Friday, April 26, 2013

"W" is for Watching the Wheels

This one is for me.

"W" is for my favorite solo John Lennon song.

I still remember the days when John and Yoko's album Double Fantasy was released in 1980.  The reviews were mixed, but there were some great songs that got plenty of airplay, and of course, critics gave it a second look after Lennon's death.  My favorite track was Watching the Wheels; I thoroughly loved it and everything about it.  The relaxed but driving tempo, John Lennon's piano playing, his beautiful, conversational singing and phrasing, the staccato saxophones, the way it captured the feel of the end of the seventies; it was a musical gem. It's also always been a melancholy song for me, because we know that after recording it, he had precious little time left on earth to enjoy the peace, contentment, and freedom from the expectations of fans and the music industry that it expresses.  That knowledge also colors listenings of Woman, (Just Like) Starting Over, and Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy).

In the car, I'm a real radio channel surfer, but there are some songs that are guaranteed stop me in my tracks and keep my finger away from the preset buttons; What'd I Say, Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, American Pie, Margaritaville, Under the Bridge... and most of all, Watching the Wheels.



27 comments:

  1. Thanks so much! Lovely video and visuals! I thought I knew all the John Lennon songs but somehow this must have passed me by - can't imagine how this happened. Great song thank you and have a great weekend!
    Susan Scott's Soul Stuff

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    1. Hi, Susan. The single Watching the Wheels peaked at #10 and #30 on the US and UK charts, so it didn't exactly set the world on fire. But for me, it's part of the musical tapestry of an exciting time in my young life. Glad you liked it.

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  2. I enjoy John Lennon and Double Fantasy is close to my heart - lots of nostalgia...lots of good times! The video is a treat!

    Nice to meet you Jer, I am recommending your blog in my post for "X"

    Cheers!

    Vidya
    #AtoZChallenge
    http://vidyasury.com

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    1. Hi, Vidya. After the turbulent years following the breakup of the Beatles, John seemed to have settled down and found a measure of peace and contentment, and as a result, he made some beautiful, unabashedly pop songs. Goad you liked it, and thank you so much for mentioning me on your blog, very generous of you!

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  3. Nice to meet you through A to Z! John Lennon was extremely talented and you chose an excellent song!

    Julie

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    1. Hi, Julie. It's funny, my political and religious beliefs are so different from John Lennon's, but because of his humanity and flaws and raw honesty, I love him anyway.

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    2. By the way, thanks for coming by. After reading some of your blog, I'll definitely be back.

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  4. Thanks for the wonderful memory and the three minutes, thirty-three seconds of bliss. :)

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    1. Hey, Joan. Isn't that the truth? It is a blissful song.

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    1. Thanks, Choki, glad you liked it.

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  6. Jerry, I loved The Beatles, too. I must have been too ensconced in my teaching because this album and song got by me. Thanks for the introduction. xoA

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    1. Hi, Annis. Daily life does get in the way sometimes, doesn't it? I wonder if that's one reason the music from our childhood and teenage years stick with us so strongly? I'm somewhat out of touch with music from right now, but sometimes just surviving takes up all my attention. This is the first time I've thought of it that way. My existing theory, which I still believe, is that something about the cocktail of emotions and hormones we swim in in high school somehow causes the music of the time to imprint itself strongly on our brain. I remember a girl I had a huge crush on mentioned she loved the Everly Brothers, and one time, knowing she'd never feel the same about me, I heard "I'll Do My Crying in the Rain." Ouch!

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  7. Thank you for that delightful mid-day music break!

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    1. Just one of the many services I offer. :)

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  8. American Pie & Margaritaville, yes & yes!! Thanks for the melancholy trip down memory lane.
    Kathy @ Swagger Writers

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    1. You bet! Not good to live in the past, but an occasional side trip doesn't hurt.

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  9. You had to play the Beatles card, didn't you. I fondly remember all the hub-bub about their coming to America, their haircuts (google the Life-or was it Look?- cover with the Beatles in a swimming pool, only their dry heads above water to emphasize those haircuts that drove my father wild. My older sisters? Beyond crazy. Especially for Ringo- he was the epitome of cool.

    Yes, I remember the family gathering around the TV to watch their first appearance on Ed Sullivan, the insanity when they came to the Cow Palace later that year, the mess that was their last-ever concert at Candlestick (not counting the 'Get Back' session atop the Abbey Road Studios roof). I certainly remember the odd interview with an obviously drunk Lennon in the press box during a Monday Night Football game in New York. The even more incongruous Howard Cosell announcing his death on MNF in December of '79, followed by the haunting melodies of the album released the month after his death.

    The Beatles, it has been said, were the soundtrack of my generation. How true.

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    1. I remember everything you mention, but pretty much after the fact for any of it before around 1980. I was still in diapers when the Beatles broke up, but I became so much of a Beatles freak in college that I absorbed just about all of it anyway. Looking forward to catching up with your blog.

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  10. I was puzzled for a moment since I didn't remember a song by that title, then I clicked play... Thank you. I love that song, but maybe I never knew the name.

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    1. Hey, Mark. Yep, there are a lot of songs like that, that form part of a wonderful musical background but don't necessarily reach out and grab us by the throat. Glad I could help you discover the name.

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  11. Very cool! Glad to find your blog. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks, Sylvia, and I'm very glad you stopped by so that I could discover your great blog, which I'm now following.

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  12. One of my big regrets is selling my White album and A Hard Days Night because we needed money. I think now I we should have just gone on a fast. Enjoyed your post very much.

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    1. "...gone on a fast," too funny. Ah, if only we all had that crystal ball, right? Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to catching up with your blog.

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  13. Thanks for including the song in your post. I'd never heard it before.

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