Almost everyone has always told the story of George playing ‘I Me Mine’ the first time in the “I don’t give a fuck” way. The angry way. But that’s all wrong. That was George and John.
The first time George played ‘I Me Mine’ was for Paul, and that’s a cuddly story.
(As you can hear for yourself below.)
Not everybody gets it completely wrong, but even when it is noted that George plays ‘I Me Mine’ for Paul before John arrives, the sweetness between them that precedes the song is always missed, and I can’t imagine any Beatles fan wanting to miss this moment. Most importantly, I’ve never seen anyone connect the ‘I Me Mine’ introduction to the brotherly bonding moment that leads into it, and hearing them together changes everything.
This video is usually represented as “George presenting ‘I Me Mine’ to the band for the first time”:
But forget that defensiveness when it comes to George and Paul. This is more like slumber party talk.
I think it also happens to be my favorite Paul and George interaction of all time now, and the purest thing I’ve heard so far on the Nagras. In fact, it’s way up there on my list of Most Wholesome Beatles Content ever. (I qualify that by saying I have not heard all the tapes. I’m trying very hard, but I haven’t been able to collect and piece them all together yet. It is crazy important to have as many new ears hearing those tapes as possible, because it’s impossible for one person to hear everything, and it’s all the more difficult for the things we have zero visual images for.)
As for the college roommate-like road George and Paul travel together to reach the groovy embroidered boots and new Harrisong at the end of their rainbow, here’s the whole beautiful thing, from start to finish.
Most of this conversation — and George’s awesome description of what was on TV the night before (that I have not been able to find online yet) — appear to have taken place during one of the regular Twickenham gatherings of the Wake-and-Bakers: George, Paul, Ringo, Glyn, Tony Richmond, (usually Ken Harrington although he’s harder to pin down with certainty), and Michael Lindsay Hogg who doesn’t seem to ever partake but also can’t be chased off by teasing.*
GEORGE: They sell boots that high, but not that type, and not particularly leather. Maybe softer. Groovy ones, like, you know, those Afghan coats–
GEORGE: –we all had embroidered. I’ve got boots like that, but they’re slippers–
MICHAEL LINDSAY-HOGG: [CROSSTALK] –Michael Raines1 has got those, I think.
GEORGE: –they’re slippers for the home.
GEORGE: And it is- it is great–
PAUL: Well, I’ve got boots of those.
GEORGE: –’cause you just tuck your pants in.
PAUL: I’ve got– You want boots of those?
PAUL: I’ve got boots of them.
GEORGE: Have you?
GEORGE: You know where you can get ’em?
PAUL: Yeah, you get ’em off me. [BOTH LAUGH] I got the merchandising right, didn’t I boy? [SOFTER] I’ll give you ’em. I never wear ’em.
GEORGE: You wanna hear a song I wrote–
GEORGE: –last night?
GEORGE: It’s just a very short one. [CLEARS THROAT] It’s called ‘I Me Mine.’ [BEGINS STRUMMING]
GEORGE: [INAUDIBLE] –the timing. [SOFT LAUGHTER FROM PAUL] 1/2– 3/4, but- but– 3/4 not– 3/4 when you don’t do it ‘bom-dit-dit, bom-dit-dit–’
PAUL: –Yeah, right. Go ’head.
[GEORGE PLAYS THE BASIC LICK OF ‘I ME MINE’ TWICE, WITH A BIT OF A FLAMENCO-FLOURISHED BRIDGE. PAUL BEGINS HUMMING ALONG ENCOURAGINGLY AT THE END AND CONTINUES FOR A COUPLE OF BARS AFTER GEORGE FINISHES PLAYING. THANKS TO “GET BACK” WE ARE ABLE TO KNOW THAT PAUL WAS LEANING INTENTLY OVER GEORGE’S GUITAR SHOULDER AT THE END, SURROUNDED BY RINGO, MAL, GLYN, MICHAEL LINDSAY-HOGG AND TONY RICHMOND. THEY SEEM TO HAVE HAD A GOOD MORNING AND ALONG WITH WHAT WE’VE CAUGHT IN OTHER PLACES IN THE DOC, EVERYTHING — INCLUDING THE TALK, THE VOICES, THE PEOPLE HERE, AND THEIR TIGHTLY FORMED CIRCLE — HINTS THAT THEY’VE BEEN SMOKING A JOINT2 DURING SOME OF THIS (YES, OF COURSE THIS INCLUDES GEORGE’S AWESOME TV TALK THAT I DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO.)]
GEORGE: What’s, uh– gra– uh, is that grammatical? ‘Flowing more freely than wine’?
GEORGE: Flowing much free-er.
MLH: More freely.
GEORGE: Freer. It’s funny when– if you’re writing, yet thinking of how you say it–
GEORGE: [CROSSTALK] But I got fr–
PAUL: –Like ‘sticky out ear.’3
GEORGE: [CROSSTALK] –I was thinking–
MLH: Yeah, yeah.
GEORGE: ‘Freer,’ if you– if there was a such a word as ‘freer.’ Is it f-r-e-e-e-r? [CROSSTALK]/[PAUL INAUDIBLE]
MLH: –No, it’s f-r-e-e-r. It’s f-r-e-e-r.
PAUL: Free. [GEORGE STRUMS HIS GUITAR] Like ‘queer.’ ‘Freer.’ Freer, queer.
*For an example of what I’m now calling the “stoners’ circle” see Peter Jackson’s “GET BACK” doc, Part 2 at 26:36 as the sets are coming in. Those in the stoners’ circle on January 14 are Tony Richmond, Mal, Ringo, Glyn (getting teased today for not joining in), MLH (with his cigar) and Paul. (Probably Kevin Harrington too, but I can’t say that with certainty on the 14th because of the framing.)
PAUL: Do a little sort of film.
MAL: Yeah, right.
MICHAEL LINDSAY-HOGG: Yeah, we can make train movies.
MAL: We’ve got a spare few thousand feet, haven’t we?
[IF THE CAPTION FOR THIS LAST SENTENCE IS ON YOUR SCREEN, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU CAN SEE PAUL HOLDING, THEN RELEASING A HIT. THE JOINT IS IN HIS LEFT HAND.]
MLH: We’ve got a spare few thousand feet. We won’t tell Denis we’re doing it.
RINGO: Let’s make a silent movie.
RINGO: Slow, so it’s speeded up when we play it back. ‘Cause they’re always funny to watch.
PAUL: Can we have it in a club? You know, the atmosphere is a club– That’s it. We’re in a band. We’re in a band who peddle drugs.
[PAUL IS TAKING A TOKE AND FROM BEHIND YOU CAN SEE HIM PUT THE JOINT TO HIS LIPS.]
PAUL: Do you wanna be a goody then, Glyn?
PAUL: C’mon, now you’re sulking, aren’t you? [LAUGHTER] Wants to be a goody.
RINGO: The roughneck that changes.
MLH: Bit of sentimentality.
PAUL: The hard, drug-peddling yob–
RINGO: With a good heart.
PAUL: That turned to religion.
[27:14: SCREEN AGAIN SHOWS THE STONER CIRCLE. CUT TO RINGO THEN BACK TO PAUL, PUFF PUFF PUFFING AND ABOUT TO PASS.]
After they’ve finished toking they go and climb up the chains like little boys. Despite not having smoked any greenery this morning Glyn joins in, as does Kevin Harrington (who was likely part of the Stoner’s Circle but was cut out of the frame.) Michael Lindsay Hogg, disappointed that Paul won’t repeat a climb for the camera, fusses a moment — “don’t hurt yourselves” — and then wanders off to obsess over his bugging devices.
- Not sure “Raines” is right and couldn’t find any references on Google to get me closer, but someone probably knows and can correct me. ↩
- See Jan. 14 “drug movie” talk after Paul’s “Sing a Song of Love… Thank you, Michael Lindsay Xhoggg, director of this EPIC” as they start bringing in the sets and before this regular wake-and-bake party (core group of: Tony Richmond, Glyn, Ringo, Paul, George, Mal and MLH who doesn’t seem to partake or even be welcome) all go climb the chains like little boys. Ahhh, yes. Makes sense now, right? Pictures are an unfair advantage. ↩
- I’ve listened to this at least 25 times, and even though every transcription — from Sulpy to the “GET BACK” captions — has it as “sticky out here” I stand by ‘sticky out ear’ — said in the same sweet, teasing brotherly tone as the boots talk — and I will stand alone if need be on this bit of trivia.😌 (It also makes the laughter make sense, which it doesn’t otherwise.) ↩