George was becoming interested in Eastern religion and the idea of everyone coming together as one when he wrote I Me Mine. He specifically believed that greed and the desire for personal possessions prevented everyone in the world from living in harmony.
The final recording session
During filming for the Let It Be film, George introduced the song to Ringo. When the film's director Michael Lindsay-Hogg decided to include the footage in the film it was decided that a studio version should be recorded for the accompanying album. Paul, George, and Ringo recorded sixteen takes along with overdubs on January 3, 1970 - the final Beatles recording session. John was not present - not only was he on vacation, but he had actually quit the Beatles in September of 1969 and had been asked by Paul and manager Allen Klein to not speak about his departure. Outtakes from this session (which can be heard on Anthology 3) contain some humor by George - in a mock press statement, he quips, "You all will have read that Dave Dee is no longer with us. But Mickey and Tich and I would just like to carry on the good work that's always gone down in (EMI studio) number two."
Phil Spector edits
The original recording of I Me Mine clocked in at just 1:34 (this original version can be heard on Anthology 3) and contained no string or brass overdubs. For release on the album Let It Be, producer Phil Spector extended the song to 2:25 by repeating one of the verses and also added the string and brass sections.
"There is nothing that isn't part of the complete whole." - George Harrison on the Eastern religion belief system from which I Me Mine is based
"I Me Mine is the ego problem. There are two 'I's: the little 'i' when people say 'I am this'; and the big 'I' - is duality and ego. There is nothing that isn't part of the complete whole. When the little 'i' merges into the big 'I' then you are really smiling!" - George Harrison
"Having LSD was like someone catapulting me out into space. The LSD experience was the biggest experience that I'd had up until that time...Suddenly I looked around and everything I could see was relative to my ego, like 'that's my piece of paper' and 'that's my flannel' or 'give it to me' or 'I am'. It drove me crackers, I hated everything about my ego, it was a flash of everything false and impermanent, which I disliked. But later, I learned from it, to realise that there is somebody else in here apart from old blabbermouth. Who am 'I' became the order of the day. Anyway, that's what came out of it, I Me Mine. The truth within us has to be realised. When you realise that, everything else that you see and do and touch and smell isn't real, then you may know what reality is, and can answer the question 'Who am I?'" - George Harrison on the origins of I Me Mine from his autobiography, also titled I Me Mine