Paul Says Beatles Forgot 'Dozens' of Songs They Wrote

Lack of recording devices meant they sometimes forgot tunes by morning
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2015 11:36 AM CDT
Paul Says Beatles Forgot 'Dozens' of Songs They Wrote
In this file photo dated April 19, 2015, Paul McCartney introduces Ringo Starr at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, FILE)

Maybe the reason the Beatles advised their fans "You know my name, look up the number" is because they couldn't remember the number. Or "dozens" of Beatles songs that apparently never saw the light of day, according to an interview Paul McCartney recently gave to the London Evening Standard, via the Guardian. Because he and John Lennon didn't have access to recording devices when they first started collaborating, McCartney says they had to rely on their memories, which didn't always prove reliable the next day. "We would write a song and just have to remember it," he says. "And there was always the risk that we'd just forget it. If the next morning you couldn't remember it—it was gone. There must have been dozens lost this way."

He marvels at today's technology, noting that "now you can do it on your phone. ... I've got millions of things I want to record and do." But while we sit and wonder if the group really gave up the all the correct deets in "Do You Want to Know a Secret," McCartney notes that there was a plus side to all of this forgetfulness: The Beatles were forced to compose awesome songs from the get-go. "You had to write songs that were memorable, because you had to remember them or they were lost," he says. (Paul didn't forget to reply to a 50-year-old fan message—it just took awhile to get to him.)

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