The Music


Nowhere Man

Recorded 29 December 2004. Lead vocal is Paul (doubled). Verse harmony is Patrick & Rob. Ah-la-la-la backing is Paul, Patrick & Rob singing together into one mike, then doubled. John stepped up to sing the high bit at the end, just as he did in 1967. The lead guitar is multi-tracked four times to get that fat sound, and the accoustic rhythm guitar is the Maton with a capo on the 4th fret and played as if in the key of C (the song is in E).

Dr Robert

Recorded 29 December 2004. Lead vocal is Paul doubled using a trick invented during Beatle sessions at Abbey Rd. It is known as "ADT", or artificial double track, in which one vocal track is used, but with a slight delay between left and right channels. Harmony in the verses is Rob+Pat doubled.

Dr Robert (1967 version)

We recorded a demo of Dr Robert at Rockdale in southern Sydney in 1967. It was on a single-sided 45rpm 10-inch acetate disc mixed and cut on the day it was recorded - it lived at the bottom of John McMahon's wardrobe for at least 35 years. Several hours went into restoring it to the woeful quality you wil hear by clicking here. It was recorded in two takes - the first captured all the instruments and the second was all vocals, so it was practically a live recording. The thing that shines through the scratches and hasn't changed much over the decades is Paul's voice. This track also contains an interesting "mondegreen" - instead of "My friend works on the National Health", Paul sings "Writing books on the National Health".

Happy Together

Recorded 17 September 2005. Vocal structure is Paul as main with Patrick & Rob doing the repeats in verse 1 & 2, Patrick does the harmony on "toss the dice", and the ba-ba-ba middle 8 (actually middle 9 here) and the end playout once again feature the 8 voices of the Me'n'Mine choir - Paul doubled, Patrick doubled, Rob 4 times. For instrumentation this one relies on the synth for drums, oboe, bassoon, flute, strings, 2 tracks of brass and a very short burst of piano in the 2nd verse. Then there are two electric guitar tracks plus the bass played with pick. If you see the video of this song you'll see the mistake - closeup of bass being played without the pick.

This Boy

Recorded 17 September 2005. We sang the verses together into a single mike, two takes. The mix switches between the two takes wherever one is audibly better than the other. In the middle 8, the "aah" parts are the three of us doubled under a double-tracked Paul. On attempting a final mix, we encountered a problem because Paul's high part was dominant in the verses when in fact Patrick's low part is the main melody line, and you can't unmix three parts sang into one mike. Patrick returned the following week to sing his part again solo so it now occupies its correct position at the front of the mix.

Run For Your Life

Recorded 17 September 2005. Paul on main vocal, double tracked in the choruses. The falsetto harmony parts were difficult, but we got them in the end - Paul doubled on the very high parts that prompted ribald comments - captured on video - about his anatomical attributes. Rob is multi-tracked on the lower falsettos. The lead guitar solo was pasted together from multiple attempts at separate phrases (guitar solos are not our strong point).

Teach Your Children

Vocals recorded 2 January 2008. The Crosby, Stills & Nash classic has Paul on main vocal, Patrick on middle harmony, Rob on the high part. This track features Lindsay Askew on slide guitar doing a convincing imitation of a pedal steel guitar. At the age of 15, Lindsay was the "5th Beatle" of Me'n'Mine - standing in for Patrick, Rob or John when they were unavailable due to illness or in the case of McMahons - broken fingers from aussie rules football.

And Your Bird Can Sing

Vocals recorded 2 January 2008. One of our favourite Beatle songs - from the Revolver album. Once again Paul on main vocal with Patrick and Rob on the backups. The music track was interesting in that I found it impossible to play the main riff in one take - it had to be in two parts overdubbed. How Patrick did it originally I don't know. We probably simplified the part without even realising it.

Here Comes the Sun

Vocals recorded 2 January 2008. One of my favourite backing tracks, multiple accoustic guitars, cellos, and synths playing ancient Moog sounds. Vocal structure as above.

In My Life

Vocals recorded 2 January 2008. This John Lennon classic is Paul's all-time favourite Beatle track, and he sings it accordingly.

Things We Said Today

Vocals recorded 2 January 2008. Short but sweet track from the Hard Day's Night soundtrack record, although it wasn't in the film. Vocals are double-track Paul and mostly Patrick harmonising.

You Won't See Me

Vocals recorded 18 October 2009. Len/Mac track from the Rubber Soul record. Vocals are double-track Paul with Patrick & Rob backing him up.

She's Not There

Vocals recorded 18 October 2009. A song by The Zombies, probably written by Rod Argent. Once again Paul on lead vocal with backing by Rob and Patrick. The piano part was downloaded from the web, but I can't find any credit for the player/programmer.


Vocals recorded 18 October 2009. Len/Mac track from the Rubber Soul record. Vocals are Paul (double-tracked in the bridge) with Patrick & Rob backing him up. All three of us sang the "tit tit tit tit" bit. I found the mandolin sound by double tracking my accoustic guitar in a high register. It nicely simulates the doubled mandolin strings.

I'm Only Sleeping

Vocals recorded 18 October 2009. Len/Mac track from the Revolver record. Vocals are Paul (ADT and double-tracked in the bridge) with Rob backing him up. The music track was done by Lindsay Askew, including the strangely haunting backwards guitars.

Straight Shooter

A Mamas & Papas song from '65. Paul's Vocals recorded 18 October, followed by Rob and the "Mamas" on 20 Nov 2009. In this case the Mamas voices were provided by Rob's daughter Melanie and her friend Karina. We had fun doing this one.

Yackandandah's Home to Me

This is a Patrick McMahon original that he wrote in the late 70's. It won him $100 in a songwriting contest held at Yackandandah in Victoria. Patrick was given some pro studio time as a gift on his 60th birthday, so by popular demand he picked Yackandandah's Home to Me as the song to record. Lindsay and I produced a backing track - the quality lead guitar work and western swing feel are Lindsay's valuable contributions, morphing the song from it's original John Denver feel - and Patrick recorded the lead vocal track on 29 October 2009 at Revolution Studios in Alexandria. Later that day I added the Paul & Rob harmonies that we'd prepared earlier at our session on 18 October.

Silly Love Songs

Paul expressed an interest in doing a duet with Melanie, and here is a result - one of Macca & Wings' greatest hits. It's Paul on lead vocal with Melanie doing the Linda bits. I'm also in there in the three-way counterpoint near the end. I always liked that bass line and had great fun recording it. Recorded January 2010.

I'm Looking Through You

A song from Rubber Soul that Paul and I often used to play in his living room at Lascelles St, but which never made it into the M'n'M repertoire. Recorded January 2010

Go Where You Wanna Go

After the great result of the Mamas & Papas experiment in Straight Shooter, I decided to capture some more M&P songs since M'n'M so loved doing those contrapuntal harmonies. "Contrapuntal" was a word we learned in the 60s when attempting to learn the M&P stuff. This one features Melanie & her mate Karina Jensen again as the Mamas with Patrick & Rob as the papas. Recorded January 2010.

Monday Monday

Perhaps the Mamas & Papas greatest hit. Rob & Melanie often performed this with Donna Fisher in the D'Como trio, but this version features Paul on lead vocal with the Melanie and Karina Mamas. Patrick and Rob are in there too as additional Papas. Recorded January 2010.

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