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Old Nov 22, 2011, 11:32 PM   #81
hibgal
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Default One Of The Boys

After returning from Japan in October 1977, John recorded the rather cutting One Of The Boys about the differences that fame makes in your life. Often supposed to be a sarcastic take of Roger Daltrey's song of the same name about a working class guy, released earlier that year. I'm including a mp3 of Daltrey's song for comparison. What do you guys think? Is it a dig at Roger or?



Lyrics for demo take 1:

He stays at...

"Hah!"

Well, he's no longer le grasson vital
Well he's just one of the boys
He says, they say that he's aged very well
Yet he's still one of the boys
He stays at all the exclusive hotels
Yet he's just one of the boys

It doesn't matter who you are
do do do do do
It doesn't matter who you are
You're getting old but you might have known

He's just one...
He's one...
He's one of...
One...

"Hah!"

No longer le grasson vital
He's just one of the boys
He stays at all the exclusive hotels
Yet he's still one of the boys
He used to say that he's aged very well
But he's still one of the boys

It doesn't matter who you are
You're getting old but it's gotta stop
It doesn't matter who you are
You're getting bald, do do do

"Not quite, my dears!"

Well, he's no longer le grasson vital
He's just one of the boys
He stays at all of the exclusive hotels
Yes he's just one of the boys
He used to say that he's aged very well
Yes he's just one of the boys

It doesn't matter who you are
You're getting old, do do
It doesn't matter who you are
do do do do

He's just one of the do do do do

"Enough"


And here's the lyrics for Daltrey's song:

He speaks with a terrible stammer
So he don't have much to say
But he can spit further than any punk
So nobody gets in his way.

He knows his generation like he knows his ABC
He's a kind of kid that don't get invited back for a Sunday tea
He's a face in the mirror he'll make you a fight.
But he's alright.

He's breaking out of nowhere
He's breaking all the rules
He's got a passion for the fashion
He's freezing all the the cools
He knows that you don't have to be that good,
to be a real bad cat
He's built with speed,
guaranteed to show you where it's at
He's blowing all the speakers making his own noise.
One of the boys.

You know he used to work in this factory
Until the big boss said "that's enough"
So he threw down his hammer and he picked up his coat
And he told the boss to get,
Fff-f-frustration with the nation
Because the news is always bad
Life on the dole ain't no good for your soul
It's enough to drive a poor kid mad
So who's going to put him down for making his own noise.
One of the boys.
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 DaltreyOotB.mp3 (2.20 MB, 1 views)
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Old Nov 23, 2011, 10:42 PM   #82
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Default "One Of The Boys"

Thanks so much for all the great info about OOTB hib!!

I listened intently to both and I hear a slight similarity in the third-person verses and the use of "one of the boys." However, Roger's lyrics/song seems rather over-the-top/theatrical and John's seems more humorous/profound (I'm referring to his chorus). I think he may have been inspired by this song but he took it in his own direction, which is what I love an artist to do. I am preferable to John's song- even if it is a demo. There's something more relatable for me in the words. I guess I also prefer John's way of singing it, even though I love Roger's voice.

There's another version of this demo where John sings, "It doesn't matter how old you are, you're as dumb as you feel right now" and "It does not matter how old you are, you're as young as you feel right now" in the chorus. Here's that one:

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Old Nov 25, 2011, 05:06 AM   #83
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I like the second take much better, really. As to the inspiration, I think it was more the words and not so much the music but figured it would be nice to have the songs side by side so we can decide for ourselves instead of having things told to us. I do prefer making up me own mind.
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Old Nov 26, 2011, 11:23 AM   #84
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Default Mirror, Mirror (On The Wall)

A bunch of takes/demos exist of this 1977 song. It seems more like a verse of a song than a whole composition. It definitely got stuck at the unfinished stage.



Lyrics:

Sometimes I look in the mirror
There's nobody there
But I just keep on staring and staring
No, can it be, can it be, can it be?

And then I look in the mirror
And nobody's there
But I just keep on staring and staring
And no, is it me, is it me, is it me?
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Old Nov 26, 2011, 11:31 AM   #85
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Default "Mirror, Mirror (On The Wall)"

Even if it was just a fragment of something, I find it so beautiful and haunting. It sounds a little like something a la Phantom Of The Opera, if that sounds crazy enough. I guess John was going through a period of melancholy (his son's quote from that interview Maia posted in "Sean Lennon's Music" has me stuck on that word). I think he was feeling some type of self-doubt or insecurity.

It's incredible how these people so overladen with gifts and talents feel so helpless and unsure at times.

Thank you hib!
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 05:11 AM   #86
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hibgal View Post
I like the second take much better, really. As to the inspiration, I think it was more the words and not so much the music but figured it would be nice to have the songs side by side so we can decide for ourselves instead of having things told to us. I do prefer making up me own mind.
Me too; I prefer the second take much better. I really like this demo-version, one of my favourite

I can judge if it's a parody of Roger's songs, too hard to say... and I don't know Roger's stuff good enough. But it wouldn't surprised me though; John obviously enjoyed to make parodies of his musical colleagues, like Bob Dylan

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Old Nov 27, 2011, 05:28 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Scruff View Post
Even if it was just a fragment of something, I find it so beautiful and haunting. I guess John was going through a period of melancholy (his son's quote from that interview Maia posted in "Sean Lennon's Music" has me stuck on that word). I think he was feeling some type of self-doubt or insecurity.

It's incredible how these people so overladen with gifts and talents feel so helpless and unsure at times.
Yes, this demo is beautiful and haunting at the same time. I love it though; the piano is beautiful

I'd say that John felt melancholy and insecure most time of his life . But I'm pretty sure that he had some periods of solitude (which isn't quite the same IMHO) in the late 70's, and this demo was obviously written then.

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Old Nov 27, 2011, 08:16 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Snoopy66 View Post
I'd say that John felt melancholy and insecure most time of his life . But I'm pretty sure that he had some periods of solitude (which isn't quite the same IMHO) in the late 70's, and this demo was obviously written then.
Denial is not just a river in Egypt, Snoopy! I don't want to start another big debate, girl... I respect your views, but I just don't understand why you have such a problem accepting that John suffered from recurring episodes of depression.

But, back on topic...

Here's Gone From This Place... in which, unfortunately, you can barely hear John's voice, but it's another lovely tune and I have no idea what it means...

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Old Nov 27, 2011, 08:20 AM   #89
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Here are the lyrics:

Momma, poppa told me don't go from this place
Don't be gone from this place

Well, I won't be satisfied till I'm gone from this place
Till I'm gone from this place

Ah, I don't wanna die

Momma, poppa told me don't go from this place
Don't be gone from this place
Momma, poppa told me don't go from this place
Don't be gone from this place

Ah, I don't wanna die

Oh, how she weaves the spell around them
Oh, how she weaves the magic circle

Momma, poppa told me don't go from this place
Don't be gone from this place
Momma, poppa told me don't go from this place
Don't be gone from this place

Ah, I don't wanna die
Ah, I don't wanna die

Oh, how she weaves the spell around them
Oh, how she weaves the magic circle

Momma, poppa told me don't go from this place
Don't be gone from this place
Momma, poppa told me don't go from this place
Don't be gone from this place

Ah, I don't wanna die
Oh no, I don't wanna die

Ah, I don't wanna die

Oh, how she weaves the spell around them
Oh, how she weaves the magic circle

Momma, poppa told me don't go from this place
Don't be gone from this place
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 08:42 AM   #90
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Default Gone From This Place take 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia 66 View Post
I just don't understand why you have such a problem accepting that John suffered from recurring episodes of depression.
Not speaking for Snoopy of course but the discussion on John's depression is rather confusing. After all, depression in relation to John has so far been applied to periods of feeling blue, clinical depression and mano-depression AKA bipolar. Nothing can convince me John was bipolar but that he was depressed, even at times at the clinical stage, I have no problem agreeing with.


Here's take 1 of Gone From This Place where you can hear John's voice a bit better, Maia.

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Old Nov 27, 2011, 10:49 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Maia 66 View Post
Denial is not just a river in Egypt, Snoopy! I don't want to start another big debate, girl... I respect your views, but I just don't understand why you have such a problem accepting that John suffered from recurring episodes of depression.
Aaaargh, I had a big laugh while reading that, I should have known that you would react on THAT comment

Ha, I agree that I'm rather stubborn on this subject... and I warn you, girl: I won't change my mind

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Old Nov 27, 2011, 06:14 PM   #92
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Well, as someone who suffers from chronic, clinical depression that only medications can keep at bay, I would say, yeah, he probably did suffer from that.

I can't speak to some of the imagery, but when one is really, really depressed, you just want to crawl out of your own skin. You can't see an escape route, not really, because you have to take yourself wherever you go. You really *do* want to be gone from this place, but the only truly available out is death, and you don't want to do that either, because it would a) hurt the people who, for some reason unfathomable to you, still care about you; b) - it's the great unknown and it's even scarier than living! So what do you do? Grit your teeth and deal, and it sucks but what choice do you have? It passes, of course, but while in the midst of it, it's hard to see that.

This song just hurts.

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Old Nov 27, 2011, 06:16 PM   #93
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Default "Gone From This Place"

Oh I love this one! I have read some strange interpretations about him possibly foretelling his death, or it being about him trying to discourage suicide. And there's others. I guess these demos have so much room for interpretation.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 01:04 PM   #94
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Quote:
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I can't speak to some of the imagery, but when one is really, really depressed, you just want to crawl out of your own skin. You can't see an escape route, not really, because you have to take yourself wherever you go. You really *do* want to be gone from this place, but the only truly available out is death, and you don't want to do that either, because it would a) hurt the people who, for some reason unfathomable to you, still care about you; b) - it's the great unknown and it's even scarier than living! So what do you do? Grit your teeth and deal, and it sucks but what choice do you have? It passes, of course, but while in the midst of it, it's hard to see that.

This song just hurts.
Wow, what a beautiful and heartbreaking explanation of the song, wilde... THANK YOU for sharing those private feelings. It's very brave of you to share your story, but at the same time I'm so glad that you do, because it's really important for us to understand where such thoughts come from.

I hope you stay well... as part of the support system of someone with bipolar depression, I know that it can be so tough... and I marvel at how people like you stay so strong despite daily struggles.

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Old Nov 28, 2011, 01:05 PM   #95
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I guess these demos have so much room for interpretation.
Yes, so true! I often wonder about the supposed "Ballad of John and Yoko" musical... was that really what some of this songs were written for??
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 07:06 PM   #96
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Yes, so true! I often wonder about the supposed "Ballad of John and Yoko" musical... was that really what some of this songs were written for??
Yes, I don't think they were all written for said musical either. It's convenient to say it because no one needs to know every detail about your life. When John was alive, it was much easier for Yoko to be comfortable with that exposure. He emanated protection and confidence that she lacked. But with him gone, she was-for so long- in a very vulnerable position. I can't imagine her being as open about certain privacies of their marriage like that. And I don't blame her! Shoot, she revealed a TRUCK LOAD on LennonNYC as is.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 07:14 PM   #97
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Default "Tennessee"

I went through this thread and see I said nothing about that demo, but I love it! I think John's voice has this eerie and amazing quality to pierce my heart, particularly on his demos where he is more loose and in a different element than in the studio. I don't know what the origin for the song is, or if it was indeed inspired by Tennessee Williams. I'd imagine John read a few biographies or plays of/by T.W. Living in NYC, he may have even gone to a play or two.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 07:18 PM   #98
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Default "India"

Speaking of the "Ballad of John and Yoko" musical, this sweet song is purported to be written in the late 70's for that very musical. I have the lyrics below and I'm reading them as fairly autobiographical of, perhaps, that time when John and the boys were in India in '68 and what he was going through emotionally.



Quote:
India, India, take me to your heart
Reveal your ancient mysteries to me
I'm searchin' for an answer, but somewhere deep inside
I know I'll never find it here - it's already in my mind

India, India, listen to my plea
Sit here at your feet so please don't leave
I'm waiting by the river but somewhere in my mind
I left my heart in England with the girl I left behind
I've got to follow my heart wherever it takes me
I've got to follow my heart wherever it calls to me
I've got to follow my heart and my heart is going home pause

India, India - listen to my plea
I sit here at your feet so patiently
I'm waiting by the river but somewhere in my mind
I left my heart in England with the girl I left behind
I've got to follow my heart wherever it takes me
I've got to follow my heart wherever it calls to me
I've got to follow my heart and my heart is going home
by the soul of music.
I love the "i've got to follow my heart" part the most!
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 10:16 PM   #99
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I have loved this song from the first time I heard it. My take on the whole India sojourn was that he was really going through a massive internal struggle about what to do about his marriage to Cynthia and what to do about this relationship with Yoko. Not to mention his own career and his relationship wit the other three and their four million ass kissing hangers-on. What would Mimi say? Grief. Guilt. Indecision. On the other hand, hope. He must have sensed that if he made the choice his emotions--heart--told him to make, everything would blow up, but he'd have someone, at last, to whom he could relate. Fear of changing the status quo. Hoping on some level that the Maharishi would offer some sort of magic answer to make sense of his internal confusion Growing disillusionment and anger that that funny little man did not have the magic answer to give; John would have to figure this out on his own, which was probably the scariest part of all of it... His noisy, clanging, cluttered whirlwind of a mind was the exact opposite of his outward, tranquil surroundings.

Kind of explains some of his songs on the White Album, "Yer Blues" and "I'm So Tired" in particular.

Now, this song was written at a later period, after the decisions had been made, and he knew the outcome, for better or worse. So, yeah, all of those weeks of internal struggle and self-tortured basically boiled down to what he sings in this song, but it was not quite so simple when it was actually going on.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 10:30 PM   #100
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Default "India"

Wilde, I have almost the same feelings as you about John's time in India! I especially love the mention of his marriage and Yoko...I believe John was feeling very torn at that moment. I think it should be said, his marriage to Cyn- while hardly Great Love Story- wasn't horrible. I guess they settled into something of a seemingly quiet/calm co-existence. They didn't really have major fights and heated disputes, which could possibly attribute to them maybe not having much in common in the area of intellectual and philosophical pursuits. Or passion.

But still, John was obviously very restless of the whole matter- particularly because he knew that there would be major consequences and hurt, whatever decision he were to make (Cyn, Yoko).

It's pretty obvious that India had a powerful effect on him. Why else would he come back to it in such a beautiful way as this song?
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