Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I've Got A Feeling

 Richard Furnstein: Here's an interesting case. I can't quite figure out where I stand on this one. I know it's one of the better songs from the Get Back project, and one of the few songwriting collaborations from the period. I just can't shake the feeling that The Beatles are a million times better than this song. It just seems like something that came together quickly for the boys. It's built around a pretty pedestrian riff, kind of a wishy-washy A to D trance. It's saved (to my ears) by Paul's hairy man routine (later perfected on the Wild Life LP) and John pushing my childhood ears with his mention of wet dreams (predating his masturbation reference in "Give Peace A Chance"). Then it's all over and I don't know how to feel. Why am I so grouchy about this one? Robert, help me out.

Robert Bunter: I'll be goddamned if I know, man. This is the sound of The Beatles inventing beautiful '70s rock. Even in their death throes, they were pushing ahead and pointing us all toward a glorious future. Listen to those guitars howl and yowl; listen to Paul grunt and groan and holler; listen to Ringo's surprisingly dope beats ... present-day rap artists could sample that and have a hit, I'm telling you. Great bass, of course. And Lennon digs deep and flows beautifully. Then there's that unbelievable turnaround at 2:33. This and "Dig A Pony" are the high points of Let It Be (honorable mention for "Two Of Us"), and you can quote me. "I've Got A Feeling" is ragged and wistful, like a bunch of construction workers driving home from a Sunday overtime shift during a beautiful late-August sunset. "Hey, Hog Man, put in one of those goddamn tapes in the glove box. Whaddya got in here ... 'Beatles' tape, yeah. Rewind it back to the start of side two, that's a good one." Then he lights up a joint and they decide to stop in Gloanburg's Tavern for a couple of goddamn beers. That's what this song is all about, Richard.

Richard Furnstein: The dance of the common man. The grunts and thrusts that define our life stuff. It's all here. I get it now. And, you are right. Paul is setting up future Badfinger pantswets as well as his own gold lined mines of Wings. Let It Be was intended as a return to roots concert, and this is one of the more mobile songs on a stiff and artificial "new phase recording." Oh, and I did like the "hate to miss the train" bit, considering that they sequenced "One After 909" after this one (I contend that "One After 909" is the true high point of this album). It was a clever little connection, but I imagine Glyn Johns wasn't even thinking about this.

The dance of the common man. The grunts and thrusts that define our life stuff. It's all here. I get it now.

Robert Bunter: This song has a warm glow, even when it gets frenetic. The no-frills production complements it perfectly. You can hear how simple it was to write, and that's the beauty. Paul sat there mellowly cross-picking an A chord and sang the first thought that popped into his head; John enjoying the blissful second hour after a fix, free-associating over a similar chord pattern (who could forget this terrifying footage?)

Then, they joined the pieces together, just like "A Day In The Life" without the pretensions toward Great Art. Just a couple of lads playing their guitars. They sing what they feel. Paul has found the woman he needs and it's giving him a feeling he can't hide ... wise, creepy Lennon takes the long view, gently sympathizing with everybody who had a hard year and a wet dream. He skirts at the edges of not making sense, as he was so often wont to do, but somehow the emotional message is clearly audible: bemused resignation, weary acceptance, stupefied opiate rapture. I hate to keep referencing John's heroin use - cut the man some slack, he's 30 years dead - but I think it really had a lot to do with the mood of tunes from this period like "I've Got A Feeling," "Don't Let Me Down," "Sun King," "Because," "Look At Me," and a host of others.

Richard Furnstein: I think it's certainly fair to bring up. He was a straight parted zombie at this time. Something that always bugs me about this one is George. You get the sense he's drifting even further away than John. He just hangs back in his huge black haired coat, playing a Telecaster or something. The only person he can look in the eye is poor Mal Evans. It's a sad scene. Can you imagine that I saw a band play "I've Got A Feeling" as a tribute to George on the night of his death? You'd think you could rut out "Roll Over Beethoven," this song is George's sadness. He's absent mindedly picking out an A chord while thinking of eating toffees with Eric Clapton or watering his garden. R.I.P., Dark Horse. You deserved better.

Robert Bunter: I'm surprised you were even able to pull it together to go out on that awful, awful night. I remember I was just trying to hold back the bitter tears, listening to a bootleg tape of Gone Troppo outtakes. Then I heard the terrible news that George Harrison had died.

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