‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, a “scrap” that The Beatles gave to the Rolling Stones and was their first hit | LOS40 Classic

‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, a “scrap” that The Beatles gave to the Rolling Stones and was their first hit |  LOS40 Classic

A chance meeting on the streets of London was The origin of l Wanna Be Your Man, the song written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon under the puzzled gaze of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The first success of The Rolling Stones was a gift from The Beatles. This is a unique tale of friendship and generosity that emerged on September 10, 1963 on Charing Cross Road … or not.

from friendly bands

Let’s go back to 1963. In London. Two of the leading rock and pop bands of all time were taking their first steps. And they were friendly bands. The Rolling Stones had just been born a year ago and had only released one single: a cover of Come on, by Chuck Berry. But it had not reached the desired impact. They needed new material. For their part, The Beatles had more tables. They had already been through their time as The Quarry Men, their five seasons in Hamburg, Brian Epstein had entered their lives and so had producer George Martin. And most importantly, his first album Please Please me was already on the market since March 1963 with songs of his own (Lennon / McCartney). Love me do or Please please swept me on the British and American charts.

The point is that there was good vibes between both formations. They often lent themselves to each other drummers, bassists, or other instrumentalists as they needed. On one particular night, April 14, 1963, the friendship was more than evident when the Beatles went to see the Stones, who were playing their repertoire of blues versions in Richmond, and they all ended up partying together until four in the evening. early morning. Six days later, the Beatles were playing the Royal Albert Hall for the first time and they invited the Stones.

Different versions of a chance meeting

On September 10, 1963, there was a chance meeting. Depending on who is telling it, the story varies, although its essence does not. Paul McCartney, in Barry Miles ‘authorized biography’ Many years from now ‘, explains how he and Lennon were walking down Charing Cross Road when a taxi carrying Jagger and Richards passed them: “They called us from the taxi and we shouted’ Hey, hey, take us, take us! ‘And we went with them. there we were the four of us sitting in a taxi. I think Mick said ‘Hey, we’re recording, do you have any songs?’ And we said ‘Aaaahh, yeah sure, we have one. How about Ringo’s song? You can make a single of it. ‘” The “Ringo” song they were referring to was I Wanna Be Your Man.

And here’s the other version: John and Paul were walking around London when they saw the manager of the Rolling Stones, Andrew Loog Oldham, who invited them to stop by Studio 51, the jazz club where the Rolling were rehearsing. And there they presented themselves. Knowing that the Jagger guys needed material for a new single, they decided to complete a song for Ringo they were working on right there … and they gave it to him. “We were his friends, and we thought that I Wanna Be Your Man it would be good for them. We knew they did Bo Diddley stuff. They did a good job, “McCartney recalled in 2016.

Whether it was a fortuitous encounter with the Rolling Stones or with their manager and producer, the truth is that that Tuesday, September 10, 1963, Lennon and McCartney were walking back from an awards ceremony (the Variety Club of Great Britain) that they had had. place at the Savoy Hotel in London. Both of them received the award in the category of Vocal Group of the Year.

In a corner, to the amazement of Jagger and Richards

What is also true is that the team of composers from Liverpool completed I wanna be your man in a corner of the rehearsal room, in front of the attentive and amazed gaze from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. So impressed were they with his compositional prowess that soon after they began to write their own songs. That is at least what John Lennon claimed and that is how it is collected in the book ‘All we are saying’ by David Sheff:

“I wanna be your man was kind of impromptu notes that Paul had: ‘I want to be your lover, baby. I want to be your man’. I think we finished it for the Stones. Yeah, we met them at the They played club in Richmond Hill (Studio 51) with Brian (Jones) and the others. They wanted a song, and we went to see them to see what they wanted. Mick and Keith had heard we had something unfinished. Paul I had this little piece and we needed another verse or something else. We played it rough and they said, Yeah, OK, it’s our style! ‘So Paul and I retired to the corner of the room and finished it while they were there talking. Here’s how Mick and Keith got inspired to write. They said something like ‘Jesus, look at this. If only they have gone to the corner, they have written and they have returned!. There, in front of our eyes they have done it. ‘

Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger, August 25, 1967 / Victor Blackman/Express/Getty Images

Something “completely crazy” of two hustlers

Own Mick Jagger confirms how quickly McCartney and Lennon finished what would become their first hit: “At that time we knew the Beatles and while we were rehearsing, Andrew (their manager) came to the studio with Paul and John. They told us they had this song. The truth is that at that time they were hustlers. I mean, the way they The one they used to do fast and run songs was great: ‘Hey Mick, we’ve got this great song.’ They played it and we thought it sounded very commercial, just what we were looking for. So we did it as Elmore James (American blues guitarist) or something like that. It was completely crazy, but it was a hit and it sounded great on stage. “

A simple song for Ringo … or a scrap

McCartney’s main goal when he began writing I wanna be your man is to make it simple for Starr to sing: “We often used to tell people that the lyrics don’t really matter, people don’t listen to the lyrics. sound they hear. So ‘I wanna be your man’ was a attempt to give Ringo an ‘uptempo’ song that he could sing from drums. So it had to be very simple. “

Lennon, however, scoffed at the subject: “It was a waste. The only two versions of the song were that of Ringo and that of the Rolling Stones, which shows the importance we placed on it; We weren’t going to give them something magnificent, were we? “

The two versions

On November 1, 1963, I wanna be your man became the segundo single de The Rolling Stones. It was his first success: reached # 12 in the UK. It is one of the few songs of the group in which Brian Jones, in addition to contributing his slide guitar, did the backing vocals. Bill Wyman explained how they had adapted it to his style: “We learned it pretty quickly because there wasn’t much to learn. So Brian took his guitar and dadaw … dadaw … and we said ‘yeah that’s better, mess it up a bit. little bit and pummel it ‘and we changed it completely, made it a lot tougher, Stones – and Elmore James style. “

Twenty days later the version of The Beatles came out, with Ringo Starr as vocalist, within his second album With the Beatles. Musically it is one of the most rudimentary songs of the Liverpool group, although the recording process was lengthy. It is striking that they recorded the first take on September 11, 1963, just the day after finishing composing it … and giving it to his Rolling friends.

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‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, a “scrap” that The Beatles gave to the Rolling Stones and was their first hit | LOS40 Classic