Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mean Mr. Mustard

Robert Bunter: Paul often spoke of how the collection of song fragments that comprised the Abbey Road side two medley (or "A Huge Melody" as I call it) was put together in a stroke of creative genius by himself and staid, conservatory-trained producer George Martin. He seems to be implying that the individual building blocks wouldn't have amounted to much on their own, that his compositional genius was able to turn crap into gold, "somewhat akin to turning an assortment of interesting leftovers into a holiday feast" (Hertsgaard, 1996).

Hmmmmmm ... let's just examine Paul's immodest assertion in light of "Mean Mr. Mustard," shall we? Possibly the finest (?) song of Lennon's late '60s output, this tantalizing fragment leaves us yearning for the legendary complete, full-band, six minute outtake which is rumored to exist in my personal collection, which it does. I can't let you hear it, but if I could, you would agree that it's great and the acoustic demo version which sleazed onto the official catalogue with the release of Anthology 3 is like reading the script to Citizen Kane in braille instead of watching the movie in full-color CinemaScope at the Regal Theater in heaven.

As it stands, McCartney pared this monumental achievement down to it's barest essentials in order to make room for such grievous atrocities as "Carry That Weight" (stay tuned for further entries, I have an awful lot to say about that song) and "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window." Mean Mr. Mustard, indeed! I think maybe Paul was just trying to "ketch up" to his hot-dog songwriting partner who was truly "on a roll."

Richard Furnstein: How do you sleep at night?

1 comment:

  1. the harmony on the "his sister pam" verse gives me iron nips

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