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February Beatles Blog # 9

by David Louis

For today's Beatles blog, we'll take a time-out from their America itinerary as they travel to Miami, catch a couple shows including The Coasters and Don Rickles and rehearse for the next Sullivan appearance. Rickles was appearing at the hotel nightclub. There's something about The Beatles at a Don Rickles show I find really amusing.

There was another historic event in Beatles history that took place this week a year earlier than their first American visit. Recording their first album.

On February 11th, 1963 at Abbey Road's EMI studios, George Martin met The Beatles for the first time. He remembered them as business-like ready to work. The Beatles even skipped their lunch break while everyone else left to get something to eat. The first time Martin had seen that. They rehearsed and drank milk.

George Martin essentially recorded The Beatles live act with several takes of each song except the last. The studios closed at 10 pm but George Martin, engineer Norman Smith and The Beatles still had one song to go which they decided would be The Isley Brother's "Twist and Shout". It was always a show stopper. Unfortunately Lennon's voice was trashed. After 12 hours they had one shot t get it right. They actually attempted two but John's voice was gone after the first take.

Lennon was never really proud of the song that made me a very young Beatles fan. At least he conceded in the mid 70's that he had done his best. It was a truly historical recording session.