Today, this very productive period in Beatles history saw the beginning of work on John’s “Good Morning, Good Morning.”

Like “Help,” “Good Morning” is an outwardly chipper song whose actual subject matter is Lennon’s deep depression and alienation. Says Steve Turner in A Hard Day’s Write,

It was a song about his life of indolence – the result of too many drugs, a cold marriage and days measured out in meals, sleep and television programs such as Meet the Wife.

This was one of many periods in John’s life when he retreated to the safety of his home, watching the world go by and not getting out much. It’s hard to be creative under these circumstances, and early 1967 found him casting around desperately for inspiration. One strategy is to turn your very lack of ideas into material (“I’ve got nothing to say but it’s okay)”; another is to mine other media — newspapers (“A Day in the Life”) or, in this case, a TV commercial for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Adds Turner,

The black and white commercial featured nothing more than corn flakes being tipped into a bowl. The four-line jingle went “Good morning, good morning. The best to you each morning. Sunshine breakfast, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Crisp and full of fun.”

John turns this into some kind of metaphor for the futility of daily life; he spits out “Good morning” like it’s a curse: Welcome to another pointless day, people of Earth.

The early version of this song included on Anthology 2 is spare and raw, with a certain punky energy that fits the lyrics. Had it continued along those lines, it might have sounded something like “I’m So Tired.” Instead it emerged dressed up with bouncy horns and cute animal sound effects. Such are the dangers of being a Beatle.

Turner suggests that the line “Go to a show you hope she goes” is a reference to Yoko, that every time John went out he hoped to run into her. So as we draw the curtain for today, imagine Yoko lurking on the horizon like a distant storm, waiting for her time to come along and shake things up.

 

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