Tuesday, March 07, 2006

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'Fortune Teller', a Benny Spellman song [which coincidentally was on the B side of the single that the Stones had just withdrawn from sale].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
...one 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

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