Here is May Pang's account of how this recording came about (this was in L.A. in 1973):
"The Jim Keltner Fan Club Hour" had been a credit on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass album, given to a group of musicians who had participated in a jam led by Jim. John decided to stage another Jim Keltner Fan Club Hour that evening, using
any musicians who were available to play.
During the afternoon musicians phoned each other, eager to round up an illustrious crew for the jam, and that night a dazzling group assembled for the session. Mick [Jagger] said he would be the lead vocalist, with Harry Nilsson singing backup.
Jesse Ed Davis and Danny Kortchmar were going to play guitar, with Jim Keltner on drums, Bobby Keys and Trevor Lawrence on horns, and Al Kooper on keyboards. Jack Bruce was in another studio, and he came in to play bass. An army of girls had gathered
in the studio. They were invited to sing backup with Harry.
[Snip of paragraph about Jagger's mischievousness, his effectiveness as a leader, and his selection of a then-little known song called "Too Many Cooks."]
After Mick played the record and copied down the lyrics, he gathered the musicians together. John decided he wanted to produce the session and not perform on it, and he went into the control booth to get proper levels on the microphones. The
musicians listened to the record a few times then promptly worked up an arrangement. Mick rehearsed the group a couple of times, making a few suggestions along the way. The musicians also contributed their own ideas. When John put echo on Mick's
voice, Mick said, "John, I hate echo. Please take it off," and John obeyed. Unlike John, Mick liked his singing voice, and did not insist that it be adorned with special effects. At the end of half an hour, they were ready to begin. They did three or
four takes, with John producing.
Everyone listened intently to the playback. The singing and playing sounded terrific, and John had expertly produced the track. "Too Many Cooks" had been arranged, rehearsed and recorded in little more than an hour, a far cry from the Spector