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Polythene Pam

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"Polythene Pam"
Daily Mirror - 7 June 1967
Daily Mirror - 7 June 1967
Song by The Beatles
Album Abbey Road
Released 26 September 1969
Recorded 25–30 July 1969
Genre Rock
Length 1:12
Label Apple Records
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Abbey Road track listing

"England's answer to Allen Ginsberg" refers to the Beat poet Royston Ellis (b. 1941).


That was me, remembering a little event I had with a woman in Jersey, an island off the French coast. A poet, England's answer to Allen Ginsberg, a beatnik that looked like a beatnik, who gave us our first exposure, who was from Liverpool, took me to this apartment of his in Jersey. This was so long ago. This is all triggering these amazing memories. So this poet took me to his place, and I had a girl and he had one he wanted me to meet. He said she dressed up in polythene, which she did. In polythene bags. She didn't wear jack boots and kilts – I just sort of elaborated – and no, she didn't really look like a man. There was nothing much to it. It was kind of perverted sex in a polythene bag. But it provided something to write a song about.

—John Lennon, Playboy Interview, , 1980

John, being Royston's friend, went out to dinner with him and got pissed (drunk) and stuff and they ended up back at his apartment with a girl who dressed herself in polythene for John's amusement, so it was a little kinky scene... She was a real character.

—Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now, Barry Miles, 1994

Just as "Sun King" and "Mean Mr Mustard" were recorded as one continuous piece, so were "Polythene Pam" and "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" ... Encompassing both songs in the manner, the recordings began with some sharp Lennon jabs of a 12-string acoustic guitar (the start of "Polythene Pam") and ended with Paul's vocal line "...on the phone to me, oh yeah." ... In between, on this first day, was a basic track of bass (Paul), drums (Ringo), lead guitar (George) and that acoustic guitar (John) ... There was an amusing moment when John commented that Ringo's drumming style for the recording "sounds like Dave Clark!" (It wasn't meant as a compliment.) Perhaps this explains why the drum track ... was taped again later in the session.

—Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles Recording Sessions, 1988

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