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Posts Tagged ‘Timothy Leary’

At number 9 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Come Together”. This John Lennon song is the opening track on The Beatles’ 1969 album Abbey Road, and is one of the funkiest tracks that the band recorded. It was also released as a double A-sided single along with George Harrison’s “Something”, which we will come to in this list in a few weeks’ time.

“Come Together” got to number 1 in the USA, but in the Disunited Kingdom it only got to number 4. This is possibly because the song was banned by the BBC, apparently because they felt that the line “He shoot Coca-Cola” could be interpreted as product placement. The song started its life as a campaign song for Timothy Leary’s bid to become Governor of California, but after giving Leary a demo version, Lennon went on to develop the song into something quite different. It was recorded in July 1969.

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At number 9 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Come Together”

The driving rhythm guitar, played by Lennon himself, is one of the song’s stand-out features. Lennon also played electric piano on the song. The fantastic bass line is played by Paul McCartney, who also sings backing vocals. The lyrics are non-sensical, with the opening line lifted from a Chuck Berry song “You Can’t Catch Me”. This led to a lawsuit, but the dispute was settled out of court.

Here come old flattop, he come grooving up slowly
He got joo-joo eyeball, he one holy roller
He got hair down to his knee
Got to be a joker he just do what he please

He wear no shoeshine, he got toe-jam football
He got monkey finger, he shoot Coca-Cola
He say, “I know you, you know me.”
One thing I can tell you is you got to be free

Come together right now over me

He bag production, he got walrus gumboot
He got Ono sideboard, he one spinal cracker
He got feet down below his knee
Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease

Come together right now over me

(Right!
Come, oh, come, come, come.)

He roller-coaster, he got early warning
He got muddy water, he one mojo filter
He say, “One and one, and one is three.”
Got to be good-looking ’cause he’s so hard to see

Come together right now over me

Oh
Come together
Yeah, come together
Yeah, come together
Yeah, come together
Yeah, come together
Yeah, come together
Yeah, come together
Yeah, oh
Come together
Yeah, come together

“Come Together” has been covered by a huge number of artists, including The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, The Arctic Monkeys and Aerosmith. It remains one of The Beatles’ most popular rock songs (as opposed to ballads or other genres from their huge variety of work).

I cannot find the original Beatles’ version of “Come Together” on YouTube, but here is a live version which John Lennon performed in New York City in 1972. It is pretty close to the original version. Enjoy!

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