Sunday May 23, 1999
Calendar Section - Pop Music
While waiting for the mystery of the supposed "lost treasure" from the Beatles' vaults to settle (the track in question is apparently not a new song, but a new mix of "Hey Bulldog" from the soundtrack to the 1968 animated feature "Yellow Submarine") fans can hear a true-Beatles related "lost" nugget, a song really recorded for a 1968 film but never used. The track, "In The First Place," was produced by George Harrison for his score of "Wonderwall," but since he felt there was no place for anything but instrumental pieces in the film, he never submitted it to director Joe Massot.
The song is credited to and was written by the Remo Four, a group of the Beatles' hometown of Liverpool, with some vocal contributions from Harrison. Lennon, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton were uncredited guests on some "Wonderwall" sessions, but it's unclear whether they were involved in this song. In any case it was shelved and forgotten.
Massot recently decided to re-edit "Wonderwall" and hoped to remaster the music. Original tapes were located at Abbey Road Studios in London and EMI's Bombay facility -- the two places the music was recorded -- as well as in Harrison's personal vaults. It was among tapes from the last location that Masson discovered the unknown song. With Harrison's blessing, he decided to include the piece of psychedelic pop as the theme song in the new edit.
The song and the new version of the film will get their premiere on June 26 as part of the American's Cinematheque's "Mods & Rockers!" film festival at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood -- which starts June 25.
- Steve Hochman
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