I’ll commence as I often have by saying I knew George a bit,and he was kind and generous towards me, this was back in mid seventies. I’ve met and spoke to Paul quite a bit as well. Never met John or Ringo. But as I would consider myself an acquaintance, I’ll say this. The one question I always wanted to ask both of them, but thought it might be a bit too touchy, was this. I should mention this. Ken Gerber is not really the name I’m known by. I have a sobriquet. It’s better this way.
In my opinion “Taxman “lyrically is one of the top five Beatles song. It was wit far beyond Georges years, but kept in keeping of who he was. I think it’s misunderstood that either John or Paul condescended to George to the degree that has been written about over the years. In reading your article , I believe it was the Playboy interview with John ? It came off like George really,really needed help on the words, and John almost against his Will helped George . John mentions throwing in a FEW LINES !
The question I would love to know the answer to is this. “Which lines “ ? I’ve heard so many different takes on this from people that were NOT there. The line that stands out a bit, albeit there is not a weak line in the song, is “Now my advice for those who die, declare the pennies on your eyes “ … That’s beyond brilliant and I can assure you it went over the heads of 95% of Beatles fans at the time. I regret I didn’t have the nerve to ask Paul , as I’m sure he would know who did what to and with whom. As Paul never mentioned writing any lyrics for the song, even the discarded “Got a little money etc. “ he would probably been amenable to tell me. Paul never even made a big deal out of his playing the solo. Remember the Revolver cover lists the composer and singer and any outside hired gun, but made no mention of “solo by Paul McCartney “
One thing that irks me is the idea that people believe Paul and John didn’t work as hard on Georges songs as on their own. That’s just NOT true. They were there for him. John was obviously very hurt by Georges book, and he does come off as condescending, I don’t believe that Paul was talking down in respect to George being his little brother, it was more a form of love and endearment . One must also remember that George also helped John and Paul. The “And I Love Her Intro “ the All my Loving “ solo . The extensive use of the Moog synth on Abbey Road were primarily Georges ideas and he also I’m quite sure played the Moog parts .
I mistakenly wrote George was using a mellotron on Abbey Road. Someone kindly replied it was a Moog, not a mellotron. He’s absolutely correct. I was thinking a Strawberry Fields , entirely different form of synth, more a sampler ( if you want to call analog tape loops synthetic ) My mistake . I’m surprised I didn’t throw an oscillator in there : ) In any event almost all this 60s technology was analog . If you want to hear a mellotron, go to the Beatles psychedelic period. The guitar intro on Bungalow Bill is a great example. I imagine they used it on a couple of other tunes , I’m just now aware of which.
I think everyone has to remember this to put things in perspective. With all the acrimonious comments in respect to these four men having difficulties with one another, that’s all meaningless . There were ONLY four people on the planet that shared this comradery, no one else could possibly relate to what this must have been like. They all needed one another to retain their sanity. If ever four people ever needed to bond and support one another, it was these four childhood friends ( I know,Ringo was a latecomer ) That experienced something that was beyond surreal . Me ! I don’t know how they held it together .
At the end of the day, we are all outliers looking in and conjecture has become reality for too many …
I’ll leave you with this. Give me a break here, I’m “paraphrasing” but the idea and intent are true .
George Martin once said this.
You meet one of the boys and it’s great. He will be charming.
You meet two of them together , and you feel this chemistry you may not have felt before.
You are in a room with three of them, and you can’t quite explain the effect it is having on you, there’s something otherworldly. They’re not like others.
You have all four Beatles together at the same time, in the same room, and you know you’re seeing and feeling something you’ve never quite felt before. There is this idea that there are the four of them together and it can’t be defined. You’ll ALWAYS be on the outside looking in. The bond,charisma,wit,physicality and this aura around and about them is something only the four of them can feel and experience.
That’s it ! Notice he never mentions Music …