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Love Me Do - 50 years on
10 October 2012
9.14pm
meanmistermustard
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Paul wasnt in the LMD documentary. There were archive clips from '63 but no Beatles were involved in the making of that documentary. 

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
11 October 2012
2.47pm
fabfouremily
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You're right. I remember now, I can never think clearly late at night.a-hard-days-night-ringo-13

It was Pete who said that Paul and John had seen Brian coming onto Pete in the car, and they asked him to confirm what they thought they'd just seen. So, if that is true then P+J knew about it all along.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

11 October 2012
3.21pm
meanmistermustard
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Im sure Paul has said he neither heard about or saw Brian making advances to any member of the band and considering that they talked about everything i dont buy it.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
11 October 2012
3.36pm
fabfouremily
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I have heard him say that a few times too. Maybe they didn't know then. It did strike me as being a little strange considering they were open with eachother, I thought they would've talked about it, as you say.

Dunno if this is Pete's bad memory after 50 years or what...

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

11 October 2012
7.18pm
meanmistermustard
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fabfouremily said
I have heard him say that a few times too. Maybe they didn't know then. It did strike me as being a little strange considering they were open with eachother, I thought they would've talked about it, as you say.

Dunno if this is Pete's bad memory after 50 years or what...

I wouldnt surprise me if it was a 'new' recollection, there are only so many times you can repeat the same story of getting kicked out before you have to add something. 

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
11 October 2012
9.24pm
Wildcat
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Excuse, please, but now it's my turn to be annoyed.

Aside from the fact these recent posts have been about as far 'off-topic' as could be imagined, is there any earthly reason to be so keenly interested in Epstein's alleged 'encounters' with Pete, or John, or stories told by Pete, Paul or whomever else has an opinion as to whatever relationship Brian had with John, when they are the only two people who know for sure and either one highly unlikely to tell anything more about it in the foreseeable future?

This speculation is more inappropriate than most of the trash tabloid stories promising their lurid headlines- in most cases, there's at least one document, or picture, or an indisputable insider's word to back up their stories- but after four decades of reading every Beatles bio written buy a credible source, I have yet to read one definitive source or confirmed quote that could support anything other than that a "rumor" has existed about John and Brian's vacation (which is/was their own damn personal business), and only one author who quotes another Beatles "insider" but could not authenticate that one either.

But even aside from all that: just exactly HOW would a 'revelation' of a sexual liaison between Brian and John change your long-held opinions, or even make any difference to the fund of Beatles knowledge one needs to feel more "enlightened"?

stay-on-topic

11 October 2012
9.55pm
meanmistermustard
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Apologies for any deviation in topic and for causing you to be annoyed, thats never my intention.

To explain the diversion Pete, an ex-Beatle, made the claim in a documentary that looked at Love Me Do and 1962; the question i raised was was there any truth or evidence in such a claim. Surely its right to question what is spoken of as being fact - tho admittedly probably not in this thread.

However it would not make any difference to the Beatles story. John called Brian's homosexuality within the Beatles story an irrelevence and was totally correct; he also said that one day it would make a movie and was right too.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
11 October 2012
10.03pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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To attempt to return to topic - would Love Me Do be viewed better if they didn't release their later Magnus Opus' like Revolver, Abbey Road, Pepper; the albums that make LMD seem so trite and simplistic in comparison. Is there some form of comparison going on to make so many of us here say this song (not in these words, but in meaning) sucks. Is it revisionist views that are making everyone dislike it, or is it just legit fluff?

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
11 October 2012
10.48pm
Wildcat
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mr. Sun king

In 1962, the US Top 40 Records included songs as varied as Neil Sedaka's Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, the Four Season's Sherry, Elvis' Good Luck Charm, and Dion's The Wanderer alongside Mr. Acker Bilk's (?) Stranger On the Shore, Ray Charles' I Can't Stop Loving You, Mancini's Moon River and Bobby Vinton's Roses Are Red.

America was ripe for a change in popular music, because the Beachboys and Bob Dylan had their first big hits in 1963, before we had yet heard of The Beatles. So whether Love Me Do "sucked" or not, maybe one's subjective taste in that era's music might not have distinguished this single as being any more special. Or maybe they have.

But there are classics that immediately follow LMD that were and are amazing and unique, and to compare the craftsmanship of She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand to their later "opus" releases like on 'Revolver' is just as astonishing in terms of how rapidly their music evolved.

meanmistermustard

It is civilised replies such as your's that encourage me to make my first donation to this great site as soon as I finish this, with more to follow as the quality is maintained.

11 October 2012
11.04pm
Von Bontee
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Hm, it COULD be that I'm comparing it unfairly to later triumphs. I hate that it's so...unambitious. One terrible verse and they repeat it THREE TIMES?! Like, is that really the best they could've done? With a recording contract and a career on the line, yet. And I'd find the lyrics easier to ignore if the song had a bit of ENERGY in it, y'know? Like "Please Please Me" or "Boys", something exuberant like that.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
12 October 2012
12.08am
meanmistermustard
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From what i understand the music in 1962 was pretty safe and similar. LMD has been praised for being different to what was out there at the time of release; the charts were filled with unambitious, empty tracks that did little to really excite the youngsters. Thats not to say it was awful, more pleasant but lacking a kick. LMD suggested something different was coming; it wasnt a substantial change more suggestive. The Please Please Me single and later lp of the same name pretty much blew the doors open for many of the youngsters.  

Its difficult looking back as we now live in a time where is more favourable for artists to write all the own songs and there are so many different styles and bands around doing different things but it was the Beatles who started the change. Before them music was largely down a conveyor belt written by a selection of song writing teams for clean, polite solo singers or 1 main singer backed by a band. Either that or entertainers from the showbusiness scene. The UK record business was fixed mainly in London and it was so hard to break thru if you were from elsewhere, tho it was possible (I imagine it to be like a world of x-factor contestants with little else on show). The excitement and rawness of Elvis, Buddy, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and the Rock and Roll movement had faded. Its difficult to imagine a time when that was the way because of what has happened from '63 onwards.

Have been reading the Anthology Book, well sections, and all 4 beatles agree that they had to compromise and put on the suits to get so much as a glance from the comporate suits, especially coming from Liverpool. They took great delight in passing artists and people who had sneered at them before they 'made it'.

 

I'll dig up the link to a bbc article that writes about the music scene in October '62.

 

And here it is - Chart attack: The Beatles' rivals in 1962

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
12 October 2012
3.41am
Wildcat
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That article provided a wealth of information, another great reference source worth saving. I can't believe I forgot to listTelstar, a huge influence on so many beginning young artists. I also didn't know Carole King was singing on records back then. I have to say I agree with

 Von Bontee. It's a merely competent performance at best, giving no indication whatsoever of their true potential, and the lacklustre delivery doesn't do it any favour.

But what about the other eligible early Lennon/McCartney tunes, such as Misery, or There's A Place? Not stellar material to be sure, but  There's A Place had more energy and ambition (and hit potential, in my opinion) than Love Me Do. But listening to their exquisite performance of an original tune like their BBC recording of I'll Be On My Way still makes me wonder why it was never commercially released, and this one also had to have been one of John and Paul's earlier efforts eligible for a debut single.

To me, this leads to only one conclusion: Love Me Do was considered an exceptionally special collaboration between John and Paul (their first? I don't know), more personally than professionally, and they recognised it as such. How many times did they perform it live in concert? They didn't care what the fans, or George Martin, or Brian Epstein thought of their decision - they were definitely not going to let another songwriter's tune be their first single, and what they did release was going to be as equal a collaboration between these two young songwriters as they felt would best introduce, if not define, them to the record-buying public.

My guess is that John & Paul would not have settled for anything other than Love Me Do as their initial release, and it would not have deterred the group in the slightest if the song failed to make the Top 30 or lower.

12 October 2012
9.51am
Joe
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It's an interesting theory, but surely Lennon and McCartney wouldn't have let sentimentality dictate their choice of first single. At any rate, they didn't have the luxury of choice. EMI and George Martin totally called the shots back then. The Beatles were just a bunch of teenagers and 20-somethings with barely any studio experience, on whom a producer was taking a chance to revive his ailing record label.

Even if he had much influence in the song choices, Brian Epstein wouldn't have risked them screwing up this chance by issuing a single which he and the group didn't think stood a decent chance of being successful.

If they'd wanted an early collaboration to be their first single, they couldn't have chosen much better than I Saw Her Standing There. Imagine how that would have sounded to listeners in 1962.

And if LMD was so special to the songwriters, why didn't they perform it at the Decca audition? Maybe they learnt from their mistakes that day. They only performed three Lennon-McCartney originals at Decca: Like Dreamers Do, Hello Little Girl and Love Of The Loved.

What I think has been mostly missing from this discussion (although Wildcat touched upon it a-hard-days-night-ringo-8) is a bit of context in how different Love Me Do sounded at the time. I've met people who heard it for the first time in 1962 who say it really was fresh, new, different, special. My mum was a 14-year-old living in the south of England, who had never heard of The Beatles before. She bought it - she tells me there was nothing else like it at the time. Sure, the repetitive verses sound odd nowadays, but I think it's the sound rather than the songwriting that set it apart (by any measure, PS I Love You is the superior composition). I doubt anyone would have called it a work of genius even then, but it served a purpose.

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12 October 2012
12.45pm
meanmistermustard
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George Martin had the final say on what the first single was but the beatles really pushed for Love Me Do to be the single ahead of How Do You Do It and credit to GM for being willing and going with it.

I think LMD was the best they had at the time, thats what been said by George Martin for the last 30 years. The only others from the Please Please Me album kicking about finished were PS I Love You & Ask Me Why. The other Lennon and McCartney numbers werent that good, especially if we look at the tracks they busked during the Get Back sessions eg Thinking of Linking, I Lost My Little Girl, Because I Love You So.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
12 October 2012
2.45pm
Von Bontee
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Was "Love Me Do" really better than "Thinking of Linking" or those other unheard LenMac songs, though? I've never heard them so I have no idea.

I'm allowing my own prejudices to creep into this, I know - my peculiar preference for some kinda pop-song symmetry. Again, to my sensibility, a "Love Me Do" with three differing bad verses instead of the same one repeated really would've been more satisfying instead of three times as bad, as mathematics would suggest. And come on, 'do/you/true' is a terrible (or at least terribly lazy) rhyme, especially when the mere TITLE of "Thinking of Linking" shows they were already capable of so much better!

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
12 October 2012
3.54pm
meanmistermustard
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Lyrics back then werent that big a deal and no one now is claiming the lyrics were great, not even Paul went that far (i think he said something about its basicness and simplicity making it work - something like that). I think it was more about the feel of the song and the fact it was their song.

I'll Be On My Way is looked down at for its "June light, moonlight" cuplets; its a nice song, a highlight from the bbc album, but a buddy holly impersonation, there is nothing special about, certainly not back in '62. LMD has some originality at least - despite the lyrics.

 

A few other early Lennon McCartney originals

 (Thinking of Linking - Anthology sessions)

 

 (I Lost My Little Girl - Get Back sessions)

 

 (Because I Know You Love Me So - I Will Wait Till Tomorrow - Won't You Please Say Goodbye (plus a cover of Bring It On Home To Me) - Get Back sessions)

 

Then there are things like I'll Follow The Sun, When Im 64, One After 909, the originals from the decca audition and liverpool '60 tapes.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
13 October 2012
12.52am
meanmistermustard
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The 50th anniversary pressing of Love Me Do is being rereleased on 22nd October after the previous one was recalled just before release. You can preorder it the official beatles store.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
13 October 2012
5.15am
Wildcat
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GREAT News, meanmistermustard, and I'm glad to have read it here first - Amazon had better have my replacement copy in the mail the day it gets there!

Nothing more I wanted to add to this discussion, except that, as usual, I overlook the obvious:

Joe - If they'd wanted an early collaboration to be their first single, they couldn't have chosen much better than I Saw Her Standing There. Imagine how that would have sounded to listeners in 1962.

I withdraw my earlier rationale, and laugh at my own ignorance in completely forgetting 'I Saw Her Standing There' until just reading that statement - I feel like someone introducing my family to an audience and forgetting to mention my twin sibling!

Seriously - releasing 'I Saw Her Standing There' as their debut single would have been a complete game-changer; I simply cannot imagine how powerful an impact a debut like that would have had if it were the first song anyone had ever heard from The Beatles, a genuine, instant-classic ROCKER, on a par with Elvis and 'That's Alright Mama', Bill Haley & The Comets' 'Rock Around the Clock', Buddy Holly's 'Peggy Sue'...

Debate, and defending one's arguments for or against something, is important and worthwhile in pursuance of a conclusary definition, or explanation, or final conclusion that can lay to rest, or provide a satisfactory concept to, an issue that most others can accept, whether they are in total agreement or begrudgingly resigned to the facts.

I thought I had a perfectly reasonable and convincing explanation for the choice of 'Love Me Do' as The Beatles' first single; however, my blatantly obvious overlooking of 'I Saw Her Standing There' takes me out of this debate altogether.

I don't even have time to feel embarrassed for myself, because I'm now obssessing as to why and how everyone who had ever heard that song didn't consider it to be the most deserving and impressive A-side single release above all other existing material from the Lennon/McCartney compositions up to that time.

My goodness, admitting total ignorance takes up a lot of writing time.

13 October 2012
11.00am
fabfouremily
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Wildcat - apologies for going off topic a bit back there upthread. And no, my interest in The Beatles as the awesome band that the were (are?), is not bigger in any way because of the possible relationship between Brian and Pete, or Brian and John, or Brian and any other person for that matter. Nor do I think that anybody's interest in the group is down to that.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

13 October 2012
11.37am
meanmistermustard
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I Saw Her Standing There was about but had a harmonica running thru it and the beatles were still working it out, well thats what the cavern rehearsal shows us. Put it in the Please Please Me folder; about but not quite there. If PPM had been right that would have been the first single above everything else.

Anyway the beatles wanted Love Me Do.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
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