A Matter of…Pee

Those crazy 70’s rock stars…a note left in red ink by no other than John Lennon.

This is a note from an upset John Lennon to Phil Spector. It seems that Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson supposedly…relieved themselves in the recording console in an unnamed studio. John was quite certain of that fact. The studio was threatening to evict them but John wasn’t having it. John didn’t date the note but it was from John Lennon’s “lost weekend” period between 73-75… the note sold for over $88,000.

This is what the note said.

“Phil –

See you around 12:30

Should you not yet know it was Harry and Keith who pissed on the console. Jerry now wants to evict us or that’s what Capitol tells us. Anyway tell him to bill Capitol for the damage if any. I can’t be expected to mind adult rock stars nor can May (Pang, Lennon’s personal assistant) besides she works for me not A+M. I’m about to p..s off to Record Plant (another recording studio) because of this crap.”

John Lennon Letter to Phil Spector Going Up For Auction

There are a million articles on this subject…here is one of the more complete ones.

https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/john-lennon-keith-moon-phil-spector-a-matter-of-pee-letter/

Jellyfish – Baby’s Coming Back —Powerpop Friday

This song was released in 1990 off of their debut album Bellybutton. It peaked at #62 in the Billboard 100 and #51 in the UK in 1991. I remember seeing this band open up for someone in the early 90s…I want to say it was Bob Dylan but I could be wrong.

Jellyfish only released two full albums Bellybutton and Spilt Milk. Both albums have tracks that evoke many artists such as The Beatles, Badfinger, Cheap Trick, The Beach Boys, with their vocal harmonies.

Jellyfish was formed in 1989 in San Francisco, California. The band had several members over the years but the foundation of the band was Andy Sturmer and Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.  Andy was primarily the drummer and Roger played keyboards.

In 1994, Jellyfish contributed a cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Think About Your Troubles” to the tribute album For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson. Jellyfish’s contribution was a personal request from Nilsson, who was a fan of the group. He died a year prior to the album’s release. The band broke up soon afterward.

 

Baby’s Coming  Back

I knew that when I saw her 
That my life would soon move over from the fast lane
Gone would be the days of all by drinkin and my carrying on
But when I settled down
The party king uncrowned
This stubborn memory hadn’t faded
Too many dumb mistakes
And all the grief it makes
Left nothing else to be debated
And if you say that you understand then you’re lyin’
But if you figure that I’m alright now I can’t deny it
Baby’s coming back
Baby’s coming back 
And I’m on my best behavior
I can’t take it anymore 
I just woke up on the floor today
I’ve long run out of my last chances but she’s on her way
If I had a dollar for every single time I fought her 
I’d buy a handgun
But that couldn’t shoot away 
The bull’s eye that she made on my heart
And if I sound like a beaten man well I guess so
But on her way is the sweetest prize and I can’t let go
Baby’s coming back
Baby’s coming back 
And I’m on my best behavior
I can’t take it anymore 
I just woke up on the floor today
I’ve long run out of my last chances but she’s on her way
What I told her on the telephone was that I’d been so bad
I wouldn’t blame her if she mowed down these wild oats I’d sown
But when she said she’d give me one more chance
I said knock three times when you arrive
Baby’s coming back…

Harry Nilsson – Without You

Nilsson’s vocal on this song is outstanding. He took a small blues song written by Badfinger’s Pete Ham and Tom Evans and turned it into an epic. Ham had written a song called “Is This Love?” but wasn’t happy with the chorus. Evans came up with the “I can’t’ live if living is without you” chorus but had no verses for it, so they put the two songs together as one. Both would die broke while this song made millions. Ham and Evans never considered it a strong song.

The song was a smash… peaking at #1 in the Billboard 100 as well as Canada and the UK in 1971. Mariah Carey also released the song on Jan 15 1994 (the day Nilsson died) and the song proved to be a smash again.

From Songfacts

Nilsson first came across this song at a Laurel Canyon party in 1971 and thought it was a Beatles song. Badfinger was signed to Apple Records, The Beatles’ label. The story did not end well for Badfinger: Both Ham and Evans became despondent when they encountered various legal difficulties and committed suicide. Ham hanged himself in 1975 and Evans did the same in 1983.

Nilsson’s version added an orchestra and gave the song a dramatic production. When Nilsson recorded it, he initially played the song slow and dark, accompanied only by piano. Producer Richard Perry recalled to Mojo magazine April 2008 that he had to persuade an unwilling Nilsson to record it as a big ballad: “I had to force him to take a shot with the rhythm section. Even while we were doing it, he’d be saying to the musicians, ‘This song’s awful.'”

January 15th is a date with some interesting coincidences where Nilsson’s version of this song is concerned. He died on January 15, 1994, the same day Mariah Carey’s version was released, which is also 22 years to the day after his interpretation of “Without You” hit #1 on the US charts.

Badfinger’s original version is under Nilsson’s version

Without You

No I can’t forget this evening or your face as you were leaving
But I guess that’s just the way the story goes
You always smile, but in your eyes
Your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows

No I can’t forget tomorrow
When I think of all my sorrow
When I had you there but then I let you go
And now it’s only fair that I should let you know
What you should know

I can’t live
If living is without you
I can’t live
I can’t give anymore
I can’t live
If living is without you
I can’t give
I can’t give anymore

Well, I can’t forget this evening or your face as you were leaving
But I guess that’s just the way the story goes
You always smile, but in your eyes
Your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows

I can’t live
If living is without you
I can’t live
I can’t give anymore
I can’t live
If living is without you
I can’t live
I can’t give anymore

No no no no I can’t live
If living is without you
I can’t live
I can’t give anymore
I can’t live

 

Harry Nilsson – Jump Into the Fire

This Harry Nilsson song was released in 1971 on his album Nilsson Schmilsson. Jump into the Fire peaked at number 27 in the Billboard Charts. This song was more rock than he usually released.

I remember this song most in Goodfellas in the scene where Henry is doing cocaine, then walking out the door, placing guns in the car trunk while a helicopter circles above. The song has a Stones feel to it. It would have not have been out of place on one of their albums.

From the man who wrote Coconut, Me and My Arrow, and the Puppy Song this was a departure.

In 1968 John Lennon and Paul McCartney were asked who their favorite American group was…they said “Nilsson.”

“Jump Into The Fire”

You can climb a mountain
You can swim the sea
You can jump into the fire
But you’ll never be free

You can shake me up
Or I can break you down
Whoa-o-o-o-, whoa-o-o-o-

We can make each other happy [4X]
[Repeat entire 3 times more]
You can jump into the fire [4X]