Billy J Kramer and how 'Yesterday' could have turned out differently


It was a great pleasure to hear Billy J Kramer on the radio on Wednesday evening. He was interviewed by Simon Mayo on Radio 2. He’s promoting his autobiographical album called “I won the fight” and is embarking on his first UK tour in 20 years. He’s been living in America for a long time.

Old Billy sounded very relaxed, natural and humble. Not at all “starry”. I loved hearing his recollection about the “Merseybeat” days and his friendship with the Beatles. – How John Lennon suggested he stuck a “J” in his name, for example, and how he was given their songs, in several cases before they recorded them.

But the best bit was his tale of how he went to see “Paul” (as he called him) at a theatre before a show one evening. Paul was sat at a piano. He tinkled out a new song which was “Yesterday” and asked Billy if he would like to record it (first). Billy thanked Paul and said that the song was very nice but that he was looking for a rock song at the time.

…Great lost opportunities of history!

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