Behind The Beatles: Being For The Benefit of Mister Kite!
POSTED ON 11/21/2005 | PERMALINK |2 Comments | BOOKMARK
On January 31, 1967 the Beatles went to Knole Park near Sevenoaks in Kent to make the promotional film for Strawberry Fields Forever. "There was an antique shop close to the hotel we were using in Sevenoaks," remembers former Apple employee Tony Bramwell. "John and I wandered in and John spotted this framed Victorian circus poster and bought it."

Inspired by the finely-wrought language and the evocative names of the performers on the poster, John began to compose a song based on it.
The poster mentions "The Celebrated Horse Zanthus" (not Henry, the horse's name in the song), contains several references to the Hendersons, and advertises Mr. Henderson's "TRAMPOLINE LEAPS AND SOMERSETS! Over Men & Horses, through Hoops, over Garters and lastly through a Hogshead of REAL FIRE!"
Paul : 'Mr. Kite' was a poster that John had in his house in Weybridge. I arrived there for a session one day nad he had it up on the wall in his living room. It was all there, the trampoline, the somersets, the hoops, the garters, the horse. It was Pablo Fanque's fair, and it said 'being for the benefit of Mr. Kite', almost the whole song was written right off this poster. We just sat down and wrote it. We pretty much took it down word for word and then just made up some little bits and pieces to glue it together. It was more John's beacuse it was his poster so he ended up singing it, but it was quite a co-written song. We were both sitting there to write it at his house, just looking at it on the wall in the living room. But that was nice, it wrote itself very easily. Later George Martin put a fairground sound on it.
Although Lennon originally stated of the song that he "wasn't proud of that", in 1980, he described it as "pure, like a painting, a pure watercolour."

A total of 15 stereo and mono mixes were ultimately prepared. The background circus effects create more of a swirling sensation in the stereo version, but the mono version contains more tape loops.
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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When i was a kid (16yo) and first heard this song i could almost visualized the poster they were describing...i was already knowledgable re: 1920, 1930 & late 1800's advertisements..With such statements as: 'A pleasant time is guaranteed for all", i could see the writing, the different size and style of fonts...imagine years later, my happy surprize to see it was actually for real and existed in John's home. haa ha. I'm 54 now, you do the math.

Wed Jan 03, 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger glitch p-udding said...

that's fantastic! glad you finally found it!

Wed Jan 03, 05:44:00 PM  

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