I used to play a pre strat, and I discovered that by putting the pick-up selector between two settings which is hard to do quickly because there was a spring action to gravitate to only one of the three pick-ups , I got a very gretschy sound, stunningly so. Maybe john or george had already discovered that. In any event, I agree that there is gretsch-like quality to one of the guitars on this song assuming there are two , with that it could have been a strat.
Or, perhaps I had a corrupted strat! It says John and George both play lead. Is George playing the lead fills and then John playing the solo? The fills, I think just George. What a composer. Not too many in his tree. Tom, what a nice response, well worded. Time standing still …. Anyway, at the back was a large white stucco building, two story ceilings. It was like a scene from a Beatle video, with large white sculptures all around and airy light.
They had great equipment and I was amazed at their sound, singing and playing. The guys were very gracious and asked what should we do. I just happened to say, How about Nowhere Man? And just like that, without even checking the key or sound or anything it was one of those moments we began with me singing lead! I suppose I could have stayed there singing Beatle songs all day, but having some manners, it was just that one song.
Sorry for taking all this space, but just want to share some of the magic that the Beatles will always have, all over the world. There were actually three mics, and the other guys shared the other two; I especially remember the guy harmonizing like Paul. And yes it two guitars during the verses, not just one it may be indeed one player double tracked, but it is two guitars, and at least one of the parts if not both are capped.
It is often reported that George did the verses and John and George did the lead section. But the verses are either two Georges or George and John together…. That open and then closed sound is a characteristic you can hear throughout the entire song verses. In the solo, they are probably not using any capo, and recall that the solo was done at a different time and appears on the right side only in the stereo mixes. John and George played this solo together, it was the first question I asked George when I met him at Abbey Road in The lyrics are at times hopeful. Musically the song is bright, mostly major key with childlike harmonies.
And I have an amateur theory about that. These were legalish and helped them do the all-nighters at the Cavern Club. But amphetamines exact a toll, in that they make your brain dump a lot of dopamine, which is what creates that happy, productive, focused, pleasurable high. But when amphetamines wear off, you have a brain with a lot less-than-normal dopamine, and it crashes.
When you stop taking amphetamines, even Adderall, it takes a while for your brain chemistry to begin pumping out normal amounts of dopamine again on its own. In the meanwhile, you can be very depressed, apathetic, unmotivated, and take little pleasure in life. Also highly irritable, bad tempered. All things that have been reported, even self-reported by John, for the ish time frame. The solo from Nowhere Man is one of the first I learned to play. Sounds like it for the solo too. Strats have a clangy sound. This was one of the benefits of Paul moving from the Hoffner to the Rick.
The Rick has much more liveliness.
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There is no tuning fork. I play it all the time with the record. A great John Lennon song off the brilliant Rubber Soul album. Wonderful harmonies and lead guitar solo. I love the lyrics of this song. Listen to the song as if you were considering mankind, not just one man. I second that. When you begin to know yourself, then you start to know others. The Yellow Submarine Songtrack mix of this song is a revelation, IMO the definitive version of this great, great song.
John and George we will miss you.
I completely agree on this. YSS is where first truly good stereo mixes were done for several tracks, and it goes to show that a complete remixed catalog is a must. One of those unique, magic little things the Beatles threw into many of their songs. I also love it — get shivers down my spine sometimes when I hear it. If you listen to the isolated guitar track on The Beatles Rock Band you will notice that George plays an acoustic guitar as well as John. This song always moves me.
- The Man In The Blue Suit.
- Summary and reviews of Nowhere Man by Aleksandar Hemon.
- Nowhere Man – The Beatles Bible?
- My Brilliant Husband.
Then, that high harmony from Paul at the very end… yep. Wonderful bass from Paul, too — and one you can can only properly properly appreciate with headphones. I have forever loved this song. My son is 16 and a big Beatles fan, which makes me proud. The lyrics as the title suggest are not totally about love. I'd spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good and I finally gave up and lay down.
Then Nowhere Man came, words and music, the whole damn thing, as I lay down. He can sleep almost indefinitely, is probably the laziest person in England. I can get up and start doing nothing straight away. I just sit on the step and look into space and think until it's time to go to bed I was just sitting, trying to think of a song, and I thought of myself sitting there, doing nothing and going nowhere. Once I'd thought of that, it was easy.
It all came out. No, I remember now, I'd actually stopped trying to think of something. Nothing would come. I was cheesed off and went for a lie down, having given up. Then I thought of myself as Nowhere Man — sitting in his nowhere land. When I came out to write with him the next day, he was kipping on the couch, very bleary-eyed. It was really an anti-John song. He told me later, he didn't tell me then, he said he'd written it about himself, feeling like he wasn't going anywhere. I think it was actually about the state of his marriage. It was in a period where he was a bit dissatisfied with what was going on; however, it led to a very good song.
He treated it as a third-person song, but he was clever enough to say, 'Isn't he a bit like you and me?
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Latest Comments. Jake Thursday 14 May Grapost Wednesday 11 February I agree. My feelings too. Mustard Tuesday 6 July SD Wednesday 15 July Joseph Brush Sunday 16 August Thanks for the info about the two-man guitar solo! Matt Tuesday 25 August Richard Boene Thursday 20 August You must have perfect pitch. I do and I always thought the same thing. RatFink Friday 6 July Roger Sunday 9 May One of the best solo guitar instrumentals of all time.
Surely the best by one of the Beatles. Jon S Tuesday 7 September David Sunday 22 January Nowhere man is still great, though. He was striding. Big long steps full of determination. Like the Terminator, the second one, coming out of the flames. His pupils widened and then contracted back in on themselves in real fear. Ben could almost feel her trembling, as if the slight juddering of her body was causing the air to shake.
Dust from the playing field had risen like a tide, clinging to the sharp black polish on his lace-up shoes and for a moment the three children stood hypnotized as they watched those legs and feet getting closer and closer, almost hearing the rhythmical thump of those soft soles hitting the tough ground. All he knew was that one minute they were standing, and the next he had turned and his legs were pumping like crazy, the hot air steaming in his lungs as it ripped and tore its way in and out, the sudden exertion shocking his system.
In front of him, Cath sprinted, her thin freckly legs stretching out beneath the loose edges of her canvas shorts, her awkwardness vanished, suddenly a gazelle, for once her body comfortable with itself as her trainers pounded the thirsty ground. Just behind her was Wrighty, his running less elegant but equally as efficient and Ben focused on them as he pushed himself forward, not looking back, fighting the urge to look back, sure that he would see the stranger almost touching the thin sweaty cotton of his T-shirt.
Within moments they tumbled around the edge of the school building, leaning sweaty bodies against the cool bricks, head and eyes throbbing with excited blood. Ben peered round the edge of the building. The stranger continued on the same path, a straight line, through the wicket and heading to the other side of the boundary. Was this what it was like for Mum? All the time? Despite Cath tugging him back, Wrighty cautiously looked round the edge of the building.
He wiped his nose with the back of his hand, the sprint having made it run. Wrighty stepped back. The stranger was almost level with where they stood and Ben pulled himself in against the wall. He thought of the machete. And then thought of Amy. I swear to God I am. A trickle of sweat ran down the back of his neck. You go with Cath. From the corner of his eye he could see the dark shape come into view as it passed. It was enough to send the other two running down the side of the building and disappearing round to the front, Wrighty cursing under his breath.
Knowing they were gone, Ben relaxed slightly as he watched the back of the moving suit. He had maybe ten minutes before the others came back armed with adults. Ten minutes to keep him in sight. A stranger with a knife. Stepping back out into the sunshine, he trotted across to the middle of the field so that he was directly in line about thirty yards or so behind the stranger. Matching the brisk pace, Ben could feel his legs shaking, his whole body weak, not from the exertion of the run, he was twelve, he could run that over and over before tiredness would catch him, but from the tingling of anticipation and terror running down his spine, stealing his energy.
What if the man turned round? What would he do then? What if? None of it mattered. All Ben could see was the man and the knife and the possibility of an answer for Amy. For him. For the witch that was dying at home. Picking up his pace, he followed the stranger on his too-straight path out of the field and into the play area for the younger kids. Surely he could sense Ben behind him?
Maybe he did. Maybe he knew Ben was there. Maybe that was all part of the plan. He focused on the mystery in front of him, blurring everything else, all the familiar, out. On the shoulders was a fine coating of dust or dandruff, and Ben could see the angle of bones protruding through the jacket as the arms swung.
The man was skeletal thin. He stored these images safely in his mind for when the man had gone. When the police had taken him. He saved them for Amy. Because of Amy. When the figure in front stopped suddenly at the base of the oak tree, Ben almost stumbled into him, his stomach leaping sickly into his mouth.
Instead, he looked intently at the ground at the base of the gnarled trunk and then, satisfied with whatever he saw there, up into its dense leaves. He placed the machete between his teeth and started to climb. The thick branches rustled and cracked as he nimbly worked his way through them, his body disappearing. Eventually, the tree fell silent as its occupant found a perch and all Ben could see was one leg from the knee down, hanging out of the foliage, swinging slightly. The kneecap pointed through the worn suit that frayed at the hem, and above that shiny shoe he could make out one black mole against the too-pale skin.
Ben watched that leg swing for what seemed like forever, but was probably only three or four minutes, confusion and frustration making tears prick at the back of his eyes. What was he doing up there? What was he waiting for? Did he wait for Amy here? He must be able to see him from up there. He must do. Looking back, he could just make out the some running figures in the distance.
Wrighty and a couple of people behind him. Not Cath. Two men.
Time trembled. I need to know! Heat buzzed through him, burning him from the toes up, eating its way through his limbs until it erupted in scalding tears from his eyes. The leg disappeared into the branches, its owner pulling it up to safety and out of sight. Ben howled. A few seconds later Mr Anderson re-emerged, his weather-battered face unamused. And then at Wrighty. Beating and bonding. In Bracknell the two often went hand in hand with the men and their sons. Ben shook his head, rapidly.
Too rapidly. There was a man with an knife and a suit and he had a mole on his ankle and he was on the field and. Calm down. Maybe there was someone. Me and Bill have got some more harvesting to get in before finishing for the day. We can talk about this some more later. He was in the tree. It was hopeless and he knew it. Listening carefully, deep inside, he could hear the delicate invisible strands that bonded their friendship snapping with each step they took. And that was that. No conversation.
No care. Maybe that was all that was keeping her going. The warm night breeze teased him through the open window tickling his legs where the covers were kicked off and he stared at the ceiling and at the shapes that seemed to dance in the film that covered his eyes. He was dead inside. He was sure of it. He could feel his organs settling heavy in his back.
The hand reached in through the window and shook his calf. Ben jumped, his organs retaking their positions, and then he smiled, feeling the life flooding back to him. Eagerly sitting up, the smile froze on his face. The dark eyes twinkled and Ben thought he could see universes of stars in them. Eventually the breathing won, sucking the air in deep gasps.
He hugged his knees to his chest, eyes flicking to the closed door. Bringing his eyes back to what was so solidly existing in front of him, Ben tried to focus. To calm himself down. He had vanished. And he was here now. And there was nothing he could do about it apart from see it through. The man at the window raised one finger to his lips.
The nail on it was bitten to the quick, ragged tags of skin hanging down the outside edge. He stayed like that for a moment, and then lowered it slowly. Ben nodded, his head incredibly heavy and his bladder screamed in panic at him with the movement. Scottish maybe? Who knew? The stranger was foreign though. He nodded again. Somewhere in his dry throat he tested his words. Are you going to kill me?
Maybe he could make it to the door and Mrs Cooper down the hall. Maybe he could live through the night. Maybe someone would believe him this time.
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Maybe, maybe, maybe. All plausible possibilities. But he knew, deep in the hidden place where the body clock ticks almost unheard, that if this man wanted to kill him then he would. He was dead.
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Tonight or tomorrow. Window open or shut. The eventuality would be the same. Some came from his cheek too. He stared, transfixed. This was something else. I can take you there. The dark eyes continued to twinkle and he smiled. The teeth there were perfect white but his gums were receding, bright flecks of red blood appearing in the crescents between his canines. Come with me then.
The man knew where Amy was. Ben stared for a second at the strange falling apart face and then kicked back the covers and reached for his jeans, pulling them over his underpants, tugged on his t-shirt and squeezed his feet into his trainers. His stomach in his mouth, he leaned forward to open the window further to climb out when he paused. The idea seemed to amuse the man, who licked a trickle of blood from his front teeth.
You can try. No harm. But be quick. Unsure of whether he was dreaming or not, the surreal reality of the vanished man too much to really think about, Ben crept out of his room and across the dark corridor. Opening his own door, he fought the mix of fear and almost-hope that the man had vanished again, expecting to see only the night looking back at him from the window.
How would he feel? But the grinning face was still there, framed by the familiarity of his bedroom, and Ben held the pendant up. The man shrugged. Ben stared at the sharp metal, long wide and fierce. How could he have forgotten about the knife? He swallowed hard. Pausing on the windowsill, he smelt the dried wood and faded paint, and felt the rush of twelve years of existence flooding over him.
Maybe this was it. The end. But he cared about Amy. He needed to know about Amy. Swinging his legs over the side, for the second time that day he followed the man that strode ahead of him.