Fab Four Friday: Episode Eight
It’s time for another walk down Beatles memory lane with Chiefs pitching coach Greg Booker. If you’ve just joined us, Booker chooses a song each week and details the history and his view of the tune….
This week we bring you a song which is the most-covered pop song in history: Yesterday.
Jason Benetti: As you think about the lyrics, had it been “Scrambled Eggs”–we can’t know–I’m gonna go ahead and doubt it would have been the most-covered pop song in history if it were named after a breakfast food.
Greg Booker: Yeah, maybe Denny’s or somebody would have taken it as their slogan, but not other artists I don’t think.
There are so many things that were done different with this song, like it’s the first time only one Beatle basically played on the recording. The other ones are usually in there on something. It’s Paul and his acoustic guitar. Paul wrote it, he sang it, he played it. On the credits, as they did everything, they still credited it to Lennon/McCartney and there was a time back when they were doing the anthology that Paul approached Yoko about changing this particular one to McCartney/Lennon but she would have none of it.
Paul and Michael Jackson did a couple songs together and something came up with Paul wanting Yesterday put on something Michael Jackson was doing. The conversation turned to Paul explaining to Michael Jackson how important it was to own publishing rights. Michael pulled a quick one on him and outbid him for the publishing rights to all The Beatles’ tunes. That strained their friendship quite a bit. This was after Paul was trying to give him a lot of advice on how important it is to own them. At that time, Paul didn’t even own Beatles stuff and Michael Jackson bought them. It’s kind of a shame that you have all these songs that they don’t even own the publishing rights to.
Benetti: They’re somewhere in the Neverland Ranch.
Booker: I guess Neverland Ranch owns ’em. John was very jealous with this song. It was such a big song. Paul did it all by himself. When they were spatting in later years, John came out and wrote this song called “How Do You Sleep.” It’s a bash on Paul. One of the lines is, “The only thing you’ve done is yesterday and since you’ve gone, you’re just another day.”
Let’s listen in to the song:
Benetti: A couple notes, all you need.
Benetti: Dark lyrics.
Booker: Yeah, it’s….he was more yesterday. He longs for yesterday…..he wishes he was back in the past. It does sound a little bit better than scrambled eggs, doesn’t it?
Benetti: A little more lyrical.
Booker: His voice is just “Yesterday”….Don Henley is “Hotel California”, Paul is “Yesterday.”