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Drive My Car

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"Drive My Car"
Song by The Beatles
Album Rubber Soul
Released 3 December 1965
Recorded 13 October 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Folk rockTemplate:Sfn, pop rock,Template:Sfn hard rockTemplate:Sfn
Length 2:28
Label Parlophone, EMI
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Rubber Soul track listing
If Paul had written a song, he'd learn all the parts and then come in the studio and say 'Do this.' He'd never give you the opportunity to come out with something. But on 'Drive My Car' I just played the line, which is really like a lick off 'Respect,' you know, the Otis Redding version — and I played that line on guitar and Paul laid that with me on bass. We laid the track down like that. We played the lead part later on top of it. There were a lot of things — like on a couple of dates Paul wasn't on it at all, or John wasn't on it at all, or I wasn't on it at all. Probably only about five tunes altogether where one of us might not have been on.

—George Harrison, Crawdaddy Magazine interview, 1977

[Paul's] song, with contributions from me.

—John Lennon, The Playboy Interviews, p.173, 1980

The lyrics were disastrous and I knew it. Often you just block songs out and words just come into your mind and when they do it's hard to get rid of them. You often quote other songs too and you know you've got to get rid of them, but sometimes it's very difficult to find a more suitable phrase than the one that has insinuated itself into your consciousness.

This is one of the songs where John and I came nearest to having a dry session. The lyrics I brought in were something to do with golden rings, which are always fatal. 'Rings' is fatal anyway, 'rings' always rhymes with things and I knew it was a bad idea. I came in and I said, 'These aren't good lyrics but it's a good tune.' Well, we tried, and John couldn't think of anything, and we tried, and eventually it was, 'Oh let's leave it, let's get off this one.' 'No, no. We can do it, we can do it.' So we had a break ... then we came back to it, and somehow it became 'drive-my-car' instead of 'gol-den-rings,' and then it was wonderful because this nice tongue-in-cheek idea came and suddenly there was a girl there, the heroine of the story, and the story developed and had a little sting in the tail like 'Norwegian Wood' had, which was 'I actually haven't got a car, but when I get one you'll be a terrific chauffeur.'

So to me it was LA chicks, 'You can be my chauffeur', and it also meant 'you can be my lover.' 'Drive my car' was an old blues euphemism for sex, so in the end all is revealed. ... So that was my idea and John and I wrote the words, so I'd go 70-30 on that to me.

—Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now by Barry Miles, p.269-70, 1994

The 'best' take of 'Drive My Car', chosen to open the LP, was take four, the only complete run through. But there were numerous overdubs, and by the end of the day the song featured lead vocal by Paul and John plus backing vocal by George, tambourine, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, drums, piano and cowbell.

—Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles Recording Sessions, p.63, 1988


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