The Beatles, album "Paul is Live"
Lyrics of the album
Listen the album
Concert albums - Studio Capitol Records - 1993
'If Paul had written a song, he'd learn all the parts and then come in the studio and say 'Do this.' He'd never give you the opportunity to come out with something.
But on 'Drive My Car' I just played the line, which is really like a lick off 'Respect,' you know, the Otis Redding version.
And I played the line on the guitar and Paul laid that with me on the bass.
We laid that track down like that.
We played the lead part later on top of it.'JOHN 1980:
'His (Paul's) song, with contributions from me.'PAUL circa-1994:
'This is one of the songs where John and I came nearest to having a dry session.
The lyrics I brought in were something to do with golden rings, which are always fatal (to songwriting).
'Rings' is fatal anyway, 'rings' always rhymes with things and I knew it was a bad idea.
I came in and I said, 'These aren't good lyrics but it's a good tune.' Well, we tried, and John couldn't think of anything, and we tried, and eventually it was, 'Oh let's leave it, let's get off this one.' 'No, no.
We can do it, we can do it.' So we had a break… then we came back to it, and somehow it became 'drive-my-car' instead of 'gol-den-rings,' and then it was wonderful – because this nice tongue-in-cheek idea came.'
04:50 Peace in the Neighbourhood (Paul McCartney)
'This was one of his first biggies.'JOHN 1980:
''All My Loving' is Paul, I regret to say.
Because it's a damn fine piece of work.
But I play a pretty mean guitar in back.'PAUL 1984:
'Yeah, I wrote that one.
It was the first song I ever wrote where I had the words before the music.
I wrote the words on a bus on tour, then we got the tune when I arrived there.
The first time I've ever worked upside down.'PAUL 1988:
'I think that was the first song where I wrote the words without the tune.
I wrote the words on the tour bus during our tour with Roy Orbison.
We did alot of writing then.'PAUL circa-1994:
'It was a good show song.
It worked well live.'
02:00 Robbie's Bit (Thanks Chet) (Robbie McIntosh)
02:48 Good Rockin' Tonight (Roy Brown)
'Paul did the first half, I did the middle-eight.
But you've got Paul writing, 'We can work it out/ We can work it out' real optimistic, you know.
And me, impatient, 'Life is very short and there's no time/ for fussing and fighting, my friend.''PAUL circa-1994:
'I wrote it as more of an up-tempo thing, country and western.
I had the basic idea, the title, had a couple of verses… then I took it to John to finish it off and we wrote the middle together, which is nice – 'Life is very short/ And there's no time for fussing and fighting my friend.' Then it was George Harrison's idea to put the middle into waltz time, like a german waltz… The lyrics might have been personal.
It is often a good way to talk to someone or to work your thoughts out.
It saves you going to a psychiatrist, you allow yourself to say what you might not say in person.'
'Both of us.
I wrote the middle with him.'PAUL 1977:
''Michelle' was like a joke French tune for when you go to a party or something.
That's all it was.
And then after a while you say, 'Well, that's quite a good tune.
Let's put some real words to it.''JOHN 1980:
'He and I were staying somewhere and he walked in and hummed the first few bars, with the words, and he says, 'Where do I go from here?' I had been listening to (blues singer) Nina Simone.
I think it was 'I Put A Spell On You.' There was a line in it that went, 'I love you, I love you.' That's what made me think of the middle-eight for 'Michelle.' So, my contributions to Paul's songs was always to add a little bluesy edge to them.
Otherwise, 'Michelle' is a straight ballad, right? He provided a lightness, an optimism, while I would always go for the sadness, the discords, the bluesy notes.'PAUL 1988:
'I'll never forget putting the bass line in 'Michelle' because it was a kind of Bizet thing.
It really turned the song around.
You could do that with bass.
It was very exciting.'
'This was a great one of his.'JOHN 1980:
'That's Paul's song completely, I believe.
And one of my favorite songs of the Beatles.'PAUL 1984:
'I wrote that by John's pool one day.
When we were working together, sometimes he came in to see me.
But mainly, I went out to see him.'PAUL circa-1994:
''Here, There and Everywhere' has a couple of interesting structural points about it… each verse takes a word.
'Here' discusses here, Next verse, 'there' discusses there, then it pulls it all together in the last verse with 'everywhere.' …John might have helped with a few last words.'
'It sounds like Elvis, doesn't it? No, it doesn't sound like Elvis… it IS Elvis.
Even those bits where he goes very high.'JOHN 1980:
Good piano lick, but the song never really went anywhere.
Maybe I helped him on some of the lyrics.'PAUL 1986:
''Lady Madonna' is all women.
How do they do it? – bless 'em.
Baby at your breast, how do they get the time to feed them? Where do they get the money? How do you do this thing that women do?'PAUL circa-1994:
'The original concept was the Virgin Mary, but it quickly became symbolic of every woman – the Madonna image but as applied to ordinary working-class women.
'Lady Madonna' was me sitting down at the piano trying to write a bluesy boogie-woogie thing.
It reminded me of Fats Domino for some reason, so I started singing a Fats Domino impression.
It took my voice to a very odd place.'
I think I might have helped with some of the lyrics, Yes, I did.
But it was mainly Paul's tune.'JOHN 1980:
''Paperback Writer' is son of 'Day Tripper' …meaning a rock 'n roll song with a guitar lick on a fuzzy loud guitar.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I arrived at Weybridge and told John I had this idea of trying to write off to a publishers to become a paperback writer, and I said, 'I think it should be written like a letter.' I took a bit of paper out and I said it should be something like, 'Dear Sir or Madam, as the case may be…' and I proceeded to write it just like a letter in front of him, occasionally rhyming it… And then we went upstairs and put the melody to it.
John and I sat down and finished it all up, but it was tilted towards me – the original idea was mine.
I had no music, but it's just a little bluesy song, not alot of melody.
Then I had the idea to do the harmonies, and we arranged that in the studio.'
'We really got into the groove of imagining Penny Lane – the bank was there, and that was where the tram sheds were and people waiting and the inspector stood there, the fire engines were down there.
It was just reliving childhood.'JOHN 1980:
'Penny Lane is not only a street but it's a district… a suburban district where, until age four, I lived with my mother and father.
So I was the only Beatle that lived in Penny Lane.'PAUL circa-1994:
'John and I would always meet at Penny Lane.
That was where someone would stand and sell you poppies each year on British Legion poppy day… When I came to write it, John came over and helped me with the third verse, as often was the case.
We were writing childhood memories – recently faded memories from eight or ten years before, so it was recent nostalgia, pleasant memories for both of us.
All the places were still there, and because we remembered it so clearly we could have gone on.'
00:41 Welcome to Soundcheck (Paul McCartney)
'Both of us wrote it, but mainly Paul.
I helped him finish it.'JOHN 1980:
''I Wanna Be Your Man' was a kind of lick Paul had – 'I wanna be your lover, baby.
I wanna be your man.' I think we finished it off for the Stones.
We were taken down to meet them at the club where they were playing in Richmond by Brian and some other guy.
They wanted a song and we went to see what kind of stuff they did.
Mick and Keith heard we had an unfinished song – Paul just had this bit and we needed another verse or something.
We sort of played it roughly to them and they said, 'Yeah, OK, that's our style.' But it was only really a lick, so Paul and I went off in the corner of the room and finished the song off while they were all still sitting there talking.
We came back, and that's how Mick and Keith got inspired to write… because, 'Jesus, look at that.
They just went in the corner and wrote it and came back!' You know, right in front of their eyes we did it.
So we gave it to them.
It was a throw-away.
The only two versions of the song were Ringo and the Rolling Stones.
It shows how much importance we put on them.
We weren't going to give them anything great, right? I believe it was the Stones' first record.'PAUL 1984:
'I wrote it for Ringo to do on one of the early albums.
But we ended up giving it to the Stones.
We met Mick and Keith in a taxi one day in Charing Cross Road and Mick said, 'Have you got any songs?' So we said, 'Well, we just happen to have one with us!' I think George had been instrumental in getting them their first record contract.
We suggested them to Decca, 'cuz Decca had blown it by refusing us, so they had tried to save face by asking George, 'Know any other groups?' He said, 'Well, there is this group called the Stones.' So that's how they got their first contract.
Anyway, John and I gave them maybe not their first record, but I think the first they got on the charts with.
They don't tell anybody about it these days; they prefer to be more ethnic.
But you and I know the real truth.'
Songs of Beatles