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Paperback Writer question
13 February 2013
1.28am
RunForYourLife
Ed Sullivan Show
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I seem to recall having read in some article (Can't remember where, probably one of the reasons I'm skeptical) that in addition to the usual culprits (strain of touring, studio experimentation, etc.) one of the reasons that the group went in such a different direction with Sgt. Pepper was some negative critical response to "Paperback Writer". I'd never heard of this before, and I can't seem to find any reference to such a thing. Am I to assume that the author of the article was mistaken? (He'd hardly be the first)

13 February 2013
11.26am
meanmistermustard
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Were the beatles bothered by criticism by that time, especially by the press? I have the mindset that they were so confident in themselves and what they were doing that that the press reaction didnt matter to them that much. I read somewhere that Paperback Writer entered at number 4 in the UK and climbed to number 1 the next week (if thats true) so criticism might have come from that i suppose (not entering at number 1 so someone thought to have a go at the different sound) but at least 1 paper negitively reviewed She Loves You so it wasnt new to them.

Have searched the net however and found this on The Beatles Biography (no source is given).

There was an abrupt change in direction due to the Beatles' decision to stop touring in 1966. Reportedly stung by criticism of "Paperback Writer", the Beatles poured their creative energies into the recording studio in a determined attempt to produce material they could be proud of. There had already been a clear trend towards progressively greater complexity both in technique and style, but this now accelerated noticeably, as was evident on "Revolver". The subject matter of the post-touring songs was no longer you, I, love, boy meets girl, etc., and this took them very far from the days in 1963 when their material had shown some similarity with, say, the work of The Hollies. Now all manner of subjects were introduced, from home repair and circuses to nonsense songs and others that defied description.

First time ive ever come across anything of that sort and i cant find anything else anywhere.

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)
13 February 2013
5.51pm
vonbontee
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Seems to me there was barely any notion of pop music criticism in 1966, or at least not much reason to take it seriously. And "Paperback Writer" itself was pretty substantial, so what kind of criticism could they have reacted to by seeking out more complexity? It seems to me that, by venturing away from simple love songs with simple rock-band instrumentation and production, they were pondering the possibility of leaving their audience behind - at least they were asked if they were concerned about that by at least one journalist.

But who knows, whether it's essentially "true" or not, I can imagine Paul saying something like this, years after the fact. Like for instance, maybe Paul read some negative remark about "Paperback Writer" by some journo, even something as trivial as "This doesn't sound like a hit," and never forgot about it. Then years later, he's reminiscing about recording "Pepper" and mentions how hard they all worked on it, and gives the "Paperback Writer" slight as a reason, just as a kind of throwaway remark in some interview somewhere. Then, the unnamed writer of that "Beatles Biography" article reads that interview and recalls the Paul remark. That seems to me like a plausible scenario.

(Of course, I have to admit that it's the scenario I'd most like to believe, personally. The notion that the band ever recorded music to please anybody but themselves primarily is extremely distasteful to me. One I all but refuse to believe, in fact.)

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
14 February 2013
6.27pm
Beatlebob63
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My opinion is there is no truth to any of it, Paperback Writer was written, recorded and performed just as anything else was at the time, in their power and creativity.  They set the times, if anything they played up to the press and the so called coined Beatlemania and made fun of it all even in post performing dayz.  That's what kept them from drug overdoses, and the pressures of fame, they made fun of themselves.

The only song or songs they did for someone else was for Ringo, you must be mistaking the press article regarding THE MONKEES, because with them it WAS true.  They did a version of Pleasant Valley Sunday that knocked everone's sox off when it came to performing their own songs.  Nesmith (and Tork, the most musically inclined out of all of them) put an end to that perception..Hmm...just about the same time as Paperback Writer, 1966....

 

 

 

Ask Me Why?,,,,,,,Well, I'll tell you Why............

14 February 2013
7.42pm
vonbontee
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Actually "Pleasant Valley Sunday" was a year after "Paperback Writer"...

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
16 February 2013
4.43am
RunForYourLife
Ed Sullivan Show
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"Last Train To Clarksville" was inspired by the fade-out to "Paperback Writer".

17 February 2013
3.53pm
Monkey Finger
The Kaiserkeller
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Any criticism of PW I've ever read mainly has to do with the song not being substantive, and I suppose it sort of isn't, but I've always loved it (that riff is killer!. To me it's always been one of the most "Beatles-y" sounding tracks they ever did, if that makes any sense. I think its critics see it as the kind of thing L-M were capable of more or less writing in their sleep and therefore didn't/don't take it that seriously.

 

 

17 February 2013
5.13pm
Beatlebob63
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Paul was also reflecting on johns poems and In His Own Write being published, it's was kind of like 'good for you mate' since John was very private about his writings that's a lot of what the song is about as well and Paul just wrote about it.

18 February 2013
2.37am
Ron Nasty
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Beatlebob63 said
Paul was also reflecting on johns poems and In His Own Write being published, it's was kind of like 'good for you mate' since John was very private about his writings that's a lot of what the song is about as well and Paul just wrote about it.

John was never, ever, "private about his writings". At school, his handwritten-drawn copies of "The Daily Howl" were passed around. He wrote nonsense pieces for Bill Harry's "Mersey Beat" newspaper on a regular basis, including the most amusing "Being a Short Diversion on the Dubious Origins of Beatles (Translated from The John Lennon)" (worth seeking out), and several pieces that ended up in "In His Own Write". John might have been surprised at the offer of a book deal, but he never hid his writing.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
18 February 2013
4.30pm
Linde
The Netherlands
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I don't really know what to discuss, but IMO Paperback Writer is a bit boring and I don't listen to it too often.

And yeah, it never seemed like John was hiding it.

18 February 2013
6.55pm
meanmistermustard
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John went on a few shows to promote A Spaniard In The Works in '65. Thinking about it there are a handful of clips of reading stories from the first two he wrote.

Very funny clip.

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)
18 February 2013
8.15pm
Ron Nasty
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John's first appearance on Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's Not Only... But Also, was made-up of interpretations of his writing. It is something to behold:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....C4ipJdmH2Q

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
18 February 2013
8.23pm
meanmistermustard
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John promoting A Spaniard In The Works on the BBC1 show Tonight on the 18th June '65.

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)
19 February 2013
8.09pm
Beatlebob63
St Peters Church
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mja6758 said

Beatlebob63 said
Paul was also reflecting on johns poems and In His Own Write being published, it's was kind of like 'good for you mate' since John was very private about his writings that's a lot of what the song is about as well and Paul just wrote about it.

John was never, ever, "private about his writings". At school, his handwritten-drawn copies of "The Daily Howl" were passed around. He wrote nonsense pieces for Bill Harry's "Mersey Beat" newspaper on a regular basis, including the most amusing "Being a Short Diversion on the Dubious Origins of Beatles (Translated from The John Lennon)" (worth seeking out), and several pieces that ended up in "In His Own Write". John might have been surprised at the offer of a book deal, but he never hid his writing.

Yes, I agree, 'private' was not a good choice of words, in what I've read it seemed the overall feel was that he thought they weren't really any good in the early days, just his thing, always writing, drawing cartoons.... I read 'In his Own Write' and was wondering just that if there was a compleat Being a Short Diversion ...." out there, would love to read that one...

19 February 2013
9.07pm
Ron Nasty
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Beatlebob63 said

I read 'In his Own Write' and was wondering just that if there was a compleat Being a Short Diversion ...." out there, would love to read that one...

It can be found at http://www.triumphpc.com/mersey-beat/archives/dubious.shtml

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
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