Thursday, January 10, 2013

I've only encountered it a few times, the songwriter's peculiar insistence that this song does not belong to me. It happened a couple of times during The Beatles Anthology, I particularly remember Paul's memory of conceiving Let It Be (1970). The story goes that came to him in a dream and the melody was so familiar, he insisted that it must've been someone else's song. George said something alarmingly similar in regards to Something (1969). He was so sure that it belonged to someone else that he left it for a couple of days, just to be sure.

I've been thinking of this idea a lot, ever since I heard Joe Meek's first hit for John Leyton, Johnny Remember Me (1961). From the galloping rhythm section to the wailing backing vocals, the song creeps me out something shocking. If it wasn't disquieting enough, songwriter Geoff Goddard also carried this disclaimer that this song did not actually belong to him. Like Paul and George, he woke up one night and sang Johnny Remember Me into his portable tape recorder, however, but he always insisted that he did not write that song. Apparently, Buddy Holly did, beyond the grave.

Ghosts and the supernatural are a little outside of the scope of C&CM and I can't even say that I necessarily believe any of those stories. Yet it's captivating to have a musician say, I am the conduit, I am the means by which the dead can express their music. It's the most incredible fantasy if it were true, if someone could practically harness the creativity of the late Freddie Mercury, Jeff Buckley, Karen Carpenter and any number of impossibly talented deceased musicians. However, I think I might need a bit more than a dream, an assurance and a familiar song to convince me that it is really the case.

Waylon and Buddy, 1959.

Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Mod Podcast #52
The Chob - We're Pretty Quick
The Messengers - We Can't Get Along
The Buckett City Distortion Racket - I Lied
Heinz - Just Like Eddie
John Leyton - Johnny Remember Me
Buddy Holly - I'm Gonna Love You Too
The Beatles - Anna (Go To Him)
The Love Society - Let's Pretend (We're Making Love)
Herman's Hermits - No Milk Today
Michael and the Messengers - That's the Way a Woman Is

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