Friday, March 25, 2005


George Martin and the boys at Abbey Road studios, ca. 1967. Could that be the mysterious 'kidney-bag' under Lennon's arm in this 1967 shot?
Ex-Beatle John Lennon is alive and well — and boy, is he steamed about what wasn’t included on the massive Beatles Anthology.
The sarcastic moptop, in his 1965-style body, haircut and clothes, was hanging upside-down from a jungle-gym in an interior warehouse playground when he told this reporter of a previously unknown Beatles song titled “Revolver.”
“McCartney and [producer] George Martin secretly edited out my solo and released the song!” Lennon said. And what was so unique about the solo? According to the time-arrested Liverpudlian, it was a “Kidney-Bag” solo. Hence the catchphrase which has mystified Beatles fans for years - “The Kidney-Bag Sessions”.
Lennon declined to explain exactly what a kidney-bag is, but sources have speculated that it is some kind of hand-held bagpipe-type instrument made out of an actual human kidney and fitted with pipes and straps.
As Lennon narrated this part of the story, holographic images materialized of McCartney and Martin in the EMI studios cutting out the kidney-bag solo. The holographic pair looked around themselves suspiciously, as if they were thieves in a B-grade crime film expecting to get caught red-handed.
The song was reminiscent of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, Lennon said, and the psychedelic, mind-expanding mood was made ever-more intense by the late-night kidney-bag sessions.
This reporter then volunteered to help Lennon piece together the “real” version of the song in his new digital home studio.
“Back then you didn’t have several digital working versions of a song – you just had the one,” Lennon explained. “They just physically cut the tape and threw it on the floor.”
But Lennon did like the idea of locating a kidney-bag and recreating the solo from scratch in his friend’s studio. So Beatle fans may still have this rarity to look forward to — perhaps on Anthology II.