Beatles White Album


In July 1968, a young sound engineer named Geoff Emerick grew annoyed with his employers and quit his job.

Geoff’s employers muddled through without him.

And fifty years ago this month, they released a double-album…

…with a plain white cover…

…entitled, simply, “The Beatles.”

So, yeah this really happened…

A 22-year-old sound engineer is hanging out at Apple Studios…

…with the most famous band in the galaxy…

…helping to record “The White Album” which was bound to go down as a masterpiece…

…and he walks out.


But here’s the thing: The Beatles WERE really, really, really annoying to work with in 1968.

Constant bickering.

Endless recording sessions at odd hours.

Countless takes in search of (elusive) perfection.

You know the song “Sexy Sadie?” (If you have a vinyl edition, you’ll find the track on side three, right before the infamous “Helter Skelter.”)

It’s an OK song. Nothing special. It wasn’t on the charts. It’s not on any greatest hits album.

Guess how long it took the Beatles to deliver that three-minute song?

The Answer: 107 takes.

That’s a lot of takes. (Enough takes to drive a sound-engineer bonkers.)

Backtrack to April 1966. The Beatles recorded “Paperback Writer” in two takes.

Two takes was good enough.

The song was a No. 1 single the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, West Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Norway.

So why did The Beatles exhaust 107 takes to produce Sexy Sadie?

Because they could.

They were through touring. They had more money than Richie Rich. They had time to burn.

They were THE Beatles, for goodness’ sake. So big they could release an album with nothing (except their name) on the cover.

Here’s the lesson for you:

You’re not THOSE Beatles.

You’re not galaxy-famous.

You’re not THAT rich.

You have work to do…

…Just like those lads in April 1966 who were still busy touring and who didn’t have time for 107 takes.

You don’t have time for 107 takes, either. You don’t have time for seven takes.

Knock out that email or blog or social media post or podcast. Get ‘er done in one take, maybe two.

That will be good enough.

Don’t be sloppy.

But don’t be like the 1968 Beatles.

You and your business can’t afford it. And you don’t want to drive everyone around you bonkers!

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.

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