Come And Get It

Album: Magic Christian Music (1969)
Charted: 4 7


  • Paul McCartney wrote this for the 1969 movie The Magic Christian, starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. Much like the Beatles song "You Never Give Me Your Money," it's a stomp on the business partners who made his life miserable, particularly those at the label the group set up, Apple Records, which had become a financial sinkhole. As the song goes:

    Did I hear you say that there must be a catch?
    Will you walk away from a fool and his money?
  • This was the group's first single as Badfinger. Under the name The Iveys (they were re-named by Apple executive Neil Aspinall after "Bad Finger Boogie," the working title of the Beatles song "With A Little Help From My Friends") they released the singles "Maybe Tomorrow" and "Dear Angie" earlier in 1969; they had high hopes for "Maybe Tomorrow," but it went nowhere in the UK and stalled at #67 in America. These songs were released on Apple Records; they signed to the label after The Beatles heard their demo and were suitably impressed.

    "Come And Get It" they recorded at the behest of Paul McCartney, who was asked to do the soundtrack for the film The Magic Christian but ended up writing just the one song for the project. McCartney also produced the song along with two others that Badfinger members wrote for the film: "Carry on Till Tomorrow" and "Rock of All Ages." These songs were combined some earlier Iveys tracks to form Badfinger's first album, Magic Christian Music.
  • Paul McCartney recorded the demo of this song prior to a Beatles recording session at Abbey Road studios. He played all the instruments on the demo and had a clear vision for how it should sound. In The Beatles Anthology book, he explained that Badfinger wanted to do the song more in their own style, but he insisted they do it the same as on his demo, because he knew it would be a hit if done his way. He was right: the song was the breakout single for Badfinger.
  • This song seemed to mark a turning point for Apple Records, whose artists included Mary Hopkin and the Radha Krishna Temple. "Come And Get It" was the first substantial hit on the label by a group other than The Beatles. Formed in 1968, Apple had some substantial talent on their roster, including James Taylor, but they were completely mismanaged and only fell further into disrepair into the '70s, taking Badfinger down with them.

    The group had a few more hits, including "Day After Day" and "No Matter What," but they weren't profiting from their success, in large part because of Apple's problems. The group was also victim to bad management that muddled their financial affairs in an effort to dodge taxes. In 1973, they broke with Apple but made a deal to deliver them one more album. They also signed a new deal with Warner Bros. and recorded an album for them in 1974. The albums were released months apart in 1974 and neither had a hit. They ended up in litigation with both labels and had to shut down completely in 1975 with very little to show financially for all they accomplished. Despondent, lead singer Pete Ham killed himself on April 24, 1975, leaving behind a pregnant wife. In his suicide note, he left a message for their business manager, Stan Polley, calling him a "souless bastard."
  • This plays at the beginning and at the end of the movie The Magic Christian. In the final scene, Ringo and Peter Sellers fill a vat with excrement, throw money in it, and watch as people go in after it - a sentiment the Beatles were feeling around this time.

Comments: 33

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaAlways amazed me how much like the Beatles they sounded on this song. So sad about what happened to the band members later.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 12th 1969, the movie "The Magic Christian" starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr had it world premier in the United Kingdom...
    Two months later on February 11th, 1970 it had its U.S.A. premier in New York City...
    "Come and Get It" peaked at #7 (for 2 weeks) on April 12th on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on February 1st and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    R.I.P. Mr. Sellers (1925 - 1980) and Mr. Starr turned 73 years old this past July 7th.
  • Wayne from New Haven, CtPaul had Tom Evans sing lead vocal. It was a toss up between Tom and Pete. Paul thought Tom's vocal fit the song.
    And Im sure "Ringo" did not play drums. It was all Paul!
  • Leslie from Cleveland, OhTo Ted from PA and Max from Rapid City:
    The heir you're thinking of was Michael Brody, Jr., who was the grandson of Faris Jelke Sr. who founded the "Good Luck Oleomargarine" empire. Michael was famous/infamous for about 6 weeks beginning January 15, 1970 when he held a press conference at the Zodiac Club in NYC to announce that he was giving away every dime he had inherited. He did give away approx. $60,000 before his legal guardians committed him to a psychiatric hospital in Hartford, Conn. I was a patient there at the time as well and we became friends due to our shared interest in playing guitar and singing folk songs. Michael was a very sweet, naive, 23-year-old who had good and wonderful intentions but very little touch with reality. No one ever talked about diagnosis back then and I wouldn't trust any reports about what caused Michael's delusions because so much of what we take for granted these days in regards to MRI's, CT's, Brain-mapping, DNA, etc. was not available back then and so erroneous assumptions and diagnosis were quite common at that time, especially if you had psychiatric symptoms and looked and acted like a Hippie... In any case, Michael sadly shot himself to death just 3 years later. As to his connection to the song "Come and Get It", I had always thought he had inspired it, as well. But given the timing of when Michael came to the world's attention and when McCartney recorded the demo of it, it seems unlikely - but not impossible - to be connected. There were a lot of other events around that time that could also have served as inspiration. Someone should ask Paul as he's really the only one who knows for sure!
  • Randy from San Diego, CaGraham Parker recorded an interesting version of this song on From A Window- The Lost Songs Of The Beatles.
  • Dave from Madison,This song's lyrics are a capsule summary of the movie plot ... a series of stunts where people are offered money in order to do ridiculous and sometimes humiliating things. This culminates in the "Something in the air" scene at the end where money is thrown into a pit filled with blood, manure and urine. A crowd wades in to pick the money up.

    One thing often overlooked about Magic Christian is the incredible number of references to male homosexuality and gay culture. One of the stunts, for example, is two male boxers bribed to passionately kiss instead of fight. But the climax of all this is the "Magic Christian" scene itself, set on a fake ocean liner whose "passengers" are all conservative bluebloods. Here, one of them is given marijuana by the ship's doctor who pronounces his name "Lawrence Fahgoh". But in the end credits you find that the name is really "Lawrance Faggot" pronounced as if it were French.

    Another scene (with the song "Mr. Universe" involves an erotic dance with two nearly naked men, one black - one white.

    But the best of all is a scene where Yul Brynner sings Noel Coward's "Mad About the Boy" in drag, pulling his wig off at the end (the "reveal" is an almost compulsory end to drag performances.) Noel Coward was known to be gay and "Mad About the Boy" was kind of an anthem among the gay crowd during the 1950's.
  • Max from Rapid City, SdI heard the same story as Ted from Pa. about the heir to the oleo margarine empire or some such , and when he had given away all the money , he sobered up and committed suicide.Max S.D.
  • Ted from Lebanon, PaI had heard on the radio several years ago that the inspiration for this song was a guy (in NY, I think) during the anti-establishment era who had inherited a lot of money. As the story goes, he stood on a street corner giving it away to anyone who wanted it. I have never found anything to substantiate it however.
  • Farrah from Elon, NcPaul McCartney's demo is great!!! Both his, and Badfinger's versions are superb.
  • Nunzio from Darwin, AustraliaIf I re-call, the linner notes on the back of the SESSION LP claimed Paul recorded his version in 20 mins & the drummer is Ringo.
  • Bad Dan from Encino, CaPaul's demo is world's better than this version
  • Jeff from Liverpool, Englandpete ham and tom evans most notable songwriting credit is for harry nillsons 1972 hit without you
  • Ade from Neath, Walesthis was written about the beatles apple company and the way the company would give money away to any "hippy" with a "brilliant" idea
  • Alan from Chesterfield, MiActually, Brad Wind, the song playing when people jumped into the dung vat was another great tune, Thunderclap Newman's "Something in the Air." Come and Get It appeared near the middle of the movie, the dung vat was right near the end. The movie should be put on DVD, Ringo is great in it!
  • Bill from St. Paul, MnEver heard the flip side of the original single? It's an all-out rock & roll jam called "Rock Of All Ages", and it's a blistering rocker! The lyrics, IIRC, don't make much sense, but who cares? :-)
  • Gary from Seattle, WaSad endings for great potential. The two kingpins both hanged themselves. Peter Ham hanged himself in his garage in 1975, Tom Evans hanged himself from a tree in his backyard 1983. Gary
  • Gary from Seattle, WaElton John on backing vocals. Enjoy Gary
  • Dawn from Harrisburg, PaHELP!! What was the inspiration for the song "Come and Get it?"
  • Axel from Mexico, MexicoThis was a huge fan written by Paul McCartney, and he wanted to be played just as he wanted to be played, the demo as you already know is on the Beatles' Anthology, but what you don't already know was that one American group did a cover of this song... (the group was named The Magic Christians, like the title of the movie of Peter Sellers that Badfinger did the OST... )... damn, ma'am!
  • Farrah from Elon, NcI love this song!!! I thought that it was the Beatles at first, until I heard that it was Badfinger. They did a great job on this.
  • Shayne from Edmonton, KyLoved this song before I knew Paul McCartney wrote it.
  • Silver from Las Angelas, CaSongwriting legend Graham Parker recorded this song on The Lost Songs Of Lennon and McCartney. It's uptempo and guitar driven. Great rendition and certainly worth checking out. SFD
  • Benn from Arcola, IlThis song also, to me, sounds like it was recorded by the Patridge Family. I dunno why. It just has that vibe to it.
  • Rob from Vancouver, CanadaThe McCartney demo is quite similar....the only difference being that the tempo is a little slower.
    Even the vocals are hard to tell apart.
  • Joey from Nowhere Land, CaI aboslutely loved this song when I saw The Magic Christian, then I loved it even more when it said Paul wrote it.
    Paul is a total genius
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScThe demo that Paul McCartney recorded is on the Beatles Anthology 3 cd-set, and it sounds exactly like the Badfinger version. I like both songs.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI thought this was Paul McCartney when I heard it. Fits into the scene in the movie.
  • Jarrod from Bristol, EnglandBadfinger took their name from the original working title for the Beatles song "WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS" which was "BADFINGER BOOGIE" (J - uk)
  • Bill from Southeastern Part Of, FlThis song was used in a military recruitment television commercial, I think for the United States Navy.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThe song - and the movie - are about an eccentric millionarire's quest to prove that people will do anything - literally - for money.

  • Elliott from Douglassville, PaAt the time this song was recorded Badfinger was known as The Iveys - they changed their name by the time the song was released.
  • Mike from Mountlake Terrace, WaI thought this was Paul McCartney all the way when I first heard it late '70 or '71.

    This song was well associated with my first puppy love. It was a girl (I can not remember her name)
    that looked like an angel to me. I was only 8 years old and this was my sisters friend I think she was a few years older than me. We lived in Texas at that time, and I remember that warm summer day, we were walking through a field and my sister had given me a ring (just a cheap dimestore ring) and I gave to this girl and she smiled at me and my heart soared like and eagle in the wind. She thanked me and held my hand. Oh man! was thata great day or what?!

    Well I'll never forget taht day or that moment or that song that was going through my head...

    I only wish that I could remember her name.
  • Brad Wind from Miami, FlThe song was played in the high point of the "Magic Christian" movie, as poor people were jumping into a vat of human dung to chase after money that was thrown into it.
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