Back when I was a kid, right around that time in a young life when I first begin to develop an ability to actually appreciate good music and not just suck down that pop crap they always seem to be playing on the radio, I got my first Beatles album. Now of course I knew who The Beatles were and had heard songs on the radio like “Love Me Do” or “Twist And Shout”, but nothing really prepared me for that first listen to Rubber Soul or Sgt. Peppers. This music clearly was nothing like those earlier pop hits and pulled me in from the very first moment.
My friend Rob had also discovered the Beatles right around the same time. We used to meet up in Art class at the end of the day and would trade albums or recommend some new recording we´d found. Everything Beatles was consumed. We´d seek out documentaries, books, articles, anything we could get our hands on (ah…the dark ages before the internet).
We became experts on John, Paul, George and Ringo´s back stories, origins, accomplishments…and also experts on every lyric in every song. It eventually escalated to full-on Beatles trivia with betting our lunch money on who knew the most. When the ¨mania¨ finally started to wear off, we looked up from the dust and a full year had passed and we realized that we´d been listening to nothing but the Beatles the whole time!!!
It wasn´t long afterwards that we discovered Led Zeppelin and well…that became a whole other type of mania. But those early formative days with the fab four really had a lasting effect.
Like for many others, the Beatles continue to hold a special place in my entire musical foundation. Their songs are so ingrained that it is a delight, years later as a musician myself, to re-listen to these songs and think about the actual recording decisions and arrangements they did in the studio, having now the ability to really appreciate how they actually crafted these songs that had such a strong effect on me. Sometimes it just blows me away the kinds of things they could accomplish just by applying the simplest touches…like sticking a tambourine in the chorus to completely alter the feel of the song (pay attention next time you listen to the Beatles and see what I mean). I guess a lot of that must have come from George Martin who was the real wizard behind the Beatles sound, I mean, how the hell else could 4 kids make such well-recorded music in a time where recording technology was a mystery only understood by the elite top engineers? But I guess that just allowed their talent and songwriting to shine through that much better.
Years later I finally made the pilgrimage to Liverpool and busked the streets outside the old Cavern bar where they Beatles started it all (well, the reconstructed Cavern…the original was torn down and then reconstructed next door brick by brick). The current owner even came outside and liked what he heard so much he invited us in to play a quick song on the stage! Later we went and visited places like Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, and met a bunch of roaring-drunk Liverpudlians who took us out on the town.
The one thing I´ll never forget is how nobody in Liverpool seemed to know ANY lyrics to Beatles songs. When a Beatles song was played in the club, the whole place would erupt with hometown pride, but when it came to actually singing along….well, it was like a bunch of Americans trying to sing La Bamba….I just couldn´t believe it….but what a great time I had.
Well, the long and short of things is that this extended love affair with The Beatles is the reason I was so excited to record “I Am The Walrus” on the new album. Our version is a bit of a departure from the original with it’s loud distorted guitars, crazy wah effects, and trippy “DaveGrohl-ified” overdriven vocals, but it was a blast an honor to get to record the track.
Legend has it that one afternoon when the BBC was broadcasting a production of King Lear over the radio, John Lennon was in Abbey Road Studios and grabbed a microphone to record some of it right out of the radio speaker. The recording was later used in the ending of the song I Am The Walrus as a mixed in along with a lot of other weird sounds.
So in our version, we also threw in a random clip from one of my favorite Shakespeare plays ¨Macbeth¨ and mixed it in to the ending of the song as well. We dispensed with the classical instruments and hit the song with more of a “Deep Purple approach”.
The track is currently available for sale but as a thank you for being one of our subscribers we want to give it to you for free – no strings attached.
Download our version of I AM THE WALRUS here:
DOWNLOAD I AM THE WALRUS
If you like the track you might also consider checking out SOFA KING COOL . It’s our latest album and it’s full of great crunchy rock songs that I like to think would make the Fab Four proud 🙂