Beatles – Bad Boy

Well, this rock and roll has got to stop
Junior’s head is hard as rock
Now junior, behave yourself

This song was written and originally recorded by Larry Williams, a black rock singer admired by John Lennon. The song is about a rebellious kid who loves rock and roll. The Beatles chose cover songs that fit them very well.

I really like Larry’s version of this also. His version is rooted in the fifties with rhythm and blues… With Lennon’s voice, the Beatles version makes it sound like an early garage rock/punk record.

This Larry Williams song didn’t get much traction in the charts when it was released in 1959 but the British bands were listening and covering this song. The Beatles covered three of his songs on albums… Slow Down, Bad Boy, and Dizzy Miss Lizzy.

One of the very good covers The Beatles did early on. Nice guitar and Lennon’s voice comes right at you. The song was included on the American Beatles album The Beatles VI. In the UK it wasn’t on an album until the release of A Collection of Beatles Oldies in 1966. It was released in December just as the Beatles were starting on Sgt Peppers. Having an Oldies album released only 4 years after you start recording is odd but it was perfect timing because they would never sound the same again.


Bad Boy

A bad little kid moved into my neighborhood
He won’t do nothing right just sitting down and look so good
He don’t want to go to school and learn to read and write
Just sits around the house and plays the rock and roll music all night
Well, he put some tacks on teachers chair
Puts chewing gum in little girl’s hair
Man, junior, behave yourself

Buy every rock and roll book on the magazine stand
Every dime that he get is lost to the jukebox man
Well, he worries his teacher till at night she’s ready to poop
From rocking and a-rolling spinning in a hula hoop
Well, this rock and roll has got to stop
Junior’s head is hard as rock
Now junior, behave yourself

Going tell your mama you better do what she said
Get to the barber shop and get that hair cut off your head
He took your canary and he fed it to the neighbors cat
He gave the cocker spaniel a bath in mother’s laundromat
Well, mama’s head has got to stop
Junior’s head is hard as rock
Now junior, behave yourself



Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

21 thoughts on “Beatles – Bad Boy”

  1. Lloyd Price was Larry Williams second cousin. Larry led a violent life filled with drugs, guns and run-ins with the law. In 1977 he brandished a revolver and threatened to kill Little Richard over a drug deal gone sour. On Jan. 7, 1980, he was killed by a bullet to the brain in Los Angeles at the age of 44, coincidently this was the same year John Lennon would also die of gunshot wounds. No other recording artist had three of their songs recorded by the Beatles except for Carl Perkins, who had ‘Matchbox’, ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’ and ‘Honey Don’t’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think I remember that from where you wrote about him…yea he had a sad life. It’s a real shame….I hope the Beatles covers helped him out at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Beatles do a great cover of this song, but listening to the original by Larry Williams, I prefer the original. I like how he says, “Bad Boy” at the end of every line and how he sings the lyrics. Sorry to hear that Larry met a tragic end, and it’s a dual tragedy that both he and John died in the same year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like Larry’s version also. It’s two different styles. What I like about the Beatles version is the Kinks/punk sounding rawness. Larry’s is much smoother and has that R&B cool.

      I’m pretty sure The Beatles covered more of Larry’s songs than any other outside songwriter.
      Yea when I read about Larry’s life it was sad and ended way too soon…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. A friend of mine turned me onto The Beatles’ version. I had heir Red/Blue Greatest Hits, but it’s not on those. I think it’s on the Rock and Roll Music/Past Masters collections, in addition to the ones mentioned. Kind of a chunky guitar feel to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This one doesn’t get talked about much but I like it…it’s raw and John’s voice is in top form. You are right…it’s on them… I’ve never seen that Oldies collection in person…the UK one.


    1. There is a raw Lo Fi album called Lve at the Starlight Cub that was recorded on a cheap real to real of them before they made it… They sound like a punk band.

      Liked by 1 person

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