Paul McCartney Claims the Beatles Lost Songs to Man's Great Enemy: Memory

If only we'd had voice memos in the '60s. 

Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

Ever go to the grocery story and forget to grab something because it wasn’t on the list? Imagine that instead of forgetting a carton of milk, you just up and forgot “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” because that’s pretty close to what happened to Paul McCartney and John Lennon. They didn’t forget the milk, don’t worry about that.

The creative heads of the Beatles also didn’t forget “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” but in an interview with The Evening Standard, Paul explained there were numerous songs the duo never wrote down or recorded many nascent songs because they had no way to immediately record them. They simply forgot untold reams of would-be Beatles songs because they pre-dated iPhone voice memos. Sort of a hello, goodbye situation, when you think about it.

The Beatles carry a mystical aura in part because their creative output was concentrated to such a narrow time period — unlike other, longer-lived groups, they didn’t leave behind hundreds of hours of lost recorded material. If they did have such a deep catalog of recorded toss ideas certainly by now they would’ve been exhumed, remastered, repackaged, and sold in 13 different CD collections. The tossed-off tunes Paul and John forgot over pints are really something to consider. Were the song any good? We have to imagine, because tomorrow never knows.