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Everyone’s different just as every love story is different and how one learns or understands music is very much an individual learning curve depending on priorities.

Having said this, what I can’t understand and never will is being, or trying to be musician and talking about songwriting and saying all the right things about wanting to write orchestral pieces and pop operas and what once were “concept” albums, but having only heard the music of the Beatles fleetingly and never ever having heard Brian Wilson’s “Pet Sounds”, which, at least to me, was what Orson Welles’ “Citizen Cane” was to movies. Rosebud, indeed.

sgt pepper cover

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In order to move forward, in order to understand the meaning behind a song or the need to be a storyteller instead of a “beatsmeisterblaster”, or, if all the best songs have been written using the handful of notes we’ve been given, there’s a need to hear what actually HAS been written.

One cannot shut the door on the past and write for the present or the future as that past was the present and the future way back then.

It can mean going all the way back to your mother’s womb and traveling even further to the recording pioneering of the genius that was Les Paul with his multi upon multi-track recordings where he used the amazing voice of Mary Ford to sound like a choir and then fast-forward to Phil Spector and how he lived in that studio to create his massive Wall Of Sound.

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It’s Hoagy Carmichael and Tin Pan Alley, the Brill Building and Abbey Road and listening to that unmistakeable voice of John Lennon on those early Beatles records like, especially, “All I’ve Gotta Do” and realising that the caustic Liverpudlian was a soul man.

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Forget all that “blue-eyed soul” bollocks and the bombastic Spinal Tap-type lost soul of someone like Michael Bolton.

No, all two minutes and four seconds of “All I’ve Gotta Do” is a key lesson in restraint and one of the earliest examples of the genius of the Beatles that would give us so much in a seven year period.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeSaUeSqn-Y

When Lennon’s voices comes in after that opening minor seventh chord with that line, “Whenever, I, I, I, I,I,I, want you around, yeah”, one can hear everything that voice was able to do. In this particular song, the depth he gave to a set of lyrics that might not be the Mount Cleverest in the world, were absolutely, stark raving honest about what he was going through at that time.

Like his cry for “Help” that was hidden in a happy-go-poppy musical setting, or the disappointment of “No Reply”, “All I’ve Gotta Do” was a glimpse into the soul of John Winston Lennon. Did he write the song with McCartney? Depends on the extent of “with” as though McCartney’s bass lines played as chords are there together with his harmony lines- along with those of George- and a pretty intricate drum track from Ringo- what drives the track and gets its meaning under your skin is Lennon’s vocals on what is a gem of a song that could easily have been written by someone like Smokey Robinson, or Arthur Alexander. But it wasn’t.

“All I’ve Got To Do” was written by John Lennon . And despite similarities to the Shirelles’ “Baby It’s You”, which the Beatles covered and Robinson’s “You Can Depend On Me”, Lennon- not the Beatles- owned this song.

For its time, it was dark and with a melancholy loneliness of trying to find one’s soul mate out there while killing time with someone else until that true special person enters your life.

Apart from “All I’ve Gotta Do”, there are two other Lennon songs- “It Won’t Be Long” and the pretty sophisticated “Not A Second Time”- on “With The Beatles” that were very early signs of a restless soul- the same restlessness that was to give us everything from “I’m So Tired” and “Dear Prudence” to “I’ll Be Back” and “You Can’t Do That”.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXHOaj22HZw

What’s needed today is an alternative to the celebrity-pop and vapid paparazzi-pop being heard too much by too many whereas so much music that still can be relevant is allowed to slip through the cracks or else remain as “back catalogue”.

Music companies do an appalling job of marketing what’s in their vaults whereas in this constant need to feed progress, something like needing to have the first iPhone 6 has taken over from the thrill of being the first kid in school to own Rubber Soul or watch the television debut of “Hello Goodbye”.

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If someone gave me the financing to create an online subscriber-based music channel that features the music that mattered to people like Bowie, McCartney, David Lynch, Dylan, Scorcese, Robbie Robertson, Tarantino etc etc, do you think there won’t be an audience for this? Fuck yeah. And then more people will, amongst other things, realise why John Lennon was a soul man.

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Hans Ebert
Chairman and CEO
We-Enhance Inc and Fast Track Global Ltd
www.fasttrack.hk