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"Ticket To Ride"

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The early Byrds often cited the Beatles as 50% of their raison d'ĂȘtre (Dylan, naturally, providing the other half). Listening to the majestically ringing twelve-string intro to "Ticket To Ride", issued a good couple of months before "Mr Tambourine Man", demonstrates just why.

George's Rickenbacker, which he'd been jingle-jangling since A Hard Day's Night, was accompanied by Paul's electric lead for the outing, giving the latter two such credits on Help! ("Another Girl" being the other). John joined them on acoustic twelve-string.

A magnificent vocal lead too, clearly revealing that Lennon's twenty-something depression — hinted at on For Sale — was only just beginning:

I think I'm gonna be sad...

The accelerated volley of "my baby don't care" at the finish were his 'favourite bit' on what he always regarded as one of the band's 'heaviest' compositions.

The newly-wed Mr Starkey was in fine form, also — allegedly coached for the task by Mr McCartney. The percussive one, that is, not the matrimonial... Nevertheless, the immaculate drone-roll interplay they settled on, accentuated by the trusty Ringourine, showed them finding their way towards Rubber Soul and beyond.

Recorded in mid-February (though not released 'til April), the song as a whole seems to chime in the changes which The Fabs would be undergoing in 1965. In June, it served to mark the end of another era for them, closing their final session for the BBC. Seemingly rested from the fatigue that had ended '64, it all comes together here. Incisive vocals all round, and the tempo-shifts between verses and bridge are impeccable — not to mention GM's spacious sound treatment.

Originally billed as a taster 'from their forthcoming feature film Eight Arms To Hold You', the snow-scene it accompanied in the subsequently retitled Help! movie is a truly classic sequence. "Seemingly safe in the sheltering Alps", none of them had ever so much as set foot on a ski-slope before. Can you imagine any so-called superstar these days agreeing to shoot a sequence like that — or being allowed to — with no training and no stand-ins?!!

It put George, for one, off winter sports for life. Small wonder, then, that they were all so obviously stoned out of their increasingly lengthening little mop-tops for the occasion:

Riding so high!

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