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How Do You Sleep?
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29 December 2014
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The things that John says about Paul's music in "How Do You Sleep?" are not true. Do you think he knew that when he wrote it?

Also, how influential was this song on people's opinion of Paul's music? Did the line referring to Paul's songs as "muzak" have any influence?

"Stop throwing jelly beans at me." --George Harrison

9 January 2015
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I'm not sure whether Lennon cared about truth or not (ironic considering Gimme Some Truth was also on Imagine ). He was aiming for maximum impact, to throw all he could at Paul and score a winning blow.

I wasn't around in 1971 so I don't know about the influence HDYS had. But certainly Lennon had his gripes about McCartney's music, probably from around Abbey Road onwards. I don't think he was just referring to solo songs when he sang about muzak.

I'm moving this into a thread of its own (from the Imagine album one), because the song probably deserves it.

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10 January 2015
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Expert Textpert said
The things that John says about Paul's music in "How Do You Sleep?" are not true. Do you think he knew that when he wrote it?

Also, how influential was this song on people's opinion of Paul's music? Did the line referring to Paul's songs as "muzak" have any influence?

2 old friends fighting, nothing more.  They've moved on since the lawsuits, as we've sen them together in 1974 pictures hanging out!. apple01

The song was in response to the Ram LP that he assumed Macca was talking about John.

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

10 January 2015
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Expert Textpert said
The things that John says about Paul's music in "How Do You Sleep?" are not true. Do you think he knew that when he wrote it?

Also, how influential was this song on people's opinion of Paul's music? Did the line referring to Paul's songs as "muzak" have any influence?

Truth in regards to someone's opinion of someone else's music is so hard to determine.

If Paul's success following these attacks is anything to go by then it must have had a positive influence :)

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10 January 2015
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Bongo said

The song was in response to the Ram LP that he assumed Macca was talking about John.

Paul has acknowledged that he was indeed pointing barbs at John on Ram

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10 January 2015
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I remember reading somewhere that John regretted wasting that song on bile and vitriol. I think he knew that with different lyrics it would have been a classic. 

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penny lane
11 January 2015
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Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
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Atlas said
I remember reading somewhere that John regretted wasting that song on bile and vitriol. I think he knew that with different lyrics it would have been a classic. 

Of course, he DID end up basically rewriting the song as "Steel And Glass ," albeit directing it at himself that time.

12 January 2015
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i've read a storysomewhere about John: a fan met him just after the Beatles split and he dressed a beatle badge with I love Paul. the fan asked: is it a  joke? Oh no, it's true, i love Paul. and later in the years he said he regretted having written those words and that they were actually directed to himself. John never thougth Paul was like that, neither in the worst period

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12 January 2015
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Duke_of_Kirkcaldy said

Atlas said
I remember reading somewhere that John regretted wasting that song on bile and vitriol. I think he knew that with different lyrics it would have been a classic. 

Of course, he DID end up basically rewriting the song as "Steel And Glass ," albeit directing it at himself that time.

I've also heard that Steel And Glass was written about Allen Klein.

"Stop throwing jelly beans at me." --George Harrison

12 January 2015
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Expert Textpert said

Duke_of_Kirkcaldy said

Atlas said
I remember reading somewhere that John regretted wasting that song on bile and vitriol. I think he knew that with different lyrics it would have been a classic. 

Of course, he DID end up basically rewriting the song as "Steel And Glass ," albeit directing it at himself that time.

I've also heard that Steel And Glass was written about Allen Klein.

I heard Allen Klein wrote it about John!   a-hard-days-night-john-1

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

13 January 2015
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I heard you wrote it about your mother. a-hard-days-night-john-6

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"Stop throwing jelly beans at me." --George Harrison

13 January 2015
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Rising sun
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when John decided to be bad he was able to be very acid but that wasjust a way to try and write a song, he said. other songs of the same mood "against" someone are the rishi kesh song about George (but otherwise someone said that N9 dream was an affectionate one dedicated to the old pal); serve yourself to Dylan and even Move over mrs L to Yoko! it seems that Ringo was there when they recorded How do you sleep and he tried to stop his friend from being so bad. anyway the lyrics are mainly Yoko's.  i don't know if it's true

15 January 2015
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Atlas said
I remember reading somewhere that John regretted wasting that song on bile and vitriol. I think he knew that with different lyrics it would have been a classic. 

If it's the same comments that I'm remembering, John regretted the lyrics taking attention away from the fact that it's a great record.  Whenever people talk about the 'How Do You Sleep?' track, the focus is always on who the lyrics are directed towards and overlook the many great things about it, George Harrison 's excellent slide guitar playing often even gets ignored because of it.  I don't believe that John regretted the lyrics themselves at all, just the overreaction by the masses, "different lyrics" probably would've taken away from the track's brilliance, in my opinion...:-)

16 February 2015
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I was a bit young when the song came out but I never paid much attention to the lyrics, I was transfixed by the searing vocal delivery and that fantastic slide guitar. For me, the song is about wallowing in those 7ths from chord progression to riffs. I do remember being slightly confused by the Muzak reference because I'd never heard of it, so it sounded like an accidental compliment a-hard-days-night-john-6

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Beatlebug

I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

20 July 2016
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I've always wondered what Lennon meant by "So Sgt Pepper took you by surprise..you better see right through that mother's eyes".

Was he saying Sgt Pepper took Paul by surprise? Or was he saying Sgt Pepper took the public by surprise? This seems more likely as this was certainly the case but then how are either of these statements an attack on Paul? It seems like more of a compliment which doesn't seem to fit the song. 

I heard another theory which said that Lennon was referring to the first LSD trip Paul took with him and that Sgt Pepper was his codeword for LSD. (I know it sounds far fetched but certain things fit). There is an interview which Paul gave where he described this event and said that he remembered he and John staring into each others eyes where they would look right through each other..... "you better see right through that mother's eyes".  He also found the trip hard going and when he told John he was going to try to sleep it off John said "What? You'll never sleep". It's all there in the interview. If it was true then this line wold have been a private dig at Paul about what was an unsettling experience for him.

 

Here's the snippet from the interview:

PAUL: I thought, Maybe this is the moment where I should take a trip with him. It's been coming for a long time. It's often the best way, without thinking about it too much, just slip into it. John's on it already, so I'll sort of catch up. It was my first trip with John, or with any of the guys. We stayed up all night, sat around and hallucinated a lot.

Me and John, we'd known each other for a long time. Along with George and Ringo, we were best mates. And we looked into each other's eyes, the eye contact thing we used to do, which is fairly mind-boggling. You dissolve into each other. But that's what we did, round about that time, that's what we did a lot. And it was amazing. You're looking into each other's eyes and you would want to look away, but you wouldn't, and you could see yourself in the other person. It was a very freaky experience and I was totally blown away.

There's something disturbing about it. You ask yourself, 'How do you come back from it? How do you then lead a normal life after that?' And the answer is, you don't. After that you've got to get trepanned or you've got to meditate for the rest of your life. You've got to make a decision which way you're going to go.

I would walk out into the garden - 'Oh no, I've got to go back in.' It was very tiring, walking made me very tired, wasted me, always wasted me. But 'I've got to do it, for my well-being.' In the meantime John had been sitting around very enigmatically and I had a big vision of him as a king, the absolute Emperor of Eternity. It was a good trip. It was great but I wanted to go to bed after a while.

I'd just had enough after about four or five hours. John was quite amazed that it had struck me in that way. John said, 'Go to bed? You won't sleep!' 'I know that, I've still got to go to bed.' I thought, now that's enough fun and partying, now ... It's like with drink. That's enough. That was a lot of fun, now I gotta go and sleep this off. But of course you don't just sleep off an acid trip so I went to bed and hallucinated a lot in bed. I remember Mal coming up and checking that I was all right. 'Yeah, I think so.' I mean, I could feel every inch of the house, and John seemed like some sort of emperor in control of it all. It was quite strange. Of course he was just sitting there, very inscrutably."


I'm still undecided what it all means if anything.

Pivotal Moments in Beatles History No.118:  Yoko helps herself to one of George's digestives. 

20 July 2016
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This rehearsal footage is incredibly cool: 

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11 May 2017
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I have mixed feelings about this song. On one hand I really like listening to it for the groove and the awesome slide guitar. But on the other hand the lyrics make me so incredibly sad.

I came across an interview where John talks about the song, it's around the 10:20 mark.

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11 May 2017
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It is a great song, but extremely direct. Plus George plays guitar. Paul was much more subtle in his criticism of John.

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12 May 2017
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I was wondering what Fender Stratocaster George is using on the recording, is it the same sonic blue one John used while he was in The Beatles or is it a completely different Strat, my guess would be that it's John's and for some reason it needed a neck change, although I can't say for certain.

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12 May 2017
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Amazing how much the reggaeish parts improve this track. John's piano demonstration makes it sound very bleak and kinds monotonous.

Love the string arrangement too.

"That mother's eyes"...in a weird way, I like to speculate that this is referring to Frank Zappa, but I have very little to support this theory (and don't even believe it much, really). 

I remember George saying 'Blimey, he's always talking about “Yesterday”, you'd think he was Beethoven or somebody' - Paul McCartney

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