There were two Beatles sessions today. The first was a mixing session that produced mixes of “Taxman,” “And Your Bird Can Sing,” and “Tomorrow Never Knows,” none of which were actually used on the album. In the second session they recorded 11 takes of John’s song “I’m Only Sleeping” — one of his best, in this scribe’s humble opinion.

The early versions of “IOS” included vibraphone; you can hear an excerpt of one on Anthology 2. I’d be curious to hear what the finished song would have sounded like had it continued along this line. Maybe in Beatles Heaven.

But there’s nothing wrong with the existing version, a beautiful, dreamy, gently psychedelic little number. Lyrically “I’m Only Sleeping” established a theme that John would continue for the rest of his life, where he defends himself against criticism that he is a lazy dreamer.

“IOS,” 1966:

Everybody seems to think I’m lazy
I don’t mind, I think they’re crazy

“Imagine,” 1971:

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one

“Watching the Wheels,” 1980:

People say I’m lazy, dreaming my life away
Well, they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me

And, of course, it’s true; he’s not the only one. There are a lot of us out there. We dreamers catch a lot of flak from on-the-go Western society, so it’s nice to have John as our standard-bearer.

As one who’s never quite had it in him to be what you’d call a productive citizen, let me say this to all the hard-working people who make this country great. We appreciate you, we really do; we couldn’t get along without you. But I think you need us too. So maybe one of these days we can all get together and smoke the peace pipe.

Or, as noted Lennon acolyte Kermit D. Frog put it:

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

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