Thursday, April 3, 2008

Nazz

The recent 15 second video from whaIedreamers, entitled Pete Best, had a quick reference to His Royal Hipness, Lord Buckley.



Buckley was an original, a charismatic entertainer with a style all his own. He would take well known stories and present them often with significant distortions in the style reminiscent of a British aristocrat or Hip Jazzman, or some unique combination. Buckley lived a very colorful joyful life but experienced a dark tragic death caught up in a web of political corruption, intoxicants and illness. I don’t know if it was the way he lived or the way he died that earned him a place as a Beatles favorite.

According to Wiki, this pot smoking, hard drinking party animal, who often entertained guests in the nude and served as a test subject in LSD research, was a very close friend of Ed Sullivan, who even got him out of some scrapes with the law. After an evening of hearing stories from Buckley’s former manager, George Grief, George Harrison wrote the song “Crackerbox Palace” named after Buckley’s home.

Lord Buckley was way ahead of his time in terms of his views on civil rights for minorities and his general love of people. Those qualities showed themselves in his retelling of Biblical stories including "Jonah" and “The Nazz,” a retelling (and re-writing) of the story of Jesus of Nazareth. But, Buckley also had a dark side that came out in works like a take on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and “The Bad-Rapping of the Marquis de Sade.” Again it is hard to tell which side of him earned the respect of the Beatles.

When I first heard Lord Buckley’s performance of “The Nazz” it was an eye opener. I don’t know what I expected, but this was something unlike anything I had ever heard. Despite the extremely unusual delivery, I was able to catch on to the story and recognize the familiar elements from the Gospels. But one interesting thing was that His Royal Hipness for reasons unknown took the part where Peter tries to walk on water and replaces him with Jude. And when Jude attempts to make it to the Nazz in the impossible act of walking on water, the Nazz says to him, “Make it, Jude” in a manner very similar to the way Paul says it during the Na na na chorus of “Hey Jude.”

You can listen to the line yourself by downloading it here.

There is no way to know if Paul McCartney really was thinking about or paying tribute to Lord Buckley in the heat of vocal ad libbing on “Hey Jude.” But one interesting commonality is that in the case of Lord Buckley, the name Jude was a substitute for Peter and in the case of Paul McCartney, the name Jude was a substitute for Jules, if we are to believe his frequent telling of the story of how he wrote it while on the way to see Julian Lennon shortly after the break up of John and Cyn.

The Nazz is clearly a religious piece, which is not the case with “Hey Jude.” Or is it? Listen to the way Alan Pollack describes “Hey Jude” in his well respected “Notes On” series.

This gambit, combined with the sensation created by the sustained-note doubling of the bassline, creates an astonishingly transcendental effect. I stumble for metaphors to describe it, but the sorts of things which come to mind are "the music of the spheres", "the long caravan which passes slowly by", or perhaps, a painting in which the perspective is so deep that the vanishing point of singularity seems to approach the infinite.

That sounds a bit spiritual to me! But there may be a dark side to this. The Biblical book of Jude is unique in that it quotes the Book of Enoch. Jude is in the Bible, but the Book of Enoch was not accepted in the Biblical Canon. In fact, the apocryphal books that carry the name of Enoch have often been associated with mysticism and the occult.



It is hard to get a handle on how exactly Lord Buckley relates to Paul Is Dead, but I think we will eventually find a connection, since he has appeared in other Rotten Apple Videos including the excellent RA 62.



Regarding the song, “Hey Jude” let’s hear from Alan Pollack one more time:

Verse 4 — Note Macca's melodic ornamentation of the initial "Hey Jude" phrase, and how the parallel thirds of the backing vocal follows all the way through this verse. There's also the final vocal flourish ("better, better, ...") which leads to the jam section; it actually sounds triple tracked — two Maccas singing the flourish itself, and a third singing "make it, Jude."

“Hey Jude” has always been considered one of the most wholesome songs in the Beatles catalog. Nothing sinister about it, right? Actually there has always been a rumor that the recording contained the F-word. Former Beatles recording engineer Geoff Emerick in his 2006 book, “Here, There and Everywhere” confirmed that Paul uttered the dreaded word after hitting a bad note on the piano and the outburst did make it onto the final record.

There has also been some argument about the actual length of the song “Hey Jude.” My original Apple single says 7:11 on the label. But, but if you read any Bruce Spizer Beatle books you will know that the labels are notoriously inaccurate. The meticulous Alan Pollack clocks it at 7:07. However, some Beatles aficionados, especially those with a penchant for PID, insist that their stopwatches indicate that the song is exactly 7:06. Breaking away from conventional time reporting you could say that 7 minutes and 6 seconds is equal to 6 minutes and 66 seconds.

Make it, Jude!

17 comments:

65if2007 said...

6 minutes and 66 seconds.

I'll bet that Iamaphoney is kicking himself that he didn't think of that.

Iamaphoney, after all, troubled himself to inform us that Billy Preston died on June 6, 2006 (6/6/06), but that doesn't sound like anything that Preston is likely to have planned.

But the recording time of "Hey Jude", well...that's something that the artist would have some control over.

The possible Lord Buckley connection is interesting. I don't know otherwise what to make of "Hey Jude". I don't believe in any of the reversal clues that Iamaphoney says that he found in that song.

But I also don't believe the Beatles "party line" that this song which is, on the surface, a song about how to get the girl back (conventional "old school" Beatles", in that respect) was really written for a five-year old boy suffering from his parents divorce.

Tafultong said...

Yes the 6 minutes min 66 seconds was debated in Nothing Is Real. I actually took the other side. But after reading Geoff Emerick's book, I believe it's possible that they wanted it to be 6:66 and just missed it. (It still could be accurate if Alan Pollack rounded up).

Anonymous said...

Knowing how McCartney goes about writing songs, I think what he meant about the origin of "Hey Jude" is that he was in the car on the way to see Julian and was singing a little consolation thing "Hey Jules,don't make it bad," which wound up being Hey Jude. In other words, he probably just had a little bit of the verse melody and then when he got down to composing the song he turned it into something else. Lennon said he thought Paul wrote it about him, and Paul once said it was more about himself.

Zakk said...

Quote: "In other words, he probably just had a little bit of the verse melody and then when he got down to composing the song he turned it into something else. Lennon said he thought Paul wrote it about him, and Paul once said it was more about himself."


The Lennon part, if my memory is working "properly" , comes from his famous in depth interview with Playboy in 80'.

I also remember that Paul said on the Anthologies that he had the song almost 90% finished and was playing it for John and Yoko but believe that the line "the movement you need is on your shoulder" needed to be removed. Lennon told him it was a great line to leave in the song because he understood what it meant.

65if2007 said...

*****Knowing how McCartney goes about writing songs, I think*****


Do you know how McCartney goes about writing songs? How does he go about doing that? How do you know? Are you some sort of insider? Are you present when he writes songs?


*****what he meant about the origin of "Hey Jude" is that he was in the car on the way to see Julian and was singing a little consolation thing "Hey Jules,don't make it bad," which wound up being Hey Jude. In other words, he probably just had a little bit of the verse melody and then when he got down to composing the song he turned it into something else.*****


You can think that's what happened, if you want.

But "McCartney" has said, in no uncertain terms, that this song is about 5-year-old Julian Lennon.

He does not say that the original purpose to that effect was ever "turned into something else".

So he's not being truthful, even by your lights.


***** Lennon said he thought Paul wrote it about him, and Paul once said it was more about himself.*****


OK, so there's a "story" about this song, and the Beatles don't have the "story" down straight, even among themselves.

Zakk said...

dayum 65if2007 is layin down the law! :)

Anonymous said...

I've always sort of wondered about "Jude" being an in-joke tied to the Beatles' memories of the night the Beatles were introduced to pot.

Accounts indicate that Brian Epstein, stoned out of his mind and laughing hysterically, stood in front of a mirror repeatedly shouting "Jew!"

It was out of character behavior for him, and the boys naturally found it delightful. I can think of several other bits in their catalogue that, while pushing the envelope on anti-semitic humor, might follow the same subversive thread.

-In the song "Revolution" during the "evolution" lyric, "jew!" can be heard sung under the third syllable.

-In "Baby You Are Rich Man", Lennon is reported to have sung "baby you are rich fag jew" during the ending fade-out.

-In "Junk", the "jubilee" lyric is sung so it could be construed as "brokenhearted jew...billy" (or "believe"?)

-"Jude" is German for "Jew"

...are there more?

I don't think the Beatles were anti-semitic, of course, but I have been curious about these little instances...

(While we're at it, some have had the temerity to suggest Paul is actually singing in the character of Jesus on "Hey Jude", talking some sense into poor old Judas/Jude!) ;p

Anonymous said...

65if2007-

Would it be possible for you to scan the items in the briefcase or otherwise get some higher resolution photographs of them?

I'm interested in the scratched out writing on the record label itself in particular- the part that starts out with a 'P'.

It just seems like there is probably more to all these scribbles than initially meets the eye. This whole enterprise is either a very big deal or a very silly game- I still can't tell -but either way it seems to require close attention to detail...

I understand if you can't do much more with this, and I appreciate your efforts in retrieving the items in any case. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

So...was Bowie in on the whole PID deal too?

Ziggy played guitar, jammin' good with Weird and Gilly,
The spiders from Mars,
he played it left hand
But made it too far
Became the special man


...

Ziggy played for time,
jiving us that we was voodoo
The kids was just crass.
He was the nazz
With God-given ass
He took it all too far,
but boy could he play guitar

Anonymous said...

In the 67-68 heyday of rock fans examining lyrics and looking for "hidden messages", it was thought that the line "let it out and let it in" was a reference to heroin.This is mentioned in many books about the Beatles written in the 60's and 70's, Nick Schaffner's excellent Beatles Forever for example.John was on heroin at the time but this did'nt come out until years later.The song is not about Julian but it was inspired by Paul's visit to Cynthia and Julian after John left her, something that angered John greatly as they were all supposed to accept Yoko.

Anonymous said...

I'm a songwriter, and when you're asked why you've written a particular song (as if there is always some academic reason), it's sort of like when someone asks you why you dated someone or why you broke up--the answer isn't always the same--and you can't always respond with a sound bite because songwriting is a fluid medium. I've given many different "answers" to how or why, and sometimes subconscious things come up that you find upon reflection years later. "Wow . . . I now realize I was probably thinking about such and such when I said that." Anyway, Macca tends to write with melody first, and with what he calls "working words" (that sound good with the melody whether or not they make sense, e.g., "the movement you need" or just to fill space until better words come, e.g., "That's a nice hat" or "Scrambled Eggs" for "Yesterday"). He then goes back and fills in words, not always sensical. He's probably written more hit songs with a lot of nonsensical (or oblique) content than anyone ("The rain exploded with a mighty crash as we fell into the sun" etc.) Cartoonist Al Capp accused Lennon of being self-important (who knew?) because of the "They're gonna crucify me" lyric, and Lennon said that it was meant to be universal, and could apply to anyone. I don't think Paul ever said Hey Jude was "about" Julian, only that he began writing it in the car "for" Julian to sing to him. Most of his songs started with a few lyrical ideas(sensical or not) and wound up in another place, such as Get Back, which was "Don't dig no Pakistanis taking other people's jobs"). To me, Hey Jude, like Let it Be, is a sort of universal song with a general sentiment that things will get better. I don't think there is too much there to read into (not that that hasn't already happened).

65if2007 said...

Anonymous, I can try to get a better perspective or perspectives using the digital cameral that I have.

The lighting or the flash might be blurring that writing out, and I can try shooting from different angles or perspectives or at a different time of day.

I don't own a scanner and would be reluctant to acquire one just for this purpose, but I might consider acquiring a moderately priced scanner that would double for other purposes.

I'm curious about what you think greater detail might tell you.

65if2007 said...

"I started with the idea 'Hey Jules', which was Julian, don't make it bad, take a sad song and make it better. Hey, try and deal with this terrible thing. I knew it was not going to be easy for him. I always feel sorry for kids in divorces ... I had the idea [for the song] by the time I got there. I changed it to 'Jude' because I thought that sounded a bit better."

- "Many Years From Now"

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if this is IAAP too?

the mask

I guess it was inevitable that Led Zep would get dragged into this.

Mike said...

Yes, that IS IAAP

if that is true, that would be pretty sick! and wow.. if IAAP can prove it

awesome

Anonymous said...

I don't know, Mike- it sort of strikes me as a desperate grab, another layer of distraction and distortion to prevent the Rotten Apple mystery from ever being conclusively resolved (if that was ever the point of all this).

The NIR poster "hesaidhewasaphoney" seems to acknowledge this idea while simultaneously adding another thread (that of alchemy) into the tangle:

The philosopher's stone is a legendary substance, supposedly capable of turning inexpensive metals into gold. /What if one could turn lies into gold?

We shall see what comes of IAAP's big interview on the 10th, but I seriously doubt it will be anything but more of the same hypothetical boogeyman nonsense. I am becoming more and more convinced that this whole thing is just a hoax organized by a handful of resourceful PID forum regulars (remember April Fools...there was a group working on that project, and the film style was rather familiar...).

The Magical Mystery Tour rolls along...

Anonymous said...

who is the gentleman laughing with paul?