Song Facts: The Beatles — "You Can't Do That"
"You Can't Do That," one of many jealousy-themed songs in John Lennon's catalog, was released as the B-side of "Can't Buy Me Love" on March 20 while the band was hard at work filming A Hard Day's Night.
It is the first of the film songs to be recorded at Abbey Road Studio Two -- on February 25, 1964 -- after the band's successful trip to the United States. In fact, George Harrison says the song was written when the band was in Miami Beach, Florida, in mid-February.
Lennon later said the song was inspired by American R&B singer Wilson Pickett -- "You know, a cowbell going four in the bar, and the chord going chatoong!"
The song, a blues with a contrasting eight-bar section (much like "Can't Buy Me Love"), gave most of the world its first taste of the chiming sound of Harrison's 1963 Rickenbacker 360-12.
That said, the guitar solo is played by Lennon on his new Rickenbacker 325 Capri and is similar to other bluesy solos he played during the band's early years and on the EMI recording of "Long Tall Sally."
"It'd drive me potty to play chunk-chunk rhythm all the time," he said. "I never play anything as lead guitarist that George couldn't do better. But I like playing lead sometimes, so I do it."
It's also worth noting that "I Call Your Name," which was recorded later, on March 1, was deemed too similar to "You Can't Do That" to be included on the soundtrack album, so it was relegated to the "Long Tall Sally" EP. Both Lennon-penned songs feature Harrison playing a similar riff -- on the 12-string Rickenbacker -- with alternating minor and major thirds, as heard in the intro to "You Can't Do That."
Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World.
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