It was a duet with Carl Perkins, a key influence on the early Beatles. In the 1960s they recorded his songs ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’, ‘Honey Don’t’, ‘Matchbox’, ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, and ‘Sure To Fall (In Love With You)’.
I rang him up, and he was in the States playing clubs. We met him in the very early days with the Beatles, and he was a good old friend, such a down-home boy. I love Carl — he’s so great. I’ll tell you a story about Carl; I don’t think he’ll mind me telling this. We were recording at Montserrat, and a musician friend was sailing around the world on a yacht — a bit of a tax dodge, I think [laughs] — and he sailed into Montserrat, and came to see us. He invited us to his boat. There was this British naval crew piping us aboard this spotless yacht. Carl was really impressed with the buffet and the champagne, and the way it was all laid out. He came over to me and said, ‘Paul, where I come from they call this shittin’ in high cotton.’ It’s one of my favorite expressions. After that, we recorded ‘Get It’. At the end of the song, you can hear both of us laughing — and that’s the joke we’re laughing at. We had to cut the joke out, though, because we’d have never gotten it played on the radio…
I just played a little bit [of guitar], and Carl played a rhythm part. The fun tended to come when we had a free moment. He and I sat on the floor of the studio, and we were talking, and there was a mic on. I was just telling him about some of his old songs that we loved, like ‘Lend me Your Comb’ and ‘Your True Love’. I told him we were big fans of his and we used to do ‘Your True Love’. Then we’d sing together. Then we’d stop, and he’d say, “Well, you know, Paul, I used to do this,” and he’d show me some fingerpicking thing he used to do.
Guitar Player, July 1990
‘Get It’ was recorded at AIR Studios on Montserrat on 24 February, and completed in London on 30 March.
We were in the studio and he came down and said, ‘My, it’s real pretty round here, Paul.’ He went to bed, got up the next morning and he obviously hadn’t seen the island. So he came back later that day and said, ‘Paul, believe me. This morning, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I woke up. It’s so pretty here and so beautiful.’ So while he was there, I wrote the track ‘Get It’. We had a bit of fun recording it. I can always see Laurel & Hardy dancing to this track.
The Beatles – The Dream Is Over: Off The Record 2, Keith Badman
The song ‘Tug Of War’ was released as a single on 6 September 1982, with ‘Get It’ on the b-side. It peaked at number 53 in both the UK and USA, and reached number 11 in Poland.
The single, with its UK artwork, was included in the 2022 box set The 7″ Singles Box.
Anyone who was a legend in our formative years is still a legend. I haven’t grown out of that. Carl is still the guy who wrote ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, and he can never do any wrong. It only took one guy to do that, and he did it. Elvis recorded it and beat his version, but, still, Carl wrote it. There’s some magic stuff. We used to love those early albums — very primitive, very simple, but just such soul. Carl has lovely stories about how he was taught by an old black gentleman [John Westbrook], and he speaks of him with great reverence. It’s very nice to hear. He said, ‘You know, Paul, I used to pick cotton in the field, and when we had a break, we’d sit down and this old black gentleman would show me some of his licks.’ It was very exciting for us kids to hear that. We’d grown up in a kind of urban world, and we didn’t really know about that stuff. He’s still an idol.
Guitar Player, July 1990