Beatles By Day

Long time ago when we was fab

Song facts: You Never Give Me Your Money

You Never Give Me Your Money is a Beatles' song written by Paul McCartney, and appears on the band's Abbey Road album. Paul wrote the song about his displeasure with The Beatles' financial setup, particularly Allen Klein, who was given control of the band's business affairs in 1969, much to McCartney's dismay. The song was written in March of 1969, while Paul was in New York with his wife Linda, shortly after the Get Back/Let It Be sessions came to a grinding halt.

"This was me directly lambasting Allen Klein's attitude to us: no money, just funny paper, all promises and it never works out. It's basically a song about no faith in the person, that found its way into the medley on Abbey Road. John saw the humour in it." - Paul McCartney
"'Funny paper' - that's what we get. We get bits of paper saying how much is earned and what this is and that is, but we never actually get it in pounds, shilling and pence. We've all got a big house and a car and an office, but to actually get the money we've earned seems impossible." - George Harrison
"That's Paul. Well, that's not a song, you know. Abbey Road was really unfinished songs all stuck together. Everybody praises the album so much, but none of the songs had anything to do with each other, no thread at all, only the fact that we stuck them together." - John Lennon

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Abbey Road, 1969.

Abbey Road, 1969.

Recording

Realising that Abbey Road would likely be The Beatles' final album, McCartney and producer George Martin came up with the idea of the medley on the second side; this was to be a climactic finale to the band's career. The Beatles began recording the beginning of the medley, You Never Give Me Your Money, on May 6th 1969, at Olympic Sound Studios, Barnes, London (later at Abbey Road).

36 takes were recorded on this day, with McCartney on lead vocals and piano, Lennon playing an Epiphone Casino guitar, Harrison on a Fender Telecaster guitar fed through a Leslie speaker and Ringo playing drums

McCartney revisited the song on July 1st, overdubbing his lead vocals onto take 30, with further sound effects and vocals added on July 15th. But It wasn't completed until August, when The Beatles finally figured out how to work the end of the track into Sun King. On August 5th McCartney added tape loops, including: bubbles, chirping crickets, and bells. These were later mixed by George Martin into stereo for the final master released on the album.

Personnel

  • Paul McCartney – lead and backing vocals, piano, bass, wind chimes, tape loops
  • John Lennon – guitar, backing vocal
  • George Harrison – guitar, backing vocal
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine

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John Lennon and George Harrison fly to Tahiti

On May 2nd 1964, John and Cynthia Lennon travelled to Tahiti with George Harrison and Pattie Boyd. The Beatles had just finished filming A Hard Day's Night and were craving time away from Beatlemania.

"In May, John and Cynthia and Pattie and I went on holiday. By now we were so famous that we couldn't get on an aeroplane without everyone knowing where we were going.
We took a private plane to Amsterdam and caught a flight going to Honolulu via Vancouver. After a long flight we got off the plane in Vancouver for twenty minutes while they refuelled, and by the time we reached Honolulu the whole American disc-jockey network had got us covered.
We had to stay in Honolulu for a couple of days awaiting the connection to Tahiti, so to get away from Waikiki we drove up to the north of the island to a beach where no one knew us." - George Harrison

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr flew to The Virgin Islands with Maureen Starr and Jane Asher.

John and Cynthia Lennon in Tahiti, May 1964.

John and Cynthia Lennon in Tahiti, May 1964.

John and Cynthia Lennon in Tahiti, May 1964.

John and Cynthia Lennon in Tahiti, May 1964.

George Harrison in Tahiti, May 1964.

George Harrison in Tahiti, May 1964.

George Harrison and Pattie Boyd in Tahiti, May 1964.

George Harrison and Pattie Boyd in Tahiti, May 1964.

The Beatles in Holland

The Beatles in Holland with Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe, 1960. 

The Beatles in Holland with Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe, 1960. 

The Beatles in Holland with Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe, 1960. 

Song facts: The Ballad of John and Yoko

The Ballad of John and Yoko was written by John Lennon in Paris in 1969; a recounting of John and Yoko's wedding and subsequent honeymoon. 

"Well, guess who wrote that? I wrote that in Paris on our honeymoon. It's a piece of journalism. It's a folk song. That's why I called it The Ballad Of.
It was very romantic. It's all in the song, The Ballad Of John And Yoko, if you want to know how it happened, it's in there. Gibraltar was like a little sunny dream. I couldn't find a white suit - I had sort if off-white corduroy trousers and a white jacket. Yoko had all white on." - John Lennon

Three days after the release of The Beatles' Get Back single, on April 14th 1969, John traveled to Paul's home to work on the song. 

After a brief stop at McCartney's, John and Paul went into the studio that day and recorded the song in 11 takes. Ringo was busing filming The Magic Christian and George was on holiday, so it was only Lennon/McCartney who played on the track. John was reportedly very eager to record the song in a burst of inspiration and didn't want to wait for George and Ringo's return. 

"John was in an impatient mood so I was happy to help. It's quite a good song; it has always surprised me how with just the two of us on it, it ended up sounding like The Beatles." - Paul McCartney
"The Ballad Of John And Yoko only had Paul - of the other Beatles - on it but that was OK. Why Don't We Do It In The Road? was just Paul and me, and it went out as a Beatle track too. We had no problems with that. There's good drums on The Ballad Of John And Yoko, too." - Ringo Starr

11 takes were recorded in all at this speedy session, with Paul providing drums, bass, piano, maracas and backing vocals. John sang lead vocals and played lead guitar, acoustic guitar and percussion.

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Personnel

  • John Lennon – lead vocal, lead guitars, acoustic guitar, percussion
  • Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass, drums, piano, maracas
The Ballad of John and Yoko single, 1969.

The Ballad of John and Yoko single, 1969.

Release

Backed by George Harrison's Old Brown Shoe, The Ballad of John and Yoko was released as a single in the UK on May 30th, 1969. It was released later in the US on June 4th. In Europe and the UK it was the first Beatles' single to be released in stereo, so there was no mono mix.

Chart success

The single reached number one in the UK on June 11th 1969, remaining there for three consecutive weeks; making it The Beatles' 17th and final UK number one. In the US the single failed to reach the top spot, peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording The Ballad of John and Yoko, April 14th 1969. 

John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording The Ballad of John and Yoko, April 14th 1969. 

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The Beatles' penultimate photo shoot

On April 9th 1969, The Beatles took part in what would become their penultimate photo shoot. On this day John, Paul, George and Ringo were photographed by three photographers in 2 different locations around London: Madingley Club on Willoughby Road and number 4 Ducks Walk, near the River Thames. 

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

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The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

The Beatles at their penultimate photo shoot, April 9th 1969.

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