159 – Ask Me Why – Francis Hatch

Original Version recorded November 26th 1962
Ukulele version recorded January 2nd 2012
Francis Hatch – Vocals and Piano
David Barratt – Ukulele and everything else
Produced by David Barratt at The Abattoir Of Good Taste, mixed at The Abattoir Mobile, Atlanta Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
Written by John Lennon
Credited to Lennon & McCartney
John loved Motown. 
What’s not to love? 
“Ask Me Why” is John re-writing Smokey Robinson’s 1961 almost hit "What’s So Good About Goodbye”. It is often said that had they been forced to make a living as songwriters outside of The Beatles Paul would have been rolling in cash while John would have ended up on a building site. I think this song shows that John could also be a pretty good hack writer given the incentive, and the incentive at this point was to escape Liverpool.
The Beatles recorded an unknown number of takes of “Ask Me Why” and the unreleased “Tip Of My Tongue” during their 6 June 1962 audition session at Abbey Road. “Tip of My Tongue” was later recorded by the magnificently named but soon to be obscure Tommy Quickly. 
Sadly EMI didn’t think much of the original Beatle recordings and later destroyed the master tapes. OUCH! 
George Martin re-recorded the song in November 1962. Much of the day was spent perfecting Please Please Me; Ask Me Why took comparatively little time to record. I love John’s vocal on this. The first time he sings “Cry” you can hear his voice break beautifully. 
I also love Francis Hatch’s vocal on the Ukulele version. He sounds like a fallen choirboy caught between ecstasy and guilt. He can’t believe what is happening to him but can not resist it’s pull. 
Francis Hatch is a Brooklyn-based musician and founding member of The Muscular Christians. Music writer Robert Christgau described his two albums, Dan Marino: Important Message and Let’s Get a Tan, as "folk songs for an age of computer media and confusion-is-sex" and "embarrassing truths beneath America’s mild surface". He currently composes music for film and television and contributes regularly to the New York Observer. For more information and to hear samples from the upcoming album release, Sweatpants Monster please visit:


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