I'm Down

The B side of the single 'Help!', 'I'm Down' is an unashamed attempt by Paul to write a Little Richard song with which to replace 'Long Tall Sally' in the Beatles' set. "We spent a lot of time trying to write a real corker - something like 'Long Tall Sally'", Paul said in October 1964. "It's very difficult. 'I Saw Her Standing There' was the nearest we got to it. We are still trying to compose a Little Richard sort of song. I'd liken it to abstract painting. People think of 'Long Tall sally' and say it sounds so easy to write. But it's the most difficult thing we've attempted. Writing a three-chord song that's clever is not easy."

Little Richard, who'd had his first British hit with 'Rip It Up' in 1956, first met the Beatles when they shared a bill at the Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, on October 12, 1962, one week after the release of 'Love Me Do'. It was a great moment for the group, who featured 'Rip It Up', 'Good Golly Miss Molly', 'Tutti Frutti', 'Lucille' among several Little Richard numbers in their shows.

"I met them in Liverpool before the world ever knew about them," says Little Richard. "Paul especially was into my music and had been playing it since he was in high school. He was impressed with my hollerin' and when I was on stage in Liverpool, and later in Hamburg (at the Star Club the following month), he sed to stay in the wings and watch me sing. I felt honored that they liked my music. My style is very dynamic. It's full of joy, its full of fun and it's alive. There is nothing dead about it. There's never a dull moment. It keeps you on your toes, it keeps you movin' and I think that's what everybody gets from my music. People know that if they sing one of my songs on stage, they're gonna light up the house."

Fittingly, the Beatles used 'I'm Down' to close the show during their 1965 and 1966 tours. The last song they ever played live in concert though, at San Francisco's Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966, was Little Richard's 'Long Tall Sally'.