John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote so many incredible Beatles songs. But did you know they made up one on the spot so they could go watch TV? According to Far Out Magazine, the singer-songwriters were working on The White Album when a movie they wanted to see came on.
In 1968 McCartney said: “What happened was The Girl Can’t Help It was on television.
“That’s an old rock film with Little Richard and Fats Domino and Eddie Cochran and a few others.
“We wanted to see it, so we started recording at five o’clock.
“And we said, ‘We’ll do something, We’ll make up a backing track.’”
The Beatles: Can YOU guess the song John Lennon and Paul McCartney made up ‘on the spot’
John and Paul wrote The White Album’s Birthday song on the spot
McCartney continued: “So we kept it very simple—twelve-bar blues kind of thing.
“And we stuck in a few bits here and there in it, with no idea what the song was or what was gonna go on top of it.
“We just said, ‘Okay. Twelve bars in A, and we’ll change to D, and I’m gonna do a few beats in C.’
“And we really just did it like that… random thing.”
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The Beatle added: “And we came back here to my house and watched The Girl Can’t Help It.
“Then we went back to the studio again and made up some words to go with it all.
“So this song was just made up in an evening. Umm, you know.
“We hadn’t ever thought of it before then. And it’s one of my favourites because of that.”
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However, John Lennon wasn’t as fond of Birthday as McCartney, being as self-deprecating and candid as usual in one of his interviews.
Speaking with Playboy in 1980, the year he died, Lennon said: “I think Paul wanted to write a song like ‘Happy Birthday Baby,’ the old fifties hit.
“But it was sort of made up in the studio.
“It was a piece of garbage.”
Next week marks Sir Ringo Starr’s 80th birthday and The Beatles drummer is celebrating with Sir Paul.
The Starr-studded event will see both surviving Beatles perform on Sir Ringo’s YouTube channel (maybe even singing Birthday?) with a whole host of other music artists who include Joe Walsh, Ben Harper, Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark Jr and Sheila E.
Proceeds from Sir Ringo’s Big Birthday Show will benefit Black Lives Matter Global Network, The David Lynch Foundation, Musicares and WaterAid.
Ringo’s Big Birthday Show airs on his YouTube channel at 1am BST on July 8, 2020.