Mary Hopkin 45 single "Goodbye" written by Paul McCartneyIn 1969, Welsh folk singer Mary Hopkin had a hit with the Paul McCartney penned “Goodbye” (credited to Lennon/McCartney). The track reached #13 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and #2 in the UK Singles Chart, where the Beatles’ single “Get Back” kept it from #1.

Hopkin was one of the first musicians to sign to The Beatles’ Apple record label. Her 1968 single “Those Were The Days”, produced by Paul McCartney, was a Top 10 hit single in both the UK and the U.S. Her debut album, Postcard, released in February 1969, was also produced by McCartney.

“Goodbye” has never been officially released by the Beatles, although there is a demo version performed by McCartney that appears on some of the Beatles’ bootlegs. Unfortunately, it wasn’t included on the Anthology CD sets. In Paul’s version, he sings it from a female perspective, using “him” instead of “her” when singing “calls me to his side” and “I must go to his side.”

Actor Dustin Hoffman with musician Paul McCartneyWhile having dinner together in 1973, Dustin Hoffman inspired Paul McCartney to write “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me)”. Hoffman had asked McCartney how he came up with ideas for writing songs. Paul replied that he didn’t know, “You just sort do it, kind of pick them out of the air”. Dustin asked him if he could “write one now.” Paul agreed to try. So, Hoffman grabbed his copy of Time magazine that had an article about the recent death of artist Pablo Picasso. He told Paul the story about Picasso’s death and his famous last words, “Drink to me, drink to my health. You know I can’t drink anymore.” McCartney had a guitar with him and immediately began composing the song on the spot, much to Dustin’s amazement.

Later, Paul McCartney recorded “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me)” for inclusion on the Band On The Run album, released in late 1973.

Below, listen to an audio clip of Paul McCartney and Dustin Hoffman talking about the song’s birth. Also, there’s a couple of brief snippets of the song mixed in.

Click the Play button to listen:

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Beatles Magical Mystery Tour Walrus, Hippo, Rabbit, ChickenThe most obvious answer is “I Am the Walrus”, but “Come Together” and “Glass Onion” also contain the word “walrus” in their lyrics. In “Come Together”, it’s mentioned in the line “he got walrus gumboot”.

In “Glass Onion”, “walrus” is mentioned twice in this verse:
I told you about the walrus and me, man
You know that we’re as close as can be, man
Well here’s another clue for you all
The walrus was Paul

All three of these songs were chiefly written by John Lennon. Incidentally, on his 1970 solo album ‘Plastic Ono Band’, the song “God” contains the line “I was the walrus, but now I’m John.”

Jimmy Nicol rehearsing with The Beatles in the studio, June 3, 1964Jimmy Nicol temporarily replaced Ringo Starr after he collapsed and was hospitalized with tonsillitis on June 3, 1964. It was the eve of The Beatles’ 1964 Australasian tour. Rather than cancel part of the tour, manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin decided to use a stand-in drummer to take Ringo’s place. Martin suggested Nicol because he had recently drummed on a Tommy Quickly session. Also, Jimmy was familiar with the Beatles’ songs as he had drummed on an album of Beatle covers called “Beatlemania”. With a last-minute phone call from George Martin, Nicol rushed over to Abbey Road Studios, where he and The Beatles did a quick rehearsal of six songs from their tour repertoire. The next day he would be playing live with them in Copenhagen, Denmark.

On stage, Jimmy wore Ringo’s suit after some alterations. From June 4-13, 1964, Nicol played ten shows in six locations with The Beatles in Denmark, Holland, Hong Kong, and Australia. On June 14, Starr returned to the band in Melbourne, Australia. Nicol said he was “praying he [Starr] would get well at the same time I was hoping he would not want to come back.” For his efforts, Brian Epstein presented him with a check and a gold Eternamatic wrist watch inscribed: “From The Beatles and Brian Epstein to Jimmy – with appreciation and gratitude.”

In later years, it was rumored that Jimmy Nicol had died in 1988, but a 2005 report by the Daily Mail confirmed that he was actually still alive and living as a recluse in London.