Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Andy White 1930-2015

Signed promo photo.
Andy White — who played drums for The Beatles on a version of "Love Me Do," in 1962 — died on Monday, at the age of 85. A native of Glasgow, White had lived for many years in Caldwell, New Jersey.

White also played on the Tom Jones hit "It’s Not Unusual," and worked with a broad range of other artists, including Chuck Berry, Rod Stewart, Herman’s Hermits, Marlene Dietrich, Burt Bacharach and the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra. In 2008, he made a guest appearance on the Smithereens album, B-Sides the Beatles, and he worked as a consultant on the 2012 movie "Not Fade Away," which is about a fictional ’60s rock band.

Andy White was a well established studio drummer in 1962, and he was called in for the second "Love Me Do" session with Ringo Starr. George Martin was concerned with the quality of Ringo Starr's drumming on the original "Love Me Do" on September 4, and so arranged for an experienced session drummer, Andy White, to play on the September 11 session. Andy already knew about the Beatles, because he had married one of Liverpool's "Vernon Girls", and she had told him about them. White was paid a standard fee of £5 15s (£5.75). While White drummed, Ringo played tambourine, effectively making White one of the candidates to the "fifth Beatle" title. On the B-side, Ringo plays maracas while White handles the drums on "P.S. I Love You".

Andy White in later days.
"It was a really enjoyable experience," White told the British newspaper The Daily Record in 2012, "and what impressed me was they were doing some really good stuff, but it was all their own stuff and was really new".

"Everything else at the time was a copy of music from the States, which was very successful, but they were doing something new and you could tell it was something different and very special. But I didn’t know just how special it would become."

White's first wife was one of Liverpool's "Vernon Girls", through her he already knew about The Beatles.
Starr summed up the episode this way in the 2000 book, "The Beatles Anthology": "George didn’t want to take any more chances and I was caught in the middle. I was devastated that George Martin had his doubts about me. I came down ready to roll and heard, ‘We’ve got a professional drummer.’ He has apologised several times since, has old George, but it was devastating — I hated the bugger for years; I still don’t let him off the hook!"

A version with Starr on drums did come out as a single in the U.K. and several other countries including Canada and Norway, but the White version was used on the Beatles U.K. debut album, "Please Please Me", and as the U.S. single.

Andy White apparently came up with the snappy signature drum fills in "Please Please Me" as recorded on Sept. 11, 1962, and Ringo apparently followed the template that White set down when the Beatles re-recorded the tune on Nov. 26th. White's version of "Please Please Me" is on "Anthology 1".

Andy White moved to Caldwell after meeting his second wife Thea, who was a New Jersey resident, in 1983. He played in Scottish pipes and drums bands and also worked as a drumming instructor.

Andy White with the 12" single from 1982 with both his and the Ringo version of "Love Me Do".
When the "Love Me Do" single was rereleased for its 50th anniversary in 2012, EMI made the mistake of producing the single with White's version of the song, and there was also a printing error on the B-side, as they had used the wrong R-series catalogue number. After complaints by the fans, EMI corrected the first mistake on a second pressing, but the catalogue number was never corrected.

The correct catalogue number is R4949.

3 comments:

James Percival said...

I saw White interviewed for the 50th celebrations of the Please Please Me album, and he seemed a really nice chap. Unfortunately no one's memory is infallible, and he mentioned that he played on the official release of Please Please Me and now this is being repeated in the BBC obituary. The difference between the Sept 11th and September 26th remake is pretty clear.

Joe Dee said...

Another part of the story is gone. RIP

obra57 said...

Regarding Ringos drumfills in Please Please Me. His drumfills suits the song perfectly. But Andys is very out of place for the song, unfortunately. In other words, Ringo is not copying Andy here!