Sunday, May 1
He Beetles Backwards
Backward masking is a sound recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward onto a recording that is meant to be played forward. Backmasking is a deliberate process. It was made popular by the Beatles, specifically John Lennon. In his book “Take a Walk on the Dark Side: Rock and Roll Myths, Legends, and Curses (page 170-71), R. Gary Patterson describes:
“It is appropriate that we begin with the Beatles. After all, they were the first to introduce the technique known as backward masking. It was during the recording of “Rain” that John Lennon first became inspired to try a backward vocal track. Lennon mentioned to David Sheff in The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, “I got home from the studio and I was stoned out of my mind on marijuana and, as I usually do, I listened to what I recorded that day. Somehow I got it on backward and I sat there transfixed, with the earphones on, with a big hash joint. I ran in the next day and said, ‘I know what to do with it, I know … listen to this?’ So I made them play it backward. The fade is me actually singing backward with the guitars going backward. ‘Sharethsmnowthsmeaness.’””
The technique used by Lennon in the song ‘Rain’ was an intentional reversal. There are other reverse messages in Beatles material that are unintentional – phonetic reversals. It was the Beatles backwards that sparked the worldwide phenomenon Beatles’ death clues (Paul-is-Dead). Backmasking and phonetic reversals have been deemed demonic and Satanic by some. It is another John Lennon generated phenomena.