Monday, February 13, 2006

Happiness Is A Warm Gun

AUTHORSHIP Lennon (1.00)
LENNON: "A gun magazine was sitting around, and the cover was the picture of a smoking gun. The title of the article, which I never read, was 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun.' " September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

LENNON: "George Martin had a book on guns which he had told me about - I can't remember - or I think he showed me a cover of a magazine that said 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun'. It was a gun magazine, that's it: I read it, thought it was a fantastic, insane thing to say. A warm gun means that you just shot something." Beatles in Their Own Words
Lennon saw the American gun magazine a few days after Robert Kennedy's assassination. Beatles Forever

LENNON: "Like 'God', I had put together some three sections of different songs, it was meant to be - it seemed to run through all the different kinds of rock music. It wasn't about 'H' at all." Lennon Remembers: The Full Rolling Stone Interviews from 1970

September 23, 1968, at Abbey Road, but none of the forty-five takes was deemed good enough. Of the twenty-five takes recorded September 24, one had a good first half and another had the best second half. They were edited together and overdubs were added September 25.

McCARTNEY: "We [Linda and I] re-met in a pretty funky way. I said, 'Come on over, then,' and she arrived the night when we were doing 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun'. She arrived at the house and phoned, and I had Mal go round to check that she was all right. She remembers the fridge had half a bottle of sour milk and a crust of cheese, a real British fridge. She just couldn't believe the conditions I was living in." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

McCARTNEY: bass, backing vocal
LENNON: lead guitar, tambourine, lead and backing vocal
HARRISON: lead guitar, backing vocal
STARR: drums
The guitars are in 3/4 time and the drumming is in 4/4. The Long and Winding Road: An Intimate Guide to the Beatles

This song was banned by the BBC because of its sexual symbolism.

LENNON: "Oh, I like that, one of my best, I had forgotten about that. Oh, I love it. I think it's a beautiful song. I like all the different things that are happening in it." Beatles in Their Own Words

McCARTNEY: "It's very similar to 'Bungalow Bill' in that it's a piss-take of all the people who really do think happiness is a warm gun. There's a great vocal on it, good lyrics, and it's a very interesting song because it changes tempo a lot, it's quite a complex piece. It's very Lennon. I was thinking the other day how poignant it was that John, who was shot in such tragic circumstances, should have written this song." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

LENNON: "They all said it was about drugs but it was more about rock 'n' roll than drugs. It's sort of a history of rock 'n' roll. . . . I don't know why people said it was about the needle in heroin. I've only seen somebody do something with a needle once, and I don't like to see it at all." Hit Parader (April 1972)

McCARTNEY: "I think this is my favourite on The Beatles album." Beatles in Their Own Words
Harrison named this song as one of his favourites on the album. Late 1969, The Beatles: A Celebration

RON REAGAN: "I remember once, when I was about thirteen, I borrowed the White Album from [my sister] Patti, and my mother got upset when she heard me listening to 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun.' It really bothered her a lot." RS (February 16, 1984)

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