You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

Album: Past Masters, Vol. 2 (1970)
  • The Beatles started recording the song in 1967, adding all the instrumentation and a saxophone part played by Brian Jones from The Rolling Stones. Lennon and McCartney added all of the crazy vocals in April 1969. Finally, it was released as the B-side of the "Let It Be" single in 1970. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Wilmington, DE
  • John Lennon got the idea for this when he saw a phone book on Paul McCartney's piano.
  • McCartney: "My favorite Beatles track... because it's so insane."
  • This is one of four Beatles songs never released in stereo. The others are "Love Me Do," "I'll Get You" and "She Loves You."
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Comments: 62

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaJason, as I recall one of the Vultures was voiced by Jeremy of Clyde and Jeremy.
  • Mike from Wellington, OhI spoke to some more "Experts" in the field of Beatles Records and they left me with the impression that they KNOW there to be a STEREO version of "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" on a 45 RPM record from the 1980's! They WON'T call Capitol Records to verify or vilify my story, just wanted me to send them the record!!! NOTE: TO ANYONE that has the STEREO 45 RPM record of this, BEWARE! Sending them a photo won't help, as the record is unique and not listed in any discography anywhere (so don't believe them to be able to tell from it's looks if it's real or not, only sending them the MUSIC can do that)! But when you do that, YOU LOOSE!!! This record as it is right now would be going for THOUSANDS if it's in pristine condition! So, if you have this record, here's what you do if you can: Get a passport and a visa to some country that DON'T honor US copyrights. And get there with the record as soon as you can! I DID call Capitol records and in my doing so made them aware of this thing which I believe they had forgotten about for many years! A re-issue could occur at anytime!!! If it does, the value of the 45 STEREO record goes right down the drain! Think about it. If you were the buyer, would you buy a bootleg made from a scratchy 45 RPM record, or a re-issue made from the original master tape? So, if you cannot leave the country soon, try an auction house that caters to the rich and famous. Here I would start the bidding at $10,000.00 or more!!! EBAY may be a problem, as the buyer would turn you in to EBAY buyer protection, and get his money back! And even if he returns the record he's already made a copy!! YOU LOSE!!! Sorry for the bad news.
  • Mike from Wellington, OhI wish to apologise and withdraw an earlier statement. There IS a STEREO version of the long (only on the US album of A Hard Days Night) version of "I'll Cry Instead"! I just now managed to get it on a CD titled "All Too Much Rarities". STRANGE that the new box set of Capitol albums on CD doesn't have it, but holds a place for it!! The Stereo version does something with the guitar in the left channel when the first verse begins to repeat that goes unnoticed in the Mono version. Sorry again for any confusion I caused.
  • Mike from Wellington, OhFound "Apples 1001", "Apples 1002", and "Apples 1003"! I am now closing down my listing, as I now have the info I was looking for.
    One final thing. There are actually 5 commercially released Beatles Records that have no true STEREO versions, and "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" isn't one of them! The best you can hope for today is a good re-channeled version. They are: "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You" which was never recorded in Stereo, as George Martin didn't think The Beatles could make a hit record the first time! "She Loves You" and "I'll Get You" HAD a Stereo, but only on the master tape which is lost! What became of it, no one knows! It may be destroyed, it may be stollen, it may even be misplaced! The only other song with no Stereo counterpart is the long version of "I'll Cry Instead". This ONLY appeared on the US version of the United Artists album "A Hard Day's Night"! The Stereo version of this album had the orchestral instrumentals in Stereo, but NOT The Beatles songs! Therefore, No Stereo version was ever mixed for the longer version of that song. Could one be? Only if the master tape could be used, and the new Box Set titled "The Beatles, The US Albums" doesn't have it. Meaning that the master tape may have gone to where the master tape to "She Loves You" and "I'll Get You" went!
  • Mike from Wellington, OhThis is only an update. I HAVE acquired one of the 45 RPM records with "Stereo" printed on the "You Know My Name" side, and it is just as I suspected, MONO!!!! I have updated my Gold Record listing (every Sunday afternoon), and have now spoken to Capitol Records themselves! They say that the Stereo 45 RPM record of this song WAS theirs and it did come out in the 1980's! Not a bootleg, or an import! In fact, they don't understand why Wikipedia and all the Discographies omit it and lead one to believe it never existed! However, when asked why it hasn't been re-issued in many years, there comes no answer! Perhaps now that I made some noise about it, a re-issue will be in the works soon. (We can all hope).
    I'm still looking for a reason why "Apples 1002" was chosen as the label for The Plastic Ono Band's version of this song. I may or may not ever hear why this was proposed. I suspect it to have something to do with the reason "What's The New Mary Jane" was bumped off The White Album at the last minute. If anyone has any idea, or knows something about this, please let me know.

  • Mike from Wellington, OhI up-graded my listing with the latest data. Also, I tried (and failed) to obtain either one of two 45 RPM Apple records of this song that have the word STEREO printed on the "You Know My Name" side of the record. I WAS going to make a write-up on that. If that's the reason some say that there is no Stereo 45 of this record, I can understand why. Apple records dissolved in 1975, check it out! No records were made after 1975 with the Apple label! Also, the Capitol version of "Rarieties" claimed that there was no Stereo version of this song anywhere! That WAS in 1980! As I said in my listing, the Stereo version didn't appear until after the "Rarieties" album was released. Therefore, the stereo version of this song CANNOT be on an Apple record! If anyone in this group is the new owner of one of these, please tell us what you've got. Personally, I'll be extremely surprised to learn that the label is not in error!!

  • Mike from Wellington, OhHello;
    I'm researching the Beatles song "You Know My Name" and also am presently looking for a STEREO copy of such. As of today I have a GOLD RECORD of this song on EBAY for sale by The Plastic Ono Band! (It's a fake). But if you go there and read up, you will get to know what I know about this song. It was intended to be released on [APPLES 1002]! That label number makes no sense and if anyone wants to weigh in on that, please do. The photo that comes with the supposed Gold Record is of John, Yoko, and Elephants Memory I believe. (Comments welcome here). As to Ringo's appearance on the recording, it was done at the final music session in June 1967. And as to a STEREO copy, YES there is one, but it's EXTREMELY RARE and not to be heard anywhere on a CD, MP3, LP, or on line at You Tube either. Now don't get confused here. There are at least THREE different versions of this song released. The Mono version appears as the original version on the B side of the single of "Let It Be" and on both "Rarities" albums, as well as "Past Masters 2", "The CD Singles Set", and even the "Stereo Masters Set" and "MP3 Master" that looks like an Apple! The long (6 minute version) appears on "Anthology 2" as well as "You Tube" and on line. The Stereo version can only be found on a 45 RPM record with "Let It Be" on the flip! Can anyone tell me why that is? And if anyone knows what's unique about Ringo's voice in the Stereo version please contact me. I may have an offer for you.
  • Kiki from Fraggle Rock, NjDebbie:
    The version you are thinking of is the Anthology version. I am listening to it right now. XD I never noticed he was saying a number before. It's hard to hear what the numbers are, though.. Sorry.. ^^; Maybe you can figure it out yourself and tell me?
  • Martin from Ringmer, East Sussex, England, United KingdomOne of the things which made The Beatles great - and stand out from the rest of them - was their incredible versatility. Nothing shows that versatility more than the pairing of this insane (but brilliant!) track with the almost-religious "Let It Be". Kudos, too, to Brian Jones for his sax solo.
  • K from Nowhere, OnNot really a fan. I first heard it on Past Masters and I thought, "What IS this?"
  • Rocco from New York City, NyAfter the first segment, you can hear John say "Come on Ringo, let's hear it for Dennis." However Ringo was not present during this recording. This is just another example of Lennon's ironic humor.
  • Debbie from Fairmont Wv, WvI read that a telephone number that when called gives the message "Beware of Abbey Road" can be heard after a cuckoo clock cuckoos five times in this song. Any idea which version this is in?
  • Rj from Philadelphia, PaYou know my name, you know my number, what's up with you? HA!

    God I love the Beatles.
  • Chris from Cordoba Capital, ArgentinaDidn't know Brian Jones had such a huge part on this song until today. Thanks Songfacts!
  • Rebecca from Cape May, Nji love the muppets sounds
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxPeter Griffin - the mumbling is John writing songs - he would read the paper and mumble or hum out lyrics along with non-sense words and record himself. His is him poking fun at himself...honestly. So the mumblings could be anything from the War in Vietnam to the back of a cereal box.
  • Powerpopfan from Bronx, NyI noticed it also that the full version has a ska section. This was 1967.
  • Chris from Longueuil, QcThis is one of my favorites songs. have you ever heard the ''Can you dig it'' version From the ''get back session'' cd, It's completely different (with an out of tune guitar). This is very nice too....
  • Modernrocker79 from Kearny, NjThe full version of this has a ska section. So they go from jazz to ska in one song.
  • Adam from Philadelphia, PaThis song was influenced by two Frank Zappa & the Mothers songs off their "Absoultely Free" album. The songs were "America Drinks" and "America Drinks and Goes Home" where the songs imitate club bands that played through the night, often under the influence, as such The Beatles did as they played in The Cavern in the early 60's.
  • Dan from Detroit, MiWhen this came out my friends and I were 19 or 20. On Friday or Saturday nights we would usually wind up at a family type restaurant in Detroit called "The Clock" at around 1:30-2:00 in the morning.
    We'd order our burgers or whatever and put a few quarters in the jukebox. We only had one rule,,,only play the B sides. You Know My Name was a big favorite of ours as it really annoyed the regular patrons who couldn't make heads or tails out of it. Good times!
  • Susan from Toronto, CanadaPaul McCartney said in THE BEATLES: RECORDING SESSIONS by Mark Lewisohn that the Beatles expected Brian Jones to bring a guitar to the session, so were disappointed he brought a saxophone. But they used his sax playing, after all.
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiThe FULL song has not been released in stereo. The full "You Know My Name(Look Up The Number)" is 6:08 in length. Although the Anthology 2 version restored much of it, including a new second section (which is my favorite one), parts from the original mono version were omitted, including much of the fourth section.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoHearing this song makes me think of Bill Murray doing his lounge lizard singing act he used to do on Saturday Night Live.
  • Forrest from Rochester, MnEvery time I hear "You know my name, you know my number too, you know my name you know my number, what's up with you?" I still crack up.
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiWow, what a disturbing messed up song. Anyone know what the mumbling actually is?
  • Jason from Kalamazoo, MiAs to the mumbling at the end... I was just watching "The Jungle Book" with my kids... and heard an elephant flubbering and blubbering... "It's a MAN-CUB!" and I'll be darned if it wasn't the exact thing... I think your friend, Mr. Lennon, was referencing the Jungle Book movie, which came out in 1967, and included a group of vultures (I believe) that were modeled after the Beatles... I think that anyone who listens to that portion of the movie will certainly agree, and we can put that to rest... I think It's a wonderful song, and among my Beatles favorites.
  • Wayne Aka Llewellynn from Woodstock, New Brunswick, CanadaWhoops! Two rushed spelling error in the previous comments...funniest and knows.
    Thank You and sorry from: Barrett's Privateers
  • Wayne Aka Llewellynn from Woodstock, New Brunswick, CanadaJee gollyckers my Yanka friends...How isit nowone knows or semingly no one know, the outstanding American, indeed legendary American band..Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were the inspiration for the song. This has been stated by the Beatles more than once. It should however be as plain as jam on toast. I can't think of one person I know when "You Know My Name" came out, who didn't now it was a Mothers Of Invention take off. Python? Crap the Goon Show was years ahead of Python and much much funier and more clever by half.
  • Daniel Celano from Philadelphia, PaI have You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) on mono from the single and The Beatles Past Masters Volume 2 and stereo The Beatles Anthology 2.
  • Dave from Des Moines, IaI thought that this was one of the Monty Python inspirations. Ringo's mumbling and grunting at the end is pretty typical Monty Python material. Also there is the british falsetto and the improv in the middle. The song is so bizarre! (And that scene in the Holy Grail is almost identical to the mumblings at the end here.)
  • Robert from Cambridge, NyThe B side of "Let It Be" featured a mono version of this song. It was also in mono on the Capitol LP "Rarities" and on the "Past Masters Vol.2" cd. There is no available stereo mix of that particular edit, however, an extended version of this song appears in stereo on the "Anthology 2" CD.
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaThis song is meant to be a joke. Calling it 'a piece of poop' with 'not one asset in its being' is missing the point entirely. The Beatles had a sense of humor, and in this 'song' expected others to share it, but I guess for some people, it's just too distressing and weird. (And there is no deep message about degrading relationships, either!) I wouldn't call it 'music' so much as 'entertainment' and as such, does not really warrant repeated listening.

  • Thos from New York, Nyaren't there references to paul being "dead" on this song if you play it backwards?
  • Ellis from Hollywood, CaThe British band, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band with the genius of V. Stanshall and N. Inness.
  • Ellis from Hollywood, Cahello?
  • Jac from Goshen, KyIf I remember my Beatle history, this song was what the guys worked on for a laugh, or when things were getting too tense in the studio. I think the reason it took so long to release (1967-70) was they just enjoyed working on it and didn't want it to end.
  • Claire from St. Louis, MoPerfect song
  • Barry from New York, NyI think the band Phish can do a great job if they covered this song. It would make a great Fishman lead, with the saxophone can be replaced by a vacuum solo. Unfortunately Phish has broken up so this might never happen.
  • Joe from Fairfax, VaI always heard that the inspiration for this song came from George Harrison replying to an apple scruff outside the studio, "you know my name, look up me number!" after she made a paas at him on his way in.
  • David from Mesa, AzI actually think this song was influenced by the Beach Boys. Paul admired Wilson a lot and even crunched carrots for the Beach Boys' "Vegetables". During this time, Wilson was doing a lot of the theme-and-variations sort of thing from "Good Vibrations" to "Heroes and Villains". Although it wouldn't surprise me if there was some influence from Peter Sellers's parodies of Beatles songs from the Dr. Strangelove version of "She Loves You", the sermon version of "Help!" and the Shakespearean version of "A Hard Day's Night". (The third section with the high voices and bird whistles actually sound less Monty Python and more like Sellers's 50's radio show "The Goon Show".)
  • Jonathan from Johnstown, PaThe original 6 min. verison is on Anthology 2, Disc 2, Track 13
  • Dirk from Nashville, TnAnd just for the record... (sorry to be a comment hog, but I love this song).. You Know my Name was actually recorded way back in the summer of 1967. Even though it didn't see the light of day until it was B-sided with Let it Be in 1970, it was a record that captures the zaniness of the Beatles as they worked on Magical Mystery Tour. It has nothing to do with the degradation of the band in 1970. If anything, it shows what was really happening to the Beatles by the time they went their separate ways--that they had a backlog of material and they were creating more new stuff than they could get out on record and all competing for record sides.
  • Dirk from Nashville, TnOne other thing, that reference to Errol Garner mumbling during his piano solos--that's absolutely true. But the wacky voice in You Know My Name is actually doing a dead-on imitation of Bluto from the old Popeye cartoons. In the earlier Popeyes, you could never understand a damn word Bluto said. And it was vaguely edged with German (lots of old German-speaking folks lived in America in the 20s and 30s when Popeye was starting--often the butt of jokes and cartoons). Anyway, those old Popeye cartoons were popular in England when the Beatles were growing up, along with Mickey Mouse.
  • Dirk from Nashville, TnHey just for the record, Homer and Mike--this might sound Monty Pythonesque to you lads, but Monty Python appeared on TV for the first time in October 1969--more than a year after this number was recorded. Almost two years, if I recall. It might interest you both to know that Eric Idle and Michael Palin and the other Pythons always thought of their act as being inspired by Beatle humor. And the Beatles--especially George Harrison-- thought the same way. George invested money in the Pythons' work. As the Beatles stopped recording (1970), Monty Python carried on the torch of zany surreal modern English humor. If you ever have the chance, listen to the Beatles Christmas recordings that they did for their fan clubs. (You can find them floating around the internet.) You'll be shocked at how much the recordings sound like Python skits. But bear in mind, the Beatles were doing them in a studio in 1966, 67, 68, 69... and the Pythons were doing it in 1970, 1971, 1972...
  • Wik from Brooklyn, NyThe 'ahem mmm-hmm-mmm' part is, I believe, Barbados gutteral singing. Yes, the Beatles tried everything.

  • Lee from Clearwater, FlGeorge, you need to talk to Ben
  • Lee from Clearwater, FlI am a mega Beatles fan. I have been one for 42 years. (They came on the scene when I was 12) My sound system has every Beatle song I can obtain on it, yet I can say honestly, that this song is a piece of poop. They had every right to make the handful of not-so-hot tracks that they made amidst the countless masterpieces, in every case but this one. It had not one asset in its being. Just plain awful.
  • Barry from New York, NcBack in the Seventies, the NYC newspaper Village Voice held a poll of the fans' five least favorite Beatles songs.
    YOU KNOW MY NAME came in at #2.
  • Russell from Los Angeles, CaThe mumbling during the piano part at the end of the song is poking fun at jazz pianist Errol Garner who could be heard grunting and humming on his recordings.
  • Mr. Chimp from Brno, Czech RepublicGreat jazzy song, that part with Brian Jones is impressing.
  • Martin Bonica from Sterling, VaI understand why Paul liked this. Hard to believe it was intended as a B-Side to "What's The New Mary Jane", which was unreleased but INTENDED for Plastic Ono Band. But it went Beatles and they stuck it with Let It Be.

    I think the number he is referring to is what the python-voice was saying. "You know me number ___..." and whatnot. Like, dial the numbers? I dunno.
  • Alan from City, MiI believe that the flip side of Let it Be, the 45, actually did have a stereo version of this.
  • Dave from Baltimore, Mathe final "verse" has always reminded me of one of the animated parts in the holy grail when that guy is writing out the title of the next section and has to go out to quiet the clouds and sun which are jumping and making those weird vocalizations along the lines of "heyyyy-up!"
  • Russell from San Diego, Cascott, what numbers do you speak of?
  • Homer from Versailles, IlI agree, very Pythonesque at the end, the vocal at one point sounding very much like the "women" characters on the show. Another Monty Python-like element was the rapid switch between styles in the song. The TV show often switched rapidly between unrelated sketches.
  • Mike from London, EnglandI must agree that the man making all the funny noises at the end sounds remarkably Pythonesque, and Monty Python was indeed in its second series/season by this stage. Paul was also known to stop recording when it was on TV and Eric Idle and Neil Innes' Beatles spoof the Rutles was loved by all the Fab Four, except John, who only loved it "after '68"
  • Scott Baldwin from Edmonton, CanadaIf u dial the # at the end a creepy voice says "you're getting closer...".Just Plain weird.
  • Paulo from New York, NyReminds me of Monty Python (specifically Eric Idle). Influenced by Python, maybe...?
  • Ian from Urbana, IlHere's a theory: this song kind of shows the degredation of the band's relationships with one another...the song starts out very cool with an edgy vocal...then as it goes on there is a change in the whole feel of the song - more muffled vocals and various chord changes that make that 'insane' sound, combined with all the background noise. In the end it wraps up with nothing but the sound of a man who sounds disgruntled over
    their relationships with one another
  • James from Birmingham, AlThis song may have been influenced directly by Frank Zappa.
  • Zero from Liverpool, Englandi love this song. listen to it onn anthology 2, disc 1. YAY!
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