Song facts: Sexy Sadie

The Beatles began recording Sexy Sadie on July 19th 1968, at Abbey Road Studios, London. The song was written by John Lennon while in India studying transcendental meditation.

On April 12th 1968, having been convinced the Maharishi was seeking sexual favour from some of the female members of their camp, John Lennon and George Harrison decided to leave India along with Cynthia Lennon and Pattie Harrison. When the Maharishi asked why they were leaving, John looked at him and said: Well, if you're so cosmic, you'll know why.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon in India, 1968. 

Paul McCartney and John Lennon in India, 1968. 

While they were waiting to leave John Lennon began to sing and write Sexy Sadie; a direct attack on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The song would later appear on The Beatles' White Album, along with most of the content written during their stay in India. John was also disillusioned with the guru, who he felt was more interested in money and celebrities than spirituality; and expressed this in Sexy Sadie.

John originally wanted to call the song Maharishi, but George convinced him to change the name. 

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Anthology 3. 

Anthology 3. 

Recording

Recording began on July 19th and 24th; with overdubs carried out the following month on August 13th and 21st of 1968. 

On July 19th The Beatles recorded twenty-one takes of the song, while the band tried to figure out the style and tempo. None of the recordings for this session would find their way onto The White Album, but take six was issued on Anthology 3 in 1996.

George Harrison with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1967. 

George Harrison with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1967. 

Personnel

  • John Lennon – lead and harmony vocals, rhythm guitar, Hammond organ
  • George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Paul McCartney – piano, bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine

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