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Don't Bother Me

The history of this classic Beatles song

By

The original US sheet music for

The original US sheet music for "Don't Bother Me"

source: rarebeatles.com

Don't Bother Me

Written by: George Harrison (100%)
Recorded: September 11, 1963 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: September 30, 1963; October 29, 1963
Length: 2:24
Takes: 15
Musicians: John Lennon: rhythm guitar (1958 Rickenbacker 325)
Paul McCartney: bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1)
George Harrison: lead vocal (double-tracked), lead guitar (1962 Gretsch 6122 "Country Gentleman")
Ringo Starr: drums (1963 Black Oyster Pearl Ludwig kit)
Released on: (CDs in bold)
  • With The Beatles, (UK: Parlophone PMC 1206; PCS 3045, Parlophone CDP 7 46436 2, US: Capitol CLJ 46436)
  • Meet The Beatles, (US: Capitol (S)T 2047, Capitol CDP 7243 8 66875 2 4)
History:
  • This, the first original song composed by George Harrison to be featured on a Beatles record, was written sometime between August 19 and 24, 1963, as George, sick with the flu, taped the song in his hotel room while on tour in Bournemouth, England. Harrison's illness and general nature may have led to the song's sour point of view, although he makes concessions to pop constructs of the time by attributing his bad mood to a girl's who's just left him.
  • "Don't Bother Me" was attempted on September 11, 1963, but the final version was accomplished the next day, just after recording of "Hold Me Tight" and just before another remake, that of "Little Child."
  • Though George himself never thought much of this song, it is well-liked among most Beatles fans, and also represents a milestone in his musical coming of age; Harrison had attempted several originals before, but found they were just accidental rewrites of existing songs.
Trivia:
  • A primitive recording of Harrison working out "Don't Bother Me," along with several other guitar experimentations, was made in the hotel room; it still exists today and has been widely bootlegged.
  • Though it doesn't appear in the accomapnying US or UK versions of the album, "Don't Bother Me" is one of the songs the Beatles and guests dance to in the "party" scene of A Hard Day's Night. (It's erroneously credited to Lennon / McCartney in the original closing credits, however.)
Covered by: The Smithereens
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