Bernard Purdie ... did he really record with The Beatles?

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Allan

Kaufman, TX

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#1
Mar 25, 2010
 

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The answer is a straight, NO WAY, he is clearly lying about his association with the Beatles.
Allan

Kaufman, TX

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#2
Mar 25, 2010
 

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Could Bernard Purdie be lying?

It's not unprecedented for people of considerable accomplishment to also be considerably flawed. Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon come to mind. So does Jim Bakker ... and Jimmy Swaggert. The list goes on and on.

Take the Duke of Wellington, for example ...

In 1812 he defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, one of the most famous military victories in history! However, some historians believe the Duke may have embellished his story to make his role at Waterloo appear even more significant than it was!

I mean, dude, you defeated Napoleon. Why not just leave it at that?

Personally, I think Purdie might be stretching the truth a bit, too. In fact, he might be stretching the truth a lot! As in ... lying.
Allan

Kaufman, TX

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#3
Mar 25, 2010
 

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Clue #1: Purdie says, "Brian Epstein called me and took me down to Capitol's 46th Street studio ... Epstein instigated everything that had to be done."
This is highly unlikely. Not only was Brian Epstein musically illiterate and technically unqualified to oversee a recording session, The Beatles were outspoken, even rude, in discouraging Epstein from meddling in their music.
One episode in particular illustrates just how true this was. The incident is recounted by George Martin in his book "All You Need Is Ears", with a near-identical version of events in Brian Epstein's autobiography, "A Cellarful of Noise".
Epstein wrote: "I remember once attending a recording session at EMI Studios in St. John's Wood. The Beatles were on the studio floor and I was with their recording manager, George Martin, in the control room. The intercom was on and I remarked that there was some sort of flaw in Paul's voice in the number 'Till There Was You'. John heard it and bellowed back,'We'll make the records. You just go on counting your percentages'. And he meant it."
And yet Purdie would have us believe, despite Lennon's humiliating tongue-lashing, that a week or two later Brian Epstein was in New York brazenly supervising the addition of Purdie's drums to twenty-one Beatles recordings!
Nort Piffman

Bothell, WA

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#4
Mar 25, 2010
 

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Bernie Purdie is a fake Hurdy Gurdy and a big Turdy.Ringo never needs help or overdubbing.I've never heard of Bernie Purdie the Nerdy
Allan

Royse City, TX

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#5
Mar 25, 2010
 

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Clue #2: Purdie says, "I overdubbed the drumming on twenty-one tracks of the first three Beatle albums".

It's convenient that Purdie remembers at least one title -- "Yeah Yeah Yeah" -- as this helps establish a time-line. In fact, if Purdie recorded all twenty-one songs during the same nine-day period, which he presumably did, then we only need one title to determine "earliest" and "latest" possible dates for the Purdie sessions.

Surviving studio documents (see Mark Lewisohn's book, "The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions") indicate that "She Loves You" was recorded at EMI's Abbey Road studio on July 1, 1963. A mono mix was completed by George Martin on July 4th, and the single was released to the British public seven weeks later on August 23rd, 1963.
Allan

Royse City, TX

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#6
Mar 25, 2010
 

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Purdie's time-line is further eroded by the fact that Brian Epstein was in London for The Beatles "Till There Was You" session (see above). We don't know if Epstein was referring to the original version of "Till There Was You", recorded on July 18 (takes 1-3) or the "re-make" which was recorded on July 30th (takes 4-8)... but either way it compromises Purdie's already narrow window of opportunit
Allan

Royse City, TX

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#7
Mar 25, 2010
 

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Clue #3: Purdie says, "The only people in the studio were me, the engineer, and Brian Epstein and a few of his people."

Brian Epstein had a small, close-knit circle of trusted friends and advisors. Certainly, some of them would have been among the "people" who were present at the Purdie sessions, if indeed those sessions took place:

Peter Brown was Brian Epstein's personal assistant. In 1961 he was hired to manage the Epstein family's NEMS music shop in Great Charlotte Street, Liverpool, and was later named Executive Director of NEMS Enterprises, The Beatles management company. Brown was "best man" at John and Yoko's wedding. His 1983 autobiography "The Love You Make" (revised in 2003) makes no mention of Bernard Purdie.

Derek Taylor was another of Epstein's personal assistants. He later served as press officer for Apple Corps. His books about The Beatles include "As Time Goes By" (1973), "Fifty Years Adrift" (1984) and "It Was Twenty Years Ago Today" (1987). There is no reference to Bernard Purdie in any of Derek Taylor's books.

Geoffrey Ellis was one of Brian Epstein's closest friends and advisors, and a senior executive at NEMS. He has never publicly commented on Bernard Purdie.
Allan

Royse City, TX

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#8
Mar 25, 2010
 

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Tony Barrow was originally a record reviewer for the Liverpool Echo, and was later hired by Epstein to serve as The Beatles' press officer (1963-67). Today, Barrow is a regular contributor to "Beatle Monthly" magazine, and his 2005 book "John, Paul, George, Ringo and Me" is a detailed insider's view of The Beatles' story. There is no mention of Bernard Purdie in Barrow's book.

Tony Bramwell was a boyhood friend and school-mate of The Beatles. He worked closely with Brian Epstein and The Beatles from "day one", continuing until the band dissolved in 1970. His superb book "Magical Mystery Tours" is a tell-all chronicle that spares no details, including an unprecedented, in-depth analysis of Yoko's contribution to the break-up of the band, and the sordid details of Brian Epstein's short life. Paul McCartney has said, "If you want to know anything about The Beatles, ask Tony Bramwell, he remembers more than I do". There is no reference to Bernard Purdie in Bramwell's book.

Norman Smith was the audio engineer who recorded and mixed almost every Beatle recording, beginning with their Parlophone audition on June 6, 1962 (with Pete Best on drums) and ending on November 30, 1965, when he resigned his position at EMI. Norman Smith's autobiography ("John Lennon Called Me Normal", 2007) makes no mention of Bernard Purdie.
Geoff Emerick assisted Norman Smith on dozens of early Beatle recordings, beginning in February 1963 and continuing until November 1965, after which Emerick was promoted to the position of balance engineer himself, manning the controls for Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, and portions of the White Album and the Abbey Road album. With the exception of George Martin, no-one spent more time in the studio with The Beatles. Emerick's book "Here There And Everywhere" (2006) makes no mention of Bernard Purdie. In addition, in May 2007 I had the opportunity to work with Geoff, and I quizzed him about the Ringo/Purdie issue. Geoff expressed anger and dismay, and wondered what might possess Purdie to make such an outrageous and fraudulent claim.

Brian Epstein died on August 27, 1967. There is no record of him ever having commented publicly or privately about Bernard Purdie.
Allan

Royse City, TX

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#9
Mar 25, 2010
 

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Clue #4: Purdie says he doesn't think Beatle producer George Martin knew about the New York drum sessions.

To suggest that George Martin wouldn't know that someone had "replaced" or "overdubbed" drums on a Beatle recording is like Michelangelo not noticing a few extra chunks chiseled off his famous statue of David. It's just not possible!

Everything that's been written about -- or by -- George Martin points to the meticulous care and attention he applied to his work with The Beatles.
Allan

Royse City, TX

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#10
Mar 25, 2010
 

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In his two books, "All You Need Is Ears" (1979) and "Summer Of Love, The Making Of Sgt. Pepper" (1994), George Martin is candid about the joys and disappointments he experienced working with The Beatles.

For example, there's an incident where Paul had just finished composing "She's Leaving Home", and he was anxious to have the song arranged and recorded as quickly as possible.

"I rang George Martin and said I want to record it next week", Paul told biographer Barry Miles. "He said 'I'm sorry Paul. I've got a Cilla Black session'. I was so hot to trot that I called Mike Leander, another arranger. George Martin was very hurt, apparently."

George Martin (from All You Need Is Ears): "During the making of Pepper, Paul was to give me one of the biggest hurts of my life. It concerned the song She's Leaving Home ..."

In the book "Summer Of Love, The Making Of Sgt. Pepper" George Martin continues, "I couldn't understand why [Paul] was so impatient all of a sudden. It obviously hadn't occurred to him that I would be upset".

It's not much of a stretch to assume that Martin would have been just as upset to learn that Ringo's drums had been "enhanced" in New York without his approval. But nowhere is there any mention of Purdie or the alleged New York session ... not in Martin's books, not in McCartney's autobiography. Nowhere, man!
Martin does, however, describe Ringo as an "excellent" drummer with a "super steady beat":

"You can tell Ringo's drums from anyone else's", says Martin on page 127 of All You Need Is Ears, "and that character was a definite asset to The Beatles' early recordings."

Furthermore, George Martin has been scathing in his criticism of Dave Dexter, the Capitol Records executive who, without consulting Martin, added reverb to the U.S. double-sided single "I Feel Fine/She's A Woman". To add insult to injury, Dexter awarded himself a "producer" credit!
Allan

Royse City, TX

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#11
Mar 25, 2010
 

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Clue #5: Purdie says, "Ringo never played on anything."

Many hours of audio and film footage exist which allow us to study Ringo performing "live" with The Beatles. These include the concerts in Washington D.C.(1964), Shea Stadium (1965), Tokyo (1966), the 1964-65 "Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl" recordings, and of course the "Let It Be" documentary, filmed in January 1969.

In every case it's abundantly clear that Ringo is a solid and competent drummer. If he's merely parroting Purdie's studio performances, then he does a pretty fine job of it! In fact, he seems more than capable of having created the original studio performances in the first place, without Purdie's help!

Furthermore, if Ringo wasn't good enough to record with The Beatles, then why, after the band broke up in 1970, did John, Paul and George each invite Ringo to play on their solo recordings? Or was that Purdie, too?
Allan

Royse City, TX

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#12
Mar 25, 2010
 

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Clue #6: Purdie says, "They had four track [tape recorders] and they put me on two separate tracks. I would listen to what Ringo had played and then overdub on top of it to keep it happening."

In his book "All You Need Is Ears" George Martine writes, "When The Beatles arrived in 1963, I was still forced to record all their early songs using twin-track ... with the rhythm on one track and the vocal on the other".

In other words, the drums were mixed together with the guitars and bass onto one of two available tracks, rendering the drums inseparable from the other instruments. While it would have been possible to add more drums by "overdubbing" onto the existing tracks, the original drum performance could not be separated or erased, and would still be audible.

Purdie's reference to four-track recording is also correct: U.S. studios were using four tracks at the same time their British counterparts were still using two tracks. The Beatle's two-track recordings could easily have been transferred to a four-track recorder, leaving two tracks available for additional drums.

Regardless, if Purdie does appear on any early Beatle recordings, then two drums kits (or parts thereof) would be clearly audible ... and nowhere is this apparent.
&#65532; &#65532; &#65532;

So far I haven't seen a single shred of evidence to support Purdie's claims. But let's give him one more chance.

n June 1961 The Beatles (with original drummer Pete Best) were part-way through their second residency in Hamburg, sharing the bill at the Top Ten Club with fellow Liverpudlian Tony Sheridan. Polydor, a German record label, was interested in Sheridan
Allan

Royse City, TX

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#13
Mar 25, 2010
 

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Producer Bert Kaemfort decided to use The Beatles as backing musicians for Sheridan.

On June 24, 1961 at Hamburg's Studio Rahtstedt, Sheridan and The Beatles recorded several tracks including "My Bonnie", "The Saints", "Why," "Cry For a Shadow," "Ain't She Sweet," "Take Out Some Insurance On Me," and "Nobody's Child".

The first single, My Bonnie (billed as "Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers") reached the German "Top Twenty", selling about 180,000 copies.
Three years later, when The Beatles hit it big in America, Polydor released a "cash-in" album of the Sheridan material on the Atco/Atlantic label. However, it appears that Atco/Atlantic may have brought in a studio drummer to enhance Pete Best's less-than-stellar performances. Consequently, two versions of the Sheridan recordings exist, distinguishable on "Ain't She Sweet", for example, by the addition of a drum roll after each verse and an extra hi-hat in the bridge section. It's possible these drum overdubs were provided by Bernard Purdie, who was regularly doing session work for Atlantic Records at the time.

If those are Purdie's overdubs on the Hamburg recordings, then I suppose that provides a very slim sliver of truth to Purdie's claim that he "recorded with The Beatles". In the intervening years Purdie may have embellished that sliver of truth into a tale so fantastic, even he can't escape the monster he's created ... at least not without "fessing up" and appearing foolish.

And one last thought ...

As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, Purdie's "track record" is stunning. He's played on sessions for Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Steely Dan, Miles Davis ... on and on. All of these amazing artists, and many more, are listed on Bernard Purdie's web-sit
Allan

Royse City, TX

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#14
Mar 25, 2010
 

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If I had played drums on the most obscure Beatle track, it would be the first credit on my web-site! Top of the list. Purdie claims to have played on twenty-one Beatle tracks, including some of their biggest hits, and yet it's not on his web-site.

No mention of The Beatles at all.
&#65532; &#65532; &#65532;

Conclusion: I believe the only claim Bernard Purdie can safely make is that he added some minor drum parts to some relatively insignificant tracks, a full year before The Beatles recorded their first "real" session with producer George Martin, and at least fourteen months before Ringo even joined the band!

To say that Bernard Purdie substituted for Ringo on "twenty-one tracks" -- or that Ringo played on "nothing" -- is blatant fabrication.

Fiction.
haaa

Burlington, VT

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#15
Aug 19, 2010
 

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Allan wrote:
Could Bernard Purdie be lying?
It's not unprecedented for people of considerable accomplishment to also be considerably flawed. Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon come to mind. So does Jim Bakker ... and Jimmy Swaggert. The list goes on and on.
Take the Duke of Wellington, for example ...
In 1812 he defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, one of the most famous military victories in history! However, some historians believe the Duke may have embellished his story to make his role at Waterloo appear even more significant than it was!
I mean, dude, you defeated Napoleon. Why not just leave it at that?
Personally, I think Purdie might be stretching the truth a bit, too. In fact, he might be stretching the truth a lot! As in ... lying.
way to quote a web page trying to sound smart
Yogi

Duncanville, TX

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#16
Aug 19, 2010
 

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haaa wrote:
<quoted text>
way to quote a web page trying to sound smart
Thanks,I am smarter than the average bear.
Zippy

United States

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#17
Aug 19, 2010
 

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Yea I remember Bernie Purdie he was a little dirty birdy who flew about dropping little birdy turdys over the Hurdy Gurdy without even speaking a single wordy.Hey boo boo The Ranger doesn't like having to clean off those birdy turdy picnic tables.
LAcat

Sun Valley, CA

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#18
Nov 27, 2010
 

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So it's all inconclusive, as an guy who been a on a couple of record dates I can assure everyone that this type of thing happens literally everyday with big name artists so it's not impossible. I've read interviews more than once with artists talking about the creating and recording parts they had little or nothing to do with.
PAsystem

Garland, TX

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#19
Nov 28, 2010
 
It's very conclusive,Bernard Purdie just wants his 15 minutes of fame, but he didn't get it.
Bernard might have played drums on some songs, but it sure wasn't anything by the Beatles, now the Monkees is a whole nother' story.
Poppa Jivebones

United States

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#20
Nov 28, 2010
 
PAsystem wrote:
It's very conclusive,Bernard Purdie just wants his 15 minutes of fame, but he didn't get it.
Bernard might have played drums on some songs, but it sure wasn't anything by the Beatles, now the Monkees is a whole nother' story.
Why is it only recently have we heard of Bernie Purdie and not on the Beatles Anthology? I believe Bernie Purdie played drums for Bernie and the Jets oh wait that was Benny and the Jets.Maybe he played drums for the Partridge family and on Shawn Casidy's records.Bernard was what you call a purdie boy.He might of even played for The Bay City Rollers.Lol never heard of this cat until topix mentioned him.

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