"Thank you. Thank you, New York. Thank you. It's a privilege for me to be able to do this tonight, and come here, so I've got some random memories in the form of a letter to John.
I remember when we first met in Walton, at the Village Fate [?] - it was a beautiful summer day, and I walked in there, and you were on the stage, and you were singing "Come Go With Me" by the Del Vikings. But you didn't know the words, so you made them up. "Come go with me to the penitentiary," it's not in the lyrics. I remember writing our first songs together. We used to go to my house, my dad's house, and we used to smoke Taifu tea with this pipe my dad kept in a drawer. It didn't do much for us, but it got us on the road. We wanted to be famous. I remember the visits to your mum's house, Julia - she was a very handsome woman, very beautiful woman - she had long red hair, and she played a ukelele. I'd never seen a woman who could do that. I remember having to tell you the guitar chords, 'cause you used to play the ukelele chords. And then on your 21st birthday, you got 100 pounds off of one of your rich relatives up in Edinburough, so we decided we'd go to Spain. So we hitchhiked out of Liverpool, and we got as far as Paris. We decided to stop there for a week, and eventually got our hair cut by a fellow called Jurgen. And that ended up being the Beatle haircut. I remember introducing you to my mate, George, my schoolmate, and him getting into the group by playing "Raunchy" on the top deck of the bus. You were impressed. And when we met Ringo, who had been working the whole season at Butlin's Holiday Camp, he was a seasoned professional. But the beard had to go, and it did. Later on we got a gig at the Cabin Club in Liverpool, which was officially a blues club. And we didn't really know any blues numbers. We loved the blues, but we didn't know any blues numbers, so we had to do little announcements like, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is a great Big Bill Broonzy number called 'Wake Up Little Suzy." They kept on passing up little notes: "This is not the blues, this is not the blues. This is pop." We kept going. And then we ended up touring with a bloke called Larry Ponds, who gave us our first tour. Thank you, Larry. And we all changed our names for that tour. I changed mine to Paul Ramone, George became Carl Harrison, and although people think John didn't really change his name, I seem to recall he was Long John Silver for the duration of that tour. Bang goes another myth. And we'd be on the van touring later, and we'd have the kind of night where the windscreen would break. We'd be on the motorway going back up to Liverpool. It was freezing. So we'd have to lie on top of each other in the back of the van, creating a Beatles sandwich. We got to know each other. These were the ways we got to know each other. We got to Hamburg, and met the likes of Little Richard, Gene Vincent.... I remember Little Richard inviting us back to his hotel. He was looking at Ringo's ring, he said, "I love that ring," he said, "I've got a ring like that; I could give you a ring like that." So we all went back to the hotel with him, and we never got a ring. We went back with Gene Vincent to his hotel once, and it was all going fine until he reached out in his bedside drawer, and he pulled out a gun. And we said, "We've got to go, Gene - we've got to go." And we got out quick. And then came the USA, New York City, where we met up with Phil Spector, the Ronettes, Supremes, our heroes, our heroines. And then later, in L.A., we met up with Elvis Presley. For one great evening, we saw the boy. We saw him on his home territory, and he was the first person I ever saw with a remote control on a TV. He was our hero, man. And then later, Ed Sullivan. By now we wanted to get famous; now we were getting really famous. I mean, imagine meeting Mitzy Gainer in Miami. And later, after that, recording at Abbey Road. I still remember doing "Love Me Do," because John officially had the vocal, "love me do," but because he had the harmonica, George Martin, in the middle of the session, suddenly said, "Will you sing the line, 'Love me do?'" It was the crucial line. I said, "OK." And I can still hear it to this day, John [miming harmonica], "Waaaah, waaaah," and I go, [voice wavering] "Love me do-o-o-o." Nerves, man. I remember doing the vocal to "Kansas City." When I couldn't quite get it, 'cause it's hard to do all that stuff, screaming from the top of your head. John came down from the control room, he took me to one side, he said, "You can do it - you've just got to scream, you have to leave the top of your head - you can do it." So thank you, thank you for that; I did it. I remember writing "Day in the Life," and the little look we gave each other as we wrote the line, "I'd love to turn you on." We kind of knew what we were doing, you know - a sneaky little look. Oh boy. And after that, there was this girl called Yoko. Yoko Ono, who showed up at my house one day, and it was John Cage's birthday, and she said she wanted to get a hold of a manuscript to give to John Cage, of various composers, and she wanted one from me and John. So I said, "Well, it's OK with me, but you'll have to go and see John." She did. After that, I set up a couple of machines - we used to have these Brunelle [?] recording machines - I set up a couple of them. They stayed up all night, and they recorded "Two Virgins" on that. Well, you took the cover yourselves [?], nothing to do with me. And then, after that, there were the phone calls to you, the joy for me of, after all our business shit that we'd gone through, actually getting back together and communicating once again. And the joy as you told me about how you were baking bread now, and how you were playing with your little baby, Sean. That was great for me, because it gave me something to hold on to. So now, years on, here we are - all these people - here we are, assembled to thank you for everything that you mean to all of us. This letter comes with love from your friend, Paul. John Lennon, you made it. Tonight you're in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. God bless you. Yoko and Sean."