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"One After 909"

Categories: Beatles songs

The one after the one after the "One After 909", at very least! First scribed in that legendary Liverpool Institute jotter way back in 1956 (John having snaffled the pen that day), to be subsequently recorded and rejected in '63, then revived on the roof in '69.

'It's not a great song', confessed Paul — who couldn't keep it up back then (Antholgy 1) — 'But it's a great favourite'.

This time round, no one

Got the number wrong!

More than any other part of the Let It Be concert, The Beatles really did get back to their roots with this one, having a thoroughly marvellous time of it as they did so. Check how John drops into his old cowboy at the mike pose: and just try telling me those smiles weren't genuine! Maybe it was the old toon itself doing the magic, or the fact that they'd finally got it nailed, but he and Macca were suddenly a pair of teenage teds all over again.

As the cops were comin' runnin' (well, bumblin') "from the station", they both were, right there in in their element, in the perfect location, and — just ever so briefly — all the grown-up bullshit evaporated as they went

trav'lin' on, trav'lin' on that line.

Their kid guitarist had grown up some, too, since his rendition of "Raunchy" had first got him the gig. Exemplary playing from Mr Harrison, allowing the big boys to keep the rhythm-train chugging, and flash-soloing virtually from start to finish, "only foolin' round" with the theme.

'Though the song had preceded Ringo in the band's lineup by a good few years, it's precisely the sort of no-nonsense rock 'n' roller that had got him into music in the first place. And there was still nothing he liked playing better, and no one who played it better with The Beatles — whatever John might have quipped on a separate occasion or two.

'Course, they could have only dreamed of having a keyboard player in the group as they'd rattled through it at the Woolton Fete and suchlike, then later in Hamburg and The Cavern. With Billy Preston joining them on that windswept roof, dreams came true. "Cold as ice" it may have been up there, but his contributions are an integral part of the performance's warmth.

Being "just a band who made it very, very big (that's all)" — according to John, again — Paul couldn't really get it any more Naked decades further down the line: a straightforward remix with "No Danny Boy" sufficed.

I said move over once,
Move over twice!
C'mon baby, don't be cold as ice:
Said we're trav'lin on the one after nine-oh...
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