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Vinyl: Beatles - What Goes On - 1963 John Lennon *DEMO ACETATE Unreleased & Unheard* Lennon's Original Lyrics - Different To Released Track!

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10,200.00 GBP
(13,665.50 USD)
1,000.00 GBP
01 Oct 2017
21 Sep 2017
38 bids
Very Good
The Beatles
United Kingdom
Relisted From
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‘What Goes On’ first appeared on the UK edition of ‘Rubber Soul’ in December 1965. It eventually surfaced in the U.S.A. in June 1966 on the legendary ‘Yesterday and Today’ LP. However, the origins of the song go way back to the days before the Beatles.

In his Playboy interview of November 1980, John Lennon described the song as being written by “Me. A very early song of mine". In fact, he wrote it for his group The Quarrymen in the late 1950’s.

Although never performed live by The Beatles, John clearly thought enough of the song to consider it as a follow-up single to ‘Please, Please Me’. However, by the time the group convened at Abbey Road studios on March 5th 1963, the idea had been dropped in favour of ‘From Me To You’ and ‘Thank You Girl’.

Never ones to throw a good idea away, the group resurrected the song and re-worked it towards the end of the ‘Rubber Soul’ sessions in 1965. Leaving the main ‘chorus’ of the song intact, Paul, with a little help from Ringo, re-wrote the verses and George added a solo. It was then recorded in one take (with overdubs) on November 4th 1965.

The acetate on offer here however contains the original home demo version recorded by John & Paul in early 1963. It features a lead vocal by John on guitar with Paul on harmony. Some piano notes can also be heard in the background towards the end of the track. The 1:54 minute track has the familiar ‘What goes on…’ chorus similar to the released track, but the two verses reveal John's original lyrics which are completely different those on the released version.

The recording of 'What Goes On’ on this acetate is one of the rare tracks/performances by The Beatles which has never been released either officially or unofficially. The original tape of this demo recording is not known to exist and is presumed lost.

This disc itself is a 1-sided 7" lacquer-coated metal disc (acetate) bearing a red and white typewritten 'Dick James Music Limited - Demo Disc' label on one side.

Provenance: This acetate was given by George Harrison to his brother Harry, or another member of his family, who sold it among other items as lot 301 at Bonhams in December 2012.

You can listen to a clip recorded directly from this acetate on YouTube by clicking on the link below:

YouTube: Beatles - What Goes On - 1963 John Lennon Demo

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This disc has survived in a respectableVERY GOOD condition. The playing surface is clean with no mold bloom (a common issue with acetates of this age) and the delicate lacquer surface is fully intact with no missing, cracked or crazed areas. A number of small, light fingernail-type scuffs are visible in strong light, but there are no scratches or anything which penetrates the grooves. The disc lies 100% flat and is not bent or distorted in any way.

The label is fully intact and firmly adhered to the disc bearing only minor blemishes from storage.

The track plays through with no major audible faults i.e. no clicks, pops, jumps, repeats or any other similar issues. As you can hear from the clip, some light background noise is present but this could easily be suppressed digitally.

Curiously, the recording on this disc sounds slightly slow when played at 45rpm - maybe John's tape recorder was faulty. The recording you hear in the clip has had its speed increased by approximately 5% to match the key of E, which John’s guitar should have been tuned to. The correction makes his voice more recognizable to a degree we are all familiar with.

Surviving Beatles acetates of this nature are extremely rare, especially those containing unreleased recordings, and t his acetate may be the only surviving example of this enigmatic recording.

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