It confused Gene Simmons, inspired Judy Collins and changed one pop star’s mum’s haircut. Here, musicians recall the impact of the Beatles’ debut single
I was three years and two months old when Love Me Do came out, but I had a plastic toy guitar and whenever the song came on the radio I would stand on a stool and sing along. I don’t know why that song more than any other would leap out at me, but it was the first song I ever sang. It might have been the harmonica intro – the only other song I remember with a harmonica break back then was Frank Ifield’s I’ll Remember You – but Love Me Do was head and shoulders above Freddie and the Dreamers or Gerry and the Pacemakers or any of those bands with similar accents. Lennon and McCartney’s voices weren’t swathed in reverb like records were then, and their sense of melody was phenomenal. In terms of what they did later, Love Me Do is the bit that gets jettisoned once the rocket is in orbit, but it was vital to the whole process. It still makes me smile when I hear it and I take enormous pride in thinking that it was the launchpad for me.