Saturday, March 19, 2011

John Lennon Playing Bass on "Helter Skelter"

Friday, March 18, 2011

Birth of the Beatles

Birth of The Beatles is a 1979 biopic TV movie, produced by Dick Clark's company (Dick Clark Productions) and directed by Richard Marquand.

The film

The film focuses on the early history of 1960s rock band The Beatles. It originally appeared on the ABC television network. The soundtrack was recorded by the Beatles tribute band "Rain." The guitar and vocal parts for Lennon were performed by Eddie Lineberry, McCartney's parts by Chuck Coffey, Harrison's by Bill Connearney and Starr's by Steve Wight.

While the program was entertaining, and included most of the expected elements to a dramatization of the Beatles story, the movie suffers faults on many levels. Events are often telescoped to make the most of the time allotted, background details are assumed more often than investigated (and thus are frequently inaccurate), and the actors are plainly not experienced musicians, as shows whenever the Beatles and other bands appear onstage. (An "audition" scene introducing Pete Best's character, by sharp contrast, shows a drum flair the real Best never exhibited on any surviving recordings from the period.) Many of the familiar Beatle guitars (made by Rickenbacker, Hofner, and Gretsch, among others) are conspicuously absent.

Pete Best's help

Pete Best served as a technical adviser for the production. The film tends to reflect Best's personal account of certain events, and shows some evidence of bias. The movie implies that Best was terminated from the band because of resentment toward Best's popularity in Liverpool at the time. In one scene the band are referred to by John Lennon as "Peter Best and his sods" and makes no mention of dissatisfaction with his playing, which has been thoroughly documented, even during the band's early years. George Martin has repeatedly stated that he was not satisfied with the caliber of Best's drumming at the band's EMI audition, and wanted the drum parts played by a studio drummer for future recordings. Ringo Starr, already a longtime friend of the band, proved a better personal and musical match. (Incidentally, Martin also prohibited Starr from playing drums on an early recording session for 'Love Me Do' replacing him with session player Andy White).

However, it must be noticed that there are several accounts that confirm this version of the events, since it has been well documented that Best's popularity with fans was indeed a source of friction, as many female fans considered Best to be the band's best-looking member, and there was one particular event where, after a gig, Best was surrounded at the stage door afterward by attentive females while the other members were ignored after signing a few autographs. McCartney's father, Jim McCartney, was present at the time and admonished Best by saying: "Why did you have to attract all the attention? Why didn't you call the other lads back? I think that was very selfish of you."

The movie received modest ratings when it premiered on American television, and was repeated in December 1980, as a tribute to John Lennon in the weeks after his murder. It later repeated on CBS, on The CBS Late Movie during the 1980s.

A more recent (and less comprehensive, dealing mainly with Stuart Sutcliffe and the band's days in Hamburg, Germany) dramatization of the early Beatles years is the 1994 movie Backbeat.

European version

A European version exists, and is a different cut from the American version. The following changes were made to the European version:

1. Some of the dialogue and text in this version is different.
2. The opening narration is now done by a British narrator, with the opening text superimposed on a black screen as opposed to a blue screen.
3. The prologue, which includes John saying that he wants to see Mickey Mouse is omitted.
4. The opening theme song is "My Bonnie" instead of "She Loves You."
5. A scene in an art school with a naked woman is included.
6. The scenes where The Beatles perform at the Kaiserkeller are longer. They also include two additional song scenes: "Kansas City" and "Shake, Rattle and Roll" (the former has them trip on the stage floor, while the latter has them break it).
7. The scene where they find Stuart badly beaten has extra dialogue. It also fleshes out Stuart's refusal to see a doctor even more, unlike the regular versions where it abruptly cuts right after John says "Let's get him to a hospital," making the viewer think that Stuart went to a hospital after he got badly beaten, when it's clear that he didn't.
8. The scene where Stuart and Astrid have their moment in bed together is different. The other version has him showing her her new necklace, while this version, has the two of them making love to each other.
9. John's bedroom scene with Stuart has extra shots of the others in bed.
10. The scene where they first talk to Brian Epstein is a little bit longer.
11. The scene where Brian goes to find The Beatles performing "Love me Do" at a venue is longer.
12. The scene where Brian goes to tell the Beatles about George Martin and EMI, has him getting out of a taxi.
13. In the scene where Cynthia tell John about expecting a baby, John asks her "What are we gonna call him?"
14. The scene where the Beatles arrive at New York City is longer.
15. The end credits feature "She Loves You", instead of "My Bonnie."


* Stephen MacKenna .... John Lennon
* Rod Culbertson .... Paul McCartney
* John Altman .... George Harrison
* Ray Ashcroft .... Ringo Starr
* Ryan Michael .... Pete Best
* David Nicholas Wilkinson .... Stuart Sutcliffe
* Brian Jameson .... Brian Epstein
* Nigel Havers .... George Martin
* Wendy Morgan .... Cynthia Lennon


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

John Lennon & Elton John - Thanksgiving Concert (Madison Square Garden, New York City, 1974)

Super 8mm silent live film footage of the concert where John Lennon joined Elton John on stage to sing "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," and "I Saw Her Standing There."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"I Want to Hold Your Hand"

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" is a song by the Beatles. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded in October 1963, it was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment. McCartney and Lennon did not have any particular inspiration for the song. Instead, they had received specific instructions from manager Brian Epstein to write a song with the American market in mind.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" was the band's first number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, starting the British Invasion of the United States music charts. The song entered the chart on January 18 1964 at number 45 before it became the number one single for 7 weeks and went onto last a total of 15 weeks in the chart. It also held the top spot in the United Kingdom charts. A million copies of the single had already been ordered on its release. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" became The Beatles' best-selling single worldwide.

Background and composition

Brian Epstein was getting worried about The Beatles' lack of commercial success in America—their earlier singles had flopped there—and so he encouraged Lennon and McCartney to write a song that would appeal to American listeners. McCartney had recently moved into 57 Wimpole Street, London W1, where he was living as a guest of Dr. Richard and Margaret Asher. Their daughter, actress Jane Asher, had become McCartney’s steady girlfriend since first meeting earlier in the year. This location briefly became Lennon and McCartney’s new writing base, taking over from McCartney’s Forthlin Road home in Liverpool. Margaret Asher taught the oboe in a "small, rather stuffy music room" in the basement and it was here that Lennon and McCartney sat at the piano and composed 'I Want to Hold Your Hand.' In September 1980, Lennon told Playboy magazine:
“ 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 [E minor] 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. ”

In 1994, McCartney agreed with Lennon's description of the circumstances surrounding the composition of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" saying:
“ '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. It was our big number one; the one that would eventually break us in America. ”

In the studio

The Beatles started recording "I Want to Hold Your Hand" at Abbey Road Studios in Studio 2 on 17 October 1963.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" was one of two Beatles songs (along with "She Loves You") to be later recorded in German, entitled, "Komm, gib mir deine Hand". Odeon, the German arm of EMI (the parent company of The Beatles' record label, Parlophone Records) was convinced that The Beatles' records would not sell in Germany unless they were sung in German. The Beatles detested the idea, and when they were due to record the German version on 27 January 1964 at EMI's Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris (where The Beatles were performing 18 days of concerts at the Olympia Theatre) they chose to boycott the session. Their record producer, George Martin, having waited some hours for them to show up, was outraged, and insisted that they give it a try. Two days later, The Beatles recorded "Komm, gib mir deine Hand", one of the few times in their career that they recorded outside of London. However, Martin later conceded: "They were right, actually, it wasn’t necessary for them to record in German, but they weren’t graceless, they did a good job."

"Komm, gib mir deine Hand" appeared in full stereo on the US Capitol LP 'Something New' and currently on the new Capitol CD compilation called "The Capitol Albums Vol. I."

The track was a big hit in Germany, but today the English versions are much better known in Germany (The Beatles Red and Blue albums feature the English hits on the German pressings).

Launching the invasion

In the UK, "She Loves You" (released in August) had shot back to the number one position in November following blanket media coverage of The Beatles (described as Beatlemania). Mark Lewisohn later wrote: “'She Loves You' had already sold an industry-boggling three quarters of a million before these fresh converts were pushing it into seven figures. And at this very moment, just four weeks before Christmas, with everyone connected to the music and relevant retail industries already lying prone in paroxysms of unimaginable delight, EMI pulled the trigger and released 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'. And then it was bloody pandemonium."

On 29 November 1963, Parlophone Records released "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in the United Kingdom, with "This Boy" joining it on the single's B-side. Demand had been building for quite a while, as evidenced by the one million advance orders for the single. When it was finally released, the response was phenomenal. A week after it entered the British charts, on 14 December 1963, it knocked "She Loves You", another Beatles song, off the top spot, the first such instance of the same act taking over from itself at number one in British history, clinging to the top spot for five full weeks. It stayed in the charts for another fifteen weeks afterwards, and incredibly made a one-week return to the charts on 16 May 1964. Beatlemania was peaking at that time; during the same period, The Beatles set a record by occupying the top two positions on both the album and single charts in the United Kingdom.

EMI and Brian Epstein finally convinced American label Capitol Records, a subsidiary of EMI, that The Beatles could make an impact in the United States, leading to the release of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" with "I Saw Her Standing There" on the B-Side as a single on 26 December 1963. Capitol had previously resisted issuing Beatle recordings in the U.S. This resulted in the relatively modest Vee-Jay and Swan labels releasing the group's earlier Parlophone counterparts in the U.S. Seizing the opportunity, Epstein demanded US$40,000 from Capitol to promote the single (the most The Beatles had ever previously spent on an advertising campaign was US$5,000). The single had actually been intended for release in mid-January of 1964, coinciding with the planned appearance of The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. However, a 15-year old fan of The Beatles, Marsha Albert, was determined to get hold of the single earlier. Later she said:
“ It wasn't so much what I had seen, it's what I had heard. They had a scene where they played a clip of 'She Loves You' and I thought it was a great song ... I wrote that I thought The Beatles would be really popular here, and if [deejay Carroll James] could get one of their records, that would really be great. ”

James was the deejay for WWDC, a radio station in Washington, D.C. Eventually he decided to pursue Albert's suggestion to him and asked the station's promotion director to get British Overseas Airways Corporation to ship in a copy of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" from Britain. Albert related what happened next: "Carroll James called me up the day he got the record and said 'If you can get down here by 5 o'clock, we'll let you introduce it.'" Albert managed to get to the station in time, and introduced the record with: "Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time on the air in the United States, here are The Beatles singing 'I Want to Hold Your Hand.'"

The song proved to be a huge hit, a surprise for the station, as they catered mainly to a more staid audience, which would normally be expecting songs from singers such as Andy Williams or Bobby Vinton instead of rock and roll. James took to playing the song repeatedly on the station, often turning down the song in the middle to make the declaration, "This is a Carroll James exclusive," to avoid theft of the song by other stations.

Capitol threatened to seek a court order banning airplay of "I Want to Hold Your Hand", which was already being spread by James to a couple of deejays in Chicago and St. Louis. James and WWDC ignored the threat, and Capitol came to the conclusion that they could well take advantage of the publicity, releasing the single two weeks ahead of schedule on 26 December.

The demand was insatiable; in the first three days alone, a quarter million copies had already been sold (10,000 copies In New York City every hour). Capitol was so overloaded by the demand, it contracted part of the job of pressing copies off to Columbia Records and RCA. By January 18, the song had started its fifteen-week chart run, and on 1 February, The Beatles finally achieved their first number-one in America, emulating the success of another British group, the Tornados with "Telstar", which was number one on the Billboard charts for three weeks over Christmas and New Year 1962/63. The Beatles finally relinquished the number one spot after seven weeks, passing the baton to the very song they had knocked off the top in Britain: "She Loves You". Hunter Davies's biography of the band states that "I Want to Hold Your Hand" received certification for sales of 5 million copies in the US alone. The replacement of themselves at the summit of the U.S. charts was the first time since Elvis Presley in 1956, with "Love Me Tender" beating out "Don't Be Cruel", that an act had dropped off the top of the American charts only to be replaced by another of their releases.

With that, the "British Invasion" of America had been launched. Throughout 1964, only British artists flew high at the top of the American charts; including The Dave Clark Five, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Hollies and Herman's Hermits.

The American single's front and back sleeves featured a photograph of The Beatles with Paul McCartney holding a cigarette. In 1984, Capitol Records airbrushed out the cigarette for the re-release of the single.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" was also released in America on Meet The Beatles!, which ground-breakingly altered the American charts by actually outselling the single. Beforehand, the American markets were more in favour of hit singles instead of whole albums; however, two months after the album's release, it had shipped more than three-and-a-half million copies, a little over a hundred thousand ahead of the "I Want to Hold Your Hand" single.


The song was greeted by raving fans on both sides of the Atlantic but was dismissed by some critics as nothing more than another fad song that would not hold up to the test of time. Cynthia Lowery of the Associated Press expressed her exasperation with Beatlemania by saying of The Beatles: "Heaven knows we've heard them enough. It has been impossible to get a radio weather bulletin or time signal without running into 'I Want to Hold Your Hand'."

Bob Dylan was impressed by The Beatles' innovation, saying, "They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid." For a time Dylan thought The Beatles were singing "I get high" instead of "I can't hide". He was surprised when he met them and found out that none of them had actually smoked marijuana.

The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, but the award went to Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz for "The Girl from Ipanema". However, in 1998, the song won the Grammy Hall of Fame Award. It has also made the list in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. In addition, the Recording Industry Association of America, the National Endowment for the Arts and Scholastic Press have named "I Want to Hold Your Hand" as one of the Songs of the Century. In 2004, it was ranked number 16 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. It was ranked as #2 in Mojo's list on the "100 Records That Changed the World", after Little Richard's Tutti Frutti. The song lists at #39 on Billboard's All Time Top 100.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" was not subject to numerous cover versions like other Beatles songs such as "Yesterday" or "Something", although Arthur Fiedler & the Boston Pops Orchestra did attempt an instrumental version in 1964, which rose as high as number 55 in the American charts. In 1965, Indian film music composers Shankar-Jaikishan adapted the track without permission and with only minor alterations (new Hindi lyrics were written) for their song "Dekho Ab To" from the soundtrack to the Bollywood movie Janwar. Another cover was by the Moving Sidewalks, who made a psychedelic version in the late 1960s. French parodic band Odeurs covered the song as a military march sung with a strong German accent. The pre-"Dirty Water" Standells performed the song in a guest appearance as themselves in the sitcom The Munsters, along with another song called "Do the Ringo." Jennifer Cihi, a Canadian singer of Sailor Moon fame, did a cover of the song for the album Sailor Moon & The Scouts: Lunarock. Bop-guitarist Grant Green included a jazz recording of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" as the title track of a 1965 album. The American band Sparks delivered an unusual Philadelphia Sound-style cover of the song in the mid-1970s. It was also covered by R&B band Lakeside.

Neil Innes' the Rutles also pastiched the song as "Hold My Hand" in 1978, while British pop duo Dollar had a UK Top 10 hit with their version in January 1980. On Devo's debut album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, the song Uncontrollable Urge opens with a distorted version of I Want to Hold Your Hand's opening riff. In the 2007 film Across the Universe, T.V. Carpio sings a slowed-down cover version of the song.

For the 2006 album Love, coinciding with the Cirque Du Soleil production of the same title, George Martin and his son, Giles, melded the original studio recording (truncated) with a live performance at the Hollywood Bowl, complete with screaming hordes of teenage girls and the famous introduction from The Ed Sullivan Show, "Here they are ... The Beatles!!"

The Beatles' recording of this song also appeared as the opening track in the 1997 Time-Life 6-CD boxed set, "Gold And Platinum: The Ultimate Rock Collection."

Melody and lyrics

Reminiscent of Tin Pan Alley and Brill Building techniques and an example of modified thirty-two-bar form, the song is written on a two-bridge model, with only an intervening verse to connect them. The original song has no real "lead" singer or even a clearly defined melody, as Lennon and McCartney sing in harmony with each other. It could be argued that Lennon is leading McCartney, as Lennon's vocals are more prominent on the recording; however, when The Beatles performed the song on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964, McCartney's vocals could be heard more clearly (although this may have been due to a poor audio mix).


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

B-side: "This Boy" (UK), "I Saw Her Standing There" (US)
Released: 29 November 1963 (UK), 13 January 1964 (U.S.)
Format: 7"
Recorded: Abbey Road, 17 October 1963
Genre: Rock & roll
Length: 2:24
Label: Parlophone R5084 (UK), Capitol Records 5112 (US)
Writer(s): Lennon/McCartney
Producer: George Martin


Monday, March 14, 2011

Beatle People: Ronnie Spector

Ronnie Spector (born Veronica Yvette Bennett on 10 August 1943 in New York, New York) is an American musician, and was the lead singer of the girl group The Ronettes. She is known as the "original bad girl of rock and roll."


From a young age, Bennett took to singing, encouraged by her large, close family. The other members of the Ronettes, Ronnie's sister Estelle Bennett (1941-2009) and cousin Nedra Talley, were also encouraged to sing by their family. The Ronettes were a multiracial group, which was unusual during the 1960s. The Bennetts' mother was African-American and Native American; their father was Irish. In her autobiography, Ronnie Spector said that at one point in her childhood, she was not sure if she was black or white.

Bennett was married to Phil Spector from 1968–1974, and took his name professionally. They adopted three children. Phil adopted Gary and Louis as a single parent after Ronnie left.

* Donté Phillip - Born March 23, 1969 (Adopted: Nov 1969 at age 8 Months)
* Louis Phillip - Born May 12, 1966 (Moved in Dec 1971 at age 5½, Adopted at age 8)
* Gary Phillip - Born May 12, 1966 (Moved in Dec 1971 at age 5½, Adopted at age 8)
By her own account, he kept her a near-prisoner and limited her opportunities to pursue her musical ambitions. In her autobiography, she said that he would force her to watch the film Citizen Kane to remind her she would be nothing without him.

Spector's domineering attitude led to the dissolution of their marriage. Bennett was forbidden to speak to the Rolling Stones or tour with the Beatles, for fear of infidelity. Bennett claims Spector showed her a gold coffin with a glass top in his basement, promising to kill and display her should she leave him. During Spector's reclusive period in the late 1960s, he reportedly kept his wife locked inside their mansion. She claimed he also hid her shoes to dissuade her from walking outside, and kept the house dark because he didn't want anyone to see his balding head. Spector's son later claimed that he was kept locked in his room, with a pot in the corner to be used as a toilet. Ronnie Spector did leave the producer and filed for divorce in 1972. She wrote a book about her experiences, and said years later, "I can only say that when I left in the early 1970s, I knew that if I didn't leave at that time, I was going to die there." She and Spector separated in 1973 and divorced one year later.

Her autobiography, Be My Baby, How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, co-authored by Vince Waldron, was published in 1989. In 2004, Onyx Books republished the book in a revised and updated mass market paperback edition in the USA.

She now lives in Connecticut with her second husband, Jonathan Greenfield, and their two sons, Austin Drew and Jason Charles. She also hosts an annual Christmas party at B. B. King's bar and grill in New York.


The Ronettes were produced and managed by Phil Spector. In the early 1960s, they had huge hits with "Be My Baby", "Baby I Love You", and "Walking in the Rain". The group broke up in 1966 (never to reunite until their 2007 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), following the semi-retirement of Phil Spector, who was devastated by the lack of success of Tina Turner's "River Deep - Mountain High" {US #88; a UK #3}. A one-off single, sung by Ronnie but credited to "The Ronettes Featuring the Voice of Veronica," appeared in 1969 on Herb Alpert's A&M label, with an old Ronettes B-side as the flip. That single was "You Came, You Saw, You Conquered".
In early 1971, during Phil Spector's tenure as head of A&R at Apple Records, Ronnie recorded the single "Try Some, Buy Some"/"Tandoori Chicken"; released as Apple 33 in the UK, Apple 1832 in the U.S. The A-side of the single was written by George Harrison, and produced by both Harrison and Spector. Although the single was not a big hit, it had one lasting influence: when John Lennon recorded "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" later the same year, he asked Spector to reproduce the same mandolin-laden 'Wall of Sound' that he had created for "Try Some, Buy Some". Lennon liked the rockabilly B-side too, and is reported to have sung it at his birthday party in New York in October 1971.
In the early to mid 1970s, Ronnie briefly reformed the Ronettes (as Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes) with two new members (including Chip Fields, the mother of actress Kim Fields). In her book, she recounted several abortive attempts to recapture mainstream success throughout the 1970's and early 1980's, during which time she was widely perceived as an oldies act.

Billy Joel's 1976 hit Say Goodbye to Hollywood is a tribute to Bennett. Bennett herself covered it (1977), as did Bette Midler and other artists. Ronnie's version failed, however, as did her 1980 solo debut, Siren. In 1986, Ronnie enjoyed a resurgence as featured vocalist on Eddie Money's Top 10 hit "Take Me Home Tonight", singing part of the chorus (where she is introduced by Money singing "just like Ronnie sang...") of "Be My Baby". During this period, she also recorded the song "Tonight You're Mine Baby" (from the film Just One of the Guys) and sang a duet with Southside Johnny on "You Mean So Much To Me Baby".

In 1999, she released the critically acclaimed album, She Talks to Rainbows, which featured a few covers of older songs. Joey Ramone acted as producer, and appeared on stage with her to promote the record. In 2003, she provided backing vocals for The Misfits' album, Project 1950.

Bennett's most recent album Last of the Rock Stars (High Coin Records) has been released. A new single, "All I Want," accompanies the album. Keith Richards and Patti Smith are among Bennett's collaborators on the album. Bennett herself has co-produced two of the songs. In 2005 Bennett sang "Ode to L.A." with the Danish rock group The Raveonettes on their album Pretty in Black.

In 1998, Ronnie Spector and the other Ronettes sued Phil Spector for cheating them of royalties and licensing fees, winning a $3 million judgment; however, an appeals court later reversed the decision, upholding the terms of the group's 1963 contract as binding. In 2007, Ronnie Spector discussed her Ronettes' much-delayed entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "He wrote the Hall of Fame to tell them not to put me in. He did everything he could to stop me. He's bitter that I left him. He wants everyone to think he's the mastermind. He thought everything was because of him."

The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Ronettes and solo album discography

* The Ronettes Featuring Veronica, 1965
* The Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica, 1965
* Siren, 1980
* The Ronettes Greatest Hits - Volume 1, 1981
* The Ronettes Greatest Hits - Volume 2, 1981
* Unfinished Business, 1987
* The Best of The Ronettes, 1992
* She Talks to Rainbows EP, 1999
* Something's Gonna Happen, 2003
* Last of the Rock Stars, 2006


Sunday, March 13, 2011

"I Wanna Be Your Man"

"I Wanna Be Your Man" is a rock song written by Paul McCartney with John Lennon, and recorded separately by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones' version was released earlier.

The Rolling Stones' version

The Rolling Stones' version was an early hit single for them; their rendition is a frenetic electric rock/blues song featuring Brian Jones' distinctive slide guitar and Bill Wyman's driving bass playing. It is one of the few Rolling Stones songs featuring backing vocals by Jones. In the USA the song was released later as B-side to "Not Fade Away" on 6 March 1964.

According to various accounts, either the Rolling Stones' manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham or the Rolling Stones themselves ran into Lennon and McCartney on the street as the two were returning from an awards luncheon. Listening to the Rolling Stones' camp plea for a single, the pair travelled back to rehearsal and finished off the song—whose verse they had already been working on—in the corner of the room while the impressed Rolling Stones watched. Lennon later commented, "That shows how much importance we put on it. We weren't going to give them anything great, right?"

In his review, Bruce Eder says, "the Stones went into the studio and cut a slashing, savage rendition that betrayed not a trace of Beatlesque cuteness, Brian Jones', Keith Richard's, and Bill Wyman's amps were seemingly turned up to "11" while Mick Jagger turned the lyrics — which sounded like bold yearnings in Ringo's voice — into what could have been a prelude to sexual assault. That performance, coupled with Jones' distinctive (and equally savage) slide guitar work, said volumes about who the Stones were (versus the Beatles), even as it marked them as British rock & roll's premiere stylists, and put them out there on the cutting edge of what could even get played. And it did get played, and did sell — as a cover of a Lennon-McCartney song (released three weeks before the Beatles' own version), at a moment when anything about rock & roll from Liverpool would get a chance at a hearing, and anything to do with the Beatles demanded extra attention, the song made it to number 12 in the U.K. in the hands of the Rolling Stones."

The Rolling Stones' rendition did not appear on a regular album. (Except the Around and Around compilation album in 1964). It first appeared as a single. In 1989 it was issued on Singles Collection: The London Years.


* Mick Jagger – lead vocals
* Brian Jones – slide guitar, backing vocals
* Keith Richards – rhythm guitar
* Bill Wyman – bass
* Charlie Watts – drums

The Beatles' version

The Beatles' version was sung by Ringo Starr and appeared on the album With The Beatles. It was driven by a heavily tremoloed, open E chord on a guitar played through a Vox AC30 amplifier with the "tremolo" setting turned up.


* John Lennon – rhythm guitar, harmony vocal
* Paul McCartney – bass, harmony vocal
* George Harrison – lead guitar
* Ringo Starr – drums, maracas, lead vocal
* George Martin – Hammond organ

Single by The Rolling Stones
B-side: "Stoned" (Nanker Phelge)
Released: 1 November 1963
Format: 7" single
Recorded: 7 October 1963
Genre: Beat
Label: Decca Records F.11764
Writer(s): John Lennon/Paul McCartney
Producer: Andrew Loog Oldham

Song by The Beatles
Album: With The Beatles
Released: 22 November 1963
Genre: Beat
Length: 1:58
Label: Parlophone
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Producer: George Martin