sábado, 24 de marzo de 2018

Paul McCartney Remembers John Lennon at March for Our Lives Rally in New York

Paul McCartney Remembers John Lennon at March for Our Lives Rally in New York
"One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here, so it's important to me," Beatles legend says of John Lennon
By Daniel Kreps
24 March 2018

Paul McCartney attended a March for Our Lives sister protest in New York to support those demanding an end to gun violence. Spencer Platt

Paul McCartney attended a March for Our Lives sister protest in New York, one of the dozens of rallies taking place throughout the United States Saturday.

In a brief interview with CNN at the rally, the Beatles legend said, "One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here, so it's important to me," referring to the murder of John Lennon in 1980.

McCartney, wearing a shirt that read "We Can End Gun Violence," also told CNN that while he didn't know whether the rallies or anything would ultimately end gun violence, "This is what we can do, so I'm here to do it." McCartney added that he attended the New York march "just to support the people."

McCarney was one of the many artists and celebrities joining the thousands of students in the streets demanding an end to gun violence and stricter gun control laws.

At the main rally in Washington, D.C., Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt, Vic Mensa and Common all took the stage to provide musical interludes between the speeches delivered by victims of gun violence, including the students of Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Paul McCartney was at the march in New York, close to the site where his friend John Lennon was shot to death
By Dakin Andone, CNN
March 24, 2018

(CNN)Paul McCartney attended the March for Our Lives in New York on Saturday, telling CNN the cause was important to him because he lost John Lennon to gun violence.

Wearing a shirt that said, "We can end gun violence," the former Beatle told CNN's Jason Carroll, he came to the march "just to support the people."
"I don't know" if we can end gun violence, McCartney said. "But this is what we can do, so I'm here to do it."
"One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here," McCartney said, "so it's important to me."
John Lennon, one of McCartney's fellow Beatles, was killed in New York 37 years ago.
As Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, were walking in Manhattan one December night, a man fired five rounds into Lennon's back, killing him.

Image result for Paul McCartney was at the march in New York, close to the site where his friend John Lennon was shot to death

viernes, 23 de marzo de 2018

Dan Mangan Gets Robbed, Meets Paul McCartney in L.A.

Dan Mangan Gets Robbed, Meets Paul McCartney in L.A.
"And all in 24 hours. Life is beautifully absurd"
By Calum Slingerland
Published Mar 23, 2018

Dan Mangan Gets Robbed, Meets Paul McCartney in L.A.

As he told us last month, Dan Mangan is currently at work on a new full-length, with additional recording sessions for the effort recently taking him to Los Angeles. As Mangan has now recalled on Instagram, a 24-hour period in the city resulted in some "crazy times," during which he met a songwriting legend and was robbed of some personal belongings.

In the post, Mangan noted he had been robbed of "2 laptops, hard drives, passport, etc," while in the city, adding that "they didn't take my beloved 1957 Gibson J45 which would have been infinitely more devastating."

The songwriter then spent the following morning wandering around the city's Silver Lake neighbourhood in search of his discarded bags. He also got some help from residents of a local homeless encampment, who gave Mangan "a dose of timely perspective regarding the things I think I 'need.'"

Mangan then arrived at the studio for his session with the help of the LAPD and Canadian Consulate, but he couldn't have predicted who he would meet there:

Dealt with LAPD (very friendly) and Canadian Consulate (also helpful), to show up at studio, meet and start making music with some of the most incredible musicians that exist, and who pokes his head into the studio but Sir Paul McCartney himself, who listened to a bed track and offered some ideas.

In addition to his new album, Mangan's "beautifully absurd" life also finds him lending an original soundtrack to the upcoming CBC miniseries Unspeakable, about the tainted blood from the 1980s (when thousands of Canadians were infected with HIV and hepatitis C), in addition to the score for an animated Netflix series.

Find Mangan's post of tales from L.A. below, and read our recent conversation with him here.

Crazy times. Still decompressing from my time in LA. Was robbed- lost 2 laptops, hard drives, passport, etc - but they didn’t take my beloved 1957 Gibson J45 which would have been infinitely more devastating. Spent the following morning wandering Silver Lake poking through garbage bins and dumpsters for my discarded bags. Got a dose of timely perspective regarding the things I think I “need” speaking with the residents of the nearby homeless encampment who were friendly and helpful, some of which were literally dying. Dealt with LAPD (very friendly) and Canadian Consulate (also helpful), to show up at studio, meet and start making music with some of the most incredible musicians that exist, and who pokes his head into the studio but Sir Paul McCartney himself, who listened to a bed track and offered some ideas. And all in 24 hours. Life is beautifully absurd.
Una publicación compartida de Dan Mangan (@danmanganmusic) el

Dan Mangan Sheds Light on His Upcoming Album and Embracing His Solo Troubadour Status
Photo: Holly Chang

jueves, 22 de marzo de 2018

The Beatles' Marathon 'Please Please Me' Session, Hour by Hour

The Beatles' Marathon 'Please Please Me' Session, Hour by Hour
We break down the epic studio day that yielded the bulk of the band's debut LP, from "I Saw Her Standing There" to a cathartic "Twist and Shout"
By Jordan Runtagh
March 22 2018

The Beatles recorded the bulk of their debut album, 'Please Please Me,' in a single daylong studio session. Read our hour-by-hour account. © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis/Getty Images

The last notes of "Please Please Me" still hung in the stale air of EMI's Studio Two on November 26th, 1962, when George Martin's disembodied voice crackled over the talkback from the control room above. "Gentlemen," he addressed his young moptopped charges, "I think you've made your first Number One." The veteran producer had a finely tuned ear for hits, but it would be several months before the Beatles rode their second single to the top of the charts. Released on January 11th, the song received an unexpected boost from Mother Nature the following week. The winter of 1963 was one of the most brutal in England's history, and the record-breaking cold forced many to spend their Saturday night at home in front of the television, just in time to catch the band making one of their earliest national broadcast appearances on ITV's pop-music program Thank Your Lucky Stars. As the band lip-synced to their latest record, viewers were transfixed by the instantly hummable melody, cascading harmonies, relentless beat and – for early-Sixties Britain – ridiculously long hair. Almost overnight, the single launched skyward.

With a smash on his hands, Martin knew that the next logical step was getting a full-length LP into shops as rapidly as possible. He initially considered a live recording at the band's Liverpool home base. "I had been up to the Cavern and I'd seen what they could do; I knew their repertoire, knew what they were able to perform," he recalled for the Beatles' 1995 Anthologydocumentary. Cheap and practically instantaneous to produce, the format had much to recommend itself. He'd achieved great success two years earlier capturing the wildly popular Beyond the Fringe satire revue (featuring a young Dudley Moore and Peter Cooke) with a tape recorder directly under the stage of London's Fortune Theater. But the subterranean Cavern, with its concrete walls acting as a natural echo chamber, was ill suited for such a venture. Instead, Martin would recreate the electricity of their live shows inside the recording studio. "I said, 'Let's record every song you've got; come down and we'll whistle through them in a day.'"
Recording a full album in such a short span didn't seem like an unreasonable request in 1963. Songs were recorded live to a 2-track BTR machine, leaving few opportunities for overdubs or elaborate edits. Besides, "Please Please Me" and its B side, "Ask Me Why," were already in the can, as well as the Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do," backed by "P.S. I Love You." That left 10 more songs to fill out the customary 14 tracks of a British LP. "It was a straightforward performance of their stage repertoire – a broadcast, more or less," Martin explained, not unlike their regular sessions on the BBC radio. Their manager, Brian Epstein, got them excused from their touring commitments the day before, so that they would arrive fresh at EMI Studios at 10 a.m. on the morning of February 11th, 1963.
That was the idea, at least. Instead they showed up late, with John Lennon nursing a bad cold. "[His] voice was pretty shot," session engineer Norman Smith recalled in Mark Lewisohn's The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions. Tins of Zubes throat lozenges lay strewn across the lid of the baby grand piano in the corner of the live room. Nearby, the band huddled on stools while they worked out the day's set list with Martin. "We were permanently on the edge," recalled George Harrison in the Anthology. "We ran through all the songs before we recorded anything. We'd play a bit and George Martin would say, ‘Well, what else have you got?'" Paul McCartney wanted to record the old Marlene Dietrich ballad "Falling in Love Again," but the number was vetoed by Martin, who deemed it "corny." The same went for "Besame Mucho," made famous by the Coasters, which had been a perennial Beatles favorite since 1960. Instead, Martin insisted on "A Taste of Honey," a relatively new addition to the set, which he believed would sound better on record.
They settled on four originals, rounded out by a selection of six covers that they could tear through in short order. "We knew the songs because that was the act we did all over the country," Ringo Starr said in the Anthology. "That was why we could easily go into the studio and record them. The mic situation wasn't complicated either: one in front of each amp, two overheads for the drums, one for the singer and one for the bass drum." Young tape operator Richard Langham was one of the battalion of technicians who helped set up the band's equipment. While mic-ing up their amps, the very same they used on the road, he found the speaker cabinets stuffed with bits of paper. "They were notes from the girls from the dance floor who threw them up on the stage," he said. "They said 'Please play this, please play that, this is my phone number.' I guess they just read them and then threw them in the back of the amplifier."
Soon they were ready, armed with their weapons of choice: McCartney with his distinctive violin-shaped 1961 500/1 Hofner bass, Starr his Premier kit, Harrison his cherished 1957 Gretsch Duo-Jet and 1962 J-160E Gibson "Jumbo" acoustic-eclectic, Lennon with his matching Jumbo and 1958 Rickenbacker 325. "[It] was, 'Let's get this up and let's get on the road,' because by this time it was half past 10, [or] 11." Langham said in a 2013 BBC documentary. EMI in the early Sixties was more an institutional research facility rather than a creative space, and as such operated under rigid recording schedules. Sessions ran "strictly to time," beginning in the morning between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (with a 90-minute break for lunch), then an afternoon slot from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. (with a 90-minute break for dinner), and finally an evening period from 7:30 p.m. until the studio closed at 10. With the clock already running, the Beatles got to work. "They just put their heads down and played," Epstein later explained to a friend.
Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles rest between takes in Studio 2 at Abbey Road in London during the recording session for the single 'She Loves You', 1st July 1963.
The Beatles, 1963 Terry O'Neill/Getty Images

Years of grueling late-night jam sessions and punishing tour itineraries prepared them well for this musical marathon. Now they relied on muscle memory, transforming the florescent-lit Studio 2 into another seedy club or tweedy dance hall. As Lennon recalled a decade later with no small degree of pride, the band's debut album "was the nearest thing to what we might have sounded like to the audiences in Hamburg and Liverpool. Still, you don't get that live atmosphere of the crowd stomping on the beat with you; but it's the nearest you can get to knowing what we sounded like before we became the 'clever' Beatles." As Martin once noted, the "live" nature of the recording was born more out of necessity – and the band's naiveté – rather than a conscious minimalist choice. "The Beatles didn't really have much say in recording operations," he said later. "It was only after the first year that they started getting really interested in studio techniques. But they always wanted to get the thing right, so it wasn't a one-take operation. They would listen to it, and then do two or three takes until they got it."
The sessions wrapped just after 10:45 p.m., and the following night the Beatles were back out on the road. The venture had cost the record label just £400 (about $11,000 in 2018). "There wasn't a lot of money at Parlophone," Martin admitted. "I was working to an annual budget of £55,000." It took the band just under 10 hours of studio time to record the bulk of their first album, released on March 22nd, 1963, as Please Please Me. As Harrison wryly observed decades later: "The second one took even longer."
What follows is an hour-by-hour record of what happened during this extraordinary day in the life of the Fab Four.
10:45 a.m.–11:30 a.m.: "There's a Place"

The Beatles clearly had high hopes for this relatively new composition, giving it pride of place as the first song tackled that day. It had been written several months earlier in the living room of the McCartney family home, where a copy of the West Side Story soundtrack played a direct role in the song's creation. "There's a Place" borrowed its title from the opening line of "Somewhere," and expanded on the theatrical standout's youthful yearning for a peaceful space away from the prying eyes of adults. "In our case the place was in the mind, rather than round the back of the stairs for a kiss and a cuddle," McCartney recalled in his authorized biography, Many Years From Now. "This was the difference with what we were writing, we were getting a bit more cerebral." Given that it was the first song intentionally recorded for the Beatles' debut, its maturity was a portent of good things to come.
Conceived, in Lennon's words, as "a sort of Motown black thing," the song showed strong promise as a potential highlight, or possibly even a single. The initial take was a complete run-through, nearly identical to the final version except for the absence of Lennon's harmonica on the intro. Instead Harrison takes up the phrase on guitar, but the octave figure proves tricky to master and he fumbles it on most of the first few versions. He can be heard practicing between takes, loosening up his fingers by playing the similar introduction to "Please Please Me." The vocals also prove to be a sticking point, with Lennon's voice already showing the effects of his sore throat even this early in the day. Just before the fifth take, he can be heard giving McCartney some advice on the elongated "There-e-e-e-ere" a cappella line: "It works better if you do it on the beat somehow, you know, think the beat in your head." McCartney, meanwhile, halts the song after just a few bars. "It was bad, that beginning," he proclaims bluntly. They nearly had it by Take 9, but McCartney's voice began to waver on the high harmonies. Clearly frustrated, the bassist is heard to sarcastically mutter "Take 15 ..." before the actual take, number 10.
This attempt provides the basis for the version heard on the record. Lennon's harmonica will be added later in the day, but with noon fast approaching, the group decides to move on to another promising original.
11:30 ­a.m.–1:00 p.m.: "I Saw Her Standing There"

Even before recording engineer Norman Smith announces the song as "Seventeen" – as it was known during its time as an early Cavern-era staple – a disapproving Martin can be heard grumbling from the control room, "I think it ought to have a different title." It would be known forevermore as "I Saw Her Standing There," a masterful blend of formative band favorites, melded into something completely fresh.
Lyrically the song pays homage to the Coasters' "Young Blood" ("I saw her standing on the corner ..."), Chuck Berry's "Little Queenie" ("She's too cute to be a minute over 17"), and even the golden oldie "When the Saints Go Marching In" ("I want to be in that number/When the saints go marching in" having the same meter as "How could I dance with another/Since I saw her standing there"), which the Beatles often performed as a rocked-up piss-take. In later years, McCartney revealed that he "nicked" the bass line from another Berry tune, 1961's "I'm Talking About You," which was part of the set list around the same period. "I played exactly the same notes as he did and it fitted our number perfectly," he says in Many Years From Now.
The Beatles essentially captured the final version on the first take, playing and singing live, and preserving on record the first of their famous falsetto "Oooohs," which would become an early trademark when coupled with a moptopped head shake. Martin, however, pushed for another go around just to be safe. Take 2 would prove less successful, as McCartney and Lennon have difficulty remembering the order of "how could I dance," "she wouldn't dance," and "she wouldn't dance" in the chorus. Though the take has plenty of vigor, McCartney ends it with a despondent descending bass slide and a dispirited Lennon mutters, "Dreadful." Martin tries to salvage the situation by having the band record edit pieces for the botched lines (Take 3), and more run-throughs of Harrison's solo on Takes 4 and 5. The tension begins to show as Take 6 breaks down midway through. "Too fast," cops McCartney. "No, you had a wrong word didn't you?" a voice from the control room points out. "Yeah, but I mean, it's too fast anyway," McCartney counters.

McCartney himself stops Take 7 with a frantic cry of "Too fast!" before apologetically showing his perfectionist streak. "And again, I'm sorry, you know, but ...," he says while demonstrating the song's appropriate tempo. The drummer had been going strong all morning, but it was Starr's turn for a mistake on Take 8. A missed hi-hat hit causes the song to sputter to a stop, with McCartney moaning, "What happened!?" With his patience growing thin, he throws extra oomph into the count-in for Take 9, spitting out a raucous: "One-two-three-FAW."
The effect was so invigorating that Martin later edited it onto the front of Take 1, creating one of rock's greatest intros since Elvis Presley crooned "Well, it's one for the money, two for the show ..." on his debut seven years earlier.
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.: LunchtimeTypically, after morning sessions at the studio concluded, the next 90 minutes were reserved for artists and staff to take their lunch. But, distraught by their slow progress, the Beatles had other plans. "We told them we were having a break but they said they would like to stay on and rehearse," Langham says in The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions. "So while George [Martin], Norman and I went round the corner to the Heroes of Alma for a pie and pint they stayed, drinking milk. When we came back they'd been playing right through. We couldn't believe it. We had never seen a group work right through their lunch break before." 
2:30 p.m.–3:15 p.m.: "A Taste of Honey"Eager to make headway, the band decided to focus on a more familiar number from their stage set. For their first cover of the day they went with "A Taste of Honey," a pop standard that had been given an R&B remake by Lenny Welch the year before. Both Epstein and Martin saw the value of including a sophisticated adult contemporary ballad alongside rock stompers to showcase the band's versatility. So did McCartney, who was vocal about his love for pre-war melodies. "I thought those were good tunes," he reflected. "The fact that we weren't ashamed of those leanings meant that the band could be a bit more varied."
Five takes of the song were recorded, two of them incomplete breakdowns, with the band playing and singing live. The fifth was temporarily labeled as the final.
3:15 p.m.–3:45 p.m.: "Do You Want to Know a Secret"

"'Do You Want to Know a Secret' was 'my song' on the album," Harrison complained in the Anthology. "I didn't like my vocal on it. I didn't know how to sing; nobody told me how to." Lennon wrote the bulk of the song, drawing on a childhood memory of his late mother. "She was a comedienne and a singer," he remembered in Playboyshortly before his death in 1980. "Not professional, but she used to get up in pubs and things like that. She had a good voice. ... She used to do this little tune when I was just one or two years old. ... The tune was from the Disney movie – 'Want to know a secret? Promise not to tell. You are standing by a wishing well ...'" (The song, called "I'm Wishing," was featured in Walt Disney's debut feature film, 1937's Snow White.) Lennon included a slow, minor-key introduction on his composition, perhaps as a nod to its vintage inspiration – or maybe he took his cue from tunesmiths like Carole King and Gerry Goffin, who had recently employed a similar technique on several of their hits.
Discounting two false starts, the Beatles performed four complete takes of the song, with Take 6 marked as the best. At Martin's insistence, the Beatles took two attempts at overdubbing Lennon and McCartney's "Doo-dah-doo" backing harmonies on the verses, and Starr's stick taps during the bridge. Take 8 was the finished version.
3:45 p.m.–4:15 p.m.: "A Taste of Honey" vocal overdubsThe overdubs on "Do You Want to Know a Secret" apparently triggered something with Martin and the boys, because the next hour and a quarter were spent polishing off songs that were already in the can. McCartney's three bandmates had a break while he was tasked with "double-tracking" his vocals at two points in "A Taste of Honey," resulting in a richer, fuller sound during the dramatic "I will return" verses. The Beatles would utilize this recording technique again and again throughout their career.
4:15 p.m.–4:30 p.m.: "There's a Place" harmonica overdubsFearing that Harrison's guitar lacked impact, Martin suggested that Lennon perform the introductory riff of "There's a Place" on harmonica. The trick had been used to great effect on the band's first two singles, "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me," and Lennon duly obliged. He required three passes over the previously recorded Take 10, effectively burying his bandmate's guitar work on the final version, Take 13.
4:45 p.m.–5:00 p.m.: "I Saw Her Standing There" handclap overdubsIn an effort to echo the excitement of a crowd stomping and banging along in unison, Martin requested that the Beatles add handclaps to what would become the album's opener. The band gathered around a microphone while tape ops cued up Take 1, the strongest version from earlier in the day, but the first attempt at a clapping overdub was marred by volume problems. This sends the boys into joyful hysterics, faux applause and other goofy humor (McCartney can be heard urging the others to "keep Britain tidy," a non sequitur joke that would crop up in A Hard Day's Night). They got the job done the next time around, completing the song with Take 12.
5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.: "Misery"

Seeking to cement their reputation as songwriters for hire, Lennon and McCartney penned "Misery" with the aim of presenting it to the headliner of their package tour, a young singer named Helen Shapiro. Unfortunately, her manager, British record impresario Norrie Paramor, felt the rather dour subject matter was ill suited for a teenage chanteuse. "She turned it down," recalled McCartney. "It may not have been that successful for her because it's a rather downbeat song. It was quite pessimistic." Ultimately the track went to another of their tourmates, Kenny Lynch, making him the first artist to cover a Lennon-McCartney number on record.
The Beatles' version came first, requiring 11 takes in all to complete. The first was in many ways the best, with a few extra drum flourishes from Starr (which were eventually dropped) and some extra spirited "ooohs" and "la-la-las" on the outro. Unfortunately Harrison's guitar run was slightly out of time on the bridge, requiring another go. Take 2 was nearly as good, but Martin stops the song after noticing that Harrison's guitar is coming through distorted. "Clean it up a bit, and a little less volume, George," he instructs. A handful of false starts follow, with Lennon having trouble keeping the words and the chords straight. "I won't see her no more," McCartney guides. Take 6 is perhaps the most interesting of all, with bold drum fills and some guitar embroidery from Harrison that didn't make the final cut. But it was a little too busy for Martin, who requested a more streamlined approach on Take 7.
The descending guitar line was proving too difficult to perfect, so the producer asked Harrison to lay out (he would overdub the phrase himself on piano nine days later on February 20th, without the involvement of the band). Take 8 crashes to a stop soon after the count-in with McCartney merrily pointing the finger at Lennon: "Stop it, he said the wrong words!" Take 9 would be the final attempt that day before the clock read 6:00 and it was time for dinner. Martin would splice together the beginning of Take 7 and the end of Take 9 to create the version on record. (The edit can be heard on the first word of the third verse, when Lennon sings what sounds like "shend.")
6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.: Dinner break
Having wrapped the afternoon session, the presumably famished Beatles likely took a quick meal in the decidedly unglamorous EMI canteen. If they were anxious, they had good reason. The band was two thirds through their allotted recording time, and they had only produced half of the required songs. They would need to bang out a further five tunes in two-and-a-half hours in order to complete the album on time. Luckily the remaining songs, mostly covers, were mainstays in their repertoire. They could play these numbers backwards, forwards, and sometimes – as could be the case during their long Hamburg club nights – in their sleep. With their eyes on the prize (as well as the clock), they trouped back into Studio 2 determined to let it rip.
7:30 p.m.–8:15 p.m.: "Hold Me Tight"Unfortunately the beginning of their evening session would prove to be a colossal waste of time, as the Beatles ran through 13 takes of an original tune that would not make the album at all. "Hold Me Tight" was an uptempo rocker written mostly by McCartney several years earlier. It had been integrated into the band's stage show, but they never counted it among their best work. Even its composer dismissed it in retrospect as "a failed attempt at a single which then became an acceptable album filler." Lennon was equally blunt in his assessment of the number toward the end of his life. "That was Paul's," he said in 1980, "It was a pretty poor song and I was never really interested in it."
Perhaps it's for this reason that "Hold Me Tight" never got off the ground during the Please Please Me session. Tapes of the song from that day have since been destroyed, but the session notes paint a maddening portrait of false starts, breakdowns and edit pieces to patch up errors. Although the band eventually got a serviceable version (Take 9 spliced with an edit piece, Take 13), the song was abandoned for the day. A rerecorded incarnation would surface on the band's next album, With the Beatles, later that year.
8:15 p.m.–8:45 p.m.: "Anna (Go to Him)"

The frustrating experience of "Hold Me Tight" was now behind them, leaving them free to plow through their beloved covers. "A Taste of Honey" aside, which was more of a request from Martin and Epstein, these were the songs that truly inspired them. It's telling that all the non-original songs on Please Please Me had been performed (or at least popularized) by black soul artists, bearing out McCartney's assertion that the Beatles saw themselves as "a little R&B combo."
The first Lennon-led cover of the night, "Anna (Go to Him)," paid tribute to one of his great heroes, Alabama country-soul pioneer Arthur Alexander. The arrangement had been honed through constant performance, so recording was a relatively simple matter of getting a good live take. Floyd Cramer's introductory piano figure was played on guitar by Harrison, who was also an enormous fan of Alexander. "I remember having several records by him, and John sang three or four of his songs," he said in the Anthology. "Arthur Alexander used a peculiar drum pattern, which we tried to copy; but we couldn't quite do it, so in the end we invented something quite bizarre but equally original." By Take 3, the song was complete.
8:45 p.m.–9:00 p.m.: "Boys"The prevailing industry ethos of the time dictated that every pop group had to have a frontman, but Martin, to the foursome's everlasting gratitude, refused to make it First Name and the Beatles. In doing so, he cemented the idea of the band as a unified collective, and not merely hired backing. The group took this democratic notion even further by giving each member his own lead vocal spot on the album. For Starr's turn they chose "Boys," a Shirelles B side he'd been performing since his pre-Beatles days in Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. According to McCartney, the number "was a fan favorite with the crowd. And it was great – though if you think about it, here's us doing a song and it was really a girls' song. 'I talk about boys now!' Or it was a gay song. But we never even listened. It's just a great song."
As he did onstage, Starr sang and played at the same time, which any drummer can attest isn't the easiest thing to do. But instinct took hold and he got it on the first try, making it the only song of the day to be wrapped in a single take. "We didn't rehearse for our first album. In my head, it was done ‘live,'" the drummer recalled. "We did the songs through first, so they could get some sort of sound on each one; then we had to just run, run, run them down."
9:00 p.m.– 9:30 p.m.: "Chains"Originally recorded by the Cookies, an R&B girl group out of New York City, "Chains" showcased the Beatles' formidable ability to unearth deep-cut American pop gems, then a rarity in their British homeland. "With our manager Brian Epstein having a record shop, NEMS, we did have the opportunity to look around a bit more than the casual buyer," McCartney explained in the liner notes to On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2. Harrison was particularly taken with "Chains," purchasing the record in December 1962 and claiming the lead vocal as his own. The band recorded two complete versions of the song, with the first deemed the best.
A look at the label on the Cookies' single, which the Beatles no doubt inspected closely, would have revealed that "Chains" was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, the husband-and-wife duo who were a huge inspiration to the Beatles' own songwriting partnership. Lennon famously expressed his desire to be "the Goffin-King of England" with McCartney – as long as his name came first. When the initial pressing of Please Please Me credited the originals to "McCartney-Lennon," the rhythm guitarist quickly pulled some strings. The move rankled his collaborator and became something of a sore spot in years to come. "I wanted it to be McCartney-Lennon, but John had the stronger personality and I think he fixed things with Brian before I got there," McCartney related in Many Years From Now. "That was John's way. He was one and a half years older than me, and at that age it meant a little more worldliness. I remember going to a meeting and being told, 'We think you should credit the songs to Lennon-McCartney.' I said, 'No, it can't be Lennon first, how about McCartney-Lennon?' They all said, 'Lennon-McCartney sounds better, it has a better ring. ...' I had to say, 'All right, sod it.'"
9:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m.: "Baby It's You"The next number the band attempted was penned by Burt Bacharach and Mack David – elder brother of the composer's better-known lyricist, Hal. The second Shirelles song the Beatles' recorded that day, "Baby It's You" also featured contributions from Luther Dixon (credited as Barney Williams), the co-writer of "Boys." Three takes were recorded, one of which was a false start, with the final one labeled as the best. The track would be completed nine days later on February 20th, when Martin tracked himself playing celeste over Harrison's guitar solo.
Lennon's voice, which had been deteriorating all day, was beginning to show major cracks, notably on the "Don't want nobody, nobody" section. Fortunately he only had one song left to do, but it would take everything he had.
10:15 p.m.–10:30 p.m.: "Twist and Shout"

It was now 10 o'clock, the time when the studio officially closed for the night. For all of their superhuman stamina that day, the Beatles (discounting the aborted "Hold Me Tight") were still one song short. The following morning they were due to make the long trek to the north of England for a booking in Oldham, Lancashire. They had to get it now. Martin, as he often would for the Beatles, decided to bend the rules slightly and sneak in one more session after hours. But what would they play?
"At about 10 p.m., we all retired to the studio canteen for coffee and biscuits, where we and George Martin began an earnest discussion about a suitable number for the last track," McCartney remembered. Also present was journalist Alan Smith, who was reporting on the sessions for NME. "We all crowded in there, and I think it was George who said, 'What are we gonna do for the last number?'" Smith said in a BBC documentary. "I said, 'I think I heard you do "La Bamba" on the radio a few weeks ago.' McCartney looked a bit blank and then he said, 'You mean "Twist and Shout"!' I said, 'Yeah, "Twist and Shout."' The idea was instantly accepted.
On visits to the Cavern, Martin had witnessed firsthand the song's power to bring down the house. "John absolutely screamed it," he recalled. "God alone knows what he did to his larynx each time he performed it, because he made a sound rather like tearing flesh. That had to be right on the first take, because I knew perfectly well that if we had to do it a second time it would never be as good." Yet as they tuned up one final time that night in Studio 2, there was a very real question of whether he could manage it at all. "By this time all their throats were tired and sore," Norman Smith told Mark Lewisohn. "It was 12 hours since we had started working. John's in particular was almost completely gone, so we really had to get it right first time. John sucked a couple more Zubes, had a bit of a gargle with milk and away we went." Stripping off his shirt, he stepped up to the microphone.
The 22-year-old threw back his head and emitted a wail that, half a century later, still evokes winces of pain along with the involuntary head bob. "I couldn't sing the damn thing – I was just screaming," he admitted to Rolling Stone in 1970. "The last song nearly killed me," he said later. "My voice wasn't the same for a long time after; every time I swallowed it was like sandpaper. I was always bitterly ashamed of it, because I could sing it better than that; but now it doesn't bother me. You can hear that I'm just a frantic guy doing his best." The utter passion and total commitment make up for the wavering pitch and occasional cracks, which add flawed beauty to the song. In solidarity, the other Beatles play with an intensity that's all the more impressive given the grueling day behind them. Starr attacks the drums with a primal fury, while McCartney and Harrison bolster their flagging singer with airtight harmonies and encouraging war whoops. "He knew his voice had been going all day and he could only give it one or two goes and it would just rip it – which it did." says McCartney. "You can hear it on the record. But it was a pretty cool performance." The final seconds of the song, which ultimately closed the Beatles' debut, capture a joyous "Hey!" – McCartney's spontaneous salute to his mate.
A second take was briefly attempted, but there wasn't much point. Lennon gave it all the first time around. "It was good enough for the record, and it needed that linen-ripping sound," said Martin. The Beatles' "Twist and Shout" was released with no edits, no overdubs and no second chances.
10:30 p.m.–10:45 p.m.: Playback"At the end of the recording, George Martin looked down from the control room and said in amazement, 'I don't know how you do it. We've been here recording all day and the longer you go on, the better you get!'" McCartney recalled. With 14 songs in the can, there was nothing left to do but step back and admire their work. At half past 10 the Beatles climbed the stairs from the studio floor to the control room for the chance to listen to their debut album for the first time. "Waiting to hear that LP played back was one of our most worrying experiences," Lennon said in 1963. "We're perfectionists: if it had come out any old way, we'd have wanted to do it all over again. As it happens, we were very happy with the result."
McCartney concurred. "This album was one of the main ambitions in our lives," he said. "We felt that it would be a showcase for the group and it was tremendously important for us that it sounded bang on the button. As it happened, we were pleased. If not, sore throats or not, we'd have done it all over again. That was the mood we were in. It was break or bust for us."  
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miércoles, 21 de marzo de 2018

John Lennon Accidentally Doses In-Studio, Paul McCartney Trips Too In Solidarity, This Day In ’67

liveforlivemusic.comJohn Lennon Accidentally Doses In-Studio, Paul McCartney Trips Too In Solidarity, This Day In ’67
Ming Lee Newcomb
Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

From the fall of 1966 through to spring of 1967, The Beatles were in the studio recording what would become their eighth studio album, the critically acclaimed Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album, which is still a staple to this day (Rolling Stone named it the best album of all time), was immediately a commercial and critical success, known for its innovative production, ability to bridge pop music and high art, and psychedelic sensibilities that came to represent the late 60’s counterculture. While all the tracks have gained their own life in the fifty years since, the creation of the fourth number on the iconic album, John Lennon– and Paul McCartney-penned tune, “Getting Better”, has become fabled in Beatles lore.
An extensive piece by Rolling Stone details the rich history behind “Getting Better”. The song, while innocently conceived by McCartney on a walk with his sheepdog, Martha, also was the cause behind a favorite Beatles story—the time that John Lennon accidentally dosed himself in the studio, which led to McCartney’s first acid trip with one of his Beatles bandmates.

Initially, McCartney came up with the idea for the song during a jaunt through London’s Regent’s Park with journalist Hunter Davies, with McCartney eventually telling the biographer “It’s getting better” as a reference to the coming spring. However, within the band, the phrase “It’s getting better” had previously become an inside joke—Jimmie Nichol, a drummer who played a ten-show run with the band in 1964 while Ringo Starr was sick, had earnestly replied “It’s getting better!” to inquiries about how he was adjusting to the fervent Beatlemania at the time, much to the delight of the other members of the group.
McCartney brought the potential song subject to John Lennon, who took the optimistic line and quickly made it darker, offering up “It couldn’t get no worse” as a follow-up to the lyrics “Getting better all the time.” As noted in the biography Many Years From Now, McCartney later referenced that moment and the disparity between their two takes to highlight the perfection of their partnership, noting, “I thought, ‘Oh, brilliant! This is exactly why I love writing with John.” John also added in the dark confessional final verse about beating women—”‘I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved”—later telling Playboy during an interview in 1980 that the line was autobiographical, explaining that he “used to be cruel to my woman, and psychically, any woman. … I couldn’t express myself and I hit. I fought men and hit women.”

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On March 21st, 1967, the band (minus Ringo Starr) went to the iconic Abbey Road studios to record the backing harmonies of “Getting Better”. To keep awake for the session, Lennon went to take an amphetamine from his pill box; however, rather than choosing an upper, he accidentally dosed himself with LSD. (In 1992, George Harrison joked “It’ll certainly keep him awake for a while!” on ITV’s The South Bank Show.) However, as Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970, “I was not in the state of handling it. … I said, ‘What is it, I feel ill?’ I thought I felt ill and I thought I was going cracked … then it dawned on me that I must have taken some acid.”

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As sound engineer Geoff Emerick noted in his book, Here There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles, most of the other staff members were naive to drugs, thinking that John was acting strange but not knowing why. He recalls:
It seemed to take John a long time to get up the stairs; he was moving as if he were in slow motion. … When he finally walked through the doorway into the control room, I noticed that he had a strange, glazed look on his face. He appeared to be searching for something, but didn’t seem to know what it was. Suddenly he threw his head back and began staring intently at the ceiling, awestruck. With some degree of difficulty, he finally got a few not especially profound words out: ‘Wow, look at that.’ Our necks cranked upward, but all we saw was … a ceiling.
Realizing that something was off, John told Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band‘s producer George Martin that he didn’t feel well. The well-intentioned producer, oblivious to the psychedelic journey Lennon was about to embark on, told John that he just needed “a good breath of fresh air,” bringing Lennon with him to the roof. As Martin explained in the Beatles Anthology documentary,
If I’d known it was LSD, the roof would have been the last place I would have taken him! But of course I couldn’t take him out the front because there were 500 screaming kids who’d have torn him apart. So the only place I could take him to get fresh air was the roof. It was a wonderful starry night, and John went to the edge, which was a parapet about eighteen inches high, and looked up at the stars and said, ‘Aren’t they fantastic?’ Of course to him I suppose they would have been especially fantastic. At the time they just looked like ordinary stars to me.
Martin eventually left Lennon up on the roof alone, unaware of John’s state of mind. Eventually, McCartney and Harrison realized that Lennon had been left alone on the roof and rushed to get him, knowing that he could have easily fallen off the narrow parapet and multiple stories to the pavement below. However, when the pair arrived at the roof, Lennon was sitting quietly, safe from harm and deep in thought.
Once inside, it became clear that Lennon was not going to get a lot of recording done, instead opting to just sit and watch—this became an awkward point, as Lennon kept getting nervous and asking “Is this all right?” with his band members reaffirming he was okay to sit in the studio. Clearly, with the session going somewhat off the rails, the group ended their night early. However, with Lennon’s ride not scheduled to arrive for a number of hours, McCartney took his friend back to his house, which was within walking distance. With Lennon tripping, McCartney decided in solidarity that maybe he should trip with Lennon, despite being afraid of acid and being relatively inexperienced compared to his creative partner. This also marked the first time McCartney had ever eaten acid with any of his bandmates. McCartney’s hesitance to experiment with the hallucinogen had previously caused some issues with the band, who questioned why he was so reluctant to join them.

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As Paul McCartney recalled,
I thought, maybe this is the moment where I should take a trip with him. It’s been coming for a long time. It’s often the best way, without thinking about it too much, just slip into it. John’s on it already, so I’ll sort of catch up. It was my first trip with John, or any of the guys. We stayed up all night, sat around and hallucinated a lot. Me and John, we’d known each other for a long time. Along with George and Ringo, we were best mates. And we looked into each other’s eyes, the eye contact thing we used to do, which is fairly mind-boggling. You dissolve into each other. … And it was amazing. You’re looking into each other’s eyes and you would want to look away but you wouldn’t, and you could see yourself in the other person. It was a very freaky experience and I was totally blown away. John had been sitting around very enigmatically and I had a big vision of him as king, the absolutely Emperor of Eternity. It was a good trip.

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