Monday, March 19, 2012

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr- With a Little Help From My Friends live


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Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr performing "With a Little Help From My Friends."



Paul McCartney has a wealth of songs to perform. One that he very rarely does is "With a Little Help From My Friends" From the Sgt. Pepper album. This may be because "With a Little Help From My Friends" is so closely associated with Ringo Starr, who sang it on the album. For some reason, "With a Little Help From My Friends" tends to get associated closely with its performers such as Joe Cocker (whose cover of the song is considered one of the best covers of all time). In any event, it gets surprisingly little play at Paul McCartney shows despite its iconic status. Ringo, of course, performs "With a Little Help From My Friends" all the time with his All Starr Band, but he did not sing it with McCartney until the David Lynch Foundation Benefit Concert in the Radio City Music Hall, New York on 4 April 2009. Thus, they did not perform it for over 40 years after its initial release, an astonishing fact considering that both men have remained active in the music scene. Perhaps he leaves the song to Ringo in a spoken or unspoken agreement between the two, since it basically is Ringo's signature song.

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Paul has this to say about 'With a Little Help From My Friends":
This was written out at John’s house in Weybridge for Ringo; we always liked to do one for him and it had to be not too much like our style. I think that was probably the best of the songs we wrote for Ringo actually… 
It was pretty much co-written, John and I doing a work song for Ringo, a little craft job. I always saw those as the equivalent of writing a James Bond film theme. It was a challenge, it was something out of the ordinary for us because we actually had to write in a key for Ringo and you had to be a little tongue in cheek. Ringo liked kids a lot, he was very good with kids so we knew Yellow Submarine would be a good thing for Ringo to sing. In this case, it was a slightly more mature song, which I always liked very much. I remember giggling with John as we wrote the lines ‘What do you see when you turn out the light? I can’t tell you but I know it’s mine.’ It could have been him playing with his willie under the covers, or it could have been taken on a deeper level; this was what it meant but it was a nice way to say it, a very non-specific way to say it. I always liked that.
Paul and Ringo also performed "With a Little Help From My Friends" on “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles“, a commemorative show on 27 January 2014, that marked 50 years since the band’s first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

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The Beatles released "With a Little Help From My Friends" in 1978 during the release of the live-action "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" film. It was joined to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band." The single peaked at No. 63 in the United Kingdom and No. 71 in the United States. The song regularly makes "best songs" lists despite the fact that Paul himself rarely performs or even mentions it as one of his favorites.

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Paul McCartney returned to the "With a Little" formula in 1978 with Wings when he released "With a Little Luck." This single went to No. 1 in the United States and No. 5 in the United Kingdom. "With a Little Help From My Friends" itself has hit No. 1 on the United Kingdom singles chart three times: by Joe Cocker in 1968, by Wet Wet Wet in 1988, and by Sam & Mark in 2004.

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John Belushi did a jokey version of "With a Little Help From My Friends" as a parody of Joe Cocker's over-wrought version. And, many consider Belushi's version to be one of the best, so that must be the best way to sing the song.

Thus, it is a No. 1 McCartney composition even though it wasn't a Beatles single during the group's existence. Maybe Paul should try using the phrase again: "With a Little Styrofoam," "With a Little Ham and Eggs," "With a Little Tea and Crumpets," perhaps.



What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mmm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

What do I do when my love is away
Does it worry you to be alone?
How do I feel by the end of the day
Are you sad because you're on your own?

No, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mmm, get high with a little help from my friends
Mmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody?
I need somebody to love
Could it be anybody?
I want somebody to love

Would you believe in a love at first sight?
Yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time
What do you see when you turn out the light?
I can't tell you but I know it's mine

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mmm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Oh, I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody?
I just need someone to love
Could it be anybody?
I want somebody to love

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Yes, I get high with a little help from my friends
With a little help from my friends

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"With a Little Help From My Friends" was a key track on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," which some consider one of the best albums of all time, if not the best.

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