It was quite a productive day in the studio today. First the sound effects for “Good Morning Good Morning” and “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” were added to the master tapes for those songs. Then the boys got to work on a new number, working title “Bad Finger Boogie.”

Spoiler alert: It did not end up being called that. You and I know this song as “With a Little Help from My Friends,” and I don’t know about you, but it is one of my favorite Beatles songs. Partly on its own merits — it is catchy, bouncy, effortlessly charming — and partly because it makes me think about my own friends, and I love my friends. I’m lucky to be blessed with a quality bunch; some of you are reading this right now. Hello, friends!

This song was written by friends Paul McCartney and John Lennon as a vehicle for their mutual friend Richard Starkey. Knowing that Ringo had a limited voice, they kept it simple, and even threw in a disclaimer at the beginning:

What would you think if I sang out of tune?

I was never sure if he was saying “out of tune” or “out a tune,” but all the lyric sheets say the former. Either way, it’s a smart way to start a song; “apologies in advance for my lousy singing.” Why did Bob Dylan never think of this?

Apparently John was playing the piano with an injured finger when he and Paul wrote this; hence the original title, which was later repurposed as the name of the first band signed to Apple Records. In the studio today he played cowbell (insert your own “more cowbell” joke here). Paul played piano, George played guitar, and Ringo the drums; after 10 takes they got one they liked and Ringo overdubbed his vocal.

Just like that, the new song was almost done. Things go easy when you get a little help from your friends.


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