Fab Four Friday: Episode Four

The Fab Four Friday Tour is coming to take you away.  Take you today.  Thanks for joining us for another trip down Beatles memory lane with Chiefs resident Beatles guru (and pitching coach) Greg Booker.  Each week, the former San Diego Padre carves out a sliver of Beatles history to discuss.  This week……well, he can tell you.

If you remember from Episode One, Booker’s favorite Beatles song is 1 After 909.  As he said in the clip up there, it was put on paper even before the group got together as The Beatles.

Booker:  Because it has such great harmony in it, great bass in it, outstanding very underrated lead guitar by George in it and Ringo, I think it’s one of his better efforts too because he just keeps steady beat and keeps the rhythm on it, they used to use it as a warmup song.  The early version of it was a lot slower than the one that you’ll hear on the rooftop concert which really rocks out, I think.  They got so good at it, they decided they’d record it on their last album.

Benetti:  After Episode One, a couple people wrote to me and said, “That’s an odd song to be Booker’s overall number one Beatles song.”  Why is this number one on your list?

Booker:  When I need a pick-me-up, I watch the live version of it on the rooftop concert, which was incidentally their last public thing together.  It covers everything I like about the group as a group and individually.  Solo parts by John–very prominent.  The harmony that Paul comes in with is outstanding.  The bass is second only to Paperback Writer as far as my favorite bass.  Fourth, the guitar, the little riffs that George puts in there is just incredible.  Billy Preston is up there on top of the roof there with them playing the organ.

Benetti:  How’d they get that organ on the roof?

Booker:  I don’t know how they got any of that on the roof.  It was in the vicinity of the Apple conglomerate. If you get the right video of it, it shows them coming through the doors and going up on the roof and the police talking trying to get them for disturbing the peace or a noise ordinance or whatever.  All the people down there–they interview a few men and ladies–they talk about how great they sound, but the police are walking around trying to figure out how to get up there.  I guess they thought it was going to happen because it looked like doors were locked and everything and they had a hard time trying to get up to the roof to shoo them away.  It never shows them being shooed away, but it does show some of the policemen on the roof talking to people.  They quit on their own time, they quit when they wanted to quit.

Let’s listen:

Booker:  Listen to that organ, awesome.  Those little guitar things that George puts in there.  Awesome.  He just strums a couple times.  I don’t know what you call that, but it’s awesome.

Benetti:  It moves it.

Booker:  Yeah.  John’s not a great singer, but to me this is one of his best vocals with the harmony when Paul comes in.  The key fits his vocal  range perfectly.  Billy Preston on the organ is incredible.  A lot of cymbals by Ringo.  You can see on the video, the cops are trying to figure out what to do.

Benetti:  Did people complain?

Booker:  I don’t know if people complained.


If you have any questions or comments about Fab Four Friday, email in to jasonbenetti@syracusechiefs.com.


1 Comment

-I may be mistaken but I think I heard that John wrote “One after 909” in his Quarrymen days. Maybe Booker knows. I may have even heard a line of the song in the movie, “Nowhere Boy” about John’s early days when he first decided to start a band.
-The rooftop concert was late in January and I believe it was quite cold. I think there was some question up until the last minute as to whether they would do it at all.
-Are you familiar with “The Rutles” a parody of the Beatles? Eric Idle from Monty Python was involved with it. I heard the Beatles liked it and George Harrison even did a cameo in one of the scenes from their movie. The Rutles’ version of “Get Back” called “Get up and Go” is a riot. You can find it on “You Tube”.
Take care,
Richard Gardner

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