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]

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

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

Band – The Last Waltz

Happy Thanksgiving! Watching The Last Waltz is just as part of Thanksgiving as the meal with the family…that and Alice’s Restaurant which is coming.

The Band on Thanksgiving in 1976 at the Fillmore West. The film starts off with THIS FILM MUST BE PLAYED LOUD! A cut to Rick Danko playing pool and then it then to the Band playing “Don’t Do It”…the last song they performed that night after hours of playing. Through the music and some interviews, their musical journey and influences are retraced.

This film is considered by many the best concert film ever made. It was directed by Martin Scorsese. I love the setting with the chandeliers that were from the movie Gone With The Wind. The quality of the picture is great because it was shot with a 35-millimeter camera which wasn’t normally done with concerts.

Before the Band and guests hit the stage, Bill Graham, the promoter, served a Thanksgiving dinner to 5000 people that made up the audience with long tables with white tablecloths.

The Band’s musical guests included

Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, Van Morrison (my favorite performance), Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton and Muddy Waters

The Staple Singers and Emmylou Harris also appear but their segments were taped later on a sound stage and not at the concert.

Robbie wanted off the road earlier and that is what the Last Waltz was all about…the last concert by The Band with a lot of musical friends. He was tired of touring and also the habits the band was picking up… drugs and drinking. Richard Manuel, in particular, was in bad shape and needed time.

The rest of the Band supposedly agreed but a few years later all of them but Robbie started to tour as The Band again. Richard Manuel ended up hanging himself in 1986. Rick Danko passed away in 1999 at the end of a tour of a heart attack attributed to years of drug and alcohol abuse. Levon Helm died of cancer in 2012.

The Band sounded great that night and it might be the best version you will ever hear of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.

The Last Waltz is a grand farewell to a great band and a film that I revisit at least twice a year… once always around Thanksgiving.

The complete concert is at the bottom…without cuts.

Ringo Starr – The No No Song

This week I’ll be posting two posts every day…the second one will be a Thanksgiving post. Some of them will be reruns with added info.

This was a fun novelty song that fit Ringo’s voice and personality. At the time Ringo was living the jet-set life and did his share of drinks and chemicals mentioned in the song.  The No No Song was written by country music singer Hoyt Axton and bass player David Jackson. Hoyt Axton struggled with drug abuse early in his career and was poking fun at himself in the song.

Asked about his most memorable guests in the studio…Ringo: “Hoyt Axton was one of them on the Ringo album. We were doing ‘No No Song’ with the biggest spliff and a large bottle of Jack Daniel’s.”

In 1988 Ringo entered rehab with his wife, Barbara, and got clean. Soon after he would start his Ringo and his All-Star tours that he still does to this day.

This was first released in America as a double A-sided single with “Snookeroo.” Ringo and his record company didn’t think radio stations would play “No No Song” because of the drug references, but they did, pushing the song to #3 and giving Ringo his seventh Top 10 hit Stateside. Unsurprisingly, the flip side, a song celebrating snooker, was largely ignored.

In the UK, “No No Song” wasn’t released as a single for fear that it would get banned. In 1976, it was used as the B-side of “Oh My My.”

The song peaked at #1 in Canada and #3 on the Billboard 100 in 1974. This would be Ringo’s last top 10 song in the Billboard 100.

The song was on his album Goodnight Vienna which was released in 1974. His hits started to dry up after this album. Ringo had a lot of friends helping him on this album including  Billy Preston, Klaus Voormann, Robbie Robertson, Harry Nilsson, and John Lennon who wrote the title track.

The No No Song

A lady that I know just came from Columbia
She smiled because I did not understand
Then she held out some marijuana, ha ha
She said it was the best in all the land

And I said
No, no, no, no, I don’t smoke it no more
I’m tired of waking up on the floor
No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze
Then it makes it hard to find the door

A woman that I know just came from Majorca, Spain
She smiled because I did not understand
Then she held out a ten pound bag of cocaine
She said it was the finest in all the land

And I said
“No, no, no, no, I don’t (sniff) it no more
I’m tired of waking up on the floor
No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze
And then it makes it hard to find the door”

A man I know just came from Nashville, Tennessee
He smiled because I did not understand
Then he held out some moonshine whiskey, oh ho
He said it was the best in all the land

And I said
No, no, no, no, I don’t drink it no more
I’m tired of waking up on the floor
No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze
And then it makes it hard to find the door

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?

Leon Russell – Pisces Apple Lady

I love Leon’s soulful playing and that voice. I’m reading a book now about a lady named Chris O’Dell who worked for the Beatles at Apple records. She dated Leon Russell for around 4 months before she went back to London to finish working for Apple. I’ll be reviewing the book in a few weeks…after the Beatles, she worked for Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and The Rolling Stones.

O’Dell was Peter Asher’s personal Assistant and she booked studio time for the Beatles and other artists. George Harrison was working on a Jackie Lomax session and needed a piano player. George wanted Nicky Hopkins but he was in America so O’Dell mentioned Leon Russell who visited Apple earlier that day. George was ecstatic and later on, Ringo and George played on Leon’s sessions at Trident studio. After work, she walked into the studio and they were recording this song. She began to figure out it was about her (she is a Pisces) and that was Leon’s way of saying he fell in love with her.

This is not the only song inspired by Miss O’Dell. George Harrison wrote a song called Miss O’Dell and Leon wrote another song about her called Hummingbird. Both Pisces Apple Lady and Hummingbird were on his debut album released in 1970 along with his song about Rita Coolidge that Joe Cocker covered… Delta Lady.

Leon was able to get Ringo, George, Charlie Watts, Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, Bonnie and Delaney, Steve Winwood, Jim Gordon, B.J. Wilson, Mick Jagger, Joe Cocker, and more…on this album.

The album Leon Russell peaked at #60 on the Billboard Album Charts in 1970.

Leon Russell: “I met her when she was working at Apple Records. We had a little thing for a minute. She wrote an autobiography, and she sent me an advance copy. I’m sorry to say, as a young man, I was capable of some actions I’m not proud of. So I was afraid to read the advance copy, I gave it to Jackie [his bass player Jackie Wessel] and I said, ‘Will you read this and see if there’s any untoward activity in it?’ He read it and said, ‘It’s a beautiful little show-business autobiography. There’s no untowardness in it.’ So I was happy.”

Pisces Apple Lady

Get off your bottleGo down and see a friendHe’ll know what to do, lordyWhen you tell him how bad it’s beenHe said you oughta get awayTo the English countrysideThis cryin’ won’t help you now boyWhy don’t you look how many tears you’ve cried

When I got down to ChelseaI had no expectationsOh, But to get away from the delta girlAnd the painful situationBut I hardly had the timeOh, to laugh and look aroundAnd I found my heart was a-goin’ againLike a-English leaps and bounds (yeah)

And she’s a Pisces apple ladyWhen she speaks softlyShe screams,(She really got herself together) whoa-whoa (oh-oh)And she’s a Pisces apple ladyTook me by surpriseAnd I fell into a hundred piecesI said a-right before her eyes

Now were togetherAll the way to L.A.I know she that loves me‘Cause she can brighten up a smoggy dayIf I believed in marriageOh, I’d take her for my wifeAnd move on down into high gear babyFor the rest of my natural life

And she’s a Pisces apple ladyWhen she speaks softlyShe screams,(She really got herself together) yes she does (oh-oh)And she’s a Pisces apple ladyTook me by surpriseAnd I fell into a hundred piecesI said a-right before her eyes

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

Why The Beatles Are Still Relevant… and my 5th Year Anniversary.

This is my 5th-year anniversary on WP. Thank you all for still reading and commenting. 

This was part of Dave’s at A Sound Day “Turntable Talk” series…hope you like it. It’s also a more in-depth re-working of my first post on September 18, 2017. I never dreamed I would be accepted in such a large community of like-minded people. It’s not easy to meet Big Star fans in real life…here in this community, they come to you. My mission was…if I could get one person to at least give Badfinger, Big Star, or the Raspberries a listen…my job was done…but it’s been so much more than that because I’ve learned more than I’ve given. Yes, I love the Beatles but they don’t need my cheerleading.

I usually write shorter posts than this…but it was a lot to say on this subject.

So why are The Beatles still popular with older and younger generations? Their influence seems never-ending. It’s as though they have never left. There are other bands that left a legacy but nothing like the footprint of the Beatles.

The Beatles shaped culture instead of following it. Society changed after that appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. They cast such a large net in music compared to everyone else. They influenced everything from rock, folk-rock, power pop, psychedelia, progressive rock, and heavy metal. They practically invented the thought or image of a rock band. They moved passed that and have become a huge part of the culture they helped create.

The Beatle’s breakup was announced in 1970. Many rumors flew that they might regroup through the years but that ended on December 8, 1980, in New York with the assassination of John Lennon.

Through the seventies, the Beatles were still quite popular with the Red and Blue greatest-hits albums released in the early seventies. The greatest hits album Rock and Roll Music (terrible silver cover) was released in 1976. Capitol released Got To Get You In My Life as a single off of the album and it peaked at #1 in Canada and #7 in the Billboard 100 in 1976. This was 10 years after it was released as an album track on Revolver.

I bought my first Beatle album (Hey Jude Again) in 1975 when I was 8 and then bought the Rock and Roll Music album. So, I was a 2nd generation Beatles fan and there were many of us. The solo Beatles dominated the charts to the mid-seventies. After 1975 they had hits but not as many as before. Beatles’ popularity waned in the mid to late 70s when the “newer/ younger” generations considered the Beatles as belonging to their parents. Many youngsters believed Led Zeppelin, Queen, and all newer bands would replace the Beatles in scope and success.

Everything changed when Lennon was murdered. A newer generation heard the music. Their popularity would go up and down but with the first Beatle CDs released in 1987…again another generation heard the Beatles. Sgt Pepper was re-released 20 years after the original and it went to number one.

What really cemented them in the public’s mind happened on November 20, 1995. The Beatles Anthology CDs were released, and the documentary was viewed during prime time on ABC. Since then, they have never left. On November 13, 2000, they released the compilation album “1” which was the best-selling album of the decade worldwide. The Beatles were also the largest selling band between 2000-2010. In 2009 The Beatles Rock Band game came out and…yet another generation found their music. One was my son who was born in 2000.

Between 2010-2020 they remixed and reissued many of their classic albums with 50th-anniversary editions. The Get Back film by Peter Jackson is the latest project that has thrust them in the spotlight again…but really, they have never left.

The bottom line for their staying power is their music. The songwriting was outstanding. Even the early music was something new. They used minor chords, and different rhythms, along with harmonizing over the top. I’m not going to go into musical theory, but they never repeated themselves. Every album stands on its own.  John Lennon’s rhythm guitar was quirky and inventive, George Harrison brought in a Chet Atkins style along with jazz chords, Paul brought bass playing to a new level, and Ringo was a left-hander that played right-handed with an open high hat. The main thing was the songwriting, quality, and quantity that is rarely if ever seen.

Bob Dylan: “Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid.”

They rarely included their singles on albums. Most bands used singles to sell albums, but The Beatles treated both formats as different entities. Songs that weren’t released as singles include Norwegian Wood, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, With A Little Help From My Friends, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, All My Loving, A Day In The Life, Back In The USSR, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Helter Skelter, Michele, The Night Before, and one of the most popular Beatles song Here Comes The Sun, and many more. Any other band would have released these songs as singles but with the Beatles…they were just album cuts. That is how deep their songwriting was at the time, and from 1966 onward George was contributing to the quality as well. George developed into a great songwriter in the impossible situation of being with two of the best in history.

They had more variety than many others. They were rockers in Hamburg and The Cavern. They were pop stars in the Beatlemania years. They were rock-folk-pop in the middle period of Rubber Soul and Revolver. They were Psychedelic rockers during the Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour era. Then they went back to their roots and were rockers again with the White Album and Let It Be. Abbey Road saw them perfecting their craft in all genres. They knew when to make an exit…while still on top.

They broke up because they outgrew each other and were together constantly, much like brothers. John, Paul, and George grew up together in Liverpool and they knew Ringo well early on. They were never made to stay together like the Stones. The Stones developed a business/brand attitude, but the Beatles were more of a family and things were more personal.

They were not this clean polite band that Brian Epstein and the press created. In fact, the Stones and Beatles’ images should have been reversed… but to make it…they had to clean up to get through the international door. After they did, the door was open for all others. They did however speak of whatever was on their mind. They said things stars just didn’t say, even in the early days. There was something honest about them that is still there to this day.

They were symmetrical… John brought in Paul, Paul brought in George, and George brought in Ringo.

Their story adds depth to their legacy. The odds of them finding Brian Epstein, George Martin, Stuart Sutcliffe, and everyone on the way was nearly zero. If one key person would have would have gone the other way…the story would not be the same or might not have happened.

In a hundred years…the question will still be asked… why are the Beatles still relevant?

Beatles – In My Life

What other band in the world would not release this song as a single? That alone shows that they had quality as well as quantity. It was on Rubber Soul released in 1965. I always considered Revolver and Rubber Soul sister and brother albums. Rubber Soul was released first and Revolver could have been the continuation of Rubber Soul or the wilder older brother/sister.

This song is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. We have a short journey through John Lennon’s life up to that point. This song is as close to perfection as you can get.

Lennon said that a reporter asked him ” why don’t you put some of the way you write in the book in the songs?’ or ‘Why don’t you put something about your childhood into the songs?” and that spurred him on to write this personal song.

Pete Pete Shotton, who was a close childhood friend of John, has related how John once told him that the lyric about the friends who were “dead” and “living” was about Stuart Sutcliffe, a close friend and former Beatle who died of a brain tumor in April of 1962, and Pete himself as the “living” friend.

John was picky with Beatle songs. There were some he claimed not to like but this one was one of the songs he was most proud of.

Before his death, Lennon gave an extensive interview with Playboy magazine and the interviewer went down a list of Lennon and McCartney songs. Lennon gave his feelings about each song and who wrote what. McCartney, later on, agreed with most of all John’s memories on who wrote what…except on a couple of songs. John and Paul seem to disagree on two songs in particular: “Eleanor Rigby” and this song.

John claims he wrote everything except the middle eight, which he attributed to Paul. Paul has said that he wrote most of the melody and helped with the lyrics. I tend to believe Paul on this but I’m amazed that they both seemed to agree on most of the other songs. John could write some beautiful melodies but this one sounds like Paul had a lot to do with it.

In the studio, something seemed to be missing so George Martin slowed down the tape and recorded an Elizabethan piano solo. Not that Ringo Starr needs any defending…but people seem to downgrade him because he wasn’t like Keith Moon or John Bonham. No Ringo played for the song…this song is a great example. If he would have been busy it would have ruined it. Ringo played this one perfectly as he did with most other Beatles songs.

This was voted the best song of all time by a panel of songwriters in a 2000 Mojo magazine poll.

Paul McCartney on writing the song: “So I recall writing the whole melody. And it actually does sound very like me, if you analyze it. I was obviously working to (John’s) lyrics. The melody’s structure is very me. So my recollection is saying to John, ‘Just go and have a cup of tea or something. Let me be with this for ten minutes on my own and I’ll do it.’ And with the inspiration of Smokey and The Miracles, I tried to keep it melodic but a bit bluesy, with the minors and little harmonies, and then my recollection is going back up into the room and saying, ‘Got it, great! Good tune, I think. What d’you think?’ John said, ‘Nice,’ and we continued working with it from then, using that melody and filling out the rest of the verses. As usual, for these co-written things, he often just had the first verse, which was always enough: it was the direction, it was the signpost and it was the inspiration for the whole song. I hate the word but it was the template.”

“We wrote it, and in my memory we tagged on the introduction, which I think I thought up. I was imaging the intro of a Miracles record, and to my mind the phrases on guitar are very much Smokey and The Miracles. So it was John’s original inspiration, I think my melody, I think my guitar riff. I don’t want to be categorical about this. But that’s my recollection. We then finished it off and it was a fine song which John sang.”

John Lennon: “’In My Life’ was, I think, my first real, major piece of work. Up until then it had all been glib and throw-away. I had one mind that wrote books and another that churned out things about ‘I love you’ and ‘you love me,’ because that’s how Paul and I did it…It was the first song that I wrote that was really, consciously, about my life…a remembrance of friends and lovers of the past.”

John Lennon:  “I wrote that in Kenwood (his home at the time). I used to write upstairs where I had about ten Brunell tape recorders all linked up, I still have them, I’d mastered them over the period of a year or two – I could never make a rock and roll record but I could make some far out stuff on it. I wrote it upstairs, that was one where I wrote the lyrics first and then sang it.” He added that was usually the case with songs such as this one and “Across the Universe” and “some of the ones that stand out a bit.”

In My Life

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

In my life I love you more