During an interview, John Lennon opined Rod Stewart based one of his No. 1 songs on The Beatles‘ “Don’t Let Me Down.” On the other hand, Stewart said the song was inspired by one of his sexual experiences. Listeners had a very strong reaction to the song.
John Lennon wondered why Rod Stewart wrote a new song instead of covering The Beatles’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’
In the book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, John discussed several of The Beatles’ songs. He initially had little to say about “Don’t Let Me Down.” Then, while discussing The Beatles’ “Two of Us,” he suddenly started talking about “Don’t Let Me Down.”
“Rod Stewart turned ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ into [sings] ‘Maggie don’t go-o-o,” he said, singing Stewart’s “Maggie May.” “That’s one that the publishers never noticed. Why didn’t he just sing ‘Don’t Let Me Down?’ The same reason I don’t sing other people’s stuff, either: because you don’t get paid.”
“Maggie Mae” was a hit in the United Kingdom too. The Official Charts Company reports the song peaked at No. 1 in the U.K., lasting on the chart for 21 weeks. Meanwhile, Every Picture Tells a Story peaked at No. 1 in the U.K., staying on the chart for 81 weeks. Whether it was inspired by The Beatles or not, “Maggie May” remains one of Stewart’s classic songs.
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