You get five songs this time because we had a five week month! (or because I'm a dumb blogger that skipped a week and forgot how to count)
Your Mother Should Know
It is the centerpiece of The Beatles first conspicuous public failure. It is a harbinger of decadence to come. The song was written to accompany a Busby Berkeley-like production number, wherein our heroes descend a staircase in top hats and tuxedos. Obviously Paul’s idea. It baffles me how he was able to convince the other Beatles to do this. McCartney did not conceive the number in a kitsch or camp way, nor was he trying to be ironic in a Warholian or Koonsian sense. Paul genuinely thought this misbegotten concept was cool. Had Brian Epstein not died recently, or if John Lennon had suddenly ceased sprinkling acid on his cornflakes every morning, YMSK would never have happened.
Don't Pass Me By
And I had to quote two bit this write-up was so amazingThere are many contenders for the title of Best Beatle Song Ever. Hey Jude, Strawberry Fields, In My Life, Here There And Everywhere, Something...
But there is no doubt about the very worst Beatle Song.
It is Don’t Pass Me By, by a faux-country mile. Which is exactly what makes DPMB so scintillating. There is a delicious definition, a forbidden fruit quality, to any extreme.
Writing is never easy, but imagine you are George or Ringo, working in the same room as John and Paul. Frankly, if I were competing for space on an album with Lennon and McCartney, I would feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis. It’s a no win situation.
In my capacity as a record producer I have lots of sayings and little standard nuggets of advice I give to artists. One of these is “Always try to be the Ringo in the band.” By that I mean, surround yourself with excellence. It is smart strategy to be the least talented and ugliest person on the team. Then you know you have a good team. Winners do not hang out with their inferiors. But my estimation of Ringo is rising so quickly that I’m going to have to come up with a new analogy.
Don't Bother Me
Don't Bother Me is also the first clinically depressed Beatles song, a style of self-pity that John Lennon would make very much his own circa late 64-65. For early Beatles though, Don’t Bother Me is very off message, especially compared to the celebratory teen anthems like She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand that they were then trafficking in.
Why Don't We Do It In The Road
40 years ago this month the Manson family ended the sixties. Today Squeaky is free. Woodstock happened. Dylan ignored it. The Beatles didn’t go. But they were over, the whole decade was over. That was the message of August 69. Death.
There is a grim balance between the August 69 Woodstock Nation, numbered half a million, and the 514,000 American troops serving in Vietnam that same month. America was rich and crazy enough to do both at the same time! Amazing. Tragic.
They changed their podcast server so I am fully expecting earlier links to their songs to be dead and buried in the near future. If I am smart I will go back and fix them. But we've already established that I cannot count.