The Beatles. Collectively and individually they were the soundtrack of my youth. From the moment I first heard I Want To Hold Your Hand coming from the speaker of my Dad’s Studebaker and She Loves You from my transistor radio, both courtesy of WSJS in Winston-Salem, I was, like the rest of my generation, hooked for life.
But what can be said about the Beatles that hasn’t already been said in a hundred television specials and a thousand books? They were four brilliant young men, not only musical geniuses, but gifted also with boundless intelligence. That intelligence is on easy display in their early interviews, where they effortlessly tie their interviewers in knots, and bounce quips right and left skewering anything and everything with gleeful abandon.
That brilliant whimsy could also turn up in their music. While most of their songs are brilliantly crafted masterpieces, and as familiar to our ears as our mother’s voice, they could also come up with some truly inspired whimsy.
This song, You Know My Name, (Look Up The Number), first appeared on the B side of the single Let It Be on March 6th, 1970. I first heard it a few months later and was instantly transfixed. It was so…different, and yet still so amazingly catchy. It has since reappeared on various Beatle Collections, but for the most part the song has remained in obscurity. It is impossible to listen to it without feeling both their musical genius, and their wonderful irreverence for convention. Paul McCartney has called it his favorite Beatles track, and all four of them recalled the recording sessions for this song fondly. The Alto Sax is courtesy of Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones.
And so here they are, as you probably have never heard them before: The Beatles, at their whimsical best.