Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 3 July 1973
Producers: Tony Visconti
Released: 16 September 2022
David Bowie: vocals, harmonica
Mick Ronson, Jeff Beck: guitar
Trevor Bolder: bass guitar
Mick Woodmansey: drums
David Bowie occasionally sang part of the Beatles‘ ‘Love Me Do’ as a medley with ‘The Jean Genie’ during live shows in the 1970s.
‘Love Me Do’, the Beatles’ debut single, was released in the UK on 5 October 1962. It was an early Lennon-McCartney composition from 1958.
‘Love Me Do’ is Paul’s song. He wrote it when he was a teenager. Let me think. I might have helped on the middle eight, but I couldn’t swear to it. I do know he had the song around, in Hamburg, even, way, way before we were songwriters.
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During the final concert of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust Tour, at London’s Hammersmith Odeon on 3 July 1973, the song was performed with ‘The Jean Genie’, with Jeff Beck guesting on guitar.
That last night was probably one of the best shows we’d ever done… It got even wilder when Bowie stepped up to the microphone and announced, ‘As this is our last concert of the tour we thought we’d do something special for you, so we invited one of our friends and I know you’ll give a big, warm welcome to Jeff Beck.’
Jeff walked on to thunderous applause and Mick started the riff to ‘The Jean Genie’. It was a particularly special moment as Jeff Beck was one of Mick’s guitar heroes. We did an extended version of the song where they each took it in turn to solo back and forth. It was ‘The Jean Genie’ like we’d never played it before. Jeff stayed on for ‘Round And Round’ and then left the stage to great applause.
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However, Beck refused permission for his performance to be included in either the documentary film or the soundtrack album. The precise reason is unclear, and has been attributed to royalty disagreements or Beck feeling out of place in the film.
The recording remained unreleased until it appeared on the soundtrack of Brett Morgen’s 2022 film Moonage Daydream.
Jeff Beck said that he didn’t like his guitar solos and wanted to re-record them, but after a while it came out that he was unaware that the show was being filmed, hated what he was wearing, and also wanted to be paid for his participation. Then there were some questions as to who actually owned the film in the first place.
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