This week I found myself rediscovering my vinyl collection once again. It's a joy to actully sit and listen to a whole album in it entirety, the form in which it was intended to be heard rather than a single track within a playlist on an iPod. Of course my favourite Beatles' albums were given a spin. The first one up was 'Rubber Soul' one song in particular got me thinking...
John Lennon was not always the angel people like to think he was. Since his death and canonisation little has been said about his bouts of questionable behaviour. In his formative years he had more than his fair share of fisticuffs, later on he wasn't very respectful of his first wife and child, especially while partaking in no-end of shenanigans in Hamburg.
He publicly ridiculed disabled members of his audience. He was a tyrant professionally, often bullying and lambasting the other members of The Beatles and those around them. He drank heavily and later on in his life had a prolonged heroin addiction. I'm not judging him, I'm saying that there was more to his character than a yearning for love, peace and understanding. He occasionally accepted responsibility for his actions and wrote his regret into songs, cleverly shrouding his bloops with poetic embellishments with sugar coated wordsmithery and instrumentation. One of the finest examples being the fine song 'Norwegian Wood'
People think this is a lovely song. Personally I love it because it doesn't have a chorus and I like pop songs that have non-standard arrangements, and I'm a sucker for a dabbling of Sitar. Lennon had most of us like kippers here, it's not a sweet song at all, it's packed with anger and resentment...
Picture the scene as you listen to the song and read my take on it...
Lennon's out with a few of his arty mates in Mayfair one afternoon, Magic Alex was probably there, Harrison nipped by to say hello before going off to pick up his shoes from the cobblers. Ringo was present but nicked off early because Maureen was doing fish fingers and chips and peas, his favourite. McCartney was absent, he doesn't drink with Lennon, as the result is often scrapping.
Lennon ends up engrossed in an up-market lady, and goes back to her place. He thinks it's a dead cert filthy squeezing fest back at hers. But things don't quite go to plan, listen to the lyrics...
'I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me' - The latter use of the word had is the giveaway display of vitriol here.
'She showed me her room, isn't it good Norwegian wood?' - I'm presuming that this is her bedroom. It takes a second to comprehend decorating a bedroom in wood paneling, but that's what she's done, it would resemble some archaic Library and, from the opinion of someone conversant in design, would be very expensive. She's probably picked up the idea from some trendy magazine. As we all know taste and brains, unfortunately, are not a by-product of wealth (see Lady Ga-Ga, Paris Hilton, Ken Dodd etc).
'She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere' - I can just imaging the poor drunken Liverpudlian squinting through his specs (he had terrible eyesight) to find suitable furniture upon which to consummate after all his wooing via intimate yarns of poor Stuart Sutcliffe and how he got battered by Tarbie's mob.
'So I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair' - Right, she's pushing her luck a bit now. Inviting him back to her flat knowing there's nothing for him to sit on. Being cheeky to a pissed-up bi-polar Scouser with violent tendencies isn't something I would advise at the best of times, never mind when he's tanked up, especially when he's at the height of his powers and is accustomed to sycophancy.
'I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine' - See, the key giveaway here is the phrase 'biding my time'.....it shows that he wasn't really interested in the bumflufferies like civil conversation, he didn't like her, it was all about getting his end away.
'We talked until two and then she said: "It's time for bed"' - At this point he should have cut his losses, rang Ringo and asked him to meet up and gone and had a bevvy or a Jalfrezi or a game of drafts. Alas, no.
'She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh' - Crikey she's on thin ice now. Lennon once pulped a Liverpool promoter called Bob Wooler for making an insinuation that he was 'close' to Brian Epstein, and there she is laughing at him while simultaneously denying him a bunk-up after making him sit on the floor! He's a Beatle, at the top of his game, with a massive working class chip on his shoulder (some would argue it was more the size of a chip buttie), and she, a snooty professional displaying her affluence with vulgar taste in home decoration and inefficient use of rare hardwood is blatantly trying to wind him up. Could she be an Asburgers sufferer?
'I told her I didn't, and crawled off to sleep in the bath' - At this point he could have had some pride, got out of there, she's made a right idiot out of him, call her bluff, say thanks and leave. Easy. No harm done. To be honest after an all day bender topped off with a load of wine shagging would be like trying to play snooker with a rope anyhow!
'And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown' - She's dropped a right bollock here. Doesn't she know the unwritten rule of taking someone back to your house? GET THEM OUT IN THE MORNING!
She's left a no doubt livid scouse lunatic in her house with hard-on like Hulk Hogan's forearm, having had a terrible nights sleep and not so much as a cheeky finger to show for his labour. He's gonna be hung-over and fuming. He's gonna do damage, don't know what yet, but he's creative, probably have a wanksterbate into her shampoo or crimp off a Gorilla's finger into her frozen Lasagne.
'So I lit a fire, isn't it good Norwegian wood' - ...... Jesus Louisus he's gone and burnt her house down! Barmy bastard! He's off the dial that Lennon.
See? So the next time you put that song on remember that Lennon is partly responsible for house insurance premiums being what they are.
"Give peace a chance" Okey dokes. Arsonist.