John Lennon Made the Intro of The Beatles’ ‘I Feel Fine’ by Accident

TL:DR;

  • Paul McCartney revealed John Lennon created the intro of The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” by accident when he hit something with his guitar.
  • Paul explained why the guitar was named after The Everly Brothers.
  • “I Feel Fine” became an international hit.
The Beatles' Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison pointing
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison | Chris Walter / Contributor

The Beatles‘ classic hit “I Feel Fine” opens with an unusual sound. In a book, Paul McCartney revealed John Lennon created that sound by accident when his guitar hit something. Subsequently, The Beatles had a strong reaction to the sound. 

Why The Beatles named some of their guitars after The Everly Brothers

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul recalled John used a “semi-acoustic Gibson guitar.” “John and George both had them; we used to call them ‘Everly Brothers’ because they were very similar to the ones The Everly Brothers had used and we liked the Everlys a lot,” Paul recalled. 

Paul said John had an accident with his guitar while crafting “I Feel Fine.” “We were just about to walk away to listen to a take when John leaned his guitar against the amp,” he remembered. “I can still see him doing it. He really should have turned the electric off. It was only on a tiny bit, and John just leaned it against the amp when it went, ‘Nnnnnnwahhhhh!'” This sort of amplifier noise is known as “feedback.”

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Paul McCartney revealed what George Martin said when The Beatles wanted to incorporate the feedback into ‘I Feel Fine’

Paul said The Beatles had a strong reaction to the sound.” And we went, ‘What’s that? Voodoo!'” Paul recalled. “‘ No, it’s feedback.’ ‘Wow, it’s a great sound!'”

The Beatles decided to incorporate the feedback into “I Feel Fine.” “George Martin was there so we said, ‘Can we have that on the record?'” Paul added. “‘Well, I suppose we could, we could edit it on the front.’ It was a found object, an accident caused by leaning the guitar against the amp.” 

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How ‘I Feel Fine’ performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

“I Feel Fine” became a huge hit in the United States. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, spending 11 weeks on the chart in total. “I Feel Fine” appeared on the compilation album 1962–1966. The album reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 175 weeks.

The Official Charts Company reports “I Feel Fine” was even more popular in the United Kingdom. There, the song topped the chart for five weeks, spending 13 weeks on the chart altogether. 1962–1966 reached No. 3 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for 167 weeks.

“I Feel Fine” became a massive hit for the Fab Four and it wouldn’t be the same without a happy accident.

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