Paul McCartney was filmed by Tony Bramwell playing Helter Skelter in June 1968. The film was intended for promotional use and not public broadcast.
Helter Skelter was first recorded on July 18, 1968, when three takes were recorded. These takes, in contrast to the loud studio version, were slower and more bluesy.
Then the song was re-recordedon September 9 in 18 takes, all shorter than the previous attempt’s versions. Overdubs were made on September 10.
Take 21 was considered the best take, featuring John Lennon on bass, lead guitar, backing vocals, and saxophone, Mal Evans on trumpet, Paul McCartney on lead guitar and lead vocals, George Harrison on backing vocals, and Ringo Starr on drums. Ringo recalls, “Helter Skelter was a track we did in total madness and hysterics in the studio. Sometimes you just had to shake out the jams, and with that song – Paul’s bass line and my drums – Paul started screaming and shouting and made it up on the spot.”