“No, we need money first.”
This was John Lennon’s response when asked at the Beatles’ first American press conference if the group would sing for the fans and reporters populating the newly-christened John F. Kennedy International Airport on February 7, 1964. For the band’s cynical critics, it provided simultaneous ammunition and disarmament; an audacious yet charming change of pace from the safe, controlled pop star persona of the day. (Elvis may have been electric on stage, but he made for a pretty boring interviewee.) It’s debatable the extent to which John was joking, but Continue reading “#177: Money (That’s What I Want)”
Listen to the hooks of each song on the first half of the Beatles’ second album and one sticks out like a sore thumb. Sandwiched between sunny choruses promising, “It won’t be long, yeah (yeah!), ’til I belong to you,” “All my loving, I will send to you,” and “There was love all around, but I never heard it singing…till there was you,” you’ll find the decidedly more rain-soaked, “Go away, leave me alone, don’t bother me.” Do I even need to tell you that it was written by George Harrison?
What’s less obvious is that George also wrote The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Considering it was the first song he ever composed, Continue reading “#190: Don’t Bother Me”
In an alternate universe where the Marvelettes’ definitive original recording of “Please Mister Postman” didn’t exist, the Beatles’ version would serve as a totally adequate substitute. John Lennon delivers a solid vocal and the musicianship is more than competent…but the lads brought nothing new to the table here, aside from swapping the gender in the lyrics.
Well, for the narrator at least. A female mail carrier would have been a little too progressive for 1963.
That said, while I’m fantasizing about alternate universes, I wouldn’t mind living in a world in which Continue reading “#202: Please Mister Postman”
In 1960, Dr. Seuss made a bet with his editor, challenged to come up with a children’s book using 50 or fewer different words. The result was the kindergarten classic Green Eggs and Ham. Three years later, John Lennon and Paul McCartney used just 18 unique words to create “I Wanna Be Your Man,” and if their challenge was to get the worst original Beatles composition out of the way early in their career, mission accomplished. (“Revolution 9” is not a song. To quote Ron Burgundy, if you disagree, I will fight you.)
Of course, if you want to get really pedantic Continue reading “#209: I Wanna Be Your Man”