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July 29, 2008



That is a longe one depresive song...


As good as that is, I have to say that Klaatu sounds more like the Beatles than that did.


Remember, Apple was founded to give artists a free hand in promoting their music. This resulted in a flood of tapes to the Apple offices. Small wonder that some (all?) of it ended up in the dumpster. The big wonder is how, out of all that, they only found ONE song to fob off as the Fab Four.


I've listened to this track over and over for years. Definitely not The Fab Four.

Sir Michael L. Foley

I don't really care if it is the Fabs or not - I really like this song! I wish someone could find out who did it and we could get a more cleaned up version of it.


There is a website that details all the supposedly lost demo recordings of Kurt Cobain, nearly all of which are fakes. They share one thing in common with this tape-- they are murky, perhaps deliberately murky to help fool the public. The story of the "tape found in the trash at Apple Records" is unverifiable, and considering that rare record dealers often pawn crappy 60's-70's horn-rock bands as "psychedelic masterpieces" simply because their sealed copy of the album has trippy cover art, it's not hard to believe that some bootlegger created this dismal demo to pad out a Beatles boot he was making.

A demo, with all the murky sound of a demo, and like any demo from that era, probably recorded live on a portable reel-to-reel, and yet it has a backwards intro and harmony vocals? These guys did their DEMOS in Abbey Rd studios, not live as a group on a Webcor tape machine in their hotel room.

Unlikely at best.


I'll bet the lyrics to this inspired Robyn Hitchcock--that's what they sound like (wait...his lyrics are better than this!)

de zwarte kraai

i always thought it was a george harrison home demo. if anything the vocals sound like george taped three times over. no resemblance to john or paul at all. by the quality of the guitar playing, it would have had to be a very stoned george. i'm not sure if it's real or fake, but it's enjoyable enough.


A classic outfake is from Rough Notes (Pod Records 1981): I Want You (She's So Heavy) Supposed to be sung by Paul minus George
Noted as "TAKE 1, Trident studios, acetate".
It is not clear yet whether this is a fake or not. Being the hardcore Beatles geek that I am, it sounds phoney. The date is of course speculative (noted here as 22 feb 1969 although it's sometimes noted as 21 feb 1969).


Wow...I have a few other Beatles boots and I haven't heard another one of this poor quality. Nor would I imagine that even home tapes would have been that bad...they could afford better equipment than that. But I haven't heard them all, so can't go by that.

That said, the voices sound a lot like John/George to me, but the song's tone and content seem to be psychedelic-era murk. Doesn't sound like Syd Barrett vocally but some of his songs have a similar "feel." But there are tons of other psychedelic-era bands it could have been.


i wish WFMU could get a copy to Richard DiLello for the real story. if theres any Beatles/Apple connection, especially Trash (the band i mean) hed be the one who would know.

Andrew Tonkin

Weird, Gaylord, just weird. I was thinking just this morning that you should do a post on this song, certainly my favorite "Not the Beatles" mystery track. And here it is - a safety pin returns my smile, I nod a brief hello.

My money's on this being the Residents. The harshly surreal lyrics and malevolently playful vocal chants just sound like the mystery eyeball guys to me. And let's not forget the Rezzie's first album cover was an homage to the Fab Four. I can see them mischievously recording this as an outfake, then slipping it to a bootlegger friend as the "real deal."


To the last poster:
This probably isn't the Residents... But one thing I notice about lots of Residents songs: There is a rhythm which most Residents lyrics conform too. I don't know if the meter has a certain name to it. I'm not an expert in poetry. But it seems a lot of lines by the Residents go for a certain number of syllables and then rhyme, and the next line repeats the pattern. And I think this Beatles outfake has that same rhythm. It's the same rhythm as the words to "My Work is So Behind" and countless other Resident's Songs. So I ain't saying this is the Residents, but it's possible.

BTW, do you think they have something to do with this hilarious prank?

Compos Mentis

Hoax. This recording was so universally regarded as a fraud (hello... the lyrics?) that the BOOTLEGGERS stopped selling it twenty years ago. Now, thanks to the miracle of file sharing, a new generation of dopes can listen to those "English" accents and say, "Hey, that sounds like Lennon and/or Harrison! I think it really is The Beatles!" It isn't.

L'Angelo Mysterioso

My boyfriend and I have recently begun working our way through the Beatles catalogue, me as a lifelong fan and listener, and he as a classical composer who until recently had never actively listened to any rock music, not even the Beatles. Anyway, as part of this, we had a listen to some of the songs on this site (many of which I had long read about but hadn't heard; I've always been sort of a Beatles purist). And, when we listened to this song, about five seconds in--before I even got a chance to say "I really don't think this is the Beatles," he had said "there's no way this is them." He's absolutely right, and I wholeheartedly agree with the above poster--who in their right mind would ever think this is the Beatles? Even my Beatles-newbie boyfriend can tell!


I guess I'm duped but it sounds like something from the "What a Shame Maryjane..." session - Of which Lennon said, he, George and Ringo recorded "smashed out of our minds on the 3rd floor of EMI".

Sir George

I don't believe this to be The Beatles, but I might suggest someone close by who had approached them. Perhaps-
The Aerovons=were at Abbey Road for a period, and made a very good "Across The Universe" soundalike.
Billy Nicholls=had George Harrison arrange a demo session for him, but Dick James "lost" the tapes, and free time was given
later for his "Would You Believe" album.
Grapefruit=another Beatle associated group that was trying a Beatles sound.
Although it is a possibilty that this was another home recording, and discarded perhaps. Paul did alot of experimental things in 1967 that he never picked up on again, perhaps a few Beatles were at his flat and some other fellow musicians too. Its also worthy to note that The Beatles did not finger pick until 1968 when Donovan taught them in India. But by that time their actual Psychedelic period was at a close, so the words are not very 1968, they are more 1967. But the guitar is more 1968. So perhaps Donovan is present along with who knows else singing along. Donovan would also be present at the filming of a discarded Promo Film for "A Day In The Life" in 1967.

Sir George

Another good example is the similar dirge sounding "Circles" bootleg song from The White Album era, it is highly likely that it was the inspiration if this is a fake.

Sir George

But all in all the sound and tone resemble nothing like any other home demo by The Beatles, the tape machine here has less high end response than any other home demo bootlegged, the sound is much more muffeled. If this had been a creation of John's at his house, he propably would have overdubbed some Mellotron as he often did or hand drums. If this was a throw away from The White Album demos, then I imagine a droning organ would have made it in, which is present on some White Album demos but not here. If it was of importance to the group, then more instrumentation would have be present, unless it really is a stoned take, as Ringo and John have vouched for doing.
The question remains, where is the orginal tape of this and I am sure you could measure the size of the reel and tell whether or not it might be of Brenell origin and other age factors.


I hear John on lead, Paul on high harmony. George becomes very evident in the background at 2:40. Imitating a voice is something. Imitating three voices? Nearly implausible.

Per Wikipedia, "John C. Winn, was asked his opinion about the song and was quoted as replying: "The only surprising thing about this is that so many people still believe it might have a Beatles connection, despite the fact that no evidence of such a title has turned up in the EMI tape log, the Lennon home archive, the 80 hours of 'Get Back' sessions, copyright records, any written documentation, or any interview (Paul, Ringo, and George Martin have all been asked about 'Peace Of Mind' and/or 'The Candle Burns' and it didn't ring a bell with any of them)."

The song is good. But it is not commercial. Lucy In The Sky received cries for censorship. To let the public know this is the Beatles would be the same as putting up a billboard stating, "We do drugs. Groovy. You should too." Paul may not remember it, or he may not want to remember it. They were most likely tripping when this was recorded. This is not something they would have done a professional recording of at EMI, and no, they did not record all their demos at EMI, they had Brunnell tape records. Per Paul, "Brunnell are the best, even if the knobs do fall off". Per the claim there's not enough high end, the more you multi-track with analog recording, the more you have to boost the high end with equalizers, because you lose some with each generation. June 16, 1967 Paul's on the cover of "Life" for admitting taking LSD. Reaction was not good. We don't want to keep this topic in the public's minds, and they certainly tried to be inconspicuous about it around George Martin. EMI? Bright fluourescent lights and technicians in ties and lab coats. See why the idea of a better quality demo at EMI never would have happened?

As for "Circles" inspiring this song, there's the problem that "Peace Of Mind" was uncommercially available years before "Cirlces" surfaced, plus, it's not as musical in my opinion.

"A safety pin returns my smile..." the words are too clever not to be Beatles. Those who regard the lyrics as meandering could stand to learn a few things about imagry and tone poems.

What would be the point of someone wanting to make a musical name for themself sending an utterly uncommercial demo to Apple? "Look, we can sound just like you, if you were drugged out and recording in 1967?" It seems more than a little stupid. Would Trash (releasing in 1969) approach Apple with a demo years out of date extoling hallucinogens? Would they be that ignorant of the Beatles legal problems (per Sgt "Bring Your Own" Pilcher) with drugs in 1969 that they would present this to Apple? Hardly.

"If it was of importance to the group, then more instrumentation would have be present." Come on.
Any musicians out there? When you make a demo, you're trying to capture and sound and a feeling. You're not worried about sparsity of production. The same logic should be applied to Harrison's original demo of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Surely if he cared about the song, he wouldn't have done the demo with just an acoustic guitar, which is identically how Lennon demostrated "Strawberry Fields" to Geo Martin.

I question the contention that the Beatles didn't finger pick guitar until 1968. What exactly was the intro of "I've Just Seen A Face"?

"who in their right mind would ever think this is the Beatles? Even my Beatles-newbie boyfriend can tell!" Beginner's luck is not a known characteristic of musical insight.

The Residents first started recording in 1969. and the Beatles parody album was released seven years after "The Candle Burns" was found discarded.

Throw five minute instrumental sections on the beginning and end of the song, and it might be more Klaatu's style.

"I wish someone could find out who did it and we could get a more cleaned up version." It's a demo. This is as clean as it gets.

"they (Cobain's demos) are murky, perhaps deliberately murky to help fool the public." I know I don't try to fool the neighbors with what I put in my trash cans.

The denying logic is weak.

Daniel Quintiliani

I recently came across a strangely similar song on YouTube - "High On Love" by the Knickerbockers. It has slightly-similar lyrics and follows the same rhyming pattern as The Candle Burns.

"UK release from 1966"



I have had this song for about 15 years. I never doubted it was the Beatles - till today. And after reading Kurts post decided it is real. One area not considered regarding the recording quality. The Rishikish Tapes -Some of these sound like this. I believe they were recorded on a portable tape recorder outside -or in a tent- I've read accounts like that. They mostly comprise acoustic-y demos, oddities like "Happy Birthday Micheal Love" and although not necessarily the source of this recording show an affinity to this type of quality.

Humberto Gillan Lennon

Of course are the Fab Four, definitively are a rare Beatles tune, in that recoding it's obviously are John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, not the Pretty things or Pink Floyd, thats not the voice of Syd Barrett it's The Beatles Voices, and sounds like the Rishikesh, India Demo of Early 1968.

Burt Kocain

If it's the Beatles, it's the only song they recorded where they sound nothing like the Beatles. It's also the worst-recorded song in their entire career, demo or otherwise, including those at Rishikesh. It's also the only song they got together to write and record that none of them, nor anyone connected with the Beatles in any capacity, remembers or talked about or made a note of.

I'm assuming all the people commenting here who say it "sounds like the Beatles' voices" are American? There's not a trace of Liverpudlian accent anywhere here. There just IS NOT. Take it from a Scouser who can't tell the difference between someone from LA and someone from New York.

The only reason anybody thinks this is the Beatles is the story that it was found in the trash at Apple, which is absolutely impossible to prove. If the story was it had been found in the trash in Manchester, nobody would be claiming it was the Beatles, because nobody would believe it.


Kurt - You are obviously intelligent (though not quite as intelligent as you think you are) and know your Beatles (as much as anyone who has read a couple of books and has seen a documentary on TV) but you are way off.The lyric you quote ("The safety pin returns my smile") is NOT "too clever to not be" them at all.It's a very transparent and poor attempt to sound like 1967-era Beatles.I suggest it is you who should look deeper into the "imagry" of the Fab's songs and maybe then you'll realise how crass and just plain bad the lyrics are.They are just too bad to be them.Jog on!

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