Sunday, May 28, 2017

Beatles – "One After 909" (1970)

I said move over once
Move over twice
Come on, baby
Don't be cold as ice

Channel 18 on SiriusXM satellite radio is now “The Beatles Channel,” which was launched on May 18 at 9:09 AM.  (I’ll have much more to say about “The Beatles Channel” in the next 2 or 3 lines.)

SiriusXM chose 18 for the channel number and May 18 for the date of the launch because the two digits that comprise the number 18 add up to 9.

I didn’t know until recently that the number 9 had special significance for the Beatles, but you best believe it did. 

From the SiriusXM blog:

Here are 9 examples that show how the number 9 looms large in the Beatles’ legend:

1.  John Lennon was born on Oct. 9, 1940.  The first home John lived in was at 9 Newcastle Road in Wavertree, Liverpool.  The words “Newcastle,” “Wavertree” and “Liverpool” each contain nine letters.  

2.  As a teenager, John took the No. 72 bus (7 + 2 = 9) to Liverpool Art College, where he became friends with Stuart Sutcliffe.  He soon asked Sutcliffe to join his band, the Quarrymen, which featured Paul McCartney, whose last name has nine letters, as does Sutcliffe’s.  The group changed their name to the Beatles in 1960, and John left in 1969, nine years later.

3.  The Beatles’ first appearance at the Cavern Club was on Feb. 9, 1961.  The band’s manager, Brian Epstein, first saw them perform there on Nov. 9, 1961.  He secured a record contract for the group with EMI on May 9, 1962.

The Beatles at the Cavern Club
4.  One of the Beatles’ earliest songs was “One After 909.”  It was originally recorded in March 1963 (that version was released on the Anthology 1 album) and ultimately was re-recorded for Let It Be, the last album released by the band in May 1970.

5.  The Beatles’ historic first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” took place on Feb. 9, 1964.

6.  The most significant use of the number occurs in Lennon’s song “Revolution 9,” from “The White Album,” which features a series of tape loops including one with a recurring “number nine” announcement.

7.  Lennon’s song “#9 Dream” was released in 1974 on Walls and Bridges, his ninth non-Beatles album, and was issued in the ninth month of the year.  When released as a single, “#9 Dream” peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard “Hot 100” chart in the U.S.  The refrain in the chorus – “Ah! Böwakawa poussé, poussé” – features nine syllables.

8.  There are nine Os in the combined names of John Ono Lennon and Yoko Ono Lennon.  Their son, Sean Lennon, was born on Oct. 9, 1975. 

John, Yoko, and Sean Lennon
9. The long-awaited digital remasters of the Beatles’ albums, along with the group’s “Rock Band” video game, were released on Sept. 9, 2009.  That’s 09-09-09.

This is all utter nonsense, of course.  I have no doubt that you could take 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 and come up with a similar list proving the significance to the Beatles of that number.  (No, I’m not going to do that.  I turn 65 in two days, and I have no intention of wasting any of my remaining time on foolishness like that.)

*     *     *     *     *

As was noted above, “One After 909” – which dates from 1957 or 1958 – was one of the first songs Lennon and McCartney ever wrote.  (Sir Paul says they wrote the song together, but John says he wrote it by himself.)

The Beatles recorded it on the same day in March 1963 that they recorded “From Me to You,” but they didn’t like any of the takes enough to release it.  

“One After 909” was one of the songs the Beatles played in their infamous live performance on the roof of the Apple Corps building in January 1969.  The recording of that performance was included on the Let It Be album, which was released shortly after the group’s break-up in the following year.

There are a number of Beatles songs that are very, very special.  But there are a lot that aren't.  “One After 909” is one of the latter group.

Click here to listen to the Let It Be version of “One After 909.”

And click below to buy the version of the song that was included on the Anthology 1 album.  (It owes a lot to Chuck Berry.)

No comments:

Post a Comment