For many years, I've been thinking about doing a rock 'n' roll album. It's something that Lin and I were talking about and she was very keen on the idea. She loved that rock 'n' roll. So she loved the idea of me doing some of these songs that I never did with the Beatles.
So I started planning it. And what happened was, I started to remember that the early recording session with the Beatles happened a particular way. And a very specific way. What happened is, you're supposed to get at the studio for ten o'clock. Then you're supposed to be ready with the guitar in tune or your bass, set up your amp, everything ready to go by 10:30. Then at 10:30, the grown ups would kind of arrive, then they'd say, what are we doing. You'd tell them, and in the next three hours you were expected to do two songs. Then at 1:30, you had 1:30 to 2:30 an hours' lunch. Then 2:30 to 5:30 you had another three hours, another two songs. And that was the way we worked for quite a while, like Revolver, Rubber Soul, all the early albums. And I remember loving it, 'cause it was so fast. There was no time for anything but music. Wasn't indulging, you couldn't have time. So I thought, it'd be really great to do that again. And I had a kind of like professional nostalgia for that way of working. So I thought, I wonder if it would work these days, you know. The other thing I realized was that when John and I were writing we often would have written the stuff just a week before. So when the producer, George Martin, and the engineer say, what are we doing, John and I would say, it goes like this. We'd pull our guitars out and we'd show the song. Often Ringo and George also didn't know what was coming up. They weren't with us when we had written. So it was really fresh. It meant that every new recording people had only just heard for the first time. You'd really had to think, what do I want to do on this. Make instant decisions. Nothing could be left till later. You just had to go and do it. So I thought, well, I should try and recreate exactly that.
So what I did was, I booked Abbey Road studios, Studio 2, which is our old studio for a week. I rang up some guys, who I knew, two I didn't know, just, well, just thought who, who would be a good band. I'd asked a few people. Dave Gilmour was interested in doing on guitar, he's an old friend, Dave, I like his playing. Mick Green who I'd worked with before. He used to be in Johnny Kidd and The Pirates, British group. And he's a great rock 'n' roll player. They're both great players but different. I knew I'd be on bass, which is how I used to work. I didn't swap instruments. I just sang and was on bass all week, with the Beatles. So I knew that's what I wanted to do. Rang up Ian Paice, Deep Purple, and stuff and said, you know, do you fancy. He said, yeah. Got in touch with Pete Wingfield who is a really good rock 'n' roll pianist, good keyboard player, and said, you know, you fancy it.
You said, you didn't know Pete, but the rest of the guys were guys you knew.
I did, I didn't know Pete Wingfield or Ian Paice. I'd never met either of those guys. Pete's the pianist, Ian's the drummer. I didn't actually even speak to Pete, to Pete or Ian before they showed up. Producer rang 'em. But I wanted to do it like that, you know, I thought, if I start talking to them, I start telling them what songs we're gonna do and I give the game away. So I just sort of thought, no, let's just meet up when it's too late. Forward is the only way to go, you know. So I showed up on a Monday morning. I'd got out cassettes of the songs I'd wanted to do. First of all, I just thought, what song do I really love. What songs are fixed in my memory, you know, from when I was a kid. And I would think, oh, I remember being on the fairground and that song was playing. Sort of, got to try that one. Remembered loving that song and that was a B-side. So I got together about 25 songs that I just remembered, we didn't do with the Beatles, but I knew I liked them. An actual fact, a side track, interesting thing with the Beatles was, we would show up at a gig and there'd be like four or five bands on the gig. And we weren't necessarily top of the bill in the early days, but there would be a couple of people on before us, a couple of bands. Now we do like Long Tall Sally, What'd I Say, a couple of songs like Shot Of Rhythm And Blues, couple of songs like that. What would happen is, these other bands would play 'em. We'd be in the dress room, we hear, What'd I Say, you go, oh, there goes one of our big numbers. You hear next song, Long Tall Sally, oh God, there goes another. It'd wipe out your whole act. So you think, we really got to do something about this. So we, we, we took to actually looking for B-sides and actually it's why John and I started writing. No other reason. 'Cause the only way they couldn't access our stuff. It wasn't some great, you know, we must write, we want to be composers. It was like, no, it was like the only way to get original stuff. So we started writing around that time. And a lot of B-sided that I collected for that kind of reason, we didn't actually get round to doing. A lot we did. So I had this whole store of memories of these things. So I, I just got 'em in another envelop, all the words. And I sat at home, exactly as I had done when I was fifteen, and in that case it was a 45 record and a den set, now it was a cassette. But I didn't get any of the sheet music. This is all later. I'd be getting the first line down, stop the cassette, write it down, play the next line, write it down. And I thought, I haven't done this since I was fifteen. It was a great feeling. It was like, wow, I love this. And what I did on this Monday morning, was say hello to people, got in tune, made sure everything was working. 10:30 I just, would look through the little envelop. I just would find the first song that I really fancied, one or two, maybe do that later. Go, ooh, fancy this one. Pull it out, say to everyone, now, does anyone know No Other Baby. And they all go, no. 'Cause, you know, some of these are quite obscure. So they say, no. I said, well, ok, here's how it goes. Exactly as we used to. It only took fifteen minutes to show them the song. But these guys are such a good musicians, that then we just split to our various instruments, we just try it. We're gonna listen to it once, go down and do a couple of takes, get a good take, and it was like, ok, next song. Ching. And that was it. We raced through them. At the end of the week we'd done like nineteen songs, you know. And I think we've really all, I know, we've really all enjoyed doing it. Somebody said to me, didn't you have any ego problems with all the band, you know. I said, there wasn't time. There's no time. It was like, next song. Ching. Lunch. Ching, you know, run over, stick a soup on, do a salad, ching, back to the, you know, it was, it was great. It was really quite hard work, but very satisfying. So at the end, and at 5:30 in the evening, we just say, right, going home, 'night. Which is unheard of, now, I mean, that's like an office job, you know. But it worked. And it was really great, very satisfying. And we often came out of each day with about four songs. So it was very fresh, very, about as fresh as you can get. Pretty live sounding.
Were you doing it in this way in songs from your past, you know, songs that you love to ?...?, it's a location from your past, Studio 2.
Ok, so it's a style from the past, you know. Did you have a sense at all of kind of stepping back slightly in time.
Oh, yeah, a lot. Actually all of us did. 'Cause the thing about working in Studio 2 in Abbey Road is, they haven't changed it since before we worked there. And the idea is that there's so many great records coming out there, not just the Beatles, there's a lot of other good people, that, why change it. I mean, you might mess it up. So it's one studio in the world, they've got all other studios here, but that's the one they don't change. So when you go back in it or see footage from it, it already looks like the past, 'cause the location is the past. I think for all the guys in the band it was kind of nostalgic, really. I mean, Dave Gilmour's worked there a lot with the Floyd. So he, he knows the studio well. But it's got, it's a great studio, it's a great room. Stuff sounds good in it. And you've got to take the formula. If it sounded good when we just thought up something really quickly with the Beatles, it ought to sound good now. You know and it smells, Studio 2 smells. And people who'd come along who don't know that smell, to me it's like a very homey smell like, wooh, yeah, you know, I'm back.
Do you think you sing better if you think you have to sing good. 'Cause you sound so great.
You know, the truth about the singing was that since Linda died, for a year I haven't really sung. There's no opportunity to or no need to or whatever, you just don't get round to it. Only things I've done, I've been writing little bits. And you use your little writing voice. It's a little voice really. And then you learn how to ?...? make the record or whatever. That's the way I do it, anyway. So I didn't actually know about, 'cause the thing is, I had a bad moment that Sunday evening, before the Monday morning. I thought, wait a minute. Not only do I not know if I can still sing ok, after a year of not really singing. I also don't know the bass parts for these numbers. And I've never done it before. Oh, great formula. But then I thought, wait a minute. The only thing is the other guys don't know them either. That was the saving grace. I thought, well, that's ok. And that's what we did. I made up the bass part instantly, sang it while I was playing like, and again, I thought, well, if there's one thing I've had practice at, it's playing the bass and singing at the same time. You think about it, that's my whole career with the Beatles and beyond. So, you know, I'm probably one of the most practiced in the world at that thing. And the guys would say, that's a nice feel you've got on guitar. Do you want to put guitar on. I said, no, I'm the bass player, you know. So we did it like that all week.
So you didn't do any clean ups either.
No. Bass only.
You know, just listening to it generally, I mean, there's a few really sad moments in it, but generally it just feels like a celebration. Very upbeat. Was that the spirit you were looking for. Is that just happening.
Oh, no, that just happens because in rock 'n' roll that tends to be the spirit. Rock 'n' roll tends not to be very sad. It tends to be very joyous, you know. Saturday night I just got paid, fool about the money, don't try to save. Heart says go go, have a time, Saturday night baby I feel fine, you know. That's the gist of most of your rock 'n' roll lyrics. And I love that about it. But then there's songs that I remembered like Lonesome Town, which was a Ricky Nelson song and I was quite a big fan of his. And that's a sad song. 'Cause now for me, it's more meaningful. It's, you know, when I'm singin it now, it means more than I ever meant before. Just 'cause it, it just does, you know. But it was good to do, you know, it was good to do those songs. Just kind of little bit of, like therapy in a way, you know. Working with a band like that is a bit, you get it off your chest. So, yeah, there were one or two sad songs but mainly it's very upbeat, very energetic. Enjoyed doing it.
You said, it was like therapy and I wondered.
How you meant that, like, did you mean, sometimes just, you know, when life is really hard, burying yourself in your work is the best thing to do.
Yeah. But, you know, people have said to me, one of the things to get over a kind of tragedy is to stay really busy, really busy. But I thought, no. I'm not gonna do that. I see that one. It's just too easy. It's a bit like denial. So I thought, well, for at least a year, I'm not gonna do that. And so I didn't, you know, just did whatever came along, whatever I felt good about. But I thought, well, after, maybe after the end of a year, I will start to think of what I want to do. And the immediate project that I, that I'd been talking to Linda about was the rock 'n' roll album. So I thought, well, that'll be good. I'll pick that up. It's simple. It's not too much thinking, you know, it's nice and basic, rock 'n' roll. And I'm, I might enjoy doing it. That's exactly what happened, you know. And working with the guys. We did get busy. In fact we got very busy. That week was just like madness. But I think we all enjoyed it, 'cause it, it, it demanded of us that, the fact that we played well quickly. And no one was allowed to say, uhuh, I need an hour for a vocal warm up. It was like, sorry love. We haven't got an hour to do the song. Never mind a vocal warm up, you know. And so it was great. Once we all understood what was going on everyone rose to the occasion. And I know from just chatting to the guys that we had a ball.
Do you think that that kind of discipline and that sense of that work ethic, how is that mured in the music.
Because you haven't got really long to think. It's like you've been given the decision in life, you got two road to go down and one of them is, you know, a rocky road or whatever, and you just got to, you know, when you can't think you got to do right, I'm going down that one, you just have to quickly decide. And I think there's a spirit in people that often makes that quite a good decision. It's often the first, Allen Ginsberg, he said to me, first thought best thought, you know, when you're writing a poem or something. The first thing that comes in your mind is often the best one. It's not always true but often good. So I just thought, that's how we'll do it. And I think, in fact, one of the catchphrases we had during the week would be, no thinking. 'Cause what happened, well, the drummer might sort of say, now, what if I use brushes and don't use the hi-hat. What if I come in on the second chorus. You go, you're thinking. And he go, oh, yeah, I'm sorry. And it's was like that was the worst thing you could do all week, you know, say, what if we take that and do special. And I could this. No thinking. So it was like outlawed, you know, we, we banned thinking from the week. And I think that shows, you know, in a positive way. Rock 'n' roll, you know, you either just do it or you don't. I knew I just had to get out there. I had these guys playing. And I've got to sing it. They're looking to me to sing it. I always had Mick Green looking at me through the screens. And Mick, I mean, he was laughing most of the time. He was getting me laughing. It was good, it was a real good ?...? between us all. 'Cause we had no time to think and also didn't want to think, I think you've got a kind of instant thing in the tracks. The singing echoes it, 'cause it's like you better get it right. 'Cause we're going home in a minute. And so you got to call on your instincts. You got to call on all your musicianship suddenly. You don't get to pace it out over a week, you know. Well, I'm good at that. Good at that, it's like, no, you better be good at singing and playing bass and he better get the drums right all together, 'cause this is our, this is our chance at it.
And then is it live takes. I mean, are the takes that we here the actual.
Yeah, all, all the takes from the thing are just actual live takes. There wasn't actually much fixing required. But we made just, you know, in the mixing we might just sort of fix that a little bit or a little bit there. But it was mainly just the straight takes. Very spontaneous. We edited it a little bit around, 'cause we're making it up sometimes when we're on a bit too long. So we just chop a verse out or something. But that's really all we did. It's basically, what you hear is what happened, you know, in that week.
I love that spirit. You said you chose the songs that you really liked, that brought back great memories.
But then there's the three tracks that you wrote. When did you come to that decision that I am gonna add some of my own compositions.
Yeah. While I was getting the lyrics and thinking about what songs I was gonna do, I was writing at the same time. So rather than write a ballad, I thought, well, since I'm gonna do a rock 'n' roll album, I might as well write a couple of rockers. That might come in handy. We might not have enough stuff. And also I liked doing that. I liked trying to do it. They're actually very hard to write, rock 'n' roll. It's, it's, you talk to most songwriters, they say, it's easier to write a ballad, although they perhaps sometimes seem harder to write. It's difficult to get things sounding genuine in rock 'n' roll. 'Cause you're not black, you don't live in the South, you're not some poor guy on a terrace with an old blues guitar, you know, you, so, that's the difficulty, you know. You're not experiencing all this stuff that it came from, you know. But, you know, I love it so much that I can, I can try in my own way to recreate those of when I was a kid, and my admiration for these blues, rock 'n' people, you know. So I think it all started with one of the songs called What It Is, that I was just starting on piano. I was just writing a song anyway, with half an idea that I might be doing this rock 'n' roll album in the back of my mind. And I actually wrote that when Lin was still alive. So it was a nice song to sing to her. You are what it is. So that had kind of, you know, sentimental attachments to me on that. That's really the only story about that song. I wrote it for her. And then I thought, well, you know, I keep going, you know, and see if anything else comes. I was actually in Atlanta and my son James wanted to go around, down to the funky area, you know. He wants to always go to the funky area of town. Me too. Just walking round the block and people said, yo, Paul, alright, man, yeah. And it was nice, you know, good friendly atmosphere, nice and low-key. So I'm enjoying it. Nice afternoon. We came across this shop, which is like one of these sort of voodoo shops, where you get cures for everything. All your ailments, you know. Being in the South, I think they're a bit more prevalent than up in the North. Anyway, I was looking in the window and there's these fascinating things in the window. There's like bath salts that you put in your bath and it gets rid of all your demons. And there's like incense that you can burn to get rid, you know, it's that, this whole shop was dedicated to that kind of thing. So I was looking into the shop window, I saw this bottle of bath salts called Run Devil Run. I thought, oh, wow, I thought, and I realized what it was, that's a good title. That's a title for a song Run Devil Run, you know. So I was actually going back on holiday after that. So while I was on holiday I started thinking of the words for Run Devil Run. And it came quite easy, you know. I thought, well, working backwards, Run devil run, the angel's having fun, making winners out of sinners, better leave before he's done. When he gets through he'll be coming after you, so listen what I'm telling you. Run devil run, you know. So it came quite easy, the chorus. Then I was actually out sailing. And I did the verses out sailing. Which is nothing to do with sailing. It's all about a swamp in Alabama. But, you know, your imagination's free to roll when you're on holiday like that.
I thought it sounded a little like Linda doing it.
You know, that's amazing. Yeah, I thought that. A few of the harmonies on the album, 'cause she didn't record on it, as it was done more recently, there's this spooky thing. It's like she's singing on it. Yoohh. Well, I have no problem with that. It just must be something about my voice and her voice and how it used to match and living so close together, I think, you know, you grow into to each other a bit, you know. So I thought that, just recently, I said, God, she's singing backing. Yeah. Magic. And then I did one more. 'Cause the producer, Chris Thomas, said to me, ah, I really like this. This could be good, you know. You should, good to have a couple of originals. So then I said, oh, you like it. Ok, and I come up with a song called Try Not To Cry, which is kind of slightly more pop. It's still sort of R&B based. Those three all made it to the final album.
They fit in so well.
That's really what I was worried about. 'Cause I know that most of the stuff, well all the other stuff's retro. Although we were trying to get quite a modern sound. And so it's like a band now playing old songs. We were a little bit worried that the new songs might not fit in to this thing. But it was kind of cool, because one day, I think one of the roadies, the guy said, who did this one. And it was one of the new ones. I thought, oh, we're cracking it here.
You said, they're retro songs, but they're not retro sounds.
Could you kind of explain what that means.
Yeah, you know, sometimes if you listen to the radio, you'll hear a modern song and then, if it's a kind of liberal enough station, you might hear an old rock 'n' roll song. Sometimes the sound is just woollier. And it's just a little bit more old fashioned. It's not as crisp, not as clear as a modern recording just 'cause that's what's improved, you know. Some people don't like that improvement but people are used to it now. You listen on the radio, there's kind of standard of sound that if you don't get in that ball park one way or another, they won't play it. And so, you know, that's not what you want. So me and Chris, the producer, talked and I said, you know, it'd be really good if, if our stuff, even though the songs are retro could live alongside normal stuff that's being played on the radio. Not old fashioned stuff. Modern stuff. So that was our policy, was to do that, so we, we talked to Geoff the engineer, and said, ok, we want it to kind of be, you know, modern sounding, but the songs themselves obviously are gonna be old songs, except the new ones, which will be new. But there were a couple of songs that, really, I just wanted to kind of be faithful to the originals. Just 'cause the memory was just so clear. Blue Jean Bop was off an album that we had in Liverpool of Gene Vincent's with the big hit was Be-Bop-A-Lula. Blue Jean Bop wasn't quite such a big hit but it was one we loved. And it's got this nice intro which, you know, Bluejean baby with your big blue eyes. Duh, duh, duh, duhoah. I can't keep still so baby let's dance. Well, the blue, and then it goes like a lot of rock 'n' roll songs just do that, you know. And it's got this echo wah, wah, wah, really poppin'. And in actual fact, having done a bit of that in the week, I realized that they actually used to write for the echo. Well it's the bop, bop, bop, that's bop, delay echo. That ?...?. So, if you go, lovely day today, all languid things, it doesn't work. You've got to pop the echo, you know, I'm a poppin' you, beat, bop, boppin' you, baby bop. So you realize that's why all the songs were written like that, you know. So it's great just sort of rediscovering all this stuff kind of new. And on Blue Jean Bop I thought, no, I just want that echo, over the top echo sound. So we used it there. But on a lot of the other songs. There's kind of a more modern sound on them. But the songs themselves are like old fashioned. We just, you know, messed them around. I mean, I love the lyrics of this album. They're really nice. Blue Jean Bop's got, you know, I can't keep still so baby let's dance. Dip your hip, free your knee, you know. I like this stuff, it's kind of good, good words, I think. Some of them are really brilliant, clever lyrics.
Free your knee.
Free your knee. What free your knee is. A line out of Blue Jean Bop. And it's actually a dance instruction. When you say to someone, you know, free your knee, they think, what. You think about it, it's like, you know, dip your hip, free your knee, wiggle on your baby, 1, 2, 3. It's, it's like shake it baby or something, you know, free your mind, free your knee. Free yourself. So that's why I like it. It's a nice little phrase.
She Said Yeah, which I thought is a very sexy song.
Yeah. Sexy song. Yeah, man. She Said Yeah was a Larry Williams song. And it was really one of my favourites of his. In fact it was my favourite of Larry's. He did some other good songs like Bony Moronie and stuff, which were big hits. But it was always a song I loved. And always wanted to get round to doing. In actual fact, I think, I remember turning Mick Jagger on to it. Remember distinctively having him up in to a little music room and the bit I love dum, dum, tiddely dum, baah. ?...? I was dancing away, showing Mick and he loved it. So, yeah, my main recollection of She Said Yeah is just as it being really one of my favourite Larry Williams tracks. And he's just a great vocalist, Larry, you know, it's a storming track, the original. So that's kind of faithful to, we messed around with it a little bit, but that's sort of like my memory of the original.
All Sh, um, um, um.
All Shook Up.
All Shook Up.
Oh yeah. I tell you why I have the loveliest memory of All Shook Up. I mean, we were, we were mad Elvis fans before he went in the army. We kind of thought that made too much of a change. 'Cause we were kids and he was a little bit more grown up than we were. But we still identified to the kind of youthfulness of him. So we just loved him. He could do nothing wrong. We just thought he was fantastic. I had a mate of mine, who I still know, he's called Ian James, and he was my best mate. So we used to wander round like these fairgrounds, you know, hoping, thinking the girls would come flooding to us, 'cause they never took any notice of us. I remember feeling bad one day, me and Ian, it's like, you know, it's teenage blues, it's like, what're we gonna do, man. It was like, so he said, we'll go back to his place. And he lived in the Dingle, where round by, where Ringo lived. This little terrace house, his granny's house. And we went in there and he had All Shook Up, Elvis. He said, just put that on. Well, after we put that on, I swear, the blues had gone, the headache had gone, we were like new people. And, so, you know, I just love that song so much for being able to do that. Loved the pop, which is like the snare. It's like, pop, I'm all shook up. There's a little, pop, but it's not a snare. Often it was just a cardboard box or something they hit. Later, with the Beatles, we would often do that, you know. Use that, that's as good as a snare, you know. On the record, we often just, hit on knees and stuff. And that's all, came out of that. So I remember All Shook Up for that little snare beat. But mainly just for the joy it brought, these two teenage lads, you know, turned our day around. I just thought, wow, that's gonna be a good song. And then when we recorded it, me and Dave Gilmour, doing the backing harmonies, again, no time, five minutes, let's do it, guys. We don't know how the harmonies go. Sure you do. You got five minutes, starting now. So we went down there and the bit I loved, we're having a lot of fun, just working together, you just do the end of the line, ta-da-da-da-la-da, and the line is, ta-da-da a volcano when it's hot, 'cause you can't, you just got to sing, 'cano when it's hot. Which is lovely, you know, very surreal little lyric. 'Cano when it's hot. We're looking at each other, giggling, you know, so, you know. There're just good little moments like that, very reminiscent of the kind of moments you had when you were just starting a band. It's all sudden, it's all suddenly upon you.
No Other Baby.
No Other Baby was a strange track, because I didn't have a record of it. I didn't know who'd recorded it or who'd written it. But I knew I loved the song from late '50's. And so that was one I pulled out my envelop, say, anyone know this. They said, no. They had really no idea. I'd barely knew it. But I just remembered it, and remembered the verses. It's just a simple song. And I always wanted to do it. We used to do it at soundchecks actually on the, on the, on the tour we used to do it. I found out lately that it was recorded by an English group who were like a skiffle group. Was before rock 'n' roll for us here. And they were called the Vipers. They were like a favourite little skiffle group of ours. Funny though, I was talking to George Martin on the phone the other day and I said, I was telling him about No Other Baby, I said, do you know who this song is by. He said, I doubt we even did it. I've since found out, it was by the Vipers, you know. And I suddenly realized while I was talking to George, wait a minute George, you recorded the Vipers. He said, yes, I did. I said, well, this song's called No Other Baby, how does it go. He said, I said, I don't want no other, he said, oh yes, I remember it. So it turned out we talked about, coming full circle. George actually recorded the original thing.
I knew I knew that song. And I couldn't think from where.
Yeah, I think.
And how did you know the words if you couldn't get them.
I just remembered them, you know. I don't want no other baby but you. That's easy. There's only two and a couple of verses. I just happened to remember them.
And then how did you find out then, who had done it.
After we recorded it, you got to register them. 'Cause other people wrote them and they want the money, you know. So I'm very happy to. I always love that thought. 'Cause what happened with the Beatles, we do songs on our early albums, they were like Chains, Boys, and She's Got The Devil In Her Heart and stuff like this. And these would be like B-sides, lesser known tracks, because of the reasons I was telling you before. So that suddenly, some little song writer in the South of America, who had written for the Shirelles, a B-side, and who had never seen a cheque ever, the Beatles had suddenly done it. Ringo had done Boys, you know. So this guy suddenly, and he used to write letters, well, thanks guys, you know, I ain't seen a cheque on that one for years. So I, we used to love that thought. I still do. So I hope that one does well, because I know the guy who wrote it, a guy called Dickie Bishop.
Lonesome Town is so sad.
Well, it's, it's got to be a bit sad Lonesome Town because of my kind of circumstances now, you know. When I first heard it, it was just a nice ballad, you know. It was just a ballad for lonesome people, you know. And that was ok. Ricky Nelson did it. So I always liked the song and I always thought, one of these days I might do that. Might get, try to get round to doing that. Actually it's funny, what happened was, got into the studio fully intending to do it like Ricky Nelson. But then I thought, you know, his version is so good. And if I do, There's a place where lovers go, which is how he did it, I thought, well, it's just gonna be a complete remake. In certain cases I don't mind a remake. But in this one, I thought, no. So I thought, what I'll do is I, I'll take it higher. There's a place where lo, more my kind of, you know, higher voice. So I thought, well, I use that. Everything was going great. I said, anyone know this one. Couple of guys, yeah, couple of guys, no. So I said, here's how it goes. But it all worked out. And we got to the middle, 'cause I was taking it so high, I was going, And they call it lonesome town. And then it goes, Take me down to, ridiculous. It was like, you know, Micky Mouse something, Take me down, or then, if I, said, no I can't go up, I'll go down. It was like Take me down and it suddenly goes, in an ordinary voice. So I didn't know which way to go. I said, uh, I'm going, like, spoil the mood. So then, in two seconds flat, it was like, ah, I know. Dave, will you sing the tune Take me down to lonesome. And I'll stay above it. Take me down to lonesome town. I'll sing a harmony above it. So it's good, you know. And that's exactly how we used to work with the Beatles. An idea would come up. Someone would go, that's good. And it, you know, it didn't take weeks to go through the bureaucracy of, is it a good idea, will we use it. No time, you go, we better ?...?, we're running out of time. So we did, and I think that worked out great. The fact that, you know, just a little idea like that.
Now this one is yours, Try Not To Cry.
Yeah. Some songs come from, like, an idea. And this one came from a very specific idea. When you're mixing a record, it's really good if you can get like, let's say, a lot of bass drums come through. And sometimes the words go over the bass drum. So you got to favour the words. So you don't get enough bass drum. So I thought, ah, I know, just as a little exercise, I'll work, I'll work out a song, was actually not the bass drum, was the snare drum, I'll work out a song that avoids the off beat. So it was like, Sometimes, I'm right, sometimes, I'm wrong. Put the song in the gaps. Yeah, so that was like the whole idea of the song and I put some words, you know, filled out all the words. And the chorus didn't bother with that, the chorus just went to a chorus. But that was the whole idea. So consequently, when I came in, all I could tell the guys was, well, it goes like this, you know, you got, I said, I'm sitting there, you know, supposed to be a good song writer, and I'm saying, I've got this song, guys. And I'm thinking, God, they're just gonna laugh at me. It goes like this, Somet, Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong, how can, I do it, if I don't know, the song, all day, I try. And I'm looking at them and they're going, uhuhm. They're trying to look interested, you know. This is, this is good, Paul. I think, they're thinking, oooh, tilt, you know, something, ba, drastically wrong has happened here. Sometimes I'm right, ponk. But, and then, it worked out, you know. And then, and they all saw what I was trying to do. And they fell in with it and so they laid it with the off beat. Peh, peh. So it worked out fine, but it was, was kind of like a little formula. But they, it worked out nice, I'm really pleased with it, actually.
Movie Magg, very country and western.
Movie Magg is a Carl Perkins song. And as you may know, the Beatles were like really major fans of Carl. And we had a lot of his records, really, in our formative years. And it was another artist who we'd sit around playing. And we did a lot of his songs, actually. And Movie Magg was one I always liked. It's a crazy little song. When I got to know Carl later on, I asked him about that. I said, what is that song about then. And Carl was such a country dude that he actually picked cotton when he was a kid, you know. He is from a very poor family. So he'll tell you stories and actually this story is about him gonna take this girl Maggie to the movies and he stood, he wants to take her on his horse of his called Becky. And it turns out it's a mule. And it's a real horse. He said, well, Paul, you know, when I was a kid, we had a mule called Becky. And it turns out this is like his, this is a real story. He had a girl friend called Maggie and he did polish up old Becky and they rode on Becky's back to the movies. So I just thought, that is just so great. So wild. I mean, I loved Carl telling me stories. He had some, he had a wealth of great stories he'd tell. And they just go back, just that bit further than I go back. I mean, they go back into the cottonfields, my dad was a cotton salesman. But we didn't go back to the fields, you know, that's, that's, so I love that song just because of it. Just 'cause it, there was such a close connection with Carl. And when we came to do it, we had the full band in. Then it was like, maybe we don't need piano. So then Pete went off. And then it was like maybe we don't need all the guitars. So I think Dave went off. And it was like, maybe we don't need any guitars. So then, I tell a lie, the only time I got off bass was to play acoustic guitar on that track. That's actually the only time. So that's what happened. The whole band, we were starting calling ourselves the Dwindlers, 'cause we were like dwindling away. It was just me, and the drummer left, you know. Funnily enough it sounds the most instant, but it was probably the most worked on that. But I wanted to do it, 'cause it's kind of a homage to Carl. And I love the song.
And it's. Oh, yeah.
And it's funny, Mick, who is a London boy, you know, Mick Green, what's all this then, Becky's bike. Climb upon ol' Becky's bike. No, I said, Becky's back. So what is this, taking her to the pictures on a bike. I said, no, a mule. Oh, we had some fun.
So, we have that very handsome Brown Eyed Handsome Man, right now.
Yeah, this is just a real nice song that Chuck Berry wrote. And we used to know Buddy's version of it. I think John used to do it a bit, when we were looking for songs. It was one of John's. I always liked it, it's a mouthful. Woh-he-got-ta-da-da-da-da-T-W-A-saw-a-man, very Chuck, you know. American life. Flying across the desert in a TWA, I saw a woman walking 'cross the sand. She'd been walking fifty miles en route to Bombay. Where's that, where's that come from, you know. But I just love it. It just pulls it up. To meet the brown eyed handsome man. It's good, good lyrics in there. As I told you, Milo de Venus was a beautiful girl, she had the world in the palm of her hands. She lost both her arms in a wrestling match to find the brown eyed handsome man, you know. There's a great humour in that. And it scans great and it sings great. That's the stuff about that, that's the secret about this stuff. You can write the cleverest lyrics that don't sing good. But I liked a lot of Chuck's things. And so like Back In The U.S.A. was the catalyst for me writing Back In The U.S.S.R. Was like a spoof on Chuck's stuff. So I, I, I respect him a lot as a songwriter.
Coquette was a B-side of Fats Domino's, that, I always liked the tune. Hear me, why you been fooling, little Coquette. It's just a charming little song and I always loved it, you know. And it was just one of mine that I always meant to do one of these days, either with the Beatles or, it never came up. So, I just remembered it. I thought, right, got to do that one. So that's one, that's got a bit of a retro sound. It's, it's really me doing Fats, you know. I love it so much that I couldn't do it any other way.
And it gets really cool. And I Got Stung.
I Got Stung. After Elvis got out of the army I Got Stung was one of the ones he did then. And I remember us not being too keen on it. But recently I just sort of remembered the opening. Holy smoke landsakes alive, I never thought this could happen to me. A-ha-ha. Doov, doov, doov, doov. I just loved that intro. So I thought, got to do it, you know. Just 'cause of that intro. So I take it down, got the words. I couldn't get most of them off the record. I finally actually got a lyric sheet on that one. So I did it. And we just did more of a shouty version than Elvis's version.
Honey Hush. Honey Hush is a song that really has very, very early memories for me. I remembered John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe had an art school flat, an apartment in a place called Gambier Terrace that looks out on to Liverpool Cathedral, amazing place. And it was just a bare flat with a mattress on the floor, you know. Art school kind of thing, you know, a little ashtray, that was it. And I, it was one of the first times, 'cause I was a bit younger than John and Stu, one of the first times I ever stayed over, stayed out all night, me and George. George was even younger than me. So, and he still is. He keeps telling me that. He writes that on all my birthday cards. And you're still nine months older than me. It's, so it was really great experience for us kids who were there to stay over in someone's flat, man, you know, instead of sleeping home. I remember waking up in the morning, ooh, God, you know, after having virtually no sleep, but it didn't matter, it was so cool. And like in this cold little apartment in Liverpool. And there was just a ?...? set, record player on the floor, besides the mattress. And the first thing he put on was this Johnny Burnette record. And it was Honey Hush. And I loved it so much. Come into this house, stop all that yakety yak. Dun-duh-du. And his brother Dorsey Burnette does a great solo, you know. So Mick Green really knew this song and really was up for doing it. I think it was one morning when I was a little bit tired and confused. And he said, what are we gonna do now then. I said, got, got to be Honey Hush. So we, we, blew the cobwebs away with that one. And this was one of the ones, so I hadn't been able to get one of the lines, one of the lyrics. But I thought while I was writing it down, well, I just write it down phonetically and probably I'll find the lyric sheet or something. Well, I never did. So I'd, I, I pulled it out, was gonna do it, thought, oh, I never found out the real words. I thought, well, I, I'll sing it phonetically then. So there's one of the lines, and he's saying, you can lea'me this way, I ain't coming back no more. And I, I mean, I'm thinking, it's something, I sound like I'm singing something like, I'm living, you've been living in Spain, or, be leaving this space or something, I don't know, and I ain't coming back no more. So I don't know what we do about that. The lyr, real lyrics is nothing like it. It's, it's completely different. But it, it was actually great fun. In the spirit of the album to just not even care what the lyric was. You can lea'me this way, I ain't coming back. Mumble baby.
Shake A Hand.
There was one jukebox in Hamburg, when we were working in Hamburg with the Beatles, that a few of the guys used to go to. This pool hall, I think it was, a pool table there. And there was one jukebox there, that had a couple of records there the other jukeboxes didn't have. So you'd visit that jukebox. There was one where we never went, but it had Now Or Never by Elvis. So you had to visit. You couldn't buy the records. You had to go to the jukebox and get the words. Sitting there and putting it on in, in a bar, you know. So there was this one and it had Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by the Platters, which was gorgeous, love that, but my favourite on that jukebox was Shake A Hand by Little Richard. And I never had the record, I haven't to this day, I haven't got the record. But I remembered it. And I just thought, I love that so much, I love to do that one. So we did it, and it's kind of, it's like a gospelly song. So I did that pretty much like Richard did it. He taught me everything I knew. Paul, you know I taught you everything. It's true, it's true, Richard.
Let's Have A Party.
Let's Have A Party was from, Elvis did it, I think in Loving You, the second movie. And it's just a great song. And there were words again, as kids we could never quite get the words. And there was no authority you could consult. It was just us, thankfully. It was kind of nice it was just us. But, there was, I never kissed a bear. And we always used to think it was I never kissed a goo. We didn't know what a goo was, but that's what it sounded like. So we were always doing, never kissed a bear, never kissed a goo, like a chicken-chicken in the middle of the room, let's have a party. So when it came to it, I was, I kept singing, never kissed a goo. And all the guys went, what is that. We looked it up and it said, never kissed a goon, which I don't think is a whole lot more sensible, either. I never kissed a bear, I never kissed a goon. Well, I'm not sure about the story, the derivation of that. Again, some great archivists will be able to tell us what happened there. But I just like the madness of the words, you know.
Did you keep the goo.
No it's, came out goon. Never kissed a bear and that is true. I've never kissed a goon, that was equally as true. So what more do you want. In a way though, I am glad with this rock 'n' roll album. That I have got back to my roots, so it is, it will reassure anyone who thinks, oh, he's gone all classical now. That, that's not the case, you know. It's just another of the things I do. I still love my kind of rock 'n' roll music.