Fixing a Hole
- Paul McCartney – double-tracked lead vocals, bass guitar
- John Lennon – backing vocals
- George Harrison – backing vocals, double-tracked lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums, maracas
- George Martin – harpsichord
Fixing a Hole , like many of the Beatles' songs of the ear (and indeed the Sgt. Pepper album) was controversial. McCartney was criticized for making explicit references, well as explicit as a metaphor can possibly be, to heroin.
In fact, Paul wrote the song in appreciation of marijuana - a major influence on the Beatles's music since their now famous meeting with Bob Dylan - but that seemed a thin distinction for the network censors.
McCartney later said in reference to the song,
[I]t explored the joys of allowing one's mind to wander, and the freedom from being told what to do.
Indeed, the refrain
... stops my mind from wandering where it will go ... is one of the most famous lines from the album and one of those musical moments that made Sgt. Pepper what it was - a unique burst of creativity and one of the many emotive pinnacles of the album.
It has been claimed that the lyrics were inspired by something more prosaic - about McCartney fixing up a Scottish farmhouse he invested in at the time. While it's accurate that McCartney had bought a farmhouse called High Park near Campbeltown on Scotland's west coast in 1966, McCartney himself address the rumor:
People just make it up! They know I've got a farm, they know it has a roof, they know I might be given to handyman tendencies so it's a very small leap for mankind... to make up the rest of the story.
- Paul McCartney from Many Years From Now by Barry Miles
Fixing a Hole was recorded on February 9 & 21, 1967 in the Regent Sound Studio, as Abbey Road as unavailable. This was the Beatles' first EMI recording ever made outside their Abbey Road home (except for some takes made in Paris early on). Paul later recalled that he brought someone to the studio for the recording who had appeared at his door and identified himself as Jesus Christ. The man sat in the studio during the session and then left, never to be seen again.
In Fixing a Hole, the musicians perform their usual roles with the vocals and instruments. Take two from the February 9 session was considered the best base track, and it included rhythm and lead vocals. George Martin's harpsichord can also be heard, and Ringo adds a maracas track to the drums.