There’s nothing new under the sun (king), as it were, but this ‘found’ letter confirms, from the source, sort of, by means of a hand-written letter from George Harrison, the Beatles really did have a plan to go to America to record at the legendary ‘Stax’. After all, it was a lot of the music on the legendary Memphis label that had influenced the Beatles, including the bass line in ’65 on a track from the ‘Rubber Soul’ album. The ‘Drive My Car’ arrangement was suggested by George Harrison, who had been listening to Otis Redding’s ‘Respect’, for example.
“Well gonna write a little letter gonna mail it to my local D.J. ((lyric by Chuck Berry from ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, among the Beatles Rock ‘N’ Roll cover songs)
A recently unearthed previously unreleased letter that George Harrison wrote wrote to Atlanta DJ Paul Drew in May of 1966 confirms that The Beatles seriously contemplated recording at Stax with producer Jim Stewart before the plan was derailed by financial concerns, on the part of The Beatles. “We would all like it a lot,” Harrison wrote by hand, “but too many people get insane with money ideas at the mention of the word ‘Beatles,’ and so it fell through!” See the actual letter at RollingStone.com
This isn’t the first time the story of The Beatles plan to record at Stax has surfaced. Years ago, former Stax publicist Deanie Parker, who ran the Stax Museum on the site of the studios, admits the Beatles even had a two-week session booked for 09 April, 1966. She told Britain’s Mojo magazine, “I was seeing dollar signs. I talked to (Stax founder) Jim Stewart and said, ‘If The Beatles do come, will you give me permission to take the carpet up, cut it into squares and sell it?'” Stax songwriter Johnny Keyes revealed that even Elvis Presley got involved, offering to put The Beatles up at Graceland for the duration of their stay in Memphis. Keyes said, “It went back and forth, and (Beatles manager, Brian) Epstein left town because he didn’t want to get in the middle of it. The session never happened.” Booker T + The MGs star Steve Cropper, who actually met The Beatles briefly, muses, “Who knows what might’ve happened? Taxman could’ve been Staxman.” That whole story from ContactMusic.com