It could be 1959 or 60. Possibly, 1961.
They could be 17, 18 years old, still wearing leather.
It could be the beginning of Hamburg, when they performed long, exhausting sets in sleazy strip bars.
Still, this is one of the earliest photos of Paul and John singing and writing a song, just the way you see it.
See, in the early years, Paul and John, with left and right-handed guitars, made it easy for them to stare into each other’s eyes and play and write a song just like that… on the fly.
It was literally, “face to face” songwriting.
I know “She Loves You” was written that way. And “This Boy” (one of my all-time favorite Beatles tunes with superb harmony), and “All My Loving”, and “Please Please , Me (My favorite of all), all of these early Beatles’ tunes were written toe to toe, almost cheek to cheek.
In their face.
Paul and John with ideas and dreams – and confidence – and God, what talent they would become. What work they produced. And it never stopped evolving and getting better and more innovative.
After 1965, they’d still collaborate on songs, but they did it separately. Then they became, understandably, more isolated with their lives.
But it all started just like this. “Face to face” writing songs, and never, and I mean never, did they fail to finish a song like that.
I love this photo because it’s the beginning. Youth, fearlessness, drive, and confidence to go with those gifts. Gifts that would grow. Music that would become literary, and innovative, and incomparable.
That’s how Paul and John wrote music.
The best music in my lifetime.
by Roy Firestone | February 14, 2023
Emmy Award-winning Journalist