Paul McCartney…I just don’t know what else to say about this amazing talent and wonderful human being.
Like me, you’re probably saying to yourself “where has the summer gone”. Here we are in mid- August – schools reopening, kids off to college, talk of football training camp and fewer and fewer days for me to think I can sneak off and get in “a quick nine” with my buds. When I was younger, the summer never really had days or weeks to it – we just woke up, grabbed our bikes and headed out, hardly worrying how many days “were left”. That usually ended when Mom made us go school clothes shopping – ugh. That “going to the mall” torture has certainly not carried over into my adult life – Jackie knows the girls love to hear that Dad is going shopping, as it usually means everybody is getting something! Especially at Costco and my beloved “samples”! Today marks a special date in music history, when The Beatles released their hit song “Yesterday” to the American public– you know – “yesterday, all my troubles seem so far away” – when things we’re easy, carefree (and Covid Free). I jumped online, and found some fun history on the song, the group, and the endearing legacy of Paul’s solo song. Click on the link to enjoy the music, courtesy of You Tube, and harken back to some easier times by the group, and the magic of creating a classic. And be sure to get “nine” in soon, as the window is closing fast. Thanks to writer Paul McGuinness from udiscovermusic.com. Enjoy!
As the most-covered song in The Beatles’ catalogue, “Yesterday”’s origins have been pored over many times. It was written at 57 Wimpole Street, London, where Paul lived in attic rooms at the top of the family home of his girlfriend, the English actress Jane Asher. As Paul has testified many times over, he wrote it in his sleep: “I woke up with a lovely tune in my head. I thought, That’s great, I wonder what that is? There was an upright piano next to me, to the right of the bed by the window. I got out of bed, sat at the piano, found G, found F sharp minor seventh – and that leads you through then to B to E minor, and finally back to G.”
Paul spent some time not quite believing that he had in fact written it. He would play it to everyone he met, asking if they recognized it, thinking maybe it was some obscure old standard. Of course, nobody did. “Eventually it became like handing something into the police. I thought that if no one claimed it after a few weeks then I would have it.”
As to when this all happened, however, opinions are divided. Some, including Paul’s friend and biographer Barry Miles, claim that it was written just a few weeks before it was recorded. John Lennon, however, remembered the song kicking around for months: “Paul wrote nearly all of it, but we just couldn’t find the right title. Every time we got together to write songs or for a recording session, this would come up. We called it ‘Scrambled Egg’ and it became a joke between us. We almost had it finished when we made up our minds that only a one-word title would suit and, believe me, we just couldn’t find the right one. Then, one morning, Paul woke up, and the song and the title were both there. Completed! I know it sounds like a fairy tale, but it is the plain truth.”
George Martin’s memory was that the song had existed in some form or another for well over a year: “I first heard ‘Yesterday’ when it was known as ‘Scrambled Egg’ – Paul’s working title – at the George V Hotel in Paris in January 1964.”
Paul was still working on it when they were filming their second movie, Help!, in 1965, as director Richard Lester recalls: “At some time during that period, we had a piano on one of the stages and he was playing this ‘Scrambled Egg’ all the time. It got to the point where I said to him, ‘If you play that bloody song any longer, I’ll have the piano taken off stage. Either finish it or give it up!’”
Finish it he did. After completing filming, Paul and Jane took a holiday at the Portuguese villa of their friend, Bruce Welch of The Shadows. It was on the 180-mile journey from the airport that Paul finally nailed it. “It was a long hot, dusty drive,” Paul recalled. “Jane was sleeping but I couldn’t, and when I’m sitting that long in a car I either manage to get to sleep or my brain starts going. I remember mulling over the tune ‘Yesterday,’ and suddenly getting these little one-word openings to the verse.
“I started to develop the idea: ‘Scram-ble-d eggs, da-da da.’ I knew the syllables had to match the melody, obviously: ‘da-da da,’ ‘yes-ter-day,’ ‘sud-den-ly,’ ‘fun-il-ly,’ ‘mer-il-ly,’ and ‘yes-ter-day,’ that’s good. ‘All my troubles seemed so far away.’ It’s easy to rhyme those ‘a’s: say, nay, today, away, play, stay, there’s a lot of rhymes and those fall in quite easily, so I gradually pieced it together from that journey. ‘Sud-den-ly,’ and ‘b’ again, another easy rhyme: e, me, tree, flea, we, and I had the basis of it.”
Welch confirmed this: “I was packing to leave and Paul asked me if I had a guitar. He’d apparently been working on the lyrics as he drove to Albufeira from the airport at Lisbon. He borrowed my guitar and started playing the song we all now know as ‘Yesterday.’”
Once the song was taped that Monday in June 1965, The Beatles and their producer, George Martin, began to wonder what to do with it. Martin remembers saying to Paul, “‘The only thing I can think of is adding strings, but I know what you think about that.’ And Paul said, ‘I don’t want Mantovani.’ I said, ‘What about a very small number of string players, a quartet?’ He thought that was interesting.” Paul’s own version differs slightly, in that he claims he was initially against the idea, that they were a rock’n’roll band. But he trusted Martin, and the pair worked on the arrangement together at Martin’s house.
With their string quartet arrangement recorded in an afternoon session on June 17, “Yesterday” was complete. This was the first time that a Beatles song had been augmented by such an ensemble, but it wouldn’t be the last.
“Yesterday” was included on the Help! album in the UK (though it didn’t feature in the movie), in summer 1965, and given a US single release on September 13 that year. Spending four weeks at No.1 (the song did not receive a UK single release until March 8, 1976, when it made No.8 in the charts), it would go on to be arguably The Beatles’ most famous song. So much so, that John Lennon remarked in a 1980 interview, “I go to restaurants and the groups always play ‘Yesterday.’ Yoko and I even signed a guy’s violin in Spain after he played us ‘Yesterday.’ He couldn’t understand that I didn’t write the song. But I guess he couldn’t have gone from table to table playing ‘I Am The Walrus.’”
Enjoy a full history of the song at http://www.beatlesebooks.com/yesterday
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As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I. Love. My. Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
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