Beatles – Here, There, And Everywhere

I was looking for a Beatles song to post about and I came across Hobo Moon Cartoons a while back and this new video was featured. Check the site out when you can.

What a beautiful song this is..I think it’s one of Paul’s and The Beatle’s best ballads. Paul has said before that the song was inspired by the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” off of their album Pet Sounds.

beachboyslegacy.com on Twitter: "Today in 1966, Bruce ...

The way that John and Paul heard Pet Sounds for the first time is interesting. Beach Boy Bruce Johnston was in England in 1966 and he met a huge Beach Boy fan Keith Moon. Moon dragged him to every hip spot in London. To Johnston’s surprise and amazement…he took him to a hotel and invited John and Paul to come over and meet Johnston and listen to the Beach Boy’s new album that was about to be released. Bruce had no idea how connected the Who’s drummer was at the time. He had come to England to sightsee and maybe hype the album a little but did not expect to have an audience of John and Paul.

Keith at the time acted like he liked the album but at heart, he wanted the same old surf songs…he wasn’t expecting an art-pop album from the Beach Boys. John and Paul were knocked out by Pet Sounds and after hearing God Only Knows Paul came up with this melody and he and John finished it off. Paul said this song was around 80-20 his song. It was a full circle because Brian Wilson was inspired by Rubber Soul when writing Pet Sounds.

Paul said that John praised his songwriting only once. He said “John says just as it finishes, ‘That’s a really good song, lad. I love that song.’ And I’m like, ‘Yes! He likes it!'”

The song was on arguably the Beatle’s best album Revolver. This song was somehow not released as a single. The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, in Canada, and in The UK in 1966. During the 1987 CD releases, it peaked at #3 on the US Billboard Top Compact Disks Charts…seriously? I never heard of the US Billboard Top Compact Disks but that is also a chart.

Paul McCartney: “I wrote that by John’s pool one day, I sat out by the pool on one of the sun chairs with my guitar and started strumming in E, and soon had a few chords, and I think by the time he’d woken up, I had pretty much written the song, so we took it indoors and finished it up…John might have helped with a few last words…But it’s very me, it’s one of my favorite songs that I’ve written…So I would credit me pretty much 80-20 on that one.”

John Lennon:  “Here, There And Everywhere’ was Paul’s song completely, I believe – and one of my favorite songs of The Beatles.”

John Lennon: “There was a period when I thought I didn’t write melodies, that Paul wrote those and I just wrote straight, shouting rock’n’roll. But of course, when I think or some of my own songs – ‘In My Life,’ or some of the early stuff, ‘This Boy’ – I was writing melody with the best of them.”

The Beatles released an animated video for this song in 2022. It was directed by Rok Predin.

Here, There, And Everywhere

To lead a better life
I need my love to be here

Here, making each day of the year
Changing my life with a wave of her hand
Nobody can deny that there’s something there
There, running my hands through her hair
Both of us thinking how good it can be
Someone is speaking
But she doesn’t know he’s there

I want her everywhere
And if she’s beside me I know I need never care
But to love her is to need her everywhere

Knowing that love is to share
Each one believing that love never dies
Watching their eyes and hoping I’m always there

I want her everywhere
And if she’s beside me I know I need never care
But to love her is to need her everywhere

Knowing that love is to share
Each one believing that love never dies
Watching their eyes and hoping I’m always there

I will be there
And everywhere
Here, there and everywhere

Beatles – All My Loving

This is the first song America heard on February 9, 1964, on the Ed Sullivan Show.

I love this song for one big reason. John Lennon plays a hell of a rhythm in the background. He makes it sound so deceptively easy but it’s not. I need to start focusing on some of their earlier music instead of just their late sixties tracks. I have some readers that just like their early stuff and others who like just the mid or later. I love both because it’s the same band… early, middle, or late… both have great melodies but just different tones of instruments.

What is great about the early part is their harmonies. When I played in a band we didn’t do many Beatles songs although they were being requested. If we did we did a later song like Get Back without those harmonies. It takes a band with 2 or better yet 3 singers who can do those harmonies. Not easy to do when you are teen playing instruments at the same time. We stuck with Rolling Stones and CCR songs without the complicated harmonies. Now we couldn’t do I Am The Walrus either because of the craziness of the instruments.

Meet The Beatles

This song was on the first Beatles album I listened to…the American version of With The Beatles named Meet The Beatles with their faces in shadow. We had a clubhouse and my older cousin bought the album and I was hooked…for life. It’s hard not to get hooked by the songs.

On February 9th, 1964, an estimated 73 million viewers watched this much-hyped young Liverpool band perform five songs ‘live’ from CBS-TV Studio 50 in New York City. Capital Records kept rejecting Beatles songs until I Want To Hold Your Hand. A few radio stations started to play the song and soon Capitol realized that they could not reject them anymore. They didn’t like British records and only would release novelty British songs in America. When they started to get behind Meet The Beatles the dam burst.

They chose All My Loving to start the set and made an immediate good first impression and kept that huge television audience tuned in for the whole show. What separated the Beatles from other bands? The thousands of hours they already had under their belt from rocking in Hamburg, The Cavern, and all around Europe. At one point they very well could have had more hours on stage than any other rock band. Another thing was the quantity and more important the quality of the songwriting of the band that would continue to their end.

It’s a Lennon-McCartney song but mostly McCartney. The song peaked at #1 in Canada and New Zealand. It surprisingly only peaked at #45 on the Billboard 100 in 1964.

Paul McCartney:  “I don’t know that I was thinking specifically of Jane Asher when I wrote this, though we were courting. It’s probably more of a reflection on what our lives were like then – leaving behind family and friends to go on tour and experience all these new adventures.”

All My Loving

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my lovin’ to you

I’ll pretend that I’m kissing
The lips I am missing
And hope that my dreams will come true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my lovin’ to you

All my lovin’, I will send to you
All my lovin’, darlin’, I’ll be true

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you

All my lovin’, I will send to you
All my lovin’, darlin’, I’ll be true
All my lovin’, all my lovin’
Ooh ooh, all my lovin’, I will send to you

Beatles – Christmas Time Is Here Again

It’s that time of year…and this is one-holiday song that is on my list and not worn out. I first heard this in 1994 when I bought the Beatles Anthology album. I never knew of this song before. this song was never officially released until it appeared as the B-side to “Free As A Bird” in 1994. I’ve posted it every year since I’ve blogged and will continue to do so…it’s repetitive butI like it…it drives home the point.

My friend Dave posted this song last year and he has more info than I do so check it out.

The song is credited to Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starkey. The original version was distributed to The Beatles fan club in 1967. It’s the only song ever written specifically for the Beatles Fan Club members. Along with the Beatles…actor Victor Spinetti and roadie Mal Evans were on the recording.

Between December 1963 to December 1969, sent out 7 flexi discs that had  spoken and musical messages to their official fan clubs in the UK and the US at Christmas time.

The Beatles recorded this in 1967 and wasn’t released until 1994 paired with “Free As A Bird”. It is a fun Christmas song that will stick in your head. The Beatles did not release a Christmas song commercially… only to their fan club when they were active.

Many performers of this era like The Beach Boys and The Four Seasons released Christmas songs, but The Beatles never had an official Christmas release.

Christmas time is here again

Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again

Ain’t been round since you know when
Christmas time is here again
O-U-T spells “out”

Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again

Ain’t been round since you know when
Christmas time is here again
O-U-T spells “out”

Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again

Ain’t been round since you know when
Christmas time…[music continues and fades to background]

[spoken]

This is Paul McCartney here, I’d just like to wish you everything you wish yourself for Christmas.

This is John Lennon saying on behalf of the Beatles, have a very Happy Christmas and a good New Year.

George Harrison speaking. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas, listeners everywhere.

This is Ringo Starr and I’d just like to say Merry Christmas and a really Happy New Year to all listeners

[a John Lennon pastiche at this point, very hard to understand]

Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime

I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas Eve. I looked back and I’ve never posted this song before. It’s never been my favorite Christmas song but it has grown on me through the years.

This song was recorded during the sessions for the McCartney II album which featured Coming Up. Paul went to his farm and laid down all the tracks himself. He was experimenting with an early synthesizer called a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, which was also used on Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes” and the Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes.”

Released as a single, it peaked at #6 in the UK, #39 in Canada, and #28 in the Billboard 100 in 1979. It took him just ten minutes to write the song.

Although the members of Wings do not feature on the song, they do appear in the song’s music video, which was filmed at the Fountain Inn in Ashurst, West Sussex. McCartney recalled to NME in 2012… “We went out to some pub somewhere, and so that was a laugh… we just run out of the pub occasionally, filmed a bit, and then went back into the pub. So that was quite a nice evening!”

Diana Ross, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, Hanson and The Monkees have all made their own versions.

The Monkees did a stripped down version of this song without the synth that is really good.

Here is the Monkees version in 2018

Wonderful Christmastime

The moon is right
The spirits up
We’re here tonight
And that’s enough
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

The party’s on
The feelin’s here
That only comes
This time of year

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

The choir of children sing their song
Ding dong, ding dong
Ding dong, ding ooo
Ooo ooo toot toot toot toot toot toot

We’re simply having a wonderful Christmastime
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

The word is out
About the town
To lift a glass
Ah don’t look down

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

The choir of children sing their song
They practiced all year long
Ding dong, ding dong
Ding dong, ding dong
Ding dong, ding dong, dong, dong, dong, dong

The party’s on
The spirits up
We’re here tonight
And that’s enough

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime
We’re simply having a wonderful Christmastime

The moon is right
The spirits up
We’re here tonight
Oh and that’s enough

We’re simply having a wonderful Christmastime
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

Oh oh
Christmastime

Paul McCartney – All Things Must Pass

No, I didn’t type the artist wrong.

It was touching to see Paul cover this great George Harrison song in the Concert For George…a year after George passed away. I don’t think Paul really got this song until he performed it. Not only did he do it in that concert but he would play it live occasionally after that. He knocks it out of the park with this version.

It’s simply one of the best songs George ever wrote. It was the title track of his debut album released in 1971. The song was worked up with the Beatles during the Get Back sessions and started to sound really good. It wasn’t rejected…they just moved on with different songs. There were songs they worked up that ended up on McCartney’s debut album as well. The same with John Lennon’s Gimme Some Truth.

A few days before George passed…Paul and Ringo joined him and talked about old times. George also told Paul to start getting along with Yoko because as he very well knew…life is too short. Paul did just that.

Paul McCartney: “I sat with him for a few hours when he was in treatment just outside New York. He was about 10 days away from his death, as I recall. We joked about things – just amusing, nutty stuff. It was good. It was like we were dreaming. He was my little baby brother, almost, because I’d known him that long. We held hands. It’s funny, even at the height of our friendship – as guys – you would never hold hands. It just wasn’t a Liverpool thing. But it was lovely.”

Eric Clapton: The only minor difficulty arose over who should sing “Something.” Olivia thought I should sing it. Paul McCartney had been doing it on the ukulele in his shows and wanted to do it that way, and I wanted Paul to sing “All Things Must Pass,” which I considered the key song of the whole event. In the end, we compromised and Paul and I did “Something” as a duet, and later in the show he performed a brilliantly soulful version of “All Things.” It was a great night, and everybody who was there or has seen the DVD agrees that it was the perfect sendoff for a man we all loved, and who gave us over the years so much beautiful music.

 ‘Those guys’ (Beatles) inability to express love for one another was classic, the exception is Ringo, who says [in the film], ‘I love George, and George loved me.’ That wouldn’t have been so easy for Paul.’”

 “Paul had to admit that he didn’t know ‘All Things Must Pass,’ and that was an awful thing to confront. It was huge humble-pie stuff for Paul to be among these people who he may have thought had a better relationship with George than he did.

“But I believe Paul missed George as much as — if not more than — anybody.”

All Things Must Pass

Sunrise doesn’t last all morningA cloudburst doesn’t last all daySeems my love is up and has left you with no warningIt’s not always gonna be this grey

All things must passAll things must pass away

Sunset doesn’t last all eveningA mind can blow those clouds awayAfter all this, my love is up and must be leavingIt’s not always gonna be this grey

All things must passAll things must pass away

All things must passNone of life’s strings can lastSo, I must be on my wayAnd face another day

Now the darkness only stays the night timeIn the morning it will fade awayDaylight is good at arriving at the right timeIt’s not always gonna be this grey

All things must passAll things must pass awayAll things must passAll things must pass away

Beatles – I Me Mine

George’s contribution to Let It Be included For You Blue and today’s song I Me Mine. The song was very significant in Beatles history as you read on. It was the last song they recorded, minus John, until the 90s.

George Harrison wrote this song and sang lead. He said it is “About the ego, the eternal problem.” The version we hear on Let It Be didn’t have John Lennon who was away at the time.

In the Hindu holy book Bhagavad Gita, the following verse is found: “They are forever free who renounce all selfish desires and break away from the ego-cage of I-me-mine, to be united with the Lord. This is the supreme state; attain to this and pass from death to immortality.” 

This uses a 3/4 time signature like a waltz, rather than the standard 4/4. With a rather mournful sound, Harrison called it a “heavy waltz.” The first version The Beatles recorded ran just 1:34, and had only one chorus. The album’s producer, Phil Specter, copied and pasted parts of that recording to make the song 2:25.

The song wasn’t going to be in the film but when Allen Klein, made a deal with United Artists to release the project it was included. When Let It Be Naked came out in 2003 this was one of the few songs McCartney decided to leave as it was. I will have to say though that I do like that release that took away Spector’s production…or overproduction of some of the numbers.

When I first watched Let It Be in the 80s I remember this well because Lennon and Ono waltzed around the huge studio to this song. You always think of The Beatles ending in the sixties but on January 3, 1970, Paul, George, and Ringo got together to work on some of the songs. It would be the last time those three recorded together until the 90s with The Beatles anthology. Sixteen takes were laid down of “I Me Mine,” featuring Harrison on acoustic and lead vocal, McCartney on bass, and Starr on drums. Backing vocals, Hammond Organ and electric piano from McCartney, and a lead guitar by Harrison were added toward the end of the session.

Supposedly after the 12th take, Harrison led the group through an impromptu run-through of Buddy Holly’s 1959 hit “Peggy Sue Got Married,” which if it’s true…has not been released. This short version of I Me Mine was included in the Beatles Anthology.

Harrison’s 1980 autobiography is also titled “I Me Mine.”

George Harrison: “It was the TV, you see, that science fiction thing (referring to an episode of “Out Of The Unknown: Immortality Inc.”), but then it suddenly turned into that crap about medals and things. That’s what gave me the idea. Suddenly it was the bit where they were all coming into the ball. I think it was Austria, and they all had their medals. And there was some music that was just playing…like a 3/4 thing. Some things like that happen where you just hear something, and it registers in your head as something else. And so I just had it my head, just the waltz thing, and it was fitting…It’s like one of those things where they’re all swaying!”

*** Unfortunately, I was going to try to see that episode but The BBC in their infinite wisdom wiped this episode. No known copy is known to exist. *** When he said “it turned into that crap about medals” he was talking about a show called Europa: The Titled and the Unentitled that must have followed “Out of the Unknown.”

I Me Mine

All through’ the day
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
All through’ the night
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
Now they’re frightened of leaving it
Ev’ryone’s weaving it
Coming on strong all the time
All through’ the day I me mine

I-I-me-me mine, I-I-me-me mine
I-I-me-me mine, I-I-me-me mine

All I can hear
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
Even those tears
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
No-one’s frightened of playing it
Ev’ryone’s saying it
Flowing more freely than wine
All through’ the day I me mine

I-I-me-me mine, I-I-me-me mine
I-I-me-me mine, I-I-me-me mine

All I can hear
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
Even those tears
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
No-one’s frightened of playing it
Ev’ryone’s saying it
Flowing more freely than wine
All through’ your life I me mine

Paul McCartney – No More Lonely Nights

In the eighties when I heard this song, I knew it was better than “So Bad” his last release at that time…but that wasn’t a hard song to beat. This song was my favorite Paul McCartney single of the 1980s.

This single was a very good pop song by Paul. I also knew that the guitar solo had a familiar sound to it. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd played the guitar solo on this track. He requested that his session fee be given to a charity of Paul’s choice.

This was the first single from the soundtrack album to the movie Give My Regards To Broad Street. The song peaked at #6 on the Billboard 100, #11 in Canada, and #2 in the UK in 1984. Herbie Flowers plays bass on this track.

The original video was shot on April 10th in Bermondsey (South East London) at the Old Justice Pub. A second video was shot in October at the Hippodrome in London to promote the Dance Version, this clip features Jeffrey Daniels (of Shalamar).

The filming of the music video went on late into the night. The noise from the fireworks reportedly caused locals to complain to the police who said, “I’m sorry, but Mr. McCartney is simply doing some filming.”

No More Lonely Nights

I can wait another day until I call you
You’ve only got my heart on a string and everything a-flutter
But another lonely night might take forever
We’ve only got each other to blame
It’s all the same to me love
‘Cause I know what I feel to be right

No more lonely nights
No more lonely nights
You’re my guiding light
Day or night I’m always there

May I never miss the thrill of being near you
And if takes a couple of years
To turn your tears to laughter
I will do what I feel to be right

No more lonely nights (Never be another)
No more lonely nights
You’re my guiding light
Day or night I’m always there
And I won’t go away until you tell me so
No, I’ll never go away

Yes, I know (I know) what I feel (I feel) to be right
No more lonely nights (Never be another)
No more lonely nights
You’re my guiding light
Day or night I’m always there

And I won’t go away until you tell me so
No, I’ll never go away
And I won’t go away until you tell me so
No, I’ll never go away

No more lonely nights, no, no

John Lennon – Crippled Inside

On December 8th I left my schedule empty because I know who I’m going to slide in there. It’s the ugliest rock date of the year. John by far is my favorite Beatle and the leader of that band. My next post as always on this date will be about where I was when I found out…and I update it some every year.

I’ve always considered Plastic Ono Band and Imagine the top two albums that Lennon made and either one will match up with the best of the other solo Beatles albums. They both are sparse and more simple than his Beatle colleagues. Imagine is a more polished album than Plastic Ono Band… of course, that is not saying a lot. Phil Spector produced this album and I’ve always wondered why Lennon got him when he didn’t like overproduced music. He kept Spector under control for the most part.

When the Beatles broke up, John and Paul dove headfirst into their individual careers. Paul jumped straight into pop and Lennon dived into writing what he thought was the truth and setting it to a backbeat. They were not going to veer from their respective targets. You could tell they didn’t have each other to hold the other back anymore. That is what the Beatles had as a whole that the two head Beatles didn’t anymore. George just went on… already accustomed to writing alone but John and Paul had no brakes.

For John, it paid off in two brilliant albums off the bat that probably would not have been the same with The Beatles. With Paul, it paid off with Ram but with just an OK debut album. After these first two albums, John seemed to lose some of his edge and Paul took a while but finally gained more confidence until he made his masterpiece Band On The Run released late in 1973.

David Bowie gave John a huge compliment. He said he could find the most odd ideas and turn them around for the masses.

Imagine peaked at #1 on the Billboard Album Charts and the UK. It also peaked at #2 in Canada in 1971.

John Lennon wearing David Bowie tshirt

David Bowie: “Hell, I mean, he was one of the major major influences on my musical life. I just thought he was the very best of what could be done with Rock and Roll. I felt such kin to him as much as he would rifle the avant-garde and look for ideas that were so on the outside on the periphery of what was the mainstream and then make them apply in a functional manner to something that was considered populist and make it work.”

“He would make the most odd idea and make it work for the masses I thought that was just so admirable. I mean, that was like making art work for the people and not sort of having it as an elitist, you know. The thing there was just so much about in that I admire, he was tremendous”

John Lennon: Songwriting is like getting the demon out of me. It’s like being possessed. You try to go to sleep, but the song won’t let you. So you have to get up and make it into something, and then you’re allowed to sleep. It’s always in the middle of the bloody night or when you’re half awake or tired, when your critical faculties are switched off.

‘Crippled Inside’ is a social comment. It talks about people having false fronts in society and really underneath there’s something else. Satire. There was one review of that song that said, ‘Oh, that kind of song has been done before…’ but I wasn’t even thinking about it. I was sitting down and this little riff came into me head, like an old Twenties song: ‘One thing you can’t hide is when you’re crippled inside.’ It just came to me, you know, like that, and I just finished it off.

Crippled Inside

You can shine your shoes and wear a suit
You can comb your hair and look quite cute
You can hide your face behind a smile
One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

You can wear a mask and paint your face
You can call yourself the human race
You can wear a collar and a tie
One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

Well now you know that your
Cat has nine lives
Nine lives to itself
But you only got one
And a dog’s life ain’t fun
Momma take a look outside

You can go to church and sing a hymn
You can judge me by the color of my skin
You can live a lie until you die
One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

Well now you know that your
Cat has nine lives
Nine lives to itself
But you only got one
And a dog’s life ain’t fun
Momma take a look outside

You can go to church and sing a hymn
Judge me by the color of my skin
You can live a lie until you die
One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside
One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

Beatles – Rocky Raccoon

This coming weekend I’m going to attempt a Beatles album ranking post which I’ve never done… so I’ve been listening to the White Album. Rocky Raccoon is a  great way to start out the week

I bought the White Album in the winter of 1981 right after John Lennon was murdered. It has remained my favorite album ever by far. You have such a variety on this album and it gives you different glances at the Beatles without many studio tricks and sounds.

This song starts with a strumming guitar and then comes Paul talking/singing in his best western voice. Now somewhere in the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota
There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon. 

The main character was originally called Rocky Sassoon but McCartney changed it to Raccoon, as he thought the name was more cowboyish.

The original title of the album was going to be “A Doll’s House“… but the band  Family used the title Music from a Doll’s House for its debut album, so The Beatles scrapped the idea. The album’s real name ended up being “The Beatles” but the plain white cover nickname soon took over. From some accounts here is the original cover.

A Doll's House

In 1968, McCartney got the idea for it when he was playing guitar with John Lennon and Donovan Leitch at the Maharishi’s camp in India. Rocky in the song is a cowboy in the old west and challenges Dan when Dan ran off with Rocky’s girl. In the gunfight, Dan is too quick and shoots Rocky wounding him. When the song was recorded… Beatles producer George Martin played the piano in an old-west saloon style.

Rocky in this song is not a raccoon but a boy whose girl runs off with his rival, Dan. The song is set in the Old West, so Rocky does what any self-respecting cowboy would do: he challenges Dan to a gunfight. Unfortunately for Rocky, he Dan is quick on the draw and shoots him first, wounding Rocky and proving himself worthy of the girl.

The album peaked at #1 in the US, Canada, UK, and just about everywhere in 1968.

Paul McCartney: “Rocky was me writing (speaks-sings in a baccy-chewing old prospector voice), ‘It was way back in the hills of Dakota-or Arkansas-in the mining days. And it was tough, picking shovels, and we were underground 24 hours a day…’ I could have taken this serious route, researched it – ‘Take This Hammer’ (a prison work song recorded by British skiffle star Lonnie Donegan in 1959), stuff I’d been brought up on. But at that point I was a little tongue-in cheek. So I crossed it with a (British singer and banjo player popular in the 1940s) George Formby sensibility, where John and I would go (sings a bit of doggerel in a choppy rhythm) – Stanley Holloway, Albert in The Lion’s Den (the comic poem The Lion and Albert, written by Holloway’s creative partner Marriott Edgar in 1932). We were very versed in all that stuff (sings opening lines of Rocky Raccoon in the same choppy way). The scanning of the poetical stanza always interested me. Somehow this little story unfolded itself.

I was basically spoofing ‘the folk-singer.’ And it included Gideon’s Bible, which I’ve seen in every hotel I’ve ever been in. You open the drawer and there it is! Who’s this guy Gideon! I still don’t know to this day who the heck he is. I’m sure he’s a very well-meaning guy. Rocky Raccoon was a freewheeling thing, the fun of mixing a folky ramble with Albert In The Lion’s Den with its ”orse’s ‘ead ‘andle,’ ha ha.”

Many cover versions have been recorded. Some of the artists are Richie Havens, Ramsey Lewis, Jack Johnson, Andrew Gold, James Blunt, Phish, Jimmy Buffett, Maureen McGovern, Kingston Wall, Charlie Parr, and Andy Fairweather Low.

Rocky Raccoon

Now somewhere in the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota
There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon
And one day his woman ran off with another guy
Hit young Rocky in the eye
Rocky didn’t like that
He said, “I’m gonna get that boy”
So one day he walked into town
Booked himself a room in the local saloon

Rocky Raccoon checked into his room
Only to find Gideon’s Bible
Rocky had come, equipped with a gun
To shoot off the legs of his rival
His rival it seems, had broken his dreams
By stealing the girl of his fancy
Her name was Magill, and she called herself Lil
But everyone knew her as Nancy
Now she and her man, who called himself Dan
Were in the next room at the hoe down
Rocky burst in, and grinning a grin
He said, “Danny boy, this is a showdown”
But Daniel was hot, he drew first and shot
And Rocky collapsed in the corner

Now the doctor came in, stinking of gin
And proceeded to lie on the table
He said, “Rocky, you met your match”
And Rocky said, “Doc, it’s only a scratch
And I’ll be better, I’ll be better, Doc, as soon as I am able”

Now Rocky Raccoon, he fell back in his room
Only to find Gideon’s Bible
Gideon checked out, and he left it, no doubt
To help with good Rocky’s revival

Paul McCartney – The Back Seat Of My Car

This is an overlooked McCartney song on his album Ram. It’s close to pop perfection. He wrote it when he was still with the Beatles. You can hear some of it on Get Back. It sounds like Paul and Brian Wilson merged together.

This song charted in the UK in 1971 at #39. Paul wasn’t the most popular Beatle out of the gate. Much of the public still blamed him for the Beatle’s split because he was the one that officially announced it to the world. The other Beatles weren’t really happy with him either because he was suing them. The critics were after him for being too pop. His first album McCartney and this one, Ram were not well received when released.

After time these albums are favorably reviewed. Ram has been called the first alternative album by some modern critics. The Back Seat Of My Car was McCartney’s second single release in the UK but it wasn’t released as a single the US. Uncle Albert – Admiral Halsey was the first single released from the album and it peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, in Canada, and New Zealand.

There were some lines in this song that John Lennon thought were directed at him and Yoko. Specifically, “We believe that we can’t be wrong.”Paul did get the help of the New York Philharmonic to provide the orchestral accompaniment on this song.

Paul McCartney: “Back Seat of My Car” is the ultimate teenage song, and even though it was a long time since I was a teenager and had to go to a girl’s dad and explain myself, it’s that kind of meet-the-parents song. It’s a good old driving song. [Sings] “We can make it to Mexico City.” I’ve never driven to Mexico City, but it’s imagination. And obviously “back seat” is snogging, making love.

The Back Seat Of My Car

Speed along the highway, honey I want it my way
But listen to her daddy’s song, don’t stay out to long
Were just busy hidin’, sitting in the back seat of my car

The lazy lights are pretty, we end up in Mexico City
But listen to her daddy’s song, makin’ love is wrong
Were just busy ridin’, sitting in the back seat of my car

Oh we was only hidin’, sitting in the back seat of my car
And when we’ve finished drivin’ we can say we were late in arriving
And listen to her daddy’s song, we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong

We can make it to Mexico City, sittin’ in the backseat of my car

Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
No no no no
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong

Carl Perkins – Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby

I learned about Carl Perkins through George Harrison and The Beatles. On their first tour, they all adopted “stage names” and George’s was George Perkins. A wonderful title for this song.

This gets kind of confusing. It was written by Carl Perkins, but it’s also very similar to another song by the same title by Alabama country singer Rex Griffon in 1936. Carl modernized it by the same sound he was getting out of Blue Suede Shoes.” Meanwhile, the melody was also borrowed from the Hank Williams song “Move It On Over” and “Mind Your Own Business.” Rock Around The Clock also borrowed from this.  Anyway…it is credited to Carl Perkins.

Carl Perkins was on the rise fast in 1956. He just had 3 top-10 hits in that year. On March 22, 1956, Perkins was severely injured when the car he was riding in crashed on Route 13 between Dover and Woodside, Delaware. Perkins and his band were headed to New York City for a Mar. 24, 1956, appearance on NBC-TV’s Perry Como Show after playing a show in Norfolk, Virginia, on Mar. 21, 1956. Perkins had sustained three fractured vertebrae in his neck, a severe concussion, a broken collar bone, and lacerations all over his body. Perkins remained unconscious for an entire day.

Worse than that…his brother Jay Perkins had a fractured neck and severe internal injuries. Later he developed a malignant brain tumor and died in 1958.  It had been planned on the Como show to present Carl with a gold record for Blue Suede shoes. When the wreck happened the song had peaked at #1 on the Country Charts and #2 on the Hot 100. Perkin’s career was never the same after that.

After 1956 he had 6 more top 40 hits in the country charts but never a top 10 hit again. One of those songs peaked at #31 in 1986 called “Birth of Rock and Roll.” Throughout the rockabilly revival of the 80s Perkins worked with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and many more.

Carl Perkins continued to achieve many successes throughout his career, such as writing the 1968 number one country hit “Daddy Sang Bass” as recorded by Johnny Cash as well as Glen Campbell and The Statler Brothers. He played for about ten years with Johnny Cash, playing lead guitar on Cash’s number one country hit “A Boy Named Sue.” He even appeared on the Johnny Cash Show playing “Matchbox” with Derek And The Dominoes.

Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby was recorded in March of 1956 in Sun Studios with no other than Sam Phillips producing.

The Beatle’s version was recorded their version on October 18, 1964. They did it in one take not counting Ringo overdubbing a tambourine and George doubling his voice. It was released on the Album Beatles for Sale released in December of 1964. It was not their best album by any stretch. They were worn out and the album included a lot of covers. The album was not available in the United States and Canada until 1987. The song appeared on their US-only album Beatles 65.

George Harrison sang lead because he was a huge fan of Perkins. It was his showcase song on early tours.

Everybody Is Trying To Be My Baby

Well they took some honey from a tree
Dressed it up and they called it me

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Woke up last night, half past four
Fifty women knocking on my door

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Went out last night, I didn’t stay late
‘Fore I got home I had nineteen dates

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Went out last night, I didn’t stay late
‘Fore I got home I had nineteen dates

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Well they took some honey from a tree
Dressed it up and they called it me

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Miss O’Dell: Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton… by Chris O’Dell and Katherine Ketcham

I enjoyed this book immensely. It’s almost like a fantasy book. You are a fan and suddenly you get thrown into the world with The Beatles as friends and co-workers. You move from the Beatles to the Stones, CSNY, Bob Dylan and the list kept growing. 

I will say this… as a Beatle fan, this book gave me insight that I never had before. Chris O’Dell happened to meet Derek Taylor (press officer of the Beatles) in Los Angeles in 1968…she worked for him for a few weeks in LA as a PA. He told her she should come over to London to check out the new company that The Beatles were starting called Apple. He didn’t promise her a job but she took a chance and sold her records and borrowed from her parents to go to London. She was like Alice down the rabbit hole, O’Dell stumbled upon a life even she could not have dreamed of.

She took a chance and went over and that started her career working at The Beatles record company Apple. It took her a few months to get hired full time but after the Beatle’s inner circle knew she could be trusted she was there. She met Paul on her very first day. She said all of them were extremely nice and made her feel welcome. She spent the first few months showing up at the office and making herself useful and securing her place. She was especially close to George as a friend and later Ringo as a little more. 

Chris O'Dell George

After all was said and done…she had 3 songs written about her. Two by Leon Russell called Hummingbird, Pieces Apple Lady, and George Harrison’s Miss O’Dell. She was also the “Mystery Woman” on the Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street cover. She was in the Joni Mitchell song “Coyote” with the line He’s got another woman down the hall…the song about Sam Shepard who Chris O’Dell and Joni Mitchell were seeing. She ended up singing on the Hey Jude recording in the final Na Na chorus.

She was one of the first if not the first female tour manager in rock. The tours she worked on were The Rolling Stones, CSNY, Santana, Bob Dylan, Earth Wind and Fire, Jennifer Warnes, Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Led Zeppelin, Phil Collins, Echo and the Bunnymen, ELO, and more.

We also get a glimpse into the personalities of Bob Dylan, Jagger and Richards, CSNY (and the disfunction), Eric Clapton, and more. 

Chris O'Dell's Rockstar Life Revealed

Like all of us through life…she made some cringe-worthy decisions. I’m not trying to play it down but most of the time everything worked out in the end. She was in the right place at the right time and took advantage of that. She remains close friends with Pattie Harrison, Ringo Starr (her son’s Godfather), and many of her old famous acquaintances.

This is not a kiss-and-tell book and she doesn’t trash people which made me happy. The only person to come out of this book bad at all is Eric Clapton who was admittedly jealous of Pattie and Chris’s friendship. After the Stones tour, she got into drugs really bad but managed to quit them only to start up again. She, later on, became a drug counselor and helped people. 

This book is for more than just Beatle fans…it gives you what life was like on the road in the 1970s. Some of the highlights in the book for me were: 

  • How the Apple Office worked including the Hell’s Angels visitors
  • How even the biggest stars had deep insecurities
  • Bob Dylan forgot his harmonicas before the Isle of Wight concert and Chris O’Dell arrived by helicopter to give them to him.
  • Keith Richards sending her to pick up a “package” in LA in the middle of a tour
  • Reading about David Crosby’s complaints of no “cross ventilation in his hotel room”
  • When Roger Taylor of Queen realized that she was Miss O’Dell from George’s song.
  • Insight into Pattie Boyd and Maureen Starkey who is hardly covered in Beatles books
  • Reading about how Bangledesh started and how George got his musician friends to participate. 
  • Being on the roof during Get Back brief concert

Chris O’Dell: I think being a Beatle became very difficult for them. They had a different set of problems than the Stones and CSN&Y.  They didn’t tour that much, they couldn’t go out of their hotel rooms, and they lived in a bubble. I think breaking up for them, and I can only guess, was a relief and very difficult at the same time.

Chris O’Dell:  It was like being let go in Disneyland. That’s what it felt like. It’s like here are the keys to Disneyland, go and enjoy yourself. And I was constantly aware that I was watching history in the making and that was exciting. So every day had some, or certainly every week, had something, a twist to it that made it really exciting

Chris O’Dell now: I am happily remarried to a wonderful man who supports me and accepts me as I am. My twenty-three-year-old son is amazing and gives me some credibility as a parent! I have a private practice in Tucson, specializing in addiction and mental health counseling.  My two dogs are happy and life is just better than I would have expected. 

Excerpt from the book: On being in a room with Mick and Keith before the 72 tour. 

“Listen to this fucking article in Rolling Stone about Harrison’s Bangladesh concert,” Keith said. He started reading from the article.
“The Concert for Bangladesh is rock reaching for its manhood.” Keith raised an eyebrow. “Under the leadership of George Harrison, a group of rock musicians recognized, in a deliberate, self-conscious, and professional way, that they have responsibilities, and went about dealing with them seriously.”
Keith looked at Mick and then at me. “Do you believe this shit? But wait, it gets better. Harrison is “a man with a sense of his own worth, his own role in the place of things… with a few parallels among his peers.”
“Bollocks.” Keith laughed, tossing the magazine on the coffee table. “What a fucking load of shit.”
I knew that Keith wasn’t really amused. He could be terribly insecure.
What a paradox Keith was- a sweet sensitive soul who wrote songs about needing love to be happy and yet he lived his life as if he couldn’t give a shit about anything.
But at that moment I wasn’t too interested in Keith’s feelings. I sat at the far end of the sofa, my legs and arms crossed, smoking a cigarette and drinking my Scotch and Coke as if it were straight Coke. I was pissed. Sure, I knew they were just being competitive, but I couldn’t stand listening to them make fun of George. I wanted to jump into the conversation and tell them to leave him alone. But what could I do? I worked for the Stones now, not the Beatles. This is weird, I know, and particularly strange in the context of the Stone’s remarkable longevity, but at that moment I had a sinking feeling that I was beginning my climb down the ladder. I’d started at the very top with the Beatles and now I was on the rung below. I found myself thinking at that moment that the Stones were sometimes a little too raw, too raunchy, too negative. I liked their music, and I liked each of them individually, but if I had to choose, the Beatles would win.
“You know,” I said, trying to smile but having a hard time of it,
“George is my friend.”
Mick looked over at me as if he had forgotten I was there. “Oh yeah, Chris, you’re a Beatle person, aren’t you? Sorry about that”
We let it go, then, but after I dropped Mick at his house and headed home through the dark canyons, I felt a sudden, intense longing to see Pattie and George. Mick was right. When it came right down to it, I was a Beatle person.”

Miss O’Dell

I’m the only one down here
Who’s got nothing to say
About the war
Or the rice
That keeps going astray on its way to Bombay.
That smog that keeps polluting up our shores
Is boring me to tears.
Why don’t you call me, Miss O’Dell?

I’m the only one down here
Who’s got nothing to fear
From the waves
Or the rice
That keeps rolling on right up to my front porch.
The record player’s broken on the floor,
And Ben, he can’t restore it.
Miss O’Dell.

I can tell you
Nothing new
Has happened since I last saw you.

I’m the only one down here
Who’s got nothing to say
About the hip
Or the dope
Or the cat with most hope to fill the Fillmore.
That pushing, shoving, ringing on my bell
Is not for me tonight.
Why don’t you call me, Miss O’Dell?

Why don’t you call me, Miss O’Dell?

Up and Down with The Rolling Stones … by Tony Sanchez

This was the first book I read on the Rolling Stones when I was around 13. It’s an easy but dark read. It’s written by Tony Sanchez, Keith’s drug dealer and sometimes partner in crime. Tony was also a photographer who took photos of the Stones and the Moody Blues. Spanish Tony, as he was called hung around with the Stones, Moody Blues and also knew the Beatles.

It’s full of wrecked cars, heroin, dead friends, sleazy characters, and some eventful journeys. At first, I would take some of the stories with a grain of salt but most of the events were verified by Keith’s book “Life.”

Spanish Tony and Keith Richards

Tony Sanchez and Keith Richards

Tony had some underworld connections like the famous Kray Twins of the 60s. He opened a club with some backing from the Stones and according to him saved Keith from some setups from time to time with his connections. The Nellcote in France period is covered well and the film of the 1972 tour that was never released except for a bootleg was explained.

Anita Pallenberg came off looking worse than anyone. Tony talks about Anita’s interest in black magic, Kenneth Anger, and how she would practice some of the rituals. He described her as a very nasty and petty woman, especially to Bianca. She was first with Brian…then with Keith and a brief spell with Mick. Marianne Faithfull was also a subject in the book and she came off really well.

Tony and Keith were pretty tight. On the original back cover of Beggars Banquet you can see “Spanish Tony Where Are You” written on the wall. He had been out of the country at that time.

Spanish Tony and Keith Richards2

Anita Pallenberg, Tony Sanchez, Keith Richards

The book concentrates on Keith and Mick…big surprise there…also on Brian Jones. He goes through the dynamics between the three.  He talks about the bust at Redlands and Tony trying to bribe some high-ranking police investigators to “lose” the evidence but it didn’t work.

He tells one story that happened at Mick Jagger’s 26th birthday party at the club that Tony partly owned (The Vesuvio Club) and the DJ was playing the Stones new song Sympathy for the Devil…In walks, Paul McCartney with the Hey Jude and Revolution demo single under his arm and it was played… people went nuts. Tony said that Mick felt upstaged…After that Tony had his cousin…a big Beatles fan…attempt to drive John Lennon home…but he could hardly drive the car because he was so nervous…John and Yoko were jerked all over the back seat so John ended up getting out and walking…

There are some funny stories in this about Keith and the world he created.

Tony was with the Stones until 1976 and he just walked away after some confusion backstage over a backstage pass…He was carrying dope to someone and so he says he checked himself in rehab.

If you are a Stones fan you should like it.

Beatles – I’m Only Sleeping

I’ve always loved this song and I just read in the news that The Beatles released a new video to this song. This song was on what many consider their best album…Revolver.

If you lived in America at the time…you didn’t have this song if you bought Revolver. Capital Records left it off the American version. You would have to buy the album Yesterday and Today to get it

There were a lot of rumors about this song’s origin. Some rumors said it was John’s attack on straight society. It was much more simple than that.  Lennon wrote this as a tribute to staying in bed, which he liked to do even when he wasn’t sleeping. He would later write a song titled “I’m So Tired” which resided on the White Album.

Maureen Cleave, the journalist,  wrote of John Lennon: “He can sleep almost indefinitely, is probably the laziest person in England.” She went on to clarify that she meant physically lazy, not intellectually lazy.”

The Beatles were experimenting with this album with sound effects and backward guitar and other effects. The yawning effect is a guitar recorded backward. A few seconds before the yawn comes in, you can hear John Lennon say, “Yawn Paul.”

It was conceived by George Harrison in a late-night session, inspired when a studio engineer accidentally flipped a tape…Harrison was amazed at the effect and decided to do it for real. So he wrote down a solo and then played it twice, once forwards and once backward, with fuzz effects on one track.

George Harrison:  “We turned the tape over and put it on backwards, and then played some guitar notes to it, just playing little bits, guessing, hoping it fitted in…We were excited to hear what it sounded like, and it was magic.”

Revolver broke recording boundaries and developed processes that are still used today. The bass was one thing to be boosted as in the singles around this time. Paperback Writer and Rain the bass came through like never before.

They toured on this album and it would be their last tour. It was full of tension because of Lennon’s Jesus remarks and they were tired of not being heard. The touring equipment still wasn’t up to where people could hear over the screaming. Our band would play in 200-capacity clubs and we had more powerful equipment than the Beatles did playing in big arenas and sports facilities.

They were well into the beginnings of the studio experimental phase of their career. Therefore, I’m Only Sleeping, along with all of the other material from Revolver, was never performed live, nor could it have been because the technology just wasn’t there at that time to play these songs accurately.

Revolver peaked at #1 in the US, Canada, and the UK in 1966.

Ringo Starr: “I believe we taught George Martin how to keep the tape rolling,” he lost that old attitude that you only press the button when you are going to do the take. We began to have the tape rolling all of the time.”

I’m Only Sleeping

When I wake up early in the morning
Lift my head, I’m still yawning
When I’m in the middle of a dream
Stay in bed, float up stream (float up stream)

Please, don’t wake me
No, don’t shake me
Leave me where I am
I’m only sleeping

Everybody seems to think I’m lazy
I don’t mind, I think they’re crazy
Runnin’ everywhere at such a speed
‘Til they find there’s no need (there’s no need)

Please, don’t spoil my day
I’m miles away
And after all
I’m only sleeping

Keepin’ an eye on the world going by my window
Takin’ my time

Lyin’ there and staring at the ceiling
Waiting for a sleepy feeling

Please, don’t spoil my day
I’m miles away
And after all
I’m only sleeping

Keepin’ an eye on the world going by my window
Takin’ my time

When I wake up early in the morning
Lift my head, I’m still yawning
When I’m in the middle of a dream
Stay in bed, float up stream (float up stream)

Please, don’t wake me
No, don’t shake me
Leave me where I am
I’m only sleeping

Beatles – Think For Yourself

A very good George Harrison song. While I was searching for the song on youtube…I came across a 19-minute studio outtake with the Beatles when they were working on this song. George had a time reeling in John and Paul but…I will say this…Lennon could be hilarious. Actually, all of them could be. When you have 19 minutes to kill…listen to that outtake I will post above the song. It gives an insight into them. One comment was, “they sound like drunk teenagers, ” which is correct. They were young and their sense of humor was flowing.

Lennon and McCartney’s songwriting was improving by leaps and bounds at this time. They had started to write years before and George had only been writing a couple of years. He did have one thing they didn’t have…he witnessed firsthand Lennon and McCartney’s writing and was influenced by them. This was only George’s fifth published song, the lyrical depth, and structure of  Think For Yourself proved that George Harrison was going to improve and catch his bandmates in quality if not quantity.

The music to this one is really cool. Paul plays his bass through a fuzz box to give the song a different sound. The song was on the 1965 album  Rubber Soul. This album was a game changer that started with Help! and would lead up to Sgt Pepper in 1967.

Rubber Soul showed the Beatles growing artistically and venturing out to different styles of music. Since With The Beatles they were trying new things with every album. By this time they were breaking out of the Beatlemania image and started touching on every genre to a more mature sound.  The Beatles were breaking/making the rules as they were going along. Not only in writing superb songs but pushing the limits of the studio as well as doing things that pop stars just didn’t do before them…

Producer George Martin was also developing artistically, experimenting with an eye toward making the album sound good in either stereo or mono.

Rubber Soul peaked at #1 in America, Canada, and The UK in 1965.

George Harrison: “When Phil Spector was making ‘Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah’ (by Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans), the engineer who’d set up the track overloaded the microphone on the guitar player and it became very distorted. Phil Spector said, ‘Leave it like that, it’s great.’ Some years later everyone started to try to copy that sound and so they invented the fuzz box. We had one and tried the bass through it and it sounded really good.”

Think For Yourself

I’ve got a word or two
To say about the things that you do
You’re telling all those lies
About the good things that we can have
If we close our eyes

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
‘Cause I won’t be there with you

I left you far behind
The ruins of the life that you had in mind
And though you still can’t see
I know your mind’s made up
You’re gonna cause more misery

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
‘Cause I won’t be there with you

Although your mind’s opaque
Try thinking more if just for your own sake
The future still looks good
And you’ve got time to rectify
All the things that you should

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
‘Cause I won’t be there with you

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
‘Cause I won’t be there with you
Think for yourself
‘Cause I won’t be there with you