Old Macdonald Had An Arm

index “George Martin is a tall man. He is also a musician with short hair. In spite of this he records rock groups such as (Beatles, Billy J. Kramer, Gerry and the Pacemakers) to name four, and has earned the respect of everyone in the business (what business you might well ask). We all owe a great deal of our success to George, especially for his patient guidance of our enthusiasm in the right directions (it was a patient George Martin who, on one of our early sessions, explained to a puzzled Ringo that it was a bit much playing a full drum kit, tambourine and maracas at the same time. (…) PS Please tell all your friends to buy it too, so George can be rich and famous – after all why not? Good George Martin is our friend / Buddy Pal and Mate / Buy this record and he’ll send / a dog for your front gate Chorus: With an arf arf arf here / And and arf arf arf there, etc (Sung to the tune of Old Macdonald Had An Arm by the Beatles, a band)

Sleeve notes to the LP Off the Beatles Track by John Lennon


The same feller


“I WILL it’s pretty smoochy stuff. We have to do it. That’s why there’s a great variety on this LP and in everthing we do. We just haven’t got one bag. On one hand you’ll get “I Will” and then you’ll get “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road”. It’s me feeling both of them, the same feller, and I wrote both. I can’t explain it, but there we are”.

Paul McCartney  NME 30/11/1968

Roll Up!

piechart-911x1024“Paul’s Mystery Tour scenario was achingly simplistic. It was diagrammed on a single sheet of paper he’d first shown to Brian Epstein back in May. The entire blueprint was contained in a circle divided into eight segments labeled as follows :

1. Commercial introduction. Get on coach. Courier introduces. 2. Coach people meet each other / (Song, Fool On The Hill?) 3. marathon – laboratory sequence 4. smiling faces. LUNCH. mangoes, tropical (magician) 5. and 6: Dreams 7. Stripper & band 8. Song


(From Bob Spitz, The Beatles)

Stages in music revolution

Beatles Beach Boys

“Despite an entirely phoney rivalry between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, promulgated by journalists to give themselves something to write about, there was actually no contest between the two groups in anything other than chart positions. The real contender was always Brian Wilson, the composer and arranger of the Beach Boys. Brian wanted to match the Beatles on an artistic level. In a 1995 television documentary by Don Was, Brian described how the group would gather in prayer: “We prayed for an album that would be a rival to Rubber Soul. It was like a prayer, but there was some ego there… and it worked. Pet Sounds happened immediately“. Paul regarded Pet Sounds as one of the greatest popular-music albums ever made and was effusive in its praise, particularly for the way in which it proved that the bass player need not play the root note of a chord but can weave a melody around it on its own.

By the time Pet Sounds was released in July [1966], the next stage in the music revolution was already half recorded. The first session for the Revolver album was held at Abbey Road on 6 April 1966.

Brian Wilson tried to follow Revolver, but unlike Lennon and McCartney, he was saddled with a conservative band who just wanted to stick to the old money-making formula. The release of Sgt. Pepper finally destroyed his ambition to roduce the greatest rock ‘n’ roll album ever. He abandoned his current project, Smile, and spent the next two years in bed”.

Barry Miles (Many Years From Now)

Quite Well Thank You


“I think the only one really where I kind of criticised him – and it was in my usual kind of quite veiled manner – was in ‘Too Many People’. But then he did ‘How Do You Sleep?’ [in his 1971 album Imagine], and I nearly did a song ‘Quite Well Thank You’. I soon got fed up with that idea; it occurred to me once to send a [lyrical] granade back at him, but it wasn’t really something that I enjoyed doing”.  Paul McCartney

Got to get you into my life


I loved Paul’s singing on that song – he really let loose. At one point while Paul was recording the lead vocal, John actually burst out of the control room to shout his encouragement – evidence of the camaraderie and teamwork that was so pervasive during the Revolver sessions (Geoff Emerick, Here, There and Everywhere, my life recording the music of the Beatles)

Dryin’up, I suppose

“After the record was finished, I thought it was great. I thought it was a huge advance, and I was very pleased because a month or two earlier the press and the music papers had been saying, ‘What are The Beatles up to? Drying up, I suppose.’ So it was nice, making an album like Pepper and thinking, ‘Yeah, drying up, I suppose. That’s right.’ It was lovely to have them on that when it came out. I loved it. I had a party to celebrate – that whole weekend was a bit of a party, as far as I recall. I remember getting telegrams saying: ‘Long live Sgt Pepper.’ People would come round and say, ‘Great album, man. ‘It certainly got noticed. It was released on the Friday, and on the Sunday Jimi Hendrix opened with ‘Sgt Pepper’ when we saw him at the Saville Theatre. That was the single biggest tribute forme. I was a big fan of Jimi’s, and he’d only had since the Friday to learn it” (Paul McCartney)


“John, Paul and George – the writers – were putting whatever they wanted on the tracks, and we were spending a long time in the studio. We were still recording the basic tracks as we always did, but it would take weeks to do the overdubs for the strings or whatever, and then the percussion would be overdubbed later and later. Sgt Pepper was great for me, because it” a fine album – but I did learn to play chess while we were recording it (Neil taught me)” (Ringo Starr)