When Lennon and Yoko Ono moved to New York City in August 1971, they initially stayed at the St Regis Hotel. While there Lennon recorded several song demos, including a song named ‘Shoeshine’.
The piece was a simple boogie rocker, including snippets from Gary US Bonds’ ‘Quarter To Three’. It also featured the lines “Just got to give me some rock ‘n’ roll/Well the people were dancing like they were mad”, which Lennon reworked for ‘Meat City’ two years later.
In the early summer of 1973 Lennon recorded home demos of several songs which ended up on Mind Games, one of which was ‘Meat City’. He taped two versions on an electric guitar; it was a blues-based boogie, and contained a riff which he later used towards the end of another song, ‘Steel And Glass’.
By the time he recorded the album ‘Meat City’ had become a cacophonous guitar noise, an approximation of the wildness of New York that he found so alluring. When released as the final song on Mind Games it was an antidote to the pensive nature of much of the rest of the album.
Two versions of ‘Meat City’ were issued, each with different backwards messages after the first verse. The single mix suggested listeners “Check the album”. Had they done so, and played the disc in reverse, they would have found the high-pitched voice instructing them to “Fuck a pig”.