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"Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!/I Want You (She's So Heavy)/Helter Skelter"

Categories: Beatles songs

With LOVE being conceived as the soundtrack for a circus performance, it was pretty much inevitable that "Mr Kite" would get to make an appearance, even if he wasn't topping the bill.

Sure enough, with that celebrated roll from Mr S, he summersets straight into the Cirque du Soleil, late of Pablo Fanques' Fair and via Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, accompanied by the Hendersons and — of course — by Henry the Horse, whinnying "Good Morning" as he waltzes his way into the ring.

They're all accompanied by a cacophony of calliopes and other keyboards, spliced in from the Anthology takes. All the fun of the fair, a splendid time is guaranteed for all: until, that is, Messrs M and M's second-to-none production challenges the world with probably their most audacious stunt of the entire performance.

'Rather menacing', said Sir George: ever a master of understatement. More rightly, the abrupt eruption of the brutal "She's So Heavy" riff, intercut with disjointed and distorted vocal snippets coming down fast from "Helter Skelter" seems to announce The End of the World. Billy Preston's Dr Phibes keyboards spiral amidst the vintage steam organs and George M's 'damned' pedal harmonium to fine-tune the chaos:

Do you, don't you want me to love you?

Not even the essence of Strawberry juice squeezed in sweetens it up in the slightest. A hogshead of real fire — and brimstone.

Apocalypse Now: thank god that Manson was safely slammed up when he got to hear it!

Though substantially shorter than the Abbey Road playout, it's almost a relief when the chop-off does arrive, an icy gale howling into the void...
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