When you asked how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Bob, where is Desolation Row? Bob Dylan: Where? Oh, that’s someplace in Mexico. It’s across the border. It’s noted for it’s coke factory. Coca-Cola machines are… sells -… sell a lotta Coca-Cola down there.
~San Francisco Press Conference – Dec 3, 1965
Bob Dylan: As I look back on it now, I am surprised that I came up with so many of them. At the time it seemed like a natural thing to do. Now I can look back and see that I must have
written those songs “in the spirit,” you know? Like “Desolation Row” – I was just thinkin’ about that the other night. There’s no logical way that you can arrive at lyrics like that. I don’t know how it was done.
KL: It just came to you?
BD: It just came out through me.
~Bob Dylan – Kurt Loder interview, Oct 1987
“Desolation Row” also focuses on scene, but in a more purposeful way: the images build up powerfully, propelled by the vocal and instrumental performances. The song makes a statement: this scene is important, it needs·to be paid attention to, there is a reality in this life which may not be cheerful but which, once discovered, shows everything else to be a
pose. Desolation Row” is an anthem; it proclaims and forever defines a certain place, certain state of being… ..And finally I can say about “Desolation Row” only that I am in awe of it.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)
What does one do the month after inventing an entirely new form of popular song? One does it again. With “Desolation Row,” Dylan manages something even he’d never pulled off before—writing a song as long as “Tam Lin” (and in that classic ballad meter) but without any such narrative thread. Instead, Dylan relies almost solely on placing familiar characters
in disturbingly unfamiliar scenarios, revealing a series of increasingly disturbing canvases. Being Dylan, he unravels no ordinary tale.
~Clinton Heylin (Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973)
Part of the inspiration (and title) might also have come from Steinbeck’s Cannery Row (an early Dylan enthusiasm), and some of it was almost surely derived from Kerouac’s Desolation Angels. But as with Juarez, the New York that the narrator has gone back to for this final song is a city of the mind, one that encompasses all of Dylan’s Highway 61 and the terrain surrounding it, a funhouse America that is everywhere and nowhere.
~Mark Polizzotti (Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited (33 1/3))
Paul [wrote this]. That was from a lecture of Maharishi where he was talking about nature, and I had a piece called “I’m just a child of nature,” which turned into “Jealous Guy” years later. Both inspired from the same lecture of Maharishi.
~John Lennon (September 1980, Playboy interviews)
August 9: The Beatles recorded Mother Nature’s Son in 1968, well, they started to record the song.
July 21: The Beatles recorded Come Together in 1969
“It was a funky record – it’s one of my favorite Beatle tracks, or, one of my favourite Lennon tracks, let’s say that. It’s funky, it’s bluesy, and I’m singing it pretty well. I like the sound of the record. You can dance to it. I’d buy it!”
“The thing was created in the studio. It’s gobbledygook, Come Together was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t come up with one. But I came up with this, Come Together, which would’ve been no good to him, you couldn’t have a campaign song like that, right?”
– John Lennon (Playboy, 1980)
“Come Together” is a song by The Beatles written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song is the opening track on the album Abbey Road, and was released as a double A-sided single with “Something”, their twenty-first single in the United Kingdom and twenty-sixth in the United States. The song reached the top of the charts in the US,and peaked at number four in the UK.
I really love the song, one of John’s masterpieces!
John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar, handclaps and tambourine
Paul McCartney: harmony vocals,electric piano and bass
George Harrison: lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, maracas
July 6: Jackie Wilson recorded (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher in 1967
“(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” was recorded on July 6, 1967 at Columbia’s studios inChicago. Produced by Carl Davis, the session – arranged by Sonny Sanders – featured bassist James Jamerson, drummer Richard “Pistol” Allen, guitarist Robert White, and keyboardist Johnny Griffith; these four musicians were all members of the Motown Recordshouse band The Funk Brothers who often moonlighted on sessions for Davis to augment the meager wages paid by Motown. According to Carl Davis, the Funk Brothers “used to come over on the weekends from Detroit. They’d load up in the van and come over to Chicago, and I would pay ‘em double scale, and I’d pay ‘em in cash.” Similarly two of Motown’s house session singers The Andantes, Jackie Hicks and Marlene Barrow, along with Pat Lewis (who was filling in for Andante Louvain Demps), performed on the session for “Higher and Higher”.
I first became aware of this gem of a song when it was re-released in 1987, accompanied with a new video.
Jackie Wilson – Higher and Higher (official 1987 video):
Elvis Presley recorded Heartbreak Hotel January 10th in 1956
“Heartbreak Hotel” is a song recorded by Elvis Presley. It was released as a single on January 27, 1956, Presley’s first on his new record label RCA Victor. His first number-one pop record, “Heartbreak Hotel” topped Billboard‘s Top 100 chart, became his first million-seller, and was the best-selling single of 1956. It was written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton.
Well, Since my baby left me
These opening words set the tone, this is not a happy-song…
I got this record from my aunt when I was about 7 or 8 years old (1973/1974), I couldn’t comprehend the heartache and suffering in the lyrics. I just thought it was the coolest thing I had ever heard. I still got that record. It is worn and scratched and it’s still the coolest record in the world.