Beatles – Baby You’re A Rich Man

We have here a Stones- Beatles collaboration…a slight one with Mick Jagger is said to be singing backups to this song.The John and Paul returned the favor on the Stones song We Love You.

I first heard this on the Magical Mystery Tour album. I love the bass sound that Paul got on this song.

The cool sounding instrument on this song is the the Clavioline which John plays. It was a forerunner to the synthesizer.

The Story Of The Clavioline

John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote parts of this separately and combined it to make one song… something they would repeat on “A Day In The Life.” At one point, the song was called “One Of The Beautiful People.”

On August 7th, 1967, just three weeks after the single was released in the US, George Harrison and entourage decided to make a brief visit to the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, California, to visit the highly publicized “beautiful people” of the area and played the song on an acoustic after one was produced from a growing crowd. George didn’t stay too long.

Near the end of the song legend has it that John sings “Baby, you’re a rich f*g jew” as a reference to Brian Epstein toward the end of the song. Whether it is…it’s hard to tell. Whatever is in your head when you listen…it can become that. I’ve never read where John admitted it…and if he would have done that…I don’t see him shying away from admitting it.

Eddie Kramer…future producer for the Jimi Hendrix played the vibraphone.

From Songfacts

This song is about how everybody can have the things that matter, and it has nothing to do with material possessions. The Beatles were rich, but they claimed that money was not that important to them.

It was rumored that The Beatles sang “Baby you’re a rich fag Jew” as a slur to their manager, Brian Epstein. He was rich, gay and Jewish, but The Beatles never said this was about him. Epstein died later in that year when he overdosed on sleeping pills.

The Beatles started working on this song with the intention of using it on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack. It was used in the 1968 movie, but didn’t appear on the soundtrack.

Mick Jagger sang backup. McCartney and Lennon returned the favor by singing on The Stones’ “We Love You.”

Brian Jones, the guitarist from The Rolling Stones, played an oboe on this. A few years earlier, Lennon and McCartney gave The Stones a song called “I Wanna Be Your Man,” which was one of their first hits, and helped convince Mick Jagger and Keith Richards that they should write their own songs.

This was released as the B-side of “All You Need Is Love.”

Lennon played clavioline and piano on the song and George Harrison played tambourine. There is actually no guitar on this song at all. Paul played bass and piano as well.

This was released in mono, but in 1971 it was remixed in stereo along with several other tracks for a German version of Magical Mystery Tour. The stereo version is the one that is now the most common. 

The comedy rap trio The Fat Boys performed this song in their 1987 movie Disorderlies.

In 2010, this song was used at the end of the movie The Social Network to punctuate the raging financial success of the guys who invented Facebook. It was one of the few Beatles songs licensed to a movie in its original form, meaning the Beatles version was used. Apple Corp. is very particular about where Beatles songs are used.

At one point in this song, The Beatles ask, “How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?” The phrase “beautiful people” was used a lot in 1967 as a derisive way to describe the social elite. A popular book by Marilyn Bender was published that year called The Beautiful People: a Candid Examination of a Cultural Phenomenon – the Marriage of Fashion and Society in the ’60s.

Baby You’re A Rich Man

How does it feel to be
One of the beautiful people
Now that you know who you are
What do you want to be
And have you traveled very far?
Far as the eye can see

How does it feel to be
One of the beautiful people
How often have you been there
Often enough to know
What did you see when you were there
Nothing that doesn’t show

Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man, too
You keep all your money in a big brown bag
Inside a zoo, what a thing to do
Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man, too

How does it feel to be
One of the beautiful people
Tuned to a natural E
Happy to be that way
Now that you’ve found another key
What are you going to play

Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man, too
You keep all your money in a big brown bag
Inside a zoo, what a thing to do
Baby, baby, you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man, too, oh
Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man (baby)
Baby you’re a rich man, too
Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man, too

Beatles – I Want To Hold Your Hand

This helped start the modern rock era. No British rock act had dominated in America before the Beatles. Cliff Richard had tried and failed but with this song and an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show…The Beatles kicked down the door and started the British Invasion and the Stones, Kinks, and Who would soon follow.

Rock and Roll can be divided up into two eras… pre Beatles and post Beatles. Everything would change after this. I bought an amp from a long time country studio  musician and he told me that the day after he heard this on Ed Sullivan the world changed. Not just music but everything…music, thoughts, aspirations, and hair of course. Within weeks of this song hitting number 1 there were bands forming in every neighborhood in America.  Guitars were bought, hair lengths were being tested, and a huge urge to learn everything British.

I always hold this song up to why vinyl is the way to listen to some records at times. All the CD versions I’ve heard of this song sound rather flat…when I hear the 45 vinyl single the song jumps out at you. It changes the whole dynamic of the song. After hearing the single the way it was meant to be heard… you can see why this song changed a lot of things. It was maybe the most important single they ever released…it may have had the biggest impact at least in America.

It is said that John and Paul wrote this with an America’s sound in mind. They must have guessed right. This song preceded the Beatles trip here at number 1. Lennon liked the melody so much that he talked about doing something with it again til his death.

This was played on the Washington, DC radio station WWDC before it was released in America by a DJ named Carroll Baker, who got the record from a stewardess. It was a huge hit with his listeners and prompted Capitol Records to release the song ahead of schedule – they planned to issue it on January 13, 1964.

The Beatles were in Paris and celebrated madly when they found out they were #1 in America. They came to America for the first time on February 7, 1964, greeted at the airport by screaming fans. “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was the #1 song in the country at that time, and it stayed on top for seven weeks, until their next single, the re-released “She Loves You,” replaced it.

Bob Dylan thought the line “I can’t hide” was “I get high,” and a reference to marijuana. He was surprised to learn they had never tried pot, and became part of Beatles lore when he introduced them to it.

At times John Lennon realized the crowds The Beatles played to were so loud they really couldn’t hear them sing, so sometimes instead of singing the line, “I want to hold your hand,” he would say, “I want to hold your gland” as a reference to women’s breasts…and people wonder why Lennon is my favorite Beatle!

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada, UK, New Zealand, and probably on Mars also in 1964.

 

From Songfacts

This was the first Beatles song to catch on in America. In 1963, the Beatles became stars in England, but couldn’t break through in the US. They couldn’t get a major label to distribute their singles in America, so their first three singles there, “Please Please Me,” “From Me to You” and “She Loves You,” were issued on small labels and flopped, even though they were hits in England.

Late in 1963, American news outlets started reporting on this British sensation, and interest in the group started to rise. Capitol Records took notice and released “I Want To Hold Your Hand” Stateside on December 26. The song rose up the chart, and on February 1, 1964, hit #1. It sold better in the first 10 days of release in the US than any other British single, and remains the best-selling Beatles single in the United States, moving over 12 million copies.

Conquering the US was, and still is, a big deal for British bands. Many groups that are huge in the UK (Oasis, Blur) never really catch on in America.
• John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote this in Jane Asher’s basement. Asher was an actress who became Paul’s first high-profile girlfriend. After appearing in several movies, TV shows and stage productions, Asher became an authority on baking, and has her own business selling party cakes and supplying baking and decorating equipment. She and Paul broke up in 1968.

Jane had a brother named Pete Asher who teamed up with Gordon Waller to form the duo Peter & Gordon; McCartney wrote their hit single “A World Without Love.” Pete recalled in a 2010 interview with Gibson.com the two Beatles penning this song at his home: “My mother had a practice room that she used to give private oboe lessons when she wasn’t teaching at The Royal Academy, where she was a professor. There was just a piano, and an upright chair and a sofa. Paul used that room to write in, from time to time. One afternoon John came over, while I was upstairs in my room. The two of them were in the basement for an hour or so, and Paul called me down to listen to a song they had just finished. I went downstairs and sat on the sofa, and they sat side by side, on the piano bench. That’s where they played ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ for the first anywhere. They asked me what I thought. I said, ‘I think it’s very good.'” [laughs]

The Beatles performed this on their first two Ed Sullivan Show appearances, which took place February 9 and 16, 1964. There was already a media frenzy around The Beatles, which was amplified when millions saw them on Sullivan’s show. The Beatles were booked for the show before they had a hit in the US, so they actually got paid less than many other guests for their appearance.

• This was one of John Lennon’s favorite Beatles songs. It starts with a falling melody, which is typical of Lennon’s songwriting, and ends with a cadence with a quarter-interval: “I’ll think you’ll understand.” That quarter-interval cadence you can even hear in Lennon’s first bit of “From Me to You” and in “Tomorrow Never Knows.” McCartney most often uses second-intervals. Also typically Lennon is the sudden octave-run, “Haaaaand…” The same octave-run you can hear in the end of the middle part in Lennon’s “Please Please Me”: “To reason with youuuuuu…” Also note that the beginning of the melody in the middle part is almost the same melody as the beginning of the middle part in “Don’t Let Me Down.” 

Two parody groups made answer songs to this in 1964: “I’ll Let You Hold My Hand” by The Bootles and “Yes, You Can Hold My Hand” by The Beatlettes.

This was the first Beatles song recorded on 4-track equipment. Some of their first songs were in mono.

The Beatles also cut a German version called “Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand.” They picked up some German while playing The Star Club in Hamburg in 1962.

In the 1960s it wasn’t uncommon for British stars to record new versions of their hits in other languages. The idea was to increase airplay on continental stations and to get a hit before an indigenous artist recorded a version in the local tongue. On January 29, 1964, The Beatles went into the Pathé & Marconi Studios in Paris and recorded “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” (“Sie Liebt Dich”) in German. The lyrics had been hurriedly translated by a Luxembourger named Camillo Felgen, who was then a program director at Radio Luxembourg. As well, apart from their recording of “My Bonnie” in the early ’60s, this was the only time The Beatles recorded in another language. In addition it was the sole occasion on which they recorded outside London.

When this hit #1 in the US, it was the first time a British group topped the chart there since 1962, when “Telstar” by The Tornados did it. Until The Beatles came along, most British groups that had hits in America came and went pretty quickly. The Beatles kicked off the British Invasion, leading to a lengthy occupation on the charts for acts like The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who as well as The Beatles.

It was the youth who discovered The Beatles, and while young people can be easily manipulated through hype and image, in the case of The Beatles it was the music that drew them in. An American girl Sanda Stewart, 15 years old in spring 1964 (according to Hunter Davies in his book Beatles) said: “I was one day in a shop with my mother when I suddenly heard ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ on the car radio. Such a special sound! I could never stop thinking about it. No song has effected me on that way. Several other girls in school had reacted in the same way. We saw the Beatles on photos and thought they were ugly. But their music was fantastic.”

This song was used in the movie Across the Universe at a much slower tempo. 

A fairly straightforward and simple Beatles song, this one still has some musical complexity that foreshadowed what was to come. “The middle eight of that does something,” Tony Banks of Genesis explained. “The way the key changes at that point is something I hadn’t heard before.”

I Want To Hold Your Hand

Oh yeah, I’ll tell you somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I say that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

Oh please, say to me
You’ll let me be your man
And please, say to me
You’ll let me hold your hand
Now, let me hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

And when I touch you
I feel happy inside
It’s such a feelin’ that my love
I can’t hide
I can’t hide
I can’t hide

Yeah, you got that somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I say that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

And when I touch you
I feel happy inside
It’s such a feelin’ that my love
I can’t hide
I can’t hide
I can’t hide

Yeah, you got that somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I feel that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

 

 

Quick Martha Update Part 3

I had some requests to show an update on Martha. I was going to post an update on her on October 4th 2020…exactly a year after we got her but with my work right now I had to hold that off. Her birthday is August 18, 2019 so now she is one year and five months old.

She has settled down now a little bit. This is our third Saint and we never had one with this much energy but now she has matured a little.

We had one scare with her. This goes out as a warning to anyone who is taking their pet to get a rabies shot. We never had trouble with it at all with our other dogs… but around 12 hours after the shot…she started to get really sick. For three days she could not hold anything down and would not eat… and the vet kept telling us to give her Benadryl. She was allergic to the rabies shot. After the third day my son came home with a hamburger and she ate it. When she did that she started to get better and was soon back to normal.

So after your pet gets a rabies shot…keep a close eye on them.

Anyway she has free range in our house. After she was house broken AND we could trust her not to eat our couch… she no longer has to stay in her kennel.

She still has a lot of energy but nothing like she did a few months ago.

I’ll give you a few pictures for updates starting with the first ones.

Martha at 2 months old…Oct 4, 2019

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Martha at 3 Months old

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Martha at 4 Months old…she still has the penguin and plays with it.

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Martha at 7 months and 8 days in our driveway…March 26, 2020

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Martha now…I brought her along to work with me…since I’m the only one left in IT at this moment and I have it all to myself…I had her setup…we were a little messy that day. 

After coming home from work…logging in trying to get a few more things done at work…Martha has other ideas

The song that she is named after! “Martha My Dear”

Beatles Hey Jude Greatest Hits…Desert Island Albums

We wrapped up Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days. We are going into extra innings and extending three more picks from these categories… favorite Soundtracks, Greatest Hits, and a music related movie. This is my pick for greatest hits…Hey Jude Greatest Hits by the Beatles.

2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 12 -PICK 10- COMPILATION- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- THE BEATLES -HEY JUDE

It wasn’t my intention to go to the Beatles three times but…there is a reason for this one as I will explain…I didn’t know this album was a greatest hits package when I purchased it. I’m picking this album because of the personal connection to it…and it might be the album that influenced me the most in my life.

Is this the best Beatles greatest hits album? No, not by a long shot but it was the first Beatle album (or any album) I bought and was not handed down by my sister or relatives. I had some money given to me by a relative and mom helped me with the rest. The first Beatle album I listened to was my cousin’s copy of Meet The Beatles…he let me borrow it for while. The Hey Jude album sent me down the road of getting into music that was at least a generation before me…and I’m still in that generation…and I don’t regret a thing…because I’m still discovering new old music and new music that has it’s influences.

My cousin kept telling me of this great song called “Paperback Writer” and he didn’t have a copy. He built the song up so much that I had to listen to it. I found this album at a record store that I begged my mom to take me to. I went through the Beatle albums and this one had Paperback Writer. I couldn’t believe these bearded guys were the same band as on Meet The Beatles. So when I was 8 years old I got two albums… one was a birthday present… the soundtrack to Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang (that I requested) and then I bought this one. My mom asked…are you sure? A nod of my head and I bought a ticket to enter the Beatles world which I still reside.

It has an slight mixture of older, middle, and at that time, newer songs. This was a collection of non-album singles and B sides from the Beatles on the American Capitol label.

The album was conceived by Allen Klein (boooo) and Apple Records and released in 1970. The original name was going to be “The Beatles Again” but they wanted to capitalize on the hit Hey Jude. It was a nice album that should have included more of their earlier hits but it gave us a couple in Can’t Buy Me Love and I Should Have Known Better.

My favorite at that time was of course Paperback Writer…that guitar and those backing vocals…were/are great! Remember… all I’d heard to that point was their first album with Capitol… Meet The Beatles…so I couldn’t believe that “Rain” and the rest came from the same band that played I Want To Hold Your Hand. I didn’t know the history…my 8 year old mind thought…”What the hell happened?…” Where I am musically now…all started with this album purchase.

Rain…the B side to Paperback Writer…I grew to like Rain more than Paperback Writer through the years…in fact it is in my top 10 of Beatle songs.

Lady Madonna… Terrific driving piano riff that is relentless.

I will close out with an earlier Beatles song. I Should’ve Known Better is an instantly catchy song with a harmonica that they would stop using as much in the future. When looking back on their career…the early ones get forgotten sometimes and they shouldn’t be. Those early songs built the foundation.

My island is getting very Beatle-ly…and I don’t mind. I went with the album that influenced me the most at an early age…it just so happened to be a Beatles greatest hits package. This album brings back memories of playing it on a green portable turn table I had at the time with removable speakers.

Like this but green…

Vintage 1970s Magnavox Portable Stereo Record Player - Restored - AWESOME.  $275.00, via Etsy. | Vintage record player, Record player, Antique record

Can’t Buy Me Love
I Should Have Known Better
Paperback Writer
Rain
Lady Madonna
Revolution
Hey Jude
Old Brown Shoe
Don’t Let Me Down
Ballad Of John And Yoko

Beatles – Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)

This song made me look for a sitar to buy for a time…unfortunately I never could find one in Nashville at the time. You just don’t see them hanging up in pawn shops.

This was the first pop song to use a sitar…George Harrison played it. Harrison was new to the sitar and attempted many takes until it was right. He bought a cheap sitar and and taught himself to play. Later on Harrison studied the instrument with the Indian musician Ravi Shankar, who helped Harrison explore Eastern music and religion.

The song was on the Rubber Soul album released in 1965. The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, Canada, and the UK. The song was not released as a single in America.

John Lennon: “I was trying to write about an affair without letting my wife know I was having one. I was sort of writing from my experiences – girl’s flats, things like that. I was very careful and paranoid because I didn’t want my wife, Cyn, to know that there really was something going on outside of the household. I’d always had some kind of affairs going on, so I was trying to be sophisticated in writing about an affair, but in such a smoke-screen way that you couldn’t tell. But I can’t remember any specific woman it had to do with.” 

John Lennon: “I think it was at the studio. George had just got the sitar and I said ‘Could you play this piece?’ We went through many different sort of versions of the song, it was never right and I was getting very angry about it, it wasn’t coming out like I said. They said, ‘Well just do it how you want to do it’ and I said, ‘Well I just want to do it like this.’ They let me go and I did the guitar very loudly into the mike and sang it at the same time and then George had the sitar and I asked him could he play the piece that I’d written, you know, dee diddley dee diddley dee, that bit, and he was not sure whether he could play it yet because he hadn’t done much on the sitar but he was willing to have a go, as is his wont, and he learned the bit and dubbed it on after. I think we did it in sections.”

From Songfacts

There are not many lyrics in this song, but they tell the story of a man who gets invited to a girl’s house. When she won’t let him into her bed, he sleeps in the tub. When she leaves the next morning, he sets the place on fire. It was one of the first songs Lennon wrote that told a complete story.

Norwegian Wood is a fake wood that was used to make cheap furniture. John Lennon claimed he had no idea where the title came from, but Paul McCartney said he came up with it, inspired by the Norwegian Wood in the Asher household, where he was staying. McCartney was dating Jane Asher, and was good friends with her brother, Peter Asher from the duo Peter & Gordon.

The Beatles recorded this on October 12, 1965, the first day of the Rubber Soul sessions. The first take of the song, which is included on the Anthology 2 CD and includes George’s sitar much more prominently, was originally going to be put on Rubber Soul until a remake was made a week or two later. The notes in the Anthology 2 album verify this. 

Ringo played the finger cymbals on this track.

Bob Dylan wrote a parody of sorts to this song called “Fourth Time Around,” which appears on his 1966 album Blonde On Blonde. His song uses a similar melody; it also tells a story about a strange encounter with a girl.

It was Paul McCartney who came up with the album title Rubber Soul. Lennon told Rolling Stone that he supposed it was a pun meaning English Soul. He added: “There is no great mysterious meaning behind all of this, it was just four boys working out what to call a new album.”

Some of the many artists to cover this song include José Feliciano, Herbie Hancock and Buddy Rich. The mellow rap group P.M. Dawn also did a version on their 1993 The Bliss Album, and Cornershop covered it on their 1997 album When I Was Born for the 7th Time – the one with their #1 UK hit “Brimful Of Asha.”

Norwegian Wood

I once had a girl
Or should I say she once had me
She showed me her room
Isn’t it good Norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay
And she told me to sit anywhere
So I looked around
And I noticed there wasn’t a chair

I sat on a rug biding my time
Drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said
“It’s time for bed”

She told me she worked
In the morning and started to laugh
I told her I didn’t
And crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke I was alone
This bird had flown
So I lit a fire
Isn’t it good Norwegian wood?

Beatles – Help! Soundtrack Album

We wrapped up Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days. We are going into extra innings and extending three more picks from these categories… favorite Soundtracks, Greatest Hits, and a music related movie. This is my pick for sountrack…Help! by the Beatles.

2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 11 PICK 4- SOUNDTRACKS- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- THE BEATLES- HELP!

To avoid confusion I’m reviewing the UK version of Help! because that is the one that I own.

The movie Help! was an enjoyable movie. It was not nearly as good as A Hard Days Night but it had it’s moments. I love black and white movies but the color made Help! stand out. The Beatles knew it wasn’t as good as their first…John had a quote about it: “it was like being a frog in a movie about clams.” Nevertheless it was a fun movie and a pleasure to watch today.

Amazon.com: Blujway The Beatles Help Lobby Card Movie Poster Replica 11 X  14 Photo Print: Posters & Prints

They shot the movie in five different locations…London, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Austria, and the Bahamas.

It was the first Beatle movie I ever saw…I rented it from a video store in the mid-eighties. The Help! movie was the only Beatle movie they had at the time. With no internet, it was my only window to see the Beatles other than the documentary The Compleat Beatles.

Behind-the-Scenes Footage From the Beatles' 'Help!' Surfaces

The soundtrack is a great album on it’s own.

I picked this album/soundtrack because I always thought this was the transitional album between Beatlemania and The Beatles middle period. After this album would come Rubber Soul and the swinging sixties would officially be kicked off. Help! shows them making strides into the future. You can hear a some of their earlier work and get a hint of what was coming.

Here are a few songs…I’ll leave the big hits off of the preview.

You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away is a good song with a noticeable Dylan influence.

One of my favorite songs on the album is The Night Before…I first heard it on the Beatles Rock and Roll Music compilation album. It’s another song that would have been a single for another band.

As soon as I heard I’ve Just Seen A Face…I learned it on guitar and have been playing it ever since. This is a song that you can see the change starting to take place…from the bouncy numbers to this folk influenced one. This song would be on the American version of Rubber Soul.

You’re Going to Lose That Girl has a catchy call and response chorus. The backup vocals are superb.

The title track is brilliant with John calling out for Help after being battered by Beatlemania. They also dipped into their club roots with a cover of the Larry Williams song Dizzy Miss Lizzy. The album had the hits of course…Help!, Yesterday, and Ticket To Ride…all #1 in the Billboard 100.

I’m ready to watch Help! now…can I smuggle a Blu-ray player on the island?

Help!
The Night Before
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
I Need You
Another Girl
You’re Going to Lose That Girl
Ticket to Ride
Act Naturally
It’s Only Love
You Like Me Too Much
Tell Me What You See
I’ve Just Seen a Face
Yesterday
Dizzy Miss Lizzy

Beatles – Drive My Car

Beep beep’m beep beep yeah

The song was on their album Rubber Soul released in 1965. What stands out is the Motown type bass line being played by Paul while George doubled him on guitar. Paul played lead with slide guitar.

George Harrison suggested the R&B arrangement and it  was implemented as the rhythmic style of the song. The introduction to the song is confusing to some though.

This is another song by Lennon/McCartney but with Lennon saying it was mostly Paul’s song. Lennon though did write a lot of the lyrics as Paul’s original lyrics were pretty bad…per Paul. It was not released as a single.

According to McCartney, “‘Drive my car’ was an old blues euphemism for sex”.This expression was more common in the pre-automatic shift era of automobiles.

The opening two measures of “Drive My Car” still leave studied “musicologists” scratching their heads to this day. Producer Mark Hudson, who had worked with Ringo on his solo career for ten years, has related how he asked the drummer about the song’s introduction, saying that “he could never figure it out.” Ringo couldn’t even explain it.

The Beatles seem to do that a lot… A Hard Days Night intro and the beginning to I Want To Hold Your Hand have musicologist debating how something was done…and how it worked.

Paul McCartney: “The lyrics were disastrous and I knew it. Often you just block songs out and words just come into your mind and when they do it’s hard to get rid of them. You often quote other songs too and you know you’ve got to get rid of them, but sometimes it’s very difficult to find a more suitable phrase than the one that has insinuated itself into your consciousness.” Other songs he used as a template in this case most likely include “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “I Feel Fine,” both of which include lines about buying a “diamond ring” for someone.

Paul McCartney:  “”It was wonderful because this nice tongue-in-cheek idea came and suddenly there was a girl there, the heroine of the story, and the story developed and had a little sting in the tail like ‘Norwegian Wood’ had, which was ‘I actually haven’t got a car, but when I get one you’ll be a terrific chauffeur.’ So to me it was LA chicks…and it also meant ‘you can be my lover.’ ‘Drive my car’ was an old blues euphemism for sex, so in the end all is revealed. Black humor crept in and saved the day. It wrote itself then. I find that very often, once you get the good idea, things write themselves.”

From Songfacts

Laden with sexual innuendo, this song is about a guy who meets an aspiring actress, who tells him he can “drive my car,” as she has a keen interest in him, and might even be in love.

She keeps trying to lure him in (“I can show you a better time”), but when he finally agrees to take the job, she admits that she doesn’t have a car, but still wants him to be her driver. It’s pretty clear that all this driving talk is leading to sex, but there’s no proof that it isn’t just a song about a guy, a girl, and a car – making it another radio-friendly Beatles track.

Originally, it was a very different song lyrically, with the chorus, “I can give you golden rings, I can give you anything, baby, I love you.” Knowing that storyline would lead them nowhere good, they hashed it out until they came up with “Drive My Car” for the title, and changed the song so it was the woman soliciting the man.

Paul McCartney played bass, piano and lead guitar on this one; George Harrison played guitar and did backing vocals. John Lennon sang lead with McCartney and also played tambourine.

The “beep beep” refrain is a take-off on The Beatles own “yeah, yeah yeah”s in “She Loves You” as well as a nod to The Playmates song “Beep Beep” (a #4 US novelty hit in 1958).

Paul McCartney played this at halftime of the 2005 Super Bowl. The year before, Janet Jackson exposed a breast on live TV, which caused a great deal of controversy. McCartney was a solid choice because he was unlikely to offend anyone.

At the 2005 Live 8 Concert in London, McCartney performed this in a duet with George Michael.

The title of the album comes from “plastic soul,” a derogatory phrase McCartney had overheard black musicians using about Mick Jagger. (“Plastic” in those days meant anything fake or processed.) Paul can be heard using the phrase in studio chatter on June 14, 1965, during recording of the “Help!” B-side “I’m Down.” Reliably, he put his own spin on the phrase.

Drive My Car

Asked a girl what she wanted to be
She said, “baby, can’t you see
I want to be famous, a star on the screen
But you can do something in between

Baby, you can drive my car
Yes, I’m gonna be a star
Baby, you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you”

I told a girl that my prospects were good
And she said, “baby, it’s understood
Working for peanuts is all very fine
But I can show you a better time

Baby, you can drive my car
Yes, I’m gonna be a star
Baby, you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you”

Beep beep’m beep beep yeah

Baby, you can drive my car
Yes, I’m gonna be a star
Baby, you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you

I told a girl I can start right away
And she said, “listen, babe, I got something to say
I got no car and it’s breaking my heart
But I’ve found a driver and that’s a start

Baby, you can drive my car
Yes, I’m gonna be a star
Baby, you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you”

Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
Beep beep’m beep beep yeah

Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour

This is the title song to the soundtrack album of the movie Magical Mystery Tour. In reality it was more of a very expensive home movie but I do like it. Like Paul McCartney said…where else would you see a video of the Beatles doing I Am The Walrus?

They began on the song two weeks after Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released.

In the 60s a “Mystery Tour” was a bus trip to an unknown destination. They were popular in England at that time…many times they ended up to see the Blackpool lights.

The song peaked at #2 in the UK. It was not released as a single in the US. The song was written by Lennon and McCartney. Paul’s concept and Lennon helped with the lyrics.

“Magical Mystery Tour” was released as the title track to a six-song double EP in the United Kingdom on 8 December 1967. It was the first example of a double EP in Britain. In the United States, the double EP was stretched to an LP by adding five songs previously released as singles.

Paul McCartney: “’Magical Mystery Tour’ was co-written by John and I, very much in our fairground period. One of our great inspirations was always the Barker. ‘Roll up!  Roll up!’

Paul McCartney: “It used to just be called a mystery tour, up north,” “When we were kids, you’d get on a bus, and you didn’t know where you were going, but nearly always it was Blackpool. From Liverpool, it was inevitably Blackpool and everyone would go, ‘Oooo, it was Blackpool after all!’ Everyone would spend time guessing where they were going, and this was part of the thrill. And we remembered those. So much of The Beatles’ stuff was a slight switch on a memory; in ‘Penny Lane,’ the nurse and the barber and the fireman were just people we saw on a bus route, but this time they’d be with us. So we’d always just heighten the reality to make a little bit of surreality. That we were interested in.”

From Songfacts

Five months after recording this, The Beatles started making a TV special with this as the title track. The special aired in the UK in 1967, but didn’t appear in the US until 1976 when it was released in theaters, becoming the fourth Beatles movie. The film, which was an early precursor of today’s reality TV shows, didn’t go over well with critics or fans.

When they started recording this, they only had the title, a little bit of music, and the first line. Paul McCartney wrote the verses, John Lennon the refrain. 

The carnival barker at the beginning is Paul McCartney.

In the 1978 movie The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash directed by former Monty Python member Eric Idle, this song is parodied by the title “Tragical History Tour.”

Charles Manson used to refer to life as “A Magical Mystery Tour” after hearing this song. He later warped other Beatles songs (“Helter Skelter,” “Piggies,” “Blackbird”) to explain a race war named Helter Skelter. He used to say that the Beatles were telling it like it is.

Magical Mystery Tour

Roll up roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up roll up for the Mystery Tour

Roll up
That’s an invitation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
To make a reservation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

The Magical Mystery Tour
Is waiting to take you away
Waiting to take you away

Roll up
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

Roll up
They’ve got everything you need
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
Satisfaction guaranteed
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

The Magical Mystery Tour is hoping to take you away
Hoping to take you away

The Mystery Tour

Ah

The Magical Mystery Tour
Roll up
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

Roll up
That’s an invitation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
To make a reservation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

The Magical Mystery Tour
Is coming to take you away
Coming to take you away

The Magical Mystery Tour
Is dying to take you away
Dying to take you away
Take you today

Beatles – If I Needed Someone

This has that Rickenbacker sound. This song was written by George Harrison, who was influenced by The Byrds song “The Bells of Rhymney.” This one has always been a favorite of mine by George.

If I Needed Someone was one of four songs Capitol Records held off of the American release of Rubber Soul. US audiences hadn’t heard the song until June 20th, 1966, which was the date of release for the American album Yesterday…And Today.

If I Needed Someone was the only George Harrison composition to have been performed live by The Beatles. The other songs that featured George on vocals were covers but this was the only original song before they stopped touring.

The Hollies received an early recording of “If I Needed Someone.” They proceeded to quickly record their own rendition of the song and release it as their next British single on December 3rd, 1965, the exact day that The Beatles’ released Rubber Soul.

The Hollies took the song to #20 on the British charts, and it became the first George Harrison composition to make the charts.

Roger McGuinn: “George Harrison wrote that song after hearing the Byrds’ recording of “Bells of Rhymney.” He gave a copy of his new recording to Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ former press officer, who flew to Los Angeles and brought it to my house. He said George wanted me to know that he had written the song based on the rising and falling notes of my electric Rickenbacker 12-string guitar introduction. It was a great honor to have in some small way influenced our heroes the Beatles.”

From Songfacts

 It was not Ravi Shankar that introduced George to the wonderment of sitar, but Byrd traveler David Crosby shortly after Shawn Phillips had shown him the basic steps. In 1965 The Beatles toured the US and visited Ravi at World Pacific Studios where The Byrds had permanent residency. It was also here that Roger McGuinn’s Rickenbacker jingle jangle influenced Harrison’s “If I Needed Someone.” In turn, The Byrds were influenced by Harrison’s 12-string guitar work. 

If I Needed Someone

If I needed someone to love
You’re the one that I’d be thinking of
If I needed someone

If I had some more time to spend
Then I guess I’d be with you my friend
If I needed someone
Had you come some other day
Then it might not have been like this
But you see now I’m too much in love

Carve your number on my wall
And maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone
Ah, ah, ah, ah

If I had some more time to spend
Then I guess I’d be with you my friend
If I needed someone
Had you come some other day
Then it might not have been like this
But you see now I’m too much in love

Carve your number on my wall
And maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone
Ah, ah

Beatles – I Feel Fine

One of the great guitar riffs in rock…very melodic and sounds great on a guitar.

John Lennon said he borrowed from the song “Watch Your Step” by the American blues musician Bobby Parker. I Feel Fine was released in late 1964. It was the A side of the single with She’s A Woman on the B side.

The first note of this song marked the first time feedback was used on a major release. It was created when John Lennon leaned his electric guitar against an amplifier and Paul McCartney played a note on his bass, creating a strangely appealing feedback loop.

The band thought it sounded great, but in this pre-Hendrix era, feedback was considered a technical malfunction and not an artistic enhancement.Producer George Martin was always open to new ideas and agreed to insert it at the beginning of the song. Paul would say that he let them experiment.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada, UK, and New Zealand in 1965.

From Songfacts

An early Beatles track, “I Feel Fine” lyrically is a simple love song about a guy who is crazy about his girl. It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s effective:

She’s so glad, she’s telling all the world
That her baby buys her things, you know
He buys her diamond rings, you know

The refrain is typical of Lennon’s songwriting, with the three long notes: “I’m so glad.” The sudden explosive refrain in harmonies is similar to Giovanni Gabrieli’s grand concerto “In ecclesiis,” an early baroque-music-piece. 

There is a very faint sound at the end of the song that was rumored to be barking dogs. It’s actually just McCartney goofing around.

The Beatles included this in their setlist when they toured the US in August 1965. Prior to their famous Shea Stadium appearance on August 15, they taped a performance of this song and five others for an Ed Sullivan Show episode that aired September 12.

The group made two music videos for this song as part of a one-day shoot where they banged out takes for four others as well. These were not high-concept films: just the band having some fun while lip-synching the tracks. The first “I Feel Fine” video got pretty goofy, with Ringo riding a stationary bike. For the second, the band simply sits down and eats lunch. This later version wasn’t released until 2015 when it was included on the 1+ collection.

The Ventures incorporated the riff into their surf rock instrumental version of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” on their 1965 Christmas album.

In America, this knocked “Come See About Me” by The Supremes from the top spot. “I Feel Fine” stayed for three weeks, at which point “Come See About Me” returned to bump it off.

I Feel Fine

Baby’s good to me, you know
She’s happy as can be, you know
She said so
I’m in love with her and I feel fine

Baby says she’s mine, you know
She tells me all the time, you know
She said so
I’m in love with her and I feel fine

I’m so glad that she’s my little girl
She’s so glad, she’s telling all the world
That her baby buys her things, you know
He buys her diamond rings, you know
She said so
She’s in love with me and I feel fine

Baby says she’s mine, you know
She tells me all the time, you know
She said so
I’m in love with her and I feel fine

I’m so glad that she’s my little girl
She’s so glad, she’s telling all the world
That her baby buys her things, you know
He buys her diamond rings, you know
She said so
She’s in love with me and I feel fine
She’s in love with me and I feel fine, mmm

Paul McCartney – Nashville July 26, 2010

Paul McCartney came to Nashville in 1974 to record some and promised he would be back to actually play live…well he did although it was 36 years later. 2010 was his first Nashville concert ever. The closest the Beatles got to Nashville was in Memphis in 1966.

A year after he came to Nashville in 1974 I became a very young Beatles fan. Read everything, listened to everything that I could get my hands on, and saw what limited things I could. In the 80s I got to see some of the rooftop Let It Be concert on MTV. It was like the pictures I’d seen coming to life…it made it real…or as real as it got to me.

When the Paul McCartney concert was announced in spring of 2010… I bought tickets right away. I just knew something would happen. The concert would be postponed or something awful would happen…there was no way I was going to see him. My wife, my son Bailey, and I had tickets. Sure enough…on the night of the concert…just a couple of hours before it started… a tornado did damage in Nashville (no injuries) and a warning was out for downtown. While we were there and I just knew…so this is how it’s all going to end…me with a McCartney ticket in my hand.

Waiting at the venue…McCartney came on an hour late to wait for all the warnings to die down. When he came on I was pretty much in shock…all the years reading, watching, and listening to the guy…he wasn’t yet real until he broke into “Venus and Mars” an old Wings song. I was 43 and I felt like a 12 year old kid and I was full of emotion. When he started his first Beatles song of the night…All My Loving…it was even more emotion. This is the man who played with Lennon, Harrison, and Starr at the Cavern Club, Hamburg, and all over the world.

I always was jealous of my friends who liked modern bands…who could just go and see them in concert when we were younger and buy their new records. Most of the bands I grew up liking had broken up or changed years ago.

The concert was worth the wait.

This was Bailey’s first concert…his second was Ringo, third was Paul McCartney again, and fourth was The Who…I told him he was lucky…my first concert was REO Speedwagon…no offense to them but there is no comparison. Jennifer actually got to see Elvis for her first concert…when she was a small child in 1976 in West Virginia…

Paul played around three hours of solo, Wings, Fireman, and of course Beatles songs. With as many songs as Paul has…he could have played most of the night without repeating a song. I saw him again in 2014 and again he was great and added a few more songs… but nothing will beat that first time.

Setlist for July 26, 2010

Venus and Mars
Rock Show
Jet
All My Loving
Letting Go
Got to Get You Into My Life
Highway (The Fireman Song)
Let Me Roll It
The Long and Winding Road
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Let ‘Em In
My Love
I’m Looking Through You
Tequila (The Champs cover)
Two of Us
Blackbird
Here Today
Dance Tonight
Mrs. Vanderbilt
Eleanor Rigby
Ram On
Something
Sing the Changes (The Fireman song)
Band on the Run
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Back in the U.S.S.R.
I’ve Got a Feeling
Paperback Writer
A Day in the Life / (With Give Peace A Chance Snippet)
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Hey Jude

Encore:
Day Tripper
Lady Madonna
Get Back

Encore 2:
Yesterday
Helter Skelter
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
The End

Beatles – Hey Jude

This is one of McCartney’s best written songs. Like a lot of other great songs it builds… from McCartney’s lone voice and piano to a giant sing a long at the end. Hey Jude is one of the most famous songs in rock history.

This was their debut single for their new record company Apple. The A side was Hey Jude and the B side was Revolution. That is a great way to start. This was one of the best double A side singles ever.

The song was not on an album at the time. Hey Jude peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, UK, Canada, and New Zealand in 1968.

Paul McCartney wrote this as “Hey Jules,” a song meant to comfort John Lennon’s 5-year-old son Julian as John and Cynthia were getting a divorce. The change to “Jude” was inspired by the character “Jud” in the musical Oklahoma! Paul went to visit Cynthia and Julian when the divorce was happening and he composed most of it then.

John wanted Revolution released as a single right away but when he heard this song he agreed to have Revolution as the B side.

It was the Beatles longest single, running 7:11. George Martin was afraid radio stations would not play it but John said ‘They will if it’s us.” When this became a hit, stations learned that listeners would stick around if they liked the song, which paved the way for long songs like “American Pie” and “Layla.”Disc jockeys loved it…they got a break.

The Beatles filmed a promotional video for this song, which was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg who directed Let It Be. He had the Beatles sing the song (the music was on a backing track) in front of an audience of about 100 people, who sang it with them. This was the closest the Beatles had come to a live performance since they had stopped touring two years earlier.

The clip first aired on the UK program The David Frost Show in 1968, and was quickly picked up by other shows, giving the song a big promotional push.

Paul McCartney: “I thought, as a friend of the family, I would motor out to Weybridge (John’s former home with Cynthia) and tell them that everything was all right: to try and cheer them up, basically, and see how they were. I had about an hour’s drive. I would always turn the radio off and try and make up songs, just in case…I starting singing: ‘Hey Jules – don’t make it bad, take a sad song, and make it better…’ It was optimistic, a hopeful message for Julian: ‘Come on, man, your parents got divorced. I know you’re not happy, but you’ll be OK.’ I eventually changed ‘Jules’ to ‘Jude.’ One of the characters in ‘Oklahoma’ is called Jude, and I like the name.” 

Cynthia Lennon: “During the divorce proceedings, I was truly surprised when, one afternoon, Paul arrived on his own. I was touched by his obvious concern for our welfare and even more moved when he presented me with a single red rose accompanied by a jokey remark about our future. ‘How about it, Cyn?  How about you and me getting married?’ We both laughed at the thought of the world’s reaction to an announcement like that being let loose. On his journey down to visit Julian and I, Paul composed the beautiful song ‘Hey Jude.’ He said it was for Julian. I will never forget Paul’s gesture of care and concern in coming to see us. It made me feel important and loved, as opposed to feeling discarded and obsolete.”

Paul McCartney: “I finished it all up in Cavendish (Paul’s home) and I was in the music room upstairs when John and Yoko came to visit and they were right behind me over my right shoulder, standing up, listening to it as I played it to them, and when I got to the line ‘The movement you need is on your shoulder,’ I looked over my shoulder and I said, ‘I’ll change that, it’s a bit crummy. I was just blocking it out,’ and John said, ‘You won’t, you know. That’s the best line in it!’ That’s collaboration. When someone’s that firm about a line that you’re going to junk, and he says, ‘No, keep it in.’

John Lennon: “He said it was written about Julian…but I always heard it as a song to me. If you think about it, Yoko’s just come into the picture. He’s saying: ‘Hey, Jude – hey, John.’ I know I’m sounding like one of those fans who reads things into it, but you can hear it as a song to me. The words ‘go out and get her’ – subconsciously he was saying, ‘Go ahead, leave me.’ But on a conscious level, he didn’t want me to go ahead. The angel inside him was saying, ‘Bless you.’ The devil in him didn’t like it at all, because he didn’t want to lose his partner.”

John Lennon: “Well, when Paul first played ‘Hey Jude’ to me…I took it very personally. ‘Ah, it’s me,’ I said, ‘it’s me.” He said, ‘No, it’s me!’ I said, ‘Check, we’re going through the same bit.’ So we all are. Whoever is going through a bit with us is going through it. That’s the groove.”

From Songfacts

This was named as the song most often referred to in literature in a list compiled by culture interpretation website Small Demons. Amongst the 55 books the site says it’s mentioned in are Stephen King’s Wolves of the Calla (“Why do people over here sing Hey Jude? I don’t know”) and Toni Morrison’s Paradise (“Soane had been horrified – and he drove off accompanying Hey Jude on his radio”).

Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” was runner-up on the list and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” came in third place

In 1987 Julian ran into Paul in New York City when they were staying at the same hotel and he finally heard Paul tell him the story of the song firsthand. He admitted to Paul that growing up, he’d always felt closer to him than to his own father. In Steve Turner’s book The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song, Julian said: “Paul told me he’d been thinking about my circumstances, about what I was going through and what I’d have to go through. Paul and I used to hang out quite a bit – more than Dad and I did… There seem to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing at that age than me and Dad. I’ve never really wanted to know the truth of how Dad was and how he was with me. There was some very negative stuff – like when he said that I’d come out of a whisky bottle on a Saturday night. That’s tough to deal with. You think, where’s the love in that? It surprises me whenever I hear the song. It’s strange to think someone has written a song about you. It still touches me.”

The Beatles inner circle was shifting when Paul McCartney wrote this song. John Lennon had recently taken up with Yoko and cast off his first wife, Cynthia; McCartney had broken off his engagement with his longtime girlfriend Jane Asher. He was the only Beatle to reach out to Cynthia and Julian at this time.

The drive to the Lennon home in Surrey was one of reflection for McCartney, who thought about Julian and how difficult life could be as a child of divorce. He wrote the line, “Don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better” thinking about how he could encourage the boy.

Paul was conditioned to think up songs on this trip, as he used to drive to the home for songwriting sessions with John – there were instruments and recording equipment in the attic.

In a 2018 interview with GQ, Paul McCartney talked about how he came up with the idea for this song: “John and his wife Cynthia had divorced, and I felt a bit sorry for their son, who was now a child of a divorce. I was driving out to see the son and Cynthia one day and I was thinking about the boy whose name was Julian – Julian Lennon, and I started this idea, ‘Hey Jules, don’t make it bad, it’s gonna be OK.’ It was like a reassurance song.

So that was the idea that I got driving out to see them. I saw them and then I came back and worked on the song some more. But I like that name, Jude.”

This was the first song released on Apple Records, the record label owned by The Beatles. It was recorded at Trident Studios, London, on July 31 and August 1, 1968 with a 36 piece orchestra. Orchestra members clapped and sang on the fadeout – they earned double their normal rate for their efforts.

Paul McCartney on his songwriting partnership with John Lennon in Observer Music Monthly October 2007: “I have fond flashbacks of John writing – he’d scribble it down real quick, desperate to get back to the guitar. But I knew at that moment that this was going to be a good collaboration. Like when I did ‘Hey Jude.’ I was going through it for him and Yoko when I was living in London. I had a music room at the top of the house and I was playing ‘Hey Jude’ when I got to the line ‘The movement you need is on your shoulder’ and I turned round to John and said: ‘I’ll fix that if you want.’ And he said: ‘You won’t, you know, that’s a great line, that’s the best line in it.’ Now that’s the other side of a great collaborator – don’t touch it, man, that’s OK.”

This song hit #1 in at least 12 countries and by the end of 1968 had sold more than 5 million copies. It eventually sold over 10 million copies in the United States, becoming the fourth-biggest selling Beatles single there. Factoring in the price of records in 1968 vs. 1964, when the top-seller “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was released, “Hey Jude” might be the biggest earner.

When McCartney played this song for John Lennon and Yoko Ono, John interpreted it as being about him; he heard the line “You were made to go out and get her” as Paul imploring him to leave his first wife and go after Yoko (“I always heard it as a song to me,” said Lennon). This was one of Lennon’s more narcissistic moments, as he failed to grasp that the song was written for his son.

This was going to be the B-side to “Revolution,” but it ended up the other way around. It is a testament to this song that it pushed “Revolution” to the other side of the record.

George Harrison wanted to play a guitar riff after the vocal phrases, but Paul wouldn’t let him. Things got tense between them around this time as McCartney got very particular about how Harrison played on songs he wrote.

Julian Lennon didn’t find out that this song was written for him until he was a teenager. It was around this time that he reconnected with his dad, whom he would visit in New York from time to time until his death.

In terms of songcraft, this is one of the most studied Beatles songs. It starts with a vocal – Paul’s voice singing “Hey” – then the piano comes in (an F chord). The song gradually builds, with McCartney alone playing on the first verse, then the sounds of George Harrison’s guitar, Ringo’s tambourine, and harmony vocals by George and John. The drums enter about 50 seconds in, and the song builds from there, reaching a peak of intensity with McCartney delivering the “better… better… better” line punctuated by a Little Richard-style scream, then the famous singalong resolution.

The “na na na” fadeout takes four minutes. The chorus is repeated 19 times.

“Jude” is the German word for “Jew,” but nobody in the Beatles camp knew that. In 1967 and 1968, the group owned a retail store on Baker Street in London called the Apple Boutique, which they closed around the time this song was released. On the shuttered building, an employee scrawled the words “Revolution” and “Hey Jude” to promote the new Beatles single. Without proper context, this proved offensive to Jewish residents, who read it as hateful graffiti.

Wilson Pickett recorded this shortly after The Beatles did. His version hit #16 UK and #23 US and provided the name for his album. Duane Allman played on it and got a huge career boost when the song became a hit. He spent the next year as a session guitarist for many famous singers and then formed The Allman Brothers, who are considered the greatest Southern Rock band of all time.

Thanks to the communal nature of this song, it is sometimes used to pay tribute to those who have passed. When Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr appeared on the 2014 CBS special The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, Paul dedicated the song John Lennon and George Harrison. Musicians who performed earlier in the show joined on stage for the ending, which closed the telecast.

In America, an album called Hey Jude (originally titled “The Beatles Again”) was released in 1970 containing this and several other Beatles songs that were released as singles or B-sides. The album has not appeared as a CD because Apple Records made the decision to copy only the British LP releases onto CD. In the ’60s the American record company managed to get extra LPs off the British releases by cutting down the number of tracks, then putting them out with singles and B-sides as additional albums. 

As discussed in the DVD Composing the Beatles Songbook, while Paul wrote this song for Julian, in a lot of ways McCartney wrote this song about his brand-new relationship with Linda Eastman.

After the “Oh” in the crescendo, McCartney sings “YEAH!” in a non-falsetto voice. The note he hits is F Natural above male High C, a very difficult note for a male to hit in a non-falsetto voice.

The original 1968 version was recorded in mono, and many listeners find it far superior to the stereo remake from 1970, which is much more heavily produced.

On The Beatles Anthology 3, there is a version of this song with an introduction spoken by John and Paul: “From the heart of the black country: When I was a robber in Boston place You gathered round me with your fine embrace.”

“Boston place” (mentioned by Paul) is a small London street where The Beatles’ company Apple had just installed an electronics laboratory. In a more familiar scene, Boston Street was that street in which The Beatles ran for the title sequence of their film A Hard Day’s Night. John spoke of the “Black Country,” which was the name of the old smokestack industrial region in the middle of England.

Richie Havens played this at Woodstock when he opened the festival in 1969.

If you listen at about 2:55, you hear a sound from John Lennon while Paul keeps singing. It sounds like “Ohh!” at first, but it is really him saying “…chord!” You can barely hear it, but if you listen really closely, you can hear him say “Got the wrong CHORD.” He says “chord” much louder than the other words. And about two or three counts later, you can hear McCartney say “F**king hell.” 

The song debuted at #10 in the Hot 100, and in doing so it made history by becoming the first ever single to reach the top 10 in its first week on the chart.

When the Beatles music was made available for download for the first time – on iTunes November 16, 2010 – “Hey Jude” was the most downloaded Beatles song that day.

McCartney played this at the 2005 Live8 concert in London. He started with “The Long and Winding Road” and flowed it into the end of “Hey Jude,” which closed out the Live8 concert. 

Paul McCartney played this at the 2005 Super Bowl halftime show. He performed the year after Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed on stage, causing an uproar. McCartney was deemed a safe and reliable choice for a nudity-free performance.

Sesame Street did a parody of this (and tribute to healthy eating) called “Hey Food.”

With hundreds of crowd favorites to choose from in his catalog, Paul McCartney mixes up his setlists when he plays live, but this one always seems to stick. “I’ll switch up the songs, but I’ve got to do ‘Hey Jude’ because it is such fun and it’s great handing that over to the audience,” he told GQ. The greatest thing is, you feel this sense of community, and in these times when it’s a little dark and people are separated by politics and stuff, it’s so fantastic to see them all come together singing the end of ‘Hey Jude.’ I’m very happy about that, so I keep it in the show.”

This appears frequently throughout Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, including the first installment, The Gunslinger (1982). The fantasy western is set in a parallel universe where a lone gunslinger is on a quest for revenge. King explained the significance of the song in a 1988 interview with The Guardian: “I see the gunslinger’s world as sort of a post-radiation world where everybody’s history has gotten clobbered and about the only thing anybody remembers anymore is the chorus to ‘Hey, Jude.'”

Hey Jude

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Hey Jude, don’t be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better

And anytime you feel the pain
Hey Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it’s a fool
Who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder
Na-na-na, na, na
Na-na-na, na

Hey Jude, don’t let me down
You have found her, now go and get her (let it out and let it in)
Remember to let her into your heart (hey Jude)
Then you can start to make it better

So let it out and let it in
Hey Jude, begin
You’re waiting for someone to perform with
And don’t you know that it’s just you
Hey Jude, you’ll do
The movement you need is on your shoulder
Na-na-na, na, na
Na-na-na, na, yeah

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her under your skin
Then you’ll begin to make it better
Better better better better better, ah!

Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (Jude Jude, Judy Judy Judy Judy, ow wow!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (my, my, my)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (yeah, you know you can make it, Jude, Jude, you’re not gonna break it)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (don’t make it bad, Jude, take a sad song and make it better)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (oh Jude, Jude, hey Jude, wa!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (oh Jude)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (hey, hey, hey, hey)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (hey, hey)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (now, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (Jude, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, make it, Jude)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, yeah yeah, yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude

Beatles – I Saw Her Standing There

(One, two, three, four)

Well, she was just seventeen
You know what I mean

One of the most famous count offs in history. It’s a great rocker by the early Beatles. This wasn’t released as a single in England. In the US, it was released as the flip side of “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” which was their first hit in the America.

The title was original “Seventeen” until it was changed for the album. There have been many covers of this song…some very good but I’ll take the original every time.

This was one of 10 songs The Beatles recorded in one day (February 11, 1963) for their UK debut album, Please Please Me. It was the first song on the tracklist. Can you imagine that happening today?

I Saw Her Standing There peaked at #14 in the Billboard 100, #1 in New Zealand, and #1 (I Want To Hold Your Hand/I Saw Her Standing There) in Canada in 1964.

This was the last song John Lennon performed for a paid audience. He played it at Madison Square Garden on November 28, 1974 when he took the stage at an Elton John concert. Elton released this version as the B-side of “Philadelphia Freedom” the following year.

Paul McCartney: “Those early days were really cool, just sussing each other out, and realizing that we were good. You just realize from what he was feeding back. Often it was your song or his song, it didn’t always just start from nothing. Someone would always have a little germ of an idea. So I’d start off with [singing] ‘She was just 17, she’d never been a beauty queen’ and he’d be like, ‘Oh no, that’s useless’ and ‘You’re right, that’s bad, we’ve got to change that.’ Then changing it into a really cool line: ‘You know what I mean.’ ‘Yeah, that works.'”

From Songfacts

John Lennon and Paul McCartney started writing this in McCartney’s living room after they skipped school one day, with Paul writing the majority of this song in September of 1962.

The Beatles frequently played this at the Cavern Club, where they often played between 1961-1963. In fact, it was because of the crowd reaction to their live shows that George Martin decided to have them simply record their live show in the studio for their first album. That’s why he kept Paul’s “1, 2, 3, 4” count at the beginning, which was taken from the 9th take and edited on to the first. 

The Beatles performed this on their first two Ed Sullivan Show appearances, which took place a week apart in February 1964. Getting on the show was a really big deal because it had a huge audience. About 73 million people watched the first show, which made The Beatles household names.

This became the first Beatles song performed on the TV series American Idol when Jordin Sparks won in 2007 and sang it on the finale with runner-up Blake Lewis. The first line of the song – “She was just 17” – was fitting, as that was Sparks’ age.

Chuck Berry was a big influence on The Beatles, and the bass line of this song borrows from Berry’s track “I’m Talking About You.” 

At the 2001 World Series between the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks, McCartney went to one of the games at Yankee Stadium and was shown between innings singing along as this played in the stadium. It was McCartney’s second visit to Yankee Stadium, and he saw The Yankees win that day, although they eventually lost the World Series.

Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman sing this song during a very powerful scene in the 1988 Oscar-winning film Rain Man. 

The Who, Daniel Johnston, Santo & Johnny, and The Tubes all covered this song. 

With Dave Grohl playing drums, Paul McCartney played this at the Grammy Awards in 2009.

I Saw Her Standing There

(One, two, three, four)

Well, she was just seventeen
You know what I mean
And the way she looked
Was way beyond compare
So how could I dance with another
Ooh, when I saw her standing there?

Well, she looked at me
And I, I could see
That before too long
I’d fall in love with her
She wouldn’t dance with another
Ooh, when I saw her standing there

Well, my heart went “boom”
When I crossed that room
And I held her hand in mine

Oh we danced through the night
And we held each other tight
And before too long
I fell in love with her
Now I’ll never dance with another
Ooh, since I saw her standing there

Well, my heart went, “Boom”
When I crossed that room
And I held her hand in mine

Oh, we danced through the night
And we held each other tight
And before too long
I fell in love with her
Now I’ll never dance with another
Oh, since I saw her standing there
Oh, since I saw her standing there
Yeah, well since I saw her standing there

Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps

This is one of the best songs from the White Album. George stated that the song was written at his mother’s home in Warrington in the north of England.

Harrison was reading I Ching, the Chinese book of changes, and decided to write a song about the first words he saw, which were “Gently Weeps.”

George wanted a sound he wasn’t getting so he called his friend Eric Clapton to play on the song. It also served another purpose. Much like bringing in Billy Preston on Let It Be…John and Paul behaved much better when a visitor came into the picture. Eric declined at first because he said that no one plays on Beatle records and the others wouldn’t like it. George told him it was his song and he wanted him on it. According to George, the atmosphere changed and the song took off from there.

After hearing the playback Eric said that there was a problem…his guitar wasn’t Beatley enough.’ So it was put through the ADT (Artificial Double Tracking) to wobble it up a bit.

George Harrsion:  ‘Eric’s going to play on this one,’ and it was good because that then made everyone act better…It’s interesting to see how nicely people behave when you bring a guest in, because they don’t really want everybody to know that they’re so bitchy…Paul got on the piano and played a nice intro and they all took it more seriously…Also it left me free to just play the rhythm and do the vocal…It was a similar situation when Billy Preston came later to play on ‘Let It Be’ and everybody was arguing. Just bringing a stranger in amongst us made everybody cool out.”

Mick Jagger: “It’s lovely, plaintive. Only a guitar player could write that. I love that song.”

George Harrison: “‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ was just a simple study based on the theory that everything has some purpose for being there at that given moment…So I open this book and I saw ‘gently weeps.’ I shut the book and then I started the tune.”

 

From Songfacts

Harrison often had to fight to get his songs on the albums. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were not interested in this song at first, but came around when Harrison brought Clapton to the studio.

This was the first song Ringo played on after leaving the band in frustration a few weeks earlier. He returned to find flowers on his drums to welcome him back.

Clapton used a Les Paul guitar on this track. Later in his career, he switched to a Fender Stratocaster.

Even though this was not a hit, it is one of the most enduring Beatles songs. It remains popular on classic rock radio.

When George Harrison arranged a trip to India for The Beatles to study Transcendental Meditation, they were joined by their good friend Donovan, a singer-songwriter who had hits with “Sunshine Superman” and “Mellow Yellow.” They shared a lot of ideas on this trip, many of which influenced The White Album. In our interview with Donovan, he said that John Lennon wanted to learn the clawhammer guitar style, while Harrison was interested in Donovan’s chord structures. The A minor descents Donovan showed him ended up in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

After working on this song, Eric Clapton became good friends with John Lennon, and played with him on some of his solo work. When George Harrison threatened to leave The Beatles in 1969, Lennon was ready to replace him with Clapton.

This was originally recorded as an acoustic ballad with just Harrison on acoustic guitar and Paul McCartney on organ. This version can be found on some bootlegs and on The Beatles Anthology 3

The Demo Version

The Studio Version

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
No one alerted you

I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
Look at you all
Still my guitar gently weeps

The Beatles – White Album…..Desert Island Albums

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The White Album was released in 1968 and peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Chart, #1 in Canada, #1 in the UK, and #1 about everywhere else…and it would be #1 as well on “Max’s Desert Island.”

Is this considered the Beatle’s best album? Probably not but if I had to take just one with me to that proverbial desert island…this would be the one. They have albums that are considered better like Revolver and Sgt Pepper but I relate to the rawer songs on this album. The album’s actual name is “The Beatles” but for obvious reasons, it will forever be known as the White Album.

When John Lennon was killed in1980 there were three albums I bought that long winter. Double Fantasy, The White Album,  and Abbey Road. I’m back there again in that 1980-81 winter and spring when I hear this album.

The White Album is as diverse as you can get… Pop, Rock, Country, Folk, Reggae, Avant-Gard, Blues, Hard Rock, and some 20’s British Music Hall thrown in the mix. It has plenty of songs that you have heard of and many that the masses have not heard as much. John Lennon wrote one of his best songs for this album… Dear Prudence.

The Beatles more than many bands could bend to a style of music and play that style well.

Some critics said they should have taken the best of the two albums and slimmed it down to one…but as a Beatle fan…Nahhhhh. It’s the friggin Beatles White Album!

My favorite songs: Sexy Sadie, Dear Prudence, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Cry Baby Cry, Helter Skelter, I Will, I’m So Tired, Revolution 1, Yer Blues, Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except For Me and My Monkey, Back In The USSR, Rocky Raccoon, Happiness Is A Warm Gun and Glass Onion.

Are all of the 30 songs up to the Beatle’s high standards? No, but more than enough are to make this a great double album.

Although the songs differ in style they all have that Beatles touch to them whether it be the hard Helter Skelter, country Rocky Raccoon, or even the fairytale-like Cry Baby Cry.

The sessions were not the happiest time for the band but they came up with the most eclectic batch of songs they ever produced.

 

  1. Back In The USSR
  2. Dear Prudence
  3. Glass Onion
  4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  5. Wild Honey Pie
  6. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
  7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun
  9. Martha My Dear
  10. I’m So Tired
  11. Blackbird
  12. Piggies
  13. Rocky Raccoon
  14. Don’t Pass Me By
  15. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?
  16. I Will
  17. Julia
  18. Birthday
  19. Yer Blues
  20. Mother Nature’s Son
  21. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
  22. Sexy Sadie
  23. Helter Skelter
  24. Long, Long, Long
  25. Revolution 1
  26. Honey Pie
  27. Savoy Truffle
  28. Cry Baby Cry
  29. Revolution 9
  30. Good Night

 

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