Contact Us

50 Years Ago: The Beatles Write a Song for the Rolling Stones

In the early days of the Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney often gave songs to their friends. They wrote one of them, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man,’ for the Rolling Stones at London’s De Lane Lea Studio on Sept. 10, 1963.

The meeting of the two groups was arranged by Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who had also been the Beatles publicist. “Oldham had almost literally bumped into Lennon and McCartney as they stepped out of a cab,” writes Bill Janovitz in ‘Rocks Off: 50 Tracks that Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones. “He invited them to the studio where the Stones were rehearsing, and right then and there, the two finished off what had been a McCartney sketch of an idea, handing it the Stones for their single.”

At the time, the Stones had only released one single, a cover of Chuck Berry‘s ‘Come On,’ which had been released in June, and their repertoire consisted exclusively of R&B covers. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards would later credit being able to watch Lennon and McCartney that day with giving them a greater understanding of how to write a song. Which came in handy later, when Oldham famously locked them in the kitchen until they composed something. The result? ‘As Tears Go By.’

Meanwhile, Lennon and McCartney had become a prolific songwriting team, frequently giving cast-offs to friends like Gerry and the Pacemakers (‘Do You Want to Know a Secret’), Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas (‘Bad to Me’) and Cilla Black (‘Step Inside Love’).

Naturally, a few changes needed to be made. The Stones put a tougher R&B beat behind the song and Brian Jones contributed its distinctive slide guitar part. They recorded the song it a month later, and it was released on Nov. 1. ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ reached No. 12 on the U.K. charts. The Beatles’ version came out three weeks later on ‘With the Beatles,’ with Ringo Starr taking the lead vocal.

Next: Top 10 Unique Beatles Cover Versions

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Ultimate Classic Rock

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Register on Ultimate Classic Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a member? Sign up here

Register on Ultimate Classic Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!