Christopher P Thomas (born 13 January 1947 in Brentford, Middlesex) is an English record producer who has worked extensively with The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen, Procol Harum, Roxy Music, Badfinger, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend, Pulp and The Pretenders. He has also produced breakthrough albums for The Sex Pistols and INXS.
Chris was classically trained on the Violin and piano as a child and he began playing bass in London pop bands, turning down at one point the opportunity to play with Jimi Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell before Hendrix had struck fame. After several years, Thomas decided that he had little interest in making a career as a performing musician. In a 1998 interview, he stated “I realized that being in a band you were dependent on all these other people, and I also knew that if I’d ever been successful in a band, I would’ve wanted to stay in the studio and just make the records; I wasn’t that interested in playing live.”
Recording sessions with The Beatles
Looking to break into production, Thomas wrote to Beatles producer George Martin seeking work and in 1967 was employed as an assistant by AIR, an independent production company which had been founded by Martin and three other EMI producers. Thomas was allowed to attend sessions at EMI with the Hollies and, in 1968, The Beatles during their sessions for the White Album. Midway through the sessions, Martin decided to take a vacation, and he proposed that Thomas assume his duties as producer. “I had just come back from holiday myself, and when I came in there was a little letter on the desk that said, “Dear Chris, Hope you had a nice holiday. I’m off on mine now. Make yourself available to The Beatles. Neil and Mal know you’re coming down.” Thomas played keyboards on four songs: Mellotron on “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill“, piano on “Long, Long, Long” and “Savoy Truffle“, and harpsichord on “Piggies“. The 6 March 1993 edition of Billboard states that Musicians Union records show that Thomas was paid for playing on four songs: Harpsichord on “Piggies” and “Savoy Truffle”, Mellotron on “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill”, and Piano on “Long, Long, Long”.