Malcolm “Mal” Evans is best known as the road manager, assistant, bodyguard and friend of The Beatles.
In the early 1960s, Evans was employed as a telephone engineer and a part-time bouncer at The Cavern Club, where The Beatles regularly performed. As The Beatles gained popularity their manager Brian Epstein hired Evans to serve as their assistant road manager. Since Evans was tall and heavily-built he also served a dual-purpose as the band’s bodyguard.
Evans was also in charge of setting up The Beatles equipment and taking care of whatever the boys needed at home or on the road.
Although not a musician, Evans contributed to many Beatle recordings, and appeared in all of the films The Beatles made. Here are some photos of him from A Hard Days Night, Magical Mystery Tour, Help! and Let It Be.
The Beatles stopped touring in 1966, but Evans carried on assisting the band and working with them in the studio.
Here is a list of Mal Evans musical contributions on Beatles albums.
Evans ontributed his voice. He also ransacked the store cupboard next to Studio Two for a range of instruments and implements, such as chains, a ship’s bell, whistles, hooters and thunderstorm machines that were to be used on the recording. After recording the overdubs, Evans strapped on a marching bass drum and led everybody in a line around the studio doing the conga dance while banging rhythmically on the drum.
You Won’t See Me
Evans played single organ note.
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
Evans played harmonica, kazoo, and organ. McCartney explained that he showed Evanswhere the note was on the organ, and then nodded his head when he wanted Evans to play, and shook it when he wanted him to stop.
Evans was sent to Abbey Road’s lavatories to collect toilet paper (which was stamped with the words, “PROPERTY OF EMI”). This was used to cover hair combs, which Evans and others blew through to resemble the sound of a kazoo orchestra.
A Day in the Life
Evans controlled an alarm clock and counted the measures in the original 24-bar break. The intent was to edit out the alarm clock when the missing section had been filled with music, but as it complemented McCartney’s piece (the first line of McCartney’s section began with, “woke up, got out of bed”) the decision was made to keep the ringing, although George Martin later commented that editing it out would have been unfeasible. Evans was also one of the five piano players simultaneously hitting the last chord of the song.
Evans played tambourine.
Evans played the saxophone. He played a double solo with Lennon, although neither of them was proficient on the instrument.
You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
Evans contributed background vocals and shovelled a bucket of gravel (as part of the rhythm).
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
Evans hit an anvil.
Evans continued to work with all The Beatles after they broke up. He was with John Lennon during his infamous “Lost Weekend” in Los Angles. Evans was killed by the Los Angeles Police Department on January 5, 1976 under some strange circumstances. Read about it here…