January 10, 2013

The Beatles - Watching Rainbows [Demo] (1969)

Although Ringo Starr was the first member of The Beatles to temporarily quit in 1968, George Harrison, too, quit the band for a brief period starting on January 10th, 1969. At the time, The Beatles were practicing at a film studio, Twickenham, so that their rehearsals could be filmed. After a morning filed with verbal altercations between George and Paul, a quiet George Harrison eventually met up with the group and crew for lunch a bit late. Rather than joining them, he simply stated, “See you ’round the clubs” and disappeared. The three remaining Beatles went back to the recording room not knowing what to do and unleashed an angry improvisational ruckus with John Lennon sarcastically leading the group to play The Who’s “A Quick One, While He's Away.” Days later, word got back to Harrison that Lennon had mentioned bringing in Eric Clapton as a replacement, which Lennon had probably said as a ploy to get George back rather than a real solution. After a five hour meeting, Harrison rejoined the group on January 15th, 1969.

This song, recorded on January 14th, 1969 was nothing more than the result of a loose jamming session during Harrison’s five day absence. The song features no bass, as Paul McCartney had to abandon the instrument to fill in for George’s lead guitar as Lennon sang. Although the song was never officially released, the melody evolved into their future song Two of Us* "I've Got a Feeling." The reason these lyrics didn’t survive, perhaps, could have been because they were too reminiscent of “I Am the Walrus.”

*Update from the Editor 10/16/2014: Putting "Two of Us" was a typo which was not discovered until now, thanks to Twitter. It was incorrectly here for nearly two years - sorry!

album art

The Beatles - Watching Rainbows [Demo] (1969)

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Standin' in the garden
Waitin' for the sun to shine
Hand on my umbrella, with his girl
I wish she was mine
Everybody knows to think a thing
It didn't come

Instead of watchin' rainbows
I'm gonna make me some
Instead of watchin' rainbows
I'm gonna make me some

Standin' in the garden
Waitin' for the English sun to come
And make me brown so I can be someone

Lookin' at the fancy next-door neighbors
Cryin' to their mom, "I'm dyin' to set sail there"
Everybody's got to have somethin' hard to hold

Well, instead of watching rainbows under the sun
You gotta get out, son, and make you one
You gotta get out, son, and make your run
Because you're not gonna make it if you don't try, no

Shoot big
Shoot big
Whatever you do you gotta kill somebody to get what you wanna get
You gotta shoot big
You gotta shoot big
Until you shoot big
I can't stand no more


  1. Thanks for this one Z - not sure I've ever heard it before & I thought I had the definitive Beatles collection amongst my library!

    1. Ah, you're quite welcome. I'm glad to expose anybody to a little bit more of The Beatles. There's a YouTube posting of this song where an individual added his own bass to it. It's very good. Just searching for something along the lines of "The Beatles Watching Rainbows with Bass" and you'll be sure to find it.