Some Other Guy

Live At The BBC album artworkWritten by: Leiber-Stoller-Barrett
Recorded: 19 June 1963
Producer: Ron Belchier

Released: 30 November 1994

John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: vocals, bass
George Harrison: lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums

Available on:
Live At The BBC

Written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller and Richard Barrett, Some Other Guy was first released by Barrett as a single in 1962. Footage of The Beatles performing Some Other Guy is the only known surviving film of the group at the Cavern Club.

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Brian had had a policy at NEMS of buying at least one copy of every record that was released. If it sold, he’d order another one, or five or whatever. Consequently he had records that weren’t hits in Britain, weren’t even hits in America. Before going to a gig we’d meet in the record store, after it had shut, and we’d search the racks like ferrets to see what new ones were there. That’s where we found artists like Arthur Alexander and Ritchie Barrett – Some Other Guy was a great song.
George Harrison
Anthology

The Cavern Club footage was recorded on 22 August 1962 by a crew from Manchester-based Granada Television. They filmed the group’s lunchtime performance hoping to use it in their programme Know The North.

Various edits of the performance exist, some containing cutaways featuring general views from the club, audience members and shots of the band from different angles.

The Granada crew filmed Some Other Guy from a single angle in the audience; it is likely that the added clips were filmed at other times that day. Granada also captured a performance of Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!

Ringo had only joined The Beatles days before. The Granada recording captures a disgruntled fan shouting “We want Pete!” as Some Other Guy draws to a close.

The grainy footage was not of broadcast quality, and was shelved until The Beatles became famous nationwide; it was finally transmitted on 6 November 1963 on Granada’s Scene At 6.30 programme.

I’d like to make a record like Some Other Guy. I haven’t done one that satisfies me as much as that satisfies me.
John Lennon
Rolling Stone, 17 September 1968

Acetates of The Beatles’ performance of Some Other Guy from that day were later circulated in Liverpool, pressed up by Brian Epstein and sold from his NEMS store. The acetates featured a slightly different audio version, indicating that Granada captured The Beatles performed the song more than once that day.

BBC recordings

The Beatles recorded Some Other Guy three times for BBC radio shows. The first was at the BBC Playhouse Theatre in London, for the Saturday Club programme. The group recorded the song along with four others on 22 January 1963, and the show was first broadcast four days later.

The second BBC version was also recorded on 22 January, this time at the BBC Paris Studio, London. They performed Some Other Guy, Please Please Me and Ask Me Why.

The Beatles final BBC recording of the song was the one released on 1994′s Live At The BBC. It was performed for the Easy Beat programme on 19 June 1963, and was first broadcast four days later. The show was recorded before a live audience at the Playhouse Theatre, London.

Lyrics

Some other guy, now
Is taking my love away from me, oh now
Some other guy, now
Is taking away my sweet desire, oh now
Some other guy, now
Just threw water, hold my hand, oh now
I’m the lonely one, as lonely as I can feel, all right

Some other guy
Is tippin’ up behind me like a yellow dog, oh now
Some other guy, now
Has taken my love just like I’m gone, oh now
Some other guy, now
Has taken my love away from me, oh now
I’m the lonely one, as lonely as I can feel, all right

Oh oh oh oh

Some other guy
Is making me very, very mad, oh now
Some other guy, now
Is breaking my padlock off my pad, oh now
Some other guy, now
Took the first girl I’ve ever had, oh now
I’m the lonely one, as lonely as I can feel, all right now

Oh oh oh oh
I’m talking to you, right now

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20 Responses to “Some Other Guy”

  1. Reverend Flash

    As usual, those are NOT the correct lyrics to the song. I dare someone to find the correct lyrics somewhere. The correct lyrics do not include any of the following phrases: “just don’t wanna hold my hand”, “sippin’ up the honey”, and “makin’ my past seem oh so bad”. Those are nonsense lyrics The Beatles made up, none of which Leiber and Stoller ever wrote, nor Richie Barrett ever sang. Thanks to the Fab Four’s inability to understand Barrett as he sang through his Ray Charles impersonation, hundreds of bands, thousands of websites, and millions of people worldwide are WRONG.

    Reply
    • Joe

      Hi Rev. Thanks for the comment. Wherever lyrics are published here (and I’ve only included lyrics to songs not written by The Beatles themselves, to avoid being sued/shut down), I’ve transcribed what they actually sang, rather than what was published when the songs were written.

      Because they were cover versions, as you point out, the recordings often differ quite significantly from what the original songwriters wrote. Therefore I thought it’d be odd if I included words that weren’t actually on The Beatles’ recordings (with all respect to the songwriters themselves). This is, after all, a Beatles site, not a Leiber/Stoller site.

      Reply
  2. Paul (not Sir)

    If you listen to Ritchie Barrett’s version (it’s available on YouTube), and then listen close to John on the Live at the BBC I think you will find that he was pretty close to the original. “Just don’t wanna hold my hand” is really “I just don’t want to hold my fire” (rhymes with sweet desire.) “sippin’” might be “tippin’” but “taken my love just like I’m gone,” should be “taken my love just like a hog” (rhymes with dog.) I don’t see “making my past seem oh so bad,” but rather the correct lyric is “breaking my padlock off my pad.” So, in conclusion, the Beatles did get it write, and they are great! And this is a great Beatles site!

    Reply
    • Reverend Flash

      This has actually been a point of contention of mine for some time now. Since leaving my last comment, I have finally confirmed the correct information from Mike Stoller’s son himself, through the Leiber-Stoller website. “Just don’t wanna hold my hand” is really “(A-)just threw water on my fire”. “Is sipping up the honey like a yellow dog” is actually “Is tippin’ up behind me like a yellow dog”. And the one usually-mangled lyric that was actually correct on this page was “Is breakin’ the padlock on my pad” (and not “Is makin’ my past seem oh so bad”, as often reported).
      Had The Beatles been privy to the original lyrics, they certainly would have sung them. I’m sure that Lennon-McCartney (one of the world’s greatest songwriting teams) would agree that their ‘substitute’ lyrics are kinda silly and not really worthy of repeating. Those of you reading this information who care about preserving rock ‘n’ roll should feel privileged to have access to these undeservingly ignored original lyrics.

      Reply
      • Joe

        That’s very illuminating. Thanks for the info Reverend – I’ve amended the lyrics to “tippin’ up behind me”, but left the rest alone as I’m pretty sure that’s what Lennon was singing (I’m happy to be corrected though). It’s a shame The Beatles didn’t get the words exactly right – it would have made things a lot easier!

        Reply
      • alex

        Again, you really don’t seem to understand this is a Beatles history site not a rock and roll song lyrics site. It doesn’t matter if the Beatles got them wrong the fact is the history is that they did sing them this way. The Beatles sang their own lyrics to covered songs all the time. The point is getting the lyrics as the Beatles sang them. Also, this isn’t some amazing song that needs preserving it’s only cool because the Beatles played it and whatever they said to it is magically better than whatever the sub par original composers wrote, that whole original song and lyrics could be lost forever and it really wouldn’t make a difference and nobody should care

        Reply
  3. Joseph Brush

    Perhaps the Beatles got the words wrong because they were transcribed wrong by Cynthia. In her first book she describes how John would request by letter (from Hamburg) to mail him lyrics to songs that he requested. Cynthia would then play the record over and over (in Liverpool) and do her best to obtain the lyrics and then mail them to John in Hamburg.

    Reply
  4. Elsewhere Man

    This song is the prime example of the Beatles’ impeccable taste in obscure cover songs. It’s a shame they never did this in the studio.

    Even so, no one else’s version touches The Beatles’ “Live At The BBC” Playhouse Theatre version, fudged lyrics or not. Everything else is perfect – the intro, the tempo, the vocals…

    Does anyone know if this song ever came up when George Martin asked them to “run through their stage show” for the “Please Please Me” album? Did it get rejected…?

    Reply
    • PaulRamon

      Totally agree Elsewhere Man, I love The Beatles version even though John Lennon said it was crap.
      The Beatles were more about the excitement of playing live back then, Who cared what they were singing? I’d have given anything to have seen them in Hamburg.
      My god you’ve got the patience of a saint Joe, I couldn’t do your job on here and put up with crap like some the comments above.

      This is a brilliant site, by far the best Beatle site I’ve seen and I for one appreciate all the hard work and info you provide

      Keep up the good work

      Reply
      • Joe

        Hey PaulRamon – thanks for the kind words. I really do appreciate it when people say they like the site (and it has been hard work!).

        I don’t think the comments above were bad – I’ve had worse on here!

        Reply
  5. Stephen Gard

    Lennon was famous for forgetting or fumbling lyrics – including his own! There is an error in ‘Please Please Me’ – listen towards the end. And he made are others…

    And who can hear lyrics sung through cheap mics and lousy PAs anyway? And on the portable record players of the time, which had a speaker 6 inches in diameter, lyrics were almost impossible to decipher. My garage band sang very strange words to ‘Route 66′ because we got them from Jagger’s mumbling performance via our tiny HMV…

    Reply
  6. Bill

    I’ve read that the group used to perform 2 versions of this song, the uptempo one that we all know, and a slower, bluesier version closer to the Ritchie Barrett original. Can anyone verify this? Also, for those interested, The Searchers’ version on “Meet The Searchers” is a great one too. Personally, I think that album & “Please Please Me” are the closest we’ll ever get to knowing what the “Mersey Beat” was really like.

    Reply
  7. SmartMart

    I think the thing about pop/rock ‘n’ roll lyrics, pre-Dylan, is that they were secondary to the music to the extent that, generally, it didn’t really matter what was being sung. Hence stuff like this and The Beatles recordingthings like “Boys” ["Yeah, I talk about boys, now..."]. The important thing was (and arguably still is) the energy eminating from the music.

    Reply
    • Joseph Brush

      Well SmartMart I agree with your remarks but there were exceptions. There were songs such as Eddie Cochran’s Summertime Blues and Buddy Holly’s Well, Alright as well as Chuck Berry’s Too Much Monkey Business.

      Reply
  8. Loretta

    If we followed “Reverend Flash’s” logic, Ringo should have sung “Mama says, when you kiss my lips,
    I’ll get a thrill through my fingertips.” on Boys instead of “My girl says when I kiss her lips
    Gets a thrill through her fingertips”

    Reply
  9. Dr. Robert

    Do I hear in the last seconds (from the adience): “we want Pete”?
    Thanks for your great site. Dr. Robert

    Reply
  10. Stan

    I never know what to make of Lennon’s remarks. The quotation in the article (“I’d like to make a record like Some Other Guy. I haven’t done one that satisfies me as much as that satisfies me.”) is a case in point. His own songs (or at least the ones he said weren’t crap) typically had deeply personal, at times philosophical, lyrics and inventive harmonies. Yet he seems to have genuinely loved old rockers with simple, superficial lyrics and basic chord progressions. Was he really ambivalent about what kind of a writer/performer he really wanted to be? Or is he being sarcastic here?

    Reply
    • Simon

      Stan, there does seem to be a contradiction there, given that he would typically disown songs of his own (or Paul’s) that didn’t have ‘meaning’. On the other hand he continued (even post Beatles) to stand by “All My Lovin” as a ‘great piece of work’, even though that isn’t personal or deep.

      Lennon always continued to be excited by basic rock n roll, but the fact is that post ’68 (ish) he was anxious not to do anything that felt ‘false’, having come to feel like a fraud for writing songs about random things to fill space on albums. He came – rightly or wrongly – to regard soul-baring songwriting as the only type that was true to himself, so he just wouldn’t have allowed himself to write anything like ‘Some Other Guy’.

      Reply

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