The Beatles: I'm Down (1965)

 |   |  1 min read

The Beatles: I'm Down (1965)

When the Beatles played that historic concert at Shea Stadium, New York in August '65 before 55,000 screamers -- the biggest audience for a rock concert at that time -- John Lennon clearly enjoyed himself, no more so than during McCartney's rocker I'm Down where he played keyboards with his elbow and set Harrison and McCartney into fits of laughter.

I'm Down -- another classic Beatles b-side, the flip of Help -- is an exceptional McCartney song modelled on Little Richard's Long Tall Sally but delivered with such unbridled enthusiasm he can't even get all the words out.

As a number of writers have noted, despite being "down" about his lover not giving in to his affections he is far from sounding depressed. Frustrated yes, but also boiling over with howling self-assertion.

It is also a short (2.38) and punchy rock'n'roll classic which the Beatles, then McCartney in his solo career, played often.

And -- hard to believe -- if you look at the Abbey Road recording dates, McCartney belted this out in the afternoon of June 14 '65 (they did seven takes) after recording his country-rock I've Just Seen a Face (the rehearsal for the Help! album is here) then had a cup of tea and recorded another, but very different classic, Yesterday.

Quite a session -- and the Help/I'm Down single was in shops fewer than 10 days later, and a month later, after finishing up the Help! album, they were touring the US playing the Hollywood Bowl and Shea Stadium.

Hard to believe . . . 

For more on-offs or songs with an interesting back-story see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Atlanta Rhythm Section: Imaginary Lover (1979)

Atlanta Rhythm Section: Imaginary Lover (1979)

There's no real reason for this particular installment of From the Vaults other than the sheer silliness of it. The trick here is to look at the video clip first before you play the sample... > Read more

Jay and the Americans: Tomorrow (1962)

Jay and the Americans: Tomorrow (1962)

Although they hit their peak when the American bands fought back against the British Invasion in the mid Sixties, Jay and the Americans always seemed like a band from an earlier era with their big... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

MARK CROSS PROFILED (2013): The outsider looking outward

MARK CROSS PROFILED (2013): The outsider looking outward

Odds are Mark Cross was among the oldest in the audience at the recent concert by American nail-hard metal rockers Tool. And probably the only artist. More than a decade ago he heard Tool's... > Read more

Ornette Coleman, The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)

Ornette Coleman, The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)

Recently I was asked if I would contribute a page to a monthly magazine on famous musicians I had met. That part was easy, I've met quite a few. But then the person said they would like to run the... > Read more