Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (Lennon/McCartney)
One of the most interesting backgrounds of all Beatles songs is Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!. As with Good Morning, Good Morning, John had taken to writing songs about things immediately available to him in his home. The lyric was taken almost entirely from an 1843 circus poster John bought after shooting a promotional film for Strawberry Fields Forever.
Reproduction of the Mr. Kite poster
The original poster from which John derived the lyrics reads:
TOWN-MEADOWS, ROCHDALE Grandest Night of the Season!
AND POSITIVELY THE
LAST NIGHT BUT THREE!
BEING FOR THE
BENEFIT OF MR.KITE,
(LATE OF WELLS’S CIRCUS) AND
MR. J. HENDERSON,
THE CELEBRATED SOMERSET THROWER!
WIRE DANCER, VAULTER, RIDER, etc.
On TUESDAY Evening, February 14, 1843.
|Mr. Kite will, for this night only, introduce the
Well known to be one of the best Broke Horses
IN THE WORLD!!!Mr. HENDERSON will undertake the arduous Task of
THROWING TWENTY-ONE SOMERSETS,
ON THE SOLID GROUND.Mr. KITE will appear, for the first time this season,
On The Tight Rope,
When Two Gentlemen Amateurs of this Town will perform with him.
|Mr. HENDERSON will, for the first time in Rochdale,
introduce his extraordinary
Over Men & Horses, through Hoops, over Garters and lastly through a Hogshead of REAL FIRE! In this branch of the profession Mr. H challenges THE WORLD!For particulars see Bills of the day.
George Martin plays harmonium and organ. The February 20 overdubs featured sampled sounds of Sousa marches on calliope tapes, cut up and reassembled at random by Geoff Emerick under direction of George Martin, in order to fulfill John’s request that the song have a circus-like sound.
- February 17, 1967 (7 takes; rhythm track, vocal overdubs, 2 takes; reductions)
- February 20, 1967 (overdubs)
- February 28, 1967
- March 29, 1967 (organ, harmonica, and Feb. 20 tape overdub)
- March 31, 1967 (organ & glockenspiel overdubs, mono mixing)
- April 7, 1967 (stereo mixing)
- John Lennon – lead vocals and harmony vocals, Hammond organ, tape loops, and harmonica
- Paul McCartney – bass guitar, harmony vocal, lead guitar
- George Harrison – harmonica, shaker
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, harmonica
- George Martin – piano, harmonium, Lowrey organ, Wurlitzer organ, Hammond organ, glockenspiel, tape loops
- Mal Evans – bass harmonica
- Neil Aspinall – harmonica
- Geoff Emerick – tape loops
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
- Anthology 2 (1996) [take 1 & 2, take 7]
- Love (2006) [LOVE mix]
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition (2017) [2017 stereo mix]
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition (2017) [take 4]
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition (2017) [take 7]