Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Revolution 1" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1968)

Oh yes
Take tw-

You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all wanna change the world.

You tell me that it's evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world.

But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out (in)?

Don't you know it's gonna be ((oh shoo-be-do-a))
Alright ((oh shoo-be-do-a))?
Don't you know it's gonna be ((oh shoo-be-do-a))
Alright ((oh shoo-be-do-a))?
Don't you know it's gonna be ((oh shoo-be-do-a))
Alright ((oh shoo-be-do-a))?

You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We'd all love to see the plan.
(Oh shoo-be-do-a, oh shoo-be-do-a).

You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We're all doing what we can.
(Oh shoo-be-do-a, oh shoo-be-do-a).

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
Well all I can tell you is brother you have to wait.

Don't you know it's gonna be ((oh shoo-be-do-a))
Alright ((oh shoo-be-do-a))?
Don't you know it's gonna be ((oh shoo-be-do-a))
Alright ((oh shoo-be-do-a))?
Don't you know it's gonna be ((oh shoo-be-do-a))
Alright ((oh shoo-be-do-a))?

You say you'll change the constitution
Well you know
We'd all love to change your head.
(Oh shoo-be-do-a, oh shoo-be-do-a).

You tell me it's the institution
Well you know
You'd better free your mind instead
(Oh shoo-be-do-a, oh shoo-be-do-a).

If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow.

Don't you know it's gonna be ((oh shoo-be-do-a))
Alright ((oh shoo-be-do-a))?
Don't you know it's gonna be ((oh shoo-be-do-a))
Alright ((oh shoo-be-do-a))?
Don't you know it's gonna be ((oh shoo-be-do-a))
Alright ((oh shoo-be-do-a))?

((Oh)) (oh shoo-be-do-a)
Oh oh
Oh oh
Oh oh (oh shoo-be-do-a)
Oh oh
Oh oh (oh shoo-be-do-a)
Alright (oh shoo-be-do-a)
Alright (oh shoo-be-do-a)
Alright (oh shoo-be-do-a)
Alright (oh shoo-be-do-a)
Alright (oh shoo-be-do-a)
Alright (oh shoo-be-do-a)

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh ((oh shoo-be-do-a))
(Oh shoo-be-do-a)
(Oh shoo-be-do-a)
(Oh shoo-be-do-a) alright

"Blue Jay Way"

"Blue Jay Way" is a song written by George Harrison; it was first recorded and released by The Beatles on their Magical Mystery Tour album and EP in 1967.


The name of the song comes from an actual street, high in the Hollywood Hills overlooking Sunset Boulevard, which affords panoramic views of Hollywood and much of the Los Angeles Basin. It is reached by following a rather complicated route, which is all the harder to navigate on a foggy night — thus creating the backdrop for the opening lines of the song:

"There's a fog upon L.A. / And my friends have lost their way"

According to Harrison: "Derek Taylor got held up. He rang to say he'd be late. I told him on the phone that the house was in Blue Jay Way. And he said he could find it OK... he could always ask a cop. So I waited and waited. I felt really knackered with the flight, but I didn't want to go to sleep until he came. There was a fog and it got later and later. To keep myself awake, just as a joke to pass the time while I waited, I wrote a song about waiting for him in Blue Jay Way. There was a little Hammond organ in the corner of this house which I hadn't noticed until then... so I messed around on it and the song came."


The song was recorded on 6 September 1967, with overdubs on 7 September and 6 October. The record employs flanging, an audio delay technique, and the stereo and mono mixes differ slightly. The television film, Magical Mystery Tour, included the mono mix; the 1990s remastered version used a new stereo mix, sounding closer to the mono mix. The music video for the Magical Mystery Tour film was shot at West Malling and Weybridge in Surrey on 3 November, the day filming was completed.

At the end of the song, there is what might be perceived as a malfunction of the cello tape loop. It is in fact a cover-up of what had been planned to occur in the music video featured in the Magical Mystery Tour film; in the planned ending George was supposed to be hit by the Magical Mystery Tour bus. That ending was never shot, and the revised repeated ending is shown instead. A session musician played the cello.


* George Harrison – vocals, Hammond organ
* John Lennon – backing vocals
* Paul McCartney – backing vocals, bass
* Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine
* Uncredited – cello

Cultural references

* "Blue Jay Way" is referenced in Trevor Rabin's 1989 song, "Something to Hold on to" (featured on his album Can't Look Away), in which Rabin claims to be looking for someone in Blue Jay Way.

* Jonathan Kellerman references George Harrison's experience in his 2006 novel Obsession.

Cover versions

"Blue Jay Way" has been covered by:

* Colin Newman on his 1982 album Not To
* Borbetomagus on their 1990 album Buncha Hair That Long
* Dan Bern on his 1998 album Smartie Mine
* Rodney Graham on his 2000 album What Is Happy, Baby?
* Beatlejazz on their 2001 album Another Bite of the Apple
* Siouxsie and the Banshees on their 2003 live album Seven Year Itch
* Tracy Bonham on her 2006 EP In The City + In The Woods
* The Secret Machines in the 2007 movie Across the Universe
* the Seattle-based band, Pickwick, at concerts

Love Version

"Blue Jay Way" was used as a transition piece between "Something" and "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite". The opening lines from "Nowhere Man", noises from "Revolution 9", "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" tape loops, some gasping vocals from the outro of "Hey Bulldog", and it has been suggested that "Carnival of Light" noises were mixed into the intro and left speaker channel during half of the first chorus.

Album: Magical Mystery Tour
Released: 27 November 1967 (US) (LP), 8 December 1967 (UK) (EP), 19 November 1976 (UK) (LP)
Recorded: 6, 7 September, 6 October 1967
Genre: Psychedelic rock
Length: 3:56
Label: Parlophone, Capitol, EMI
Writer: George Harrison
Producer George Martin


John Lennon on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)"

"I was trying to write about an affair without letting me wife know I was writing about an affair, so it was very gobbledygook. I was sort of writing from my experiences, girls' flats, things like that.

"I wrote it at Kenwood. George had just got the sitar and I said, 'Could you play this piece?' We went through many different sort of versions of the song, it was never right and I was getting very angry about it, it wasn't coming out like I said. They said, 'Well, just do it how you want to do it.' And I said, 'Well, I just want to do it like this.' They let me go and I did the guitar very loudly into the mic and sang it at the same time and then George had the sitar and I asked him could he play the piece that I'd written, you know, dee diddley dee diddley dee, that bit, and he was not sure whether he could play it yet because he hadn't done much on the sitar but he was willing to have a go, as is his wont, and he learned the bit and dubbed it on after. I think we did it in sections."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Beatles News

"Woman" Lyrics

by John Lennon

Original Manuscript (1980)

Woman I can hardly express
my mixed emotions at my thoughtlessness
after all I'm forever in your debt
and woman I will try to express
my inner feelings and thankfulness
for showing me the meaning of success

(I love you - now + forever)

Woman I know you understand
the little child inside the man
please remember my life is in your hands
and woman hold me close to your heart
however distant don't keep us apart
after all it is written in the stars


Woman please let me explain
I never mean(t) to cause you sorrow or pain
so let me tell you again + again + again

I love you
now + forever

July 1980

As Released by John Lennon (1980)

(For the other half of the sky)

Woman I can hardly express
My mixed emotions at my thoughtlessness
After all I'm forever in your debt
And woman I will try to express
My inner feelings and thankfulness
For showing me the meaning of success

Ooh, well, well
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Ooh, well, well
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo

Woman I know you understand
The little child inside of the man
Please remember my life is in your hands
And woman hold me close to your heart
However distant don't keep us apart
After all it is written in the stars

Ooh, well, well
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Ooh, well, well
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo

Woman please let me explain
I never meant to cause you sorrow or pain
So let me tell you again and again and again

I love you, yeah, yeah
Now and forever
I love you, yeah, yeah
Now and forever
I love you, yeah, yeah
Now and forever
I love you, yeah, yeah

John Lennon on the Rubber Soul Album

"We just were getting better technically and musically, that's all. We finally took over the studio. In the early days we had to take what we were given. We had to make it in two hours or whatever it was. And three takes was enough, and we didn't know about 'you can get more bass,' and we were learning the technique. With Rubber Soul, we were more precise about making the album--that's all. We took over the cover and everything.

"That was Paul's title, it was like 'Yer Blues,' I suppose, meaning English soul. 'Rubber Soul' is just a pun. There's no great mysterious meanings behind all of this. It was just four boys working out what to call their new album."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Revolution" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1968)


You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all wanna change the world.

You tell me that it's evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world.

But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out?

Don't you know it's gonna be alright, alright, alright?

You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We'd all love to see the plan.

You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We're all doing what we can.

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait.

Don't you know it's gonna be alright, alright ((alright)), alright?

You say you'll change the constitution
Well you know
We all want to change your head.

You tell me it's the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead.

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow.
Don't you know it's gonna be alright, alright, alright ((alright))?

Alright, alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright - alright!


"Blackbird" is a Beatles song from double-disc album The Beatles (also known as The White Album). "Blackbird" was written by Paul McCartney, but credited as usual to Lennon/McCartney. McCartney was inspired to write this while in Scotland as a reaction to racial tensions escalating in America in the spring of 1968, and (according to Sony/ATV Songs LLC 1968) McCartney stated that he had a black woman in mind when he wrote the song ('bird' being British slang for a woman).


McCartney revealed on PBS's Great Performances (Paul McCartney: Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road), aired in 2006, that the guitar accompaniment for "Blackbird" was inspired by Bach's Bourrée in E minor, a well known classical guitar piece. As kids, he and George Harrison tried to learn Bourrée as a "show off" piece. Bourrée is distinguished by melody and bass notes played simultaneously on the upper and lower strings. McCartney adapted a segment of Bourrée as the opening of "Blackbird," and carried the musical idea throughout the song.

The first night Linda Eastman, who would later become his wife, slept over, McCartney played it to the fans camped outside his house.

Composition and recording

The song was recorded 11 June 1968 in Abbey Road studios, with George Martin as the producer and Geoff Emerick as the audio engineer. McCartney played a Martin D 28 acoustic guitar. The track includes recordings of a blackbird singing in the background.

The structure of the song is quite uneven, featuring a good amount of free verse phrasing, with the timing varying between 3/4, 4/4 and 2/4 metres. It is in the key of G, with the bass and melody lines on the guitar progressing mostly in parallel tenths, all the while maintaining an open G-drone on the third string. The song is played with a unique combination of fingerpicking and (a kind of) finger-strumming, though the bass notes are always played by the thumb on the downbeat.

The song starts with an intro whose chords progress through I-II7(no5)-I6/3 up to the I chord played an octave higher. The verse begins with the same progression before moving into a long phrase starting on the IV chord with the bass notes ascending in half-steps up to the VI chord, before descending (also in half-steps) back to the IV. They descend still further back to the I chord, before launching into an instrumental interlude, a shortened four-measure backward recounting of the verse. The second verse follows, though this time it skips the interlude, going directly into the refrain.

An instrumental reprisal of the verse, followed by the refrain (with vocals), leads back into the intro phrase whose last chord is repeatedly played for a couple of measures before making way for the introduction of the birds-chirping overdub. There is another brief instrumental interlude, which contains phrases from the intro and the verse, before going into a reprisal of the first verse and ending with an outro, containing the same sequence of chords as the first interlude.

The song uses only a guitar, vocals, a steady tapping, and birdsong-overdub. The tapping rhythm is revealed on Beatles Anthology to be Paul's feet tapping on the wooden floor of the studio.

In 2009, Paul McCartney performed this song at the Coachella festival, afterwards commenting on how it had been written in response to the 1960s civil rights movement, and stated, "Now you've got President Obama. Yeah, you know we've come a long way."

Covers and cultural references

Many bands and performers have made cover versions. Among the most notable cover performers are:

* Aimee Mann
* Arturo Sandoval
* Billy Preston
* Bobby McFerrin
* Bonnie Pink
* Brad Mehldau
* Carly Simon
* Crosby, Stills & Nash
* Chris De Burgh
* Dave Grohl
* Dave Matthews Band
* Dionne Farris
* Donovan
* Doves
* Drake Bell
* Elliott Smith
* G. Love & Special Sauce
* Harpers Bizarre
* Julie Fowlis - Scottish Gaelic version for Mojo Magazine's White Album Recovered, entitled Lon Dubh / Blackbird
* Jaco Pastorius
* Jesse McCartney
* John Denver
* Justin Hayward
* Keller Williams
* Kenny Rankin
* Maria João & Mário Laginha
* Marillion
* O.A.R.
* Ramsey Lewis
* Phish
* The Grateful Dead
* The Guess Who

Elements of the lyrics ("take these broken wings and learn to fly") have re-appeared in other pop songs over the years, notably the number one hit "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister and the Savage Garden song, "Gunning Down Romance" from the Affirmation album. Sections of "Blackbird" were incorporated into The Waterboys' cover of the Van Morrison song "Sweet Thing" on their album Fisherman's Blues, and into the end of U2's "Beautiful Day" during their set at the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park, London on July 2, 2005, as well as some of the shows on the Vertigo Tour. Dynamite Hack references it at the end of their cover of "Boyz-N-The-Hood."

Sarah McLachlan performed it for the soundtrack of the 2001 film I Am Sam.

Quidam (Polish band) performed it in the 2006 live album Half Unplugged.

Evan Rachel Wood performed it in the 2007 film Across the Universe.

Carly Smithson performed it on American Idol on March 18, 2008 during the Beatles second theme night.

Gustavo Santaolalla, a composer, was inspired by "Blackbird" when he wrote "The Wings" for the movie Brokeback Mountain.

Charles Manson took the song, along with "Helter Skelter" and "Piggies," as a metaphor for black-white race relations in the United States, which purportedly inspired his murders.

Sara Gazarek wrote a medley of "Blackbird" and "Bye Bye Blackbird" that appears on her 2005 debut album, "Yours."

Cris Barber covered "Blackbird" on her 2008 album entitled This Moment to Be Free, a line taken from the song.

Eddie Vedder also performed the song several times on his 2008 solo tour.

In the novel The Perks Of Being A Wallflower this song is mentioned as a favorite of the narrator, Charlie.

During live performances, Alter Bridge often plays the intro to the song before their song of the same name.


* Paul McCartney: Acoustic Guitar, Vocal, and tapping.

Album: The Beatles
Released: 22 November 1968
Recorded: 11 June 1968
Genre: Folk
Length: 2:18
Label: Apple Records
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Producer: George Martin


Beatles News

John Lennon's Record Collection: Gene Vincent - Be-Bop-A-Lula

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Paul McCartney on Becoming the Bass Player in the Beatles

"Stuart [Sutcliffe] decided to leave the band, and there was this sort of ceremonial handover of the bass to me. But he was only lending it to me, so he didn't want me to change the strings around. Of course, he was right-handed and I'm left, so I had to learn how to play upside down, if you will. Eventually, I got my own bass and it was set for a left-hander. Then it felt a lot more natural. But I was a guitar player before that and I kind of inherited the bass position. I was always a kind of frustrated guitarist who played bass."

Beatles Covers: Cilla Black - For No One

"Within You Without You" Lyrics

by George Harrison

Original Manuscript (1967)

We were talking about the space between us all ---
and the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
never glimpse the truth - until it's far too late
when they pass away

We were talking about the Love we all could share: when we
find it to try our best to hold it there
with our Love - with our Love we could save the world - If

and Life flows on within you and without you.

As Released by the Beatles (1967)

We were talking
About the space between us all
And the people
Who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth
When it's far too late
When they pass away.

We were talking
About the love we all could share
When we find it
To try our best to hold it there
With our love
With our love
We could save the world
If they only knew.

Try to realise it's all within yourself
No-one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you.

One, two - one, two.

We were talking
About the love that's gone so cold
And the people
Who gain the world and lose their soul
They don't know
They can't see
Are you one of them?

When you've seen beyond yourself
Then you may find
Peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come
When you see we're all one
And life flows on within you and without you.

Beatles News

The McCartneys: In the Town Where They Were Born

by Kevin Roach

ROLL UP....and that's an invitation - to find all about the real Sir Paul McCartney.
The Beatles legend is one of the world's biggest stars, his timeless music still selling across the world as he continues to appeal to thousands of adoring fans across different generations.

This book, for the first time, goes back to McCartney's roots, unveiling the secrets of his childhood and early life in Liverpool.

With new research by Kevin Roach, some fascinating facts are revealed for the first time as the author takes fans back to where he once belonged.

From McCartney's childhood home to the church where his mother and father were married and other stopping points of family interest, this book digs deeper than any other has previously done, telling the untold story of life before the Fab Four took the pop world by storm.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Rain" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1966)

If the rain comes they run and hide their heads
They might as well be dead
If the rain comes, if the rain comes.

When the sun shines they slip into the shade (when the sun shines down)
And sip their lemonade (when the sun shines down)
When the sun shines, when the sun shines ((sun shine)).

Rain I don't mind
Shine the weather's fine.

I can show you that when it starts to rain (when the rain comes down)
Everything's the same (when the rain comes down)
I can show you, I can show you ((show you)).

Rain I don't mind
Shine the weather's fine.

Can you hear me that when it rains and shines (when it rains and shines)
It's just a state of mind (when it rains and shines)
Can you hear me, can you hear me? ((hear me))



"Birthday" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and performed by The Beatles on their eponymous double album The Beatles. It is the opening track on the third side of the LP (or the second disc in CD versions of the record). This song is a prime example of the Beatles' return to more traditional rock and roll form, although their music had increased in complexity and it had developed more of its own characteristic style by this point.


In an interview in the October 2008 edition of Mojo, McCartney said of the song, "'Birthday' was 50-50 me and John." The song was largely written during a recording session at the EMI Abbey Road Studios on 18 September 1968 with McCartney coming up with the main riff. During the session, The Beatles and the recording crew made a short trip around the corner to McCartney's house to watch the 1956 rock & roll movie The Girl Can't Help It which was being shown for the first time on British television. After the movie they returned to record "Birthday."

"Birthday" begins with an intro drum fill, then moves directly into a blues progression in A (in the form of a guitar riff doubled by the bass) with McCartney singing at the top of his chest voice, "They say it's your birthday/ Well it's my birthday too, yeah!" with Lennon on a lower harmony. Afterwards, a drum break lasting eight measures brings the song into Lennon's section, which rests entirely on the dominant before returning to a third section, sung by McCartney and Lennon. It is among McCartney's most intense vocal performances given the range in which he sings during the blues run. This song is the only track on The Beatles in which Lennon and McCartney share lead vocal duties.


* John Lennon – vocal, backing vocal, lead guitar, handclaps
* Paul McCartney – vocal, piano, handclaps
* George Harrison – 6-string bass, handclaps
* Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, handclaps
* Pattie Boyd – backing vocal, handclaps
* Yoko Ono – backing vocal, handclaps
* Mal Evans – handclaps

Other uses

* Underground Sunshine scored a Top 40 hit with this song in the US in 1969.
* Philadelphia Phillies games play this song while showing the attendees celebrating their birthdays on the Jumbotron as do the New York Islanders.
* Similarly, Detroit Lions games play the song while showing the attendees celebrating their birthdays on the scoreboard screen.
* A number of minor league baseball teams, including the Altoona Curve, also play the song while showing the names of attendees celebrating their birthdays on the scoreboard screen.
* Farmer Ted (Anthony Michael Hall) attempted to serenade Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) in the high school auto shop with the song when he learned it was her birthday in the movie Sixteen Candles.
* On an episode of Full House, the family goes into Jesse's (John Stamos) bedroom to wake him up for his birthday. The family sings "Birthday," while Joey (Dave Coulier) imitates the guitar riff.
* There are multiple instances in the "Hypno-Birthday to You" episode of Jimmy Neutron where you can hear "Birthday" in the background.
* Used in Moonlighting (TV series) , on the second season episode "In God We Strongly Suspect," Bruce Willis (David) sings with the whole office crew to Cybill Sheperd (Maddie) as a surprise on her birthday.
* In an episode of The Sopranos, Carmela mentions the song at the dinner table to try to make conversation with her son, but he is unimpressed, due to the fact that drum solo was too basic.
* The Pizzicato Five song "Tout Va Bien," on their Sweet Pizzicato Five album, quotes the opening drum riff.

Album: The Beatles
Released: 22 November 1968
Recorded: 18 September 1968
Genre: Hard rock, rock and roll
Length: 2:42
Label: Apple Records
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Producer: George Martin


Beatles News

Lonnie Donegan

Lonnie DoneganAnthony James "Lonnie" Donegan MBE (29 April 1931 – 3 November 2002) was a skiffle musician, with more than 20 UK Top 30 hits to his name. He is also known as the "King of Skiffle" and is often cited as a large influence on the generation of British musicians who became famous in the 1960s.

Early life and trad jazz

Born as Anthony James Donegan in Bridgeton, Glasgow, Scotland, the son of a professional violinist who had played with the Scottish National Orchestra, he moved with his mother to East Ham, when he was six years old, after his parents' divorce.

Donegan attended St Ambrose College, initially at the school's original site in Dunham Road, Altrincham.

His father was unemployed in the 1930s, and in 1933 the family moved to East Ham, then in Essex but since 1965 part of East London. Lonnie Donegan was evacuated to Cheshire to escape The Blitz. In the early 1940s he mostly listened to Swing jazz and vocal acts, and became interested in the guitar. Country & western and blues records, particularly by Frank Crumit and Josh White, attracted his interest and he bought his first guitar at the age of fourteen, around 1945. From listening to BBC radio broadcasts in the following years he began learning songs such as "Frankie and Johnny," "Puttin' On the Style," and "The House of the Rising Sun." By the end of the 1940s he was playing guitar around London and visiting small jazz clubs.

The first band he played in was the trad jazz band led by Chris Barber, who approached him on a train asking him if he wanted to audition for his band. Barber had heard that Donegan was a good banjo player; in fact, Donegan had never played the banjo at this point, but he bought one and tried to bluff his way through the audition. More on personality than playing, he was brought into Barber's band. His stint with the band was interrupted when he was called up for National Service in 1949, but his military service in Vienna gave him contact with American troops, and access to records as well as the opportunity to listen to the American Forces Network radio station.

In 1952 he formed his first group, the Tony Donegan Jazzband, which found some work around London. On one occasion they opened for the blues musician Lonnie Johnson at the Royal Festival Hall. Donegan was a big fan of Johnson, and took his first name as a tribute to him. The story goes that the host at the concert got the musicians' names confused, calling them "Tony Johnson" and "Lonnie Donegan," and Donegan was happy to keep the name.

In 1953 cornetist Ken Colyer, enjoying hero status for having spent time in a New Orleans jail (due to a visa problem), returned to England and, when invited to play with Chris Barber's band, became the moving figure in it, more or less taking it over and running it as if it were his own creation. It actually was very much a cooperative. With the new name, Ken Colyer's Jazzmen, the group, with Donegan, made its initial public appearance on 11 April 1953 in Copenhagen. The following day, Chris Albertson recorded the group (as well as a Monty Sunshine Trio, with Donegan and Barber) for Storyville Records. These were Lonnie Donegan's first commercially released recordings.


Donegan was the first person to become famous playing skiffle in the United Kingdom, and went on to have a novelty hit in Britain and America with "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour", released in 1959 and 1961 respectively.

While playing in Ken Colyer's Jazzmen with Chris Barber, Donegan sang and played both guitar and banjo as part of their Dixieland jazz, and also began playing with two other band members during the intervals to provide what was called on their posters a "skiffle" break, a name suggested by Ken Colyer's brother Bill after recalling the Dan Burley Skiffle Group of the 1930s. In 1954 Colyer left, and the band became Chris Barber's Jazz Band.

With a washboard, a tea-chest bass and a cheap Spanish guitar, Donegan had a lot of fun entertaining audiences with folk songs and blues by artists such as Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie, casually giving the impression that anyone could do it. This proved so popular that in July 1954 he recorded a fast-tempoed version of Leadbelly's "Rock Island Line," featuring a washboard but not a tea-chest bass, with "John Henry" on the B-side. It was an enormous hit in 1956 (which also later inspired the creation of a full LP album, An Englishman Sings American Folk Songs, released in America on the Mercury label in the early 60s) but ironically, because it was a band recording, Lonnie made no money from it beyond his original session fee. It was the first debut record to go gold in Britain, and reached the top ten in the United States, and Donegan has suggested that it might have influenced the beginnings of white rock and roll, and certainly was an influence of a hybrid version of American country-rock later called rockabilly.

The skiffle style encouraged amateurs to get started, and one of the many skiffle groups that followed was The Quarry Men formed in March 1957 by John Lennon. Donegan's "Putting On The Style" / "Gamblin' Man" single was number one on the British charts in July 1957, when Lennon first met Paul McCartney.

After splitting from Barber, Donegan went on to make a series of popular records as "Lonnie Donegan's Skiffle Group," with successes including "Cumberland Gap" and, particularly "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour," his only hit song in America, released on Dot Records. He turned to a music hall style with "My Old Man's a Dustman" which was not well received by skiffle fans, or in an attempted but ultimately unsuccessful American release by Atlantic Records in 1960, but reached number one in the UK singles charts. Donegan's group had a flexible line-up, but was generally formed by Denny Wright or Les Bennetts (of Les Hobeaux and Chas McDevvit's skiffle groups) playing lead guitar and singing harmony vocals, Pete Huggett on upright bass, Nick Nichols - later Pete Appleby - on drums or percussion and Lonnie playing acoustic guitar or banjo and singing the lead. Despite appearances that the style was simple and somewhat 'unpolished', all were accomplished and highly talented musicians.

Lonnie Donegan with the Beatles (Threetles)Later career

Donegan was unfashionable and generally ignored through the late 1960s and 1970s (although he wrote "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" for Tom Jones in 1969), and he began to play on the American cabaret circuit. There was a reunion concert with the original Chris Barber band in Croydon in June 1975 - notable for a bomb scare, meaning that the recording had to be finished in the studio, though patrons were treated to an impromptu concert in the car park.

He suffered his first heart attack in 1976 while in the United States. Donegan underwent quadruple bypass surgery. He returned to the public's attention in 1978, when he made a record of his early songs with such figures as Ringo Starr, Elton John and Brian May called Putting on the Style. In 1992 Donegan underwent further bypass surgery following another heart attack.

Then in 1994, the Chris Barber band celebrated 40 years, with a long tour with both bands, rather than just a concert. Pat Halcox was still on trumpet (a position he retains as of 2006). The reunion concert and the tour, were recorded on CD, and also on video (and later released on DVD, though the quality isn't up to digital standard). As is Chris Barber's normal style, he generously featured Lonnie in the concerts and the whole original band were much more relaxed than in 1954, making these real collectors' items as the stereo was real and not electronically created.

He experienced another late renaissance when in 2000 he appeared on Van Morrison's album The Skiffle Sessions - Live In Belfast 1998, a critically acclaimed album featuring Donegan sharing vocals with Van Morrison and also featuring Chris Barber, with a guest appearance by Dr John. He also played at the Glastonbury Festival, and was awarded the MBE in 2000.

His last CD was This Y'ere the Story, which tells his story - complete with the inaccuracies as to his introduction to the banjo and the Barber band as related above.

Donegan's influence on the generation of musicians that followed him is unquestioned. He inspired both John Lennon and Pete Townshend to learn to play the guitar, and was responsible for hundreds of other skiffle groups being formed. One of them, The Quarrymen, later evolved into The Beatles.


Lonnie married three times. He had two daughters by his first wife, Maureen Tyler (divorced 1962), a son and a daughter by his second wife, Jill Westlake (divorced 1971), and three sons by his third wife, Sharon, whom he married in 1977.


Lonnie Donegan died in 2002, aged 71, after suffering a heart attack in Peterborough mid-way through a UK tour and shortly before he was due to perform at a memorial concert for George Harrison with The Rolling Stones. He had suffered from cardiac problems since the 1970s and had several heart attacks in his last years.


Musician Mark Knopfler released a tribute song to Lonnie Donegan called "Donegan's Gone" on his 2004 album Shangri-La and said that he was one of his greatest musical influences. Donegan's music formed the basis for a musical starring his two sons. Lonnie D - The Musical took its name from the Chas & Dave tribute song which starts the show. Subsequently, Peter Donegan formed a new band that performs his father's material. Lonnies eldest son Anthony also formed his own band under the name Lonnie Donegan Jnr.

On his album "A Beach Full of Shells," Al Stewart pays tribute to Donegan in the song "Katherine of Oregon." Additionally, in the song "Class of '58," he describes a seminal British entertainer who is either Donegan or a composite including him.


* "In England, we were separated from our folk music tradition centuries ago and were imbued with the idea that music was for the upper classes. You had to be very clever to play music. When I came along with the old three chords, people began to think that if I could do it, so could they. It was the reintroduction of the folk music bridge which did that." — Interview, 2002.
* "He was the first person we had heard of from Britain to get to the coveted No. 1 in the charts, and we studied his records avidly. We all bought guitars to be in a skiffle group. He was the man." — Paul McCartney
* "He really was at the very cornerstone of English blues and rock." — Brian May.


* Rock Island Line/ John Henry (1955)
* Diggin' My Potatoes/ Bury My Body (1956)
* On A Christmas Day/ Take My Hand Precious Lord (1956)
* Lonnie Donegan Showcase (December 1956)
* Jack O'Diamonds/ Ham 'N' Eggs (1957)
* My Dixie Darlin’/I’m Just A Rolling Stone (1957)
* Lonnie (November 1957)
* The Grand Coulee Dam/ Nobody Loves Like An Irishman (1958)
* Midnight Special/ When The Sun Goes Down (1958)
* Sally Don't You Grieve/ Betty Betty Betty (1958)
* Lonesome Traveller/ Times Are Getting Hard Boys (1958)
* Lonnie's Skiffle Party Pt.1/ Pt.2 (1958)
* Tom Dooley/ Rock O' My Soul (1958)
* Tops with Lonnie (September 1958)
* Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour/ Aunt Rhody (1959)
* Fort Worth Jail/ Whoa Buck (1959)
* Fort Bewildered/ Kevin Barry / It Is No Secret / My Lagan Love Buck (1959)
* Battle Of New Orleans/ Darling Corey (1959)
* Sal's Got A Sugar Lip/ Chesapeake Bay (1959)
* San Miguel/ Talking Guitar Blues (1959)
* Lonnie Rides Again (May 1959)
* My Old Man's A Dustman/ The Golden Vanity (1960)
* I Wanna Go Home (Wreck Of the John B.)/ Jimmy Brown The Newsboy (1960)
* Lorelei/ In All My Wildest Dreams (1960)
* Lively/ Black Cat (Cross My Path Today) (1960)
* Virgin Mary/ Beyond The Sunset (1960)
* (Bury Me) Beneath The Willow/ Leave My Woman Alone (1961)
* Have A Drink On Me/ Seven Daffodils (1961)
* Michael Row the Boat/ Lumbered (1961)
* The Comancheros/ Ramblin' Round (1961)
* Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor (On The Bedpost Over Night) (1961)
* More! Tops with Lonnie (April 1961)
* The Party's Over/ Over the Rainbow (1962)
* I'll Never Fall In Love Again/ Keep On The Sunny Side (1962)
* Pick A Bale Of Cotton/ Steal Away (1962)
* The Market Song/ Tit-Bits (1962)
* Sing Hallelujah (December 1962)
* Losing My Hair/ Trumpet Sounds (1963)
* It Was A Very Good Year/ Rise Up (1963)
* Lemon Tree/ I've Gotta Girl So Far (1963)
* 500 Miles Away From Home/ This Train (1963)
* Beans In My Ears/ It's A Long Road To Travel (1964)
* Fisherman's Luck/ There's A Big Wheel (1964)
* Get Out Of My Life/ Won't You Tell Me (1965)
* Louisiana Man/ Bound For Zion (1965)
* The Lonnie Donegan Folk Album (August 1965)
* World Cup Willie/ Where In This World Are We Going (1966)
* I Wanna Go Home/ Black Cat (Cross My Path Today) (1966)
* Aunt Maggie's Remedy/ (Ah) My Sweet Marie (1967)
* Toys/ Relax Your Mind (1968)
* My Lovely Juanita/ Who Knows Where the Time Goes (1969)
* Lonniepops--Lonnie Donegan Today (1970)
* Speak To The Sky / Get Out Of My Life (1972)
* Jump Down Turn Around (Pick a Bale of Cotton) / Lost John Blues (1973 - Australia only)
* Lonnie Donegan Meets Leinemann (1974)
* Country Roads (1976)
* Puttin' On The Style (February 1978)
* Sundown (May 1979)
* Muleskinner Blues (January 1999)
* The song Lost John was used to open the John Peel tribute album
* This Y'ere The Story (2000?)
* The Last Tour (2006)


John Lennon: 1980

By David Sheff / September 8-28, 1980

PLAYBOY: "A Day in the Life."

LENNON: Just as it sounds: I was reading the paper one day and I noticed two stories. One was the Guinness heir who killed himself in a car. That was the main headline story. He died in London in a car crash. On the next page was a story about 4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. In the streets, that is. They were going to fill them all. Paul's contribution was the beautiful little lick in the song "I'd love to turn you on." I had the bulk of the song and the words, but he contributed this little lick floating around in his head that he couldn't use for anything. I thought it was a damn good piece of work.

PLAYBOY: May we continue with some of the ones that seem more personal and see what reminiscences they inspire?

LENNON: Reminisce away.

PLAYBOY: For no reason whatsoever, let's start with "I Wanna Be Your Man."

LENNON: Paul and I finished that one off for the Stones. We were taken down by Brian to meet them at the club where they were playing in Richmond. They wanted a song and we went to see what kind of stuff they did. Paul had this bit of a song and we played it roughly for them and they said, "Yeah, OK, that's our style." But it was only really a lick, so Paul and I went off in the corner of the room and finished the song off while they were all sitting there, talking. We came back and Mick and Keith said, "Jesus, look at that. They just went over there and wrote it." You know, right in front of their eyes. We gave it to them. It was a throwaway. Ringo sang it for us and the Stones did their version. It shows how much importance we put on them. We weren't going to give them anything great, right? That was the Stones' first record. Anyway, Mick and Keith said, "If they can write a song so easily, we should try it." They say it inspired them to start writing together.

PLAYBOY: How about "Strawberry Fields Forever?"

LENNON: Strawberry Fields is a real place. After I stopped living at Penny Lane, I moved in with my auntie who lived in the suburbs in a nice semidetached place with a small garden and doctors and lawyers and that ilk living around - - not the poor slummy kind of image that was projected in all the Beatles stories. In the class system, it was about half a class higher than Paul, George and Ringo, who lived in government-subsidized housing. We owned our house and had a garden. They didn't have anything like that. Near that home was Strawberry Fields, a house near a boys' reformatory where I used to go to garden parties as a kid with my friends Nigel and Pete. We would go there and hang out and sell lemonade bottles for a penny. We always had fun at Strawberry Fields. So that's where I got the name. But I used it as an image. Strawberry Fields forever.

PLAYBOY: And the lyrics, for instance: "Living is easy---- "

LENNON: [Singing] "With eyes closed. Misunderstanding all you see." It still goes, doesn't it? Aren't I saying exactly the same thing now? The awareness apparently trying to be expressed is -- let's say in one way I was always hip. I was hip in kindergarten. I was different from the others. I was different all my life. The second verse goes, "No one I think is in my tree." Well, I was too shy and self-doubting. Nobody seems to be as hip as me is what I was saying. Therefore, I must be crazy or a genius -- "I mean it must be high or low," the next line. There was something wrong with me, I thought, because I seemed to see things other people didn't see. I thought I was crazy or an egomaniac for claiming to see things other people didn't see. As a child, I would say, "But this is going on!" and everybody would look at me as if I was crazy. I always was so psychic or intuitive or poetic or whatever you want to call it, that I was always seeing things in a hallucinatory way. It was scary as a child, because there was nobody to relate to. Neither my auntie nor my friends nor anybody could ever see what I did. It was very, very scary and the only contact I had was reading about an Oscar Wilde or a Dylan Thomas or a Vincent van Gogh -- all those books that my auntie had that talked about their suffering because of their visions. Because of what they saw, they were tortured by society for trying to express what they were. I saw loneliness.

PLAYBOY: Were you able to find others to share your visions with?

LENNON: Only dead people in books. Lewis Carroll, certain paintings. Surrealism had a great effect on me, because then I realized that my imagery and my mind wasn't insanity; that if it was insane, I belong in an exclusive club that sees the world in those terms. Surrealism to me is reality. Psychic vision to me is reality. Even as a child. When I looked at myself in the mirror or when I was 12, 13, I used to literally trance out into alpha. I didn't know what it was called then. I found out years later there is a name for those conditions. But I would find myself seeing hallucinatory images of my face changing and becoming cosmic and complete. It caused me to always be a rebel. This thing gave me a chip on the shoulder; but, on the other hand, I wanted to be loved and accepted. Part of me would like to be accepted by all facets of society and not be this loudmouthed lunatic musician. But I cannot be what I am not. Because of my attitude, all the other boys' parents, including Paul's father, would say, "Keep away from him." The parents instinctively recognized what I was, which was a troublemaker, meaning I did not conform and I would influence their kids, which I did. I did my best to disrupt every friend's home I had. Partly, maybe, it was out of envy that I didn't have this so-called home. But I really did. I had an auntie and an uncle and a nice suburban home, thank you very much. Hear this, Auntie. She was hurt by a remark Paul made recently that the reason I am staying home with Sean now is because I never had a family life. It's absolute rubbish. There were five women who were my family. Five strong, intelligent women. Five sisters. One happened to be my mother. My mother was the youngest. She just couldn't deal with life. She had a husband who ran away to sea and the war was on and she couldn't cope with me, and when I was four and a half, I ended up living with her elder sister. Now, those women were fantastic. One day I might do a kind of "Forsyte Saga" just about them. That was my first feminist education. Anyway, that knowledge and the fact that I wasn't with my parents made me see that parents are not gods. I would infiltrate the other boys' minds. Paul's parents were terrified of me and my influence, simply because I was free from the parents' strangle hold. That was the gift I got for not having parents. I cried a lot about not having them and it was torture, but it also gave me an awareness early. I wasn't an orphan, though. My mother was alive and lived a 15-minute walk away from me all my life. I saw her off and on. I just didn't live with her.

PLAYBOY: Is she alive?

LENNON: No, she got killed by an off-duty cop who was drunk after visiting my auntie's house where I lived. I wasn't there at the time. She was just at a bus stop. I was 16. That was another big trauma for me. I lost her twice. When I was five and I moved in with my auntie, and then when she physically died. That made me more bitter; the chip on my shoulder I had as a youth got really big then. I was just really re-establishing the relationship with her and she was killed.

PLAYBOY: Her name was Julia, wasn't it? Is she the Julia of your song of that name on "The White Album?"

LENNON: The song is for her -- and for Yoko.

PLAYBOY: What kind of relationship did you have with your father, who went away to sea? Did you ever see him again?

LENNON: I never saw him again until I made a lot of money and he came back.

PLAYBOY: How old were you?

LENNON: Twenty-four or 25. I opened the "Daily Express" and there he was, washing dishes in a small hotel or something very near where I was living in the Stockbroker belt outside London. He had been writing to me to try to get in contact. I didn't want to see him. I was too upset about what he'd done to me and to my mother and that he would turn up when I was rich and famous and not bother turning up before. So I wasn't going to see him at all, but he sort of blackmailed me in the press by saying all this about being a poor man washing dishes while I was living in luxury. I fell for it and saw him and we had some kind of relationship. He died a few years later of cancer. But at 65, he married a secretary who had been working for the Beatles, age 22, and they had a child, which I thought was hopeful for a man who had lived his life as a drunk and almost a Bowery bum.

PLAYBOY: We'll never listen to "Strawberry Fields Forever" the same way again. What memories are jogged by the song "Help!?"

LENNON: When "Help!" came out in '65, I was actually crying out for help. Most people think it's just a fast rock-'n'-roll song. I didn't realize it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie. But later, I knew I really was crying out for help. It was my fat Elvis period. You see the movie: He -- I -- is very fat, very insecure, and he's completely lost himself. And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was. Now I may be very positive -- yes, yes -- but I also go through deep depressions where I would like to jump out the window, you know. It becomes easier to deal with as I get older; I don't know whether you learn control or, when you grow up, you calm down a little. Anyway, I was fat and depressed and I was crying out for help. In those days, when the Beatles were depressed, we had this little chant. I would yell out, "Where are we going, fellows?" They would say, "To the top, Johnny," in pseudo- American voices. And I would say, "Where is that, fellows?" And they would say, "To the toppermost of the poppermost." It was some dumb expression from a cheap movie -- a la "Blackboard Jungle" -- about Liverpool. Johnny was the leader of the gang.

PLAYBOY: What were you depressed about during the "Help!" period?

LENNON: The Beatles thing had just gone beyond comprehension. We were smoking marijuana for breakfast. We were well into marijuana and nobody could communicate with us, because we were just all glazed eyes, giggling all the time. In our own world. That was the song, "Help!." I think everything that comes out of a song -- even Paul's songs now, which are apparently about nothing -- shows something about yourself.

PLAYBOY: Was "I'm a Loser" a similarly personal statement?

LENNON: Part of me suspects that I'm a loser and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty.

PLAYBOY: How about "Cold Turkey?"

LENNON: The song is self-explanatory. The song got banned, even though it's antidrug. They're so stupid about drugs, you know. They're not looking at the cause of the drug problem: Why do people take drugs? To escape from what? Is life so terrible? Are we living in such a terrible situation that we can't do anything without reinforcement of alcohol, tobacco? Aspirins, sleeping pills, uppers, downers, never mind the heroin and cocaine -- they're just the outer fringes of Librium and speed.

PLAYBOY: Do you use any drugs now?

LENNON: Not really. If somebody gives me a joint, I might smoke it, but I don't go after it.

PLAYBOY: Cocaine?

LENNON: I've had cocaine, but I don't like it. The Beatles had lots of it in their day, but it's a dumb drug, because you have to have another one 20 minutes later. Your whole concentration goes on getting the next fix. Really, I find caffeine is easier to deal with.


LENNON: Not in years. A little mushroom or peyote is not beyond my scope, you know, maybe twice a year or something. You don't hear about it anymore, but people are still visiting the cosmos. We must always remember to thank the CIA and the Army for LSD. That's what people forget. Everything is the opposite of what it is, isn't it, Harry? So get out the bottle, boy -- and relax. They invented LSD to control people and what they did was give us freedom. Sometimes it works in mysterious ways its wonders to perform. If you look in the Government reports on acid, the ones who jumped out the window or killed themselves because of it, I think even with Art Linkletter's daughter, it happened to her years later. So, let's face it, she wasn't really on acid when she jumped out the window. And I've never met anybody who's had a flashback on acid. I've never had a flashback in my life and I took millions of trips in the Sixties.

PLAYBOY: What does your diet include besides sashimi and sushi, Hershey bars and cappuccinos?

LENNON: We're mostly macrobiotic, but sometimes I take the family out for a pizza.

ONO: Intuition tells you what to eat. It's dangerous to try to unify things. Everybody has different needs. We went through vegetarianism and macrobiotic, but now, because we're in the studio, we do eat some junk food. We're trying to stick to macrobiotic: fish and rice, whole grains. You balance foods and eat foods indigenous to the area. Corn is the grain from this area.

PLAYBOY: And you both smoke up a storm.

LENNON: Macrobiotic people don't believe in the big C. Whether you take that as a rationalization or not, macrobiotics don't believe that smoking is bad for you. Of course, if we die, we're wrong.

PLAYBOY: Let's go back to jogging your memory with songs. How about Paul's song "Hey Jude?"

LENNON: He said it was written about Julian. He knew I was splitting with Cyn and leaving Julian then. He was driving to see Julian to say hello. He had been like an uncle. And he came up with "Hey Jude." But I always heard it as a song to me. Now I'm sounding like one of those fans reading things into it. . . . Think about it: Yoko had just come into the picture. He is saying. "Hey, Jude" -- "Hey, John." Subconsciously, he was saying, Go ahead, leave me. On a conscious level, he didn't want me to go ahead. The angel in him was saying. "Bless you." The Devil in him didn't like it at all, because he didn't want to lose his partner.

PLAYBOY: What about "Because?"

LENNON: I was lying on the sofa in our house, listening to Yoko play Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" on the piano. Suddenly, I said, "Can you play those chords backward?" She did, and I wrote "Because" around them. The song sounds like "Moonlight Sonata," too. The lyrics are clear, no bullshit, no imagery, no obscure references.

PLAYBOY: "Give Peace a Chance."

LENNON: All we were saying was give peace a chance.

PLAYBOY: Was it really a Lennon-McCartney composition?

LENNON: No, I don't even know why his name was on it. It's there because I kind of felt guilty because I'd made the separate single -- the first -- and I was really breaking away from the Beatles.
PLAYBOY: Why were the compositions you and Paul did separately attributed to Lennon-McCartney?

LENNON: Paul and I made a deal when we were 15. There was never a legal deal between us, just a deal we made when we decided to write together that we put both our names on it, no matter what.

PLAYBOY: How about "Do You Want to Know a Secret?"

LENNON: The idea came from this thing my mother used to sing to me when I was one or two years old, when she was still living with me. It was from a Disney movie: "Do you want to know a secret? Promise not to tell/You are standing by a wishing well." So, with that in my head, I wrote the song and just gave it to George to sing. I thought it would be a good vehicle for him, because it had only three notes and he wasn't the best singer in the world. He has improved a lot since then; but in those days, his ability was very poor. I gave it to him just to give him a piece of the action. That's another reason why I was hurt by his book. I even went to the trouble of making sure he got the B side of a Beatles single, because he hadn't had a B side of one until "Do You Want to Know a Secret?" "Something" was the first time he ever got an A side, because Paul and I always wrote both sides. That wasn't because we were keeping him out but simply because his material was not up to scratch. I made sure he got the B side of "Something," too, so he got the cash. Those little things he doesn't remember. I always felt bad that George and Ringo didn't get a piece of the publishing. When the opportunity came to give them five percent each of Maclen, it was because of me they got it. It was not because of Klein and not because of Paul but because of me. When I said they should get it, Paul couldn't say no. I don't get a piece of any of George's songs or Ringo's. I never asked for anything for the contributions I made to George's songs like "Taxman." Not even the recognition. And that is why I might have sounded resentful about George and Ringo, because it was after all those things that the attitude of "John has forsaken us" and "John is tricking us" came out -- which is not true.

PLAYBOY: "Happiness Is a Warm Gun."

LENNON: No, it's not about heroin. A gun magazine was sitting there with a smoking gun on the cover and an article that I never read inside called "Happiness Is a Warm Gun." I took it right from there. I took it as the terrible idea of just having shot some animal.

PLAYBOY: What about the sexual puns: "When you feel my finger on your trigger"?

LENNON: Well, it was at the beginning of my relationship with Yoko and I was very sexually oriented then. When we weren't in the studio, we were in bed.

PLAYBOY: What was the allusion to "Mother Superior jumps the gun"?

LENNON: I call Yoko Mother or Madam just in an offhand way. The rest doesn't mean anything. It's just images of her.

PLAYBOY: "Across the Universe."

LENNON: The Beatles didn't make a good record of "Across the Universe." I think subconsciously we -- I thought Paul subconsciously tried to destroy my great songs. We would play experimental games with my great pieces, like "Strawberry Fields," which I always felt was badly recorded. It worked, but it wasn't what it could have been. I allowed it, though. We would spend hours doing little, detailed cleaning up on Paul's songs, but when it came to mine -- especially a great song like "Strawberry Fields" or "Across the Universe" -- somehow an atmosphere of looseness and experimentation would come up.

PLAYBOY: Sabotage?

LENNON: Subconscious sabotage. I was too hurt. . . . Paul will deny it, because he has a bland face and will say this doesn't exist. This is the kind of thing I'm talking about where I was always seeing what was going on and began to think, Well, maybe I'm paranoid. But it is not paranoid. It is the absolute truth. The same thing happened to "Across the Universe." The song was never done properly. The words stand, luckily.

PLAYBOY: "Getting Better."

LENNON: It is a diary form of writing. All that "I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved" was me. I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically -- any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. That is why I am always on about peace, you see. It is the most violent people who go for love and peace. Everything's the opposite. But I sincerely believe in love and peace. I am not violent man who has learned not to be violent and regrets his violence. I will have to be a lot older before I can face in public how I treated women as a youngster.

PLAYBOY: "Revolution."

LENNON: We recorded the song twice. The Beatles were getting really tense with one another. I did the slow version and I wanted it out as a single: as a statement of the Beatles' position on Vietnam and the Beatles' position on revolution. For years, on the Beatle tours, Epstein had stopped us from saying anything about Vietnam or the war. And he wouldn't allow questions about it. But on one tour, I said, "I am going to answer about the war. We can't ignore it." I absolutely wanted the Beatles to say something. The first take of "Revolution" -- well, George and Paul were resentful and said it wasn't fast enough. Now, if you go into details of what a hit record is and isn't maybe. But the Beatles could have afforded to put out the slow, understandable version of "Revolution" as a single. Whether it was a gold record or a wooden record. But because they were so upset about the Yoko period and the fact that I was again becoming as creative and dominating as I had been in the early days, after lying fallow for a couple of years, it upset the apple cart. I was awake again and they couldn't stand it?

PLAYBOY: Was it Yoko's inspiration?

LENNON: She inspired all this creation in me. It wasn't that she inspired the songs; she inspired me. The statement in "Revolution" was mine. The lyrics stand today. It's still my feeling about politics. I want to see the plan. That is what I used to say to Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. Count me out if it is for violence. Don't expect me to be on the barricades unless it is with flowers.

PLAYBOY: What do you think of Hoffman's turning himself in?

LENNON: Well he got what he wanted. Which is to be sort of an underground hero for anybody who still worships any manifestation of the underground. I don't feel that much about it anymore. Nixon, Hoffman, it's the same. They are all from the same period. It was kind of surprising to see Abbie on TV, but it was also surprising to see Nixon on TV. Maybe people get the feeling when they see me or us. I feel, What are they doing there? Is this an old newsreel?

PLAYBOY: On a new album, you close with "Hard Times Are Over (For a While)." Why?

LENNON: It's not a new message: "Give Peace a Chance" -- we're not being unreasonable, just saying, "Give it a chance." With "Imagine," we're saying, "Can you imagine a world without countries or religions?" It's the same message over and over. And it's positive.

PLAYBOY: How does it feel to have people anticipate your new record because they feel you are a prophet of sorts? When you returned to the studio to make "Double Fantasy," some of your fans were saying things like, "Just as Lennon defined the Sixties and the Seventies, he'll be defining the Eighties."

LENNON: It's very sad. Anyway, we're not saying anything new. A, we have already said it and, B, 100,000,000 other people have said it, too.

PLAYBOY: But your songs do have messages.

LENNON: All we are saying is, "This is what is happening to us." We are sending postcards. I don't let it become "I am the awakened; you are sheep that will be shown the way." That is the danger of saying anything, you know.

PLAYBOY: Especially for you.

LENNON: Listen, there's nothing wrong with following examples. We can have figure heads and people we admire, but we don't need leaders. "Don't follow leaders, watch the parking meters."

PLAYBOY: You're quoting one of your peers, of sorts. Is it distressing to you that Dylan is a born-again Christian?

LENNON: I don't like to comment on it. For whatever reason he's doing it, it is personal for him and he needs to do it. But the whole religion business suffers from the "Onward, Christian Soldiers" bit. There's too much talk about soldiers and marching and converting. I'm not pushing Buddhism, because I'm no more a Buddhist than I am a Christian, but there's one thing I admire about the religion: There's no proselytizing.

PLAYBOY: Were you a Dylan fan?

LENNON: No, I stopped listening to Dylan with both ears after "Highway 64" [sic] and "Blonde on Blonde," and even then it was because George would sit me down and make me listen.

PLAYBOY: Like Dylan, weren't you also looking for some kind of leader when you did primal-scream therapy with Arthur Janov?

ONO: I think Janov was a daddy for John. I think he has this father complex and he's always searching for a daddy.

LENNON: Had, dear. I had a father complex.

PLAYBOY: Would you explain?

ONO: I had a daddy, a real daddy, sort of a big and strong father like a Billy Graham, but growing up, I saw his weak side. I saw the hypocrisy. So whenever I see something that is supposed to be so big and wonderful -- a guru or primal scream -- I'm very cynical.

LENNON: She fought with Janov all the time. He couldn't deal with it.

ONO: I'm not searching for the big daddy. I look for something else in men -- something that is tender and weak and I feel like I want to help.

LENNON: And I was the lucky cripple she chose!

ONO: I have this mother instinct, or whatever. But I was not hung up on finding a father, because I had one who disillusioned me. John never had a chance to get disillusioned about his father, since his father wasn't around, so he never thought of him as that big man.

PLAYBOY: Do you agree with that assessment, John?

LENNON: A lot of us are looking for fathers. Mine was physically not there. Most people's are not there mentally and physically, like always at the office or busy with other things. So all these leaders, parking meters, are all substitute fathers, whether they be religious or political. . . . All this bit about electing a President. We pick our own daddy out of a dog pound of daddies. This is the daddy that looks like the daddy in the commercials. He's got the nice gray hair and the right teeth and the parting's on the right side. OK? This is the daddy we choose. The dog pound of daddies, which is the political arena, gives us a President, then we put him on a platform and start punishing him and screaming at him because Daddy can't do miracles. Daddy doesn't heal us.

PLAYBOY: So Janov was a daddy for you. Who else?

ONO: Before, there was Maharishi.

LENNON: Maharishi was a father figure, Elvis Presley might have been a father figure. I don't know. Robert Mitchum. Any male image is a father figure. There's nothing wrong with it until you give them the right to give you sort of a recipe for your life. What happens is somebody comes along with a good piece of truth. Instead of the truth's being looked at, the person who brought it is looked at. The messenger is worshiped, instead of the message. So there would be Christianity, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Marxism, Maoism -- everything -- it is always about a person and never about what he says.

ONO: All the isms are daddies. It's sad that society is structured in such a way that people cannot really open up to each other, and therefore they need a certain theater to go to to cry or something like that.

LENNON: Well, you went to est.

ONO: Yes, I wanted to check it out.

LENNON: We went to Janov for the same reason.

ONO: But est people are given a reminder----

LENNON: Yeah, but I wouldn't go and sit in a room and not pee.

ONO: Well, you did in primal scream.

LENNON: Oh, but I had you with me.

ONO: Anyway, when I went to est, I saw Werner Erhardt, the same thing. He's a nice showman and he's got a nice gig there. I felt the same thing when we went to Sai Baba in India. In India, you have to be a guru instead of a pop star. Guru is the pop star of India and pop star is the guru here.

LENNON: But nobody's perfect, etc., etc. Whether it's Janov or Erhardt or Maharishi or a Beatle. That doesn't take away from their message. It's like learning how to swim. The swimming is fine. But forget about the teacher. If the Beatles had a message, it was that. With the Beatles, the records are the point, not the Beatles as individuals. You don't need the package, just as you don't need the Christian package or the Marxist package to get the message. People always got the image I was an anti-Christ or antireligion. I'm not. I'm a most religious fellow. I was brought up a Christian and I only now understand some of the things that Christ was saying in those parables. Because people got hooked on the teacher and missed the message.

PLAYBOY: And the Beatles taught people how to swim?

LENNON: If the Beatles or the Sixties had a message, it was to learn to swim. Period. And once you learn to swim, swim. The people who are hung up on the Beatles' and the Sixties' dream missed the whole point when the Beatles' and the Sixties' dream became the point. Carrying the Beatles' or the Sixties' dream around all your life is like carrying the Second World War and Glenn Miller around. That's not to say you can't enjoy Glenn Miller or the Beatles, but to live in that dream is the twilight zone. It's not living now. It's an illusion.

John Lennon: Solo Bootleg Discography

Compiled by John Eustace and Phill Boylett

The various official releases such as Lennon Legend, Acoustic, Menlove Avenue and the John Lennon Anthology, containing previously unissued tracks which have been released since his death, have only really scratched the surface in terms of what is available from the John Lennon archives. In this meticulously researched book we examine the solo recordings of John Lennon including live concerts, demos, outtakes, home recordings, interviews and much more. This is a goldmine of information about the solo years of one of rock music’s greatest talents.

Over 900 entries of vinyl and compact disc bootlegs with track listings, a guide to sound quality, label and catalogue number and other information.

Detailed Songs Index.

List of sources and background information about the recording sessions, rehearsals, live performances and interviews.

The story behind The Lost Lennon Tapes radio series with full details of all 218 shows.

Details of ten important John Lennon bootleg albums you must own.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Pictures of Pattie Boyd

Beatles News

"With a Little Help From My Friends" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1967)

What would you think if I sang outta tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing outta key.

Oh I get by with a little help from my friends
Mmm I get high with a little help from my friends
Mmm gonna try with a little help from my friends.

What do I do when my love is away?
(Does it worry you to be alone?)
How do I feel by the end of the day?
(Are you sad because you're on your own?)

No I get by with a little help from my friends
Mmm get high with a little help from my friends
Mmm gonna try with a little help from my friends

(Do you need anybody?)
I need somebody to love.
(Could it be anybody?)
I want somebody to love.

(Would you believe in a love at first sight?)
Yes I'm certain that it happens all the time.
(What do you see when you turn out the light?)
I can't tell you but I know it's mine.

Oh I get by with a little help from my friends
Mmm get high with a little help from my friends
Oh I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends.

(Do you need anybody?)
I just need someone to love.
(Could it be anybody?)
I want somebody to love.

Oh I get by with a little help from my friends
Mmm gonna try with a little help from my friends
Oh I get high with a little help from my friends
Yes I get by with a little help from my friends
With a little help from my friends.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

"Polythene Pam" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1969)

Well, you should see Polythene Pam.
She's so good-looking but she looks like a man.
Well, you should see her in drag
Dressed in a polythene bag.
Yes, you should see Polythene Pam - yeah, yeah, yeah.

Get a dose of her in jackboots and kilt
She's killer-diller when she's dressed to the hilt.
She's the kind of a girl that makes the News of the World.
Yes, you could say she was attractively built - yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey! (great!)
... Four, five...

"Bésame Mucho"

"Bésame Mucho" is a Spanish language song written in 1940 by Mexican Consuelo Velázquez before her sixteenth birthday. The phrase "bésame mucho" can be translated into English as "kiss me a lot." According to Velázquez, she wrote this song even though she had never been kissed yet at the time. She was inspired by the aria "Quejas, o la Maja y el Ruiseñor" from the Spanish 1916 opera Goyescas by Enrique Granados. The lyrics were translated into english by Sunny Skylar.

Emilio Tuero was the first to record the song. It is believed by some sources to be the most recorded song of all time.

The composition has been used on the soundtrack of numerous films including Great Expectations, A toda máquina, Moon Over Parador, Arizona Dream, Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, In Good Company, Paid, Juno, Mona Lisa Smile, Mivtza Savta, and Ljubav i drugi zločini.

The Beatles recorded this song for their audition with Decca Records and their early EMI sessions. The latter recording was released on Anthology 1 as part of The Beatles Anthology album series.

In 2007, composer/arranger and jazz trombonist Steve Wiest was nominated for a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement for his version of "Besame Mucho" that was recorded by Maynard Ferguson on The One and Only Maynard Ferguson.

"Bésame Mucho" is also known by translated names such as "Kiss Me Much," "Kiss Me a Lot," "Kiss Me Again and Again," "Embrasse-Moi," "Stale Ma Bozkavaj," "Suutele minua" and "Szeretlek én."