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In an incredible moment that the world somehow forgot, John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote a song for The Rolling Stones together. John felt the song encouraged The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to write songs of their own. The “Imagine” singer explained why he was willing to give the track away in the first place.

John Lennon wrote for The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in a club

The Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership wrote “I Wanna Be Your Man.” The Rolling Stones were the first group to release “I Wanna Be Your Man.” It was The Rolling Stones’ second single, following a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On.” The Beatles later recorded the tune for their album With the Beatles featuring lead vocals from Ringo Starr.

During a 1980 interview from the book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, John discussed writing “I Wanna Be Your Man” in a club where The Rolling Stones were playing. “They wanted a song and we went to see them to see what kind of stuff they did,” he said. “Mick and Keith had heard that we had an unfinished song — Paul just had this bit and we needed another verse or something. We sort of played it roughly to them and they said, ‘Yeah, OK, that’s our style.’ So Paul and I just went off in the corner of the room and finished the song off while they were all still there talking.”

John Lennon felt the writing of the song surprised Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

John felt this was a pivotal moment for Jagger and Richards. “We came back and that’s how Mick and Keith got inspired to write, because, ‘Jesus, look at that. They just went in the corner and wrote it and came back!'” John recalled. “Right in front of their eyes we did it. So we gave it to them.”

John wasn’t a fan of “I Wanna Be Your Man.” “It was a throwaway,” he opined. “The only two versions of the song were Ringo and The Rolling Stones. That shows how much importance we put on it: We weren’t going to give them anything great, right?” John falsely believed “I Wanna Be Your Man” was The Rolling Stones’ first record.


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How The Rolling Stones’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ performed in the United Kingdom

According to The Official Charts Company, The Rolling Stones’ “I Wanna Be Your Man” became a modest hit in the United Kingdom. It reached No. 12 there and stayed on the chart for 16 weeks. It outperformed the band’s cover of “Come On.”

The Rolling Stones never included “I Wanna Be Your Man” on a studio album, but it appeared on the compilation album Milestones. That compilation also includes more famous singles such as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Get Off of My Cloud,” and “She’s a Rainbow.” The record peaked at No. 14 and spent eight weeks on the chart.

John didn’t like “I Wanna Be Your Man” but it was a milestone for The Rolling Stones.