Song facts: Savoy Truffle

On October 3rd 1968, The Beatles recorded a new George Harrison song Savoy Truffle, for the band's forthcoming White Album.

John Lennon was absent on this particular recording; something that was commonplace during the recording of The White Album. In addition to Harrison, McCartney and Starr, six saxophonists were brought in for the recording.

"The session men were playing really well - there's nothing like a good brass section letting rip - and it sounded fantastic. But having got this really nice sound George turned to Ken Scott and said, 'Right, I want to distort it.' So I had to plug-up two high-gain amplifiers which overloaded and deliberately introduced a lot of distortion, completely tearing the sound to pieces and making it dirty.
The musicians came up to the control room to listen to a playback and George said to them, 'Before you listen I've got to apologise for what I've done to your beautiful sound. Please forgive me - but it's the way I want it!' I don't think they particularly enjoyed hearing their magnificent sound screwed up quite so much but they realised that this was what George wanted, and that it was their job to provide it." - Brian Gibson, engineer

Harrison wrote the song about his friend Eric Clapton, who had a notorious chocolate addiction. Clapton famously played lead guitar on George's While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

"Savoy Truffle is a funny one written whist hanging out with Eric Clapton in the '60s. At that time he had a lot of cavities in his teeth and needed dental work. He always had a toothache but he ate a lot of chocolates - he couldn't resist them, and once he saw a box he had to eat them all. He was over at my house, and I had a box of Good News chocolates on the table and wrote the song from the names inside the lid. I got stuck with the two bridges for a while and Derek Taylor wrote some of the words in the middle - You know that what you eat you are". - George Harrison

Personnel

The Beatles

  • George Harrison – double-tracked vocal, rhythm guitar, lead guitars
  • Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine

Additional musicians

  • Chris Thomas – electric piano, organ, horn arrangement
  • Art Ellefson – tenor saxophone
  • Danny Moss – tenor saxophone
  • Derek Collins – tenor saxophone
  • Ronnie Ross – baritone saxophone
  • Harry Klein – baritone saxophone
  • Bernard George – baritone saxophone
George Harrison on the Beatles' Mad Day Out, July 28th 1968.

George Harrison on the Beatles' Mad Day Out, July 28th 1968.