As my Dad and I sat around the house one Saturday afternoon, playing Beatles records, we started batting around the idea that it was theoretically possible to loop a version of “Hey Jude” long enough to fill up an entire cassette. All we had to do was press pause and lift the needle every once in awhile, and fiddle with the volume knobs. A few hours later, we had a ninety-minute tape of “na na nas,” along with many “yeah yeah yeahs” and a few “Judy Judy Judy wows.” we listened to the playback, and I could not believe what we had accomplished. This was a new Beatles song that hadn’t existed before. It was Something New, as the Beatles would say. The difference between Yesterday…and Today. My dad and I had built model airplanes together, gone to Red Sox games. But listening to this tape, I knew it was our greatest hit. Paul McCartney couldn’t have been more proud after writing the actual song.
I listen to the tape now, and I think two things: I never want to hear this song again, and in 1979, my dad was around the age I am now, and given a Saturday afternoon he could have spent any way he pleased, he chose to spend it with his twelve-year-old son, making this ridiculous tape. He probably forgot about it the next day. But I didn’t.
There are all kinds of mix tapes. There is always a reason to make one.
The Beatles – Hey Jude (download)
Paul McCartney – Hey Jude (live 1990) (download)
Wilson Pickett – Hey Jude (download)
Paul McCartney – Hey Jude (live 2002) (download)
The Beatles – Hey Jude (”Love” version) (download)