Yoko Ono has released unseen footage from the Imagine album recording sessions featuring John Lennon and George Harrison in the studio working on the track ‘How Do You Sleep?”.
Lennon recorded ‘Imagine’ at his home Tittenhurst Park in Ascot, England. This recording was made in May 1971 in John’s Ascot Sound Studios. His guitar is the same Epiphone Casino electric he used on The Beatles ‘Revolution’.
The session features Rod Lyton and Ted Turner from Wishbone Ash, Klaus Voorman on bass and George and John. Alan White (who would soon after join Yes) is on drums. Nicky Hopkins is on piano. He left days later to join The Rolling Stones ‘Exile on Main Street’ sessions in France.
Imagine – The Raw Studio Mixes & Out-takes in 5.1 and Stereo Produced by Yoko Ono Mixed by Rob Stevens Mix Engineer: Paul Goodrich at Merlin Studios Mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, New York & Nashville.
For the Raw Studio Mix of ‘How Do You Sleep?’ (Takes 5 & 6) In the Imagine Ultimate Collection Box Set on Blu-Ray Audio Disc 2, the 5.1 Surround Sound positions are:
Front Centre – John Lennon: electric guitar, vocal
Front Left – Nicky Hopkins: electric piano
Front Right – George Harrison: electric slide guitar
Surround Left – Alan White: drums Surround
Right – Klaus Voormann: bass
It has long been thought that ‘How Do You Sleep?’ was a slap at Paul McCartney. However, in the new liner notes for the forthcoming ‘Imagine’ release John is quoted as saying, “Somebody said the other day ‘It’s about me’. You know, there’s two things I regret. One is that there was so much talk about Paul on it, they missed the song. It was a good track. And I should’ve kept me mouth shut – not on the song, it could’ve been about anybody, you know? And when you look at them back, Dylan said it about his stuff, you know, most of it’s about him. The only thing that matters is how he and I feel about those things and not what the writer or the commentator thinks about it, you know? Him and me are OK. So I don’t care what they say about that, you know? I’ve always been a little, you know, loose. And I hope it’ll change because I’m fed up of waking up in the papers. But if it doesn’t, my friends are my friends whatever way”.
Regardless, the lyrics were, “the only thing you done was yesterday but since you’re gone you just another day”. The reference to two McCartney songs ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Another Day’ is a very real bitch slap to Paul.
The expanded Imagine box will be released 5 October 2018