Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Honey Don't

Richard Furnstein: Sub-Monkees filler from the greatest rock band in forever history. It's a truly uninspired offering from an exhausted band. Ringo manages the simple country 'n western just fine. George is encouraged to "rock on one time" two separate times, but he sleepwalks through both cookie cutter solos. John is determined not to let the pace get out of hand as he anchors the song with his lead footed acoustic.  I know what you are saying, "Get in there, Paul. Save this mess." Paul checked out man. He's probably delivering his walking bassline while reading The Daily Mail or wondering if he can make it to the playhouse to see Jane Asher's evening performance. The song finally ends. The band nod to one another and nervously eyes the control room. George Martin pushes the intercom button and speaks in a measured professional tone: "Well, boys. It's a song and it's right around three minutes. Let's call it a day." Then they drove away in their brand new Aston Martins while smoking phenomenal drugs. It's just another Monday in the world of The Beatles.

Robert Bunter: The powerful Beatles unleash another crucial track, casting a loving eye to yesteryear and the Carl Perkins rockabilly roots they all shared. From the striking re-invention of the classic blues turnaround in the opening seconds, the Fabulous Four revisit the primal excitement of manly, self-assured rock and twang. John's powerful acoustic anchors the ship, while George's jazz-inflected major sixth flourishes and irresistible boogie-woogie set the sails of joy wide and high. Unlikely captain Ringo stands at the ship's weathered wooden wheel, a tight smile of grim approval on his face which breaks into a full-spectrum grin when the salty breeze blows in (from the west, as in country-and-western) on the guitar solo. Meanwhile, Paul's admirable restraint suits the occasion just perfectly. In his mind he was getting ready to write half of Rubber Soul and experiment with tape loops and William S. Burroughs cut-ups, but for the moment, Ringo's in the spotlight. Hang back and play the old classic riffs with conviction while Ritchie's calm hand guides the tiller. The seas are smooth and we're making great progress. What's the destination? SERGEANT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, the greatest record ever made! All aboard, humans! The cooler is below-decks, help yourself to a goddamn beer. We're singing country music.

All aboard, humans! The cooler is below-decks, help yourself to a goddamn beer. We're singing country music.

Richard Furnstein: Imagine it in your mind: It's Autumn, 1964. A group of young geniuses check in as usual to Abbey Road's state-of-the-art studio in London. They were at the epicenter of creative change in an already turbulent decade. It's time to master their next holiday offering. The boys sit in calm wonder as they listen to the fruits of their recent sessions. Everyone is excited about John's clutch of songs about love and misery, sure. But a feeling of dread takes over once they listen to their final takes. They had all forgotten about that late night session where Ringo fumbled through a Carl Perkins number. To be fair, the song itself was crap to being with. The band's performance took that underwhelming Perkins number and added a layer of white calcium deposit on the limp pile of dog feces that is "Honey Don't." The band quickly debated inserting the infinitely superior "Leave My Kitten Alone" onto the track listing, but it was determined that they needed a Ringo song on the album. "It's not that bad, is it lads?" Ringo offered to his exhausted band mates. "It's terrible, Richie. We need to become a better band or we're going to have to break up," Paul replied. And then George said: "Hey, maybe we can add some weird instruments or something and re-energize?" John didn't say anything. He was working on A Spaniard In The Works and didn't really care to listen to "Honey Don't" ever again.

Robert Bunter: The times they were a-changing. The love revolution which the Beatles had ignited was progressing nicely. Strange new sickly-sweet smoke smells were starting to drift up to the streets from the shuttered basements of advanced bohemia. The children of the greatest generation were beginning to question the grey assumptions of Establishment rules, but slowly. The flower people are still just germinated seeds for the moment, waiting underground for the sunshine of Revolver to bring them springing forth from the brown, earthy loam of Rubber Soul. Beatles For Sale, meanwhile, was the spring rain. Gentle, melancholy showers that keep you inside for the afternoon but lay the groundwork for the morrow's budding sprouts. "Honey Don't" is the music that was playing on the AM radio during that gentle rainy afternoon, while you sat inside and listened and smiled gently to yourself about something that you haven't quite been able to put your finger on yet. Put the teakettle on the boil and consider purchasing a brightly-coloured, flowing cloak. Something tells me we're in for a hell of a summer.

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