Thursday, March 09, 2006


AUTHORSHIP Lennon (.75), Yoko Ono (.20), and Kahlil Gibran (.05)
LENNON: "Me [I wrote it]. Yoko helped me with this one." Hit Parader (April 1972)

LENNON: "Julia was my mother. But it was sort of a combination of Yoko and my mother blended into one. That was written in India.
"I lost her twice. Once as a five-year-old when I was moved in with my auntie. And once again at seventeen when she actually physically died ... That was a really hard time for me. It just absolutely made me very, very bitter. The underlying chip on my shoulder that I had as a youth got really big then. Being a teenager and a rock 'n' roller and an art student and my mother being killed just when I was reestablishing a relationship with her." September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

The line "oceanchild, calls me" refers to Yoko's letters to John in India. Coleman In Japanese, Yoko means "ocean child."
The line "Julia, seashell eyes" was taken from poet Kahlil Gibran's "Sand And Foam." Beatles Forever

McCARTNEY: "It's very sad because he really did dote on his mum. Julia was the light of John's life, he idolised her: 'Julia' was his mother's song. She was a beautiful woman with long red hair. She was fun-loving and musical too; she taught him banjo chords, and any woman in those days who played a banjo was a special, artistic person. It was bohemian to do that. John and I were both in love with his mum. It just knocked him for six when she died. I always thought it was bad enough my mother dying and what I had to go through, but that was an illness so there was some way you could understand it, but in John's case, the horror of reliving that accident ... Oh, my God! That always stayed with me." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

DONOVAN: "Some afternoons we would gather at one of our pads and play the acoustic guitars we had all brought with us. Paul Horn, the American flute wizard, was there. John was keen to learn the finger-style I played and he was a good student. Paul already had a smattering of finger style. George preferred his Chet Atkins style. John wrote 'Julia' and 'Dear Prudence' based on the picking I taught him." Many Years

McCARTNEY: "The interesting thing for me on 'Julia' is the finger-picking style. He learned to finger-pick off Donovan or Gypsy Dave, I think John said it was Gypsy Dave but the two of them were fairly inseparable and they both would have known it, and if they were both sitting down picking, then who is to know? It was a folk picking style, and he was the only one in the band who could ever do that properly. I made my own variation. Once you can do it, it's really very handy, it's a useful style. Actually I should learn it, never too late. That was John's song about his mum, folk finger-picking style, and a very good song." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

October 13, 1968, at Abbey Road, by Lennon

LENNON: acoustic guitar (double-tracked), lead vocal (occasionally double-tracked)
This was the only song Lennon recorded alone during his time with the Beatles. The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970

If You've Got Trouble

AUTHORSHIP McCartney (.7) and Lennon (.3)
McCARTNEY: "They had to be fairly simple, he didn't have a large vocal range but he could handle things with good con brio and spirito if they were nice and simple. It had to be something he could get behind. If he couldn't mentally picture it, you were in trouble. . . Certain other songs were 'Right, come on, two hours, song for Ringo for the album.'" Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I Want You (She's So Heavy)

AUTHORSHIP Lennon (1.00)
LENNON: "This is about Yoko. She's very heavy, and there was nothing else I could say about her other than I want you, she's so heavy. Someone said the lyrics weren't very good. But there was nothing more I wanted to say.
"I remember that simplicity on the new album was evident on the Beatles double album. It was evident in 'She's So Heavy', in fact a reviewer wrote of 'She's So Heavy': 'He seems to have lost his talent for lyrics, it's so simple and boring.' 'She's So Heavy' was about Yoko. When it gets down to it, like she said, when you're drowning you don't say 'I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me', you just scream. And in 'She's So Heavy', I just sang 'I want you, I want you so bad, she's so heavy, I want you', like that. I started simplifying my lyrics then, on the double album." Beatles in Their Own Words

Rehearsed with the tapes running January 29, 1969, at Apple Studios. Recorded February 22, at Trident, as the first Abbey Road song seriously committed to tape. Overdubbing was added April 18 and 20 and August 8 and 11, at Abbey Road. It was the final song to be mixed for the album, on August 20, the last time all four Beatles were in the studio together.

Guitars were overdubbed during the April 18 session.

JEFF JARRATT, engineer: "John and George went into the far left-hand corner of number two [studio] to overdub those guitars. They wanted a massive sound so they kept tracking and tracking, over and over." The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970

McCARTNEY: bass, harmony vocal
LENNON: lead guitar, organ, lead vocal
HARRISON: rhythm guitar, synthesizer, white-noise maker (at end)
STARR: drums

HARRISON: ". . . It is very heavy. John plays lead guitar and sings, and it's just basically an old blues riff he's doing, but again, it's a very original John-type song as well. . . . It's a very good chord sequence he used on this particular one." Late 1969, The Beatles: A Celebration

LENNON: "On 24 Hours [a BBC-TV progam] they just sardonically read the 'I Want You' lyrics: 'I want you. She's so heavy.' That's all it says, but to me that's a damn sight better than 'Walrus' or 'Eleanor Rigby' lyric-wise because it's a progression to me. If I want to write songs with no words or one word, then maybe that's Yoko's influence. . . ." Beatles in Their Own Words

I Want To Tell You

AUTHORSHIP Harrison (1.00)

June 2, 1966, at Abbey Road, with bass overdubbed June 3. This was the first bass overdub on a Beatles recording. They later become common because recording the bass on a separate track allowed greater flexibility in tailoring the sound during the mixing process. The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970

McCARTNEY: bass, piano, harmony vocal
LENNON: tambourine, harmony vocal
HARRISON: lead guitar, lead vocal (double-tracked)
STARR: drums

HARRISON: "[This song] is about the avalanche of thoughts that are so hard to write down or say or transmit." I Me Mine

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I Want To Hold Your Hand

UNITED KINGDOM: Released as a single November 29, 1963, the Beatles' fifth single entered the chart at No. 1 a week later and stayed there for six weeks. By January 17, it had sold 1.5 million copies in the United Kingdom alone. The Long and Winding Road: An Intimate Guide to the Beatles

UNITED STATES: Released as a single January 13, 1964 (rush-released December 26), it was the group's first U.S. Top 40 hit. Entering the Top 40 January 25, it held the No. 1 position for seven weeks and remained in the Top 40 for fourteen weeks. The single sold better in its first ten days than any previous British single released in the United States. The Long and Winding Road: An Intimate Guide to the Beatles and Billboard and The Complete Beatles Chronicle

Capitol Records had refused to release the first several Beatles singles in the United States. In his attempt to convince them this time, Brian Epstein told Capitol that "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was produced specifically with the "American sound" in mind. Capitol finally agreed to release it. Its surprisingly huge success prompted Capitol to spend the unprecendented amount of $50,000 on an advertising blitz to break the group in the United States. The Love You Make : An Insider's Story of the Beatles

The Beatles celebrated their first No. 1 hit record on the U.S. Cashbox chart January 16, 1964, at the George V Hotel in Paris, where they were staying. The group had a celebration dinner with Brian Epstein, George Martin, and others. The Beatles were in Paris for their French debut at the Paris Olympia and to make a recording at EMI's Paris studio. The Complete Beatles Chronicle

GEORGE MARTIN: "This was the first single that had advance orders of over a million. It entered the charts when 'She Loves You' was No. 1 and deposed it (on Saturday December 14). This, of course, led to the American release, which was where the big stuff began." The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

McCARTNEY: "We were in Paris when a telegram came through from Capitol Records saying that 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' had gone number one in America. We just jumped on each other's backs and screamed the whole place down. The cheekiest thing The Beatles ever did was say to our manager that we didn't want to go to America until we were number one. Cliff Richard, Tommy Steele, you know, the big British stars, would go to America and be third or fourth on the bill to Frankie Avalon, and then they'd come back and we'd read in interviews that, although they had a wonderful time over there, they never became big hits. We thought, 'Surely the Americans were going to buy their records,' but what they proved in the end was that they were little European acts who got a bit too out of their depths." The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

DEREK TAYLOR: "When the telegram came through, 'Cashbox Number 1 - It's happened', it really took a lot of reading. The Beatles were just hopping around with delight." The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

DEZO HOFFMANN: "The Beatles couldn't speak. Not even John Lennon! They just sat on the floor like kittens at Brian's feet. Brian was even photographed with a chamber pot on his head." The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

DEREK TAYLOR: "They were going to America anyway, as they had been booked on The Ed Sullivan Show for three shows at a really good rate. He had got their fares paid as well as their hotels." The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

LENNON: "In America, it just seemed ridiculous the idea of having a hit record over there. It was something that you could never do. That's what I thought. But then, I realised that it's just the same as in England, that kids everywhere go for all the same stuff, and seeing that we had done it in England and all, there's no reason why we couldn't do it in America." The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

AUTHORSHIP Lennon (.5) and McCartney (.5)
LENNON: "We wrote a lot 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." September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

McCARTNEY: " 'Eye 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. It was our big number one; the one that would eventually break us in America." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

McCARTNEY: "The little music room with all the music stands became my base. So instead of John coming to Forthlin ROad, that music room was now my equivalent because it was the most get-away-from-it room. We always tried to find a place to get away from it all, plus it had a piano." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

October 17, 1963, at Abbey Road
This was the first Beatles recording for which four-track recording equipment was used. The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970

McCARTNEY: bass, lead vocal
LENNON: rhythm guitar, lead vocal
HARRISON: lead guitar
STARR: drums

This song was part of the Beatles' repertoire for concerts in 1963 and 1964.
EMI in Germany insisted that the Beatles record German versions of their songs for sales there. The German rendition of this song, "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand," was recorded January 29, 1964, at the Pathe Marconi studio in Paris.

This song was of special and lasting interest to Lennon; the melody stayed with him. Even seven years after he and Paul had written the tune, Lennon entertained the possibility of recording it again. December 1970, Lennon Remembers: The Full Rolling Stone Interviews from 1970

Poet Allen Ginsberg had a revelation of sorts when he first heard "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in a New York City nightclub. He was so carried away by the Beatles' music and its revolutionary style that he got up and danced - Ginsberg had never before danced in public. RS (February 16, 1984)

On August 24, 1964, less than an hour after going on stage at the Forest Hils Tennis Stadium, the Beatles arrived back at the Delmonico hotel. Bob Dylan was driven down from Woodstock by his roadie, picking up Al Aronowitz on the way. In the hotel lobby, police barred their way until Mal Evans came down and the three were quickly ushered into the main louge. Dylan was offered some purple hearts, the little blue Drinamyl pills which kept virtually every British rock group going through the sixties when their bodies told them they should be sleeping. Dylan declined and suggested they smoke some grass instead. Brian Epstein explained with some embarrassment that they had never smoked pot before.
"But what about your song, the one about getting high?" asked Dylan. "'And when I touch you, I get high, I get high . . .'"
The Liverpool accent had rendered the words of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" unintelligible to Dylan. "It goes, 'I can't hide, I can't hide . . .'" explained John.

LENNON: "When we met Dylan, he told me he thought we were singing, 'I get high, I get high,' instead of 'I can't hide, I can't hide.' The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

Singer Teddy Pendergrass was a junior high school student when "I Want to Hold Your Hand" brought the Beatles into the black community. As a musician, Pendergrass looked beyond the group's media trademarks - the hair and style of dress - and heard the originality in their music. He credits the Beatles with inspiring his own musical development and independent growth as a performer. RS (February 16, 1984)

MURRAY THE K: "My Christmas show came along. I did it and then decided to go to Florida for my vacation. While I was in Florida, from nothing at all to suddenly every time you put on the radio, every other record was 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'. I remember saying, 'Gee, that's The Beatles, only on this record they sound like an English version of The Everly Brothers.' It was that kind of sound. While I was in Florida I received an urgent call from my station manager in New York at WINS telling me that 'The Beatles are coming!' 'Fine,' I said. 'Get an exterminator.' He said, 'You don't understand, man. All the television and newspaper people will be there covering their arrival and we're going to be the only radio station who will be covering it live. So we want you back here.' 'Oh, forget it,' I replied. 'They don't know me, and anyway, I'm in the middle of this vacation that I really need.' But unfortunately he put the pressure on me to return, and I flew back to New York." The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

I Wanna Be Your Man

AUTHORSHIP McCartney (.7) and Lennon (.3)
LENNON: "Both of us [wrote this] but mainly Paul. . . . I helped him finish it." Hit Parader (April 1972)

McCARTNEY: "We wrote 'I Wanna Be Your Man' for Ringo because we wanted him to have a song on the album. On the Please Please Me album he did a thing called 'Boys', which was very funny because it was a girl group, the Shirelles, that did it; we didn't write it. We didn't use to think what these things meant, we were in love with the sound, the music. We often used to say to people, the words don't really matter, people don't listen to words, it's the sound they listen to. So 'I Wanna Be Your Man' was to try and give Ringo something like 'Boys'; an uptempo song he could sing from the drums. So again it had to be very simple. 'I wanna be your ma-an' - that little bit is nicked from 'Fortune Teller', a Benny Spellman song [which coincidentally was on the B side of the single that the Stones had just withdrawn from sale]. We were quite open about our nicks. 'That's from the Marvelettes, that's from the Shirelles . . .' We admired these people so much, we stole quite openly, like two notes, and we were proud of it. Our friends could tell where they came from. Ringo did a real nice version of it. It became quite popular for him." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

The Rolling Stones recorded their version of "I Wanna Be Your Man" in October of 1963, it became their second official single and their first top-ten record, reaching number nine in the British charts. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

At Studio 51 on September 10, 1963, while The Rolling Stones are rehearsing, John and Paul give the group 'I Wanna Be Your Man'. The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

McCARTNEY: "We were in Charing Cross Road, where we often used to go to window-shop at the guitar shops and daydream. It was a great hobby of ours when we first came down to London. Dick James, our song publisher, was on Charing Cross Road. We'd go to his office and window-shop on the way. Coming out of his office one day, John and I were walking along Charing Cross Road when passing in a taxi were Mick and Keith. We were each other's counterparts in many ways because they became the writers in the group and were the twosome, the couple, as it were. So they shouted from the taxi and we yelled, 'Hey, hey, give us a lift, give us a lift,' and we bummed a lift off them. So there were the four of us sitting in a taxi and I think Mick said, 'Hey, we're recording. Got any songs?' And we said, 'Aaaah, yes, sure, we got one. How about Ringo's song? You could do it as a single.' And they went for it and Bo Diddleyed it up a bit. I remember it as a song we had, and in that case it would be a finished song." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

LENNON: "We virtually finished off 'I Wanna Be Your Man' in front of them, because they needed a record. They had put out 'Come On' by Chuck Berry and they needed a quick follow-up. So we went down and we met Andrew Oldham, who used to work for us, or used to work for Epstein, and he then went to The Stones and probably got them off Georgio Gomelsky. He came to us and said, 'Have you got a song for them?' So we said, 'Sure,' because we didn't really want it ourselves. We went in and I remember teaching it to them." (November 1974) The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

LENNON: " 'I Wanna Be Your Man' was a kind of lick Paul had. . . . It was a throwaway. The only two versions of the song were Ringo and the Rolling Stones. That shows how much importance we put on it: We weren't going to give them anything great, right?" September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

KEITH RICHARD: "John and Paul came down to the rehearsal and laid the song on us. We hadn't heard their version. We just heard John and Paul on a piano banging it out. We picked it up, and it was just one of those jams. They got enthusiastic, we got enthusiastic and said, 'Right. We'll cut it tomorrow,' and that was it." The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

Wednesday 11 September 1963
Studio Two, EMI Studios, London take of 'I Wanna Be Your Man', Ringo's vocal vehicle on the album (the previous day, John and Paul had also given it to the Rolling Stones; they taped their version on 7 October, released it on 1 November and it was their first Top 20 hit within a month).

September 11 and 12 and October 3 and 23, 1963, at Abbey Road

McCARTNEY: bass, harmony vocal
LENNON: rhythm guitar, Hammond organ, harmony vocal
HARRISON: lead guitar
STARR: drums, maracas, lead vocal

This was the only song released by both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. It was answered by Bob Dylan with his "I Wanna Be Your Lover," unreleased until his Biograph album (1985).
This song was part of the Beatles' repertoire for concerts from 1963 through 1966 as Ringo's showpiece. The Complete Beatles Chronicle

Monday, March 06, 2006

It Won't Be Long

AUTHORSHIP Lennon (.6) and McCartney (.4)
McCARTNEY: "I was doing literature at school, so I was interested in plays on words and onomatopoeia. John didn't do literature but he was quite well read, so he was interested in that kind of thing. Like the double meaning of 'please' in a line like 'Please, lend a little ear to my pleas' that we used in 'Please Please Me'. We'd spot the double meaning. I think everyone did, by the way, it was not just genius of us! In 'It won't be long till I belong to you' it was that same trip. We both liked to try and get a bit of double meaning in, so that was the high spot of writing that particular song. John mainly sang it so I expect that it was his original idea but we both sat down and wrote it together. When I say 'original idea' I mean someone might have the first verse, which then is pretty much the maquette for the whole thing, but the second verse is always difficult because you've got to repeat the first verse but go somewhere new. And your inspiration's gone by that point, so you've got to dig deep to push a new inspiration out to make the second verse as good as the first verse. You don't want to just be rambling. We would often repeat the first verse. The last verse was no problem - 'Two hours is up! C'mon, just put "Repeat I".' That's how a lot of our songs end, 'Repeat I'. We'd number the verses, one, two, so we'd write a couple of verses, middle, the chorus, then pretty much repeat verse one. Which was godo if it was hooky, it meant that you've heard those lyrics twice, so we'd rammed 'em home, and it saved us having to think of a third verse." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

LENNON: "Another early one. When I was in therapy in California they made me go through every lyric of every song I'd ever written. I couldn't believe I'd written so many songs." Beatles in Their Own Words

July 30, 1963, at Abbey Road

McCARTNEY: bass, backing vocal
LENNON: rhythm guitar, lead vocal (double-tracked)
HARRISON: lead guitar, backing vocal
STARR: drums

Lennon, and his interviewers, would often confuse this song with the one that supposedly had an "Aeolian cadence" - "Not a Second Time."

"It Won't Be Long" was the first song Neil Young performed for an audience. The high school cafeteria concert also included "Money (That's What I Want)," another song featured on With the Beatles. RS (August 14, 1975)

I Will

AUTHORSHIP McCartney (1.00)
McCARTNEY: "I was doing a song, 'I Will', that I had as a melody for quite a long time but I didn't have lyrics to it. I remember sitting around with Donovan, and maybe a couple of other people. We were just sitting around one evening after our day of meditation and I played him this one and he liked it and we were trying to write some words. We kicked around a few lyrics, something about the moon, but they weren't very satisfactory and I thought the melody was better than the words so I didn't use them. I kept searching for better words and I wrote my own set in the end; very simple words, straight love-song words really. I think they're quite effective. It's still one of my favourite melodies that I've written. You just occasionally get lucky with a melody and it becomes rather complete and I think this is one of them; quite a complete tune." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

DONOVAN: "I don't think I helped with the lyrics. He is very productive and will always take over the writing in a jam. From listening to the lyrics now, I can hear that Paul no doubt threw together the words for this tune when he got to the studio after India. I may have helped with the shape of the chords and encouraged the imagery from tunes I wrote then in India. The descending movements of my songs may have encouraged Paul to write differently." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

September 16, 1968, at Abbey Road. Sixty-seven takes were recorded, not all complete versions. The sixty-fifth was considered best, and more instruments and vocals were overdubbed on it September 17.

McCARTNEY: bass, acoustic guitar, lead vocal (occasionally double-tracked)
LENNON: maracas
STARR: drums, bongos

I'm So Tired

AUTHORSHIP Lennon (1.00)
LENNON: " 'I'm So Tired' was me, in India again. I couldn't sleep. I'm meditating all day and couldn't sleep at night." September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

McCARTNEY: "'So Tired' is very much John's comment to the world, and it has that very special line, 'And curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid git.' That's a classic line and it's so John that there's no doubt that he wrote it. I think it's 100 per cent John. Being tired was one of his themes, he wrote 'I'm Only Sleeping'. I think we were all pretty tired but he chose to write about it." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

October 8, 1968, at Abbey Road

McCARTNEY: bass, harmony vocal
LENNON: acoustic and lead guitars, organ, lead vocal
HARRISON: lead and rhythm guitars
STARR: drums

"PAUL IS DEAD" Hysteria: Between the end of "I'm So Tired" and the beginning of "Blackbird," Lennon utters "Monsieur, monsieur, how about another one?." If played backward, it sounds like: "Paul is dead, man, miss him, miss him."

LENNON: "One of my favourite tracks. I just like the sound of it, and I sing it well." September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Sunday, March 05, 2006

In Spite Of All The Danger

AUTHORSHIP McCartney (.7) and Harrison (.3)
McCARTNEY: " 'In Spite Of All The Danger', which I'd written more fully so John didn't have much of a look-in there." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

I Saw Her Standing There

UNITED STATES: Released as a single January 13, 1964 (the B side of "I Want to Hold Your Hand"), this song entered the Top 40 in January 1964, hitting No. 14 during its eight-week stay. The Long and Winding Road: An Intimate Guide to the Beatles and Billboard

AUTHORSHIP McCartney (.8) and Lennon (.2)
McCARTNEY: "Sometimes we would just start a song from scratch, but one of us would nearly always have a germ of an idea, a title or a rough little thing they were thinking about and we'd do it. 'I Saw Her Standing There' was my original, I'd started it and I had the first verse, which therefore gave me the tune, the tempo and the key. It gave you the subject matter, a lot of information, and then you had to fill in. I had, 'She was just seventeen, she'd never been a beauty queen.' So we went, 'Ugh, this is one of these.' And by then we'd written a couple in the little book and we'd started to realise that we had to stop at these bad lines or we were only going to write bad songs. So we stopped there and both of us cringed at that and said, 'No, no, no. Beauty queen is out! There's got to be another rhyme for seventeen.': so we went through the alphabet: between, clean, lean, mean; 'She wasn't mean; you know what I mean; great! Put that in.' And then the significance of it built as we sang it, 'She's just seventeen, you know what I mean?' and people picked up on the implied significance later. It was a good way out of that problem. So it was co-written, my idea, and we finished it that day." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

McCARTNEY: "With John and me on a song, if I come up with some lines which I know aren't really very good and I'm just hopking to fool him, I know I won't. 'I Saw Her Standing There' was the best example of it. I thought of the idea driving home from a concert in Southport. I had 'She was just seventeen,' and then, 'Beauty queen'. I knew this was rubbish, and that I'd put it down just because it rhymed. When I showed it to John, he screamed with laughter, and said, 'You're joking about that line, aren't you?' And I realised that, in fact, I was, and we changed it." The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews

Paul's brother Michael includes a photograph in his book Remember which captures the moment of composition: Paul and John are seen strumming guitars in the front room of Forthlin Road hunched over the working manuscript of 'I Saw Her Standing There' in a Liverpool Institute exercise book on the floor in front of them.
Paul later told Beat Instrumental that he stole the bass line from Chuck Berry's 'I'm Talking About You' (1961):
McCARTNEY: "I played exactly the same notes as he did and it fitted our number perfectly. Even now, when I tell people about it, I find few of them believe me. Therefore I maintain that a bass riff doesn't have to be original." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

LENNON: "That's Paul doing his usual good job of producing what George Martin used to call a 'potboiler.' I helped with a couple of the lyrics." September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

February 11, 1963, at Abbey Road.

McCARTNEY: bass, lead vocal, handclaps
LENNON: rhythm guitar, harmony vocal, handclaps
HARRISON: lead guitar, handclaps
STARR: drums, handclaps

This song was part of the Beatles' repertoire for concerts from 1962 to 1964, usually used as the opening song to a concert. The Complete Beatles Chronicle

On November 28, 1974, Lennon joined Elton John on the Madison Square Garden stage and performed the song. Elton John released the recorded performance in the United States on March 1, 1975, as the B side of "Philadelphia Freedom" A-Z and Road It was the A side of a single in the United Kingdom.
McCartney performed this song at the Prince's Trust Concert (1986) with several rock luminaries.