The Paul McCartney Project

Young Boy

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Flaming Pie Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1997
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Young Boy” is a song by Paul McCartney and is the fifth track on his 1997 album Flaming Pie. In April 1997, the song was released as the first single from that album, peaking at number 19 in the UK Singles Chart, and number 60 on the Australian Singles Chart. Unreleased as a single in America. McCartney reportedly started working on the song in August 1994. The initial tracks were recorded in February 1995 at Steve Miller’s studio in Sun Valley, Idaho, and were completed in May at McCartney’s home studio.

From the album liner notes:

The emerging talent of young guitarist James McCartney had been prompting son-to-father questions about “early days”. Among the pieces re-played from the vinyl years had been “My Dark Hour”, recorded by Steve Miller and (hiding under the pseudonymous surname Ramon) Paul McCartney in May 1969, after a Beatles Abbey Road session had broken up following a business squabble. Listening again to “My Dark Hour” Paul was minded to resume the double-act after a 25 year pause, venturing out to Miller’s studio in snowbound Idaho after The Beatles had completed “Real Love”. The two musicians set to work in the same manner as before, Paul drumming while Steve wound up the lead guitar. Paul and Steve then played guitar tracks, Paul added bass and the lead vocal, and Steve contributed harmony.

“This was another written against the clock. I wrote it in the time that it took Linda to cook a lunch for a feature in The New York Times. It was great to renew my Sixties friendship with Steve Miller; working with Steve again was like falling back into the old habit.”

Paul McCartney, in Club Sandwitch n°82, Summer 1997:

I hadn’t seen Steve Miller since one night at Olympic Studios in 1969, when there was an unfortunate business meeting and a Beatles session broke down. On the spur of the moment Steve and I had got together and by about three or four in the morning we’d done ‘My Dark Hour’ together, which he released on his next album. I played it recently to my son James, who’s interested in finding out what his Dad did back then, and he liked it. He even liked my drumming, although it’s a little bit heavy on the tom-toms. So that reminded me of Steve, I called him up, we got our friendship going again, I told him I had a song and reckoned we could do it well together and he invited me out to his studio in Idaho. We had a great time there, hanging out and recording. Working with him again was like falling back into a pleasant old habit. Steve’s tough to produce because he’s a great perfectionist, but I just told him to whack up the guitar. I love his guitar playing.

This was another song written when I’d set myself an arbitrary deadline. We were in Long Island and Linda was cooking with Pierre Franey for a New York Times article. I had taken my guitar, and was sitting around in a nearby room when a song came up. It wrote itself: I was thinking about all the young people I know, and remembering my own early days. There’s a funny side story to this: I left the room after I finished writing the song and when I went back in there a few minutes later I got a shock because a girl was lying on the couch. She’d been there all the time, and I hadn’t seen her.

Mark Lewisohn, in Club Sandwitch n°82, Summer 1997:

The emerging talent of young James McCartney as a guitarist has latterly been prompting son-to-father questions about “early days”. Among the pieces remembered and re-played from the vinyl years has been ‘My Dark Hour’, a scorching rock number recorded by Steve Miller and (hiding under the pseudonymous surname Ramon) Paul McCartney back on 9 May 1969, immediately after a Beatles session for Abbey Road broke up in disarray after an Apple business squabble. Paul played drums, bass and sang the backing vocals while Miller did the rest, and the piece was finished inside the evening. Listening again with James to ‘My Dark Hour’ in 1994, Paul was prompted to contact Miller and suggest they resume the double-act after an interlude of some 25 years. So, together with his family, and engineer Geoff Emerick, he made the trip out to Miller’s home studio in a snowbound Sun Valley, Idaho, in February 1995, as soon as the Beatles had completed their work on ‘Real Love’. Remembering fondly what had transpired that night back in London, the two musicians set to work in a similar manner: Paul and Steve played guitar tracks, then Paul drummed and Steve wound up the lead guitar, Paul added bass and the lead vocal, and Steve contributed the harmonies.

The song they were singing, ‘Young Boy’, was another one written by Paul under a self-imposed deadline, and in similar circumstances to ‘Somedays’ in that he took himself off to a quiet room while Linda concerned herself with cookery matters. The date was 18 August 1994 and the location this time was the Long Island home of-famous chef and culinary author Pierre Franey, for whom Linda was making a meal, watched too by New York Times food writer Bryan Miller and a photographer. While his wife prepared an assortment of vegetarian dishes Paul took himself off to the den, began strumming some favoured chords (C, A minor, E minor) and out popped ‘Young Boy’ (albeit, at this time, ‘Poor Boy’), recalling not only his own earlier days but those of his son and his son’s friends who find themselves at that age where Great Questions are asked of oneself.

Paul re-emerged into the kitchen while Linda was baking a cake and played his new song to the audience of four, telling the Times writer “I do it [songwriting] very simply at first, just to get the feeling. It’s just like cooking: a simple expression can be the best.”

Last updated on May 14, 2018

Lyrics

He's just a young boy
Looking for a way to find love
It isn't easy, nothing you can say
Will help him find love
He's got to do it for himself
And it can take so long
He's just a young boy
Looking for a way to find love

He doesn't need another helping hand from someone
But don't you think he doesn't understand what he wants someone
Though independence means a lot
He's got to still be strong
He's just a young boy
Looking for a way to find love

Find love, a perfect combination
Find love, whatever you do
Find love, a cause for celebration
Then it might come looking
Come looking for you

Find love, in any situation
Find love, whatever you do
Find love, a cause for celebration
Then it might come looking,
Come looking for you


He's just a young boy
Looking for a way to find love
It isn't easy nothing you can say
Will help him find love
He's got to do it for himself
And it can take so long
He's just a young boy
Looking for a way to find love

Find love, a time for meditation
Find love, a source of inspiration
Find love, instead of confrontation
Find love
And love will come looking for you

Officially appears on


Flaming Pie

Official album • Released in 1997

3.54 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass guitar, Drums, Hammond organ, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller:
Backing vocal, Electric guitar, Rhythm guitar
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Engineer
Keith Smith:
Assistant engineer
Frank Farrell:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 22, 1995
Studio:
Steve Miller's home studio, Sun Valley, Idaho, USA

Overdubs:
March 21st-22nd 1995
Studio:
Hog Hill


Young Boy #2

EP • Released in 1997

3.54 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass guitar, Drums, Hammond organ, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller:
Backing vocal, Electric guitar, Rhythm guitar
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Engineer
Keith Smith:
Assistant engineer
Frank Farrell:
Assistant engineer

Recording:
Feb 22th 1995 and March 21st-22nd (overdubs)
Studio:
Steve Miller Studio, Sun Valley (Idaho, USA), Hog Hill (overdubs)


Young Boy #1

EP • Released in 1997

3:54 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass guitar, Drums, Hammond organ, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller:
Backing vocal, Electric guitar, Rhythm guitar
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Engineer
Keith Smith:
Assistant engineer
Frank Farrell:
Assistant engineer

Recording:
Feb 22th 1995 and March 21st-22nd (overdubs)
Studio:
Steve Miller Studio, Sun Valley (Idaho, USA), Hog Hill (overdubs)

Bootlegs


Flaming Pie - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

3:55 • Rough mix • Early mix. Written on a Sunday, August 28 1995. Linda was preparing a veggy meal at the home of chef Pierre Franey, on Long Island, with a photgrapher and the New Yorker writer Bryan Miller watching. Paul was waiting in another room and had his guitar brought with him. The version released on the Capitol 3 track album sampler has the final chord intact.


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.24

Unofficial album

0:08 • Demo • Vocal session

Recording:
Feb 22, 1995


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.24

Unofficial album

3:05 • Demo • 5.1 center mix

Recording:
Feb 22, 1995


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.24

Unofficial album

0:18 • Studio version

Recording:
Summer '97


Complete Flaming Pie - Sessions & Beyond (1997-1998)

Unofficial album

0:10 • Alternate take • Vocal Session


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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