Friday, March 4, 2011

You Won't See Me

Robert Bunter: Oh, yeah. Now we're talkin'!

Richard Furnstein: One of the best breakup songs in a long line of breakup songs from the early Beatles. We are used to hearing John lament the loss of love; tearing his larynx and stumbling for simple rhyme schemes to describe his pain. Paul comes into this breakup in full peacock mode, he's here to end this situation and move onto greener pastures. Shit's broken, plain and simple, and there are few remaining days in this relationship. Every line is a brutal indictment of their failing love ("time after time you refuse to even listen/I wouldn't mind if I knew what I was missing"!!!). Taken along with the Beatles quick ascent artistically and culturally, this song seems to be a kiss-off to a woman that can't take the next step with these British supermen. This isn't "You won't see me? Why won't you see me? I love you and need you." It is "You won't see me. You'll look for me but I'm on a different level now. Have fun at your boring parties with your oafish friends." No one I know is in my tree, darling. I'm off to outer space.

Robert Bunter: Yup. This is where the rocketship of the Beatles interstellar career achieves critical mass and escapes the Earth's gravitational pull, headed straight for the planet Excellence in the galaxy of Groove. Everyone is firing on all cylinders, and having a good time doing it. The fun is infectious - you just know that they were smiling when they recorded every note of this beautiful bastard. Let me say this to our readers: it's entirely possible that every time you've ever listened to this song, you've been so busy enjoying the great chord changes, the fun "ooo la-la" backup vocals and mature lyrics, you didn't pay attention to the bass. That bass line deserves a Grammy award. Makes James Jamerson sound like Keanu Reaves!

Richard Furnstein: Well, Paul's a monster on the bass on his tracks on Rubber Soul (I've already wet my pants over "The Word" in this forum). I want to focus on a lot of the amazing vocal tracks on this song. John's cool regret fuels the "no, I wouldn't, no I wouldn't" call and response in the chorus. George and John provide a fantastic bed of "oooh's" and la's" to sweeten Paul's acerbic lyrics. Try listening to Paul deliver the scorching "feels like years" at 2:41 without getting chills. Human beings did this, and that's why we rule over everything. The song is so incredibly strong that even the brutal version by The Godz has a primal power.

Robert Bunter:
No doubt about that! Hey, try this experiment: listen to the song all the way through. Then put it on again. Now turn it up. Play it again, from the beginning to the end. Now repeat the process until you've torn out every hair on your head in a fit of sheer ecstatic frenzy. Eagle-eyed readers who look at my photo might see that I've been the guinea pig for this experiment already!


  1. I agree with every word!
    I say all the time that Paul is the best bass player ever and gets zero credit for his bass work, not only did he write the best basslines ever, he sang while doing it!

  2. Oh man you guys took the words right out of my brain. Especially the "Feels like years" moment. My god! This is definitely one of the best Paul songs.

  3. As Paul's break up songs go, I'd have to say "For No One" is the tops. Actually, as all their songs go, it's my favorite. "You find that all her words of kindness linger on when she no longer needs you" is classic!