Last night I played this vid to my girl. I didn’t actually. I just came across it on YouTube when I was looking for something else. The song is nearly 60 years. (It may even be more than 60) and was written by a buddy, pal and mate of the guy in the video wearing a red t-shirt.
I don’t know the exact date the song was written but I can tell you the guy in the red t-shirt recorded it on 26 November 1962 with three of his buddies, pals and mates, including the one who wrote the song. That’s 58 years ago.
The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that many of the people in the video watching the man in the red t-shirt singing the song weren’t even born when the song was recorded. But there they are singing along and bopping away to the song Please Please Me.
The song was made famous by The Beatles for they were the four buddies, pals and mates who recorded it in November 1962. The man in the red t-shirt was called Paul. He still is. Although some deferential people call him Sir Paul.
His buddy who wrote the song was called John. (He was never made a Sir because he had a sharp tongue and a naughty attitude to authority.) He wrote it in his bedroom in his Auntie’s house at 251 Menlove Avenue, Liverpool (Postcode L25 7SA).
He said it was his attempt to write a Roy Orbison-style song. But it was more Roy Orbision meets Bing Crosby. he later admitted.
Anyway, these four buddies, pals and mates went on to make more records – most of them written by Sir Paul (as he then wasn’t) and his buddy, pal and mate John. Then one day the four buddies, pals and mates stopped being buddies, pals and mates. And went their seperate ways.
But the people all over the world still loved their songs.
Then another one day a bad man took out a gun and shot Paul’s buddy, pal and mate. And the world was sad.
The man in the red t-shirt continued working as a strolling player and writer of tunes. But he started to sing songs in concerts that had been written by his buddy, pal and mate John.
And so it was that in 2005 the man in the red t-shirt travelled across the United States of America singing his songs and some of those of his buddy, pal and mate. It was on that tour that this video was filmed.
The man in the red t-shirt has been writing fab songs since 1957 – many with his buddy, pal and mate; many on his own. Great tunes such as Hey Jude, Penny Lane, Yesterday, Eleanor Rigby, Band on the Run, Let It Be, The Back Seat of my Car, Live and Let Die, and Maybe I’m Amazed to name just nine of several hundred.
And here’s a weird thing, he still doesn’t think he has cracked it yet. I once asked him “After all the songs you’ve written and music – rock and classical – you’ve made, not to mention your artwork, children’s books, etc is there still something you want to achieve?”
He thought for a second and then said “I’m still trying to write a great song.”
Well, he’s not very salf-aware if he thinks that. And I believe he is still trying.
Fifty years ago Paul McCartney released his first post-Beatles solo album. It was called McCartney and featured Paul singing and playing all the instruments. (Hence why the title of the album was so apposite.) Ten years later, in 1980 he released his second solo album McCartney II. Now 40 years from that back he comes with McCartney III.
I’m sure like all his previous records it will contain some really great songs and some ordinary (but better than most people’s) songs.