Back in the USSR -- Rocking Red Square

in music •  5 months ago

bf back ussr.jpg

Paul McCartney was in India studying meditation with the Maharishi when he wrote the song "Back in the USSR."

A comment by new minnow Steemarian @feelisgood with a list of his parents music collection from the Iron Curtain days is the genesis for this post. It was a different world, and young Paul McCartney surely never dreamed he would ever sing this song in Russia, let alone in Red Square with the President of Russia in the audience.
It's a testament to the unifying power of music to see the reaction of the audience, it must have been a surreal moment for them and McCartney.

The song was a tongue-in-cheek parody of two American hits, Chuck Berry's


Chuck Berry -- Back in the USA

And the Beach Boys'


Beach Boys Live, "California Girls"

I love musical trivia, and there is certainly some associated with this song. The Beatles' drummer, Ringo Starr, didn't play on this song. In fact, he was considering quitting the group because Paul McCartney had criticized his drumming on this song. According to writers Ian MacDonald and Mark Lewisohn this track was recorded without him, and Paul, John, and George are each credited with drums.

Credits
Paul McCartney – double-tracked vocal, backing vocal, piano, bass guitar, drums, lead guitar, handclaps, percussion
John Lennon – backing vocal, rhythm guitar, six-string bass, handclaps, drums, percussion
George Harrison – backing vocal, rhythm and lead guitars, bass, drums, handclaps, percussion

In an ironic twist of fate, Ringo Starr played this song in Washington DC with, of all people, the Beach Boys! How's that for tying this in a tight little knot!


Beach Boy Back in the USSR with Ringo Starr


Thanks for stopping by!


Photo Collage of YouTube screen captures with Text & Effects by @roused

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Haha, nice twist. As far as I know the Beach Boys were visiting Maharishi at the same time as John and Paul:

Dieser Trend setzte sich auf dem im Juni 1968 veröffentlichten Album Friends fort. Die meisten Lieder entstanden als Zusammenarbeit der drei Wilson-Brüder mit Al Jardine. Love hielt sich zu dieser Zeit zusammen mit den Beatles und Donovan in Indien auf, um dort von Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Transzendentaler Meditation unterwiesen zu werden.

Source

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Right, Mike Love has said that McCartney played it for them on an acoustic guitar, and that he worked on it with him...

PS the music at the end of the McCartney clip is from his classical music album, I love that piece.

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Never heard this before, thanks for pointing it out :-) I‘ve still some struggles with classical music, but it always works quite good as a soundtrack (even if there is no film, but just the end credits) :-)