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Helter Skelter

by

The Beatles



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Paul McCartney wanted to write the "loudest, nastiest, sweatiest rock number we could" after reading a Pete Townshend interview describing a Who track (possibly "I Can See For Miles") as "The most raucous rock 'n' roll, the dirtiest thing they'd ever done." This was the result. Some historians of popular music now believe that this song was a key influence on the development of heavy metal.
McCartney told Mojo magazine October 2008: "Just reading those lines (of the Townshend interview) fired my imagination. I thought, Right, they've done what they think was the loudest and dirtiest; we'll do what we think. I went into the studio and told the guys, 'Look, I've got this song but Pete said this and I want to do it even dirtier.' It was a great brief for the engineers, for everyone- just as fuzzy and as dirty and as loud and as filthy as you can get it is where I want to go. I was happy to have Pete's quote to get me there."
The first version was a 27-minute jam that was never released. During the July 18, 1968 sessions, The Beatles recorded this version, which was much slower and much more tame than the album version. Another recording from the same day was edited down to 4:37 for The Beatles Anthology, Volume III. For the album version, recorded September 9, 21 takes of approximately 5 minutes each were recorded, and the last one is featured on the official LP.
In December 1968, Charles Manson heard this song, as well as others from The White Album, and interpreted them as a warning of an approaching race war. He saw the Beatles as the four angels mentioned in the New Testament book of Revelation and believed their songs were telling him and his followers to prepare themselves. Manson referred to this future war as "Helter Skelter," and tried to ignite it by sending his followers to invade two homes and murder the inhabitants, making it look like the work of the Black Panthers.

The word "Pig" was written in blood at the crime scenes, and the phrase "Healter Skelter" (a misspelling of the Beatles song) was scrawled at the second home, the one belonging to The Labiancas.

Because of this connection, Los Angeles assistant District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi, who led the prosecution of Manson and the other killers, named his best-selling book about the murders Helter Skelter. Bugliosi's book was the basis for a film of the same title.

In an interview with Lennon in the January 1971 edition of Rolling Stone, the former Beatle was asked about his reaction to Manson's deluded interpretation of this song. Lennon replied: "He's balmy, like any other Beatle-kind of fan who reads mysticism into it. We used to have a laugh about this, that or the other, in a light-hearted way, and some intellectual would read us, some symbolic youth generation wants to see something in it. We also took seriously some parts of the role, but I don't know what 'Helter Skelter' has to do with knifing somebody. I've never listened to the words, properly, it was just a noise."

As for Manson, he disputed Bugliosi's interpretation of the Helter Skelter theory he used to prosecute the case, telling Rolling Stone, "that doesn't even make insane sense." (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington, for above 2)
Ringo played the drums so forcefully that his shout of "I've got blisters on my fingers!" accompanies the musical fadeout. Ringo explained what happened in The Miami Herald June 29, 2008: "The track was actually very long, and we were just pounding. It was a jam, really, it turned into that. And at the end, the only way off the kit was, 'Look, my fingers are bleeding, and I just have to get up.'' And I decided to shout it." (thanks, William - Miami, FL)
The song is named after a slide at a British amusement park. The first line is a joke about this: "When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide, where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride." Learn more about the ride in Song Images.
The recording session was particularly raucous.
Don McLean mentions this in his song "American Pie" ("Helter Skelter in a summer swelter"), a rather clear reference to the Manson family killing spree. (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA. U.S.A)
In 2006, McCartney played this on the Grammy Awards. It was the first time he performed on the Grammys. On his 2010 tour, McCartney included it on the setlist. McCartney's lead guitarist Rusty Anderson explained how it got in the set: "I was working on Paul for 'Helter Skelter' since the first time we played the Super Bowl, before we even went on tour (in 2002 A.D.). I said 'Hey, y'know what would be a really rad song to play, Paul?' He said 'what?' I said 'Helter Skelter,' and he goes (imitates McCartney) 'Oh, yeah' (laughs). It took him a while to warm up to it. And we kept prodding him and prodding him and he put it in the set -- but we still hadn't rehearsed it. We said, 'Paul are we gonna rehearse 'Helter Skelter?' And finally we did it... and I remember playing it at rehearsal and some of the pre-show dancers started coming out and dancing and rocking to it and all of a sudden he started realizing how great it is." (thanks, DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation)
The Beatles
The Beatles Artistfacts
More The Beatles songs
More songs that people claimed compelled them to kill
More songs with fake endings

Comments (208):

If you've ever played drums, you'll understand why Ringo got blisters. The friction of wooden drumsticks against the fingers when played for a long period of time will do that. Today, many rock drummers wear gloves to avoid getting blisters, but in 1968 that was unheard of.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
You say want interpretation? Well, you know... :) Paul said that it related to the British playground slide and the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and of course the lyrics speak of love, lovers, breaking and dancing, all to a raucous and violent tune. Anyone who's been in love can probably relate, the fragile and tempestuous emotions, the highs and lows and of course Paul is an emotional guy, like many songs it seems that he's channeling all these things into something that he wanted to be as loud and dirty as possible. Sounds like some woman he met at a club who piqued his fancy, even though she couldn't dance to save her life, but she made up for it in other ways.
- Josh, Champaign, IL
These are the top fourteen songs voted 2012 by MOJO readers and Beatles fans. Helter Skelter is no 12:
1. Tomorrow Never Knows
2 Hey Bulldog
3. Rain
4. Happiness Is a Warm Gun
5. And Your Bird Can Sing
6. For No One
7. Dear Prudence
8. It´s All Too Much
9. Long Long Long
10.I´m Only Sleeping
11.You Know My Name
12.Helter Skelter
13.I Want You
14.She Said She Said

That is 10 Lennon, 2 McCartney and 2 Harrison
- Johan, Stockholm, Sweden
http://youtu.be/E0x978oZa3Y Ringo Starr's blisters..Case closed!!!!!
- Doug, Peterborough, ON
you know you've made an impact on pop music when they're still discussing the details of your songs 45 years later! i've been listening too this record since 1968 (9 years old) & i've always felt it sounded like Ringo.......and yes it is both the birth of proto metal and punk........most don't realize mcartney is the main guitarist for this riff.....they always see the beatles in a performing line-up. In the studio that was not always so as we all know, so yes it is most difficult to narrow down who plays what unless you refer to someone who was actually at the sessions and after all the pot they smoked then i'm surprised anybody can remember anything accurately
- john, randolph, NJ
One of the best songs ever. The short solos are even great, and some people say The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards is better guitarist or a riffer. Whatever they say George Harrison and The Beatles is the best. George Harrison can make everything sound better, but Keith Richards is nowhere near him and The Rolling Stone is nowhere near THE BEATLES.
- The Beatles, Chittagong, Bangladesh
Watch the movie MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR on YouTube, or wherever... at about 31 minutes into it, Ringo and his Aunt Jessie get into a pretend fight, and Ringo starts screaming at her. Now compare that to the sound of whosever screaming the blisters comment at the end of HELTER SKELTER. Then come up with your own conclusion as to whether that's Ringo or not :)
- Jim, Indio, CA
Hey Rick from IA: Did you ever see in a magazine in a November issue in 2001 talking about how "The remaining members of the Beatles and The Who should tour as 'The WhoTLES'"? I saw that, and immediately agreed. I thought that was cool you said that, too. They are my two all time favorite bands... no contest!
- Laura, Spencerport, NY

I agree Laura since Beatles lost their front men and The Who lost their rhythm section and Paul, Ringo, Pete and Roger should "Come Together" and see what devel0ps mmm should be interesting :)
- tim, Niagara falls, ON
I think Charles Manson could have been inspired by anything to do what he did. If he wanted to, he could have played Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel backwards and done the murders.

As for the blister part, just before Ringo shouts the outburst, in the background, John is saying "How's that?" As for George, it certainly was not him, he could not scream because he had throat problems even in the early Beatle years. Eventually, George died from throat cancer, he was also a heavy smoker.
- Don, Sevierville, TN
Once and for all because it doesn't matter what Rockband says, it doesn't matter what anyone says except, that it was Ringo for these 2 reasons; 1) It does sound like Ringo
2) John would not have blisters from anything, Drummers get Blisters, Guitarists get callouses. The only blisters John was getting at that time in 1968 was from his butane lighter heating up his spoon for his heroine shots......No more comments about it....this is a fact...A Song Fact in fact.
- bob, east norwich, Afghanistan
I think since this song has some pretty SPOOKY interpretations on October 31 we should all listen to this song so much times as possible so it will be number one on the songfacts chart.
- DJ, Las Vegas, NV
Just puttin' it out there--George said it. (:
- Emily, Newcastle, Australia
People can say what they want,but in my opinion this is the hardest,loudest,roughest rocker ever recorded.The Beatles had a kind of magic that can never be equalled whether they did hard rock or soft rock or ballads,they wrote the best songs.The other bands are talented too and can play hard also,but the Beatles were always one step ahead of them all.If you listen closely you'll notice the other bands when they played hard usually made noise,but the Beatles wrote the best melodies even in their hard material and their songs made more sense.I totally disagree with James from Australia. McCartney was named best bass player in the world for so many years in a row,so he was not overrated,and the same goes for his band mates.Both John and Paul were the best rock singers except for Elvis.When the Beatles played together,they created a special sound that cannot be duplicated or surpassed by any band.Get the wax out of your ears and really listen to the songs and see why the Beatles were considered the best band.
- George, Belleville, NJ
According to rock historian Billy Orth, it was Yoko Ono who screamed at the end of Helter Skelter, and they used an early voice synthesizer to change the sound of her voice. Orth says she was tired if cuttuing cucumbers to make sandwiches for the Beatles, and that's why she yelled. It sounds plausible to me.
- Mickey, Langley, VA
I'd like to clear this up: Ringo Starr, aka Richard Starkey, yells "I've got blisters on my fingers" at the end. It says so on Wikipedia, in the Anthology book, and everywhere else I've read about this song. Plus, it sounds like Ringo.
- Nowhere Man, Nowhere Land, WA
It was Ringo that screams I have blisters. I don't understand what the argument is Ringo has confirmed it. Anyway this is a great song it is a shame that it has been associated with one of the most gruesome crimes of the 20th century. To those who think Manson was cool because there are those who do I say you are ignorant morons. The Beatles songs spoke of the joys of life.Love peace the sun and yes even drugs .The marijuana they smoked fueled the creative process. The Beatles brougt joy to countless people. They inspired musicians who in turn brought joy to even more people.
- brian, boston, MA
Love this song. It's fun, it's original, it's rough. It's great to hear something so different from the Beatles, and hear Paul screaming like that! Haha. It sickens me to think what Charles Manson took from this. He was such a twisted man. Paul McCartney has said it's based off the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, and connecting it to an amusement park. It was also a response to those who accused him of writing only ballads. Like John said -- How does it have anything to do with knifing someone!? And innocent songs like "Piggies" and "Blackbird"? How you could take a great band like the Beatles and use it to back up your gruesome murders and conspiracies, I will never understand.
- Scarlett, Denver, CO
I don't mean to incense the argument, but it was Ringo Starr who shouted at the end. The Beatles made 18 takes of about 5 minutes each of the finishing instrumental. Pieces of three different ones were used in the actual song. So they were actually playing for at least 90 minutes total. There was a lot of energy and hysterics in the session, they were all getting excited, there was screaming and everything. George Martin even ran through the studio with an ashtray on fire held above his head at one point. John Lennon's scream on the video was unrelated. Ringo's outburst was NOT fake. If you listen closely, in the background John says, "How's that?" just before Ringo throws his drumsticks across the room and screams "I've got blisters on my fingers!" in frustration and build-up of energy. John was not saying "I've got..." as a cue -- the shout wasn't intended at the time to go on the track, and it was totally genuine.
- Scarlett, Denver, CO
Nothing. It's just a song.
- K, nowhere, ON
So what in the piss is the song about!?!? Youve argued who said what and about C. Manson! Whats the song about!??!
- jc, bryson city, NC
You dont even need the game (which i have) to know that its Ringothat screamed "I've got blisters on my fingers!" You can tell by the voice, and anyone who thinks it wasnt Ringo fails at life.
- Crizzle, Rincon, GA
It was definitely Ringo who screams "I've got blisters on my fingers" at the end. If any of you have played Beatles Rock Band, it even shows him screaming it.
- Mike, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Let's put the blisters comment aside and talk about how awesome this song is. Especially the end - it's cool to have 1 false ending, but it takes skill to have 2.
- K, nowhere, ON
If Ringo says he screamed "I've got blisters on my fingers!"...I'll accept it. But for 41 years I thought it was John because it sounds like John and it shows John saying it on the video/film. Why would they show John yelling it if Ringo did? Just wondering.

Yes, years later Billy Joel paid homage to that yell by himself yelling "I've got blisters on my blisters!" The song escapes me at the moment.

And to the person who says Led Zeppelin came along and destroyed both McCartney and Townsend, uh...The Beatles broke up in Spring 1970. Led Zeppelin was following in their wake. Led Zeppelin would not have existed if not for The Beatles. Just like if early American R&R had not existed the Beatles probably would not have been born.
- coco56, Small town, TX
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMfkVGCU_BA

Clearly John says it.
- Joe, Cincinnati, OH
OH GOD THIS SONG ROCKS!!! first hard rock song. I would die happy if i heard Zeppelin do a cover of this...i can only imagain how awesome it would be.
and this wasnt the first punk song, that was "Communication Breakdown"
- Nick, Seattle, Albania
"It was Lennon who screams "I've got blisters on my fingers" at the end."

Yep, ok, sure it was ...

Ringo confirmed it was him on VH1 Storytellers. Why would he lie. Come on people, this is 3 hours worth of playing we're talking about!

It may not have sounded like him, as several people here have said, but remember this was back in, I don't know, 1968 or 1969, and he was SCREAMING! People sound different screaming then they do from singing, even Ringo Starr!

If Paul is saying it was Richard, George probably saying it was Richard, and Richard saying it was him, it probably was him. Some better ask John to see what he says.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qr_MMHKZ7A
- KM, Fife, United Kingdom
I could be wrong, but i think the original length of time on this, before they edited it down was something like 25 minutes---------i can imagine Ringo really DID have blisters on his fingers!
- Frank, Granchester Meadows, Greenland
Paul's best moment. This song gets better with age.
- Theresa, Murfreesboro, TN
and from a single act of song-topping....modern rock.
- chloe, St. Louis, MO
To: Jay, Bayville, NJ

Congrats on the most profound insight on this long thread. You forgot to mention that the yell is "Satan is a pygmy" when played backwards, and that everyone wore pajamas while recording this, except for Cher and Elvis, who wore chicken costumes.
- Scott, Chelan, WA
my friends always make fun of me when i yell 'I GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!!!' after playing drums on rockband. lol.
- chloe, st. louis, MO
god, that manson person is a freak. MEANING in helter skelter? oh please- they just needed lyrics for him to scream at the top of his lungs during this big, raucous jam session of a song. truly awesome. doesnt matter how down i am, i immediately am full of crazy, fiery energy after hearing this.
- chloe, st. louis, MO
for those who say that you do not get blisters from playing the guitar, I disagree. I have been a guitar player for 16 years, and I have gotten blisters from the guitar. When I first started playing I would play for hours until the tips of my fingers became blistered...eventually I played throught the blisters and they became calisus.
- leeanna, Tahlequah, OK
I defitely agree with the view that this is the first Heavy Metal song. And the proof for that is simple: One would definitely want to headbang like hell during this song! Also you can headbang during Black Sabbath's same titled song, Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love etc as well, but HS is the earliest released one.
- Keremcan, Istanbul,
From an interview with Noel Gallagher of Oasis:
QUESTION: I was interested in knowing why you consider "Helter Skelter" the beginning of the punk movement?
GALLAGHER: Because it was exactly a year after that, that the Stooges and the MC5 came out. In 1969. "Helter Skelter" was recorded at the back end of 1967, and that was the first. If you listen to "Helter Skelter" and listen to the MC5 and the Stooges, it's that sound. They sound exactly like that record. That song, the way it's played, is the birth of punk rock as we know it.
- Susan, Toronto, Canada
Just a few thoughts... they probably all had blisters (although, I'm pretty sure Paul told us about it)...Manson was & is a FREAK, any song could've been a "prophesy" in his sick, twisted mind...the song is about a sliding board (according to Paul, anyhow) Here's the important thing to me: as a junior high Beatle-freak in the mid 70s, I was told if you wanted "real rock-n-roll" you had to listen to Kiss!The Beatles were bubble gum! All I had to do was play this song to my poor, musically deprived friends & suddenly the face paint & fake tongues disappeared & my rock-n-roll dignity was restored
- dave, clearwater, FL
Mass murderer Charles Millhouse Manson claimed that the Beatles were giving him "secret" orders.
Helter Skelter was one of those songs. It's a crying shame that good songs like this become associated with crazed killers and so forth.
- Joel, Columbia, MD
A) it was TOTALLY ringo who shouts "i've got blisters on my fingers". playing guitar doesn't really give you blisters. drums however probably would.

B) i love sadie's version of this song in across the universe
- melissa, newtown, PA
I certainly think that this song was an influence on the heavy metal genre. However, I'd give the honour of being the first heavy metal song to King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man", released a year later on their debut LP In the Court of the Crimson King.
- Michael, Oxford, -
I can't believe you people arguing forever. The Beatles didn't release this song just so people could argue about who screamed for five seconds during the fade-out of the dang thing!
Wasn't there someone who "replied" to "I've got blisters on my fingers" with "I've got blisters on my blisters"?
Charles Manson gave the Hippies and the 60's a bad name. I can't believe he's still alive. He'll be eligible for parole in 2012 (and he'd better not get it).
- Bess, San Diego, CA
AHHHHHHHHH omgoodness cant people just write, interesting, kind comments!? does every thing have to be an argument. all the voices sound kina alike when screaming, but i thought it was ringo who said it. apparently he threw down his drumsticks before he said it. ITS AN AMAZING SONG IT NEARLY GAVE ME A HEART ATTACK SEIZURE AND BREAKDOWN AT HE SAME TIME. ITS THE BEST! beatles are so versatile paul has an absolutly mind blowing voice, its so rock he can do anything. all beatl r equal and wil live forver
- Catherine, Essex, United Kingdom
There's something in this song. Maybe sex. Sorry Peter.
- Louis, Salinas, CA
Yes is was John.and John gave all of himself to this,but a maniac killed him.What a classic phrase it is,and only my beloved John would say that.I cant add further tears are obscuring my view.sorry
- john, Brisbane, United States
No, Alex, it wasn't Elton John. It was Michael Jackson!
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
OK Peter. This is exactly the fun in the lyrics of our friends. You see this and I see that. I insist in the ideia. It makes some sense to me. As I saw in The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics Vol. 1. It's not dirty stuff. Try to take a look at.
Please forgive my broken english.
- Jose, São Paulo, Brazil
Jose, I still don't see how that is sex. It sounds to me like he's just seeing a girl he loves or something on the slide too.
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
Yes, the false endings on this song and on Strawberry Fields Forever are incredible.
- Mark B. Stoned, Desperate Hot Springs, CA
Take it ease Peter. I didn't say you can have oral sex on a slide. I said the girl IS the slide. As I saw in The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics. Do you know this book?
Now, oral sex on a slide could be OK. You had a good idea.
- Jose, São Paulo, Brazil
If Jose thinks you can have oral sex on a slide, well, he's messed up.
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
krissy, "This guy" was Charles Manson.
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
This song is the loudest on the album. The next song, George's "Long, Long, Long" is undoubtedly the quietest. Quite a contrast. Oh, and as for whoever said on this or whatever song it was saying they thought Manson was just a man in prison who watches TV, you obviously watched Family Guy. And Manson was far worse than that.
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
Many people have rightfully called this song the first true heavy metal song as well as John's I Want You She's So Heavy on Abbey Road a year later. The song isn't about oral sex!Jose you have a dirty mind! Paul always said it's about a children's slide called a Helter Skelter,it's a British kind of a children's playground swing.
- LucyintheSky, Philadelphia, PA
It's gotta be John who says the blisters thing! It just sounds like him. Why would Ringo have a vocal mic near him?

Anyway i was there during the recording and it was definatley John!
- Mr. B, Doon Bish, England
It was Ringo who said the aforementioned "Blisters" statement. John Lennon played bass. Paul McCartney played electric guitar. Trust me. Maybe we should get engineer Ken Scott into this thread?

I still have that released 45 rpm single of Helter Skelter/Got To Get You Into My Life that I bought when I was a kid.
- Marc, New York, NY
OK Peter, maybe I'm wrong. But just take this under consideration: "When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again". Couldn't it be oral sex?
- Jose, São Paulo, Brazil
Seriously now. This song is about oral sex.
- Jose, São Paulo, Brazil
It was Mal Evans. Pretending to be George.
- Jose, São Paulo, Brazil
Nobody mentioned that this song has a fake ending?
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
I just saw an episode of Family Guy called 'To Live and Die in Dixie' where Stewie Griffin is playing the banjo and when he's done he yells "I've got blisters on me fingers!!"
- Mary, London
I'd also really like to hear the 27-minute jam. Hope it gets released someday.
- Erik, Bloomfield Hills, MI
lol krissy.. charles manson is a really intersting person who formed a cult and believed that the beatles were like the 4 angles in the book of revelations.. he based his theories around the white album, and him and his "family" are responsible for approximately 35 murders, not all of these were even trialed... you should google him.. and shane.. kewl totaly didnt get that i gotta rewatch that episode
- Elyse, Auckland, New Zealand
song was about a roller coster beileve it or not
- Brendan, calgary, Canada
Stewie Griffin from Family Guy says those famous words at the end of his southern song in the episode - To Live and Die in Dixie.

After playin the banjo and singing he screams "I've got blisters on me fingers"

youtube v=PWcOvwcNGaA
- Shane, Dallas, TX
So, Manson said that The White Album and the Book of Revelations urged him to kill. How come no one tries to ban the Bible, but they'll ban albums and other books that supposedly inspired people to kill? I'm not for banning any book, but I think this is a strange dichotomy that our country has. The Bible has influenced more people to kill than any other book, but high schools ban Catcher In The Rye and Huck Finn.
Go figure.
- Mark, Austin, TX
its ringo saying "ive got blisters on me fingers". i play drums and its very easy to get blisters
- Sean, Sea Girt, NJ
Lester, I know that. But y r u telling me this ? Thats what I am not getting. Yes I know how big The Beatles were in history. I Love The Beatles. They r the best and always will be.
- Krissy, Boston, MA
I could see this being classed as an early punk song. But keep in mind, these attempts to place it in a genre that didn't develop till nearly a decade later is kind of silly. It's usually called proto-metal because this was around the time that metal actually developed. Besides, punk and metal have always had a close relationship with each other, to the point that they are often distinguished more by philosophy than by anything in the music itself. Thrash metal and its descendants are often considered by fans to be the only "true" metal, and yet they were heavily influenced by punk. Likewise, I once was listening to footage from a Sex Pistols concert, and I was struck by how metal-like it sounded. The distinction that fans make between the two genres is almost fanciful. The fans get real emotional about the distinction, but the fact is that punk and metal are twin genres, and have always been.
- N.I., Baltimore, MD
krissy, things that happened a long time ago are called 'history'. You know, like The Beatles.
- Lester, New York City, NY
Somebody I saw on YouTube said she thinks this is one of the earliest punk songs ever. Would you guys agree? I ain't sure
- Krista, Elyria, OH
Hey Morphia, If the whole world knew about and it happen such a long time ago that means only a couple of things. Either u r very old or u have nothing better to do then read things and watch shows about something that happened such along time ago. Or ur both. I am only 14 cut me a break. I love The Beatles.
- Krissy, Boston, MA
Jim from FL: The distinction you make between hard rock and heavy metal is strange. It's a distinction that's frequently debated among music fans, though I can't imagine why you'd classify Black Sabbath as hard rock AND THEN classify Poison as heavy metal. Black Sabbath is widely regarded as the first true heavy metal band. Even if you don't think so, they definitely have MORE of the qualities of metal--far more--than a pop-metal group like Poison. Anyway, hard rock and heavy metal have always had a close relationship with each other, so their development is intertwined. When "Helter Skelter" came out, there were already many, many songs that qualified as hard rock (almost everything by the Who, for example). "Helter Skelter," however, was one of the first that truly anticipated the heavy metal genre, for the reasons I mentioned before (the sheer loudness, the screaming vocals, and the lack of blues influence).
- N.I., Baltimore, MD
Ringo re-confirms that it was him that shouted at the end on his VH1 Storytellers record.
- Eric, Byron, NY
I can't think WHY this song was the third least popular Beatles song in the 70's (behind "Revolution 9" and "You Know My Name [Look Up The Number]"). Does anyone else have any ideas?
- Michael, Oxford, England
love this song always have. i have it on my mp3 player while i work out on the treadmill. when i was a young child (5/6) i took my speakers and put them in the closet. i turned the receiver all the way up and had the 8-track cued to the helter skelter song (duh). i locked myself in the closet for many hours while this song blasted over and over and over...

anyway, this song is not the gateway to metal. this was the gateway to hard rock,not heavy metal. heavy metal are bands like 'scorpians' 'def leopard' 'poison' 'dokken' 'motley crue' etc.

hard rock are bands like led zeppelin,black sabbath,ac/dc etc.
- Jim, ?, FL
Hey Morphia, u don't have to be so rude. Yes I know what Helter Skelter was thank u very much. If u look back u can see my comment and what I said about it. My comment was like 4 or 5 before yours. Okay then.
- krissy, Boston, MA
this song is undoubtedly the most badass metal song ever written. considering time created etc. john frushciante's and fleas side project in 1989 called HATE did a cover of this and its pretty damn scary
- jonathon, canberra, Australia
Katie, read the book "Helter Skelter" by Vincent Bugliosi. Krissy, you have no clue WTH you're talking about, so you need to read the book, too. And the whole world knew about it..well, except you and katie.
- Morphia, San Diego, CA
Katie from Palmyra, IL what r u talking about?
- krissy, Boston, MA
I have so many questions to ask about The Beatles, but first I have to ask about Charles Manson...what do you guys think about this guy? Using such great songs to base a whole "family" on....I'm confused...does anyone know what's up with all that?
- katie, Palmyra, IL
@ Robert, Brisbane, Australia:
"It's interesting that just before the person says it, you hear someone else say "I've got..." like they're cuing him in to say it."
* * *
Actually, it sounds like a definite "alright!" to me.
- Anreglia, Seattle, WA
It was not John who screamed at theend it was ringo. Why would John scream that?
- krissy, Boston, MA
This song is great. A lot of people don't know this but Helter Skelter was in act that happen in Calforina where this guy kiled tons of people. It was a very bloody and gross.
- krissy, Boston, MA
Helter Skelter is definitely a proto metal song and contributed to the future of heavy metal no doubt about it.
- Liam, New York, NY
As for the lyrics, I think they have a clearly sexual meaning.
- N.I., Baltimore, MD
Identifying the beginning of any genre is difficult (because genres aren't created, they evolve), but there's a good case for calling this the first heavy metal song. For starters, it is really an exceptionally loud song for its time, just as McCartney intended it to be. Unlike most proto-metal songs in the late '60s, the melody isn't really blues-oriented. Also consider McCartney's screaming vocals, which didn't become a feature of heavy metal until much later. (Even Ozzy's singing sounds restrained by comparison.) And the Manson killings, while clearly not the Beatles' intention, contributed to the practice of looking for ominous messages in heavy metal songs.
- N.I., Baltimore, MD
One of the first heavy metal songs or at worst contributed to the start of heavy metal.
- Dave, Bronx, NY
Could be the first heavy metal song but it definitely contributed to the hard rock scene.The White Album was the first double album to go number one in Britain and America at the same time and it had no singles and no cover songs on it with an all white album cover and the reputation as being one of the most eclectic rock albums of all time.
Sal,Bardonia, NY
- sal, bardonia , NY
motley crue did this song after the beatles
- john, seattle, WA
The ice cream truck in my neighborhood plays this.
- Scott, St. Louis, MO
This song is not about Charles Manson!
I hate it when people think of that crazy man when they hear this song.
As "Bono" of "U2" said when they recorded it:
This is a song that Charles Manson "stole" from the Beatles!
- P J, OKC, OK
Maybe the scream at the end is made up.
- Nathan, Bruges, Belgium
Songs like Helter Skelter & Revolution just prove that the Beatles could do anything. During the Grammys, did everyone see the crowd that consisted of music's great musicians standing up when McCartney started playing Helter Skelter? I couldn't believe he would play it. Awesome song! However, for those old enough to remember, it's sad that it will always be linked to Charles Manson.
- Jeff, Webster, NY
Amazing that the same person who wrote Blackbird and Yesterday could write this. Paul McCartney is a musical genius.
- Ian, Lethbridge, Canada
This song is so amazingly amazing, that everytime I hear it i wanna get up and jump around -- everytime!
- Emilia, New York City, NY
scott, its just you. if it does sound at all like red hot chilli peppers, then they copied off the beatles, and then they should be sued. because they suck, and there is no way on earth they should be allowed to sound even a little like the beatles
- izzy, buffalo, NY
mickey, langley, va, i have one thing to say to you YOKO WASN'T THE ONE WHO SCREAMED!!! there was one ONE incident where women sang on a beatles song, and they were jsut grabbed off the street. why would YOKO scream 'ive got blisters on my fingers'?!?!?? there's no reason for her to scream that, or for her to be at the recording studio at all! also, that scream was definetly a man, not a woman
- izzy, buffalo, NY
ok, it says in pauls authorized biogrophy or something that RINGOS HANDS WERE BLEEDING AT THE END OF THE SESSION, AND THAT HE YELLED 'I'VE GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS' because he needed HELP! and no, im not talking about the song.
i am a drummer and a guitarist. you get SO many more blisters and callises that hurt A LOT more from playing the drums then you get from playing the guitar. cuz u have to be holding those sticks HARD if you're playing as loud and fiercly as ringo was, so they don't go flying across the room. with guitar, you can just use a guitar pick, ya know
- izzy, buffalo, NY
the drumming in this was AMAZING!!! no wonder Ringo had blisters at the end of it! he must have been really banging on those drums. and no, kevin, joplin, mo(bottom of page) it was not lennon who yelled 'ive got blisters on my fingers' at the end, it was ringo
- izzy, buffalo, NY
Ringo has a very distictive voice, and he had blisters on his fingers from the drum sticks, since he was playing for hours. It is well known that it is Ringo saying "I've got blisters on my fingers !"
- Tommy, Flanders, NJ
Is it just me, or does the beginning of this song sound like the Red Hot Chili Peppers?
- Scott, Montgomery, AL
Joe, are you sure you're talking about the right song here?! This song is heavy metal, and has nothing to do with classical music! Also, I can hardly imagine George Martin screaming like that.
- Ian, Lethbridge, Canada
I think it's great Bono wants to take this song back from charlie Manson. Kudos! Now if he could only pry it out of Jacko's sticky little fingers and hopefully give it back to Paul!
- joe, lethbridge, Canada
Acually George Martin supplied the blisters remark since none of the Beatles had the classical music background necessary to acheive the sound that Paul was hoping to acheive with that line.
- joe, lethbridge, Canada
George Harrison the best . No one can compare to him with his unique style as a singer song writer performer . He is my favorite slide guitar player . If anyone thinks he was anything less than one of the most brilliant creative musicians in the band or solo should give it another go. Your loss ..
- Carl, Glace Bay , Canada
those who think the beatles aren't rock but pop, listen to this and apologize.
- Kyle, Orlando, FL
James from Australia, this is for you:
I think we all can agree that Ozzy Osbourne had a lot to do with the development of heavy metal. Without Black Sabbath, heavy metal would probably sound a lot different that it does today.
That said, consider this Ozzy quote:
"The biggest break in my life came when The Beatles hit. They totally sucked me in and I thought, "That's my way out, my music."
I wonder what Ozzy, a major influence on heavy metal, would say if you told him George was a "pentatonic loser" and Paul and John had "limited range" and wrote "simple songs?"
- Tom, USA
Bob from Canada, I don't think his comment was meant to be taken like that. He wasn't saying, "We'll take it back because we're big enough that we can." He was just trying to take the song back from being connect with murder and violence.
- Trenton, Minneapolis , MN
The "I got blisters on me fingers" was used in an episode of Family guy where they are moving to the county because Chris was a witness in a crime. Stewie is playing banjo and at the end he goes "I got blisters on me fingers".
- Nooxara, Albany, AK
Such is the arrogance and self-rightiousness of Bono to claim 'he's taking it back'. Does anyone else find him annoying and irrelevant?
- rob, vancouver, Canada
I agree about that ringo said i've got blisters on my fingers because if you look on iTunes and search Ringo Starr, you get this 15 second VH1 storytellers: Ringo Starr track. In the track, a fan asks Starr, "At the end of helter skelter, was it you or john who yelled that they got blisters on their fingers?" In reply, ringo says, "it was me". Then he yells the oh-so famous line we all know and love.
THIS SONG RULES!
- Taylor, Brooklyn, NY
Helter Skelter is british slang for roller coaster! ^_^
- Taylor, Brooklyn, NY
Any one who disrespects this song is absolutely out of their minds. In my opinion and probably others, this is one of the first really heavy rock songs ever recorded. It's really kind of funny about how they went from Anna Go To Him to Helter Skelter in like 5 years. What a trasistion.
- Julian, Anaheim, CA
Hey Rick from IA: Did you ever see in a magazine in a November issue in 2001 talking about how "The remaining members of the Beatles and The Who should tour as 'The WhoTLES'"? I saw that, and immediately agreed. I thought that was cool you said that, too. They are my two all time favorite bands... no contest!
- Laura, Spencerport, NY
the u2 version is great too. It would be cool if the remaining beatles and remaining who could come together and form the most amazing rock band possible.
- Rick, humboldt, IA
Paul just sang "Helter Skelter" tonight on the Grammy Awards TV show and it sounded pretty darn good.
- Steve, Fenton, MO
The song by The Who was I Can See For Miles. It was released as a single as well as on the LP The Who Sell Out. The song/album A Quick One also influenced The Beatles. In 1975, Pete Townshend stated "I got to know [Paul] McCartney pretty well, and he was really raving over the album and saying that track A Quick One was exactly the sort of thing that The Beatles were working towards. He said they'd been really inspired by it."
- Jon, Tucson, AZ
This is absolutley the best song ever. Its such a great song.
- Devon, Bay Village, OH
I love this song! It's great. After listening to it, Ringo does seem to be beating very violently on his drums.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
James, everything you say about the heavy metal comparisons has merit. That said, I'm not sure what you're talking about regarding everything else. First of all, how can anyone describe Paul McCartney as having a "very small vocal range"? That's completely ridiculous. Second, you seem to be a fan of heavy metal which, as a rule, is not the most melodic of genres. So for you to take a shot at George Harrison like that would seem a tad bit unfounded wouldn't it?
- Danny, Upstate, NY
You guys Rule!! Defend the Beatles for they diserve it, Helter Skelter is a good song. Period. Do I even have to go into detail, No, good, now just move on with your lives those people who have no taste and leave us and the Beatles ALONE!!!!
- Michelle, Antigonish, Canada
I agree with Christianne, James. You make absolutely no sense. The Beatles changed the world with their music, and will never be forgotten.
- Sylvia, London, England
Okay. Anybody who says George Harrison was any kind of loser is crazy! Where are your sources?
What did he ever do? MY GOSH!
It WAS Ringo for heaven's sakes!!!
- Sylvia, London, England
U2 performs a live cover of "Helter Skelter" at the beginning of the "Rattle And Hum" documentary movie and accompanying soundtrack album. Bono introduces the song to the audience as "a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles... we're stealing it back!"
- Joshua, Twin Cities, MN
This song is great on headphones, and probably on a stereo too.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
Well, seeing how John is playing bass on this song which was an overdub after the drumming was recorded, I'm pretty sure it was Ringo. Once we get to The White Album, you really don't know who is playing what because so many things are overdubs off the basic track. Anyways I play both drums and guitar and you dont get blisters on you fingertips from fretting notes. If you do ridiculous bends constantly youll end up with callaces. Playing the drums really heavily like ringo is will give you blisters at the top of where your thumb meets your hand.
- Robb, Hamburg, NY
it was actually led zep that started the beginning of heavy metal w/ jimmy's guitar riffs. his solos also were much more different than any other guitarists' at the time, check out heartbreaker for example.
- Ben, Chinatown
wow nathan, this is VERY far from heavy metal... but still, this song's badass! they should've done more heavier rock stuff like this in my opinion
- Ben, Chinatown
This is a very loud Beatles song from The White Album.
- Melissa, Fairborn, OH
this song is extremely different from other beatles songs. lots of heavy rock as the songfact said, but i love this song anyways!
- Arman, San Diego, CA
Thats weird... I hear squeaking sounds near the end of the song... I LOVE THIS SONG THOUGH! YAY!
- Nick, Solvang, CA
Interesting that this song made fan's list as their least favorite Beatle's song. It's one the few heavy metal songs the group did.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
This song rocks so hard. Kind of surprising to me. I'm new to The Beatles, and I got the White Album a few days ago, and this song blew me away. I had no idea The Beatles could do something so...heavy. Awesome guitars, and you gotta love Ringo screaming "I GOT BLISTERS ON ME FINGERS!!!"
- Cooper, Louisville, KY
this songs.... interesting. Its cool though
- Nick, Solvang, CA
Take 3 was 27 min. and 13 seconds It was the longest beatle song, but if you listen to some Grateful Dead's "Other One" (circ 1972) "Playing In The Band" (circ 1973) or Pigpen "Lovelight" (circ 1969) the longness of the track isn't as astounding.
- Barry, New York, NC
helter skelter!!! cool rock song love it
- yiota, sydney, Australia
Take 3 was 27 min. and 13 sec. It was the longest beatle song. It was longer than Revolution 9! That's long!
- Jordan, Wimette, IL
I have thought, since way back in the '70s, that the blisters line definitely sounded like Ringo. My first thought was John, but it is clearly Ringo's voice.

I bought the first issue of the "Beatles Rarities" album. I even reviewed it for a publication. In the liner notes is says "the classic Lennon statement, 'I got blisters on my fingers!'" I knew this was wrong and was annoyed at the mistake. In the next pressing the line had been removed.

So, those of you who have a "Rarities" with the line intact, you have a rarity yourself.

I have played drums, guitar, and bass guitar; you can get blisters from playing any of them.
- Brian, La Mesa, CA
The actual Who track that was loud mean and nasty still has yet to be identified. However, many a Who concert in the late Sixties and Seventies did live up to Townshend's description.
- Barry, New York, NC
Back in the Seventies, the NYC newspaper Village Voice held a poll of the fans' five least favorite Beatles songs.
HELTER SKELTER came in at #3.
- Barry, New York, NC
It was Ringo yelling "I've got blisters on my fingers" at the end of the track because he was beating very violently on his drums durring the session to get the sound that was desired. The session was quite long and ressulted in Ringo having bloody fingers.
- Jon, Danville, CA
Sweden, my mistake, Anyway..If you look at other Beatles songs like Hey Bulldog, you can notice that Paul and John were the only ones always blurting bizarre improvisations during songs, a hallmark of later Lennon songs. Plus it makes since being Paul, being George and Ringo normally only sang backup, considering it was Paul's song.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
an experienced guitar player like john, george or paul would already have major calousses on their fingers so i doubt they would get blisters, especially on this song where they would be using a pick
- sean, newmarket, Canada
It's interesting that just before the person says it, you hear someone else say "I've got..." like they're cuing him in to say it. Listen closely, you'll see what I mean. Actually it sounds like John cuing Ringo in because first a normal volume SPEAKING voice like John's says "I've got..." and then you hear "I'VE GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!" So it was probably faked.
Whether it's John or Ringo can be figured out by remembering that John's voice was a little higher and he sounded more "congested" when he spoke wheras Ringo's voice is deeper. Compare the yells and screams of each in different songs and draw your own conclusions. As for the "vocoder" bit, I think that's a matter of a journalist happily adding to the mythology of it. There is not even the slightest background hum, buzz or anything to the tone of the voice to suggest it is not a pure human voice. One of the weakest synth effects on human voices was used in the tv cartoon The Transformers, and a vocoder was used by French pop duo Air in their song "Sexy Boy" a few years ago, and you can hear the difference between a voice that's naturally like that and one that's done with a special effect, trust me. Besides, I work with sound engineering and sound-modifying devices on a regular basis. I can hear a gimmick a mile away.
Oh and btw, if you do your research you'll know John didn't play guitar on the "White Album" version. He played bass. That's why it has the sound it has, like a deep "TWANG TWANG TWANG" almost, because Paul picked bass strings with the pick resting ON the string so it's more muffled-sounding but John did it like a rhythm player, kind of with the pick being brought down onto the strings from higher up. Also it's not as refined as Paul's technique, it sort of doesn't stay very steady..... There is only one guitar on the song and it is George's. Paul is only singing. It is a very stripped-down arrangement. Look for details of the recording session as recorded by Mark Lewisohn. It will corroborate what I've said here.
- Robert, Brisbane, Australia
Umm.... maybe it was George? C'mon folks, don't be so sad - someone had blisters: depending on who it was, they've either healed nearly 40 years later, or the poor bloke is dead. Get over it!

Nathan - there've been loads of decent Aussie bands, don't slag off the whole country just cos one sad misguided fool slags off the greatest rock and roll band of all time. By the way, Nathan, ABBA were from Sweden.
- Richard, Newport, Isle of Wight, England
For one this song is awesome. Second the Beatles are ripped off quite often, they're songs have been covered more times than anyone in history, and arguably more influential on Rock and Roll music than Elvis or Dylan. Harrison is a fine guitarist, Ringo is what a good drummer should be, and Paul can play bass just alright. To say they have no range or ability is the dumbest thing that's ever been posted on this site,(All the beatles could play numerous instruments and Lennon had phenomenal singing range, just listen to the White Album dick)I must admit most metal pales in comparison to anything the Beatles, Stones, or Dylan ever did.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
yeah, after a 27 minute jam session playing this song, they probably all had blisters on their fingers!
- Laura, Santa Fe, NM
It was Ringo who said "I got blisters on my fingers!" It very possible to get blisters on your fingers when playing the drums, I know I play the drums. People mostly get them from playing really hard, not really long.
- Trevor, Fort Saskatchewan, Canada
Hey James from Blackheath, Australia - I'm with you. Why must every 60's song with a bit of distortion be called the birth of heavy metal? Aside from that, I still say it was Yoko who screamed.
- Mickey, Langley, VA
Heavy Metal has completely different musical structure to this, if you guys are talking about distortion, that occured through blues artists playing too loud in their PA's in the 50's. The amplifiers couldn't handle the volume and therefore had a distorted sound. I have heard heavier beatles singing in revolution, sgt peppers, but i just can't understand the metal connection AT ALL!!!
i think helter skelter is overated and U2 made something of the song.
i can't believe u people are serious
that artists should stop trying to even reach the level of the beatles.
its a shame, because that level is so undefined its just a blatant attack on new artists everywhere
anyone who makes that heavy metal comment doesn't listen to heavy metal
and you all love to think that everysong rips off the beatles i bet
but the beatles write in such a simple and often non sequitor manner, that u are jsut stealing each individual and poetic artists steam.
the beatles have made some great songs but they had a dodgy drummer, an overated guitarist. yes george harrison is just a pentatonic loser, an overated bass player and two very talented singers with a very small vocal range and ability.

come on lets open our minds a little america,


p.s. it has to be ringo who said the infamous comment at the end of the song(drummers can cut their hands up no matter how long they have been playing they have very soft hands.
guitarists develop callas in no time at all and blisters are pretty much impossible especially in this simple number.
and the band members even say it was him
wheres ur john case even coming from?
- James, Blackheath, Australia
All this because of one line...? Let's move on!
- Tanya, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Just to add on to what Kristen said, on the iTunes VH1 clip a fan asks Ringo, "At the end of Helter Skelter, is it you or John that says they have blisters on their fingers?" Ringo replies, "It was me" and then shouts "I got blisters on my fingers!" as the crowd cheers and claps.
- G, Pittsburgh, PA
There are a lot of comments about who screamed, "I've got blisters on my fingers!" at the end of the song. Maybe everyone's wrong... Recently deceased journalist Dylan Taylor, a friend of Lennon, said it was actually Yoko who screamed, and that the sound of her voice was masked by using an early version of the Vocoder voice synthesizer. Her scream, said Taylor, was recorded during the Two Virgins sessions, and tacked onto Helter Skelter afterward.

He also claims that it couldn't have been Ringo, because Ringo wasn't present at the recording of Helter Skelter. He says 17-year-old session drummer Phil Collins played the drums, while Brian Wilson (who visited Abbey Road while touring England with the Beach Boys at the time) played bass, and Paul sang and clapped.

It's hard to say for sure, but it does sound a lot like Yoko if you listen closely.
- Mickey, Langley, VA
The original demo was a much more slower version. It turned "heavier" in the studio.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
First of all:you,(some people)forget that you´ve heard BEATLES´RARITIES album,so why the scream in the end cannot be Ringo?Didn´t you think they surely changed the John´s scream(the one you´ve heard on Rarities)for the Ringo´s instead? Take this as a possible chance.At second,Helter Skelter IS NOT about Manson,they only wrote this song as they wrote all the others.And this guys are really genius,they created heavy metal with it.Who can do something like this?I´d like to hear the 27 minutes version.PS:remember it was Ringo!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Paula-Mersey, TÃ?mperley, Argentina
SOunds like Lennon, but its Ringo. How do you get blisters from playing drums tho?
- Jack, St. Paul, MN
what is with the lot of you people talking about getting blisters from playing guitar...it isn't impossible to get blisters from playing the drums...i once had to go to the hospital because my hands were bloodied up and were getting infected for playing the drums for two hours straight...that being said, this song is awesome!!!
- Rodrigo, las vegas, NV
Actualy it is Ringo. On itunes if you go to the music store and search for Ringo Starr you get this VH1 album/collection thing and one of the tracks is Ringo saying he said that. You can listen to it with out even buying the track.
- Kristen, Aurora, IL
OK how about we all see a psychic, channel john lennon, and george harrison(coz he woulda been there so he can say) and then we'll ask them who said the BLOODY LINE! please get over it. i'm only young, but and ive only just heard this song for the first time & it's pretty bloody cool, if i have anything to do with it, the beatles will be played forever and ever... and ever
- Kat, Sydney, Australia
while you cool kids are arguing who says "ive got blisters on my fingers",i would like to put out that u2 made a great cover of this song and that u2 kicks serious ass
- Ryan, Albion, NY
Em, you are sadly mistaken. I bought the RARITIES album and it sounds exactly like Lennon.(he plays guitar, duh)
- Takashi, Tokyo, Japan
I think it was ringo. And maybe he just thought it was a sexy thing to say...
- A-Baum, Dallas, TX
It would make more sense that it was ringo, because after a certain amount of time playing guitar your fingers become immune to blistering of any sort because they harden from playing so much, i know, i play 4-5 hours a day, and the beatles had been playing for years when this song came out...it must have been ringo who said it because my drummer has possbily the most leathery hands on the face off the planet and they still become raw and mangled after playing too long
- Jack, Keller, TX
It would have been impossible for John to comment on Manson in 1968 because the murders didn't happen until August of 1969.
- duane, elkhorn, NM
Kevin, you are WRONG. It was Ringo who said it.
- Em, Vancouver, Canada
I know I said that it was John who screams "I got blisters on my fingers" and that the "Beatles Rarities" album was good evidence but i can't help thinking it might be Ringo after listening to it a lot. It's driving me crazy lol.
- Josh, Plainview, NY
It is definitely John saying the blisters comment (I also have the rarities album). It clearly sounds like John.
- Bronwyn, Belenheim, New Zealand
According to the notes on this song on "Beatles Rarities" It was Lennon. The version on that album is a rare mono version in which it says you do not have the famous Lennon statement "I got blisters on my fingers!" This seems like pretty credible evidence to me that it was John not Ringo.
- Josh, Plainview, NY
though I love the guitar thing at the beginning, I like the slow jam version better
- Loretta, Liverpool, England
No. George Martin, surely.
- ian, liverpool, England
It sounds like John and you can get blisters from playing guitar. But since the two living members say Ringo, I'll believe them. This is a good Paul song, maybe his best with the Beatles! He was an awesome bass player (listen to Something)but he only had about 5 solo songs I liked after the Beatles. Maybe I'm Amazed, Hi Hi Hi, Band on the Run, Too Many People, and maybe a few others.
- Alan, New Baltimore, MI
continuing on Randi, Linton, ME idea(becuz i am to dam lazy to read anymore) that manson also thought the "blackies" were to stupid to rule, so thats were manson came in,i saw the movie, the old and new one
- austin, Hudson, OH
don, i don't like the versions of helter skelter that other bands have attempted to do, but i personally think that it was ok when U2 did it because they were kind of reclaiming it...taking it back from charles manson
- ellen, Nashville, TN
Ive always thought that it was PAUL!! oh my - I love John Lennon and usuallyI can easily know if it's he - the person who sings/says something - but I am very suprised that it was in fact Ringo. And those of you who were wrong are saying, that it is John. after all - this voice sounds a little bit nasal/ rhinal, if you know what I mean. this is characteristic mark of Paul and Ringo. but Ringo have never had a big voice - so i thought it must have been Paul:)
- lenn, gdansk, Poland
charles manson actually got helter skelter from the beatles. manson had a theory that a sort of "racial armageddon" would occur, and blacks would prevail and rule the world in a sense. he actually said that it would begin with black men coming into white men's homes and killing them in the middle of the night, adn eventully a war on the streets would ensue. manson felt that in order for the racial war to begin, he would have to show the black people what to do, thus the manson family killed sharon tate and others.
manson was obsessed with the beatles and concluded that helter skelter, which actually means chaos, was the best name for his theory. another part of the theory was that the manson family would surface from a desert hideout and rule the world after there were no more whites. manson would then be the 5th angel, jesus christ, adn the other four angels would be members of the beatles. so yes, manson borrowed the name helter skelter from the beatles...and yes, he was one f*cked up guy
- Randi, Linton, ME
It was Ringo. The end.
- Jessie, Atlanta, GA
Um, why does it matter who screams about their blisters? Anyways, it's a good song. And, ya, i agree, "I want you (she's so heavy)" is a little "straining on the ears" as u said, you get lost in it, like a meditative (or medicated ;))state. Someone told me that the best way to make someone go insane was to play "i want you..." over and over again. but i digress... Helter Skelter in the summer swelter!
- Natasha, Chico, CA
This song invented heavy metal.





Unfortuantely.
- Matt, Cleveland, OH
It is definitely Ringo who screams the "blisters" lines. It's either in The Beatles Anthology book or Paul's Biography, Many Years From Now. According to whichever book, Ringo's hands were literally bleeding because he was playing so hard.
- Matt, Saugus, MA
Uh no,It was lennon.
- Scott Baldwin, Edmonton, Canada
hey it was ringo..i hav got a live cd where he said it was him who yelled in the end. so no more confusions folks they were simply the best.
"and in the end the love to u take is equal to the love u make"
- ronen, imphal, United States
Why don't they release the 27 minute jam. I'd like to hear it.
- Don, Philadelphia, PA
That couldn't be Ringo who screams "I've got blisters on my fingers." 'cause it dosen't sound like him at all. It has to be John. This is a great song.
- Don, Philadelphia, PA
This song is so basic for the drumming, I could play that for several hours and be fine most likely. I Can See For Miles is more confusing for the drums because I think they overdubbed a bunch of stuff for it, making it near impossible to completely remake live. Good song though.
- Mike, Hamilton, Canada
My band's doing a metal cover of this. It's gonna be sweet when it's done. We really want to do justice to this classic.
- Chas, Webster, NY
Yeah this song rocks totally... and no, no one will ever be able to match or even come close to the beatles sound. And it was Ringo cuz i play drum and i play this song and its brutal. And yeah we did take notice of how awesome a bass player Paul was.
- BoB, Las Vegas, NV
Look, people, all the beatles say it was Ringo who screams the blisters line so it must have been, even if it does sound like John. Why would they lie?
This is such a cool song!!!
I keep borrowing the white album of my friend so i can hear it. I haven't got this one yet cos i can't find it anywhere!
- Catherine, Glasgow, England
Strange that I'm reading this, because I was just playing the drums for several hours yesterday, and my FINGERS have BLISTERS all over them. I can attest, its much easier to get blisters playing the drums than any other instrument, including guitar. I've played the guitar for several hours and not had any problems.
- Travis, Lawrence, KS
All in all, this is definitely the hardest song the Beatles ever did, but "Revolution" comes close and the last few minutes of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" is a bit more straining on the ears
- Adrian, Wilmington, DE
Well I myself am a drummer and when I look at my figures I see alot of calluses and blisters from the sticks. Im also a guitarist and because of that I have blisters on my fingure tips. If you ask me it was Ringo, only drummers can tear the meat of there hands in one song.
- Rob Swift, Ocean City, NJ
First of all, "Greg"
It's LED ZEPPELIN not Zepplien...
And I'd have to agree with Adam on that one
No one could compare to the Beatles sound so they might as well just stop trying.
- Jaymie, Brantford, Canada
I agree with kevin.chet,YOU are sadly mistaken.becuz usally when u play guitars with your "fingers", you sometines get "blisters on" your "fingers".
- Scott Baddwin, edmonton, England
The bass track on this dominates the entire song. Most people dont take into account how good of a bass player, as well as a guitar player paul was.
- Robb, Hamburg, NY
While Paul has steadfastly said it was Ringo who yelled the infamous "blisters' line, to my ears it sounds more like John. In the end, who really cares? By the way, this is my nomination for most-butchered Beatle song ever with abominations put out by Pat Benatar, U2 and Motley Crue.
- don, rapid city, SD
Having read (many years from now) 3 times 'Paul's only authorized biography.It was all about how loud they could get the drums.He was using the symbol(helter skelter) as the rise and fall of the roman empire.Paul says it wasn't a joke when "RINGO" yelled (I've got blisters on my fingers).Paul says Ringo was drumming so ferociously on all those takes that his hands were actually bleeding at the end of the session
- steve, L.A., CA
Oh yeah Adam, Zepplien or any one has been able to top this song with out making it sound like garbage
- greg, little river, SC
OK PEOPLE, FOR YOUR INFORMATION. PAUL said to ringo to say some loud reamark. pretty much anything. So RINGO said "I GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!" This is found in the Anthology Book.
- greg, little river, SC
The Manson family wrote "Healter Skelter" in blood at the Labianca's residence (mispelling Helter) I agree - John yelled "I got blistas on ma fingers".
- Mike, Mountlake Terrace, WA
only problem is I dont see how a drummer can get blisters on his fingers for playing too long, at least not as many as a guitarist or bassist can...
- Omar, Houston, TX
I heard it was Ringo, not Lennon
- Omar, Houston, TX
um, no. it was ringo.
- zero, liverpool, England
"I Can See For Miles" was the Who song that Pete Townshend described as the most raucous and dirtiest thing they'd ever done. I think McCartney won. Then Led Zeppelin destroyed them both.
- Adam, Beaver Falls, PA
Thank You for answering, but how did paul came up with the lyrics, Please Answer
- Stykman, little river, SC
Charles Manson said that the white man had put down everything darker than he and now it was comming back to get them. He said that the song Helter Skelter portrayed this idea. Such lyrics as "it's commin' down fast but it's miles above you" supposidly (to him and the family) represented the war the colored people were going to bring down upon the whites. The song wasn't about Charles, but Charles interpereted it, and used it to uncover what he thought was happening.
- karlien, Windhoek, Namibia, Africa
Is Helter Skelter About Charles Manson?
Please Answer
- Stykman, Little River, SC
No Kevin, you are sadly mistaken. It was indeed Ringo Starr who screamed, "I've got blisters on my fingers". He has said he yelled it because Paul McCartney wanted him play like his (Ringo's) life depended on it.
- chet, saratoga springs, NY
In 1976, Capitol Record planned to release a single with "Helter Skelter" as the A-side and "Got to Get You Into My Life" as the B-side. The sides were flipped after the airing of the TV movie "Helter Skelter" as the powers-to-be did not want any connection between a planned Beatles chart resurgence and Charles Manson.
- Brad Wind, Miami, FL
It was Lennon who screams "I've got blisters on my fingers" at the end.
- Kevin, Joplin, MO
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