The Beatles, album "Nowhere Man"
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SP - collections - Studio Parlophone - 1966
02:43 Nowhere Man (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 22.10.1965
'I'd spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down.
Then 'Nowhere Man' came, words and music… the whole damn thing, as I lay down.
So letting it go is what the whole game is.
You put your finger on it, it slips away, right? You know, you turn the lights on and the cockroaches run away.
You can never grasp them.'PAUL 1984:
'That was John after a night out, with dawn coming up.
I think at that point in his life, he was a bit wondering where he was going.'PAUL 1988:
'I remember we wanted very treble-y guitars – which they are – they're among the most treble-y guitars I've ever heard on record.
The engineer said, 'Alright, I'll put full treble on it,' and we said, 'That's not enough.' He said, 'But that's all I've got.' And we replied, 'Well, put that through another lot of faders and put full treble up on that.
And if that's not enough we'll go through another lot of faders.' They said, 'We don't do that,' and we would say, 'Just try it… if it sounds crappy we'll lose it, but it might just sound good.' You'd then find, 'Oh it worked,' and they were secretly glad because they had been the engineer who put three times the allowed value of treble on a song.
I think they were quietly proud of those things.'
'If Paul had written a song, he'd learn all the parts and then come in the studio and say 'Do this.' He'd never give you the opportunity to come out with something.
But on 'Drive My Car' I just played the line, which is really like a lick off 'Respect,' you know, the Otis Redding version.
And I played the line on the guitar and Paul laid that with me on the bass.
We laid that track down like that.
We played the lead part later on top of it.'JOHN 1980:
'His (Paul's) song, with contributions from me.'PAUL circa-1994:
'This is one of the songs where John and I came nearest to having a dry session.
The lyrics I brought in were something to do with golden rings, which are always fatal (to songwriting).
'Rings' is fatal anyway, 'rings' always rhymes with things and I knew it was a bad idea.
I came in and I said, 'These aren't good lyrics but it's a good tune.' Well, we tried, and John couldn't think of anything, and we tried, and eventually it was, 'Oh let's leave it, let's get off this one.' 'No, no.
We can do it, we can do it.' So we had a break… then we came back to it, and somehow it became 'drive-my-car' instead of 'gol-den-rings,' and then it was wonderful – because this nice tongue-in-cheek idea came.'
'Both of us.
I wrote the middle with him.'PAUL 1977:
''Michelle' was like a joke French tune for when you go to a party or something.
That's all it was.
And then after a while you say, 'Well, that's quite a good tune.
Let's put some real words to it.''JOHN 1980:
'He and I were staying somewhere and he walked in and hummed the first few bars, with the words, and he says, 'Where do I go from here?' I had been listening to (blues singer) Nina Simone.
I think it was 'I Put A Spell On You.' There was a line in it that went, 'I love you, I love you.' That's what made me think of the middle-eight for 'Michelle.' So, my contributions to Paul's songs was always to add a little bluesy edge to them.
Otherwise, 'Michelle' is a straight ballad, right? He provided a lightness, an optimism, while I would always go for the sadness, the discords, the bluesy notes.'PAUL 1988:
'I'll never forget putting the bass line in 'Michelle' because it was a kind of Bizet thing.
It really turned the song around.
You could do that with bass.
It was very exciting.'
'Normally I write on guitar and have full chords, or on piano and have full chords, but this was written around two little notes, a very slim phrase – a two-note progression that I had very high on the first two strings of the guitar… Then I wrote the tune for 'You Won't See Me' against it.
It was 100 percent me, but I am always happy to give John a credit because there's always a chance that on the session he might have said, 'That'd be better.''
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