Saturday, January 15, 2011

Beatle Questions Part 1

A friend of a friend fired me off a list of 15 Beatles questions. So to kill to birds with one stone, I'll answer them here. I'll do it in bits and hopefully get to all of them soon. There are some good ones...

1. Who wrote 'In My Life', John or Paul? If it was Paul, is there any other examples of a song writing dispute between them? Is there any other examples of John doing lead vocal on Paul song? Has Paul ever performed a John song in concert? If Paul wrote 'In My Life', why hasn't ever done it in concert?

Answer: First off, for all of these questions, I'm not going to research this stuff because that would be cheating.

I know that the only song besides 'In My Life' in 'dispute' is 'Elenor Rigby'. John claims to have written most of the lyrics whereas Paul says he wrote most of them.

Regarding 'In My Life', Paul says John had most of the words and that he (Paul) wrote the music. John says Paul helped with the 'middle eight' (or break). Problem with that statement is that 'In My Life' doesn't have a 'middle' bit except for the piano solo which is by George Martin. But, as the question insinuates, it was odd for Lennon-McCartney to write a song in the classic sense of one writing the lyrics and the other writing the music. It never really worked like that with them. So that would make one think John wrote most of it and Paul is wrong. However, it does SOUND like a Paul song (kinda like 'We Can Work It Out'). John's melodies were not fluid like 'In My Life' is. His songs center around one, two or three notes (usually). My conclusion is that I think Paul's story is probably correct. He wrote the melody and John probably forgot or got it mixed up with another song (hence the 'middle eight' error in his statement). BUT, the fact that he never does it live, makes you question if Paul did indeed write it.

And no, I can't think of any other instance of either of them writing a song that the other one sang lead on. But since it was John's lyric, I suppose it is his song, too.

Paul has done 'Give Peace a Chance' live. And I recently read that he did 'One After 909' in concert at the Apollo in NYC. He does do a George song ('Something') live. On the flip-side, John did 'I Saw Her Standing There' with Elton John in 1974.

Interestingly, George performed 'In My Life' in his 1974 concerts. Maybe he wrote it!?

2. Have you ever read John's poem 'Toy Boy' and what do you think about it?

Answer: No. Never even heard of it.

3. On Let it Be (Naked) 'Fly on the Wall', George and Paul refer to Brian as Mr. Epstein. Did they usually refer to him so formally?

Answer: I don't recall the 'Fly on the Wall' reference, but it seems like I've heard them call him 'Mister' in other conversations/interviews. I think it may be a combination Liverpudlian jokey way of talking as well as making sure the listener isn't confusing him with another 'Brian'.

4. What's the story behind Paul and Jane Asher's break-up? They were together for years then suddenly split. Do they speak? Why was Paul, a multi-millionaire, living at Jane's home with her family?

Answer: Jane caught Paul in bed with another woman when she walked in on him at his St. John's Wood house. I think it was Francie Schwartz, who he 'dated' around the 'White Album'. Jane broke it off immediately. But I think it was going to happen anyway. Paul didn't dig the fact that she was a working actress and not looking to settle down and be the typical Liverpool-style wife.

I don't think they speak, however, it's hard to believe that there hasn't been some occasional communication like a congratulations note or something. Plus, her brother Peter worked for Apple and still has some contact with Paul (I assume). Paul has mentioned he appreciates how she has never written a 'tell all' or cashed in on the 'Beatles/McCartney' connection. Jane is probably my favorite 'Beatle Girlfriend/Wife'. I like Linda a lot, too.

I think he lived with the Ashers simply because he needed a place and was hardly ever home anyway and it was offered to him. He was too busy and lazy to buy a house at the time. It was easy and fits his 'everyman' side. That is, he's as likely to ride in a city bus as he is to fly in a private jet. So 'crashing' with the Asher for a year or so was no big deal.

5. I seem to remember Paul writing a book of poems and stories perhaps to compete with John's books. This was 10-15 years ago. What did critics say about it?

Answer: Yes, it was about 10 years ago. It was around the time he was griping about the 'Lennon-McCartney' credits and wanted them reversed on songs he wrote (or mostly wrote). Yoko nixed the idea, and Ringo also came out against it. Paul backed off. The book was not well received. I never read it. Like his 'paintings', no one really cares.

More answers next time, folks!!


Post a Comment

<< Home