Lennon & McCartney on the Songwriting Process – Beatles Interview

Lennon & McCartney on the Songwriting Process - Beatles Interview

One of the most successful partnerships in musical history was that of John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the Beatles. Together, in less than a decade, published roughly 180 songs, most of them under the banner of the Beatles, with both of them contibuting equally to lyric and music writing especially in their early days. Later it became more common for them to finish songs individually. The song “Yesterday” has been the most covered song in music history (Guinness World Records).

In this interview excerpt, John and Paul talk about other artists covering their compositions, their influences, their songwriting partnership, writing for other people and about their favourite instruments to write on:

John and Paul first met on July 6, 1957. The Beatles formed in Liverpool in 1960 with John, Paul, George Harrison and Ringo Starr joining later on. The Beatles era ended in 1970 with all four Beatles enjoying successful musical careers.


Drummer, songwriter, singer & pianist.
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The Cure Boys Don’t Cry – The song & its story

The Cure Boys Don't Cry Robert Smith. The Song and its story

There’s no hidden meaning behind this Cure song it is pretty clear. Boys don’t cry. But this guy apologising to his girlfriend sounds to me like he is almost ready to cry. Bad luck Mr. ”…Misjudged your limits, pushed you too far, took you for granted, I thought that you needed me more…” Great lyrics!

Boys Don’t Cry Lyrics:

I would say I’m sorry
If I thought that it would change your mind
But I know that this time
I have said too much
Been too unkind
I try to laugh about it
Cover it all up with lies
I try and laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
Because boys don’t cry
Boys don’t cry
I would break down at your feet
And beg forgiveness
Plead with you
But I know that it’s too late
And now there’s nothing I can do
So I try to laugh about it
Cover it all up with lies
I try to laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
Because boys don’t cry
I would tell you
That I loved you
If I thought that you would stay
But I know that it’s no use
That you’ve already
Gone away
Misjudged your limit
Pushed you too far
Took you for granted
I thought that you needed me more
Now I would do most anything
To get you back by my side
But I just keep on laughing
Hiding the tears in my eyes
Because boys don’t cry
Boys don’t cry
Boys don’t cry.


Boys Don’t Cry was originally released in 1979 and it was Cure’s second single release but it was not a succesful one. A few years later in 1986 Cure re-mixed and re-recorded the vocals and made it up to number 22 in the UK charts.

Boys Don’t Cry 1979 version:

Written by M. Dempsey, R. Smith, and L.Tolhurst, the song’s 1986 video features three children performing the song with Smith, Tolhurst, and Dempsey appearing as their shadows.

Boys Don’t Cry 1986 version:

The Boys Don’t Cry studio album was released in the UK on the 5th of February 1980 and in the US in August 1980. in the States, the album was released as an alternate version of the band’s first album Three Imaginary Boys as an attempt to increase the band’s popularity outside the UK.

The Boys Don’t Cry album has been ranked number 438 of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time catalogue. (Rolling Stone Magazine).

The Cure were originally formed in Crawley in 1976 with Robert Smith being the only constant member. Exactly like Lemmy from Motorhead and many other songwriters. Their bands fall apart, they never quit, but keep playing under the same name finding other musicians along the way. A lesson to be learned there? 🙂


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Jimi Hendrix Purple Haze – The song and its history

Jimi Hendrix Purple Haze - The song and its history

Purple Haze was the second single by the Jimi Hendrix Experience released on the 17th of  March, 1967 written ten days after the release of the first single Hey Joe. Hendrix, two years after moving to New York to pursue a career in music met the British manager Chas Chandler (The Animals), and moved to England in 1966 where he formed The Jimi Hendrix Experience with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell. Purple Haze was the song that made the Hendrix Chord (79) famous.

”…the Hendrix chord is “the whole of the blues scale condensed into a single chord…” – John Perry

The trio started recording Purple Haze on the 11th of January 1967 at the De Lane Lea Studios in London. Jimi had finished writing the song a month earlier in the backstage of a London club just before a performance. The song was introduced to Noel and Mitch in the recording studio and the basic track was recorded within four hours. After the main take was done Chandler and Xendrix took the tapes to Olympic Studios for overdubbing, experimenting with different ideas and recorded additional tracks. For example, the echo effect in the song was achieved by placing a pair of headphones around a microphone. When the song was finally sent to the record label, a note was attached to the tapes saying “deliberate distortion, do not correct.”

“Scuse me while I kiss the sky”

The song contains one of the most misheard lyric lines in music history. “Scuse me while I kiss the sky” understood as “Scuse me while I kiss this guy.” Hendrix was often having fun with this by pointing to Mitchell while singing it.

Jimmi Hendrix Purple Haze The Song And Its History

The picture is a book cover by Gavin Edwards, ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy: And Other Misheard Lyrics. You can find the book on Amazon here.

In interviews Jimi gave different answers about the song’s meaning. It was inspired by the Night of Light, a 1966 novel by Philip Jose Farmer, he also said that the song was about a dream he had that he was walking under the sea, that a guy was so in love with a girl and didn’t know in what kind of state he was is in, while fans and many journalists believe that the song is about a psychedelic experience because of the lines “purple haze all in my brain” and “‘scuse me while I kiss the sky”. We will never now for sure. It’s all pretty …hazy.

This is a cover of Purple Haze by me (drums) and my friends Niko Salta (keys) and Lefteri Karvela (guitar). Although it’s ”LO-FI” I love the version hope you’ll enjoy it! 🙂


Purple Haze Lyrics

Purple haze, all in my brain
Lately things they don’t seem the same
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
Excuse me while I kiss the sky

Purple haze, all around
Don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down
Am I happy or in misery?
What ever it is, that girl put a spell on me

Help me
Help me
Oh, no, no

Ooo, ahhh
Ooo, ahhh
Ooo, ahhh
Ooo, ahhh, yeah!

Purple haze all in my eyes
Don’t know if it’s day or night
You got me blowin’, blowin’ my mind
Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time?

Help me
Ahh, yea-yeah, purple haze
Oh, no, oh
Oh, help me
Tell me, tell me, purple haze
I can’t go on like this
Purple haze
You’re makin’ me blow my mind
Purple haze, n-no, nooo
Purple haze

“When I die, I want people to just play my music, go wild and freak out, do anything they want to do.”

– Jimi Hendrix


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Led Zeppelin Babe I’m Gonna Leave You – the song & its story

Led Zeppelin Babe I'm Gonna Leave you the song and its history

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, the famous Led Zeppelin song is not by Led Zeppelin originally. Zeppelin covered the song which was originally written by folk artist Anne Bredon in the 50s, also recorded by Joan Baez and other versions by the Plebs, The Association, Mark Wynter, Quicksilver Messenger Service and UNFORTUNATELY; Miley Cyrus…

Led Zeppelin’s cover was inspired by the Baez version. Page had worked on an arrangement of the song long before he met Plant, during his days as a session musician performing with Marianne Faithfull. Jimmy got the idea to cover the song after hearing the Baez version.

Jimmy Page said about the recording of the song:

“That was a Gibson J-200, which wasn’t mine; I borrowed it. It was a beautiful guitar, really great. I’ve never found a guitar of that quality anywhere since. I could play so easily on it, get a really thick sound; it had heavy-gauge strings on it, but it just didn’t seem to feel like it.” – Jimmy Page (Guitar Player magazine 1977).

I absolutely love this pic!!! (I couldn’t find who made this)

Led Zeppelin Babe I'm Gonna Leave You Facts History of the song

“Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”

Babe, baby, baby, I’m Gonna Leave You.

I said baby, you know I’m gonna leave you.
I’ll leave you when the summertime,
Leave you when the summer comes a-rollin’
Leave you when the summer comes along.

Baby, baby, I don’t wanna leave you,
I ain’t jokin’ woman, I got to ramble.
Oh, yeah, baby, baby, I believin’,
We really got to ramble.
I can hear it callin’ me the way it used to do,
I can hear it callin’ me back home!

Babe…I’m gonna leave you
Oh, baby, you know, I’ve really got to leave you
Oh I can hear it callin ‘me
I said don’t you hear it callin’ me the way it used to do?

I know I never never never gonna leave your babe
But I got to go away from this place,
I’ve got to quit you, yeah
Baby, ooh don’t you hear it callin’ me?
Woman, woman, I know, I know
It feels good to have you back again
And I know that one day baby, it’s really gonna grow, yes it is.
We gonna go walkin’ through the park every day.
Come what may, every day

It was really, really good.
You made me happy every single day.
But now… I’ve got to go away!

Baby, baby, baby, baby
That’s when it’s callin’ me
I said that’s when it’s callin’ me back home…

Zeppelin played the song on its 1969 tours and a video of a live performance of the song at Gladsaxe, Denmark, 1969 is featured on the Led Zeppelin DVD (2003).

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You is the second song of the Led Zeppelin I album, recorded in October 1968 (Olympic Studios, London, Atlantic Records, 1969).

Jimmy about the first Led Zeppelin album (interview 1975):

For material, we obviously went right down to our blues roots. I still had plenty of Yardbirds riffs left over. By the time Jeff (Beck) did go, it was up to me to come up with a lot of new stuff. It was this thing where Clapton set a heavy precedent in the Yardbirds which Beck had to follow and then it was even harder for me, in a way, because the second lead guitarist had suddenly become the first. And I was under pressure to come up with my own riffs. On the first LP I was still heavily influenced by the earlier days. I think it tells a bit, too… It was obvious that somebody had to take the lead, otherwise we’d have all sat around jamming for six months. But after that, on the second LP, you can really hear the group identity coming together.

Theo, E-Mute
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10 interesting facts about super famous bands & musicians

10 interesting facts about super famous bands & musicians (1)

1) Muse – Megalomania Matt Bellamy has said that when he asked to use the organ at St. Mary’s Church in Bathwick, the priest demanded on seeing the lyrics to the music before permitting them to use the instrument. Bellamy begun  writing out some “acceptable” lyrics for the priest and he allowed them to record. Later on, when Muse asked to play a big church organ in Europe to finish with the recordings, another priest asked to see the text to the song to make sure Muse weren’t devil-adorers.

Muse Megalomania Facts

2) Axl Rose – Guns N’ Roses Axl Rose’s real name is William Bruce Rose and he was born on February the 6th 1962. When he was a young child his mother changed his name to William Bailey after getting married to L. Stephen Bailey. When he found out that his biological father’s name was Rose the changed it to William Rose. The ”Axl” wasn’t added 100% deliberately to make his name an anagram for Oral Sex, but it was the name of a band he used to be in together with Izzy. Izzt told Axl – “You live and breath Axl so you might as well be Axl”. So William changed his name to Axl and by ”fate” you can make nice Oral Sex out of it.

Axl Rose William Rose Name Change


3) AC/DC sales They’ve sold almost 71 million album copies only in the U.S, thus allowing them to be one of the top-selling bands in America. Worldwide they have sold more than 200 million.

ACDC album sales

4) Freddie Mercury’s name Freddie Mercury’s (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) real name was actually Farrokh Bulsara, but his passport name was ‘Frederick Mercury’. He started calling himself ‘Freddie’ during his studies at St. Peter’s School (Bombay). Mercury was actually born in the Sultanate of Zanzibar (India) and grew up there until his mid-teens. Then he moved with his family to Middlesex, England and in 1970 he formed the band Queen with Brian May and Roger Taylor.
Freddie Mercurys real name5) The Clash – London Calling a song by The Clash. It was released as a single from the 1979 double album London Calling. London Calling was named after a phrase used in a BBC show: “Good morning America, this is London Calling.” which was used during World War II, often broadcasting to occupied countries.
London Calling The Clash Song facts

6) The Doors – First album They were the first band ever to have their album advertised on a billboard. Jac Holtzman head of Elektra Records paid $1500 to advertise their first album on LA’s Sunset Strip. Holtzman wondered why the billboards advertised everything else but not rock’n’roll. he decided to give it a try. Billboard band promotion started with the Doors back in 1967.

The Doors Billboard Advertising

7) John Bonham – Led Zeppelin John Henry Bonham (31 May 1948 – 25 September 1980) drank fourty shots of vodka the night he died. During autumn of 1980, Bonham and the rest of the band were preparing for a tour of North America. On the 24 September 1980, John started drinking from early in the morning and all day long during the band’s rehearsal. After midnight on Thursday, 25 September, Bonham fell asleep and someone took him to his bed. The next day they found him dead. Bonham was only 32. In 24 hours Bonham had around 1–1.4 litres of 40% vodka, after which he vomited and choked. Jimmy, Robert and John Paul did not want to replace John.

John Bonham Death

“We wish it to be known that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were.”

– Led Zeppelin

8) Nirvana – Nevermind Kurt, Chris and Dave were kicked out of their own release party for the release of Nevermind at the small Seattle venue Rebar. Cobain and the rest showed up drunk and started throwing around food and were eventually kicked out.

Fod fights Nirvana Nevermind
”Oh, there was always a food fight. It was inevitable. These guys were like children. There was egg throwing, food fighting, putting CDs in the microwave, it was just ridiculous. After we got thrown out of the ‘Nevermind’ record release party we all went over to Susie’s house and dressed the Nirvana guys up in dresses and put make-up on them and danced around the house and I think that was the night that Kurt was slingshotting eggs off of Susie’s porch at the neighbors’ cars.” – music journalist Everett True


9) Metallica – The God That Failed A song from their 1991 album. James Hetfield said about the song: “very nice… Slow, heavy and ugly.” Hetfield wrote the lyrics for his mother because of her beliefs that cancer treatment goes against God’s will. The subject of the song is humanity and religious faith; A belief in a God that fails to cure. The lyrics and song material were inspired by Hetfield’s anguish on the circumstances surrounding his mother’s death.

Metallica The God That Failed A song about Hetfields mother

Baylor University Assistant Professor of Religion, Paul Martens points out that the song has been admired by some anti-religious groups, such as the websites “Alabama Atheist” and “The Secular Web”. (Wikipedia)

10) Black Sabbath – Paranoid They came up with the song and recorded in 20 minutes as a filler for the album because they needed an extra three minutes. The song “Paranoid is now regarded as one of the greatest rock and heavy metal songs of all time.

Black Sabbath Recorded the song paranoid as a filler for the album

A lot of the “Paranoid” album was written around the time of our first album,”Black Sabbath”. We recorded the whole thing in about 2 or 3 days, live in the studio. The song “Paranoid” was written as an afterthought. We basically needed a 3 minute filler for the album, and Tony came up with the riff. I quickly did the lyrics, and Ozzy was reading them as he was singing. – Geezer Butler (from Guitar World magazine, March 2004).

Theo, E-Mute
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Radiohead in Rainbows – From the Basement (video and story)


In Rainbows – From The Basement is a live video by Radiohead recorded back in 2008. They played ten songs from their 2007 album In Rainbows. The video was shot in one day with Nigel Godrich sound engineering and David Barnard video directing. From The Basement was created by Nigel as an online only music show that later on turned to a television series. The series has hosted performances (without an audience) with many great artists including The White Stripes, Beck, Jarvis Cocker, Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey and many more. A great show.
”The whole emphasis of the show is about being artist friendly and making our bands as comfortable as possible so that they can give great performances without the usual agony of TV promo which everyone has to do but no one seems to enjoy. TV world is a pretty hostile environment for your average musician to have to walk into and bare his soul on cue.. It also doesn’t hurt that a lot of the people we’ve filmed are friends or people we’ve worked with before so they trust us and know that we understand what recording music is about as well as making good TV.

All in all I think it all adds up to something unique and special which I don’t feel happening anywhere else in either the music side of mainstream TV or online. My own personal goal is that in the future some of these performances might be seen as the truest representation of the state of their artists work, captured in a way that lets their talents speak without the interference of presenters, or audiences. That is what I feel when I watch Talking Heads or Bill Withers on the Old Grey Whistle Test, that they are most definitely playing for me, not someone else in the room. If we can even touch on that kind of directness and quality then I think the whole project will have been a success.”

Nigel Godrich – From The Basement

Radiohead In Raibows From The Basement

1. Weird Fishes
2. 15 Step
3. Bodysnatchers
4. Nude
5. The Gloaming (Softly Open Our Mouths In The Cold.)
6. Myxomatosis. (Judge, Jury And Executioner)
7. House of Cards
8. Bangers and Mash
9. Optimistic
10. Reckoner
11. Videotape
12. Where I End and You Begin (The Sky Is Falling In)

Theo, E-Mute
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