On a sunny day in Liverpool, a police dog display led to the greatest songwriting team in history. And we will forever more remember June 6, 1957, when The Quarry Men played, and Paul admired, and then showed his prowess at the guitar with his upside-down version of "Twenty Flight Rock" and bonds were made.
Early on in their partnership, John Lennon and Paul McCartney came to a decision to share songwriting credits. They somewhat arbitrarily decided to do it Lennon-McCartney: McCartney later said because they were alphabetical, Lennon because it sounded better. Whatever the reason, it stuck.
Over the years, the duo penned hundreds of songs for The Quarry Men, The Silver Beetles, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Donovan, Badfinger, and numerous other acts. Sometimes they wrote the songs together, throwing ideas at each other, playing riffs for the other's approval. Other times they worked alone, doing the entire song in full. Sometimes they would run it across the other for a line or a hook or a harmony to fill the gap. Whatever the case was, the credit always read the same: Lennon-McCartney.
In today's world, the term Lennon-McCartney isn't just synonymous with musical genius; today, it conjures up the beauty of teamwork, the yin and the yang, emotion and reason, the masculine and the feminine combining together into one singular unit. You'll often hear the phrase "So and so and so and so are the Lennon-McCartney of such and such." A great compliment indeed, suggesting such a tight ship of teamwork.
In the later years, when they hardly spoke and argued bitterly over the direction of their singular future, and then became two, as they had been before, they both stopped using the "Lennon-McCartney" epithet. They would see each other occasionally, and were cordial, but that energy, that passion that had fused them together into a whole had faded, perhaps with age, perhaps with greed, perhaps with the disillusion of the high life.
On a cold day in New York, a casual conversation led to the greatest musical tragedy in history. And we will forever remember December 8, 1980, when Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon, and shocked the world, and Paul, whose name was so close to John's for so long, and not just on paper.
Recently, Paul had asked for permission from Yoko Ono, John's widow, to change some songs that he had written to "McCartney-Lennon." Yoko refused, and Paul accepted gracefully, saying he liked it the way it was. And rightly so, because it tied all of their songs together, into the finest of packages.
PS I Love You. Paperback Writer. We Can Work It Out. Help. Come Together. Happiness Is A Warm Gun. Michelle. Strawberry Fields Forever. Yesterday. She Loves You. Hey Jude. Carry That Weight. A Day In The Life. Hey Bulldog. And Your Bird Can Sing. If I Needed Someone. The list goes on, endlessly into the night, but the bond that ties them lives on in those little words at the end of every credit, a lifetime or memories and adventures captured and connected on every page.
My first submission to our radio station's new music mag. Editorial comments and feedback welcome.