Tuesday, February 1, 2011

You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

Richard Furnstein: Originally cut as a potential flipside to the Plastic Ono Band's "What's The New Mary Jane" single, this track was dumped as the b-side to "Let It Be" single. You'd be hard pressed to find a better five seconds than the intro to this little ball of insanity. Paul sets the template for future freak outs like "Check My Machine" and "Dark Room" while John gets to shake out the heroin dumps and try on a bunch of funny shouty British voices.

The title was based on a London post office slogan "You have their NAME? Look up their NUMBER." It's a quaint idea in the age of Facebook. The modern remix would be "I know your name, now I'm looking at photos of you in a bathing suit at your cousin's graduation party last summer."

Robert Bunter: James Paul McCartney (as I call him) has cited "You Know My Name" as his favorite Beatles track, and that just makes perfect sense. This was the song where they let it all hang out, allowing the listener to experience the Beatles as goofy human buddies, rather than the transcendent masters of the universe that they seemed to be on cuts like "A Day In The Life" and "Hey Jude." Those tracks force us to regard them with awe; "You Know My Name" invites us to regard them with affection.

Richard Furnstein: Denis O'Dell, a film producer on A Hard Day's Night, was apparently tortured by people calling his house. Just imagine the menace of angry drugged out hippies calling your home at three in the morning because of a pop record. That's what you get for having a cool name, Denny!

Robert Bunter: But let's not allow the funky horseplay to overshadow the fact this this song is supreme killer Beatle genius music from start to finish. The shouted chorus is vintage acidhead Lennon, taking a mundane phrase and imbuing it with pregnant shades of meaning. The chord progression strikes a brilliant balance between trad jazz conventions and the type of root-motion harmonic cleverness that made "Hey Bulldog" so nice to hear. Ringo's drums, Brian Jones' sax ...it's all classic. One question: where's George?


  1. I LOVE this song! Especially the first minute or so. It reminds me of this band I knew called The Teeth. They loved the Beatles, and this song is the kind of goofing off that they would do that would result in sheer genius. Lets hear it for great bands that ended too soon.

  2. This song rules so.fucking much! If I was a COOL coffee house hip hopper, this intro would be my dreamloop. Www.letmetellyouaboutmydreamloop.com

  3. riginally cut as a potential flipside to the Plastic Ono Band's "What's The New Mary Jane" single, this track was dumped as the b-side to "Let It Be" single.
    actually it was first recorded in '67 and then added to later for the b-side of let it be.

  4. Yeah, recorded in '67, originally envisioned as a Plastic Ono Band single, later "Let It Be" single. Facts!