Saturday, December 11, 2010

1962, August 22 & September 5: Sources!



On this special date, August 22, 1962 (the first circulating recording with Beatle Ringo; also perchance the day before John married the pregnant Cynthia), Granada Television was at the Cavern to film for a local “magazine” show, Know the North. However, the performance and/or tape wasn’t exactly right, so on September 5, also at the Cavern, they re-recorded the audio for two songs, “Some Other Guy” and “Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey” (note that, in The Beatles Live!, Lewisohn put the lads in London on September 5, unable to return to Liverpool for some reason; this is in error, and Lewisohn amended himself in Chronicles). Ultimately, this program never aired, for whatever reason, but the footage was nevertheless happily preserved; and, when The Beatles became white-hot, “Some Other Guy” was broadcast on a different show, Scene at 6:30, November 6, 1963.

Much has been made of “Some Other Guy” in Beatles lore, and not without good reason. The song simply rocks, and The Beatles’ version is among their best performances of any song. Here, they are young, strong, and invulnerable. John told Rolling Stone in 1968, “I’d like to make a record like ‘Some Other Guy.’ I haven’t done one that satisfies me as much as that satisfied me.” Even in 1974, John told Dennis Elsas, when co-hosting the disc jockey’s WNEW-FM (New York) radio program, that the opening notes of “Instant Karma” were influenced by those of “Some Other Guy.”

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TRACKS:

“SOME OTHER GUY” (Leiber/Stoller/Barrett)

“KANSAS CITY/HEY-HEY-HEY-HEY” (Leiber/Stoller & Penniman)

“MONEY (That’s What I Want)” (Barrett Strong)... not definite

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AUDIO

“SOME OTHER GUY”

Necessary Information. The Anthology DVD brought several things to light. First, the announcement from Bob Wooler (Cavern DJ and “compere”) on the DVD (“At this midday session at the Cavern, we proudly present The Beatles!”) is different from the announcement on all previous known versions (“It’s... the Beatles!” or “OK, this is it. The Beatles sing ‘Some Other Guy’!”). Second, on the Anthology DVD, an edit occurs at about eight seconds into the music (about 13 seconds into the track), denoting the edit at which Apple affixed the longer announcement. Third, while the announcement is different on the Anthology DVD, the performance itself is the same as any other August 22 performance which circulates. This is proven by noting that the various hoots and hollers from the audience match. Fourth, the sound glitch (also known as “varispeed” or “tape stretch”) which occurs at approximately 0:46 into the track on the Anthology DVD is the same as that which occurs at approximately 0:44 on all previous known versions (the difference in time naturally attributed to the lengths of the several introductions). Fifth, after the song ends on the Anthology DVD, a young man clearly yells “We Want Pete!” (for Pete Best), to which John dryly responds, “Yes,” and this is followed by sympathetic uproar for drummer Best, the latter element echoed greatly for effect. All previous known versions fade during “We Want Pete!”.

Since August 22 was a midday performance, and the September 5 re-recording took place at evening, I assign the announcement on the Anthology DVD as the original. Though it is possible that this announcement was created at a later time (either August 22 or September 5) to simulate some original excitement, I think it unlikely that anyone would have had the forethought to include the word “midday” at such time, the evidence being that the two other extant announcements do no such thing. It might be argued that the edit on the Anthology DVD proves the announcement thereon to be from a later time, but by this argument it is just as likely that the performance after the edit is a re-take from August 22 (the September 5 re-recording doesn’t enter into the discussion, as it sounds completely different throughout), and that the announcement is the original. In fact, there is proof that “Some Other Guy” was performed more than once on the afternoon of August 22 (most historians concede twice, not including the August 22 evening show, by which time the Granada Television crew would certainly have moved on), and it comes in the form of both audio and video evidence (below). If this is true, it would explain quite neatly how it is possible for the same performance (ostensibly from August 22) to have different announcements on different releases. As for the motive to re-take this song, we have only to notice that only one performance purporting to be from August 22 has ever circulated or been released, which indicates that the “first performance” (that is, the August 22 performance which I believe directly followed the announcement used for Anthology) was very bad, or else the film of that first performance became damaged (but not lost, or else we should think the announcement lost as well); and this theory is more plausible by the fact that Apple did not use that first performance, even though they used its announcement. If the first performance had been of any value at all, there would be no reason to expect Apple to perform a surgical procedure to affix the original announcement to a re-take of “Some Other Guy,” especially since that re-take includes the glitch at (circa) 0:45 into the song, a terrible aural experience. Certainly, we cannot think that Apple deliberately used the “glitch tape” if a superior tape was handy, especially since they took the trouble to replace the announcement.

Having, I think, satisfactorily explained how the Anthology DVD audio is constructed, and why the original announcement was used without the first performance, I now move on with two more puzzles. The first puzzle is, Why did Apple use the original announcement rather than simply keeping the announcement which was ever heard up until the release of Anthology, that is, “It’s... The Beatles!” Here, we can make a very positive assumption, which is that Apple wanted to incorporate the historical integrity of the original announcement; and, rather than give us the original announcement with a very flawed first take of “Some Other Guy” (whether the performance or the tape itself), they decided to give us the original announcement with a slightly-flawed later take of “Some Other Guy” (the glitch). The edit proves the stitch job, and the longer announcement, having more historical information, provides evidence for the theory. The second puzzle is, Why did Apple use even a slightly-flawed take of “Some Other Guy”? One theory (per Winn) is that the glitch is on the original tape of the performance, and this would certainly explain everything. A contrary theory, which appears to have some basis (Gottfridsson, From Cavern to Star Club, p.217; also: here), is that the glitch comes as the result of a clumsy attempt by EMI to create (supposedly, in the mid-1970’s) an audio tape copy from the original film (reason unknown); but even if this were true, why didn’t Apple use the original film for Anthology rather than a flawed audio copy? Was the original film missing? If so, where did it go? Obviously, this latter theory kicks up more questions than it answers.

The most sensible conclusion therefore, is that, for Anthology, Apple constructed the audio for “Some Other Guy” by using (for historical integrity) the original announcement from the first performance, and editing this announcement to a slightly-flawed later take of “Some Other Guy” (probably from the original film’s soundtrack).

Before Anthology, the audio that commonly accompanied the video for “Some Other Guy” used Bob Wooler’s announcement, “It’s... The Beatles!” (this is also known as the “vintage version”). The sound on this “vintage version” is also “dirtier” (more snaps and wrinkles) than on Anthology (perhaps more evidence that Anthology used an original tape). Beginning in the mid-1970’s (a generic time frame that dovetails with the more complicated theory concerning the glitch), “Some Other Guy” was broadcast on a few TV specials, notably 1983’s The Early Beatles (see VIDEO below).

The September 5 re-recording is entirely different. The intro (“OK, this is it. The Beatles sing ‘Some Other Guy’”) is followed by a count-in from Paul. The song is played at a slower pace (or the tape runs slow), and the glitch is naturally missing from this new performance. At the end, there is cheering, followed by John saying, “We’ll probably have to do it again.” Despite sources to the contrary, this audio version was never used for an official video overdub, but it was preserved on an acetate. According to Winn, five 7” two-sided acetates (“Some Other Guy”/ “Kansas City”) were made on September 5, 1962, two of which were given to Bob Wooler for promotional purposes; one of these was purchased by Apple at a 1993 Christie’s auction (whereabouts unknown for the others). Brian Epstein also had a “batch” of double-sided records (both sides “Some Other Guy”) manufactured to sell at NEMS; one of these sold at a 1982 Sotheby's auction (whereabouts unknown for the others). You can read more about both auctions: here.

Anthology Version. The Anthology DVD version is, of course, on the DVD, and on various bootlegs. You can also listen to it: here (appropriately titled “Take 1 & 2”). Purple Chick’s Strong Before Our Birth, Disc 2, track 31 (detailed information on this boot: here), not only inaccurately termed this version “alternate introduction” (a nod to Winn, who titled it “take 2”), but also "fixed" the glitch.

Vintage Version. The audio on The Early Beatles DVD (see VIDEO below) has the most complete ending, with “We Want Pete!” and John saying “yes” (but the “sympathetic uproar” is cut off). You can also listen to it: here (appropriately titled “Take 2”). Strong Before Our Birth (taken from the boot Can You Hear Me?), Disc 2, track 22, is not only inaccurately called “original version” (after Winn’s “take 1”), but the glitch is again "fixed" (not "vintage") and the ending fades too quickly (during “We Want Pete!”).

Acetate Version. This September 5 version is on Strong Before Our Birth, Disc 2, track 23 (taken from Can You Hear Me?). You can also listen to it: here.

KANSAS CITY” (shorthand title)

Necessary Information. This song was also filmed on August 22, but the audio is missing, and only the September 5 re-recording survives, on the aforementioned two-sided acetate.

Acetate. A portion of the acetate was included in the Anthology TV broadcast, then a bit more on the DVD, and this segment is on Strong Before Our Birth, Disc 2, track 24. Winn commented that this track runs slow.

OOPS. An out-of-phase (OOPS) playback of the Acetate version, which attempts to remove all of the Anthology voice-over, is: here.

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VIDEO

"SOME OTHER GUY"

Necessary Information. Video was taken twice, on August 22 and September 5, 1962, but only August 22 is available, the latter date’s film presumed lost. Nevertheless, there is a distinction made between the films, which is that two microphones were used on August 22, and three microphones on September 5. Winn and others state that only one microphone was used for August 22, but there are no videos which show only one microphone (neither are there any which show three), but all videos (including those which use “alternate footage”) show two microphones.

The Anthology DVD not only uses slightly modified audio (as detailed above), but also a mix of film from (ostensibly) both versions of “Some Other Guy” performed on August 22 (the video evidence previously mentioned). Note that the Anthology version is freeze-framed before “We Want Pete!” is yelled, and over the start of the video is captioned “The Cavern Club, 22nd August 1962.”

The video version most familiar (and thus sometimes referred to as the “vintage version”) is likely a copy from Granada TV’s January 1, 1983 (sometimes called 1984) broadcast of The Early Beatles (more information: here, and here). Besides the different audio (as detailed above), this video includes different cutaway shots.

There is no video version that utilizes any footage from September 5. Any video which purports to be so, by mux-ing the September 5 acetate with footage from August 22, should be considered fan-created. One commonly-circulating example begins with people walking downstairs to the Cavern as Bob Wooler makes his announcement (“OK, this is it...”).

Analysis of the differing film snippets from August 22 is: here, with an accompanying photo gallery from the film: here.

Anthology Version. Besides on the DVD, this version can be viewed: here, and sometimes on YouTube.

Vintage Version. This version is (I think) most complete on The Early Beatles 1962-1965 (Darthdisc DVD). It can also be seen: here, and on YouTube. Note that on some cuts of this version, the intro is missing. Another variety of this version has a timecode, but the end dissolves before “We Want Pete!” is yelled.

Mux Version. This creation is in very good quality on the boot DVD collection Chronology 1962-1970, Volume 1, and it’s worth it for the different footage, even if the video cuts off early (a consequence of mismatched audio and video).

The Compleat Beatles Version. Although the video does not contain the complete audio (and the introduction by Bob Wooler is from an unrelated event!), there are some differently-sequenced video portions which may be of interest.

KANSAS CITY

Necessary Information. There is no video that can be said to absolutely utilize any footage of “Kansas City” from August 22 (film taken, cut to pieces in unknown manner) or from September 5 (film presumed lost), 1962. Any video which purports to be so, by mux-ing the September 5 acetate with any footage, is only an educated guess at best, a fraud at worst.

Mux (Collage) Version. View: here.

"MONEY" (?)

Necessary Information. About 2 minutes, 50 seconds of silent footage from August 22 has emerged from the Granada TV vault, with at least 71 individual reverse-angle and close-up shots. It is conjectured (MacKenzie, Every Little Thing) that “Money” (to name one song) is being viewed.

This footage is on Darthdisc’s The Early Beatles 1962-1965 DVD, and can also be viewed here (called “alternate outtakes”), albeit in a different sequence. I have also seen it on YouTube.

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PHOTOS & INFORMATION: Snaps of the Fab Four setting up for the August 22 performance is: here.

RELATIVES: Bob Wooler died in 2002. A good overview of the man is: here. An interview is: here.

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Tom Wise
gengar843@msn.com

Although I use quotes from sources, or cited fact, much of the material on this and other pages of my blog is original, from my own pen. This is not cut-and-paste, it is a work of art. Copyright © 2010 Tom Wise


2 comments:

  1. Apparently the full "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey" audio has surfaced...

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1282nv_beatles-at-the-cavern-club-1961_music?start=5

    ReplyDelete
  2. Money (That's What I Want):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GlZhkC3A1w

    ReplyDelete