What goes on? Early version up for sale again

The label of “What Goes On” demo disc.

On Thursday 21 September 2017, Parlogram will be auctioning this acetate on Ebay. The disc contains the unreleased and unheard 1963 home demo of one of John Lennon’s earliest compositions, “What Goes On”. An exclusive excerpt of John singing the song’s original lyrics, different to those on the 1965 released version on “Rubber Soul”, will be made available on the auction listing. The auction will end on October 1st 2017.

Parlogram announced the upcoming auction on their Facebook page.

This track was due to be recorded on 5th March 1963 but the group ran out of time. They revisited the track during a recording session on 4th November 1965, when they were just a month away from the release of the next album, “Rubber Soul”, and had only completed half of the tracks for it. The acetate is a demo with vocals (by John) and guitars only. It was previously auctioned off by Bonham’s in December 2012, and fetched £6,250 back then. The record was one of many items given by George Harrison to his brother, Harry, and other members of his family.

There was no sonic sample available at the Bonham’s auction, so this will be the first time we will be able to hear a little bit of the demo.


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14 Responses

  1. Dogma says:

    why this one and others like "bad to me" or "one and one is two" never made to anthology?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Easy: Because the sound is bad and there are better songs that made it.

  3. Mythme says:

    And "You Know What to Do" is a good song? Sorry, but I disagree with that assessment. Scarcity and history supersede lyrical quality in these matters.

  4. Martin says:

    As the great Paul Weller said (he was referring to Small Faces at the time),'Any rare track or demo is worth having and hearing. No matter how dodgy the sound quality is….'
    I for one wouldn't have minded if 'What Goes On' or 'Bad To Me' were on 'Anthology'.

    Great to see Ringo on the BBC. Typical BBC tricks though: trying to get Richie to complain about lack of 'credit' and slag off John and Paul. In true Starr style he more or less said 'No complaints. I worked with the very best (John, Paul and George)'. Nice one, Ring….

  5. Unknown says:

    Considering that 'Bad to Me' and 'One and One is Two' were easily available elsewhere…I'd take the previously unheard (to me) You Know what to Do.


  6. db says:

    the Bad to Me demo is a lovely little thing

  7. Andrew Stanhope says:

    Here's the excerpt. youtu.be/OYTTfCVXFSg

  8. Chris Owens says:

    Very intriguing. The verse – "how can I conceal, the brill(?) that I feel, is our love still real…" sound quite basic and amateurish lyrics and chords-wise. Most probably this was how it was in the Quarrymen days. At the same time you can understand why they resurrected it as the chorus is very catchy. Although, now we're left wondering whether the chorus is the same as the later 1965 version, since we don't hear all of it in the clip.

    One wonders what Ringo's contribution was to the lyrics. I fancy "the other day I saw you as I walked along the road" probably, and that's it.

  9. Andrew Stanhope says:

    I agree, the "other day i saw you" part seems similar to Don't Pass Me By, so could be the Ringo section.

  10. Chris Owens says:

    Ah, having heard it again I think it's "how can I conceal, the thrill that I feel…"
    But I wonder how the chorus works. The excerpt begins with the ending of a chorus which goes "what goes on in your heart", rather than "mind". Perhaps the 'mind' doesn't feature in this version (too intellectual and introspective for those early days?)

  11. Unknown says:

    Magic!THX for post!I know pack with similar samples to these tracks!I left link here –

  12. db says:

    Sounds like Paul is backing John here, I don't think John was multitracking home tapes in 63

  13. James Peet says:

    Anyone fancy clubbing together and put a winning bid in? Is that pigs I see in the sky? Lol.

  14. db says:

    Makes you wonder what else is still out there

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