"…I went to Sammy's house which was very near the Beverley Hills Hotel. He was a slim man, with a salt-and-pepper moustache, glasses and, at around sixty years of age, still as bouncy as a jack rabbit. He had a wife half his age; that could have been the reason for his bounce."
"Anyway, we met, and like most Americans, he had that friendly and extrovert take on life; so within minutes we were like buddies who'd spent time in 'Nam."
"'Hello Mr Cahn,' I said, on meeting him."
"'Call me Sammy,' he countered enthusiastically. 'All my friends do.'"
"We sat in his office. He behind an aged typewriter, probably older than him, a sheaf of yellow A4 paper by his side and a cupful of pencils, sharpened to a point like arrows from the quiver of a tribe of headhunters in Borneo. I sat across the little table in reverence, guitar in hand."
"'Hum me the melody, Biddu,' he said, his fingers suspended over the typewriter keyboard like a concert pianist about to bang out Beethoven's Fifth."
"As I hummed the melody, he hit the keys and began typing almost in sync to the lines I was humming. When I had finished humming the tune, he stopped and ripped the paper away from the typewriter and showed it to me. I read it slowly, scanning the phrasing."
"'I'm not sure about this word June,' I said, perusing the lyrics. 'The rhyme with moon is a bit old-fashioned. Don't you think?'"
"I said this nervously, not totally sure if my candour came across as rude and impolite."
"He looked at me, and then grabbed the paper from my hand."
"'Okay,' he said. 'Let's start again. I'll get something fresh.'"
"He wrinkled up the sheet and threw the paper in a little wicker basket by his side and off we went again. I kept humming the song and he kept typing away furiously. A mini mountain of screwed-up A4 papers piled up in the basket, till finally we both felt the lyrics had the meaning, depth and originality befitting a film called The Bitch."
(Biddu in 'Made in India: Adventures of a lifetime,' p. 201 Harper)