Saturday, April 03, 2010

"From Me to You"

"From Me to You" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released by The Beatles as a single in 1963. The single was the Beatles' first number one in some of the United Kingdom charts, second in others, but failed to make an impact in the United States at the time of its initial release. It was one of the very last songs to be credited "McCartney/Lennon; soon afterward their songs began appearing credited to "Lennon/McCartney."


Lennon and McCartney began writing "From Me to You" while on a coach heading to Shrewsbury as part of the Beatles' tour with Helen Shapiro. They had been reading the New Musical Express and noticed the letters section of the magazine: From You to Us. McCartney noted that their early songs tended to include the words I, me, or you in them, as a way of making them "very direct and personal."

In his 1980 interview with Playboy, Lennon recalled writing the song: "We were writing it in a car I think, and I think the first line was mine. I mean I know it was mine. [Hums melody of first line.] And then after that we took it from there. It was far bluesier than that when we wrote it. The notes—today you could rearrange it pretty funky."

McCartney also talked about rearranging the song in 1964: "'From Me to You' — it could be done as an old ragtime tune—especially the middle eight—and so we're not writing the tunes in any particular idiom. In five years time we may arrange the tunes differently. But we'll probably write the same old rubbish!"

McCartney was not the only one on the bus who called it rubbish—singer Kenny Lynch, upon hearing The Beatles singing "ooh," remarked "You can't do that. You'll sound like a bunch of fucking fairies!" Soon afterward he stormed off, declaring the Beatles didn't know anything about songwriting. Roger Greenway recounted the story: "John and Paul were sitting at the back of the coach and Kenny Lynch, who at this time fancied himself as a songwriter, sauntered up to the back of the coach and Kenny Lynch ... decided he would help them write a song. After a period of about half-an-hour had elapsed and nothing seemed to be coming from the back, Kenny rushed to the front and shouted, 'Well, that's it. I am not going to write any more of that bloody rubbish with those idiots. They don't know music from their backsides. That's it! No more help from me!'"

Regardless, the song was regarded by the Beatles as innovative and catchy enough to be released as a single. This was one Lennon/McCartney song that the duo truly co-wrote; McCartney described it as "very much co-written."

Melody and lyrics

"From Me to You" comprises five verses and two bridges. The form is Intro, V V B, V V B, V, Coda. The first half of the fourth verse is instrumental.The last half of each verse is a mini-refrain, while the lyrics of the bridges are identical. The verses each consist of a rather short eight measures played in C-major. In the bridge the song modulates to the subdominant (IV) key: F-major. The tonic-subdominant modulation is almost a cliché, but Lennon & McCartney avoids the cliché by going another route from I to IV than the standard I-I7-IV. At the bridge's climax, the chord changes are accompanied by "woo!" Another characterizing element in the bridge is the augmented chord - a Gaug - that ends the bridge and leads back to home key (C-major). Lennon plays prominent harmonica solos during the beginning, middle and end of the song, as he did with "Love Me Do."

McCartney said of the song: "The thing I liked about 'From Me to You' was it had a very complete middle. It went to a surprising place. The opening chord of the middle section of that song heralded a new batch for me. That was a pivotal song. Our songwriting lifted a little with that song."

The idea of singing the song's opening lick—the "da da da da da dum dum da" part—was suggested by George Martin, the Beatles' producer. The group thought it unusual but put their trust in Martin. "In a way, this made [the Beatles] aware of George's enormous musical sense," EMI producer Ron Richards later said.

In the song, the singer offers his love to the object of his affections—he has "everything that you want." Although the song is based on first-person pronouns, it lacks a lead singer.

Recording and U.K. release

The recording on 5 March 1963 at Abbey Road Studios went without a hitch and on 11 April Parlophone Records released "From Me to You" in Britain as a single, with "Thank You Girl" on the B-side. Nine days later, it kicked off a twenty-one week run in the British charts, culminating with reaching number one on 4 May, a position it would retain for seven weeks.

"From Me to You" was the first Beatles song to reach number one in Britain and is widely considered to be their first chart-topping song, for although "Please Please Me" reached the summit on almost every chart, it was only number two on Record Retailer's chart, generally considered to be the most authoritative for the time. "From Me to You" would be the first of eleven consecutive British number one singles by the Beatles.

"From Me to You" replaced Gerry & The Pacemakers' "How Do You Do It", a song that had been offered to the Beatles (and even recorded by them, though it remained officially unreleased until 1995) but ultimately rejected by them in favour of "Love Me Do." Gerry & The Pacemakers, who also hailed from Liverpool, were very much rivals of the Beatles in their early days—Gerry & The Pacemakers attained the first number one ("How Do You Do It") before the Beatles, and also claimed their second and third number ones before the Beatles did, slowly losing steam afterwards as Beatlemania launched and the Beatles dominated music worldwide in 1964.

A true indication of how successful the Beatles became thanks to "From Me to You" (though it would soon be overshadowed by "She Loves You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand") was expressed by McCartney: "The first time I thought we'd really made it, was when I was lying in bed one morning, and I heard a milkman whistling 'From Me to You'. Actually, I'm sure that I once heard a bird whistling it as well. I swear I did!"

First U.S. release

When it released "Please Please Me" in the United States, Vee-Jay Records signed a licensing agreement giving it the right of first refusal on Beatles records for five years. Despite the failure of "Please Please Me" to catch on, Vee-Jay chose to release "From Me to You"; as a result, it was never turned down by Capitol, because it was never offered to them. "From Me to You" was released on Vee-Jay 522, with "Thank You Girl" on the B-side, approximately 6 May. Even though Cash Box magazine called it a "Pick of the Week" when it was released, it initially failed even more miserably than its predecessor; through the end of June, "From Me to You" sold fewer than 4,000 copies and had failed to chart anywhere.

When Del Shannon released a cover version of "From Me to You" on Big Top Records in June, Vee-Jay tried to stimulate more interest in the original, both by placing magazine ads and by sending out additional promotional copies of the 45 stamped with the words "The Original Hit." But the biggest boost to the Beatles' version came from Dick Biondi, who had played "Please Please Me" on WLS in Chicago. Biondi was fired by WLS in May and relocated to KRLA 1110 in Los Angeles in June. He was able to convince his new employer to add "From Me to You" to its playlist, and it entered KRLA's "Tune-Dex" on 14 July, spending six weeks on the chart and peaking at 32 on 11 August.

Because of the airplay, and resulting sales, in Los Angeles, "From Me to You" made the "Bubbling Under" portion of the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, peaking at #116 on 10 August, the same time the single peaked in Los Angeles. It was the first time the Beatles appeared on a national chart in the United States. The late attention in Los Angeles spurred sales of the 45; in the end, the original edition of "From Me to You" sold approximately 22,000 copies, roughly three times as many as "Please Please Me" had. Even so, it is still considered to be a rare record and highly sought-after by Beatles collectors.

Second U.S. release

Vee-Jay chose to couple "From Me to You" with "Please Please Me" when it re-released the single on or around 3 January 1964, shortly after film of the Beatles had appeared on The Jack Paar Program, a prime-time television show. Had Vee-Jay known how all-encompassing Beatlemania would become, it likely would have saved "From Me to You" for use as an A-side, the way it did with "Twist and Shout" and "Do You Want to Know a Secret". But even as a B-side, "From Me to You" entered the Billboard charts on 7 March and peaked at #41. The double-sided hit sold approximately 1.1 million copies in 1964.

Album availability

The song was not issued on any Beatle LP until 1966 when it was issued in the UK on A Collection of Beatles Oldies. In 1973, it became available on both sides of the Atlantic on the double LP 1962-1966. It became first available on CD in 1988 on the Past Masters, Volume One compilation. It is also available on the 1962-1966 double CD.

Del Shannon cover

On 18 April 1963, the Beatles were one of 15 acts to play at Swinging Sound '63, an all-star concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. They played "From Me to You" and "Twist and Shout." Del Shannon was also on the bill that night. After the concert, he told John Lennon that he was going to record "From Me to You" to give the group some exposure in America. At first, Lennon was flattered, but he quickly changed his mind, realizing that a cover version by Shannon might hurt the Beatles' chances of having a hit in the States. As it turned out, Lennon was temporarily right, but neither artist's version was a big hit in America.

In early June, Big Top Records released Shannon's version of "From Me to You" as the follow-up to "Two Kinds of Teardrops." It entered the Billboard Hot 100 on 29 June, becoming the first Lennon-McCartney composition to make the American charts. It spent four weeks on the chart and peaked at #77. It was even more successful in Chicago as it peaked at #15 on the WLS "Silver Dollar Survey."

"At that time no one had heard of the Beatles here (the U.S.), but I knew they were great writers so I just picked up on one of their songs," Shannon said later.

Later versions

A cover version of this song appeared on Bobby McFerrin´s album Spontaneous Inventions.

Several different cover versions of the song were used in Christmas-themed TV commercials for the Macy's chain of department stores in the U.S. in late 2006.

In November 2008 a slowed-down cover version using only piano and vocals became the first Beatles song to be used in a British advertising campaign when it was used to advertise John Lewis' Christmas marketing.


* John Lennon — lead vocal, rhythm guitar, harmonica
* Paul McCartney — lead vocal, bass guitar
* George Harrison — lead guitar
* Ringo Starr — drums

B-side: "Thank You Girl"
Released: 11 April 1963 (UK), 27 May 1963 (US)
Format: 7"
Recorded: 5 March 1963
Genre: Beat
Length: 1:56
Label: Parlophone R5015 (UK), Vee-Jay VJ 522 (US)
Writer(s): McCartney-Lennon
Producer: George Martin


Friday, April 02, 2010

John Lennon on "Good Morning Good Morning"

"I often sit at the piano, working at songs, with the telly on low in the background. If I'm a bit low and not getting much done, then the words on the telly come through. That's when I heard 'Good morning, good morning' . . . it was a Corn Flakes advertisement."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Beatles News

Mike McCartney

Mike McCartney (born Peter Michael McCartney, 7 January 1944, at Walton General Hospital, Liverpool), known professionally as Mike McGear, is a British performing artist and rock photographer and the younger brother of Paul McCartney. He attended the Liverpool Institute two years behind his brother.

Early years

Michael (b. 7 January 1944) and his brother Paul (b. 18 June 1942) were both born in the Walton General Hospital in Liverpool, where their mother, Mary McCartney, had previously worked as a nursing sister in charge of the maternity ward.

Michael was not enrolled in a Catholic school as his father, Jim McCartney, believed that they leaned too much towards religion instead of education.

At age 17, McCartney started his first job at 'Jackson's the Tailors' in Ranelagh Street, Liverpool. The year after he took an apprenticeship at 'Andrew Bernard', a hairdresser for ladies in the same street.

Musical career

At the time the Beatles became successful, Mike McCartney was still working as an apprentice hairdresser. However, he was also a member of the Liverpool comedy-poetry-music group The Scaffold, which included Roger McGough and John Gorman and had formed in 1962 (the year of The Beatles' first hit). McCartney decided to use a stage name, so as not to capitalize on his family connections to the Fab Four. After first dubbing himself "Mike Blank," he settled on "Mike McGear," using the Liverpudlian equivalent of "Fab." The band was subsequently signed to Parlophone, the same EMI label which recorded The Beatles.

The Scaffold recorded a number of UK hit singles between 1966 and 1974, the most successful being the 1968 Christmas number one single, "Lily the Pink". McCartney composed the band's next biggest hit, 1967's "Thank U Very Much". In 1968, he and McGough released a "duo" album (McGough & McGear) that included the usual Scaffold mix of lyrics, poems, and comedy.

The Scaffold ended up hosting a TV program, which limited the musical portion of their career, and they were dropped by Parlophone. McCartney then signed to Island Records and released a solo musical album entitled Woman in 1972,Woman Mike McGear.ogg sample (help·info) which again included many tracks co-written with McGough, and The Scaffold subsequently released their own album on the label, Fresh Liver.

The Scaffold then added several other members and released two albums on Island in 1973 as Grimms (an acronym for Gorman-Roberts-Innes-McGear-McGough-Stanshall). However, McCartney quit Grimms after the second album due to tension between himself and one of the poets added to the group.

McCartney then signed to Warner Bros. Records and in 1974 released his only "serious" musical album, McGear, in which he collaborated with his brother Paul and Paul's band Wings. Although four singles were released from these sessions, only "Leave It" enjoyed any moderate chart success (#36 UK). However, also recorded during McCartney's sessions with Wings was a Scaffold "reunion" song, "Liverpool Lou", which became The Scaffold's last top-ten hit and led to their re-formation in 1974 and their last recording sessions of new material.

In the 1980s, after retiring from music, Mike McCartney decided to end his use of the "McGear" pseudonym and revert to use of his family name.

Photographic career

McCartney was a photographer during his entire musical career, and has continued with photography since then. Beatles' manager Brian Epstein nicknamed him "Flash Harry" back in the early 1960s because he was always taking pictures with a flash gun.

He has published books of pictures that he took of The Beatles backstage and on tour, and he recently brought out a limited edition book of photos he took spontaneously backstage at Live8. In 2005, McCartney premiered and exhibited a collection of photographs that he had taken in the 1960s, called "Mike McCartney's Liverpool Life", both in Liverpool and other venues, such as The Provincial Museum of Alberta. In addition, an exhibition book was published of the collection.

He also took the cover photograph for Paul McCartney's 2005 solo album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard.

Personal life

McCartney married (in 1968) and later divorced Angela Fishwick. He later married Rowena Horne. McCartney has six children between his marriages, three from each, including Josh McCartney, who was the drummer in the band The Famous Last Words (formerly known as Trilby).

Solo discography


* McGough and McGear, EMI (1968)
* Woman, Island (1972)
* McGear, Warner Bros (1974)


* "Woman" / "Kill", Island WIP 6131 (4/1972)
* "Leave It" / "Sweet Baby", Warner Bros (1974) (#36 UK)
* "Sea Breezes" / "Giving Grease a Ride", Warner Bros (1975)
* "Dance the Do" / "Norton", Warner Bros (1975)
* "Simply Love You" / "What Do We Really Know", Warner Bros (1975)
* "Do Nothing All Day" / "A to Z", EMI (1976)
* "All The Whales In The Ocean" / "I Juz Want What You Got — Money!" (1980)
* "No Lar Di Dar" / "God Bless our Gracious Queen", Conn Records (1981) Wedding Song for Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

John Lennon on His Eighteen-Month "Lost Weekend"

"I was like a chicken without a head. I'd be waking up in strange places, or reading about myself in the paper, doing extraordinary things, half of which I'd done and half of which I hadn't done. And find myself in a sort of mad dream for a year. You can put it down to which night with which bottle, or which night in which town."
-June 1975

"It was a pretty hectic period, pretty wild and it sounds funny in retrospect but it was pretty miserable, yeah, a pretty bad period -- and I'm thankful that I'm out of it and I don't drink now because it scares me, you know even a glass of wine knocks me out now, so I'm happy about that, forget about the booze."
-December 6, 1980

"Good Day Sunshine"

"Good Day Sunshine" is a song by The Beatles on the 1966 album Revolver. It was written by Paul McCartney, though like all Beatles songs written by either of them, it is credited as Lennon/McCartney. Leonard Bernstein praised the song for its construction in a 1967 CBS News documentary.


McCartney and Ringo Starr are the only members of the band to appear on this track instrumentally. John Lennon and George Harrison add harmony vocals during the choruses. George Martin played the solo on the piano. The song was recorded at Abbey Road 8 June 1966, with overdubs added the following day.

Influences and cover version

McCartney said that he was influenced by The Lovin' Spoonful in writing this song, whose bouncy harmonies and upbeat lyrics recall the Spoonful's "good-time music."

Claudine Longet recorded a version in 1967 for her second A&M LP, The Look of Love and also released it as a single. The single peaked at #100 on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart and #36 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Chart.

Cultural references

* "Good Day Sunshine" was played as the wake-up music on the final day of the "Return to Flight" Discovery Space Shuttle mission in July 2005, as well as the wake-up music on day 4 of Shuttle Flight STS-121.

* The song is also played at Safeco Field, home of Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners when the retractable roof is retracted.


* Paul McCartney: vocals, bass, piano, hand claps
* Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine, cymbals, hand claps
* George Harrison: harmony vocals and hand claps
* John Lennon: harmony vocals and hand claps
* George Martin: piano

Album: Revolver
Released: 5 August 1966
Recorded: Abbey Road Studios, 8 June 1966
Genre: Pop rock
Length: 2:09
Label: Parlophone
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Producer: George Martin