John Lennon wrote this in India while The Beatles were on a retreat learning meditation with the Maharishi.
John used "yer" instead of "your" in the title so as not to be taken too seriously. The song is a good-natured jab at the British blues scene.
A 9 minute version with Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell was performed on the Rolling Stones' Rock 'n' Roll Circus. Taped as a British TV special in 1968, it never aired but was released on video in 1995. This was Lennon's first performance without The Beatles.
This was the only Beatles song Lennon performed at the Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival concert in 1969. Eric Clapton joined him for this on guitar. After playing with him at the Toronto show, Lennon asked Clapton to join his Plastic Ono Band. Clapton considered it, but had other obligations.
The line "Feel so suicidal, just like Dylan's Mr. Jones" is a reference to Bob Dylan's song "Ballad of a Thin Man
In a Rolling Stone
interview, Ringo said this song was one of his all-time favorite sessions: "We were just in an 8 foot room, with no separation, just doing what we do best: playing."
VinnyVegas - Durham, NC
Ringo's count-in was edited from another take.
The Beatles recorded this in Abbey Road Studio Two's "annex," a side room which McCartney referred to as "a cupboard." They jammed together from 7pm to 5am and after 14 takes produced this parody of British blues.
McCartney told Lennon not to title this song "Year Blues," but "just say it straight." However he kept the title as he was self conscious about singing blues. In the January 1971 edition of Rolling Stone, Lennon explained this was because, "We were all listening to Sleepy John Estes and all that in art school, like everybody else. But to sing it was something else. I'm self conscious about doing it."