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Don't Be Like the Beatles. Release Your Work in Fewer Than 107 Takes

by Tom Ruwitch

I’m writing this column from a hotel in French wine country, after a day driving around some of the most beautiful countryside on earth.

It made me think of John Lennon and Yoko Ono who escaped to France as things were falling apart for the Beatles.

This inspired me to fire up the Beatles “White Album” while in the car…
…which leads me to this story.

In July 1968, a young sound engineer named Geoff Emerick quit his job working for the Beatles because he found them too annoying.

The Beatles muddled through without him and managed to release the album he’d be working on – “The White Album.”

So, yeah this really happened. A 22-year-old quit his dream job as a sound engineer 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.

Here’s why he walked out.

The Beatles were impossible to work with during these sessions.

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 in 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 never toured. 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!

Tom Ruwitch is the Founder and Chief Story Officer at Story Power Marketing. He’s offering a free, 12-minute micro-training called “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Buy -- Without Pitching and Prodding.” Instant access at: StoryPowerMarketing.com/3keys

Submitted 11 days ago
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