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Did John dislike any of Paul's songs?
15 January 2014
12.50am
Billy Rhythm
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Funny Paper said
Billy Rhythm's critique of "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" provokes my fiercely dry ire, only to note witheringly that one so apparently amusisch is not worth trying to refute.

 

Haha, I was being as polite as possible, I'm not a big fan of 'RAM' at all.  It's about as pretentious an album as any made by them.  Paul even admitted himself that it was made with 'McCartney's criticisms in mind, many complained about the "home grown" sound of 'McCartney' and felt that it lacked polish (remember, 'Abbey Road' hadn't been out for very long yet) so Paul declared to "do the exact opposite next time around" which he did.  The album wreaks of studio gimmicks and Paul appeared to trade in his song writing abilities for these window dressings.  'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey' is one of the better examples, the arrangement is all over the place for variety's sake and when you take it all away there's really not much of a song there, in my opinion.  What's that annoying "gurgling" sound all about anyway?  Did Yoko make a guest appearance there?  Hey, let's stick a thunderstorm in here while "the kettle's on the boil"!  They'll love that!  Hey, everyone thought that reprising the title track on 'Sgt. Pepper' was brilliant, so let's reprise 'Ram On'!  I personally found the "home grown" sound of 'McCartney' quite refreshing and the songwriting had to shine through if it was going to work because of the lack of studio gimmickry, 'Every Night' & 'Maybe I'm Amazed' ARE great songs and also showcase great performances, I honestly (like Ringo) can't say this for any one single tune on 'RAM', some interesting moments throughout but that's about it for me...:-)

15 January 2014
1.01am
meanmistermustard
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Billy Rhythm said

Funny Paper said
Billy Rhythm's critique of "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" provokes my fiercely dry ire, only to note witheringly that one so apparently amusisch is not worth trying to refute.

 

Haha, I was being as polite as possible, I'm not a big fan of 'RAM' at all.  It's about as pretentious an album as any made by them.  Paul even admitted himself that it was made with 'McCartney's criticisms in mind, many complained about the "home grown" sound of 'McCartney' and felt that it lacked polish (remember, 'Abbey Road' hadn't been out for very long yet) so Paul declared to "do the exact opposite next time around" which he did.  The album wreaks of studio gimmicks and Paul appeared to trade in his song writing abilities for these window dressings.  'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey' is one of the better examples, the arrangement is all over the place for variety's sake and when you take it all away there's really not much of a song there, in my opinion.  What's that annoying "gurgling" sound all about anyway?  Did Yoko make a guest appearance there?  Hey, let's stick a thunderstorm in here while "the kettle's on the boil"!  They'll love that!  Hey, everyone thought that reprising the title track on 'Sgt. Pepper' was brilliant, so let's reprise 'Ram On'!  I personally found the "home grown" sound of 'McCartney' quite refreshing and the songwriting had to shine through if it was going to work because of the lack of studio gimmickry, 'Every Night' & 'Maybe I'm Amazed' ARE great songs and also showcase great performances, I honestly (like Ringo) can't say this for any one single tune on 'RAM', some interesting moments throughout but that's about it for me...:-)

Ringo's comments were at the time when Paul had taken the others to court and so personally i wouldn't put too much weight on what he said.

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
15 January 2014
1.20am
Atlas
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It's down to taste of course. I'm glad the songs from both albums exit. If I had to pick one song……It would be 'Maybe I'm Amazed' If I had to pick one album….'Ram' without question.

 

Some of you will agree, some won't…… Just opinion.

 

I'm sure, whatever he said, John would have paid great attention to everything Paul and George put out. His comments on them should be seen as a continuation of the rivalry.

It's easy to find negative comments from John and George about Paul's work but I can't recall Paul putting down John or George's songs…….illuminating! 

15 January 2014
1.38am
Ron Nasty
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Atlas said
I can't recall Paul putting down John... songs

Paul commented that he couldn't "dig" what John was doing throughout 70-72 in many forums, from interviews to letters. There's also, "Too many people preaching practices..." which is easy to see as a comment on the type of songs John was writing in the wake of The Beatles. Surely it is interesting that both John and George tended to criticise exactly the same songs that Paul bought to The Beatles... things like Maxwell?

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
15 January 2014
1.39am
meanmistermustard
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mja6758 said

Atlas said
I can't recall Paul putting down John... songs

Paul commented that he couldn't "dig" what John was doing throughout 70-72 in many forums, from interviews to letters. There's also, "Too many people preaching practices..." which is easy to see as a comment on the type of songs John was writing in the wake of The Beatles. Surely it is interesting that both John and George tended to criticise exactly the same songs that Paul bought to The Beatles... things like Maxwell?

Didn't even Ringo put in a gripe about Maxwell? 

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
15 January 2014
1.58am
Billy Rhythm
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Atlas said 

 
It's easy to find negative comments from John and George about Paul's work but I can't recall Paul putting down John or George's songs…….illuminating! 

 

You could look at these comments made by Paul during his infamous "self-interview" that accompanied the press releases for 'McCartney' as pretty "negative", the questions are more "illuminating" than the evasive answers to his own questions however.  I'm sure that George could share some stories about "Paul putting down" his songs over the years, but Paul is just too aware of how the public perceives him and did it "behind closed doors".  Paul's pretty bright, and he knew that George & John's albums were much better than his at the time:

 

Q: "Did you miss the other Beatles and George Martin? Was there a moment when you thought, 'I wish Ringo were here for this break?'"

PAUL: "No."

Q: "Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones?"

PAUL: "Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don't really know."

Q: "Do you foresee a time when Lennon-McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again?"

PAUL: "No."

Q: "What do you feel about John's peace effort? The Plastic Ono Band? Giving back the MBE? Yoko's influence? Yoko?"

PAUL: "I love John, and respect what he does - it doesn't really give me any pleasure."

 

I don't agree with John's "rubbish" assessment of 'McCartney', nor did I ever feel that George's "fruity" comment accurately describes 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer', but I most certainly agree with Ringo's view of 'RAM', he nailed it, in my opinion...:-)

 

 

15 January 2014
5.16am
ivaughan
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Billy Rhythm said

He (John) claimed to have wrote the Middle Eight ('Michelle&#39a-hard-days-night-george-10, although he readily admitted to borrowing from a Nina Simone song, when John confesses these things it usually means that he's embarrassed about it and trying to shift "the blame".  He did the same while crediting the song 'Baby, Let's Play House' (sorry, can't recall the performer off the top of my head) for the "rather see you dead little girl than to be with another man" lyric from 'Run For Your Life' which was a song that he wasn't fond of.  I got the impression that he wasn't particularly proud of 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite' either, and made a point of referencing the famous poster that he borrowed the lyrics from...:-)

I really disagree here. I think you have one example - Run For Your Life - and are inferring from that. He has never said anything particularly bad about Michelle, nor Kite, nor Tomorrow Never Knows (despite him talking about being influenced by the Tibetan Book of the Dead), nor Come Together (despite him openly admitting to lifting the lyrics of You Can't Catch Me), nor All I've Got To Do (which he admits to being a Smokey Robinson imitation), nor Whatever Gets You Thru The Night (which he admits to lifting the rhythm from Rock Me Baby), etc. Lennon was open about the music he was attempting to copy and never in my view, used it to shift blame especially since he rarely critiqued the songs that were so openly inspired by other sources - if anything he would praise them. Even with Run For Your Life, he hardly blames Elvis, nor would he since Baby Let's Play House was cited as one of his favourite songs. He certainly had no problem calling his own songs "crap" without having to draw it back to some influence. Indeed, he could have said It's Only Love was influenced by Dylan...

15 January 2014
5.21am
ivaughan
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I also think there is a bit too much inferring here from Lennon's granny music comment. I don't think the fact that he made such a statement means that he disliked, say, Your Mother Should Know or When I'm 64. As for the latter, it has to be the one that Lennon refers to as a "happy-go-lucky Northern song" in John and Paul's Pepper interview in '67. Hardly the same thing as "granny music". 

However, I will name one early one in particular that Paul mostly wrote that Lennon did not seem to care for: Eight Days A Week

15 January 2014
5.37am
Ron Nasty
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As I have already said here, John used the term SPECIFICALLY in regards of Maxwell's Silver Hammer and Teddy Boy, while alluding that Ob-La-Di might also fall into the same camp. I always make the argument that John was clear on the songs he disliked for that reason.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
15 January 2014
5.50am
Billy Rhythm
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ivaughan said

 

I really disagree here. I think you have one example - Run For Your Life - and are inferring from that. He has never said anything particularly bad about Michelle, nor Kite, nor Tomorrow Never Knows (despite him talking about being influenced by the Tibetan Book of the Dead), nor Come Together (despite him openly admitting to lifting the lyrics of You Can't Catch Me), nor All I've Got To Do (which he admits to being a Smokey Robinson imitation), nor Whatever Gets You Thru The Night (which he admits to lifting the rhythm from Rock Me Baby), etc. Lennon was open about the music he was attempting to copy and never in my view, used it to shift blame especially since he rarely critiqued the songs that were so openly inspired by other sources - if anything he would praise them. Even with Run For Your Life, he hardly blames Elvis, nor would he since Baby Let's Play House was cited as one of his favourite songs. He certainly had no problem calling his own songs "crap" without having to draw it back to some influence. Indeed, he could have said It's Only Love was influenced by Dylan...

 

Ira Lipson referenced a John Lennon interview during the 1981 Radio Program 'The Beatles: The Days In Their Lives' before playing 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite', he says after discussing where he borrowed the lyrics from (the famous poster), "I'm not proud of it, I was just going through the motions because we needed another song for Sgt. Pepper"...:-)

15 January 2014
8.03am
Atlas
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Yes ..'Too Many People' was a dig at John…..and the inside cover photo too. More obscure and less specific than 'How Do You Sleep' though. They had digs at each other……. But Paul never picked on a particular song or a 'type' of John song intentioned to undermine John's songwriting abilities. Maybe his politics and behaviour but as far as I know not a specific song either in the Beatles or out of it. 

 

Some songs like 'Dear Friend' 'if' it's about John could be seen as Paul's true feelings and confusion regarding his three friends hostility and perceived  lack of gratitude. I'm not sure about that.

 

But I've always been pretty sure, (though I've never heard this expressed anywhere), that 'Power-Cut' from Red Rose Speedway is Paul's oblique make up message to the others.

Also I recall hearing him call there names out in the fade…..  'baby I love You So…… Yes I do Yes I do George'... repeat '……..John'…….'Yeah Ringo'

 

…... have a listen……See what you think.

 

 

We never got 'the miracle'….. the 'power' didn't come back on. But it was a miracle that we ever had them at all.

  

15 January 2014
10.28am
Funny Paper
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I don't hear it, Atlas.  I say it as a person who has listened to "Power Cut" (and the whole medley) probably at least 200 times (mostly to play along to with my acoustic guitar) -- and I just gave a close intent listen pressing my headphones tight against my ears like Paul on the "Tug of War" cover.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
15 January 2014
12.28pm
Atlas
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Funny Paper said
I don't hear it, Atlas.  I say it as a person who has listened to "Power Cut" (and the whole medley) probably at least 200 times (mostly to play along to with my acoustic guitar) -- and I just gave a close intent listen pressing my headphones tight against my ears like Paul on the "Tug of War" cover.

Well maybe my ears have gone………. But try again 2.26….. 2.36 and less distinct 2.57.

 

Also the lyrics……..Unless you think Paul really is just talking about a power-cut and some candles then the words only make sense if seen as a reflection on, or a reaction to, a relationship that appears to have come to an end. Paul regrets this and hopes for a miracle….a reunion and an end to the 'power-cut'

"I may never tell you, but baby you should know. There may be a miracle and baby I love you so."

Now it could be about Linda……but he sings 'I may never tell you' and I reckon he told her many times in many ways and a few doz songs that he loved her.

It 'could' be about his brother or Aunty Jin or anyone he was very very close to and is now estranged from.

Why rule out that it could be about extending a hand to John, George, and Ringo?

 

 

 

 

15 January 2014
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Bungalow Bob
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Atlas said  

But I've always been pretty sure, (though I've never heard this expressed anywhere), that 'Power-Cut' from Red Rose Speedway is Paul's oblique make up message to the others.

 

Atlas, thanks for posting "Power Cut." It's been decades since I last listened to that song, and I'd forgotten how cool the ending was with all of the guitar solos from the medley intertwining! All those counter melodies coming together like that is really clever songwriting. But the overall "sound" on the song seemed "thin" to my ears, almost like a demo recording. And the lyrics struck me as rather "under-developed," almost like place-holder words in search of more meaningful lyrics. In other words, I feel that the whole "Power Cut medley" sounds like a demo that McCartney might have taken into to the studio, to be worked up into a real song in collaboration with the other Beatles and George Martin. I don't really get any feeling of a "message" in this song to the other Beatles. But the ending of "Power Cut" could have been done similar to the ending of "The End," with each Beatle taking a guitar solo. Then, instead of the song fading out, Ringo could have performed a short drum solo that ended abruptly… almost as if the power had been cut in the studio. That might have made it more memorable.

15 January 2014
5.16pm
meanmistermustard
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Bungalow Bob said

Atlas said  

But I've always been pretty sure, (though I've never heard this expressed anywhere), that 'Power-Cut' from Red Rose Speedway is Paul's oblique make up message to the others.

 

Atlas, thanks for posting "Power Cut." It's been decades since I last listened to that song, and I'd forgotten how cool the ending was with all of the guitar solos from the medley intertwining! All those counter melodies coming together like that is really clever songwriting. But the overall "sound" on the song seemed "thin" to my ears, almost like a demo recording. And the lyrics struck me as rather "under-developed," almost like place-holder words in search of more meaningful lyrics. In other words, I feel that the whole "Power Cut medley" sounds like a demo that McCartney might have taken into to the studio, to be worked up into a real song in collaboration with the other Beatles and George Martin. I don't really get any feeling of a "message" in this song to the other Beatles. But the ending of "Power Cut" could have been done similar to the ending of "The End," with each Beatle taking a guitar solo. Then, instead of the song fading out, Ringo could have performed a short drum solo that ended abruptly… almost as if the power had been cut in the studio. That might have made it more memorable.

 

Much of Red Rose Speedway feels like it has a case lacksidaisical lyric syndrome (LLS) and undercooked. It's a decent listen, but whilst Wild Life suffers from LLS (if we're being honest a lot of Paul's material suffers with LLS) and being taken out of the oven too early, it has a rough, raw energy to it (a little too much for some) whilst RRS is more polished and softer (to its own detriment in my opinion). 

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
15 January 2014
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Funny Paper
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These criticisms of Paul's music seem to stem from a sensibility that isn't satisfied with good music, but needs extraneous factors like "meaning" and/or style to augment that good music.  With Paul, he's good when he has inspiration from the Muses; and he's mediocre when he doesn't.  All else is like obsessing about carpentry and masonry in the presence of the genius of an abstract sculptor. 

The medley in question on Red Rose Speedway is one such example of Paul's Muse in full working order; as are My Love, Get On the Right Thing, Only One More Kiss, Little Lamb Dragonfly and When the Night.  Only the two songs, Big Barn Bed and Loup (1st Indian on the Moon) are mediocre; while Single Pigeon is right on the edge of being trite, but still wonderfully pleasant.

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15 January 2014
5.35pm
Funny Paper
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As for Power Cut having deeper meanings, anything's possible; but I don't feel a need to invest a flash of genius with deeper meaning to esteem it enough, and in the absence of actual proof, I must remain agnostic.  But luckily, I don't need those deeper meanings to be perfectly satisfied with the music.  And this need to try to find "real" significations to various phrases in the lyrics seems misplaced as well.  A songwriter, just as a poet or a balladeer or a minstrel, often sings about generalities of the human condition. 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
15 January 2014
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Billy Rhythm said

Funny Paper said
Billy Rhythm's critique of "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" provokes my fiercely dry ire, only to note witheringly that one so apparently amusisch is not worth trying to refute.

 

Haha, I was being as polite as possible, I'm not a big fan of 'RAM' at all.  It's about as pretentious an album as any made by them.  Paul even admitted himself that it was made with 'McCartney's criticisms in mind, many complained about the "home grown" sound of 'McCartney' and felt that it lacked polish (remember, 'Abbey Road' hadn't been out for very long yet) so Paul declared to "do the exact opposite next time around" which he did.  The album wreaks of studio gimmicks and Paul appeared to trade in his song writing abilities for these window dressings.  'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey' is one of the better examples, the arrangement is all over the place for variety's sake and when you take it all away there's really not much of a song there, in my opinion.  What's that annoying "gurgling" sound all about anyway?  Did Yoko make a guest appearance there?  Hey, let's stick a thunderstorm in here while "the kettle's on the boil"!  They'll love that!  Hey, everyone thought that reprising the title track on 'Sgt. Pepper' was brilliant, so let's reprise 'Ram On'!  I personally found the "home grown" sound of 'McCartney' quite refreshing and the songwriting had to shine through if it was going to work because of the lack of studio gimmickry, 'Every Night' & 'Maybe I'm Amazed' ARE great songs and also showcase great performances, I honestly (like Ringo) can't say this for any one single tune on 'RAM', some interesting moments throughout but that's about it for me...:-)

Dude, how can you not appreciate the greatness that is RAM?!

I can't even…… I gotta go...  

 

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

15 January 2014
7.18pm
ivaughan
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Billy Rhythm said

Ira Lipson referenced a John Lennon interview during the 1981 Radio Program 'The Beatles: The Days In Their Lives' before playing 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite', he says after discussing where he borrowed the lyrics from (the famous poster), "I'm not proud of it, I was just going through the motions because we needed another song for Sgt. Pepper"...:-)

 

Fair enough -- I suppose I was confused because I've seen instances where he was more positive about the song. But I think the reason why this is confusing is because Lennon was typically negative about songs that he just "knocked off" --> in other words, he wasn't proud of songs that he wrote just to write a song rather than the ones he wrote because he was genuinely inspired. And yes, one could say that it was likely in songs that Lennon "knocked off" that there might be more stealing going on since he was trying to write it quickly. But that doesn't mean that one always equals the other.  In a song where he is inspired, like Tomorrow Never Knows, he doesn't speak negatively about it even though the lyric outright steals from Timothy Leary's psychedelic version of the Tibetan Book of the Dead which Lennon himself acknowledged.

15 January 2014
8.51pm
Billy Rhythm
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ivaughan said

Billy Rhythm said

Ira Lipson referenced a John Lennon interview during the 1981 Radio Program 'The Beatles: The Days In Their Lives' before playing 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite', he says after discussing where he borrowed the lyrics from (the famous poster), "I'm not proud of it, I was just going through the motions because we needed another song for Sgt. Pepper"...:-)

 

Fair enough -- I suppose I was confused because I've seen instances where he was more positive about the song. But I think the reason why this is confusing is because Lennon was typically negative about songs that he just "knocked off" --> in other words, he wasn't proud of songs that he wrote just to write a song rather than the ones he wrote because he was genuinely inspired. And yes, one could say that it was likely in songs that Lennon "knocked off" that there might be more stealing going on since he was trying to write it quickly. But that doesn't mean that one always equals the other.  In a song where he is inspired, like Tomorrow Never Knows, he doesn't speak negatively about it even though the lyric outright steals from Timothy Leary's psychedelic version of the Tibetan Book of the Dead which Lennon himself acknowledged.

 

I think that John wasn't too keen on a lot of their(his) work.  You referenced 'Eight Days A Week' earlier as an example, and I remember his quote on that one but it was more in reference to their earlier songs in general, after commenting later on his dislike for much of their earlier work he said, "songs like 'Eight Days A Week' sound like a big drag to me now".  He later added, "I've never been a knocked out Beatles fan by any of our albums, I like some of the work we do and some of it I don't".  He's implied on more than one occasion that although 'Sgt. Pepper' was "a peak" in their careers that he much preferred their other albums, in particular his own songs on the 'White Album'.

 

A lot of John's work during the psychedelic period was a case of him "just going through the motions" (perhaps because he was overindulging in different areas).  His other songs on 'Sgt. Pepper' echo this sentiment, aside from quoting word for word from the Circus Poster, his contribution to 'A Day In The Life' was much the same except it happened to be a newspaper laying around that particular day, or with 'Good Morning, Good Morning' the TV was on in the background and a commercial for Corn Flakes came on saying "good morning, good morning".  This is a quote from the book, 'The Beatles : In Their Own Words':

 

JOHN 1968: "We write about our past. 'Good Morning, Good Morning,' I was never proud of it. I just knocked it off to do a song. But it was writing about my past so it does get the kids because it was me at school, my whole bit."

 

It seems that his son Julian was the only one inspiring him during the 'Pepper' period when he came home with that famous 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' painting which prompted John to revisit his childhood love of Lewis Carroll with the 'Through The Looking Glass' style lyrics to that song, which were later much more fully explored for 'I Am The Walrus'.  I think that John was having a hard time following Paul, let alone being inspired by him in 1967, this quote about 'Lovely Rita' by John is from the same book referenced above:

 

JOHN 1980: "That's Paul writing a pop song. He makes 'em up like a novelist. You hear lots of McCartney-influenced songs on the radio now. These stories about boring people doing boring things-- being postmen and secretaries and writing home. I'm not interested in writing third-party songs. I like to write about me, 'cuz I know me."

 

I also thought that I'd share this quote with you from John about 'Tomorrow Never Knows' from the same book:

 

JOHN 1968: "Often the backing I think of early-on never comes off. With 'Tomorrow Never Knows' I'd imagined in my head that in the background you would hear thousands of monks chanting. That was impractical, of course, and we did something different. It was a bit of a drag, and I didn't really like it. I should have tried to get near my original idea, the monks singing. I realize now that was what I wanted."

 

The songs that I see John commenting more favourably on are the ones that mean something highly personal to him, such as 'In My Life', 'Across The Universe', 'Yer Blues', etc., the ones where he was truly inspired rather than simply going through the motions.  His high praise for 'Hey Jude' stems from his feeling that Paul was going through the same thing as him at the time, John had left Cynthia while Paul ended his long-time relationship with Jane Asher, or "you're waiting for someone to perform with", of course Paul had Julian in mind instead but John still felt very strongly that he knew what "the movement you need is on your shoulder" meant, much to Paul's delight...:-) 

 

 

 

 

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