- Paul McCartney – lead vocal, acoustic guitar
- John Lennon – backing vocal, harmonica, harmonium, six-string bass
- George Harrison – backing vocal
- Ringo Starr – drums
- George Martin – piano
When the Beatles went to India on their TM retreat with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, folk singer Donovan was there, too. While playing guitar with Donovan and John Lennon, Paul McCartney had an idea for a song, which became Rocky Raccoon. The song is a light number, almost a parody of a western, talking blues.
The main character's name in the song started out as "Rocky Sassoon," but Paul changed it to sound more like the Old West. Rocky was betrayed by his love and in the song is out to get revenge.
The song was recorded on August 15, 1968, with Paul singing lead and John and George singing the backing vocals. John played harmonica, harmonium and bass. The only guitar was Paul's. Ringo was on drums, and George Martin played a honky-tonk sounding piano (electronically created). Nine takes of the rhythm track were made.
The song was released in November on The Beatles (The White Album). Take eight came out on Anthology 3 in 1996, showing that the lyrics of takes eight and nine differed markedly at the beginning.