- John Lennon – vocals, lead guitar
- Paul McCartney – bass
- George Harrison – lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums
Yer Blues is a John Lennon song, written when in Rishikesh with the Maharishi. It occupies track two on disc two of The Beatles (called The White Album). Lennon's lyrics can be described as desperate and depressed. The title was placed to hint that it was a parody, though it is likely that John was truly struggling with his own psyche at the time.
Recording took place in a large closet "annex" to the control room of Abbey Road's Studio 2, without the usual electronic "bells and whistles" of the main recording area. Fourteen takes were made on August 13, 1968. Then, in an unusual move, reduction takes were made to make room on the four-track equipment for more overdubs, and then two of these were spliced together somewhat clumsily at three minutes, sixteen seconds. Guide vocals and some guitar parts can be heard "leaking" into these tracks, due to the poor acoustic quality of the closet area in which they recorded the song. Lennon added a new lead vocal on August 14, and the count-in, by Ringo, came on August 20.
John is the only vocal to be heard, and the production has a simple quality, almost like a solo performance. There is no hint of Lennon's desire to make experimentations with studio effects: it is just a straightforward, bluesy number. Ringo later said it was a great session, like sixties-era grunge blues.
Lennon made a live performance of Yer Blues with Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell on drums under the ad hoc group name "The Dirty Mac." This was for the Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus on December 11, 1968. A lengthy instrumental jam session followed with the contribution of avant-garde violinist Ivry Gitlis. This number was dubbed Whole Lotta Yoko. It was the first live performance since the Beatles stopped touring. The following month the Beatles held their famed "rooftop concerts" and then Lennon went on to perform more and more often in public.