When was it recorded? Sept. 11-12, 1963
When was it first released, and on which album? Nov. 22, 1963 on “With the Beatles”
Who wrote it? Harrison
Have I heard this song before? No
What my research dug up:
Though accidentally attributed to Lennon/McCartney in the end credits of “A Hard Day’s Night,” George wrote “Don’t Bother Me.” It was the first song he penned that made it onto a Beatles album.
“The first song that I wrote… as an exercise to see if I could write a song. I wrote it in a hotel in Bounemouth, England, where we were playing a summer season in 1963. I was sick in bed… maybe that’s why it turned out to be ‘Don’t Bother Me.’ I don’t think it’s a particularly good song… It mightn’t even be a song at all, but at least it showed me that all I needed to do was keep on writing, and then maybe eventually I would write something good.” – George Harrison (1980)
According to “The Beatles & Bournemouth” blog, Beatles chauffer Alf Bicknell used a reel-to-reel recorder to tape George at work. I’d be more skeptical of its authenticity if it wasn’t for the singer coughing his way through the number, as a sick George definitely would have.
Quoth the online Beatles Bible, “The mood of the song was uncharacteristic for The Beatles at the time, but negativity was a trait that reappeared in Harrison’s later songs, including Only A Northern Song and Think For Yourself.” Here’s the finished product.
“Don’t Bother Me” appears briefly the Beatles’ film “A Hard Day’s Night,” playing while the Fab Four get their dance on at a nightclub.
As good as “Don’t Bother Me” is, I couldn’t stop listening to the demo. It was so captivating to listen to a legend at work. I really do like the finished product though. It’s fairly simple, but I can listen to it multiple times and not get sick of it, which is always a plus.