Day 214: “She Said She Said”

When was it recorded?   Jun. 21, 1966

When was it first released, and on which album?   Aug. 5, 1966 on “Revolver”

Who wrote it?   Lennon (with noteworthy contribution from Harrison)

Have I heard this song before?   Yes

What my research dug up:

Soooo, I was apparently on something yesterday. What happened was I jumped off of “Sie Liebt Dich” instead of “She Loves You” since the list I’m using cites them as separate entries. I finally realized after my first cup of coffee today, “…hey, didn’t the Beatles have a song called ‘She Said, She Said?’ Why didn’t I talk about that one?” Oy. Let’s keep pretending that didn’t happen and I skipped ahead on purpose for one day or something.

Back on track, an LSD-fueled party inspired John to write “She Said She Said.”

In August 1965, the Beatles were staying in Beverly Hills during a break from their US tour. The address [2850 Benedict Canyon Drive if you’re so inclined] soon became known, and due to the sheer number of fans and paparazzi swarming the area, the Beatles found it nigh impossible to leave. The Fab Four took to inviting friends and celebrities over, and on Aug. 24 they hosted Roger McGuinn and David Crosby of the Byrds (who I know I’ve talked about before) and American actor Peter Fonda. Everyone except Paul then dropped LSD.

Peter Fonda’s version of the events was the most entertaining of the ones I read (probably because everyone else said Fonda was bumming them out). Quoth the Beatles Bible, “He attempted to comfort Harrison, who thought he was dying.”

“I told him there was nothing to be afraid of and that all he needed to do was relax. I said that I knew what it was like to be dead because when I was 10 years old I’d accidentally shot myself in the stomach and my heart stopped beating three times while I was on the operating table because I’d lost so much blood. John was passing at the time and heard me saying ‘I know what it’s like to be dead’. He looked at me and said, ‘You’re making me feel like I’ve never been born. Who put all that shit in your head?’” — Peter Fonda

Obviously, John used that for “She Said She Said.” He also used another song he had previously been working on but was too short for an album release (Wikipedia). Apparently George suggested John put the “When I was a boy everything was right” in the middle of the song as a contrast to the death stuff.

“I was at his house one day – this is the mid-Sixties – and he was struggling with some tunes. He had loads of bits, maybe three songs, that were unfinished, and I made suggestions and helped him to work them together so that they became one finished song, ‘She Said She Said.’ The middle part of that record is a different song.” — George Harrison

According to Alan Pollack, “In spite of the fact that ‘She Said She Said’ flaunts inscrutably psychedelic lyrics, heavy limiting applied to virtually every instrument as well as the voice track, and of course, that wobbly meter, it also sports a positively buttoned down, classic form; i.e. the two-bridge model with a single verse intervening. While this may seem obvious, it’s a point worthy of emphasis: no matter how experimental they were in other aspects of composition, The Beatles with very rare exception, clung to such classic forms in their songs; it is as though they needed these forms as a bedrock on which to anchor their experiments lest they fall apart.” That wobbly meter he points out is due to the fact that “She Said” switches between 4/4 and 3/4 time.

When the Beatles came up one song short for “Revolver,” they took “She Said She Said” to the studio. Quoth the Beatles Bible, “In a hectic nine hour session… they rehearsed the song more than 25 times and then recorded three takes of the rhythm track.” Paul is not featured on the track; according to Macca, he had a fight with John earlier in the day and left George to record the bass part (Many Years From Now).

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/She_Said_She_Said

http://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/she-said-she-said/

http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/AWP/ssss.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Fonda

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