Strawberry Fields Forever (song + video) Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by AFOS, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    That it is and you articulated the experience quite well and how all those affects pin back to Lennon's childhood memories -- that were sad and haunting and tinged with whimsey.

    Strawberry Field - Wikipedia

    The Beatles[edit]
    [​IMG]
    The gates of Strawberry Field

    The name of the home became famous in 1967 with the release of the Beatles' single "Strawberry Fields Forever", written by John Lennon, who had grown up at nearby 251 Menlove Avenue. Beaconsfield Road, where Strawberry Field is located, is a side street from Menlove Avenue. One of Lennon's childhood treats was the garden party that took place each summer, on the grounds of Strawberry Field. Lennon's Aunt Mimi recalled, "As soon as we could hear the Salvation Army Band starting, John would jump up and down shouting, 'Mimi, come on. We're going to be late.'"[1]

    Lennon would often scale the walls of Strawberry Field to play with the children in the Salvation Army home. The proprietors complained to his school about his antics but to no avail.[citation needed] Finally, they took him to his Aunt Mimi, with whom he was living. She told him that if he continued to do this, they would hang him. He continued anyway, thus the lyric, "Nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields forever."[citation needed]
     
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  2. lothianlad

    lothianlad Forum Resident

    Location:
    scotland
    Just the greatest double A side ever.

    When you hear the stripped down band version on 'anthology2' you realise it might have worked just as well without the strings and horns.
     
  3. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    She told him that if he continued to do this, they would hang him. He continued anyway, thus the lyric, "Nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields forever

    I always thought it meant nothing to get hung up about i.e. nothing is real so there is nothing to care about or get upset about.
     
  4. erocky

    erocky Forum Resident

    The Paul disciples on here will for sure disagree but as the years have passed, this song could be emerging as the Beatles great song. It is one of the only songs that I can think of that has a greatness that truly cannot be captured in just one of it's takes, but several. Since the Sgt. Peppers 50th anniversary box set in 2017, we all know now that this song went through a few days of recording and some absolutely incredible renditions. The lyrics are vague and revealing and invite multiple listens. McCartney never recording anything like this.
     
  5. Tom Daniels

    Tom Daniels Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona
    John’s rough, and roughly recorded, demos have alway made me wish there a well recorded acoustic version, with some harmonies here and there from George and Paul. It works as a song, aside from all the production stuff.
     
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  6. Bowie1979

    Bowie1979 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Beckenham
    It always occurred to me that McCartney jumped down from quite a considerable height for that shot! You wouldn’t be able to do that with an artist these days! :)
     
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  7. lothianlad

    lothianlad Forum Resident

    Location:
    scotland
    It's a magnificent song, but to be fair 'penny lane' is equally amazing in its own way. They both compliment each other.
     
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  8. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    Completely disagree. It was a great song in its bare bones incarnation, but the production takes it to another level.
     
  9. numer9

    numer9 Beatles Apologist

    Location:
    Philly Burbs
    McCartney had a lot of influence on this song....Lennon even says so.
     
  10. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    This isn't a "Paul disciple" comment but Paul had a lot to do with arranging the John songs which were ultimately deemed, "psychedelic". The intro alone, which instantaneously characterizes the song, was made up and played by Paul. Any way you look at it, this is one of those examples where the greatness of the bare-bones song itself and superb arrangement are equal.
     
  11. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Anyone know why John and Paul simultaneously wrote songs referencing the Liverpool of their childhood?
     
  12. Mickey2

    Mickey2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bronx, NY, USA
    At this point in their career, I think they were tired of screaming teenyboppers and were looking to change their image as cute, lovable, mop tops. So, they saw themselves as now being older, wiser, "experienced" artists heading in a deeper, slightly darker, more adult direction -- "can you dig it?"

    This will be a continual tendency going forward, except that McCartney, for one, will resist going extreme and Lennon and Harrison will try to out-hip him with their own compositions and exhibitions.

    I see similarities to videos of the period by people like Cream and Procol Harum, for example. Beatles fans tend to think of them as the innovators, but I imagine a lot of what they were doing were ideas inspired by outside influences of their own. I Feel Free, for example, was done around the same time, not sure which was first or aware of the other. From what I can tell, this was filmed a month before Cream's. Maybe a common craziness was just in the air.

     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
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  13. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    There has long been a sketchily supported theory that Pepper was originally conceived as a concept album about their Liverpool childhoods, with the other song besides “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” recorded early on in late 1966, “When I’m Sixty-Four,” fitting into that concept by looking forward to old age, I guess.

    If this is true, the concept was quickly dropped, perhaps because “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” were pulled for single release, or perhaps because Lennon in particular just got bored with the concept, as he was wont to do.
     
  14. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    In the Ron Howard movie Eight Days a Week it shows John at the New York Plaza playing part of the SFF intro on some type of mouth keyboard (not sure what the instrument is). That was in Feb 1964. So, while Paul may have played the keyboard intro in the released version of SFF, he clearly did not write this part alone, if at all.
     
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  15. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    I'm familiar with the scene you're talking about which is basically John doodling on the instrument. I don't believe John categorically resurrected it two or three years later forr SFF. I could be wrong..its just my own feeling. It is possible Paul picked up on it at the hotel and it sat in his subconscious to be brought out years later.
     
  16. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    I’ve listened to that bit, and it’s not clear to me that he’s playing what became Strawberry Fields Forever. I agree with @DK Pete that he just seems to be sort of doodling on the instrument, but it’s certainly possible that some spark of the idea existed in 1964.
     
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  17. spherical

    spherical Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    The mellotron intro had been around since Miami, 1964, I believe. It's on the Maysles brothers film/doc footage of that 1st trip. very strange, for me, to hear/see that keyboard intro being played in '64. So, no, probably not composed on the spot (entirely) by Paul.
     
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  18. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    I think in this case it was John recalling what he had said to Mimi- it's nothing to get hung about.

    Paul was inspired to write Penny Lane after John wrote Strawberry Fields
     
  19. So, you're saying that some incarnation of the intro is in yet another film than the one cited at the New York Plaza?

    @DK Pete, to reference your observation, I agree to the extent that it's probably coincidence that John played a chromatic run on that keyboard instrument similar to the intro to SFF. I just bought a Moog, so in a similar experience, it's almost intuitive for a musician to noodle in chromatic runs with an unfamiliar instrument, even though I know my way around a keyboard. It kind of helps one get their bearings.
     
  20. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    I would say both this song and A Day In The Life are probably considered the Beatles greatest achievements by most Beatles fans even those who prefer Paul.
     
  21. Michael Macrone

    Michael Macrone a roMance anagram

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Just the greatest single ever.
     
  22. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    Yes it's also great and it's Paul's best song, and while not as great as Strawberry Fields it's got that in common with every popular song ever recorded. IMHO of course
     
  23. spherical

    spherical Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    I've only seen 1 film of that intro. I thought it was Miami, but if it has been cited as being from the Plaza, then so be it.
     
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  24. BeatlesFanthologist

    BeatlesFanthologist Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have a rough timestamp for this footage? I saw the doc on TV so I haven't bothered to watch it again on Blu-Ray. I can't believe John was playing the intro to SFF and I just didn't notice.

    My attention span must not be as good as it used to be... either that or the movie was edited for TV.
     
  25. lothianlad

    lothianlad Forum Resident

    Location:
    scotland

    It's true, and I'm sure I saw handwritten notes of some of the ideas they had for the 'childhood' album somewhere.
     
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