Thursday, August 4, 2011

I'm Down

Robert Bunter: Oh, yeah, sure. Nothing much here. Paul just decided they needed an old-fashioned throat-shredder for their live set once he got sick of singing "Long Tall Sally." Strictly routine; another day at the office. Let's just take an elementary roll and rock chord structure, add some primitive lyrics. What's that John? You'd enjoy playing the organ? Yawn. Sure, no problem. Maybe we can add some vocal harmonies to the mixdown from the stereo dub track. That's it. We're all done here. Wipe off the mixing board and call the driver to take us over to the Ad Lib for a scotch and coke. WE'VE JUST RECORDED THE SINGLE MOST ELECTRIFYING SONG OF OUR CAREER.

Richard Furnstein: Business as usual at the belt-'em-out factory. Set the Paul robot to "L. Richard Screamer" and make sure the china cabinet doesn't tip over, because the waves are getting dicey. I've gone on and on about Help! as a confusing period of mild transition for the boys (witness half steps of advancement like "Yes It Is" and "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away") but this period also saw The Beatles retreat to the comforts of primal rock. "I'm Down" sits along "Leave My Kitten Alone" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" as throwbacks to an easier time, where the suits were ready made and the drugs just made you frantic and ready to fornicate.

Business as usual at the belt-'em-out factory.

Robert Bunter: Listen to that organ at 1:28. I guess nobody had thought of running it directly into the board ... it's clearly recorded from a microphone, which is obvious because you can hear the cheap plastic keys clicking as John plays his absurd solo. This is the second time the Beatles used a cheap organ for comic effect. Can you guess the other one? I'll tell you: it was "Mr. Moonlight." That organ cracks me up! Hahaha! Of course, we all know that during the Shea Stadium concert, John felt so ridiculous playing this solo, he started hopping around and playing with his elbows. If you notice, the others have very divergent reactions to this memory. Paul talks about how great it is that John kept a sense of humor during the nerve-wracking moments of their career; then Ringo comes on and says that he felt it was evidence of John having a nervous breakdown. Who was correct? George. He just stood there and cracked up.

Richard Furnstein: That gig was the shake it out, it's the end of the road moment for our boys. Brian Epstein was slowly losing control over his boytoy project and touring became more complicated (cue lackluster live version of "Nowhere Man"). I think The Beatles were scared of Imelda Marcos or maybe Marv Thorneberry from the Mets. Who knows? I only know that they were in Shea Stadium, drugged up and killing it about twenty years before Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, and Len Dykstra would make it cool again. Pioneers in the world of music AND baseball. Is there anything that they didn't do? The answer is: are you even bothering to ask me that dumb question?

Robert Bunter: What about those bongos? Hoo-whee! Shake it! Let's turn up the volume and play it again!

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