I recorded a song for the Help! album that was never released – ‘If You’ve Got Trouble’. George Martin found it in the vaults of EMI studios.
The songs given to Starr to sing were never among Lennon and McCartney’s finest: ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ and ‘What Goes On’ were little more than album fillers, and often Starr was left to sing cover versions.
‘If You’ve Got Trouble’ bears the unfortunate hallmarks of the two songwriters going through the motions: uninspired lyrics about diamond rings, “money and things”, references to Starr’s haplessness (his persona within the group’s early years was that of an amiable clown), and a tune which was less than inspired.
We’ve just come across that, and it’s the most weird song. I’ve no recollection of ever recording it. It’s got stupid words and is the naffest song. No wonder it didn’t make it onto anything.
In the studio
Track two was an overdub of three guitars: Harrison’s Gretsch, Paul McCartney’s Epiphone Casino, and John Lennon’s Fender Stratocaster.
At 7.15pm Starr double tracked his lead vocals onto track four, Lennon and McCartney added backing vocals, and Harrison performed a solo on a Fender Stratocaster.
That the song wasn’t working as planned can be heard in Ringo’s desperate call before the guitar solo: “Ah, rock on – anybody!” ‘If You’ve Got Trouble’ was eventually replaced on the Help! album by ‘Act Naturally’, recorded four months later.