Monday, December 27, 2010

1962, September 4: Sources: HOW DO YOU DO IT


Variations. Originally, I provided "How Do You Do It" with Variation designations, the Sessions album being to me a scheduled authorized release. However, on further reflection, I think this is presumptuous for me to do.


Several stories float regarding the escape of “How Do You Do It” into the public arena. One version is that (possibly in 1974) John Lennon, himself a collector of unreleased Beatles material (bootlegs), traded an acetate of “How Do You Do It” to a bootlegger in exchange for a tape of The Beatles live in Sweden.

In 1976, a colored vinyl bootleg 45 of "How Do You Do It"/"Revolution" (Smothers Brothers version) appeared, issued by Joe Pope, publisher of the Beatles fanzine Strawberry Fields Forever. Some say Pope had access to the Lennon acetate, others say that he sourced this single from an RKO Radio broadcast. It is rumored that John had this early boot in his personal jukebox, possibly to replace the acetate he ostensibly sold.

In February 1982, Cleveland, Ohio radio station WZZP caused near-hysteria by announcing (unofficially) that Capital/EMI would release the Beatles single “Leave My Kitten Alone” backed with “How Do You Do It” later in the year. This did not happen. In March 1983, EMI scheduled for release in the UK The Beatles single “How Do You Do It” backed with “Leave My Kitten Alone.” It failed to materialize. On July 11, 1983, Abbey Road Studios announced the “finding” of some previously unreleased Beatles recordings, namely “How Do You Do It,” “That Means A Lot,” “If You've Got Troubles,” and “Leave My Kitten Alone.” This was just a publicity stunt, since EMI had previously trumpeted their existence. On July 18, 1983, EMI opened Abbey Road's Number Two studio to the general public for a special 75-minute video program entitled The Beatles At Abbey Road, which was presented three times. The presentation included the first public airing of two of the four tracks (“How Do You Do It” and “Leave My Kitten Alone”), allegedly discovered by EMI just one week previously1. Only a 42-second excerpt of “How Do You Do It” was exposed at this show, but a pirated recording by two visiting Beatlemaniacs was subsequently distributed by bootleg2.

Come 1984, John Barrett (noted musicologist) was asked by EMI to sift through their vaults to collect material which might be useful for a Beatles rarity release. In 1985, an album, Sessions, was planned, remixed by Geoff Emerick (noted Beatles sound engineer), and actually pressed for test, but The Beatles nixed the deal. Somehow, one of these test pressings escaped and was promptly bootlegged as the LP Sessions (bogus EMI label)3. On this bootleg, “How Do You Do It” was inexplicably edited, many times replacing the line “wish I knew how you do it to me, I’d do it to you” with “wish I knew how you do it to me, but I haven’t a clue” (the adulterated version).

1 All from: Miles & Badman, The Beatles Diary Vol 2: After the Breakup 1970-2001

2 Berkenstadt & Belmo, Black Market Beatles, p.90

3 Berkenstadt & Belmo, Black Market Beatles, p.91


The Original Version. I listened to a variety of sources, and here they are from worst to best:

(7) Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 1 CD (Yellow Dog). Tape damage at the start,

(6) The commonly-recommended Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 1 CD (Swingin' Pig), which is a bit too bright, with some sibilance,

(5) Toasted Condor's Not For Sale, which has a nice tinkle to it, but is thin in the bass,

(4) The Joe Pope vinyl 45, which is warm, but booms and buzzes some,

(3) Purple Chick's Please Please Me Deluxe Vol. 2, which copied URT1, toning down the highs to a decent level,

(2) Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 1 & 2 vinyl (Drexel 1988), which has a moderate sound, though not dull, and John's voice sounds edgy,

(1) Vigotone's Another Sessions...Plus, which I daresay may be the best I heard (nice cymbal work, Ringo!).

Note that whichever source you choose will benefit from channel duplication solution.

Detailed information on this boot: here.

The Adulterated Version. Common source is Anthology 1. It’s also on Purple Chick’s bootleg Please Please Me Deluxe, Volume 1 (detailed information on this boot: here).




Tom Wise

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

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