Our song was Christmas No 1 and we wanted to watch it on TV. So we knocked on a stranger’s door

It was Christmas Eve 1968 and Lily the Pink by the Scaffold was top of the charts. We were a long way from home – and desperate to see our performance

Some readers may remember, perhaps with a certain fondness, a song called Lily the Pink by the Scaffold (alias John Gorman, Mike McGear and myself) that was No 1 in the charts in 1968. The song was based on an old American folk song, and celebrated efficacious cures for mild ailments. Backing vocalists included some lesser-known figures from the world of music: Graham Nash (of the Hollies), Elton John (then Reg Dwight) and Tim Rice. Jack Bruce (of Cream) played bass guitar. It was the night before Christmas Eve, the year the song hit its peak. We were driving to Liverpool from London after recording it for an Eamonn Andrews show earlier that afternoon.

The show was to be broadcast that night on the BBC. Time was very tight.

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