Willie and Lukas Nelson…Happy Birthday John Lennon

Watching the Wheels by Willie and Lukas Nelson…I saw this and had to share it.

John Lennon – Watching The Wheels

My favorite song off of John and Yoko’s album Double Fantasy released in 1980. Three singles off of the album made it to the top ten. (Just Like) Starting Over, Woman, and Watching The Wheels which peaked at #10 on the Billboard 100.

This song was John describing his absence from the music scene since 1975. As always he was straightforward and honest. People could not believe he gave up a career to stay at home with his family. Nowadays no one would blink an eye with waiting 5 years for an album. His last album Rock ‘n’ Roll (old rock and roll covers) was released in 1975.

I found this on The Beatles Bible…Engineer Tony Davilio… “Jack” is Jack Douglas the producer

Jack heard this guy named Matthew Cunningham playing dulcimer on the street and he was good. This guy was a real hippie with stringy long hair. He was a typical street musician. They brought him in to play dulcimer on Watching The Wheels. He came in looking pretty spaced out. When you play the dulcimer you sit in that Indian position on the floor. Jack told me, ‘Tony, go out there and make sure he’s in tune.’ So I went over to the piano and plucked out some notes and he kept shaking his head and said, ‘That sounds sour, that’s not in tune,’ but it was. So he’s sitting there playing along with the track and the tape stops. John was standing up in the control room and said something to him over the talkback. Matt squinted his eyes, looking at him, and said, ‘What’s your name?’ And John gets back on the talkback and says ‘My name’s John.’ This guy’s just staring at him and goes, ‘Hi, John.’ And then John says, ‘Hi, Matt’ and then I see them all laughing in there because this guy didn’t know who he was. Apparently, he was the only person in the country who wouldn’t know John Lennon.

From Songfacts

John Lennon wrote this ode to inactivity to explain what he had been up to in the last six years. Until Double Fantasy, his last album was Walls And Bridges, which was released in 1974. He was no longer interested in fame, and dedicated himself to family: his wife Yoko and young son Sean (John became the world’s most famous househusband, baking bread and feeding Sean).

The song makes a statement that taking it easy and spending time with loved ones is anything but crazy. Working way too hard in an attempt to be a productive as possible, on the other hand, can be quite unfulfilling in the end.

The mindset Lennon describes in this song is a stark contrast to his 1973-’74 self, when he embarked on his “lost weekend,” leaving Yoko and engaging in self-destructive behavior. He returned to Yoko in 1975, sinking into domestic life.

Explaining the message of this song after Lennon’s death, Yoko said: “Let’s have that inner space to dream, the dream power.”

Watching The Wheels

People say I’m crazy
Doing what I’m doing
Well, they give me all kinds of warnings
To save me from ruin
When I say that I’m okay, well they look at me kinda strange
“Surely, you’re not happy now, you no longer play the game”

People say I’m lazy
Dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice
Designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I’m doing fine watching shadows on the wall
“Don’t you miss the big time boy, you’re no longer on the ball?”

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

Ah, people ask me questions
Lost in confusion
Well, I tell them there’s no problem
Only solutions
Well, they shake their heads and they look at me, as if I’ve lost my mind
I tell them there’s no hurry, I’m just sitting here doing time

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round

I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go