BACKSTORY: Beatle Song “Ticket To Ride” More Scandalous Than You Think..
Q: I'm curious about the Beatle song TICKET TO RIDE; is there a darker meaning behind it?
A: Darker, no...seedy, sorta. Whether the story is true we may never know, but according to the late John Lennon, he made up the phrase “ticket to ride” based on the hookers they encountered in Germany during their early days. Authorities in Hamburg insisted the girls all have a clean bill of health in order to 'work.' If a girl was 'clean' she was issued a card that stated she was free of any disease. This card was dubbed a “ticket to ride” by Lennon. As for the song itself, TICKET TO RIDE: 1) features the opening lead guitar riff performed by Paul McCartney, not George Harrison. 2) It was the first Beatle single to be over three minutes long. 3) This is the single that featured the slogan “From the United Artists Release 'Eight Arms To Hold You'” on the label (the original title of their second film, “Help!”).