Paul McCartney surprised fans at a show in Toyko earlier this week, delving 50 years into his past to perform ‘Another Girl’ – one of an estimated 85 Beatles tracks never performed live, either at Beatles shows or by John, George, Paul or Ringo during solo gigs in the years following their split. “It was sensational and quite emotional remembering the first time and then experiencing this fantastic audience tonight,” said Macca, having revived the track to mark 49 years since the Fab Four played the Nippon Budokan venue. “It was thrilling for us and we think it was probably the best show we did in Japan… It was crazy. We loved it.”
The bassist has been gradually adding old, never-performed tracks to his repertoire for years – in 2013, he added ‘…Lonely Hearts Club’ cuts ‘Lovely Rita’ and ‘Mr Kite’ to his live set around the release of sixteenth solo album ‘New’. Tuesday’s inclusion of ‘Another Girl’ is further good news for fans hoping he’ll continue to narrow the number of Beatles tracks never given live airings – so what should he tackle next? John Lennon led the charge writing ‘The Word’ and ‘She Loves You’, but Paul has still played those tracks solo, so that’s no stepping stone here. With rumours of a Glastonbury 2015 slot doing the rounds, here’s five neglected Beatles classics we’d like the man to at long last recreate onstage.
And Your Bird Can Sing
Not sure what Lennon was on about when he turned his back on this ‘Revolver’ charmer, labelled “a horror” and “throwaway” by the bespectacled mad man: ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ is great, and it’s a crime audiences never got to hear its fuzzy but meticulous duelling guitars live. Macca has said the track was mostly Lennon’s work, though he helped out with the lyrics – supposedly a sly poke at Mick Jagger and his then-squeeze Marianne Faithfull. Come on Paul, Jagger won’t mind.
One of the most recognisable of the Beatles’ never-performed songs. Are sitars heavy bastards to lug around on tour? Is that the reason why Paul has failed to add it to his live set in all these years? Or is it because he doesn’t want to embarrass the ghost of Lennon, whose lyrics detailed him mucking about with another woman behind the back of first wife Cynthia Powell? “I was trying to be sophisticated in writing about an affair, but in such a smoke-screen way that you couldn’t tell,” later said Lennon. Either way, it’d be incredible to finally hear it, in a lighter-lit festival field as the the sun drops in the sky…
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Martha My Dear
Martha is the name of Macca’s ‘muse’ – and his old sheepdog, weirdly – which could mean it’s simply about writer’s block, but there’s also a lot of speculation that it’s about his fiancée Jane Asher, who broke off their engagement in 1968. Unless he’s still feeling sore, there’s really no excuse not to perform this one, which charges right ahead, double-time, from rickety piano beginnings.
Don’t Bother Me
It’s just a little bit sad that George Harrison never got to perform the first track he wrote for the band, featured on their second record, ‘With The Beatles’. Especially seeing as it’s an uncharacteristically melancholic effort compared to the rest of the early Beatles material, full of moody minor chords instead of that era’s usual sunny jangles. Granted, it’s a bit of a buzzkill, but it’d be a touching tribute to his former band mate were Macca to give this an outing at an upcoming live show.
Wild Honey Pie
Macca reportedly wanted to leave this mind-boggling composition off ‘The White Album’, and would have done so had George’s wife Pattie Boyd not said how much she liked it. It lasts less than a minute, is performed only by McCartney, who was in an experimental mood with a multitrack recorder at the time, and features some of the shakiest vocals and wobbliest twangs you’ll ever hear on a Beatles track. A good opportunity to prove he’s still in touch with his far-out side, maaaaan.