“With a Little Help from My Friends” was briefly called “Bad Finger Boogie” during the early writing stage. Later it was titled “A Little Help from My Friends” and then finally “With a Little Help from My Friends”. The working title of “Bad Finger Boogie” came about because John Lennon had been forced to rely on his middle finger when playing the song’s piano part, having injured his forefinger earlier.
The song was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney specifically for drummer Ringo Starr to sing for the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
“Bad Finger Boogie” would later be the inspiration for the band name Badfinger. At the time, Badfinger had a recording contract with the Beatles’ Apple Records label. Some of the Apple staff were wanting to rename the band formerly known as The Iveys. Apple’s Neil Aspinall said, “Badfinger just popped in my head. It was from an old Lennon thing. He was playing the piano and he had a bad finger so he called the piece he was playing ‘Bad Finger Boogie’ (which evolved into ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’)”.
Badfinger member Joey Molland said this, “Well, I believe it was a working title to the song “With A Little Help From My Friends.” I think John Lennon played piano on the Rhodes and after that they thought he wasn’t the greatest pianist in the world, so they called it “Bad Finger Boogie.” So, that “Bad Finger Boogie” was roaming around the offices. It was Neil Aspinall who suggested Badfinger.”