Day 222: “Some Other Guy”

When was it recorded?   Jun. 19, 1963

When was it first released, and on which album?   Nov. 30, 1994 on “Live at the BBC”

Who wrote it?   Richard Barrett, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller

Have I heard this song before?   No

What my research dug up:

Richard Barrett co-wrote “Some Other Guy” with prolific songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. I wrote about Leiber and Stoller before on Day 142: “Kansas City…” and Day 207: “Searchin’.” (I also apologize to Leiber for misspelling his name all throughout Day 142’s entry.) Barrett was an American singer, songwriter and producer. Quoth Wikipedia, “Barrett was an early fifties successful independent black record producer, influential in shaping the New York rhythm and blues sound.” In addition to fronting the Valentines from 1954 to 1957, Barrett had a solo career and was the first artist to recording “Some Other Guy.” He released it as a single in 1962 (when the electric piano accompanying him freaked out a considerable number of listeners).

The Beatles covered “Some Other Guy” in many of their early performances. On Aug. 22, 1962, a film crew from Granada Television taped one such performance at the Cavern Club, hoping to use the footage for their show “Know the North.” According to Wikipedia, this is “the only known existing film with synchronized sound showing The Beatles performing live at the famous Cavern Club.” At the time, the footage was deemed “not broadcast quality” and was shelved until Granada’s Nov. 6, 1963 episode of “Scene at 6:30.”

“Some Other Guy” was a rather song choice fitting for this occasion. Ringo had replaced Pete Best only days before, and one frustrated fan can be heard shouting, “We want Pete!” near the end of the clip.

The Fab Four recorded “Some Other Guy” three times for BBC Radio.

  • Jan. 22, 1963 at the BBC Playhouse for “Saturday Club” (aired Jan. 26)
  • Jan. 22, 1963 at the BBC Paris Studio for “The Talent Spot” (aired Jan. 29)
  • Jun. 19, 1963 at the Playhouse Theatre for “Easy Beat” (aired Jun. 23)

The final version listed above appeared on 1994’s “Live at the BBC.”

“I’d like to make a record like ‘Some Other Guy.’ I haven’t done one that satisfies me as much as that satisfies me.” — John Lennon (Rolling Stone, 1968)

I think I almost like the Beatles’ cover better than the original.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s the energy — Barrett’s version is slightly ominous while the Beatles’ version is bouncier.  I know which version I’d rather dance to, anyway.




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