Past Masters album artworkWritten by: Larry Williams
Recorded: 10 May 1965
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 9 December 1966 (UK), 14 June 1965 (US)

Available on:
Past Masters

Personnel

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John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: bass, Hohner Pianet electric piano
George Harrison: lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine

The Beatles recorded two Larry Williams songs during a single 10 May 1965 session: ‘Bad Boy’ and ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’, both of which were sung by John Lennon.

The songs were recorded for Capitol, The Beatles’ North American label, so they could release the Beatles VI album in June 1965.

Beatles VI was otherwise a mish-mash of six tracks from Beatles For Sale, some others intended for Help!, and Ticket To Ride’s b-side ‘Yes It Is’.

‘Bad Boy’ didn’t appear in the UK until December 1966, when EMI released A Collection Of Beatles Oldies to plug the Christmas gap after Revolver. It was the only previously-unreleased song on the album, and its inclusion meant that all Beatles songs from 1962 to that point were available on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the studio

Having been part of The Beatles’ live set since the early 1960s, The Beatles wasted little time in recording ‘Bad Boy’ in four takes.

The first three takes were rhythm tracks only, and onto the fourth were overdubbed lead vocals (John Lennon), double-tracked lead guitar (George Harrison), electric piano (Paul McCartney) and tambourine (Ringo Starr).

Lyrics

A bad little kid moved in to my neighbourhood
He won’t do nothing right just sitting down and looks so good
He don’t want to go to school and learn to read and write
Just sits around the house and plays that rock ‘n’ roll music all night

Well, he put thumb tacks on teacher’s chair
Puts chewing gum in little girls’ hair
Now junior, behave yourself

Buy every rock ‘n’ roll book on the magazine stand
Every dime that he get, ooh, he’s off to the jukebox, man
Well he worries his teacher till at night she’s a-ready to poop
From rockin’ and a-rollin’, spinnin’ in a hula hoop

Well this rock and roll has gotta stop
Junior’s head is hard as rock
Now junior, behave yourself

Gonna tell your mama, you better do what she said
Get to the barber shop and get that hair cut off your head
Took the canary and you fed it to the neighbour’s cat
You gave the cocker spaniel a bath in mother’s laundromat

Well this modern mess has got to stop
Junior’s head is hard as rock
Now junior, behave yourself
Whoo!