Fab Four Friday: Episode Nine
It’s time for another edition of Fab Four Friday, where we join arms with Chiefs pitching coach Greg Booker and walk down memory lane (Penny’s intellectual sister). Each week, Booker chooses a song and we talk about where it came from, why it’s a classic and other odds and ends. This week, originally released as the B-Side to “Help!”, “I’m Down.” As a side note, today is Greg Booker’s birthday. So, if you see him at the park, wish him a happy one.
Greg Booker: Paul loved Little Richard as he was growing up. He always went around singing his stuff and he could really hit the notes Little Richard did. In his own words, he said he could do Little Richard well with the “horse-screaming-like thing” so he decided to write his own song in that category.
Jason Benetti: We’ve talked a couple of times about influences and it spans from Little Richard to Roy Orbison. Those are two extremely different types of music.
Booker: I would say I agree, very much so. I guess that leads them to some understanding as to how they come up with so many songs. We have to remember that in Liverpool or England at that time, they didn’t get a lot of American radio. They had to rely on a few certain artists the record companies would get records in. It was guys like Elvis Presley and Little Richard. I’m sure they liked them, but when that’s all you’re getting, they didn’t get any stuff on the radio.
Booker: The same reason Avery likes “Bye Bye Bye” by ‘NSYNC. When he was young, it probably made him jump around a little bit. He would kill me if he knew I said that.
Benetti: He may very soon.
Booker: In looking at some of the footage of The Ed Sullivan Show when they were there, they played this on their third live Ed Sullivan Show September 12, 1965.
Here’s the story of how The Beatles ended up there:
Booker: This was also the first song ever recorded by Aerosmith. They used it as a demo trying to get their first album released or recorded. Eventually, the whole thing died and never was done. The Beastie Boys also loved this song. They recorded a 1986 version of it. With Michael Jackson owning the catalog, he wouldn’t let them release it.
Booker: George sings great harmony in this. If you listen, you can really hear the hard drum and the hard bass through this. It’s just like “boom.” One of the real songs where you can hear George’s harmony perfectly. I think he’s just unbelievable. Something about Ringo’s drum here is harder. When he does it live at Shea Stadium, John plays the electric piano or organ with his elbow.
Benetti: And there’s the scream, very Little Richard.
Booker: Right. Get the video of John playing with his elbow. He’s having a blast. You don’t get many songs where you can really hear George’s vocals. He’s only saying “I’m down”, but it’s awesome.
Benetti: John’s really in the background there.
Booker: He doesn’t have a lot in this song other than a couple of “I’m down”s which you can’t really hear.
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