TMBP Extra: Get to the top, too tired to rock?

Author’s note: I originally wrote this a year ago, on July 6, 2012. Since then, I not only gave it a superficial tweak or two, but also adjusted my original premise — that they’re “too tired to rock” (hence, the addition of the question mark in the title and new final paragraph). I do think that by the time they fooled around with “Twenty Flight Rock” on Jan. 23, 1969, things clearly had turned a corner and there was absolutely more optimism in the group.

There’s obviously no need to overstate the importance of July 6, 1957 to any reader of this blog. It’s the day John Lennon and Paul McCartney met, and thus, everything changed in this world, and for the better.

First, a quick recap of that day, via the Beatles Anthology DVD. Take it, John!

And for fun, the story as portrayed in Nowhere Boy:

Taken in the context of the next clip, standing out to me was Paul’s description of what impressed John. It wasn’t just that he could play “Twenty Flight Rock.”

“I think the thing that impressed him most: I knew all the words,” Paul said.

The Beatles never covered “Twenty Flight Rock” — Paul eventually would on numerous occasions solo and with Wings — but they did give it a nod just once, on Jan. 23, 1969, by which point the sessions had already moved to Apple.

Twelve years after Paul played the song for John — impressing him enough he’d join the band — and as the Beatles were about a week from wrapping up the Get Back sessions, and some months from the last time John and Paul would work again later that year, Paul couldn’t quite remember the words. At all.

Alas, the elevator’s indeed broken down. There’s not much magic to the light-hearted clip, although it’s nice to hear Billy Preston, and George’s solo is pretty good. But no longer is Paul playing the song to impress John. In so many ways, it’s Paul’s group, now.


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