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How George Martin transform a 'dirge' into the first Beatles Number 1?

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George Martin was initially unconvinced that Lennon & McCartney could consistently write hit songs. For their second single John Lennon put forward Please Please Me - his attempt to channel Roy Orbison. Again the verdict was a resounding thumbs down: I listened to it and I said: 'Do you know that's too boring for words? It's a dirge. At twice the speed it might sound reasonable.' They took me at my word. I was joking and they came back and played it to me sped up and put a harmonica on it. Impressed by the dramatic improvement, George Martin agreed to give the song a second chance. He was not to regret his decision:  We worked for ages on their new version of 'Please Please Me', and I said: 'Gentlemen, you're going to have your first #1. Source: Interview with George Martin, The Observer Music Monthly, 2006

What did Paul McCartney announce on October 22 1969?

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On October 22 1969 Paul McCartney tried to end a month of fevered press speculation started by  a story published in a tiny Des Moines student magazine on September 17 .

Did John & Paul ever play together after The Beatles split?

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According to the delightful May Pang (John's girlfriend during his 'lost weekend') they did:

When did Elvis Presley play bass with The Beatles?

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On August 27 1965 in The King's Bel Air mansion. 

Which day of the week is skipped in Lady Madonna?

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Saturday. "Friday Night arrives without a suitcase/Sunday morning creeping like a nun." Perhaps its part of that eight-day-week the Beatles introduced. Lady Madonna was McCartney's 'come-back' single after critics savaged Magical Mystery Tour. Musically, it's an impressive response, the boogiewoogie piano and handclaps combining to create an infectious driving sound.  Lyrically, it is less successful. The title was inspired by a magazine photograph of an African mother and child captioned Mountain Madonna. This image immediately runs into trouble with a very British reference to paying the rent. Then it turns bizarrely accusatory ('Did you think that money was heaven sent?') before losing all coherence in what Ian MacDonald calls 'acid tinged unreality'.  Macdonald particularly disapproves of the 'pointless allusion to I Am the Walrus' suggesting that this 'wanton self-mythologising ... in the context of the developing 'Pa

Who was Dick Rowe? What was his bad decision?

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1962 would be the key year in the history of The Beatles. But it got off to a very bad start. In the early hours of New Year's Day they drove  to London. They were heading for an audition at Decca Records - then the most prestigious record company in the UK. After battling through a snowstorm they finally arrived the studio at the appointed time of 11.00 - only to find that there was nobody there to meet them.  Then they were told that they could not use their own amplifiers.  But the session went ahead? Over the next hour they recorded the following songs, which included three Lennon and McCartney originals: Like Dreamers Do Money (That's What I Want) Till There Was You The Sheik Of Araby To Know Her Is To Love Her Take Good Care Of My Baby Memphis, Tennessee Sure To Fall (In Love With You) Hello Little Girl Three Cool Cats Crying, Waiting, Hoping Love Of The Loved September In The Rain Besame Mucho ? The Beatles did not perform well. They we

The Beatles first British number 1 single?

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At the end of the lengthy recording session for the single version of Please Please Me  George Martin turned to The Beatles and said, 'Gentlemen, you have your first Number One!' George was rarely wrong about anything but in this case the jury is still out.