Beatles – Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

This is a great opening track to this famous album. What a way to introduce probably the most famous album ever.

The slicing guitar stands out and the drum sound that Ringo got. Paul McCartney wrote this and sang lead. After recording it, he had the idea of doing the whole album as if Sgt. Pepper was a real band. It became the title track of what was considered a “concept” album, with the songs running seamlessly together on the record.

The title is a parody of American bands who were choosing long names for their bands.

Three days after the album came out, Jimi Hendrix opened a concert with this. McCartney and Harrison were both there, and were very impressed that Hendrix learned it so quickly.

Jimi Hendrix cover The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'

The reprise of the song is right before A Day In The Life.

This song was produced in a rush when The Beatles decided to bring back the theme song to introduce the last track on the album, “A Day In The Life.” The idea to reprise the song came from Neil Aspinall, The Beatles’ friend and road manager.

George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr played this on May 19, 1979 at Eric Clapton’s wedding. Clapton married Harrison’s ex-wife, Pattie. Pattie didn’t think John Lennon would fly over from America so she never sent an invititation. John Lennon said later he would have come.

From Songfacts

The album was heavily produced and took 129 days and about 700 hours to complete. The Beatles first album, Please Please Me, was recorded in less than 10 hours.

The crowd noise was dubbed in. The Beatles had stopped touring by then.

There really is an apostrophe in this song’s title, although on the album cover, it is rendered without. Since the Lonely Hearts Club Band belongs to Sgt. Pepper, it is possessive, thus “Sgt. Pepper’s.”

This is reprised at the end of the album before the final track, “A Day In The Life.”

This was recorded as one song with “With A Little Help From My Friends.” They flow seamlessly on the album, creating a problem for radio stations that want to play just one of the songs. 

Artist Peter Blake designed the album cover as if Sgt. Pepper’s band had just performed a concert. He asked The Beatles who they wanted at the concert, and put them in the cover design.

All living people depicted on the cover were asked permission. Mae West refused at first – she didn’t want to be part of a “Lonely Hearts Club Band” – but The Beatles wrote her a letter and she agreed. Other characters depicted on the album cover include comedic duos Laurel & Hardy and Abbott & Costello, Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Temple and W.C. Field. 

Lennon wanted Jesus, Gandhi, and Hitler on the cover. He had recently taken a lot of heat for saying The Beatles were “Bigger than Jesus,” so they decided not to.

It was rumored that the hand that is sticking out above Paul is that of Adolph Hitler. A Hitler cut out was on the set, but if you look at some side shots of the photo session, you can clearly see that the hand belongs to comic Issy Bonn, whose face is seen in between Paul McCartney and George Harrison. 

On the cover of this album McCartney is taller than the other Beatles. This added to rumors of his death, since there is also a hand above Paul’s head which is an omen of death. Also, if you take a mirror and put the edge on the center of the Lonely Hearts Club Band drum an arrow will point directly to McCartney.

Sgt. Pepper was the first pop album to come with printed lyrics on the cover.

Twelve years after “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “With a Little Help from My Friends” appeared on the Sgt. Pepper album, they were released together as a two-song medley and reached US #71 and UK #63. 

In 2005, Bob Geldof helped organize Live 8, a set of concerts held in eight countries with the goal of promoting activism. The concerts coincided with the G-8 summit, and Geldof was hoping to send a message to world leaders that they should increase aid to Africa and institute fair trade practices. On the London stage, U2 played this with McCartney to kick off the concert. The opening line, “It was 20 years ago today,” was a reference to Live Aid, which Geldof organized for famine relief in 1985.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was the first rock album to win a Grammy for Album of the Year. 

On the album cover, Paul McCartney is wearing an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) badge on his right sleeve. You can see this better on the inside artwork. 

The hand-painted drum skin used on the cover of the Sgt Pepper album was sold at Christie’s House in London on 10th July 2008 for £541,250 ($1,071,000) – setting a record for non-lyrics Beatles memorabilia.

In 2007, the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool went on a search for real Sgt. Peppers and found seven police or army officers in the UK that were sergeants with the last name Pepper. “Being Sgt. Pepper is awesome but sometimes people think I am bogus when I call them on the phone or introduce myself,” Sgt. Sean Pepper of Highfields said.

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

It was twenty years ago today
Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play,
They’ve been going in and out of style,
But they’re guaranteed to raise the smile,
So may I introduce to you,
The act you’ve known for all these years,
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

We’re Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
We hope you will enjoy the show
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sit back and let the evening go
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

It’s wonderful to be here,
It’s certainly a thrill
You’re such a lovely audience,
We’d like to take you home with us, we’d love to take you home

I don’t really want to stop the show,
But I thought you might like to know,
That the singer’s going to sing a song
And he wants you all to sing along,
So let me introduce to you
The one and only Billy Shears
And Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Oh ha ha
Yeah, dress down
I feel it, I feel it, I feel it
Oh baby now, I feel it, I feel it, I feel it
Baby, free now
Gotta be free now, gotta be free now, gotta be free
Don’t like that
I think it’ll probably be another day singing it
Yeah so just edit that then, it’s nice
Yeah, and what you can do with the bits where you can’t get it ’cause you haven’t got enough breath
Just take over, yeah

Beatles – She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Besides having one of the most unique names in the history of rock songs…this one is a really cool song off of Abbey Road. It’s always one of my favorite songs of the medley.

It’s in the medley on side 2 for those of you who have the vinyl album. I always wondered who that was coming through the bathroom window. Paul wrote the song about a fan, thought to be Diane Ashley. She said that there was a ladder in Paul’s garden and bunch of girls put it against the wall and Diane climbed up and went through the bathroom window when Paul was at the studio. I seriously doubt if she was the only one…more probable…They All Came Through Paul’s Bathroom Window. The girls that hung out waiting for the Beatles were called “Apple Scruffs” by the Beatles.

Now married with four children, Diane keeps a framed photo of herself with Paul on her kitchen shelf and looks back on her days as an Apple Scruff with affection: “I don’t regret any of it. I had a great time, a really great time.” It shows you how different of a time that was compared to now.

Margo Bird was on of the girls who Paul negotiated with to get some of his property back…he didn’t care if they got small souvenirs but when pictures went missing, Margo helped him track them down.

This was credited to Lennon/McCartney but seems to be all McCartney. The Beatles ran through it a few times earlier in the year in the Let It Be sessions. They were going to feature it in their rooftop concert but didn’t feel confident in it.

The song fit nicely between Polythene Pam and Golden Slumbers in the medley. Joe Cocker covered this song also.

Apple Scruff Margo Bird: “They rummaged around and took some clothes. People didn’t usually take anything of real value but I think this time a lot of photographs and negatives were taken. There were really two groups of ‘Apple Scruffs’ – those who would break in and those who would just wait outside with cameras and autograph books. I used to take Paul’s dog for a walk and got to know him quite well. I was eventually offered a job at Apple. I started by making the tea and ended up in the promotions department working with Tony King.”

From Songfacts

Paul McCartney wrote this about a fan who broke into his house. Diane Ashley claims it was her. “We found a ladder in his garden and stuck it up the bathroom window which he’d left slightly open,” she said. “I was the one who climbed up and got in.”

Landis Kearnon (known at the time as Susie Landis) gave us the following account:

Here, all this time I thought this song was written about me and my friend Judy. What a surprise to learn there was someone named Diane Ashley who put a ladder up to Paul’s house and climbed in through the bathroom window. This and the bit about “quit the police department” being inspired by an ex-cop taxi driver in NYC tells me something I already know about songwriting, which is that many songs are composites. This one obviously was because Diane wasn’t the only person having a profound effect on Paul McCartney by crawling in a bathroom window in 1967 (maybe ’68 in her case). Judy and I were paid $1500 by Greene & Stone, a couple of sleazy artist managers driving around the Sunset Strip in a Chinchilla-lined caddy limo, to “borrow” the quarter-inch master of “A Day In The Life” off of David Crosby’s reel-to-reel, drive it to Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood where Greene & Stone duped it, then put it back where we found it at Crosby’s Beverly Glen Canyon pad. Crosby was playing with the Byrds that day in Venice so we knew his house was empty. This was the day after a major rainstorm so the back of his house was one big mudslide. We climbed up it, leaving 8-inch deep footprints and, you guessed it, gained access via the bathroom window, leaving behind footprints and a veritable goldmine of forensic matter. We were really nervous and did not make clear mental notes of how the master reel was on the player, but did have the sense to leave Crosby’s front door unlocked while we drove across town and back. After the tape was back on the machine (badly) we changed out of our muddy shoes, drove to the Cheetah in Venice, and hung out with the Byrds into the evening, thinking we were awfully clever and cute. We did not know why Greene & Stone would pay so much money for a copy of a Beatles song, other than the fact that is was a groundbreaking and mind-blowing piece, but found out the next day when we heard “A Day In The Life” on KHJ, I think it was. Greene & Stone had used it as payola to get one of their groups, The Cake, singing “Yes We Have No Bananas,” on the air. Which they did, and it sucked, but oh well. By the following day “A Day In The Life” was no longer on the air. And just a day or two after that there was a front page blurb in the LA Times about “A Day In The Life” getting aired one month prior to the release date of the single and the Sgt. Pepper LP, which apparently cost the Beatles plenty and they were suing Capitol or Columbia, whichever the label was, for $2 million… and McCartney was flying in from London to deal with the mess. Oops. Judy and I nearly sank through the floor. Though we were active “dancers” in the various nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, we lay low for a while, not knowing what to expect. In fact, other than a song being written and a GREAT cover by Joe Cocker, nothing happened. We got our money, spent it on groovy clothes, of course (what else was there?) and never heard a word about it.

“I knew what I could not say” and “protected by a silver spoon” seemed to explain why there were no repercussions. My dad was a TV director who had already threatened to bust and ruin David Crosby for smoking pot with and deflowering his daughter; he had clout and David was afraid of him. Judy was from money and influence too. I feel that David knew exactly who had broken in and borrowed the tape but couldn’t press charges. He probably wasn’t supposed to be playing the master for all his friends and hangers-on, so there must have been hell to pay for him. I always felt bad for the cred it must have cost him with his friend Paul McCartney.

Oh, the bit about “Sunday’s on the phone to Monday, Tuesday’s on the phone to me” – that was somebody named Sunday, maybe a detective, I can’t remember now, calling the producer Billy Monday about the break-in and song leak. Billy Monday, knowing she was a friend of McCartney’s, called Tuesday Weld, and it was she who called Paul in London and told him the news. Well, I guess I didn’t make this very short after all. But you can’t tell me that this incident didn’t feed into the overall inspiration for the song. I’m just glad it turned out so cool and hope it made a heap for them in compensation for the publicity costs at the outset.

It was interesting and exciting then, that’s for sure. Even though I came of age into that scene and had nothing to compare it to, I still had a sense at the time of being at the epicenter of something big. Some of that was attributable to the hubris of youth, but some of it turned out to be real, as it happened. Now, present time, it makes my day to come across someone who still finds it interesting or even knows what or whom I’m talking about. By the way, I never did get to meet the Beatles, though I was invited to party where they were staying once, when I was 17. My mother wouldn’t let me go! I never forgave her.

I lived in LA until 1987 where I was a model, actress, (groupie, but that wasn’t professional), marching band manager, religious (Buddhist) leader, newspaper columnist, secretary, copywriter, copy editor, account executive, screenwriter, songwriter, band leader, session singer, textile designer, artist. Since then, in the Santa Fe area and now, since 1992, in Tucson, I continued my artistic and musical endeavors, ran a fabric-painting factory, was a jazz singer for several years (which has mutated to something more individual and artistic of late), have worked numerous odd jobs from pizza delivery to bookstore management, and am now close to completing my first novel, which is set in a Buddhist cult in the early ’70s.

In the ’70s I traveled halfway around the world on a square-rigged cargo ship, lived and sang in Europe for three years, and, as of 1991, am a mother of one though I never married.

Subsequent to the bathroom window event, my friend and partner in crime, as it were, Judy, went off with a Dick Clark Productions road show (can’t remember the name of it but it was something timely) as “Irma the Dancing Girl.” Her job, nightly, in each new town, was to put on a bikini, dance, and paint wild, acid abstract canvases with her extremely long blond hair. I, on the other hand, joined a Buddhist cult, which was like living on another planet entirely, and completely disappeared from view, as far as the “scene” was concerned. Judy and I didn’t hang out much after we realized the impact of our little romp. We didn’t talk about it, but we may have decided at some level that we pushed our combined wildness a bit too far on that one and moved on to “safer” friends. I saw her once in the early ’70s. She had been married and divorced, was the mother of one, and that was the last contact we had.

The Beatles recorded this as one song with “Polythene Pam.”

The Beatles gave this to Joe Cocker, who released it in 1969. The Beatles released their version first. Cocker’s version was used on the soundtrack to the movie All This and World War II, released in 1976. A strange mix of World War II documentary footage set to the music of the Beatles, the movie bombed and has barely been heard of since. Others who covered The Beatles on the soundtrack include Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Tina Turner, Leo Sayer, Frankie Laine and the Bee Gees.

This is part of a suite of songs at the end of Abbey Road. They used bits from many songs they never finished to put the suite together.

McCartney played lead guitar and Harrison played bass. It was usually the other way around.

McCartney said in a documentary shown February 6, 2002 in England that part of the lyric was inspired by sitting in the back of a New York cab. The drivers name was on display (Quitts) saying “Ex Police Department,” which inspired the line: “And so I quit the Police Department and got myself a steady job…”

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

She came in through the bathroom window
Protected by a silver spoon
But now she sucks her thumb and wanders
By the banks of her own lagoon

Didn’t anybody tell her?
Didn’t anybody see?
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday
Tuesday’s on the phone to me

She said she’d always been a dancer
She worked at fifteen clubs a day
And though she thought I knew the answer
Well, I knew what I could not say

And so I quit the police department
And got myself a steady job
And though she tried her best to help me
She could steal but she could not rob

Didn’t anybody tell her?
Didn’t anybody see?
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday,
Tuesday’s on the phone to me
Oh yeah

Beatles – Dear Prudence

I’m asked quite a bit…Max what is your favorite Beatle song? It’s hard to tell you because it changes from day to day. I would have to say A Day In The Life if I had to give one answer… but on certain days…this one would be it. Lennon to me was one of the best all time rock singers. He could do rock and pop/rock with ease. He never liked his voice and always wanted the producer George Martin to cover it up with echo or some effect.

The story behind this one is known to Beatle fans. They were in India with the Maharishi and were asked to meditate all day. Mia Farrow and her sister Prudence was there. Prudence was taking this very seriously and would not come out of her quarters and John wrote this song to cheer her up.

Image result for prudence farrow in india

American flautist Paul Horn, who was also with them in Rishikesh said that Prudence was a highly sensitive person, and by jumping straight into deep meditation, against the Maharishi’s advice, she had allowed herself to fall into a catatonic state.

Horn stated, “She was ashen-white and didn’t recognize anybody. She didn’t even recognize her own brother who was on the course with her. The only person she showed any slight recognition towards was Maharishi. We were all concerned about her and Maharishi assigned her a full-time nurse.”

The song was on their massive double album album “The Beatles” or better known as the White Album released in 1968. On this album you get a little bit of everything. 20’s style music, pop, folk, Avant Garde, rock, to hard rock.

Donovan was also there and taught John and Paul and guitar picking style called “clawhammer.” The clawhammer style, is played with the strumming hand formed into a claw, using the backs of the fingernails to strum down on the strings.

The song was not released as a single but remains a favorite album track.

Donovan:  “He was so fascinated by fingerstyle guitar that he immediately started to write in a different color and was very inspired” “That’s what happens when you learn a new style.”

Prudence Farrow: “They were trying to be cheerful, but I wished they’d go away. I don’t think they realized what the training was all about.”

From Songfacts

While Mia Farrow inspired such men as Andre Previn, Frank Sinatra and Woody Allen, her sister Prudence left her mark on John Lennon. According to Nancy de Herrera’s book, All You Need Is Love, Prudence met The Beatles on a spiritual retreat with their guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in India, which she attended with Mia. When Prudence, suffering depression, confined herself to her room, Lennon wrote this song hoping to cheer her up. It did.

Prudence Farrow wanted to “Teach God quicker than anyone else,” according to John Lennon. She would lock herself in her room trying to meditate for hours and hours. From A Hard Day’s Write, by Steve Turner: “At the end of the demo version of Dear Prudence John continues playing guitar and says: ‘No one was to know that sooner or later she was to go completely berserk, under the care of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. All the people around were very worried about the girl because she was going insane. So, we sang to her.'”

Ringo had left the group as the White Album sessions got very tense, so Paul McCartney played drums. When Ringo came back a short time later, there were flowers on his drum kit welcoming him back.

According to the singer-songwriter Donovan, who was on the retreat in India with The Beatles, he taught John Lennon a “clawhammer” guitar technique that he used on this track. 

John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics were auctioned off for $19,500 in 1987.

Lennon considered this one of his favorites.

Siouxsie And The Banshees covered this in 1983. Their version went to #3 in the UK and became their biggest hit.

“Dear Prudence” was the second Beatles song that the Banshees had covered from their White Album. Previously, they’d recorded a version of “Helter Skelter” for their 1978 LP The Scream.

“Helter Skelter was very much part of our live show before we recorded it,” mused Siouxsie Sioux to TeamRock. “The great thing was that the two Beatles songs we chose – ‘Helter Skelter’ and ‘Dear Prudence’ – were not originally singles by The Beatles, so it wasn’t necessarily a surefire: ‘Oh, they’re doing a Beatles song.’ And it was also a bit irreverent as well, I suppose. A good test of doing a cover version is when people think that you’ve written it. Quite a lot of people thought Dear Prudence was an original.”

This song was in the movie Across the Universe, which was based on The Beatles music. In the movie, Prudence (played by T.V. Carpio) locked herself in a closet after discovering that Sadie and JoJo were together when she thought she loved Sadie. Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), Jude (Jim Sturges), Sadie (Dana Fuges) and Max (Joe Anderson) sing this to make her feel better. It gets her out of the closet and they end the song at a anti-Vietnam War rally. 

Siouxsie and the Banshees’ take on the song added to The Beatles’ simple original arrangement. “It was kind of an undeveloped song on the White Album,” Siouxsie said. “and so there was a lot of scope to put in your own stuff, really. What did I want to bring? Oh, some psychedelic transformation there [laughing].”

“No, I think that actual track’s fairly restrained, simple and understated on the White Album,” she added. “I was listening to singles like Itchycoo Park by the Small Faces, so I think it was wanting to capture the 60s, and all that kind of phasing. Also, it was where we were at the time.”

Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?
Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
The sun is up, the sky is blue
It’s beautiful and so are you
Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?

Dear Prudence, open up your eyes
Dear Prudence, see the sunny skies
The wind is low, the birds will sing
That you are part of everything
Dear Prudence, won’t you open up your eyes?

Look around, round (round, round, round)
(Round, round, round, round, round)
Look around, round, round (round, round)
(Round, round, round, round, round)
Look around

Dear Prudence, let me see you smile
Dear Prudence, like a little child
The clouds will be a daisy chain
So let me see you smile again
Dear Prudence, won’t you let me see you smile?

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play
Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
The sun is up, the sky is blue
It’s beautiful and so are you
Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?

John Lennon – I Know (I Know)… Sunday Album Cut

This would be one of my favorite John Lennon album cuts. It’s on the album Mind Games and it gets overlooked. It reminds me of the intro to the Beatles song “I’ve Got A Feeling.”

Some people say it was written as a coded message to Paul (there is more below a bout that) and it does have some references in there. John said later it was about Yoko…it could be both or neither…At the time when this came out him and Yoko were separated and Joh. Personally I’m not sure but I just enjoy the result. John later called it a piece of nothing but John could be dismissive about his best songs at times.

It’s a wonderful pop song nonetheless. Whenever I pull Mind Games out I go to this song first.

The song was not released as a single but the album did well. It peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100, #28 in Canada, and #13 in the UK in 1973.

From the Beatles Bible:

Although in his extensive 1980 interview for Playboy he dismissed the song as “just a piece of nothing”, the lyrics of I Know (I Know) are open to interpretation as a commentary on Lennon’s relationship with Yoko Ono, which by 1973 was faltering. Lennon realised matters had turned sour, and the song can be seen as a confessional in which he claimed to finally be able to see clearly, just as he had before on the Imagine song ‘How?’ and ‘Jealous Guy’.

The curious repetition of the title in parentheses could have been simply one of Lennon’s whims, but it is possible that he was presenting a coded message – not for the first time – to his former bandmate Paul McCartney. Wings’ 1971 album Wild Life had featured the song Some People Never Know, in which McCartney lamented that some people fail to understand what it means to love. In this light, Lennon’s response saw the pair in agreement, in a marked contrast to their earlier song-based conflicts.

Lennon recorded a home demo of I Know (I Know) in the early summer of 1973, prior to entering the studio. During this time he worked on a number of songs destined for Mind Games.

Demo

I Know (I Know)

The years have passed so quickly
One thing I’ve understood
I am only learning
To tell the trees from wood

I know what’s coming down
And I know where it’s coming from
And I know and I’m sorry (yes I am)
But I never could speak my mind

And I know just how you feel
And I know now what I have done
And I know and I’m guilty
But I never could speak my mind

I know what I was missing
But now my eyes can see
I put myself in your place
As you did for me

Today I love you more than yesterday
Right now I love you more right now

Now I know what’s coming down
I can feel where it’s coming from
And I know it’s getting better all the time
As we share in each other’s minds

Today, I love you more than yesterday
Right now, I love you more right now

Ooo, no more crying
Ooo, no more crying
Ooo, no more crying
Ooo, no more crying

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

 

 

Beatles – She Loves You

This song help kick off the sixties. The melody, music, the great harmonies and just the excitement of the song. She Loves You help define them and broke huge. Ozzy Osbourne made a statement about the song… “Imagine you go to bed today and the world is black and white and then you wake up, and everything’s in color.” 

These great melodies that John, Paul, and later George would come up with lasted through their career. Even when their music got a little more sophisticated the melodies remained…they were  underneath the early, middle, and late era Beatle music.

It’s best known for the yeah, yeah, yeah… Yeah, the Everly Brothers did it first, using a hook of “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” on their 1961 cover of the song “Temptation,” which was a #1 hit in the UK.

Paul McCartney’s dad wanted the Beatles to sing yes, yes, yes instead because he thought it sounded more dignified.…doesn’t have the same ring does it?

She Loves You peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand in 1964.

In the UK, this is the biggest selling Beatles single. It held the record for top-selling UK single of all time until 1977, when Wings topped it with Mull Of Kintyre.

George Martin didn’t like the ending chord. He thought it sounded too much like the The Andrew Sisters but the Beatles liked it and over rode the producer on this one…and it works great.

in April 1964 The Beatles had the Top 5 Songs on the Billboard Top 100 Singles of the week. The closest any other artist ever got was 3 songs in the Top 10. But there they were- Can’t Buy Me Love, Twist and Shout,  She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Please Please Me, sitting at the top, along with 7 other Beatles songs in the Top 100 the same week.

Cynthia Lennon: “He was also romantic, a side of him I saw more often as our relationship deepened. He wrote love poems on scraps of paper and passed them to me at college. For our first Christmas he drew a card with a picture of me in my new shaggy coat, standing opposite him, our heads together, his hand on my arm. It was covered with kisses and hearts and he wrote, ‘Our first Christmas, I love you, yes, yes, yes.’ A few years later he used the same idea in one of the Beatles’ first hits, ‘She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.'”

John Lennon: “I remember it was Paul’s idea,” Lennon recalled, “Instead of singing ‘I love you’ again, we’d have a third party.”

Paul McCartney: “We were in a van up in Newcastle somewhere,” “and we’d just gone over to our hotel. I originally got an idea of doing one of those answering songs, where a couple of us sing about ‘she loves you’ and the other one sort of says the ‘yes, yes’ bit. You know, ‘yeah, yeah’ answering whoever who is saying it. But we decided that was a crummy idea anyway. But we had the idea of writing a song called ‘She Loves You’ then. And we just sat up in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it.”

From Songfacts

The Beatles tell quite a tale in this tidy pop song. Some poor guy thinks he has lost his girl for good, but he’s redeemed when he finds out from a friend that she still loves him. There’s even a moral at the end of the story: “Pride can hurt you too.” Good advice when arguing with a loved one.

This was an instant hit in the UK, but not in America, where it was released on Swan records, the only US label that would take it. Swan put it out in September 1963, but while The Beatles were huge in their homeland, they were still no big deal in America until February 1964. That’s when Beatlemania took hold and “She Loves You” became a US hit.

This was one of four Beatles songs that was never released in stereo. The others are “Love Me Do,” “I’ll Get You” and “You Know My Name (Look Up The Number).” 

The Beatles released a German version translated as “Sie Liebt Dich” in the US in 1964. They learned some German when they became the house band at the Star-Club in Hamburg in 1962, but needed a German speaker to help them with the lyrics. They recorded the German version in Paris – it was the only time they recorded outside of England.

Apart from “My Bonnie,” which was recorded with Tony Sheridan in their early days in Hamburg, the only other song the Beatles recorded in another language, again German, was “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” “Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand” was recorded the same time as “Sie Liebt Dich.”

“Sie Liebt Dich” peaked at #97, the lowest position of the Beatles’ 71 Hot 100 charted songs.

Jack Paar played a video clip of The Beatles performing the song on his show January 3, 1964. The Beatles had appeared on news clips as part of stories about their success in England, but this was the first time they appeared on a US TV talk show. They also played it on both of their live Ed Sullivan Show appearances. When The Beatles agreed to do the show, they were not a big deal in America and took less money than most acts received for their fee. When The Beatles played The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, it got the largest audience ever for a TV show. Sullivan began having regular musical guests from the world of popular music, and it became a showcase for groups like The Rolling Stones, The Supremes, Santana and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon were inspired to write this after a concert at the Majestic Ballroom in Newcastle when they were part of a tour with Roy Orbison and Gerry & the Pacemakers. Says McCartney, “There was a Bobby Rydell song out at the time ‘Forget Him’ and, as often happens, you think of one song when you write another. We were in a van up in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. I’d planned an answering song where a couple of us would sing ‘She loves you’ and the other ones would answer ‘Yeah Yeah.’ We decided that was a crummy idea but at least we then had the idea of a song called She Loves You. So we sat in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it; John and I, sitting on twin beds with guitars.” 

In the UK, this hit #1 twice in 1963, first on September 4 and again on November 20.

Regarding the falsetto exaltation that occurs at the song’s manic peak, McCartney once explained: “The ‘wooooo’ was taken from the Isley Brothers’ ‘Twist and Shout.’ We stuck it in everything.”

These wordless vocalizations of joy were a Beatles hallmark; they most obvious example is the extended fadeout in “Hey Jude.”

The Beatles played part of this at the end of “All You Need Is Love,” which they recorded four years later.

This song was played at the conclusion of the concert sequence at the end of the film A Hard Day’s Night, although it wasn’t included on the soundtrack album. 

Norman Smith, who was The Beatles engineer, told the story in his autobiography John Called me Normal about feeling his heart sink when he spotted the lyrics on the music stand. As he later relayed to Mark Lewinsohn: “She loves you, yeah yeah yeah, She loves you, yeah yeah yeah, she loves you yeah yeah yeah yeah… I thought, My God, what a lyric! This is going to be the one I do not like.”

Smith had a hit in 1972 with “Oh Babe What Would You Say” as Hurricane Smith. He also produced the first three Pink Floyd albums.

There is a very clear edit in this song between the lines “I think it’s only fair/Pride can hurt you too.” It appears that two version had been edited together. 

In August 2009 the Official Chart Company compiled a list of the Beatles biggest selling hits in the UK, including re-issues. They revealed that this song was the Fab Four’s best seller in their native country, followed by “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

The Melissa Manchester hit You Should Hear How She Talks About You was written as a contemporary take on this song, with the singer telling a friend that a guy is really into her.

She Loves You

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

You think you’ve lost your love
Well, I saw her yesterday-ay
It’s you she’s thinking of
And she told me what to say-ay

She says she loves you
And you know that can’t be bad
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad

She said you hurt her so
She almost lost her mind
But now she says she knows
You’re not the hurtin’ kind

She says she loves you
And you know that can’t be bad
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad, ooh

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
With a love like that
You know you should be glad

You know it’s up to you
I think it’s only fair
Pride can hurt you, too
Apologize to her

Because she loves you
And you know that can’t be bad
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad, ooh

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
With a love like that
You know you should be glad
With a love like that
You know you should be glad
With a love like that
You know you should be glad
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

John Lennon – Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

Merry Christmas everyone…this is a repost from last year but I have updated it another year older…and a new one just begun.

My favorite Christmas song hands down. Yea I’m biased because I am a Beatles fan but this one is great.

I think of High School when I hear this song. Our school had a Christmas poster contest and a buddy and I made a poster as a joke and wrote “So this is Christmas and what have you done another year over, and a new one just begun” and won first prize…with an assist from John.

John’s voice goes so well with this song. The song peaked at #2 in the UK charts in 1971….the song did peak at #42 in the Billboard 100 in 2019.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote this in their New York City hotel room and recorded it during the evening of October 28 and into the morning of the 29th, 1971 at the Record Plant in New York. It was released in the US for Christmas but didn’t chart. The next year, it was released in the UK, where it did much better, charting at #2. Eventually, the song became a Christmas classic in America, but it took a while.

Lennon originally wrote this as a protest song about the Vietnam War, and the idea “that we’re just as responsible as the man who pushes the button. As long as people imagine that somebody’s doing it to them and that they have no control, then they have no control.”

The children’s voices are the Harlem Community Choir, who were brought in to sing on this track. They are credited on the single along with Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band.

From Songfacts.

John and Yoko spent a lot of time in the late ’60s and early ’70s working to promote peace. In 1969, they put up billboards in major cities around the world that said, “War is over! (If you want it).” Two years later this slogan became the basis for this song when Lennon decided to make a Christmas record with an anti-war message. John also claimed another inspiration for writing the song: he said he was “sick of ‘White Christmas.'”

Lennon and Ono produced this with the help of Phil Spector. Spector had worked on some of the later Beatles songs and also produced Lennon’s “Instant Karma.” It was not Spector’s first foray into Christmas music: he and his famous session stars (including a 17-year-old Cher) spent six weeks in the summer of 1963 putting together A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, featuring artists like The Ronettes and Darlene Love. Unfortunately, the album was released on November 22, 1963, which was the same day US president John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The album sold poorly as America was focused on news of the killing.

This was originally released on clear green vinyl with Yoko Ono’s “Listen, The Snow Is Falling” as the B-side.

At the beginning of the song, two whispers can be heard. Yoko whispers: “Happy Christmas, Kyoko” (Kyoko Chan Cox is Yoko’s daughter with Anthony Cox) and John whispers: “Happy Christmas, Julian” (John’s son with Cynthia). >>

This being a Phil Spector production, four guitarists were brought in to play acoustic guitars: Hugh McCracken (who had recently played on the Paul McCartney album Ram), Chris Osbourne, Stu Scharf and Teddy Irwin. According to Richard Williams, who was reporting on the session for Uncut, when Lennon taught them the song, he asked them to “pretend it’s Christmas.” When one of the guitarists said he was Jewish, John told him, “Well, pretend it’s your birthday then.”

As for the other personnel, Jim Keltner played drums and sleigh bells, Nicky Hopkins played chimes and glockenspiel. Keltner and Hopkins were part of Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band, and a third member, Klaus Voorman, was supposed to play bass on this track, but got stuck on a flight from Germany. One of the guitarists brought in for the session covered the bass – which one nobody seems to remember.

John Lennon was shot and killed less than three weeks before Christmas in 1980. The song was re-released in the UK on December 20 of that year, reaching #2 (held off the top spot by “There’s No One Quite Like Grandma” by St. Winifred’s School Choir). It made the UK Top 40 again in 1981 (#28), 2003 (#32) and 2007 (#40). Also in 2003, a version sung by the finalists of the singing competition Pop Idol reached #5.

The Fray were the first to chart with this song in America, reaching #50 in 2006; Sarah McLachlan’s version went to #107 that same year. Other artists to cover it include The Alarm, The Cranes, The December People, and Melissa Etheridge (in a medley with “Give Peace a Chance”). 

The Australian artist Delta Goodrem also covered it in 2003, taking it to #1 in her native country as a double-A-side single with “Predictable.” 

This didn’t appear on an album until 1975, when it was included on Lennon’s Shaved Fish singles compilation. Most Christmas songs are compiled with other songs of the season, but Shaved Fish listeners got to hear it year round.

Happy Xmas (War is Over)

(Happy Christmas Kyoko)
(Happy Christmas Julian)

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so happy Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Happy Christmas

Famous Rock Guitars Part 4

This is obviously the 4th edition of this series. Part 1, Part2, and Part 3 we covered Brian May’s Red Special, Willie Nelson’s Trigger, George Harrison’s Rocky, Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat, Bruce Springsteen’s guitar, and Neil Young’s Old Black guitar.

Part 5 will be right after the holidays. Next week I will have a post on a not so famous guitar…one of my guitars with an interesting back story.

Today we will look at two Alpha males of their bands. Plus an odd Bonus!

John Lennon’s Epiphone Casino and Keith Richard’s “Micawber” … + Bonus!

Image result for john lennon with casino

John was best best known for two guitars. His Rickenbacker 325 and this Epiphone Casino.

In 1964 Paul McCartney bought a 1964 Epiphone Casino and he would end up using on songs like Taxman and Paperback writer. In 1966 John Lennon and George Harrison would buy 1965 Casino’s for themselves.

John’s was a double-cutaway semi-hollow f-hole body, P-90 pickups, vintage tuners with small buttons, trapeze tailpiece and originally a sunburst finish. However, after hearing from Donovan Leitch that a guitar would sound better without a heavy finish, he decided to sand the paint off the instrument, leaving it with a natural wood finish.

John played this guitar on the White Album and Abbey Road. He continued to play it many times for the rest of his career.

Lennon was never a “gear” head. He was known as an impatient man and would just plug in and go. Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick said he played around with the famous Rickenbacker at the Double Fantasy recording session but John didn’t play it on that album because it was in such bad shape. Rick said “the set list from Shea Stadium was still scotch-taped to the back of the guitar”…he said it was almost unplayable. It had rusty strings.

This video is about an Epiphone newer Casino model that was released it was inspired by Lennon’s guitar.

CUToday.info Member Bonus Total To Date Tops $114-Million

Bonus Guitar…John Lennon’s Sardonyx guitar 

John Lennon's Weirdest Guitar: The Sardonyx | John lennon guitar, Beatles  george harrison, Beatles george

This is a “Bonus” guitar…the one John Lennon used on the Double Fantasy recordings. One of the oddest guitars I’ve ever seen. It is a Sardonyx guitar made in the seventies. It had built in effects and the rails acted as a guitar stand.

John Lennon bought this guitar from Matt Umanov’s guitar shop in Manhattan’s West Village… which is the shop where Jeff Levin sold many of his guitars through. Ken Schaffer actually sold most of them. Ken sold Jeff’s guitars to Ian Hunter, Howard Leese, Jeff Lynn, Pappy Castro, and a couple bass models to Phil Lynott and Bootsy Collins. It was Ken who sold John Lennon his Sardonyx, directly.

It’s not famous but it was so odd I had to include it.

John Lennon's Weirdest Guitar: The Sardonyx | GuitarPlayer

Ken Schaffer: Months after John bought the guitar, I got a call from John’s personal assistant, who asked me to come to the Dakota. John had been impressed by the electronics I‘d stuffed into the Sardonyx, and asked to retain me to design the kill-all stereo he had in mind for the new apartment in the Dakota. In the small bedroom, which was to be Command Central for the system, hung above and behind the bed, vertically — the Sardonyx! MY Sardonyx! (Tears were welling up) … “Fred – you mean – John is using my guitar as a ($#%$&%*$) WALL ORNAMENT?!” Fred was John’s PA, and fought to settle me down, “No, man – wrong! He loves that guitar so much it hangs over his head when he’s sleeping!” (Tears dried) Whoa! And, in fact, there were pictures of this amazing guitar on the packaging of “Double Fantasy.” It was the guitar he used throughout.

Keith Richards’ Micawber

Keith Richards' Guitars and Gear – Ground Guitar

Micawber is a Butterscotch early fifties Telecaster Blackguard that Keith got around the recording of Exile on Main Street. The guitar was given to him by no other than Eric Clapton as a birthday present.

After the 1972 tour, Keith’s tech at the time, Ted Newman Jones III, replaced the neck pickup with a 50’s Gibson PAF humbucker upside down and the bridge pickup with a pickup out of a Fender lap steel which he chose because it was as close as he could find to the pickups used in a Broadcaster

In the 80’s Keith gave the guitar the nickname “Micawber” after a character in a Charles Dickens novel. Micawber has been Keith’s go-to for any song using Open G tuning.

In the eighties then guitar tech Alan Rogan made more modifications…Sperzel locking tuners and a modified brass bridge in which the low E saddle is removed to accommodate his five-string tuning.

I have used this 5 string tuning before. You can play a lot of the Stones catalog with that 5- string opening G tuning.

***Thanks to run-sew-read for pointing out this song by Barclay James Harvest called John Lennon’s guitar. It would be about the Epiphone Casino.

From Songfacts….Barclay James Harvest guitarist John Lees wrote this song. On the original recording of “Galadriel,” he played the Gibson Epiphone Casino that Lennon had played during the Beatles’ last ever live performance, in January 1969. This song describes that experience

Beatles – Get Back

John Lennon was primarily a rhythm guitar player but George Harrison briefly left the Beatles during the recording of Let It Be.  John took the lead guitar part on this song and made a memorable solo. John was a very aggressive guitar player and on this one he was on the mark.

McCartney got the idea for the title “Get Back” from the line “Get back to where you should be” from a song George Harrison wrote called “Sour Milk Sea,” which was eventually recorded by Jackie Lomax. McCartney changed the line to, “Get back to where you once belonged”.

Early versions include the line “I dig no Pakistanis.” The song began as a commentary about immigration, telling people to “get back” to their own countries. It was meant to mock Britain’s anti-immigrant proponents. Paul McCartney, who wrote the song and sang lead, thought better of it and made the lyrics more palatable.

At the end of this album version, we hear cheering, followed by McCartney saying, “Thanks Mo” in response to Ringo’s wife, Maureen, who was clapping. Lennon then says, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we’ve passed the audition.” This part came from the live rooftop performance.

This song went number 1  everywhere. #1 in the  Billboard 100, Canada, UK, New Zealand, The UK, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ireland…and so on. The B side was Don’t Let Me Down…which personally I like more.

From Songfacts

“Get Back” was going to be the title of the album and the documentary film about making it. The Beatles stopped touring in 1966 and were worn thin by 1968, but they rekindled their passion for performance after shooting the “Hey Jude” promotional film in September that year before a live audience. Energized by the effort, they agreed to the documentary; the concept was The Beatles “getting back” to their roots and playing new songs for a live audience without any studio tricks.

The song “Get Back” came closest to capturing that spirit. Produced by George Martin, it was released as the follow-up single to “Hey Jude” in April 1969 (a month later in America) and was another blockbuster for the group, going to #1 in most territories.

The album became something completely different from the live set they planned. Glyn Johns, who engineered the sessions, was asked to put it together from what were really rehearsal tapes. After he assembled the album, it sat around while the Let It Be documentary was being edited from the film footage of The Beatles rehearsing in the studio and playing on the rooftop. During this time, The Beatles made the Abbey Road album, released it, and broke up.

Phil Spector, who had worked on John Lennon’s solo song “Instant Karma” (which George Harrison played on), was brought in to produce the Get Back album, which was re-titled Let It Be. Spector took the tapes and added orchestrations using his “Wall Of Sound” technique, and the album that was supposed to be the raw sound of The Beatles returning to their roots was released as a highly produced swan song on May 8, 1970, after they had broken up.

The Beatles famously performed this song from the rooftop of Apple Records on January 30, 1969, footage of which serves as the climax to their Let It Be documentary film. Knowing it would get shut down pretty quickly, the group kept mum about the performance, which was designed to promote the single and provide an ending for their film. They got in three takes of “Get Back” before police pulled the plug. The plan worked: Not only did they get their film ending, but the audio (including their banter) was used on various edits of “Get Back” to give it a live feel and add some character.

In their early days, The Beatles were musical warriors, playing in clubs for hours most nights. The “Get Back” single harkened to those days and was advertised as “The Beatles as nature intended.”

The single version runs 3:11 and contains a false ending at 2:34, after which McCartney comes back with a spoken verse:

“Get back Loretta, your mummy’s waiting for you, wearing her high-heeled shoes and her low-neck sweater, get back home, Loretta.”

The album version is a little shorter (3:09) and omits this section. It begins with a behind-the-scenes bit from the band tuning up during a session for the song on January 27, 1969. We hear John Lennon poke fun at the first line (“Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner, but he knew it couldn’t last”) by saying:

“Sweet Loretta fat she thought she was a cleaner, but she was a frying pan.”

Preston was a salve and a spark for the group. On January 10, 1969, George Harrison quit and almost left for good. He came back to work on January 21, but the tension lingered. Preston showed up the next day and galvanized the group; he played on “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” and participated in sessions for several other tracks.

The Beatles met Preston in 1962 when they were both playing in Germany, but they hadn’t seen each other since. It was Harrison’s idea to bring him in; after George left the Let It Be sessions, he saw Preston in concert with Ray Charles and arranged for him to join The Beatles. Having him in the studio eased the tension and made it easier for the group to put personal conflicts aside and record the album.

The press release to promote the single contains this quote from McCartney: “We were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air… we started to write words there and then… when we finished it, we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to roller coast by.”

Lennon claimed this was basically a rewrite of their 1968 song “Lady Madonna.”

Beatles fans found lots of hidden meaning in their lyrics, and sometimes the band did too. In his 1980 Playboy interview, John Lennon claimed that Paul looked at Yoko in the studio when he sang the line “get back to where you once belong.” John was sure he was disrespecting her.

There was speculation that the character “JoJo” was based on Joseph Melville See Jr., Linda McCartney’s first husband, who was from Tucson, Arizona. McCartney denied this, explaining in his 1988 autobiography Many Years From Now that he and Linda were on good terms with See, who used the first name Melville, and that “JoJo” was “an imaginary character, half-man and half-woman.”

Linda attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, and in 1979 she and Paul bought a ranch there. As for Joseph Melville See, he never remarried, and in 2000 he killed himself in Tucson.

Billy Preston’s piano solo was spontaneous. he told New Jersey’s Asbury Park Press in 2000: “I was playing a Fender Rhodes on ‘Get Back.’ They just told me, ‘Take a solo!’ I wasn’t expecting to do a solo. When we were rehearsing, I wasn’t playing a solo.”

The last version of the song The Beatles played on the Apple rooftop can be heard in the widely bootlegged “rooftop sessions,” which finds McCartney mocking the police as they shut them down. You can hear him ad-lib the lines “You been out too long, Loretta! You’ve been playing on the roofs again! That’s no good! You know your mommy doesn’t like that! Oh, she’s getting angry… she’ll have you arrested! Get back!”

An edited version of the rooftop performances was released on the Anthology 3 collection in 1996.

Some of the artists to cover this song include: The Bee Gees, The Crusaders, Dizzy Gillespie, Al Green, Elton John, The London Symphony Orchestra, The Main Ingredient, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Billy Preston, Kenny Rogers, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Shadows, Status Quo, Rod Stewart, Ike and Tina Turner, and Sarah Vaughan.

In 2003, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr gave permission to Apple Records to rework the album and remove Phil Spector’s production. The result is the stripped-down version called Let It Be… Naked, which McCartney claims is what the group intended.

McCartney played this at halftime of the 2005 Super Bowl. This was the year after Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed during the halftime show, so the NFL insisted on an act that wouldn’t incite controversy or push the envelope. McCartney fit the bill.

Get Back

Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner
But he knew it wouldn’t last
Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona
For some California grass

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back Jojo, go home

Get back, get back
Back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Back to where you once belonged
Get back Jo

Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman
But she was another man
All the girls around her say she’s got it coming
But she gets it while she can

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back Loretta, go home

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back, get back

John Lennon – Imagine

December 8, 1980 remains a day I still don’t fully understand and I guess I never will. A couple of years ago I posted this on what I was doing on that day and the day after. Ever since he was murdered the mournful intro to this song connects me to that day again.

This song has been dissected to pieces and I wouldn’t even attempt to do it.  It’s never been my favorite John Lennon song but it is his most important solo song…and a song that he is remembered by.

This may be the most popular song by an ex-Beatle. The song was released in 1971 and it peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 and  #1 in Canada. In 1981 the song peaked at #1 in the UK after Lennon’s death.

In 2002, this came in #2 in a poll by Guinness World Records as Britain’s favorite single of all time, edged out by “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

John Lennon: The concept of positive prayer … If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion not without religion but without this my God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing  then it can be true … the World Church called me once and asked, “Can we use the lyrics to ‘Imagine’ and just change it to ‘Imagine one religion’?” That showed [me] they didn’t understand it at all. It would defeat the whole purpose of the song, the whole idea

From Songfacts

Lennon was asking us to imagine a place where the things that divide us, like religion and possessions, did not exist. He felt that would be a much better place.

This song is a strong political message sugarcoated in a beautiful melody. Lennon realized the softer approach would bring the song to a wider audience, who hopefully would listen to his message: If you want peace, first you have to imagine it.

The imagine concept came from Yoko Ono, who was very much into open-mindedness and using your imagination. In 1964, she published Grapefruit, a book of “instructions and drawings” that established the lyrical concept for the song. Here are some examples of her “instructions”:

Imagine the clouds dripping
Dig a hole in your garden to put them in

Imagine myself crying and using my tears to make myself stronger

Grapefruit was re-issued in 1971 before the song was released. That July, John joined Yoko on a series of book signings where he wholeheartedly endorsed it, often wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the book’s cover.

John Lennon wrote and recorded this song at his Tittenhurst Park estate in the English countryside where he and Yoko took up residence in the summer of 1969. When they moved to Tittenhurst, The Beatles hadn’t officially broken up, but they were on the outs and would never record together again (the last Beatles photo shoot took place there in August, 1969).

Lennon had released two avant-garde albums with Yoko: Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins and Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions. At the end of 1969, they released another: Wedding Album, which contained sounds gathered at their wedding and “bed-in” honeymoon. In 1970, after a round of primal scream therapy, Lennon released his first commercially viable non-Beatles album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, with contributions from Ringo Starr and production by Phil Spector.

In early 1971, Lennon worked up songs for a new album – “Imagine” was one of them. In May, he summoned several of his musical cohorts to Tittenhurst to record it, including Spector, George Harrison, bass player Klaus Voormann, piano man Nicky Hopkins, and drummers Alan White and Jim Keltner. They recorded on-campus in the studio Lennon had recently built, which he called Ascot Sound Studios. It was a genial atmosphere; footage from the sessions shows Lennon and his cohorts enjoying each others’ company, but also getting down to business when it came time to work – Phil Spector kept the sessions on track, and Lennon was exacting in his musical detail. “Imagine” was one of the first songs they recorded. With a very simple arrangement designed to spotlight the lyric, it required just Lennon’s vocals and piano, Voormann’s bass, and White’s drums. Strings were overdubbed later.

Lennon took the sole songwriter credit on this track, but later said that his wife, Yoko Ono, should have been credited as well. On December 6, 1980, two days before he was murdered, Lennon did a radio interview with Andy Peebles for the BBC where he explained: “That should be credited as a Lennon/Ono song because a lot of the lyric and the concept came from Yoko. But those day, I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of Grapefruit, her book.”

On June 14, 2017, the National Music Publishers’ Association announced that Yoko would finally be added as a songwriter for “Imagine.” This took place at a ceremony where Yoko was given the Centennial (song of the century) award for her contribution, which was followed by a Patti Smith performance of the song.

Hundreds of hours of footage was shot to document the Imagine sessions and subsequent events, including John and Yoko’s move to New York City shortly before the album was released. Music videos (or as they were known at the time, “promotional films”) were rare in 1971, but The Beatles were on the vanguard, creating them for some of their songs and also making five movies. Yoko Ono was a visual artist, so having cameras around wasn’t a big deal to the couple.

Every song on the album got a video, and in 1972 they were compiled into a film called Imagine. The clip for the song “Imagine” shows John and Yoko walking to the entrance of their home at Tittenhurst, where Lennon then plays the song on a grand piano in a white room. Yoko eventually sits next to him on the piano bench, where they share an intimate moment.

Footage for the project was later used in these films:

1988: The documentary Imagine: John Lennon
2000: Gimme Some Truth – The Making of John Lennon’s Imagine
2019: John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky

There are two famous Steinway pianos associated with this song: a brown Model Z upright in Lennon’s studio and a white baby grand in one of the rooms of his estate. Film footage shows Lennon first writing the song on the upright, then working it out on the grand. He tried recording it on the grand, but the room was too big, which caused excessive reverberation, so he recorded it in the studio on the upright.

The grand is more associated with the song because it’s the one he plays in the music video and the one used in promotional images – it’s a more striking visual than the upright.

In 2000, George Michael paid over $2 million for the upright, and then donated it to the Beatles museum in Liverpool. It has since been “on tour” around the world to promoting peace. The grand Lennon had shipped to his apartment in New York City, where Yoko still lives. It’s assumed she still owns it.

A sidewalk mosaic spells out the word “Imagine” in a section of Central Park dedicated to Lennon. The area is called Strawberry Fields, and is located across from Lennon’s apartment where he was shot.

Released as a single in America, “Imagine” climbed to #3 in November 1971. In the UK, John and Yoko decided not to release it as a single to put focus on their Christmas peace anthem “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” In 1975, “Imagine” was issues as a UK single for the first time, reaching #6. Soon after Lennon’s death in 1980, it was re-released in the UK and hit #1 on January 10, 1981, where it stayed for four weeks. On February 7, it was replaced at #1 by Lennon’s “Woman,” marking the first time an artist replaced himself on top of the UK charts since The Beatles followed “She Loves You” with “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

This is credited to The Plastic Ono Band, the name Lennon used for some of his recordings after leaving The Beatles.

Lennon didn’t think the song had any hit potential when he wrote it. After recording a rough version in his home studio at his Tittenhurst Park estate, he made a demo record with “Imagine” as the flip side of his political screed “Gimme Some Truth.” He wanted some perspective on the songs, so he invited a few journalists and other associates over to have a listen. Ray Connolly of the London Evening Standard recalls Lennon playing him the demo and asking, “Is it any good?” Connolly and the others who heard it had to convince Lennon he had a hit on his hands with “Imagine.”

Yoko Ono performed this live at a show in Budapest, Hungary in 1986 that was included on the 1997 reissue of her album Starpeace. She included a studio version on her 2018 album Warzone.

On September 21, 2001, Neil Young performed this on a benefit telethon for the victims of the terrorist attacks on America. Almost 60 million people watched the special in the US.

At a 2001 tribute special to Lennon, Yolanda Adams sang this with Billy Preston on organ. Preston played keyboards on some Beatles songs, including “Get Back.”

Oasis used the piano intro on their 1996 song “Don’t Look Back In Anger.”

This song returned to the Hot 100 three times in the late 2000s thanks to cover versions by Jack Johnson (#90, 2007, for the compilation Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur), David Archuleta (#36, 2008) and The Glee Cast (#67, 2009). Other artists to cover it include Joan Baez, Bruce Hornsby, Ray Charles, Eva Cassidy, Our Lady Peace and A Perfect Circle.

This song plays a role in the movie Forrest Gump. Gump (played by Tom Hanks) appears on a talk show with Lennon, talking about a place where there are “no possessions” and “no religion.” It’s implied that Gump gave Lennon the idea for the song.

Some speculate that this song contains backwards messages. With a keen ear and vast imagination, you can barely make out the words “people war beside me” when reversing the line “imagine all the people.” 

On September 13, 1980 Elton John played a free concert in New York’s Central Park, ending it with “Imagine.” This performance was three months before Lennon’s untimely death; before playing the song Elton said, “This is for a dear friend of mine who doesn’t live too far from here, so let’s sing it loud enough for him to hear it” (Lennon lived only a few blocks from that part of Central Park). The flamboyant Elton performed the song wearing a Donald Duck outfit. 

Julian Lennon shared his thoughts on the song in the 2019 documentary Above Us Only Sky: “He’s not shoving it down people’s throats. It’s not religious and it’s not political – it’s humanity and life. We all really want what he’s singing about, and I think that’s why even today the song is still so important. The sad thing is, the world is still in a bad way. Why is it impossible to move forward in these dreams and make them a reality?”

The jazz musician Herbie Hancock recorded this as the centerpiece to his Imagine Project. His version features Jeff Beck, P!nk, Seal, India.Arie, Konono N°1 and Oumou Sangaré.

According to Yoko Ono, who controls the rights to John Lennon’s music, the most frequent request she gets comes from musicians who want to record “Imagine” but change the “no religion, too” lyric, a request she has always denied.

So, does this mean you can record any song, but you need special permission to alter the lyrics? Essentially, yes. Alex Holz at the music licensing and royalty service provider Limelight tells us: “Artists can be afforded ‘some’ leeway in adapting a track to your band’s style (so long as you don’t alter the fundamental character of the work), though lyric changes/alterations typically require direct permission from the publisher as a derivative work. Every songwriter/publisher/song is unique and requirements vary.”

This was the last song played on WABC before they switched from a Top 40 format to talk radio on May 10, 1982. Based in New York City, WABC was for decades the top AM radio station in the country. They debated long and hard to decide which song should be their farewell. 

It’s a stretch, but some have wondered if Lennon included a message in the video for this song. Lennon wears a cowboy hat in the beginning, and Yoko wears jewelry that evokes Native American culture. This could be a kind of message about all cultures getting along. Or it could just be what they chose to wear. >>

A moving rendition of “Imagine” took place in Paris on November 14, 2015, at the Bataclan theater, where 89 people were killed by gunmen in terrorist attacks the previous night. The German pianist Davide Martello brought his grand piano to the theater and played the song while crowds mourned outside the venue.

Over the next few days, Martello brought the piano to every location in Paris where the attacks took place, performing the song in tribute.

When Nike used the Beatles song “Revolution” in 1987 TV commercials, Yoko Ono joined the surviving band members in suing the company. In the court proceedings, it was revealed that Yoko appeared in a Japanese TV commercial for a telephone company where “Imagine” plays. According to court documents, she authorized use of the song and was paid about $400,000. The “Revolution” case unified the Beatles in their opposition to having songs used in commercials, especially since they didn’t control those rights – Capitol Records and Michael Jackson did.

At the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, four singers from that country performed “Imagine,” with each taking a verse. The singers represented a range of genres, including K-pop, with Ahn Ji-young of the duo Bolbbalgan4 performing along with Ha Hyun-woo of the rock band Guckkasten, Jeon In-Kwon of the rock band Deulgukhwa, and the solo artist Lee Eun-mi.

The theme of the ceremony was “Peace in Motion,” with a message of unity as athletes from North and South Korea entered under one flag.

Ben & Jerry’s, makers of “Cherry Garcia” and “Phish Food,” named an ice cream flavor after Lennon’s hit song in 2007. Retired since 2013, “Imagine Whirled Peace” was a caramel ice cream mixed with toffee cookie pieces and chocolate peace signs.

Imagine

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today (ah ah ah)

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Beatles – Real Love

This was the second “new” song by the Beatles to be released in the 1990’s and it was on the Anthology 2 album. I liked the song but it didn’t resonate with me like Free As A Bird did. Real Love sounded more like a Lennon solo song with the Beatles backing him…but I love Lennon’s solo output so I did like it but it wasn’t as “Beatle-ly” to me than Free As a Bird.

The song was more fully realized than Free As a Bird and didn’t take as much input by the other three shaping it. This is the only Beatles song where the songwriting credit is John Lennon alone instead of Lennon-McCartney or all four Beatles.

Paul McCartney did his best John Lennon imitation to help the lead vocal because the recording of John’s voice was low and spotty in some places. The lead vocal is actually a John and Paul duet.

The song with Lennon’s early takes on “Real Love,” recorded with just guitar and vocals, had also appeared on the soundtrack of the Imagine: John Lennon documentary before the Beatles got to finish it.

The song peaked at #11 in the Billboard 100, #12 in Canada, and #4 in the UK in 1996.

From Songfacts

This was an unfinished song written by John Lennon that was completed by the remaining Beatles. It was the second “new” release for the Anthology 2 album (“Free As A Bird” was the first). Yoko Ono supplied Lennon’s demos and gave the remaining Beatles permission to use them.

Jeff Lynne from The Electric Light Orchestra put this together. He has produced albums for George Harrison and played with him in The Traveling Wilburys.

Lennon recorded his demo on a small tape recorder, which posed a challenge when Lynne tried to mix it with updated tracks. He was able to use a noise reduction system to improve the sound. 

According to notes in the John Lennon album Acoustic, when Lennon wrote this song, the original title was “Girls and Boys.”

Real Love

All my little plans and schemes
Lost like some forgotten dreams
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

Just like little girls and boys
Playing with their little toys
Seems like all they really were doing
Was waiting for love

Don’t need to be alone
No need to be alone
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real

From this moment on I know
Exactly where my life will go
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for love

Don’t need to be afraid
No need to be afraid
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real

Thought I’d been in love before
But in my heart, I wanted more
Seems like all I really was doing
Was waiting for you

Don’t need to be alone
Don’t need to be alone
It’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real
Yes, it’s real love, it’s real
It’s real love, it’s real

Beatles Anthology 1…Desert Island Box Set

We are wrapping up Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days. We went into extra innings extending four more picks from these categories… favorite Soundtracks, Greatest Hits, music related movie and now ending with Box Sets. This is my pick for the final round…the Box Set I would take to the island: Beatles Anthology 1

2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 14 PICK 6- BOX SETS- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- THE BEATLES -ANTHOLOGY 1

Now for my last pick in our draft. I’ve come full circle with the Beatles…back in July (hard to believe it was that long ago) it was the White Album and now the 1996 release of Anthology 1 that focuses on a happier but hectic time in the Beatles history.

I can’t explain how excited I was for this release. I was working at a wood shop…just a few months away from my first corporate IT job and I was about to buy this new Beatle CD with a new song. For the first time in my life I could buy a Beatle song that wasn’t recorded in the sixties called Free As A Bird. I had a friend I worked with that doubled as a distribution center driver during holiday season. My plan was to head to lunch the day it was released and buy it in a record shop…remember those? My friend came in with a thick CD case and said here you go…it was Anthology 1 and he said Merry early Christmas. 

Anthology 1 covered everything in the time span of 1958-1964. You got a rare McCartney/Harrison song and a Lennon/Harrison song included. Also home studio taped songs and early Decca demos that were shopped and that I only read about until then. Many of the songs were listed in books but had been locked away in EMI’s vault. Also on this were live performances and alternate takes of the songs. 

The Anthology series introduced the Beatles to a new generation. I had a couple of cousins who were all into New Kids On The Block…when Anthology came out they called me and said now they understood why I liked the Beatles and to this day they still do.

The other thing it did was to help Paul McCartney’s standing. After John Lennon was murdered he was put on a pedestal and Paul was a square.  It was unfair. After the Anthology Paul’s reputation as a great songwriter and singer started to move up again in it’s rightful place…

Now to the song that really excited me. The first official new Beatle song in decades. Free As A Bird still stands up to me. George’s slide just cuts through you and it sounds modern yet older at the same time.

The video is hands down my favorite music video. It was still the mid 90s and CGI wasn’t what it would become just a just a few years later but this works well.

In Spite of All the Danger… a McCartney/Harrison song…the only one to be credited as such was recorded in 1958! One of the first recordings they ever did. You can hear those raw harmonies forming and this was part of the birth of the Beatles. They never properly recorded this song later on which is a shame. I like George’s solo on this one also. Paul will perform it in concert on occasion.

The home/demos were great to hear. Before the Cavern, Hamburg, and worldwide stardom…the start of it all. Hallelujah I Love Her So.

This Anthology covers so much and to see them grow just between 1958-1964 is something special…not to mention how much they grew with the two other Anthologies. Every band grows but usually not to this extent. So to my fellow castaways we have enough to keep us entertained. Thanks to everyone and thanks to Hans for hosting this. Hope to see you all back when the next draft starts.

Paul, George And Ringo Over The Blue Moon – Keener13.com

Build-A-Band

Remember Build-A-Bear? Well this is the rock edition. I think this post may go under…”looked great on paper but…” but lets give it a try. Have you ever thought about if you could have a pick of any musicians living or dead and bring them together in their prime…what combinations would you come up with?

Who would you pick if you could pick anyone? We have a time machine so don’t worry…Jimi Hendrix is just a trip away.  This is a discussion my friends and I have once in a while. I always wondered what a band with Keith Richards and John Lennon together would have sounded like…probably as raw as you could have sounded…a band with Big Star’s Alex Chilton and the Beatles Paul McCartney? It would be interesting.

There are many musicians I have left out…most likely they were here in previous editions that I’ve went through in the past few weeks.

Now… I would want to make at least two or three different bands…a rock, hard rock, and a pop/rock band.  Now I could go on and on…Soul, Blues, Funk, Country/Rock, and even Heavy Metal. Who would you pick? What would your “dream” band be? If I had time I would have listed around 10 different kind of bands…but these 3 will do for now.

How to play 'Watching the Wheels' by John Lennon - Chords, Lyrics, and  Guitar Tabs from SongnotesMontreaux Switzerland 1972 by Dominic Lamblin : rollingstones500+ ALLMAN BROTHERS ideas in 2020 | allman brothers, allman brothers band,  southern rockJohn Paul Jones | Wiki | Bass Player Amino                  Resultado de imagen para charlie watts young | Charlie watts, Rolling  stones, Rhythm and bluesLeon Russell “Leon Russell” « Cool Album of the DayRod Stewart - Wikipedia

Rock  band.

  • John Lennon – Rhythm Guitar/vocals
  • Keith Richards – Rhythm guitar/vocals
  • Duane Allman – Lead guitar
  • John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) – Bass
  • Charlie Watts – Drums
  • Leon Russell – Keyboards
  • Rod Stewart (early seventies version) – Lead Vocals

Jimi Hendrix on Twitter: "I have a song on abortion and a song on Vietnam  and a song on just about any problem"Old Love by Eric Clapton | SetlistingJohn Entwistle | Wiki | Guitar Aminoyou may say i'm a dreamer — Young Keith Moon in the band the BeachcombersITCHYCOO PARK// FAKEGRAM - 1 - WattpadJon Lord - Wikipedia

Hard Rock Band

  • Jimi Hendrix – Lead guitar and vocals
  • Eric Clapton – Lead guitar and vocals
  • John Entwistle – Bass
  • Keith Moon – Drums
  • Steve Marriott (Small Faces and Humble Pie) – Lead Vocals
  • Jon Lord (Deep Purple) – Keyboards

Silly Love Songs #TheBeatlesMania | Paul mccartney, John lennon beatles,  Ringo starrAlex Chilton, Big Star, Dead at 59 - GuitarVibe.comI Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea - Lyrics and Music by Elvis Costello & The  Attractions arranged by nrdcskbClem Burke InterviewBrian Wilson (@BrianWilsonRP) | Twitter

Pop/Rock Band

  • Paul McCartney – Bass/Lead Vocals
  • Alex Chilton (Big Star) – Guitar/Lead Vocals
  • Elvis Costello – Rhythm guitar/Lead Vocals
  • Clem Burke (Blondie) – Drums
  • Brian Wilson – Keyboards/Vocals

Beatles – Here Comes The Sun

If you want to hear an optimistic song look no further than this one. This is another Beatles song that was not released as a single. Harrison wrote it and  sang lead, played acoustic guitar and used his newly acquired Moog synthesizer on this track. It was one of the first pop songs to feature a Moog.

George wrote “Here Comes The Sun” after he decided to not show up for a scheduled Apple business meeting in early Spring. He wrote this in Eric Clapton’s garden using one of Clapton’s acoustic guitars enjoying a spring day.

Here Comes the Sun was on the Beatles last studio album Abbey Road. The album contained two of George’s best known songs. Something and Here Comes the Sun. This is one of my favorite George songs.

George Harrison: “‘Here Comes The Sun’ was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: ‘Sign this’ and ‘sign that.’ Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever; by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided I was going to sag off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton’s house. The relief of not having to go and see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric’s acoustic guitars and wrote ‘Here Comes The Sun.'”

When The Beatles’ music was finally made available for download on iTunes in 2010, “Here Comes The Sun” was the top-selling song the first week.

From Songfacts

“It was just sunny and it was all just the release of that tension that had been building up on me,” Harrison said in a 1969 BBC Radio interview. “It was just a really nice sunny day, and I picked up the guitar, which was the first time I’d played the guitar for a couple of weeks because I’d been so busy. And the first thing that came out was that song. It just came. And I finished it later when I was on holiday in Sardinia.”

In the documentary The Material World, Eric Clapton talked about writing this song with Harrison: “It was one of those beautiful spring mornings. I think it was April, we were just walking around the garden with our guitars. I don’t do that, you know? This is what George brought to the situation. He was just a magical guy… we sat down at the bottom of the garden, looking out, and the sun was shining; it was a beautiful morning, and he began to sing the opening lines and I just watched this thing come to life.”

The music begins on the left channel and gradually moves to the right as Harrison’s vocal begins.

The instrumental break is similar to “Badge,” which Harrison helped Clapton write for his band Cream.

John Lennon did not play on this. Around this time, he was making a habit of not playing on Harrison’s compositions as the two were not on the best of terms. The two eventually settled their differences as George contributed quite a bit to Lennon’s album Imagine two years later. 

The Beatles had stopped touring by the time they recorded this song, so they never played it live. The first time Harrison played it live was at the 1971 Concert for Bangla Desh, which he organized to bring aid to that country. He played it at a handful of appearances in the ’70s and ’80s, but didn’t perform it on a tour until 1991, when he joined Eric Clapton for 12 shows in Japan. This version can be heard on the album Live in Japan.

At the Concert for Bangla Desh, Harrison brought Badfinger lead singer Pete Ham to the front of the stage to sing it with him. Badfinger was signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records and had a hit months earlier with “No Matter What.” Harrison had them play on his first post-Beatles solo album, All Things Must Pass, in 1970, and used them as backing musicians at the concert. The Badfinger story, though, had a tragic ending. As Apple Records disintegrated, the group left the label and ended up in legal wranglings that left them angry and broke. Ham committed suicide in 1975.

In 1976, a cover by Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel was a #10 hit in the UK.

Richie Havens covered this in 1971. The Beatles’ version never charted, but his hit #16 in the US. Havens told DISCoveries magazine in 1994: “Fortunately, I can sing things that changed my mind and gave me articulation, like the songs of The Beatles. What they did was, they presented the language we speak in a very straightforward way. The images were totally clear. The influence of clarity – that was the whole influence of the British Invasion.”

Other popular covers were recorded by Nina Simone and Peter Tosh.

On November 20, 1976, Harrison performed this with Paul Simon on Saturday Night Live. On a previous show, producer Lorne Michaels offered The Beatles $3,000 (union minimum), to show up and perform. He said they could split it up any way they wanted, giving Ringo less if they felt like it. Lennon and McCartney were watching together in New York at the time and almost went. On the show when Harrison performed this, there is a skit where he is arguing with Michaels over the money. Michaels tries to explain that the $3000 was for the whole group, and he would have to accept less.

When Harrison died in 2001, many artists performed this at their concerts as a tribute. It was played at the induction ceremonies of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the all-star jam.

George Harrison played a guitar solo that was placed at 1:02 into the song, but didn’t make the final cut. Here’s the clip where George Martin and Dhani Harrison listen to it.

Harrison released a follow-up song called “Here Comes The Moon” on his self-titled 1979 album. That song is a tribute to the moon, the “sun’s little brother” that acts like a mirror in the sky, reflecting our light.

In 2006, this was voted by the members of the GeorgeHarrison.com forum as their favorite song of his.

Take That’s Gary Barlow covered this for a 2012 advert for Marks and Spencer. It was the first song he’d recorded as a solo artist since his sophomore album, Twelve Months, Eleven Days in 1999. He said: “It’s a real a privilege to cover such an iconic track. You can’t better perfection but I hope we’ve given it a modern twist that will capture the mood of the nation and provide the perfect anthem for summer 2012.” The song’s exposure on the commercial resulted in the original Beatles recording charting in the UK singles top 75 for the first time.

Paul McCartney was also feeling the pain from Beatles’ business dealings around this time and wrote his own, far more pessimistic, song about it: “You Never Give Me Your Money,” which was also included on Abbey Road.

Tom Petty, who was Harrison’s good friend and played with him in the Traveling Wilburys, said of this song in Rolling Stone: “No piece of music can make you feel better than this. It’s such an optimistic song, with that little bit of ache in it that makes the happiness mean even more.”

At the 2016 Republican National Convention, Ivanka Trump, speaking before her father Donald took the stage, emerged with this song playing. The Harrison estate was not happy and voiced their displeasure on Twitter: “The unauthorized use of #HereComestheSun at the #RNCinCLE is offensive & against the wishes of the George Harrison estate. If it had been Beware Of Darkness, then we MAY have approved it!”

Naya Rivera and Demi Lovato sang this on the 2013 Glee episode “Tina in the Sky with Diamonds.”

Nina Simone’s version was used on the TV series Scandal in the 2015 episode “You Can’t Take Command.”

During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, many found solace in this song. Some hospitals would play the song when a patient was discharged.

Harrison and Simon on SNL

Here Comes The Sun

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun
It’s all right
It’s all right

Chuck Berry – Roll Over Beethoven

I like going back to the pioneers who started all of this. Those old raw recordings have been inspected, dissected, and copied to this day. All rock bands will do a Chuck Berry riff somewhere and most likely will cover at least one of his many songs.

I first was introduced to Chuck Berry by the Beatles faithful version. This song is a staple of early rock and roll. Everyone from George Harrison to Keith Richards were influenced by Chuck Berry. His songs were mini stories set against a fast guitar with a driving beat.

This song is about the rock ‘n’ roll craze that was taking over America. Beethoven and Tchaikovsky were classical composers who were being bumped aside by rock. At the time, many critics dismissed rock music as a passing fad…and the fad is still going on.

Berry started writing this song to rib his younger sister, Lucy, who played classical music on the family piano. Chuck was telling her to stop playing so he could play rock and roll.

The song peaked at #29 in the US Charts and #2 in the R&B Charts in 1956.

From Songfacts

Berry was careful to write lyrics that told a coherent story, which in this case follows a young many as he pursues his favorite music. Berry also took care to deliver his lyrics clearly so a wider audience could understand them. This helped him avoid the fate of many Little Richard songs: more popular, but sanitized covers by Pat Boone.

The line, “Early in the mornin’ I’m a givin’ you a warnin'” is a tribute to Louis Jordan’s 1947 track “Early In The Mornin’.”

Jordan, a jump-blues innovator, certainly earned the tribute: his 1946 song “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman” has a guitar intro (played by Carl Hogan) that Berry lifted for “Roll Over Beethoven.”

The Beatles released a version of this song in 1963, which they played at most of their early live shows. The following year, The Beach Boys released “Fun, Fun, Fun,” which copied the intro to “Roll Over Beethoven” nearly note for note.

This was used in the 1992 movie Beethoven, which is about a Saint Bernard.

The Electric Light Orchestra covered this in 1973, mixing in some of Beethoven’s music. It was their biggest hit at the time, going to #6 in the UK and #42 in the US.

ELO was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, 2017, less than a month after Berry’s death. They opened the ceremony with a performance of this song in tribute to Berry.

For a February 4, 1977 primetime special celebrating 25 years of American Bandstand, Berry performed this song joined by Seals & Crofts, Gregg Allman, Junior Walker, Johnny Rivers, the Pointer Sisters, Charlie Daniels and Doc Severinsen. This was one of the first “all-star jams” that would later become commonplace. This performance served as a showcase for the musicians, who were introduced as they performed by Paul Williams. 

Iron Maiden spoofed this on their song “Roll Over Vic Vella,” which was used as the B-side to the single for “From Now to Eternity” It’s one of the few singles that featured a photograph of the band performing as cover art. 

Leon Russell often covered this song. He performed it on the musical variety show Shindig! in 1964.

The Beatles version…the bands I’ve played in used more powerful amps in a small club than the Beatles had at that time for stadiums. They made it necessary to boost the power with larger amps…to this day I don’t see how they heard each other…they probably didn’t. 

Roll Over Beethoven

Well, I’ma write a letter
I’m gon’ mail it to my local DJ
Yeah that’s the jumpin little record
I want my jockey to play
Roll over Beethoven, I gotta hear it again today

You know, my temperature’s risin’
The jukebox blowin’ a fuse
My heart’s beatin’ rhythm
And my soul keeps a-singin’ the blues
Roll over Beethoven, tell Tchaikovsky the news

I got the rockin’ pneumonia
I need a shot of rhythm and blues
I caught the rollin’ arthritis
Sittin’ down at a rhythm review
Roll over Beethoven, they rockin’ in two by two

Well, if you feel and like it
Go get your lover, then reel and rock it
Roll it over and move on up just a
Trifle further, then reel and rock it
Wind another
Roll over Beethoven, dig these rhythm and blues

Well in the mornin’ I’m givin’ you my mornin’
Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes
Hey diddle diddle, I’ma play my fiddle
Ain’t got nothin’ to lose
Roll over Beethoven, tell Tchaikovsky the news

You know she wiggles like a glow worm
Dance like a spinnin’ top
She got a crazy partner
Ya oughta see ’em reel and rock
Long as she got a dime the music will never stop

Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven, dig these rhythm and blues