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Old Nov 09, 2011, 09:08 PM   #41
Apple Scruff
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Yes, pretty much. John called them "troughs." I call it depression.
Agree- and you know I do!

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My question would be when did he write Something is Wrong? Was it one of those India-era songs or is it a Dakota demo? Is it a precursor to Yer Blues or I'm Losing You?

I also have trouble keeping the demos straight...
Whatever. I am the most embarrassing one here. I know NOTHING about the chronology of these demos and pretty much hang on to every word in this thread to see if there's any lyrical interpretation because that's like the only thing of some worth I can offer. I do have a lot of demos I want to post, but then we'll get away from when "Something Is Wrong" was written. I want to know as well!

I feel like my dad would have once known, and he's still every bit as much a John fan, but he probably wouldn't remember... I'm serious.
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Old Nov 09, 2011, 09:15 PM   #42
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Absolutely. And some people may get all anxious and want to know which was composed first and all that-which is fine- but I actually rather love them both and profusely enjoy them separate or even back-to-back. ngl...
Me too. Well stated. I'm actually rather sick of people trying to put one Beatle against the other. There are only 4 Beatles and we are blessed to have lived during their lifetime and influenced by their music. Let It Be.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 03:56 AM   #43
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My question would be when did he write Something is Wrong? Was it one of those India-era songs or is it a Dakota demo? Is it a precursor to Yer Blues or I'm Losing You?
From recorded evidence, Something is Wrong is an 1980 demo. John might've kicked it around for years but from what I can find there are no earlier demos. On those late demos, at least once it's tagged onto The Happy Rishikesh Song but it's not truly a part of it. Sometimes John would simply let the tape run while playing, one song following upon the other, as he seemed to like working on several songs at once.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 05:36 AM   #44
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I believe she was referring to the snippet of the Happy Rishikesh Song that was on at the end of the video you posted. It sounds similar to George's Blow Away, which was of course released after the HRS was written but the actual demo you posted sounds very similar. Didn't you hear it?
Thank's for your answer, Fly

No, I'm afraid I didn't hear it, as I don't know George's "Blow Away"....

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Old Nov 10, 2011, 07:15 AM   #45
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Default Something is wrong....

When in 1980 was it recorded? Because there *was* something wrong through some that year.
**Spoiler Alert for Apple Scruff, who hasn't yet finished Norman**

In Norman's bio, Yoko herself admits that in late '79 through early-to-mid '80 or thereabouts, she had gone back on heroin and did not want John, or the public, to know. I know Seaman says she was also banging Sam Green, but I don't believe that. I don't know much about heroin, but I doubt users think about getting laid except as a means for earning money for their next fix, and Yoko wasn't in that monetary position. The guy, Sam Green, as far as I know, was primarily gay, although he evidently had some straight affairs. I think he was just a friend in the know of her habit.

Anyway. John was not an idiot. I'm sure he sensed *something* was up. And probably blamed himself, because he knew he was not exactly a picnic to live with when the "trough" or "angel of destruction" or "Sea of hatred" or what is now called "depression" reared its ugly head.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 07:49 AM   #46
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When in 1980 was it recorded? Because there *was* something wrong through some that year.
From the information I've seen it was recorded sometime July 1980 at Villa Undercliff, Bermuda.

As said, John plays The Happy Rishikesh Song, which ends
"The magic's in the mantra, will give you all the answers
So swallow this, that's all you gotta do"


then there's a short pause and John says "But still..."

and then begins singing "Feel so suicidal, something is wrong..."

I guess there was some reason for John to suddenly sail to Bermuda besides the fun? I don't buy the 40s crisis scenario, sorry.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 08:50 AM   #47
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Wasn't that the time when she was getting off heroin? Or do you think she was having an affair with Green and sent John away?
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 09:23 AM   #48
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Yes, I think we can only fool ourselves into thinking John's life wasn't intertwined with his art. I think there was certainly an objective for setting out to Bermuda, but mine isn't so hung on to to the Yoko/drug thing. After all, John was fully aware of her drug dependency because, well...Yoko was looking kind of a hot mess for a bit in 1980, while John was looking like he stepped out of a Gentleman's GQ add for a good time in that year. So, he HAD to notice the difference.

I don't buy the affair. I'm not saying that it's impossible, but knowing how John was I seriously doubt Yoko would be like, "Ok, you go to Bermuda and I'll take care of business here" and then she's banging some (probably) gay guy for a short time for...what reason? I mean, it would see more probable that she was trying to kick the heroin while he took his little boy with him and tried to find his muse.

One thing that can be said about Yoko: she loved to find inspiration for John. She loved him working and creating. It was probably her wanting him to avoid any of her mess and just go out and write songs. She no doubt had to deal with her own issues. In fact, Yoko was very honest about this in some interview- she admitted that she was doing heroin but John was clean. I just feel like there wasn't anything fishy going on with this Sam Green dude other than Fred Seaman wanting to insinuate things. He even wrote in his book that Yoko once walked into the room wearing something with her boobs blatantly in everyone's face and he (Fred) got why John was so attracted to her.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 09:38 AM   #49
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Thank you, Scruff. That's kind of what I meant when I said earlier that it was a "bump in the road" song...their relationship had some serious ups and downs. It would be remarkable if it hadn't, considering we're dealing with people who had problems with substance abuse and mental illness. Those are Facts.

But when you get past all that, I really believe that underneath it all their commitment to each other was total, absolute, and genuine. That is Truth.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 10:02 AM   #50
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But when you get past all that, I really believe that underneath it all their commitment to each other was total, absolute, and genuine. That is Truth.
This. Completely.

And with that I will share one of my personal demos from 1980. It's a song that would have been AMAZING on it's own, but probably developed into "(Just Like) Starting Over." I love the version with John and Yoko because he's instructing her in the beginning and...just running through it. I have no idea if he was planning this to be a song for both of them or what, but it certainly has power, beauty, and bittersweetness that really pulls me in.

I'm providing two versions, Take 1 and the version that was on the Lennon Anthology:





I really love this song!!!

Lyrics:

Quote:
My life
take it
It's mine to give
It's mine to give
let me live in you

My life
take it
It's yours
Do what you will
I dedicate it to you

What's the use in waking
If you're not there to share
the dreams and nightmares?

My life
take it
for better or worse
why waste time
we both know
together is the only way
we;ll make it
anyway, take it

My life
My life is you

What's the use in waking
if you're not there to share
the dreams and nightmares?

I've only myself to lose
I've only myself to lose in you

Spoken:

My life
take it
for better or worse
why waster time when we both know it

Together is the only way we're going to make it
Anyway

My life, my life is you"
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 02:17 PM   #51
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Default That song always chokes me up...

It's so heartbreakingly vulnerable.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 07:12 PM   #52
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It's so heartbreakingly vulnerable.
I know, Wilde. I know. I just adore it, but it does pull at the heart.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 07:34 PM   #53
Maia 66
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That's kind of what I meant when I said earlier that it was a "bump in the road" song...their relationship had some serious ups and downs. It would be remarkable if it hadn't, considering we're dealing with people who had problems with substance abuse and mental illness. Those are Facts.
Yup. That's pretty much the way I see it.

Honestly, we'll probably never know what really happened from '75 to '79, but I've always felt it wasn't the healthiest of households. Most of John's Dakota demos have an air of desperation to them. Which made the 1980 resurgence all the more heartbreaking.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 07:39 PM   #54
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Yup. That's pretty much the way I see it.

Honestly, we'll probably never know what really happened from '75 to '79, but I've always felt it wasn't the healthiest of households. Most of John's Dakota demos have an air of desperation to them. Which made the 1980 resurgence all the more heartbreaking.
Absolutely agree with all of this. But to counter our feelings on John's "househusband" period we must also acknowledge that Sean seemed to be a bright, playful, happy little boy who was extremely close to his dad and spent a great deal of time in conversation and activity with him. So despite the lower ebbs, there was definitely a lot of absolutely beautiful, tender, and happy moments that existed in that household. Or else Sean wouldn't have been such a delight that he appeared to be, at age 5. It just wouldn't make any sense.

But yes, I am SO finding this thread brings out a lot of awesome discussion.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 08:14 PM   #55
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Default The Both/And approach....

As I've said earlier, when looking at Lennon, his biography and his art, I think a rigid, "either/or" outlook does them, and Lennon, a grave disservice. I don't, can't, see him, his life, and his art, that simply.

Once can't really wholly embrace one extreme view or the other. And I think he'd agree; after all this is a guy who said you could count him "out...and in," didn't he?

I don't think the househusband period was wholly desperate. I don't think it was wholly joyous, either. I believe that John and Yoko believed in their relationship, despite everything. When they discussed their relationship in print, they may have been expressing their emotional Truths, even if they weren't strictly Factual.

In the book of interviews, essays and photographs released by Rolling Stone Magazine titled "The Ballad of John and Yoko," the book concludes with an essay by Robert Christgau that I think it might behoove anyone interested in this subject to read. There's a few sentences I'd like to post here from the essay, which sums it up well for me:

"Marriage doesn't match models of sanity; it accommodates two human beings with the usual quota of quirks and worse. This may have been an unusually neurotic relationship. But why do we always assume that neurosis must be defeated, transcended, escaped? John Lennon learned not merely to make do with his compulsions but to make something fairly miraculous out of them. After a traumatic breach, he managed to collaborate in a marriage that confounded the traditional sex roles, and thus to achieve some of the loving wisdom he'd always hoped to find on the other side of his mean streak..."
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 08:25 PM   #56
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"Marriage doesn't match models of sanity; it accommodates two human beings with the usual quota of quirks and worse. This may have been an unusually neurotic relationship. But why do we always assume that neurosis must be defeated, transcended, escaped? John Lennon learned not merely to make do with his compulsions but to make something fairly miraculous out of them. After a traumatic breach, he managed to collaborate in a marriage that confounded the traditional sex roles, and thus to achieve some of the loving wisdom he'd always hoped to find on the other side of his mean streak..."
Beautiful. Can't be said better.

I have that book. I'm going to read that essay again.

Very adequate for this thread, I believe, since John's music was his art was his life.

And so many of these demos were made at a time when there are so many mysteries about his life...as if the entire life wasn't already enigmatic enough.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 08:33 PM   #57
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I wonder if the lost weekend time didn't scare the sh*t out of John. The booze and drug scene almost killed him. He gave up the drugs and some say he gave up the booze too after Sean so maybe he felt his music career was over because he sure couldn't go back to THAT. And then the Bermuda trip, when they had to battle their mortality in the storm, well, those with him said John came out of it a changed man, enlarged somehow. Seems like it restored something to him that he'd lost along the way and thus the creative spurt on Bermuda. I'm just guessing here of course.
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 11:50 AM   #58
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I don't think the househusband period was wholly desperate.
I don't think it was either and that's not what I was asserting. My statement was more in reaction to the "mainstream" notion that he was happily ensconced in fatherhood and the role of househusband. And I know most people here don't buy that, but it's something that those of born before 1975 grew up with and a viewpoint that many still hold.

Like you, I have always asserted that one can never take an all or nothing approach with John. All of us are made up of contradictions and nuances, and John most fascinatingly so. One single quote or one single act he committed does not define him, just as those things do not define each of us as individuals.

I have no doubt that he derived a great deal of joy from spending so much time with Sean, and that the two of them had a profoundly loving relationship. In fact, when I hear the tapes of their interactions, I find myself wondering how John could have been so critical of himself as a father when he clearly had a natural knack for interacting with children. It's no wonder Sean is so intelligent, the way John used to talk to him!

But, at the same time, I do wonder about his emotional state. One can be depressed while at the same time being a very loving parent.... especially if there's a full-time nanny to take care of the child's basic needs!

My general feeling is that John needed to hide away to recover from a non-stop tidal wave of events that began on July 15, 1958 and went on through the Lost Weekend. When did that poor man, who struggled with so many internal issues and was so incredibly sensitive, have the time to stop and figure things out? I find it incredibly symbolic that the Dakota was so-named because of its remoteness, because one can compare its importance to John to Paul's Scottish farm or George's Friar Park. He was able to hide away right in the middle of a megalopolis.

And by claiming it was not the healthiest of households, I meant that things aren't so neat and tidy when working things out or when recovering from something.... especially when dealing with temperaments and personalities as strong and as complicated as John's and Yoko's.
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 01:04 PM   #59
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See, this is why I love this demo thread...look at all the awesome posts abounding.
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 01:31 PM   #60
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Thanks, Scruffie... but since it's a thread about demos of unreleased songs, here's another one from the Dakota days:

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