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Don't Bother Me

by

The Beatles



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was George Harrison's first recorded song. It was his response to critics who claimed he was not an important member of the group because he did not write songs.

Harrison never regarded this song very highly, stating, "I don't think it's a particularly good song... It mightn't even be a song at all, but at least it showed me that all I needed to do was keep on writing, and then maybe eventually I would write something good."

A Harrison-penned song would not appear again until the 1965 album Help!. That would be "You Know What To Do."
This song has a darker, more pessimistic mood that was uncommon of The Beatles main sound, but would come to be Harrison's trademark stamp. This is actually part of what made the Beatles' formula work: McCartney was the chirpy, positive one, and Harrison was the melancholic counterpart.
George wrote this when he was down with the flu in a hotel room in the Northeast of England. The Beatles chauffeur kept various tapes which the band were working on. Years later these were sold off at one of the London auction houses. This song in it's very earliest stages is available on bootleg and features George working the music and lyrics out as he goes along. George stated, "I wrote the song as an exercise to see if I could write a song. I was sick in bed. Maybe that's why it turned out to be 'Don't Bother Me.'" (thanks, John - London, England)
For your information, the photography technique for the cover of With The Beatles, in which the Fab Four's headshots hover in a half-moon, light-and-shadow effect, is called "chiaroscuro." It's an Italian word to describe the Renaissance technique of dramatically contrasted lighting effects in oil paintings.
This was the first song on Side 2 of Meet The Beatles, their first album released in the US. With The Beatles was their second UK release.
George Harrison may have thought very little of this song, but his friend Tom Petty didn't share this sentiment. "I thought it was just the coolest song, like nothing I'd heard in Rock," Petty told Rolling Stone in 2014. "I'd say, 'Well, I like it. A lot. If you did that today, I'd say it was really good.' And he'd go, 'Well, you'd be wrong.'"
The Beatles
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Comments (28):

what now. you just got served stupid critics
- Julia, milton, PA
HA! take that critics!
- Amanda, Gretna, VT
One of the best solos by Mr. Harrison.
- David, Los Angeles , CA
I really wish John, Paul and George Martin would have given Harrison the amount of respect he deserved. The ability was definitely there for him to write songs as good if not better than John and Paul, but he was never encouraged. "Don't Bother Me" is one of my favorite songs of the Beatles' early career. At worst, it's on par with what John and Paul were putting out at the time.
- Adrian, Gettysburg, PA
This is NOT his first RECORDED song. It's the first song he wrote that they recorded as a band (Though "Cry For A Shadow" was a Lennon/Harrison compilation")

This song is also in one of the better sequences of "A Hard Day's Night". Watch Ringo's poor attempt at dancing.
- Rick, Mount Ephraim, NJ
Ah well for all you critics... George would obligly say "Don't bother me...arseholes"
- Lateeka, Kelowna, Canada
I could not agree more about the "Concert for George" Lee. It is really fantastic !! Espescialy the part when Ringo and Paul go on stage, it is really emotive the credit the audience gives to those men that are actually music's living history !
- George, Athens, Greece
A pretty good start for George.
- Sam, Portsmouth, VA
It's a good song. George was a very good songwriter, like John and Paul, but he was often pushed aside, so-to-speak.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
I think Georg is just as prolific a songwriter as John and Paul. Was it not Frank Sinatra who called 'Something' the greatest love song ever.
- Alan, Liverpool, England
Sorry. Underrated should've had two r's.
- Ian, Lethbridge, Canada
Such an underated song! For George's first song, it's fantastic!
- Ian, Lethbridge, Canada
A pretty darn good first song for George...I agree with Lee that the DVD tribute to George is excellent. There probably hasn't been that much talent on a stage since the roof top concert at Apple.
- Steve, Fenton, MO
I love this song so much! George rocks, and the song does too.
- Sylvia, London, England
Hey, Everyone, I just heard and watched the tribute to George on dvd. It was quite an experience, great! It is definately worth the $30.00. Eric Clapton, Paul Mccartney, and alot of other people contribute to a fantastic celebration of George's life. I never saw so much talent on one stage. George's son looks so much like him! He is right there with the others, playing his guitar, and joining in on all the songs. At first I wondered what I was in for, because the beginning was not what I had expected at all. There was a great deal of Eastern musical influence, at the beginning, and then all of George's songs after that. I am not a big fan of the sitar, and the sound, but even I was impressed with the music at the beginning of the dvd. Of course, I enjoyed George's songs alot more. The accumulated talent on that stage is breathtaking to say the least. My two favorites were Mc Cartney and Clapton. No one has ever seen either of those guys do a so so performance! The dvd is well worth the cost of admittion. If you were a fan of George's, and if you like Paul and Eric, you are in for one heck of a show. It runs about 2hrs and 20 minutes, and the time goes by too fast as far as I am concerned, and I am a pretty "pickey" customer when it comes to being entertained. (especially by a disc!) If you are staying home on NYE, this dvd would be a perfect way to spend an enjoyable evening. I guarantee you that you will watch it again and again. With a good sound system, it will rock you out. I am very sincere. enjoy!
- lee, clearwater, FL
The Led Zeppelin thing was in reference to a comment Keith Moon made about the success of the band... in that it would "sink like a lead zeppelin". Harrison is definitely underrated and this song shows some of hit hidden talent.
- Alex, Naples, FL
Proof that George could write. Then there was Here comes the sun, and Something, proof that George could write very well.
- lee, clearwater, FL
Nathan is correct. The first Harrison composition the Beatles' recorded was the instrumental "Cry For a Shadow", which was the same time period where they performed with Tony Sheridan. They recorded "My Bonnie" with him also, which was the song that led to their coming to the attention of Brian Eptstein.
- Charlie, Cape Girardeau, MO
I personally think that the guitar was very effective and ahead of it's time --with a C&W feel to it.
- Gussy, New Delhi , India
This isn't a great song, but the Into's OK.
- Ben, Cheverly, MD
As stated before this was the first recorded Harrison tune, though I've heard that in the early days in Hamburg, Harrison actually penned the first original Beatle song.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
I agree harrison is greatly underated but what's this about "sunk like a Led Zeppelin" nonsense?
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
this is a very good song BEN. it doesnt matter that it is georges first studio recorded song. george is very underrated. how many songs that he did were loved by people all over the world.
tons of people say "Here comes the sun" is thier favorite song by the beatles. without george they would of sunk like a led zeppelin. And if somebody doesnt agree with me tell me why.
- paul, flagstaff, AZ
I think this is a great song. Does anyone notice the resemblance to "The Night Before" in parts of the melody?
- Marina, Seattle, WA
Yea, Dave. I love the bass, too. The Hofner 500/1 is such a wonderful instrument. They have such a rich, warm tone and they look handsome. Too bad they cost 2000 dollars.

Does anybody know where you can get an actual hofner bass (not an imitation or copy) cheaper? I play bass in a band that plays a lot of beatles covers and beatlesque original music (though we're not a tribute band) and I would like to get that Hofner sound though i'm in college and running a tight budget!
- Loretta, Liverpool, England
This was a great tune. I remember wanting to hear George do it when I saw him in concert but he didn't. It took him a few albums to get another song on an album.
- Alan, New Baltimore, MI
I like the bass part during the held out "me" (As in Don't Bother ME).
- Dave, Springfield, United States
There is a tape of George's earliest version of the song recorded in an hotel room whilst George had the 'flu.
- John, London, England
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