I Am The Walrus



This disc was auctioned on eBay in October 2005. The notation on the label and the auction description are quite interesting. See my analysis at the bottom of this page

AUCTION DESCRIPTION:

Acetate record The Beatles I Am The Walrus +COA signed
Historic original studio recording with COA + note from

Item location: CARNEGIE
United States

This record was from the home of Sir George Martin, given as a gift to a good friend. This is an original studio acetate recording of The Beatles, artists John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison performing "I am the Walrus" which according to Beatles information was recorded Sept. 5-6, 1967 at Abbey Road Studios. This version is take 17 with extra bass. The back side of this single is flat and smooth. See photo.

The date and location information can be confirmed by research in any reputable book or website. This 45 recording has the wording "MADE IN GT. BRITAIN EMIDISC RECORDING BLANK" at the top of the label. In the middle of the label is says "I AM THE WALRUS (Extra Bass) 45 MWS". At the bottom of the label it says "E.M.I. tape limited Hayes Middlesex England". A certificate of authenticity will be included along with a handwritten note (unrelated to this particular recording) from Linda McCartney to George and family.


I have listened to the recording and found that it differs from the Capitol Records release in that there is a slower tempo, different sounding lyrics, extra bass and strings, and more speaking vocals. This is 7" in diameter and recording sounds very nice. No skips or scratches that affect the sound. There are 2 visible needle scratches but again, they do not appear to affect or interrupt the sound. If you look at the hole in the middle of the record, you can clearly see the metal inside, may not be visible in these photos. Some photos are a slight different color tone since taken with a scan, others were by camera.

If this auction goes well on this site, the owner will permit me to auction another original recording, so please stay in touch for more information. Current owners of this single wish to remain anonymous. We represent them in selling this through their attorney. Auction winner can contact us with desired shipping or exchange instructions. If buyer request that this be shipped, insurance is required. Buyer responsible for all shipping and insurance fees. Please send instructions. If desired, exchange can be made at a large bank in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA where the record is being held in a safe deposit box. Payment required within 3 days of auction completion if shipping desired. If meeting with us, exchange must take place within 7 days of end of auction.

Special thanks go to Al Prince, a former secondary member of the music group The Four Coins (who had the 1957 hit "Shangri La"), Al became a member later and toured with them on USO and worldwide tours, he is also a songwriter and stage performer for JPAD comedy team. Also, thanks to professional drummer Bill George and researchers Rick Gross, Jacob and James Quigg, Beatles fans Mark and Judy Kramer, and former WJPA DJ Chris Kramer (now owner of Kramer's Greenhouse and Cafe in Burgettstown PA) for advice and guidance. Thanks also to the owners and their attorney of this record for their advice and for trusting us with placing this historic music item up for auction. Most of all, thanks to God for His blessings!

Thank you and God bless!






I must say it looks legit but let's investigate a bit...

1967

Sept 5
takes 4-16 (1-3 were wiped)
basic rhythm tracks
bass, lead guitar, electric piano, drums and a mellotron overdub
(takes 7-9 are found on "Control Room Monitor Mixes")

Sept 6
takes 16-17
take 17 is a reduction of take 16
onto take 17 more bass, drums and John's vocal

S
ept 6
RM1-4 (acetates cut of RM4)
(RM4 is heard on "Acetates" possibly via a tape perloined by Kenny Everett)

Sept 16
Tape copy of RM4 made for miming to in "MMT" film

Sept 27
reduction of take 17 into takes 18-24
onto takes 18-24, simultanious overdubs of orchestra and choir
take 20 best
tape reduction of take 20 into take 25 to liberate one track

Sept 28
tape reduction of take 25 to one track
(Off topic note: This really illustrates how many tapes referred to as "masters" are actually several generations old)
Lewisohn indicates that this one-track mix was then overdubbed onto take 17 and further states, "Since take 25 was itself a reduction of take 17, the final version of the song contained, in essence, the same rhythm track both with and without the later overdubbing." (NOTE: it's unclear what he means by "final version") John Winn feels that description is misleading and would produce a lop-sided mix.
In any case, mixes RM2-5 were done with RM2 being best and was then edited in some way.

Sept 29
RM6-22 of take 17
only RM10 (used up to "Sitting in an English garden)
and RM22 (which features the "King Lear" broadcast simultaniously overdubbed) are complete
RM10 and RM22 were edited together to make RM23
RM23 is the mix with the extra middle beats which is heard on the U.S. single and, with the extra beats edited out, is heard on all other mono releases

Nov 6
RS1-7 of take 17 edited to RM22
an edit was then made of RS6 and RS7
This edit is heard on the U.S. LP of "MMT"

Nov 17
RS25 - this is a remix of the first half of the song from take 17
t
his was joined onto the beginning of the Nov 6 final edit
this is the version heard on the U.K. stereo releases
This is the version with the extra beats in the intro and is now the common version heard on the "MMT" CD.
Lewisohn implies that it was added only to RS7. Does that mean that the RS6 portion is no longer there?

Lewisohn does not mention all acetates that were cut but the general rule-of-thumb is that acetates were cut when pertinent mixing was done and feature the 'best' mix from a session. In this case that is as follows...

Sept 6 - RM4
Sept 28 - RM2
Sept 29 - RM23
Nov 6 - edit of RS6 & 7
Nov 17 - edit of RS25 & 7

To date, only RM2 has not become available on official or bootleg releases.

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The eBay acetate label notes "(Extra Bass)". The auction description states, "I have listened to the recording and found that it differs from the Capitol Records release in that there is a slower tempo, different sounding lyrics, extra bass and strings, and more speaking vocals."

Let's break that description down...

slower tempo - could simply be the speed the acetate was cut or that the tape was played. The acetate heard on "Hodge Podge Vol. 1" (which no one seems to acknowledge) runs noticably slower but it lacks all strings, choir and "King Lear" broadcast

different sounding lyrics - John only recorded one vocal but RM4 'sounds' different simply due to a different EQ or something

extra bass - I don't know. The bass is more prominent on RM4. Lewisohn indicates that there are two basses ("more bass" on Sept 6)

and strings - the strings were added on Sept 27 so it must date after that
more speaking vocals - I'm assuming this is the "King Lear" broadcast.
Here's where the RM4 possibility ends since it doesn't contain the strings or speaking vocals.

I doubt the acetate could be RM2 from Sept 28 because, while RM2 contains the orchestral and choir overdubs, it lacks the "King Lear" broadcast?

I'm inclined to think the acetate is one of the Sept 29, Nov 6 or Nov 17 mixes and that the auction lister is a bit unfamiliar with the nuances of the song. One thing, acetates are always made from the master mix tapes where as what ends up being released is, often times, a generation or two further down the line being sourced from copies of the master mix reels. Thus, some of the nuances of a recording are more clear on an acetate.

Although mono or stereo is not mentioned in the auction, I suppose the acetate could be a stereo mix folded to mono. I haven't done this to see what it might produce. Also, I haven't done a comparison, but most Emidiscs are mono and the seller appears to be familiar with only the U.S. stereo mix. Off-hand, I don't know how they compare. Likewise, I haven't compared the UK vs. the US stereo mixes.

Whew.... did ya get all that? What does anyone else think?