Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Yoko discusses making contributions to John's "Jealous Guy"

Yoko Ono last year was provided co-writer credit to the song "Imagine," which she recorded a new version of for her recent "War Zone" LP. John Lennon is on record mentioning her contributions to the song, although Yoko was not provided a songwriting credit on the tune when it was orginally published.

Now, in a new NME interview, Yoko discusses making similar contributions to "Jealous Guy," the melody of which was written by John when the Beatles were studying meditation in India. A demo of the song, orginally called "Child of Nature," appears in the new 50th anniversary "White Album" set.

Here are Yoko's recent comments:

Speaking to Ono about ‘Jealous Guy’ and her role in the song, that reticence is still evident as she evades a response initially. “Well I was there!” she replies, her well-known humour never far away before a much truer answer arrives. “Well, if it was just John,” she begins, “John would have given me the right credit, but it was a difficult time. No famous songwriter would have thought of splitting the credit with his wife.” When I ask Ono about how she influenced the song, her reserve appears again before she hints that it became a better song because of the way it encompassed a female standpoint, something she helped John to imagine. “I think it’s a good song from a women’s point of view as well [as a man’s]…John was [initially] trying to create a fun song about going on a trip to Rishikesh. That might have been great too, but it ended up not being that.”

In the newly released Imagine archives, John was more certain about Ono’s influence. “The melody had been written in India. I never did anything with it, but always liked the melody. The words were silly, anyway,” John admitted. “I sang it to Yoko, Phil Spector and a few people and they always winced. I decided to change it – and with Yoko’s help, I did…” In the book, Ono is a little clearer too about her influence. “I said to John, ‘that’s a beautiful melody, but you have to think about something more sensitive. It’s in you.’ So whenever I hear ‘Jealous Guy’ I think ‘Oh my god!’ because he really did that.”



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