Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yes It Is

Richard Furnstein: The song starts with "tone alone" George Harrison. The Beatles keep the tempo down so that George can keep up with fumbling with his instrument du jour (unlike his slightly out of time explorations on "I Need You" from the same sessions). Good one, George, but how about you try an instrument that you can actually play (a squelching Gretsch)?

The lyrical call to "please don't wear red tonight" suggests some heavy damage from a past relationship. John is trying to have fun but can't shake the psychological scars of past loves, a theme that drives most of his songs until he Yoko gave focus to ideas of love, self-worth and -pity, and abandonment. His brain was still an absolute mess on later songs, but he didn't play the "sad lonely guy at the party who wants to tell the beautiful chicks about his pain" card as often. And that's a step in the right direction.

Robert Bunter: John visits the lethargic, melancholy E chord musings he would later explore on "Don't Let Me Down," but here the drug making him sleepy is the relatively benign cannabis indica instead of foul brown heroin from John Hopkins and Magic Alex's seedy Greek criminal associates.

It's nice to imagine the scene: dawn creeps into the attic room at Weybridge, curlicues of smoke drifting lazily from the golden ashtray while tubby 1965 Lennon sits on an overstuffed sofa and strums his $800 blonde Guild Jumbo (a lot of money back then!) with the uncut string ends sticking out of the headstock. Take your time, John, you're not due at Abbey Road until 9:30 tonight; you can sleep all day. Just don't forget to turn on the Brunnell three-speed reel-to-reel and record a quick demo so you don't forget this beautiful piece of work. This one song will make you enough money over the years to completely support yourself and your family for the rest of your life. Smile, John. you have nothing to worry about, ever. Everything is fine. You can have a cup of tea now, if you want it.

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