How often in rock and roll history has a band covered itself? Well, The Beatles did just that in 1969 with the song “One After 909.” How did they do this?
In 1963 The Beatles attempted to record one of their older songs, “One After 909.” John and Paul wrote this song as teenagers -possibly in as early as 1957 (which makes it, along with “I’ll Follow The Sun” -recorded in 1964 but written in the mid-to-late 1950s by a teenage Paul McCartney, the earliest written Beatles song). As you will hear, The Beatles are having more than a few problems laying this down.
And now for the finished 1963 version.
In 1969 The Beatles were in the middle of their “Get Back” project (later to be released as the film, Let It Be). The point of this project was to show The Beatles “getting back” to their roots and recording without the studio trickery with which they had become associated (this is the reason they play so many 50s and early 60s covers in the sessions and in the film). At some point they seized upon the idea of dusting off one of their oldest tunes, “One After 909.” Add in Billy Preston, a tempo change and a more bouncy bass line and you have this classic performance from the “rooftop concert” that was the climax of the film and the “Get Back” project.
So there you have it. The story of “One After 909” and its two completely different versions. Until next week…