The beatles, Coming Together and the ultimate circle jerk
Circle Jerk definition:
1. A circle jerk is a sexual practice in which a group of men or boys form a circle and masturbate themselves or each other.
2. A boring or time-wasting meeting or other event
3. (beatles) Worthless or oversimplified ideas; drivel: intellectual pap
What do you get when you combine idiotic lyrics sung without a hint of melody over a turgid, plodding beat? If you said one of the dumbest songs ever recorded and one of the most revered rock anthems of the beatles career, give yourself a pat on the back.
Come Together also happens to be one of the most covered songs of all time, and the second most covered beatles song after ‘Yesterday.’ Every year bands continue to cash in on it’s easily recognized Oompa Loompa stoner groove. It’s become a staple of the live music scene. If you want to make it in a bar band playing lame covers to a room full of disinterested drunks you really need to learn this this cursed monkey paw of a song, alongside of Mustang Sally and Black Magic Woman.
They Muddied Water
Many fans of the FF point to this song as proof of the beatles originality. It stands as confirmation that not only did this band revolutionize rock music by singing about holding hands, they also saved it by showing the world how to rock hard. According to these experts, when this song hit the airwaves nothing came close to matching the rawness or groove of this inspired song.
It might come as a shock to these fans that when this song came out rock music did not need to be saved by a group of semi-mystical, costume clad, success bloated cream puffs. It needed to be saved from them! Rock music was doing fine in spite of the beatles. Just like this song!
The beatles – Come Together :
Chuck Berry – You Can’t Catch Me (1956):
The Beatleberry combo (29 calories):
The beats obviously didn’t want to ruin their album with a track by Chuck Berry, it would only serve to highlight how much their songwriting skills had deteriorated by this point in their career. Instead they did the next best thing, they renamed it.
McCartney thought they should slow the song down or something because:
I pointed out to him that it was very similar to Chuck Berry’s You Can’t Catch Me. John acknowledged it was rather close to it so I said, ‘Well, anything you can do to get away from that.’
Come Together is me, writing obscurely around an old Chuck Berry thing. I left the line in ‘Here comes old flat-top.’
As you can see, its just a simple misunderstanding reminiscent of an earlier misunderstanding with Chuck Berry. The seminal beatle classic ‘I saw here standing there’ was written by McCartney and released in 1963, receiving massive critical and commercial success. Compare if you will:
The FF – I saw here standing there:
Chuck Berry -Talkin’ about you (1961 – Take special note of the bassline):
They just do what they please
To derail this article a little further, here’s a small series of coincidences for your listening pleasure.
The beatles – I Feel Fine (1964)
Bobby Parker – Watch Your step (1961)
The beatles – Lady Madonna (1968)
Humphrey Lyttelton – Bad Penny Blues (1956)
Don’t think of it as stealing, think of it as a series of crazy misunderstandings.
They shill Coca-Cola
This song was wisely banned by the BBC after it’s release. Unfortunately they banned it for the wrong reason: product placement, the cornerstone of the beatles empire. It’s somehow alright to have Corn Flakes forced into your ears, but Coca-Cola rubbed the tea and crumpets engorged censors the wrong way.
Incidentally, this was the second unsuccessful attempt by the beatles to sell Coca Cola. You may remember their other campaign from the same time period:
He Got Monkey Paw
This song continues to grow stronger every year, as though it was blasted by gamma radiation on the way to the airwaves. It should be required to have the listener sign a waiver before being allowed to listen to it, after being read the following warning: “This little ditty had a spell put on it by an old Fakir. He wanted to show how bad music begets bad music and grows exponentially. Those who intentionally listened did so to their sorrow.”
Lets end this on a positive note. Here’s a clip of the MC5 playing their original song Come Together in 1969.
It has nothing to do with the beatles, and a lot to do with the title.