Paperback Writer – The Beatles

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………..on June 25th of 1966 the final Beatles world tour kicked off in Munich, Germany as the Fab Four saw “Paperback Writer” leap from #15 in the US to # 1. Although John Lennon was the Beatle who actually wrote books, the song was penned by Paul McCartney.  McCartney wrote “Paperback Writer” after helping some friends, including John Dunbar, set up the Indica Bookshop (in the basement was the Indica Gallery, where John Lennon eventually met Yoko Ono), in January of 1966. Paul was the first customer of the shop. This song was a sort of an homage to lots of authors, including John Lennon, who had already written two books: In His Own Write and A Spaniard In The Works. He also was thinking of the author Martin Amis, whom he had just developed a passion for. John Lennon and George Harrison sang the French nursery rhyme “Frére Jacques” in the background. The Frére Jacques part has nothing to do with John Lennon – Paul just thought it was clever – but it does translate to “Brother John.” The B-side to this single was John Lennon’s “Rain.” Paul and John would always compete for the A-side of The Beatles singles. Lennon claimed this was “the brother of Day Tripper,” meaning the song was based on a “dirty” sounding guitar lick. The Beatles released “Day Tripper” the previous year. McCartney’s bass was boosted by using a loudspeaker as its microphone and positioning it in front of the bass speaker. There was some concern that the heavy bass line would make record players skip.The first #1 hit for The Beatles that was not about love. This was a song that led the transition from early Beatles style to later Beatles style, from love songs to opening up the subject of songs to a wider variety of subjects. Paul’s Aunt had been bugging him for months, challenging him to “Write a song that wasn’t about love.” So he wrote this just to shut her up. He said: “We always try to do something different. And this idea’s a bit different. Years ago my Auntie Lil said to me, ‘Why can’t you ever write about a horse or the summit conference or something interesting? So I thought, ‘All right, Auntie Lil. I’ll show you.”This claimed the top spot in the US for two non-consecutive weeks; it was interrupted for one week by Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.” The song also reached #1 in the UK.