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Old Apr 16, 2005, 11:07 PM   #1
Sun King
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Join Date: Aug 04, 2000
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 31,563

Default "In The First Place"

I juts found quite an interesting article, which is basically about the existence of "In The First Place", however has a nice element of Wonderwall history.

There are one or two things written of which I wonder if it is correct...but then...the story as a whole is mighty nice and interesting to read.

I found this when I was looking for things about Mike Myers you will see that the linked page is called "The Daily Shag" :smile3:


There IS a previously undiscovered, completely unheard 1967/8 recording by a Liverpool quartet intended for the soundtrack of a 1968 Beatles-related movie that has just been found.

But it’s NOT a George Martin-produced John Lennon vocal of a song intended for the soundtrack of the 1968 movie “Yellow Submarine.”

(That recording many Beatles experts now say seems destined to be an alternate version of “Hey Bulldog.”)

It’s a George HARRISON-produced GEORGE HARRISON vocal of a song intended for the soundtrack of the 1968 movie WONDERWALL!

And to add to the confusion - the song sounds like it came right out of the soundtrack of “Magical Mystery Tour.” Which is fitting. Because the story behind it is both Magical and Mysterious. And quite a Tour!


A previously unknown 1967 song featuring George Harrison is among the many highlights of a major 10-day film festival saluting the exploding “Austin Powers” phenomenon. The festival - titled MODS & ROCKERS! Groovy Movies of the Shag-a-delic Sixties! - will be presented by the American Cinematheque in its new home at the restored landmark Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood starting Friday June 25.

The festival - which showcases over 20 fun movies from the 1960’s - will be a delight to all fans of 60’s music - especially lovers of the Beatles.

The newly-discovered George Harrison recording will be heard for the first time on a special Beatles night at the festival on Saturday June 26 - with the American premiere of a legendary British psychedelic movie from the 60’s - WONDERWALL which stars cult British actress Jane Birkin.

The film was shot in 1967 by a London-based American director, Joe Massot, who was deeply entrenched in the Swingin’ London of the era. He had chosen the Beatles’ new favorite design team - a Sgt. Pepper-influenced Dutch collective known as “The Fool” - to create the ‘wonderwall’ of the film’s title. (The designers also made the very few clothes worn in the film by the nymph-like Jane Birkin!) In the fall of 1967 he was searching for the right musicians to create the soundtrack for his movie. The film’s production had created quite a buzz and several artists were vying for the opportunity. The Bee Gees (then riding the crest of the wave of their first hits) and a post-Hollies pre-CSN Graham Nash both made pitches to get the job.

Around this time, Massot attended the now famous opening party for the Beatles’ Apple boutique, which featured clothes designed by “The Fool.” (The party was attended by John Lennon, George Harrison, The Stones, Eric Clapton and the cream of British rock society.) At the party he found himself in conversation with George Harrison. At this time Harrison was the only member of the Beatles who had not yet pursued a solo project.

(Paul McCartney had scored the 1966 Hayley Mills movie “The Family Way” and was the principal directing force behind the “Magical Mystery Tour” film; in addition to writing two books, John Lennon had acted in Richard Lester’s 1967 movie “How I Won The War”; and Ringo Starr was preparing for his forthcoming acting roles in the movies “Candy” and “The Magic Christian.”)

Harrison indicated that he wanted to find a creative outlet for his growing interest in Indian music. Massot offered Harrison the job of creating the “Wonderwall” soundtrack - and Harrison accepted. He immediately set about writing and recording music for the film.

The resulting score was a groundbreaking blend of western and eastern music. Harrison crossed psychedelic rock with the Indian music which was his passion at the time. The Indian-flavored segments were recorded at EMI’s Bombay studios in January 1968 - at sessions which also produced the backing track for Harrison’s song “The Inner Light” - released as the ‘B’ side of the “Lady Madonna” single in March 1968.

George recording Wonderwall in Bombay
The western music was principally recorded in the same Abbey Road studio in which Harrison recorded with the Beatles. For his first album as a producer, Harrison tried out a formula which he reprised in 1971 for his debut solo album “All Things Must Pass.” (On that album he used Apple artists Badfinger as a basic house band - augmenting them with other musicians.) For his “Wonderwall” score he recruited the session services of a the musicians from a Liverpool group called The Remo Four. The band were primarily known as an excellent instrumental band and as a backing group for singers such as Tommy Quickly and Billy J. Kramer who (like them) were represented by Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Since the movie commission was for an instrumental score - their lack of major vocal talent was not an issue.

(The Remo Four were available for the session work because they were, sadly, in the throes of breaking up. They had already been dropped by two labels which had become disillusioned with their lack of record success - and the group hadn’t had a record released since 1966. Subsequent to the Wonderwall sessions, two of the members of the group - Tony Ashton [keyboards] and Roy Dyke [drums] joined forces with bass player Kim Gardner and formed Ashton, Gardner & Dyke who had a Top 40 hit in the U.S. in 1971 with their single “Resurrection Shuffle.” [#3 in UK.] This came from their 1970 debut album “The Worst Of Ashton, Gardner & Dyke” - which featured guest guitar work by.... George Harrison - returning the favor of the “Wonderwall” sessions.)

As with his later solo album, Harrison invited a few musicians to augment his basic session group. One of these musicians was his new pal, guitarist Eric Clapton. However, as was the case on the Beatles’ White Album later in 1968 - his contribution was uncredited. (Prior to 1969, name musicians were rarely permitted to perform on recordings issued by labels other than their own.) Though the album credits didn’t display it, subsequent rumors referred to the soundtrack sessions as having included a guitarist called Eddie Clayton - a well-known pseudonym used by Eric Clapton.

Also contributing to the sessions - though uncredited for a different reason - were fellow Beatles Ringo Starr and John Lennon (who added rhythm guitar at one of the sessions.) Neither of the Beatles wanted the fact of their involvement to draw attention away from Harrison on his first solo project - and they eschewed any credit.

(The 1992 Apple CD reissue of the album includes comprehensive liner notes by longtime Beatles/Apple publicist and Harrison friend/confidante Derek Taylor - in which he confirmed in print for the first time the uncredited participation of Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr “and others” in the Wonderwall sessions.)

The completed film was first shown at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 1968 - at a screening attended by George & Pattie Harrison and Ringo & Maureen Starr.

On November 1, 1968, (December 2, 1968 in US) Harrison’s much-praised score for the movie became the first album released on the Beatles’ new Apple label (receiving the UK catalog number Apcor 001) The album was well reviewed and a comparative success for an album of instrumental music from an as-yet-unseen film. It stayed on the Billboard album charts for 16 weeks - peaking at #49.

The film - which was a heavily psychedelized impressionistic fable featuring the young Jane Birkin - premiered in London on January 20, 1969 - but it was not a commercial success and fell from distribution rapidly. It never secured release in the USA.

With the passage of time and the subsequent backlash against 60’s psychedelia, the film became an obscurity, occasionally surfacing on TV as late-night filler. The film’s director Joe Massot went on to a variety of other projects - most notably directing the 1972 Led Zeppelin documentary “The Song Remains The Same” and 1981’s “Dance Craze” about the two-tone ska revival - featuring Madness and The Specials et al.

Apart from the release of Harrison’s soundtrack album on CD in 1992 as part of a general Apple catalog reissue - the project attracted no further attention until 1995.

That was the year that Noel Gallagher writer/guitarist of the band Oasis happened to see the film on one of its occasional middle-of-the-night TV airings and became fascinated with the movie and its music. His fascination led to him writing a song incorporating the film’s title. The next Oasis album - their breakthrough “What’s The Story Morning Glory” - featured the song called “Wonderwall” - and it became a worldwide hit single for the by now enormously popular Oasis.

Once people realized the inspiration for the song - the success of the track sparked renewed interest in the original “Wonderwall” film.

So director Joe Massot decided to bring his 1967 production out of mothballs and see if there might be some interest in reissuing the film. On viewing the movie some 30 years on, he felt that the film could be improved with some re-editing and restoration work.
"Everyone should have themselves regularly overwhelmed by Nature"
- George Harrison

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