Their Own Records In Their Own Words - With The Beatles and surroundings
IT WON'T BE LONG (Lennon/McCartney) JOHN 1980: "'It Wont Be Long' is mine. It was my attempt at writing another single. It never quite made it. That was the one where the guy in the 'London Times' wrote about the 'Aeolian cadences of the chords' which started the whole intellectual bit about the Beatles."
PAUL circa-1994: "We'd spot the double meaning... In 'It won't BE LONG till I BELONG to you' it was that same trip."
ALL I'VE GOT TO DO (Lennon/McCartney) JOHN 1980: "That's me trying to do Smokey Robinson again."
ALL MY LOVING (Lennon/McCartney) JOHN 1972: "This was one of his first biggies."
JOHN 1980: "'All My Loving' is Paul, I regret to say. Because it's a damn fine piece of work. But I play a pretty mean guitar in back."
PAUL 1984: "Yeah, I wrote that one. It was the first song I ever wrote where I had the words before the music. I wrote the words on a bus on tour, then we got the tune when I arrived there. The first time I've ever worked upside down."
PAUL 1988: "I think that was the first song where I wrote the words without the tune. I wrote the words on the tour bus during our tour with Roy Orbison. We did alot of writing then."
PAUL circa-1994: "It was a good show song. It worked well live."
DON'T BOTHER ME (Harrison) GEORGE 1980: "The first song that I wrote... as an exercise to see if I could write a song. I wrote it in a hotel in Bounemouth, England, where we were playing a summer season in 1963. I was sick in bed... maybe that's why it turned out to be 'Don't Bother Me.' I don't think it's a particularly good song... It mightn't even be a song at all, but at least it showed me that all I needed to do was keep on writing, and then maybe eventually I would write something good."
PAUL 1988: "I think John and I were really concentrating on-- 'We'll do the 'real' records,' but because the other guys had alot of fans we wrote for them too. George eventually came out with his own, 'Don't Bother Me,' but until then he hadn't written one."
LITTLE CHILD (Lennon/McCartney) JOHN 1972: "Both of us wrote it. This was a knock-off between Paul and me."
JOHN 1980: "'Little Child' was another effort of Paul and I to write a song for somebody else. It was probably Ringo."
PAUL circa-1994: "Certain songs were inspirational and you just followed that. 'Little Child' was a work job."
PLEASE MR. POSTMAN (Dobbin/Garrett/Garman/Brianbert) PAUL 1984: "Influenced by the Marvelettes, who did the original version. We got it from our fans, who would write 'Please Mr. Postman' on the back of the envelopes. 'Posty, posty, don't be slow, be like the Beatles and go, man, go!' That sort of stuff."
HOLD ME TIGHT (Lennon/McCartney) JOHN 1980: "That was Paul's. Maybe I stuck some bits in there... I really don't remember. It was a pretty poor song and I was never really interested in it either way."
PAUL 1988: "I can't remember much about that one. Certain songs were just 'work' songs... you haven't got much of a memory of them. That's one of them. You just knew you had a song that would work, a good melody. 'Hold Me Tight' never really had that much of an effect on me. It was a bit Shirelles."
PAUL circa-1994: "'Hold Me Tight' was a failed attempt at a single which then became acceptable album filler."
I WANNA BE YOUR MAN (Lennon/McCartney) JOHN 1972: "Both of us wrote it, but mainly Paul. I helped him finish it."
JOHN 1980: "'I Wanna Be Your Man' was a kind of lick Paul had-- 'I wanna be your lover, baby. I wanna be your man.' I think we finished it off for the Stones. We were taken down to meet them at the club where they were playing in Richmond by Brian and some other guy. They wanted a song and we went to see what kind of stuff they did. Mick and Keith heard we had an unfinished song-- Paul just had this bit and we needed another verse or something. We sort of played it roughly to them and they said, 'Yeah, OK, that's our style.' But it was only really a lick, so Paul and I went off in the corner of the room and finished the song off while they were all still sitting there talking. We came back, and that's how Mick and Keith got inspired to write... because, 'Jesus, look at that. They just went in the corner and wrote it and came back!' You know, right in front of their eyes we did it. So we gave it to them. It was a throw-away. The only two versions of the song were Ringo and the Rolling Stones. It shows how much importance we put on them. We weren't going to give them anything great, right? I believe it was the Stones' first record."
PAUL 1984: "I wrote it for Ringo to do on one of the early albums. But we ended up giving it to the Stones. We met Mick and Keith in a taxi one day in Charing Cross Road and Mick said, 'Have you got any songs?' So we said, 'Well, we just happen to have one with us!' I think George had been instrumental in getting them their first record contract. We suggested them to Decca, 'cuz Decca had blown it by refusing us, so they had tried to save face by asking George, 'Know any other groups?' He said, 'Well, there is this group called the Stones.' So that's how they got their first contract. Anyway, John and I gave them maybe not their first record, but I think the first they got on the charts with. They don't tell anybody about it these days; they prefer to be more ethnic. But you and I know the real truth."
NOT A SECOND TIME (Lennon/McCartney) JOHN 1980: "That's me trying to do something. I don't remember." (laughs)
PAUL 1984: "Influenced by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles."
I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND (Lennon/McCartney) PAUL 1964: "Let's see, we were told we had to get down to it. So we found this house when we were walking along one day. We knew we had to really get this song going, so we got down in the basement of this disused house and there was an old piano. It wasn't really disused, it was rooms to let. We found this old piano and started banging away. There was a little old organ too. So we were having this informal jam and we started banging away. Suddenly a little bit came to us, the catch line. So we started working on it from there. We got our pens and paper out and just wrote down the lyrics. Eventually, we had some sort of a song, so we played it for our recording manager and he seemed to like it. We recorded it the next day."
JOHN 1980: "We wrote alot of stuff together, one on one, eyeball to eyeball. Like in 'I Want To Hold Your Hand,' I remember when we got the chord that made the song. We were in Jane Asher's house, downstairs in the cellar playing on the piano at the same time. And we had, 'Oh you-u-u/ got that something...' And Paul hits this chord, and I turn to him and say, 'That's it!' I said, 'Do that again!' In those days, we really used to absolutely write like that-- both playing into each other's noses."
PAUL circa-1994: "'Eyeball to eyeball' is a very good description of it. That's exactly how it was. 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' was very co-written."
THIS BOY (Lennon/McCartney) JOHN 1980: "Just my attempt at writing one of those three-part harmony Smokey Robinson songs. Nothing in the lyrics... just a sound and a harmony. 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 of 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."
PAUL 1988: "Fabulous. And we just loved singing that three-part too. We'd learned that from: (sings) 'To know know know her is to love love love her...' We learned that in my dad's house in Liverpool."
I CALL YOUR NAME (Lennon/McCartney) JOHN 1980: "That was my song. When there was no Beatles and no group, I just had it around. It was my effort as a kind of blues originally, and then I wrote the middle-eight just to stick it in the album when it came out years later. The first part had been written before Hamburg even. It was one of my 'first' attempts at a song."
PAUL circa-1994: "We worked on it together, but it was John's idea. When I look back at some of these lyrics, I think, 'Wait a minute. What did he mean? 'I call your name but you're not there.' Is it his mother? His father? I must admit I didn't really see that as we wrote it because we were just a couple of young guys writing. You didn't look behind it at the time, it was only later you started analyzing things."
MATCHBOX (Perkins) RINGO 1964: "I'm featured on it. Actually it was written by Carl Perkins about six years ago. Carl came to the session. I felt very embarrassed. I did it just two days before I went in the hospital (with tonsilitis) so please forgive my throat."
ON SONGWRITING (DURING THE 'WITH THE BEATLES' PERIOD) PAUL 1963: "If an idea does pop in your mind, then you do sit down and say, 'Let's do it.' If there are no ideas and say we've been told we've got a recording date in about two days time, then you got to sit down and sort of slug it out. You normally get just a little idea which doesn't seem bad and you go on and it builds up from there. It varies every time."
ON RECORDING (DURING THE 'WITH THE BEATLES' PERIOD) PAUL 1963: "Lots of people have asked us what we enjoyed best... concerts, television, or recording. We like doing stage shows because it's great to hear an audience enjoying themselves. But the thing we like best is going into the recording studio to make new records. What we like to hear most is one of our songs taking shape in a recording studio, and then listening to the tapes afterwards to hear how it all worked out."
JOHN 1964 "We always record them exactly as we can play them. Even if we do put things on top, the basic thing on a record we do live. We play and sing at the same time on the record, so if we can't do it there, we don't do it."
GEORGE 1977: "It was enjoyable. We'd get into doing harmonies and this and that, because in the early days we were only working on four-track tapes. So what we'd do would be work out most of the basic track on one track, get all the balance and everything set, all the instruments. Then we'd do all the vocals, or overdub. If there was guitar, lines would come in on the second verse and piano in the middle eight with shakers and tambourines. We'd line up and get all the sounds right and do it in a take, and then do all the vocal harmonies over."
1957 - At the age of sixteen, John Lennon forms the Quarry Men with friends from his school, Quarry Bank Grammar.
July 6, 1957 - After meeting Paul McCartney during a Quarry Men performance at Woolton Parish Church fete, John invites him to join the band.
February 1958 - George Harrison joins the Quarry Men.
January 1960 - A friend of John's from Liverpool College of Art, Stu Sutcliffe is asked to join the group as the bass guitarist. The band decides to change its name to Silver Beatles.
August 1960 - Pete Best becomes the group's drummer. The group makes a final change to their name and are now known as simply the Beatles. They go on to play various venues in Hamburg including such clubs as Indra, Kaiserkeller, Top Ten and Star.
December 27, 1960 - The Beatles return to Liverpool and play at Litherland Town Hall. With their popularity becoming secure, they go on to play gigs North West of Britain for the next two years.
April 1961 - Stuart Sutcliffe decides to quit the Beatles.
November 1961 - Brian Epstein becomes the Beatles' manager. January 1, 1962 - The Beatles audition unsuccessfully for Decca Records in London.
April 10, 1962 - Stuart Sutcliffe dies of a cerebral hemorrhage.
June 6, 1962 - After auditioning for George Martin, a producer at EMI, he signs them. He goes to be their producer for their entire career.
August 16, 1962 - Pete Best is dismissed from the Beatles.
August 18, 1962 - Ringo Starr joins the band.
October 5, 1962 - "Love Me Do", the Beatles' first single, is released in the United Kingdom. It rises to #17 on the British charts.
January 11, 1963 - The Beatles' second single, "Please Please Me," is released in the U.K.. On February 22 it reaches number one on the British charts and stays there for two weeks.
February 11, 1963 - The Beatles record their first full album, "Please Please Me." The complete recording only took them one day.
March 22, 1963 - The album "Please Please Me" is released in the U.K. and becomes a huge success. It remains number one on the UK charts for 29 weeks.
July 12, 1963 - The album "Please Please Me" is released in the United States under the title of, "Introducing the Beatles".
October 1963 - Beatlemania spreads throughout Europe.
October 13, 1963 - Beatles appear on ITV's "Sunday Night at the London Palladium" which is televised to over 15 million viewers.
November 4, 1963 - Performing for the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, the Beatles play at the Royal Command Performance. Before starting the song "Twist and Shout", John entertains the crowd with a comment, "Will the people in the cheaper seats clap their hands? And the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewelry."
November 22, 1963 - The Beatles release "With the Beatles" in the U.K., It reaches the number one spot on the British charts and stays there for 21 weeks.
November 29, 1963 - The single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" is released in the U.K. and immediately hits number one on the charts.
December 26 , 1963 - "I Want To Hold Your Hand" is released in the United States and spends seven weeks in the number one spot on the charts.
1964 - 66
January 20, 1964 - "Meet the Beatles" is released in the United States. It remains in the number one position on Billboard's chart for 11 weeks.
February 7, 1964 - The Beatles arrive in the United States.
February 9, 1964 - The Beatles perform on "The Ed Sullivan Show". According to the Nielsen ratings, they are watched by over 73 million people. During the show they perform five songs, "She Loves You," "I Saw Her Standing There," "All My Loving," "Till There Was You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand."
February 11, 1964 - The Beatles perform at the Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C.
February 12, 1964 - The Beatles perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
February 16, 1964 - The Beatles make their second appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." They perform "From Me to You," "This Boy," "All My Loving," "I Saw Her Standing There" and closed with "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
February 23, 1964 - The Beatles appear for the third time on "The Ed Sullivan Show," this time with a taped performance "Twist and Shout" and "Please Please Me" and closed the show once again with "I Want To Hold Your Hand".
March 2, 1964 - The Beatles begin filming their first film, "A Hard Day's Night." They take eight weeks to complete it.
March 31, 1964 - The Beatles hold the top five slots on Billboard's chart: (1) Can't Buy Me Love, (2) Twist and Shout, (3) She Loves You, (4) I Want To Hold Your Hand (5) Please Please Me.
April 4, 1964 - The Beatles hold 14 slots on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
July 6, 1964 - "A Hard Day's Night" premieres in London.
July 10, 1964 - The album "A Hard Day's Night" is released in the United Kingdom. It shortly reaches number one on the charts. In August the album is released in the United States where it also reaches number one.
August 11, 1964 - "A Hard Day's Night" opens in America.
August 19, 1964 - The Beatles begin a USA/Canada tour with a concert at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California.
December 4, 1964 - The album "Beatles For Sale" is released in the U.K. and as with previous releases it hits number one.
February 23, 1965 - Shooting begins on the Beatles' second film, "Help!"
June 12, 1965 - The Beatles are named Members of the British Empire by the Queen, and in October they are presented with medals at Buckingham Palace.
July 29, 1965 - The Beatles second movie, "Help" opens in London.
August 6, 1965 - The album, "Help" is released in the U.K. and reaches number one both in the U.K. and the United States.
August 15, 1965 - The Beatles perform at New York's Shea Stadium. The concert grosses $304,000 U.S. dollars. The Beatles' share was $160,000.
December 3, 1965 - The album, "Rubber Soul" is released in the U.K. and reaches number one both in the U.K. and the United States.
August 5, 1966 - The album, "Revolver" is released in the U.K. and reaches number one both in the U.K. and the United States.
August 29, 1966 - The Beatles perform their last live concert, in San Francisco, California.
1967 - 70
June 1, 1967 - The album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is released in the U.K. and reaches number one both in the U.K. and the United States. It also receives four Grammy Awards including Best Album.
June 25, 1967 - The Beatles perform "All You Need is Love" in "Our World," a two-hour satellite television program transmitted live by satellite to five continents and 24 countries.
August 27, 1967 - Brian Epstein dies. The Beatles are told of his death while they are visiting Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Bangor, Wales.
November 27, 1967 - The album, "Magical Mystery Tour" is released in the U.S. and hits number one. It is released in the U.K. eleven days later missing three of the songs found on the U.S. release.
December 26, 1967 - "Magical Mystery Tour," an hour-long television special airs in the U.K.
February 1968 - The Beatles spent a few weeks in Rishikesh, India, to attend a seminar hosted by Maharishi.
May 14, 1968 - John and Paul appear on "The Tonight Show" to announce that their new company, Apple.
July 17, 1968 - "Yellow Submarine" premieres in London. It opens in America several months later.
November 22, 1968 - The album, "The Beatles" (better known as the White Album) is released and reaches number one both in the U.K. and the United States.
January 13, 1969 - The soundtrack album, "Yellow Submarine" is released in the U.S. and reaches number two both in the U.K. and the United States. Number one is still held by the White Album.
January 30, 1969 - The Beatles perform together for the last time live on the roof of Apple's London office. The performance can be seen in the movie documentary "Let It Be."
September, 1969 - John decides to leave the Beatles, but he does not announce it publicly because of current contract negotiations with EMI.
September 26, 1969 - The Beatles last album, "Abbey Road" is released in the U.K. and reaches number one both in the U.K. and the United States.
April 10, 1970 - Paul announces that he has left the Beatles.
May 8, 1970 - The Beatles last album, "Let It Be" which unknown to many was recorded before "Abbey Road"
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