“N” is for “Night”
As in “A Hard Day’s.” :-)
In the field of pop music, an interesting phenomenon has been the development, starting half a century or so ago, of garage bands, small groups of young musical folks, some talented, some not so much – all working away, composing, rehearsing, driving their neighbors crazy – and all looking for their big break.
Of course there are many such groups that keep forming today. Some may become successful, most will not.
All of which is just my way of getting around to the use of the word “night” for N Day. You see, there was also a cluster of young British musical types back in 1964 that you may have heard of, name of the Beatles.
Paul McCartney tells how one special song came about: “The title was Ringo’s. He would come up with these little malapropisms, things he said that were slightly wrong – the way most folks do – but his would sometimes be wonderful, very lyrical. One day, after we had done a lot of hard work, Ringo said: ‘Phew, it’s been a hard day’s night.’”
This, of course, became the title of their movie, but it also had a remarkable life as a song. John Lennon dashed it off in one night. According to the Associated Press report, “At 8:30 in the morning, there were John and Paul with guitars at the ready and all the lyrics scribbled on match-book covers.” It sounds as though they just tossed the recording off effortlessly, but actually there were nine takes before they got it the way they wanted it.
America first saw the single of “A Hard Day’s Night” on sale in July of 1964; five days later it was way up on the charts. Nobody before the Beatles had ever held the number one position in both the United Kingdom and the United States at the same time.
In America they sold a million copies of the song in five weeks.
I remember being in France later and learned that the group was almost as successful there as anywhere else. The problem was, the average French person had a problem with the pronunciation of the name. They called them “les beTULLSS.” It took a while to figure out just who they were talking about. :-)
Music of the Beatles moved from catchy love songs in the early period to profound ballads and social commentary. It’s been decades since John Lennon was killed, decades since the group broke up, but for many the Beatles somehow manage to stay very much alive.
1 year ago