Song facts: Hey Bulldog

Hey Bulldog was written by John Lennon and first appeared on The Beatles' Yellow Submarine album, on January 13th, 1969. 

"That's me, 'cause of the Yellow Submarine people, who were gross animals apart from the guy who drew the paintings for the movie. They lifted all the ideas for the movie out of our heads and didn't give us any credit. We had nothing to do with that movie, and we sort of resented them. It was the third movie that we owed United Artists. Brian had set it up and we had nothing to do with it. But I liked the movie, the artwork. They wanted another song, so I knocked off Hey Bulldog. It's a good-sounding record that means nothing." - John Lennon

Recording

Recording began on February 11th, 1968. A few days prior to the session, McCartney had played drums on a Paul Jones' song called The Dog Presides, which featured barking noises on the track. While recording Hey Bulldog Paul starting barking without warning, and this impromptu outburst decided the direction the song would take. Lennon's original title was Hey Bullfrog, but after McCartney's barking he changed it to Hey Bulldog.

"I remember Hey Bulldog as being one of John's songs and I helped him finish it off in the studio, but it's mainly his vibe. There's a little rap at the end between John and I, we went into a crazy little thing at the end." - Paul McCartney

Promo video

Footage from the recording session was used to promote Lady Madonna in 1968. This same footage was later used to make a promo video for Hey Bulldog.

"When we were in the studio recording Bulldog, apparently it was at a time when they needed some footage for something else, some other record, and a film crew came along and filmed us. Then they cut up the footage and used some of the shots for something else. But it was Neil Aspinall who found out that when you watched and listened to what the original thing was, we were recording Bulldog. This was apparently the only time we were actually filmed recording something, so what Neil did was, he put it all back together again and put the Bulldog soundtrack onto it, and there it was." - George Harrison
"On February 11, they recorded Hey Bulldog at Abbey Road, while I filmed the entire process. We didn't need any promo material for Bulldog, but Paul had also recorded Lady Madonna, the song he had written in memory of his mother, which did need some promotional film. I cut the Bulldog shoot, using the bits of the lads playing and sitting about in the studio, and we used that. Then it vanished, completely disappeared. We thought it had been stolen, as things often were if not nailed down. (Over thirty years later, in August 1999, my original film was rediscovered and used with a reissue of Bulldog to go with the revamped digital version of Yellow Submarine." - Beatle friend Tony Bramwell

Personnel

  • John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, piano, rhythm guitar, talking
  • Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass, tambourine, barks, talking
  • George Harrison – lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums, background vocals
  John Lennon recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 John Lennon recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 Ringo Starr recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968. 

Ringo Starr recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968. 

  George Harrison   recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968. 

George Harrison recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968. 

  John Lennon   recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968. 

John Lennon recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968. 

 Paul McCartney at a Hey Bulldog  recording session, February 11th 1968. 

Paul McCartney at a Hey Bulldog recording session, February 11th 1968. 

  John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 George Harrison recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

George Harrison recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 George Harrison recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

George Harrison recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

  John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 The Beatles recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

The Beatles recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 The Beatles recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

The Beatles recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 John Lennon and George Harrison recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

John Lennon and George Harrison recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 John Lennon recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

John Lennon recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 John Lennon and George Harrison recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

John Lennon and George Harrison recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

 John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Hey Bulldog, February 11th 1968.

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