Listen To The Craziest Beatles Song, 1967’s “Blue Jay Way”
Written by George Harrison, “Blue Jay Way” was released as part of the “Magical Mystery Tour” album in 1967.
A dark, moody song, it’s understandable that the music video for “Blue Jay Way” would be equally surreal. The video starts with Harrison playing on a pipe organ keyboard drawn onto the cement of a car park, and it ends with a cello being lit on fire via fireworks.
— Beatles Archive (@BeatlesArchive2) September 26, 2019
Created during the group’s psychedelic period, the track makes extensive use of studio techniques such as flanging, Leslie rotary effect, and reversed tape sounds. The line “Don’t Be Long” is repeated 29 times throughout the song, adding to its strange, otherworldly effect.
Explaining his inspiration for the song, George Harrison spoke about a trip he took to Los Angeles to meet a friend. “I told [Derek Taylor] on the phone that the house was in Blue Jay Way,” Harrison said. “There was a fog and it got later and later. To keep myself awake, just as a joke to fill in time, I wrote a song about waiting for him in Blue Jay Way. There was a little Hammond organ in the corner of this rented house … I messed around on this and the song came.”
George Harrison was highly influenced by Indian classical music during this period, and incorporated many of their stylings as he wrote and recorded “Blue Jay Way.” In fact, he had been visiting with his sitar instructor while in Los Angeles, rekindling their relationship after his teacher left London to work at the Hollywood Bowl.