Song facts: Glass Onion

On September 11th and 12th 1968, The Beatles recorded Glass Oniona new John Lennon song for their forthcoming White Album.

This was the first track on The White Album to feature Ringo Starr on drums. Starr left the band on August 22nd amid tensions but returned on September 3rd.

On September 11th the band recorded 34 takes of the rhythm track, of which 33 was considered the best. Lennon recorded his vocal track the following day on September 12th.

Lennon makes references to Paul and several other Beatle songs in Glass Onion. This was deliberately done to confuse the type of obsessive fans he knew that would over-analyze the words.

"That's me, just doing a throwaway song, à la Walrus, à la everything I've ever written. I threw the line in - 'the Walrus was Paul' - just to confuse everybody a bit more. And I thought Walrus has now become me, meaning 'I am the one.' Only it didn't mean that in this song.
It could have been 'the fox terrier is Paul,' you know. I mean, it's just a bit of poetry. It was just thrown in like that." - John Lennon
"Well, that was a joke. The line was put in partly because I was feeling guilty because I was with Yoko and I was leaving Paul. I was trying - I don't know. It's a very perverse way of saying to Paul, you know, Here, have this crumb, this illusion - this stroke, because I'm leaving." - John Lennon


  • John Lennon – double-tracked vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Paul McCartney – bass guitar, piano, recorder, vocals
  • George Harrison – lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine
  • George Martin – string arrangement 
 The Beatles on their Mad Day Out photo shoot, July 28th, 1968.

The Beatles on their Mad Day Out photo shoot, July 28th, 1968.

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