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Harmonica Usage/I Should Have Known Better Live?
27 December 2018
3.10pm
ScouseWalrus
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Hi everyone,

This is my 1st (of hopefully many more) posts, I'm really looking forward to geeking out on here with you all about The Beatles ūüôā

Anyway, I have a question regarding John's usage of his harmonica in the live setting if anyone might be able to help me out please? Specifically, whenever the band used to play I Should Have Known Better live. I'm aware that the band only played this song on their UK tour in 1964 and that there's no audio existence of them playing it from any of the dates (to my knowledge ūüôĀ ). However, I have heard a "live" version on YouTube which I believe is from a BBC session of some kind? Apologies if I'm wrong here. On this version, John doesn't play the famous harmonica lead on it at all, I assumed that this was probably the case for all the live versions of the song.

Then I saw this the picture attached which seems to show John with a harmonica neck brace.

John-1.jpgImage Enlarger

I know that he used this in live versions of I'm A Loser , but is it possible that he also used it in live versions of I Should Have Known Better ?

Thanks everyone,

Craig

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TheWalrusWasBrian
27 December 2018
9.37pm
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50yearslate
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Hi @ScouseWalrus ! That's an interesting question. Sadly I don't know the answer, but I would be interested to find out if anyone else does...

Welcome to the forum! heart

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27 December 2018
10.36pm
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TheWalrusWasBrian
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@ScouseWalrus hi, there! I'm interested to see what this answer will turn out to be, that's a real good question! anyroad, welcome to forumpool! brian-epstein

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~~~

The Concert for Bageldesh

~~~

Walrian here! Not Fiddy, or anyone else, actually.

28 December 2018
2.08am
ScouseWalrus
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Thank you both for the warm welcome ūüôā I was going to put a longer introduction post in an appropriate¬†area but I couldn't seem to locate one.

I think I may have located part of the answer by doing a bit of research on John's red Rickenbacker in the photo. Apparently this model was only used for about a month from December 1964 which would place it slightly¬†after the time period that I Should Have Known Better was played live.¬†I guess my last hope would be an answer from someone¬†that attended one of those golden shows from November 1964¬†who has a superb memory ūüôā¬†I wonder how we definitely know that it was played live at all? (Presumably¬†it's showing in¬†a setlist/diary or something)

I always find it fascinating that there is zero audio or footage from this tour given how huge the band were at that time.

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sir walter raleigh
28 December 2018
3.27am
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The Hole Got Fixed
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Welcome @ScouseWalrus 

Unfortunately I have no answer to your question (it's a good one worth geeking out over), but this is the thread if you want to properly introduce yourself: https://www.beatlesbible.com/f...../page-204/

See you around!

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Oh, by the way, this post was made by The Hole Got Fixed!

2016 awards: Username-Badge.png 2017 awards: The-Hole-Got-Fixed-2017.png 2018 awards:The-Hole-Got-Fixed-2018.png

28 December 2018
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QuarryMan
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Was this the version you're referring to, @ScouseWalrus ? 

The video seems to be part A Hard Day's Night and part various other clips but the audio seems to be a BBC session, and there is definitely the harmonica line there. Bizarrely, it seems to be playing under John's vocals the whole time, so maybe either someone else played it or his vocals were overdubbed. Unfortunately the video description doesn't offer any clues paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif

Anyway, a very warm welcome to Forumpool heart

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ScouseWalrus

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28 December 2018
12.28pm
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silverhammerYT
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I’m not sure, @ScouseWalrus, but I’m glad you’re here! I haven’t got the chance to welcome anyone until now, I’m quite new here myself. 

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Reporter: Beethoven figures in one of your songs. What do you think of Beethoven?
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28 December 2018
4.21pm
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Ron Nasty
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Unless a recording from the UK tour turns up (only three recordings are in general circulation from that tour -- Twist And Shout and I'm Happy Just To Dance With You  from the ABC in Hull on 16 October and T&S from the ABC in Plymouth on 29 October -- and none lasts longer than a minute) it's impossible to know how much he used the harmonica.

It would certainly have to have been rearranged as the harmonica was overdubbed on both record and its one BBC appearance (for the fourth From Us to You, recorded on 17 July and broadcast on 3 August 1964). We know this because a false start and undubbed recording survive from that BBC session, on the broadcast overdubbed version John added harmonica and double-tracked the vocal.

The song was also included during their 16 July (recorded 14 July) appearance on Top Gear, however that broadcast used the record while doing nothing to avoid the impression that it was a BBC version recorded alongside the songs they recorded on 14 (though George M's piano was also "flown-in" from the record on A Hard Day's Night ).

Myself, I think there is too much overlap between the vocal and harmonica live for the harmonica not to be largely or wholly dropped.

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28 December 2018
6.48pm
ScouseWalrus
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Thanks Ron, I'm in agreement regarding the harmonic and vocal overlap. 

Quarryman, this is the version I was referring to: 

 

The description says "demo" but all the comments for the video seem to indicate it's the rehearsal outtake from the BBC (as Ron kindly pointed out). 

29 December 2018
3.35pm
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QuarryMan
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Myself, I think there is too much overlap between the vocal and harmonica live for the harmonica not to be largely or wholly dropped.

I agree, the first line of the harmonica leads directly into the vocal melody, not really giving time to transition. I wonder how they did it on the studio version.

Tall, dark-haired QuarryMan likes basketball, music, and naturally, boys. He was a valuable participant on the track team. He is one of Freeport's great contributors to the recording world. As for the immediate future, QuarryMan has no plans, but will take life as it comes. 

 

29 December 2018
3.38pm
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QuarryMan
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ScouseWalrus said
Thanks Ron, I'm in agreement regarding the harmonic and vocal overlap. 

Quarryman, this is the version I was referring to: 

 

The description says "demo" but all the comments for the video seem to indicate it's the rehearsal outtake from the BBC (as Ron kindly pointed out).   

Wow, that audio really is something! Obviously that's not what they sounded like, but the recording quality makes for a really cool effect, kinda My Bloody Valentine sounding... If you go to 1:10 in this video you'll see what I mean.

Sorry, I've gone way off topic. I'll give it a proper listen and get back to you.

Tall, dark-haired QuarryMan likes basketball, music, and naturally, boys. He was a valuable participant on the track team. He is one of Freeport's great contributors to the recording world. As for the immediate future, QuarryMan has no plans, but will take life as it comes. 

 

29 December 2018
3.41pm
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50yearslate
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QuarryMan said

Myself, I think there is too much overlap between the vocal and harmonica live for the harmonica not to be largely or wholly dropped.

I agree, the first line of the harmonica leads directly into the vocal melody, not really giving time to transition. I wonder how they did it on the studio version.  

There's an outtake drifting around YouTube in which John says something along the lines of "I can't breathe after the mouth organ bit, can we skip the mouth organ?" which makes me think that maybe it's overdubbed or the harmonica is played on the double tracking or something along those lines.

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29 December 2018
3.53pm
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Ahhh Girl
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 In his main site page for the song, Joe talks about the harmonica part being added.

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50yearslate, ScouseWalrus
31 December 2018
3.41am
ScouseWalrus
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I see what you mean regarding the MBV sound Quarryman, it's almost murky in sound due to the quality. What really strikes me about it though is John's vocal, it's clear as a bell and is so perfectly executed.

Judging by the fact that the harmonica was omitted from the likes of Please Please Me when played live I would imagine that the same happened for when they chose to play I Should Have Known Better on that 1964 tour. As alluded to above, it's tough enough to sing as it is without the mouth organ bits ahdn_john_08_gifHowever, I guess we'll never know. Who has a spare time machine lying around? Haha.

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31 December 2018
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Ahhh Girl
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ScouseWalrus said
However, I guess we'll never know. Who has a spare time machine lying around? Haha.  

Off-topic, but fun anyway.

https://www.beatlesbible.com/f.....e-beatles/

https://www.beatlesbible.com/f.....h-2-years/

Hope some new folks will contribute replies to those threads.

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