Song facts: Drive My Car
On October 13th 1965, The Beatles recorded Drive My Car, the opening track for Rubber Soul. The song was primarily written by Paul McCartney with some minor lyrical contribution from John Lennon.
"Drive my car was an old blues euphemism for sex, so in the end all is revealed. Black humour crept in and saved the day. It wrote itself then. I find that very often, once you get the good idea, things write themselves." - Paul McCartney
Buy Rubber Soul on Amazon (US or UK)
Paul earlier visited John's house in Weybridge for a writing session; he had the tune for the song but wasn't happy with the lyrics.
"The lyrics were disastrous and I knew it... This is one of the songs where John and I came nearest to having a dry session. The lyrics I brought in were something to do with golden rings, which is always fatal. 'Rings' is fatal anyway, 'rings' always rhymes with 'things' and I knew it was a bad idea. I came in and I said, 'These aren't good lyrics but it's a good tune.' The tune was nice, the tune was there, I'd done the melody.
Well, we tried, and John couldn't think of anything, and we tried and eventually it was, 'Oh let's leave it, let's get off this one.' 'No, no. We can do it, we can do it.' So we had a break, maybe had a cigarette or a cup of tea, then we came back to it, and somehow it became 'drive my car' instead of 'gold-en rings', and then it was wonderful because this nice tongue-in-cheek idea came and suddenly there was a girl there, the heroine of the story, and the story developed and had a little sting in the tail like Norwegian Wood had, which was 'I actually haven't got a car, but when I get one you'll be a terrific chauffeur.'" - Paul McCartney
Lennon helped McCartney with the lyrics and reportedly came up with the title. After they nailed the title the rest of the lyrics flowed out quite easily.
The recording session at Abbey Road was the first to push past midnight, but The Beatles finished the song with help from George Harrison's guitar suggestions.
"I helped out such a lot in all the arrangements. There were a lot of tracks though where I played bass. Paul played lead guitar on Taxman, and he played guitar - a good part - on Drive My Car.
We laid the track because what Paul would do, if he's written a song, he'd learn all the parts for Paul and then come in the studio and say, 'Do this.' He'd never give you the opportunity to come out with something. But on Drive My Car I just played the line, which is really like a lick off Respect, you know, the Otis Redding version - and I played that line on guitar and Paul laid that with me on bass. We laid the track down like that. We played the lead part later on top of it." - George Harrison
- Paul McCartney – lead vocal, piano, lead guitar (solo)
- John Lennon – lead vocal
- George Harrison – harmony vocal, lead guitar, bass
- Ringo Starr – drums, cowbell, tambourine