The Dominos were formed by Clapton, Whitlock, Radle and Gordon. All four had previously played together in Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, but the band came together during the July 1970 sessions.

Harrison performed on the band’s debut single, ‘Tell The Truth’, which was produced by Phil Spector and recorded on 18 June.

Derek And The Dominos’ sole studio album, Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs, was mostly written about Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd, and Clapton’s unrequited love for her.

Overdub sessions

John Barham’s orchestral arrangements for All Things Must Pass were recorded during the next set of sessions in September 1970.

Barham had been present when the backing tracks had been laid down, so was familiar with the material from the outset.

George liked me to be present at all of the sessions, even if I wasn’t playing or conducting. His approach to recording backing tracks was of course much freer and less structured than the orchestral arrangements –?the instrumental lineups for the sessions were very large, which contributed to a less personal feeling in the studio.
John Barham
While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Simon Leng

Other overdubs recorded during this time included Harrison’s lead vocal and slide guitar parts, and the multi-layered backing vocals credited to “the George O’Hara-Smith Singers”.

Outtakes

Numerous additional outtakes were recorded during the All Things Must Pass sessions, many of which remain unreleased.

The recordings include ‘Down To The River’, ‘I Love You’ (which was re-recorded by Ringo Starr as ‘I’ll Still Love You’ in 1976), ‘Dehra Dun’ (a song composed in Rishikesh in 1968), ‘I Live For You’, ‘Going Down To Golders Green’, ‘Om Hare Om (Gopala Krishna)’, and a jam of The Beatles’ ‘Get Back’.

Many of the studio outtakes have emerged on bootleg releases, including the triple-CD The Making Of All Things Must Pass, which contains multiple takes of several songs from the album.