The Beatles, album "Good Evening New York City"
Lyrics of the album
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Concert albums - Studio Hear Music - 2009
'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.'
'We were doing our Tamla Motown bit.
You see, we're influenced by whatever's going.
Even if we're not influenced, we're all going that way at a certain time.'JOHN 1972:
'I think George and I helped with some of the lyrics.
I'm not sure.'JOHN 1980:
I think that was one of his best songs, too, because the lyrics are good and I didn't write them.
You see? When I say that he could write lyrics if he took the effort – here's an example.'PAUL 1984:
'That's mine – I wrote it.
It was the first one we used brass on, I think.
One of the first times we used soul trumpets.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I'd been a rather straight working class lad, but when we started to get into pot it seemed to me to be quite uplifting.
It didn't seem to have too many side effects like alcohol or some of the other stuff, like pills, which I pretty much kept off.
I kind of liked marijuana and to me it seemed it was mind-expanding, literally mind-expanding.
So 'Got To Get You Into My Life' is really a song about that.
It's not to a person, it's actually about pot.
It's saying, 'I'm going to do this.
This is not a bad idea.' So it's actually an ode to pot, like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret.
I haven't really changed my opinion too much, except if anyone asks me for real advice, it would be stay straight.
That is actually the best way, but in a stressful world I still would say that pot was one of the best of the tranquilizing drugs.
I have drunk and smoked pot and of the two I think pot is less harmful.
People tend to fall asleep on it rather than go out and commit murder, so it's always seemed to me to be a rather benign one.'
'The album was finished a year ago, but a few months ago American record producer Phil Spector was called in by John Lennon to tidy up some of the tracks.
But a few weeks ago, I was sent a re-mixed version of my song 'The Long And Winding Road' with harps, horns, an orchestra, and a women's choir added.
No one had asked me what I thought.
I couldn't believe it.
The record came with a note from Allen Klein saying he thought the changes were necessary.
I don't blame Phil Spector for doing it, but it just goes to show that it's no good me sitting here thinking I'm in control because obviously I'm not.
Anyway, I've sent Klein a letter asking for some things to be altered, but I haven't received an answer yet.'JOHN 1980:
He had a little spurt just before we split.'PAUL circa-1994:
'It's rather a sad song.
I like writing sad songs, it's a good bag to get into because you can actually acknowledge some deeper feelings of your own and put them in it.
It's a good vehicle, it saves having to go to a psychiatrist.
Songwriting often performs that feat – you say it, but you don't embarrass yourself because it's only a song, or is it? You are putting the things that are bothering you on the table and you are reviewing them, but because it's a song, you don't have to argue with anyone… It's a sad song because it's all about the unattainable; the door you never quite reach.
This is the road that you never get to the end of.'
'It's simple in concept because you couldn't think of anything else to put on it.
Maybe on 'Pepper' we would have sort of worked on it until we could find some way to put violins or trumpets in there.
But I don't think it needs it, this one.
You know, it's just… There's nothing to the song.
It is just one of those 'pick it and sing it' and that's it.
The only point where we were thinking of putting anything on it is where it comes back in the end… sort of stops and comes back in… but instead of putting any backing on it, we put a blackbird on it.
So there's a blackbird singing at the very end.
And somebody said it was a thrush, but I think it's a blackbird!'JOHN 1980:
'I gave him (Paul) a line on that one.'PAUL circa-1994:
'The original inspiration was from a well-known piece by Bach, which I never know the title of, which George and I had learned to play at an early age – he better than me actually.
Part of its structure is a particular harmonic thing between the melody and the bass line which intrigued me… I developed the melody based on the Bach piece and took it somewhere else, took it to another level, then I just fitted words to it.
I had in my mind a black woman, rather than a bird.
Those were the days of the civil-rights movement, which all of us cared passionately about.
So this was really a song from me to a black woman, experiencing these problems in the states… 'Let me encourage you to keep trying, to keep your faith, there is hope.' As is often the case with my things, a veiling took place.
So, rather than say 'Black woman living in Little Rock' and be very specific, she became a bird, became symbolic, so you could apply it to your particular problem.'
'I was sitting at the piano when I thought of it.
The first few bars just came to me, and I got this name in my head… Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church.
I don't know why.
I couldn't think of much more so I put it away for a day.
Then the name Father McCartney came to me, and all the lonely people.
But I thought that people would think it was supposed to be about my Dad sitting knitting his socks.
Dad's a happy lad.
So I went through the telephone book and I got the name McKenzie.
I was in Bristol when I decided Daisy Hawkins wasn't a good name.
I walked 'round looking at the shops, and I saw the name Rigby.
Then I took the song down to John's house in Weybridge.
We sat around, laughing, got stoned and finished it off.'JOHN 1980:
'Paul's baby, and I helped with the education of the child… The violin backing was Paul's idea.
Jane Asher had turned him on to Vivaldi, and it was very good.'PAUL 1984:
'I got the name Rigby from a shop in Bristol.
I was wandering round Bristol one day and saw a shop called Rigby.
And I think Eleanor was from Eleanor Bron, the actress we worked with in the film 'Help!' But I just liked the name.
I was looking for a name that sounded natural.
Eleanor Rigby sounded natural.'
'Chuck Berry once did a song called 'Back In The USA,' which is very American, very Chuck Berry.
Very sort of, uhh… you know, you're serving in the army, and when I get back home I'm gonna kiss the ground.
And you know – Can't wait to get back to the States.
And it's a very American sort of thing, I've always thought.
So this one is like about… In my mind it's just about a spy who's been in America a long long time, you know, and he's picked up… And he's very American.
But he gets back to the USSR, you know, and he's sort of saying, 'Leave it till tomorrow, honey, to disconnect the phone,' and all that.
And 'Come here honey,' but with Russian women.
It concerns the attributes of Russian women.'JOHN 1980:
I play the six-string bass on that.'PAUL 1984:
'I wrote that as a kind of Beach Boys parody.
And 'Back in the USA' was a Chuck Berry song, so it kinda took off from there.
I just liked the idea of Georgia girls and talking about places like the Ukraine as if they were California, you know? It was also hands across the water, which I'm still conscious of.
'Cuz they like us out there, even though the bosses in the Krelmin may not.
The kids do.'PAUL 1986:
'I'm sure it pissed Ringo off when he couldn't quite get the drums to 'Back In The U.S.S.R.' and I sat in.
It's very weird to know that you can do a thing someone else is having trouble with.
If you go down and do it, just bluff right through it, you think, 'What the hell, at least I'm helping.' Then the paranoia comes in – 'But I'm going to show him up!' I was very sensitive to that.'
'That's Paul… with a little help from me, I think.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I could do Little Richard's voice which is a wild, hoarse, screaming thing – It's like an out-of-body experience.
You have to leave your current sensibilities and go about a foot above your head to sing it.
Alot of people were fans of Little Richard so I used to sing his stuff, but there came a point when I wanted to do one of my own, so I wrote 'I'm Down.''
'I like George's song 'Something.' For me I think it's the best he's written.'GEORGE 1969:
'I wrote the song 'Something' for the album before this one, but I never finished it off until just recently.
I usually get the first few lines of words and music together, both at once… and then finish the rest of the melody.
Then I have to write the words.
It's like another song I wrote when we were in India.
I wrote the whole first verse and just said everything I wanted to say, and so now I need to write a couple more verses.
I find that much more difficult.
But John gave me a handy tip.
He said, 'Once you start to write a song, try to finish it straight away while you're still in the same mood.' Sometimes you go back to it and you're in a whole different state of mind.
So now, I do try to finish them straight away.'GEORGE 1980:
''Something' was written on the paino while we were making the White Album.
I had a break while Paul was doing some overdubbing so I went into an empty studio and began to write.
That's really all there is to it, except the middle took some time to sort out.
It didn't go on the White Album because we'd already finished all the tracks.'
PAUL 1969: (describing a guitar lick for the middle-eight, during the recording sessions) 'It's coming down too fast – the note.
There shouldn't be any recognizable jumps.
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.'
'That's Paul… I think it was inspired by 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.' That's my feeling, although I have nothing to go on.
I know he wanted to write a 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.''PAUL 1986:
'I had alot of bad times in the '60s.
We used to lie in bed and wonder what was going on and feel quite paranoid.
Probably all the drugs.
I had a dream one night about my mother.
She died when I was fourteen so I hadn't really heard from her in quite a while, and it was very good.
It gave me some strength.'PAUL circa-1994:
'One night during this tense time I had a dream I saw my mum, who'd been dead ten years or so.
And it was great to see her because that's a wonderful thing about dreams, you actually are reunited with that person for a second… In the dream she said, 'It'll be alright.' I'm not sure if she used the words 'Let it be' but that was the gist of her advice, it was 'Don't worry too much, it will turn out okay.' It was such a sweet dream I woke up thinking, 'Oh, it was really great to visit with her again.' I felt very blessed to have that dream.'
'Well, when Paul first sang 'Hey Jude' to me… or played me the little tape he'd made of it… I took it very personally.
'Ah, it's me,' I said, 'It's me.' He says, 'No, it's me.' I said, 'Check.
We're going through the same bit.' So we all are.
Whoever is going through a bit with us is going through it, that's the groove.'JOHN 1972:
'That's his best song.'PAUL 1974:
'I remember I played it to John and Yoko, and I was saying, 'These words won't be on the finished version.' Some of the words were: 'The movement you need is on your shoulder,' and John was saying, 'It's great!' I'm saying, 'It's crazy, it doesn't make any sense at all.' He's saying, 'Sure it does, it's great.''JOHN 1980:
'He said it was written about Julian.
He knew I was splitting with Cyn and leaving Julian then.
He was driving to see Julian to say hello.
He had been like an uncle.
And he came up with 'Hey Jude.' But I always heard it as a song to me.
Now I'm sounding like one of those fans reading things into it… Think about it: Yoko had just come into the picture.
He is saying.
'Hey, Jude' – 'Hey, John.' Subconsciously, he was saying, 'Go ahead, leave me.' On a conscious level, he didn't want me to go ahead.
The angel in him was saying, 'Bless you.' The devil in him didn't like it at all, because he didn't want to lose his partner.'PAUL 1985:
'I remember on 'Hey Jude' telling George not to play guitar.
He wanted to do echo riffs after the vocal phrases, which I didn't think was appropriate.
He didn't see it like that, and it was a bit of a number for me to have to 'dare' to tell George Harrison – who's one of the greats – not to play.
It was like an insult.
But that's how we did alot of our stuff.'PAUL circa-1994:
'There is an amusing story about recording it… Ringo walked out to go to the toilet and I hadn't noticed.
The toilet was only a few yards from his drum booth, but he'd gone past my back and I still thought he was in his drum booth.
I started what was the actual take – and 'Hey Jude' goes on for hours before the drums come in – and while I was doing it I suddenly felt Ringo tiptoeing past my back rather quickly, trying to get to his drums.
And just as he got to his drums, boom boom boom, his timing was absolutely impeccable.'
But I think Paul helped with the verse.'JOHN 1980:
Including the guitar lick, the guitar break, and the whole bit.
It's just a rock 'n roll song.
Day trippers are people who go on a day trip, right? Usually on a ferry boat or somethng.
But it was kind of – you know, you're just a weekend hippie.
Get it?'PAUL circa-1994:
'Acid was coming on the scene, and we'd often do these songs about 'the girl who thought she was it.' Mainly the impetus for that used to come from John – I think John met quite a few girls who thought they were it… But this was just a tongue-in-cheek song about someone who was a day tripper, a sunday painter, a sunday driver, somebody who was committed only in part to the idea.
Where we saw ourselves as full-time trippers, fully committed drivers, she was just a day tripper.
That was a co-written effort – we were both making it all up but I would give John the main credit.'
'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.'
'That's Paul doing his usual job of producing what George Martin used to call a 'potboiler.' I helped with a couple of the lyrics.'PAUL 1988:
'I wrote it with John.
We sagged off school and wrote it on guitars.
I remember I had the lyrics, 'Just seventeen/Never been a beauty queen,' which John… it was one of the first times he ever went, 'What? Must change that!' And it became, 'you know what I mean.''PAUL circa-1994:
'Sometimes we would just start a song from scratch, but one of us would nearly always have a germ of an idea, a title, or a rough little thing they were thinking about and we'd do it.
'I Saw Her Standing There' was my original.
I'd started it and I had the first verse, which therefore gave me the tune, the tempo, and the key.
It gave you the subject matter, alot of information, and then you had to fill in.
So it was co-written… and we finished it that day.
'Umm, that came about just 'cuz I'd read a review of a record which said, 'And this group really got us wild, there's echo on everything, they're screaming their heads off.' And I just remember thinking, 'Oh, it'd be great to do one.
Pity they've done it.
Must be great – really screaming record.' And then I heard their record and it was quite straight, and it was very sort of sophisticated.
It wasn't rough and screaming and tape echo at all.
So I thought, 'Oh well, we'll do one like that, then.' And I had this song called 'Helter Skelter' which is just a ridiculous song.
So we did it like that, 'cuz I like noise.'JOHN 1980:
'That's Paul completely.
All that (Charles) Manson stuff was built 'round George's song about pigs and this one… Paul's song about an English fairground.
It has nothing to do with anything, and least of all to do with me.'PAUL 1985:
'The Who had made some track that was the loudest, the most raucous rock 'n roll, the dirtiest thing they'd ever done.
It made me think, 'Right.
Got to do it.' I like that kind of geeking up.
And we decided to do the loudest, nastiest, sweatiest rock number we could.'
'We were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air.
We started to write words there and then… When we finished it, we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to rollercoast by.'JOHN 1980:
''Get Back' is Paul.
That's a better version of 'Lady Madonna.' You know, a potboiler rewrite.'
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Songs of Beatles