John and Paul on set during a break from recording a TV special, ‘The Music of Lennon and McCartney’ at Granada Studios, Manchester, 1st November, 1965.
“[Paul] provided a lightness, an optimism, while I would always go for the sadness, the discords, the bluesy notes. There was a period when I thought I didn’t write melodies, that Paul wrote those and I just wrote straight, shouting rock ‘n’ roll. But, of course, when I think of some of my own songs –In My Life, or some of the early stuff, This Boy – I was writing melody with the best of them.”
[John, Playboy Interviews, 1980]
“We would normally be rung a couple of weeks before the recording session and they’d say, 'We’re recording in a month’s time and you’ve got a week off before the recordings to write some stuff.’ … So I’d go out to John’s every day for the week, and the rest of the time was just time off. We always wrote a song a day, whatever happened we always wrote a song a day… Mostly it was me getting out of London, to John’s rather nice, comfortable Weybridge house near the golf course… So John and I would sit down, and by then it might be one or two o'clock, and by four or five o'clock we’d be done.”
“I Want to Hold Your Hand, From Me To You, She Loves You – I’d have to have the list, there’s so many, trillions of ‘em. Those are the ones. In a rock band you have to make singles, you have to keep writing them. Plenty more. We both had our fingers in each others pies.”
[John, in response to the question: What songs really stick in your mind as being Lennon-McCartney songs?Rolling Stone Interviews, Dec 8, 1970]
“John and Paul’s standard of writing has bettered over the years, so it’s very hard for me to come straight to the top, on par with them. They gave me an awful lot of encouragement. Their reaction has been very good. If it hadn’t, I think I would have just crawled away.”
“I said that [playing down how much he and Paul collaborated], but I was lying… We wrote a lot of stuff together, one on one, eyeball to eyeball… In those days we absolutely used to write like that — both playing into each other’s noses.”
[John, Playboy Interview]
Pics: by Robert Whitaker / Hulton Archive / Getty Images.