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11 November 2014
1.13pm
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Joe
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Past Masters album artwork

Written by: Larry Williams
Recorded: 10 May 1965
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 9 December 1966 (UK), 14 June 1965 (US)

John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: bass, Hohner Pianet electric piano
George Harrison: lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine

Available on:
Past Masters

The Beatles recorded two Larry Williams songs during a single 10…

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8 June 2016
8.32pm
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Ahhh Girl
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"Junior's head is hard as rock"

While listening to this song yesterday morning, I wondered if the "hard as rock" had something to do with rock-'n-roll music since it is sometimes called "hard".

Junior's head is hard as rock-'n-roll.

8 June 2016
8.49pm
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Starr Shine?
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Rock music is mentioned throughout the song so it's possible.

Maybe they have a horny friend name Junior and that is why he is a Bad Boy .

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10 June 2016
9.40am
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Mademoiselle Kitty >^..^<
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I tend to interpret it as Junior being a tough, or very stubborn kid. Or perhaps he puts so much stuff in his hair to achieve his R'n'R image, it's gone rigid. Who knows? I certainly don't. Cool tune, though, though I feel sorry for the Cocker Spaniel that gets shoved into a washing machine... paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif

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10 June 2016
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Ron Nasty
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The phrase "hard rock" to describe a form of music did not come into being until 1968/69. Ergo, no.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

10 June 2016
10.43am
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Beatlebug
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^^So it's just a cool coincidence. 

it verges from the sublime to the ridiculote
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10 June 2016
11.33am
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Ahhh Girl
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Starr Shine? said
Rock music is mentioned throughout the song so it's possible.

Maybe they have a horny friend name Junior and that is why he is a Bad Boy .  

I can imagine John thinking that while singing the song.

13 June 2016
3.22pm
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Zig
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Well this rock and roll has got to stop
Junior's head is hard as rock

 

To be hard headed means to be stubborn, not willing to change. When Larry Williams wrote those lines, I believe he was saying hard headed Junior was not going to stop rocking and rolling in a way that rhymed.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, let it roll for all its worth. And all the children boogie.

5 May 2019
10.48am
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Kaniffee
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This song slaps.  Also I'm half convinced they took the scream from this song and used it in Revolution , though I have no proof of this.

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5 May 2019
12.14pm
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QuarryMan
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I think this was the last canon song I ever discovered by them. It's a great one, one of their better covers

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¡No pasarán!

 

5 May 2019
3.13pm
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vonbontee
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Indeed! It's my favourite of the Williams covers, and I wish "Lizzie" (least fave) had incorporated some of those dramatic rhythm shifts, and stop/starts, rather than just perfunctory one-intensity-level "hysteria". Plus, any Beatle singing about a *boy* is unusual and noteworthy!

As for the "hard as rock" thing: I doubt that Larry was thinking of "...and roll" when he wrote it. But I do think that John might have have relished the double meaning: "r&r" was becoming "rock" by '64, and the idea of rocking hard vs. rocking softly may have been terminology among actual musicians before "hard rock" formally appeared in print (Jon Landau in Rolling Stone,1968, is the earliest usage I personally know of.)

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GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions, Marvin Gaye. PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty. 

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5 May 2019
4.15pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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Kaniffee said
This song slaps.  Also I'm half convinced they took the scream from this song and used it in Revolution , though I have no proof of this.

  

I would say they didn't. It's unlikely in the first place, but it's too short.

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5 May 2019
4.59pm
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Kaniffee
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Which one's too short? If it's Revolution they could've cut it theoretically.

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5 May 2019
5.18pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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Kaniffee said
Which one's too short? If it's Revolution they could've cut it theoretically.

  

Bad Boy 's is too short, and also waivers in pitch a bit too much.

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5 May 2019
7.10pm
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Kaniffee
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Aww too bad.  They will be the same in my heartheart.

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18 December 2019
4.28pm
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BeatOfTheBrass
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How many people realize that: the "tulare" the neighbor's cat was fed, means rabbit(?).

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19 December 2019
11.45am
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BeatOfTheBrass said
How many people realize that: the "tulare" the neighbor's cat was fed, means rabbit(?).

  

Junior fed a canary to the cat, didn't he? I've always heard canary.

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19 December 2019
6.38pm
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Ron Nasty
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I'm with @meanmistermustard, @BeatOfTheBrass, that it's a canary fed to the neighbour's cat, as it is in Williams' original:

1:53 "He took your pet canary and he fed him to the neighbour's cat..."

Also, the only connection I can find between "tulare" and rabbits is a disease called Tularemia - which affects rabbits, hares, rodents, and can be passed to humans. The disease is often commonly referred to as rabbit fever, but it has other common names as well - Pahvant Valley plague, deer fly fever, Ohara's fever - and the Tulare part of the disease's name is a reference to Tulare County in California, where the disease was discovered in 1911.

While John ad-libbed a few of the lines in the Beatles version, it seems highly unlikely John would have used part of the name of a rare disease that affects rabbits to mean rabbits.

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20 December 2019
3.58pm
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BeatOfTheBrass
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Ron Nasty said
I'm with @meanmistermustard, @BeatOfTheBrass, that it's a canary fed to the neighbour's cat, as it is in Williams' original:

1:53 "He took your pet canary and he fed him to the neighbour's cat..."

Also, the only connection I can find between "tulare" and rabbits is a disease called Tularemia - which affects rabbits, hares, rodents, and can be passed to humans. The disease is often commonly referred to as rabbit fever, but it has other common names as well - Pahvant Valley plague, deer fly fever, Ohara's fever - and the Tulare part of the disease's name is a reference to Tulare County in California, where the disease was discovered in 1911.

While John ad-libbed a few of the lines in the Beatles version, it seems highly unlikely John would have used part of the name of a rare disease that affects rabbits to mean rabbits.

 

I'm more familiar with the way it sounds on the Beatles VI album, which might be sped-up just a little (in addition to; the way the reverb might obfuscate a clearer pronunciation of the lyrics).  My bad, then.  I remember the "Tulare" reference being connected with rabbits, though, from an old Merle Haggard song.

  

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