The Beatles: John Lennon tells of Bob Dylan influence in ICONIC ‘Help!’ song
The Beatles were very much a product of their time. While their musical legacy will live on forever, they were certainly influenced by the music and the released of pop culture around them at the time. This included being influenced by other artists and singers. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were quite open about this concept of being inspired by other singers, so much so that Lennon had singled out some of his songs he wrote in other artists’ styles.
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Lennon went through quite the metamorphosis as an artist over the years.
His early years as the songwriter for The Beatles saw him writing quippy pop songs that could not be touched by other singers.
But, as fans know, he did eventually delve into some more introspective songs, based purely on his emotions more than anything else.
One of these songs was on the Help! album, titled “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”.
Speaking to David Sheff on All We Are Saying, Lennon spoke about this song, and detailed how it came about – citing influences from Dylan mainly.
“It’s one of those that you sort of sing a bit sadly to yourself,” he explained, before going on to recite some of the lyrics.
“‘Here I stand/Head in hand.’ I started thinking about my own emotions.”
On when he started writing with his emotions rather than his business sense, Lennon went on: “I don’t know when exactly it started, like ‘I’m A Loser’ or ‘Hide Your Love Away,’ or those kind of things.
“Instead of projecting myself into a situation, I would just try to express what I felt about myself which I had done in me books.
“I think it was Dylan helped me realise that. I had a sort of professional songwriter’s attitude to writing Pop songs, but to express myself I would write ‘Spaniard In The Works’ or ‘In His Own Write’ — the personal stories which were expressive of my personal emotions.”
He referenced his Dylan writing once again later in his 1980 Playboy interview, during which he said: “That’s me in my Dylan period again.
“I am like a chameleon… influenced by whatever is going on. If Elvis can do it, I can do it. If the Everly Brothers can do it, me and Paul can. Same with Dylan.”
Next moth will see what would have been the 80th birthday of Lennon.
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To commemorate this, fans are receiving a special Radio 2 show which will see Lennon’s son, Sean Lennon, interviewing Paul McCartney about his father.
In the first snipped released by the BBC, Sean asks McCartney about John.
“I look back on it now like a fan,” he replied
“How lucky was I to meet this strange Teddy Boy off the bus, who played music like I did.
“And we get together and boy, we complemented each other!”
McCartney later explained how, although he worked alongside Lennon well, their music wasn’t always great.
“There were a few songs that weren’t very good,” he confessed..
“You know, clearly young songwriters who don’t know how to do it.”
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