Song facts: The Continuing Story of Bunglow Bill

On October 8th 1968, The Beatles recorded The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill, another John Lennon song for their forthcoming White Album. This was the same day the group also recorded and completed John's I'm So Tired. At this recording session Yoko Ono and Maureen Starky provided lead and backing vocals respectively.

The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill is another Lennon composition written while on retreat in India. It is based on an American man named Richard A. Cooke who was staying in a bungalow with his mother, close to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the same time the Beatles were there. According to Lennon and Mia Farrow he was a contemptuous man who had boasted at killing a tiger on a hunting trip.

 The Beatles with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India, 1968. 

The Beatles with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India, 1968. 

"Bungalow Bill was written about a guy in Maharishi's meditation camp who took a short break to go shoot a few poor tigers, and then came back to commune with God. There used to be a character called Jungle Jim, and I combined him with Buffalo Bill. It's sort of a teenage social-comment song and a bit of a joke." - John Lennon
"Then a self-important, middle-aged American woman arrived, moving a mountain of luggage into the brand-new private bungalow next to Maharishi's along with her son, a bland young man named Bill. People fled this newcomer, and no one was sorry when she left the ashram after a short time to go tiger hunting, unaware that their presence had inspired a new Beatles song." - Mia Farrow
 John Lennon in India, 1968. 

John Lennon in India, 1968. 

Personnel

  • John Lennon – lead vocal, acoustic guitar, organ, Mellotron
  • Paul McCartney – bass guitar, backing vocal
  • George Harrison – backing vocal, acoustic guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, backing vocal
  • Chris Thomas – Mellotron
  • Yoko Ono – lead vocal, backing vocal
  • Maureen Starkey – backing vocal
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