Saturday, June 12, 2010

Paul McCartney on "Tomorrow Never Knows"

"It was quite unusual and funny from the beginning with 'Tomorrow Never Knows.' John had this idea with the lyrics because he had just read The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and he was duly impressed, dead impressed with it. He decided he'd write a song inspired by it, but there was a problem. We only had one verse to work with. We worked very hard to stretch it to two verses. We racked our brains, but couldn't come up with any more words because we felt it already said everything we wanted to say in the two verses. So we had to make it longer somehow and make it different, as well. I had an idea to use something I had been experimenting with at home on my tape player where I would pull a piece of tape over the record head and saturate the tape with all kinds of sounds. I was listening to Stockhausen, the experimental modern composer, at the time, and these saturated loops were inspired by his work. So I brought some of these recordings into the studio. We made loops of them and we tried mixing them into the song, and it turned out great. It was vaguely my idea to create that weird stuff in the song."

Friday, June 11, 2010

John Lennon on Recording "Across the Universe" and "Fame" with David Bowie

"Bowie was around, and he was doing 'Across the Universe.' That was an old song of mine. I gave it away because we had made a lousy version of it, and then Spector made an improved lousy version of it and it ended up on the Let It Be LP, which none of us would have anything to do with . . . Bowie said, 'Come down.' I had sort of met him once in LA and met him again here. He's fiddling around, he writes them in the studio. He goes in with about four words and a few guys and starts laying down all this stuff and he has virtually nothing. He's making it up in the studio. The guitarist, or he, had this sort of a lick, and we made a song out of it called 'Fame.' So I just contributed whatever I contributed, which is like backwards piano and 'Ooh,' and a couple of things, a repeat of 'Fame' and then we needed a middle eight. So we took some of Stevie Wonder's middle eight and did it backwards. It's an interesting track."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

John Lennon on Recording with Paul McCartney During Sessions for 'Venus and Mars'

"I was supposed to be going down to join Paul in New Orleans. But my personal life sort of interfered with that. I was just too busy being happy. I reconciled with Yoko . . . we're happier than ever before. It's like the old, old story, when you get someone back that you've lost, it is better than ever. We were so wrapped up in each other that I just never made it to New Orleans, sorry Paul . . . This is no disrespect to anybody else I was having relationships with, but I felt like I was running around with me head off and now I got me head back on. Yoko and I were always in touch, either on the phone or in one way or another. I just sort of came home is what happened. It's like I went out to get a coffee or a newspaper somewhere and it took a year, like Sinbad. I went on a boat and went around the world and had a mad trip, which I'm glad is over. Yoko and I have known each other for nine years, which is a long friendship on any level. We knew we were getting back together and it was just a matter of when. We knew, everybody else might not have, but we did . . . We had a mutual separation and a mutual getting back together. She ain't no chick that you'd say, 'Okay, I'll see you Friday or I'm coming back Monday.' You're dealing with a fully aware human being. There's no dealing with her like you'd treat a chick, you know."

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Paul McCartney on Blackboard Jungle and "Rock Around the Clock"

"I remember watching telly one day and on comes the movie Blackboard Jungle, which is where Bill Haley performs the song 'Rock Around the Clock.' And I remember it very clearly because it was the first piece of music that ever sent a tingle up my spine."

Beatles Covers: Elvis Presley - Lady Madonna

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Monday, June 07, 2010

Paul McCartney on "Golden Slumbers"

"I was at my father's house in Cheshire messing about on the piano and I came across the traditional tune 'Golden Slumbers' in a song book of Ruth's. And I thought it would be nice to write my own 'Golden Slumbers.'"

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Listen To: Paul McCartney - "The Mess"

As good evidence as any that McCartney lacked an ear when it came to his own early solo material. Only this could explain why "The Mess" was left off Wings' albums and relegated to a B-side (and there only as a live track) when so many other lesser songs made it onto Red Rose Speedway. Though it had the markings of a single, to this day the song remains officially released only as a live bonus track on the CD version of the aforementioned album. Here is the studio version that never saw the (official) light of day: