The following session outtakes have been made available to the public after 40 years thanks to a bootleg release called, "Revolution Take... Your Knickers Off!" which is a 2-CD collection, the second disc of which is all Iveys outtakes, including this session. The entire session of "No Escaping Your Love" is also included. The Iveys outtakes on this bootleg appear all in mono. The bootleg does not contain the final master take of "Come And Get It" with Tom's vocals, nor a version with Pete Ham attempting to sing lead.
This song, written by Paul McCartney for the Peter Sellers/Ringo Starr film, "The Magic Christian", was the first (and only) song recorded by The Iveys that was not self-penned. It was given to The Iveys by McCartney to help them get a hit song. McCartney's demo was recorded at Abbey Road Studios on July 24, 1969.
Some background from "Without You-The Tragic Story of Badfinger" by Dan Matovina:
The first order of business was laying down the backing track. Paul gathered the group around the piano and began to discuss the arrangement. Suddenly, John & Yoko appeared. Tom Evans recalled, "They were kind of walking through and Lennon stopped and looked over at Paul, bowed his head, and said, 'Oh, wise one, oh sage, show us the light.' The next thing I knew, he walked out the door. I thought, 'Wait a minute, that was John Lennon!" The group rehearsed the song and McCartney reminded Ron not to snazzy up the bass lines.
By this time, Abbey Road Studios had their own eight-track tape machine.
The basic track was recorded in 25 takes (with take 20 as a preliminary "best" until take 26 was recorded)
This was the line-up of musicians:
Pete Ham: piano
Tom Evans: maracas
Ron Griffiths: bass guitar
Mike Gibbins: drums
+Paul McCartney: tambourine
Take 1 (2:28) - Paul McCartney counts in the first take as he guides The Iveys through the first attempt. McCartney sings a lead scratch vocal while Tom Evans can also be heard on the first "Sonny" part. Even on this early take, Mike plays some impressive drum fills.
Take 2 (0:10) - McCartney counts in again. After a false start, McCartney clears his throat, while Pete Ham chuckles and responds, "play it again."
Take 3 (1:00) - McCartney incorrectly announces, "If You Want It, Here It Is, Come And Get It, take 5", and counts in. The take breaks down at the start of the second verse.
Take 4 (1:05) - Before the take, McCartney coaches The Iveys on the proper rhythm and tempo of the "fool and his money" break in the song, then he counts in again. This time, Paul sings only in a few spots, but off mic. The song breaks down at the start of the second verse.
Take 5 (2:12) - Before the take, McCartney says something inaudible like, "Don't pick it up... the mirrors." This take sounds like it's counted in by Pete Ham. Someone, possibly Tom Evans, is singing the guide vocal this time instead of Paul McCartney. The take breaks down at the point of the second "Sonny".
Take 6 (2:45) - Before this take McCartney gives the following instructions, "Just everyone a bit easier. It slows down a bit in those (sings) did I hear you say that there... Don't let it slow down...(inaudible)." Pete Ham counts it in. It sounds like Tommy Evans singing in a lower register. Before the tape cuts off, McCartney responds at the end to what sounds like Pete Ham, "It was pretty good, though. Yeah. It was a little bit on the (sings) Son-."
Take 7 (0:44) - This take breaks down when Pete Ham hits a wrong piano note at the end of the first verse.
Take 8 (0:54) - This take breaks down at the beginning of verse 2. McCartney then comments, "Look over here if you're not sure. I'll be sort of going..."
Take 9 (0:51) - Before the take, after what sounds like Pete Ham talking about the piano, McCartney says to Pete Ham, "Huh? No. Well, I'll be in with them, 'cause he's watching Bill, so I'm sort of thinking, one two, three. Okay? Nice and steady, then." The actual take breaks down during the first verse, as Paul, Ron and Tom start fooling around with their musical parts.
Take 10 (2:59) - Before the take, Griffiths plays around on his bass guitar as McCartney says, "Yeah. Try it with cans off if it's easier, or one on and one off. Just shove it behind your ear." This is a complete take, and the first time where all the playing is fairly tight, as Mike's drum fills start to take shape. During the first "Sonny" break, Tom's voice can be clearly heard singing off mic.
Take 11 (0:27) - This take, which sounds a bit too fast, breaks down during the first verse. McCartney stops the take and says, "Hold on. It was a little bit. No, that wasn't together."
Take 12 (0:48) - Another breakdown, at the start of the second verse. McCartney advises, "Hold it. No. Try and look at Bill for that one, you know, if you can."
Take 13 (2:42) - This is a very good, complete take. Before the take, McCartney advises, "Play a bit lighter. Just, you know, try not to sort of think, you know, the studio and stuff, you know. Probably come out a bit better if you just sort of... fuck it."
Take 14 (2:25) - Another very good, complete take where you can hear Tommy singing during the "Sonny" breaks. Mike's drum fills are a little bit different. McCartney comments after: "Yeah. Good. That's much better, though. That was really, much better now. If you're gonna do..."
Take 15 (2:31) - Before the take, Tommy is shaking his maracas. This is another complete take. At this point, everyone knows their parts and is trying to come up with the perfect performance. Again, you can hear Tommy singing during the "Sonny" breaks. McCartney doesn't like this take as much as the previous one: "Not quite as good as the one before." Then he asks Pete Ham: "That was a bit slower, was it?"
Take 16 (0:22) - Before the take, McCartney asks the engineer if he's ready: "Tony?" Tony Clark says, "Yup" and McCartney acknowledges his reply. The producer in the booth announces the take and they're off again. This take breaks down quickly in the first verse when someone in the booth whistles for them to stop.
Take 17 (0:55) - This take breaks down as the second verse starts. McCartney says he's sorry and blames himself for blowing the take (Paul is playing the tambourine).
Take 18 (2:27) - A forceful complete take with Tommy Evans singing the guide vocal. The take is nearly perfect aside from Pete Ham hitting a bum chord towards the end. As Ron's bass guitar fades, McCartney comments: "Not bad. Could do better. See me."
Take 19 (0:30) - This take never really gets going, as Pete Ham doesn't sound quite ready, and he's not playing the piano with full effort.
Take 20 (2:19) - An excellent, complete take. Very close to being the final master backing. Even so, McCartney calls for "another one."
Take 21 (2:24) - This take has Ron Griffiths overdubbing a rough lead vocal onto take 20. McCartney comments: "We'll let you know Ron who's better." Some insight from Ron Griffiths himself: "...there was NO prior rehearsal, I did not benefit from double-tracking or reverb... also, I was not from Liverpool!!!"
Take 22 (0:49) - Before this take, McCartney says: "Ron, there is just feel now." The take breaks down as the second verse begins with McCartney apologizing: "Sorry, I lost it a bit, then."
Take 23 (0:37) - This take breaks down when Pete Ham hits messes up on the piano.
Take 24 (0:52) - This take breaks down when Mike Gibbins messes up the snare drum break leading into the second verse.
Take 25 (0:20) - This take quickly breaks down.
Take 26 (2:25) - This is a complete take, the master backing. McCartney sounds satisfied: "OK. We'll listen to those back."
Some more background from "Without You-The Tragic Story of Badfinger" by Dan Matovina:
Eventually, the track was laid down, at a slightly faster tempo than the original demo. Paul congratulated them on a take well-done, noting Mike's drum fills which do a lot to lift the track, then gently ribbing Ron for his little bass run-off at the tail. Now, they were ready for vocals. "Paul asked each of us to sing a verse," said Ron. "Pete was too 'muggy.' I tried and he said it was a bit nasal, sounded like Reg Presley of The Troggs. Then Tom gave it a shot." Evans stepped up and the 'magic' hit. It was a perfect song for Tom's rich, Liverpudlian pipes. Paul finished the session by adding an important tambourine overdub. Ron sang a low vocal harmony, and within three hours, Come And Get It was complete.
Bonus: listen to Ron Griffiths and Bob Jackson doing "Come And Get It" in Swansea in 2006 at the Badfinger Convention.
background information from Mark Lewisohn's "The Beatles Recording Sessions"
and Dan Matovina's "Without You, The Tragic Story of Badfinger", with extra information contributed by Ron Griffiths
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