Monday, 5 July 2021



John Lennon has never been shy about chastising his own work within The Beatles. Though publicly he is regarded as one of the pivotal figures in pop music, Lennon was a fierce critic of his work inwardly. Seemingly, when he looked back at some of the Fab Four’s songs in 1980 during an interview with Playboy‘s David Sheff, he eviscerated some of his and Paul McCartney’s songs with an untethered disdain.

One such song, which had been inspired by the breakfast cereal, Lennon labelled “throwaway”. It’s a track according to Lennon, never really held much weight.

But this song, ‘Good Morning Good Morning’, was a piece of one of their most celebrated albums, and widely considered one of the best LPs of all time — Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The band’s 1965 album Rubber Soul is largely considered the moment the band ‘got serious’. By the time they were writing for Sgt. Pepper, their style had drastically changed in a few short years, and the pop idols of old had vanished, leaving behind an experimental rock group who were equal parts enticing and perplexing. That said, they were still expected to create albums and songs at an alarming rate.

“‘Good Morning’ is mine,” Lennon told Sheff in 1980. “It’s a throwaway, a piece of garbage, I always thought.” During the conversation, Lennon also shared that the original inspiration for the song came from a commercial for a breakfast cereal.

“The ‘Good morning, good morning’ was from a Kellogg’s cereal commercial. I always had the TV on very low in the background when I was writing and it came over and then I wrote the song.” 

The song may have been inspired by breakfast cereal, but there was a much deeper undercurrent at work too.
Paul McCartney remembers the song: “John was feeling trapped in suburbia and was going through some problems with Cynthia.”

In fact, the song was more about, “His boring life at the time – there’s a reference in the lyrics to ‘nothing to do’ and ‘meet the wife’; there was an afternoon TV soap called Meet The Wife that John watched, he was that bored, but I think he was also starting to get alarm bells.”

What’s more, he also put the idea of escape into the sound too, with a varying degree of animal noises, all attempting to flee one another as the swell of snorts and grunts grew. 
Geoff Emerick, The Beatles studio engineer, remembers the process: “John said to me during one of the breaks that he wanted to have the sound of animals escaping and that each successive animal should be capable of frightening or devouring its predecessor! So those are not just random effects, there was actually a lot of thought put into all that.”

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