Glass Onion

October 7, 2009

Well, it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t have a job. It’s even stranger to consider how you got anything done when you had to go to work everyday. Unemployment is for the birds, but I refuse to be idle. So, here is the third musical installment in my White Album project. Nine days ago, after I posted Dear Prudence, it occurred to me that I had created quite a task for myself for the next 252 days. Β I’m sure I’ll get some kind of job between now and then. Maybe not so sure. But in the meantime, I can practice the guitar and write poems about my cats, watch the Tigers lose, vacuum the house.

It seems that everybody has a favorite Beatle. Paul McCartney was mine. Not only did I think he was super cute when we were both younger, but his songs were always a little old-fashioned. My kind of music. Glass Onion is a John Lennon song and I think it’s like Dear Prudence in style. The way things are going, three songs in, I think John’s songs are going to be easier for me to play and sing. Does anyone know if John or Paul wrote songs for the other to sing? I can’t think of any off the top of my head (it’s kind of empty up there today) but, I imagine there has to be.

I recorded everything myself this time. I did some Pro-tools editing too when I made a mistake and didn’t feel like playing a part for the 15th time. The first drum take was pretty good, then I realized that the washing machine had been spinning the whole time and I thought, I can play this better…mmmmm, not exactly. After several takes, I finally got through the drum track. It starts to mess with your head after 5 or 6 times. I loved playing that Steve Cropper kind of guitar on this song, but I’m having the hardest time playing with a pick. So, I just used my fingers. Same with the bass. I cannot play the bass with a pick. I just realized that I left out some other guitar parts. Oops. Some strummy guitar, some weird backwards piano. I whistled on this song. I’ll take any opportunity to whistle on a song. If you stick around, you’ll probably hear more whistling. I had a request for more multi-track vocals. I don’t know if this is what you meant, but “chupa-chupa”…


23 Responses to “Glass Onion”

  1. halloweenjack Says:

    Nice Drums! And the whistling is fantastic.

    I wonder if there was more post-modern rock musician at the time than Lennon – someone who could take a circus poster or a child’s drawing, for example, and turn it into a song, or take a bunch of little bits from older Beatles songs and reassemble them into a new one.

  2. Jawbone Says:

    wow! what are the odds? hearing this for the first time WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ACTUALLY TRYING to roll a dove-tail joint! i failed, but you succeeded. this just sounds great.

  3. Mole Says:

    Sweeeeeeeeeeeet!! Chupa-chupa indeed!! Aaaarrrgghh, next up is ‘Ob-La-Di’; it’ll be fun to track, but man I hate that song, ha-ha-ha!!!! Really looking forward to ‘Martha My Dear’ and ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ – I just KNOW you’ll make ’em warm ‘n’ fuzzy!! Oh wow, ‘Julia’ too!! I only recently started to dig this album, and, apart from ‘Ob-La-Di’ and one or two others [‘Don’t Pass Me By’, ‘Why Don’t We Do It..’], I’m totally into it now! Your project couldn’t have happened at a better time!!

  4. Mole Says:

    Oh, to answer your question about John or Paul writing songs for the other to sing? I don’t think so, certainly not by this point in their career; very much into their own respective bags as it were – you can safely assume that everything John wrote he sang, same for Paul!

  5. ilovemygarden Says:

    awesome! I really like your vision of this song. the whistling at the end is a great creative touch. loved it.

  6. Samuel Says:

    Great versions so far!

    The only instance I can think of a Lennon song that Paul sings lead is Day Tripper (John sang backing vocals though)

    I’ll continue to follow this blog with much interest.

  7. Bakerstreet Says:

    Great project! I’m glad I heard about you through Whitney’s Pop Candy. I teach a college class about The Beatles and will mention your site to my students.

  8. Side3 Says:

    I really like your site. The drum sound you are getting is great. As for John and Paul, I think Paul was the principal writer of “Wait” and “Drive My Car”, but John sings the parts where they are not singing harmony.

    • Samuel Says:

      Actually Drive My Car has Paul as lead singer.

      • Side3 Says:

        I think the few parts where there is a solo vocal (like ‘and
        maybe I’ll love you’) are John. I was partially wrong about ‘Wait’ though. John has the very short solo vocals on the verses, but Paul sings the bridge.

  9. KingElessar8 Says:

    “Day Tripper” was a co-write on John and Paul’s part, plus John is there singing along on the verses anyway, it’s just easier to hear Paul. There are no examples of one writer entirely giving a song over to the other that I can think of – the rule of thumb for Lennon/McCartney credit is usually: if one is singing lead throughout, he wrote it. If both are singing lead, they both wrote it (especially early on, not always the case in the later days). If one sings one part and the other sings a different part, it’s usually two different song ideas they combined into a whole.

  10. runningshine Says:

    I like the idea ; the concept.
    I like the voice on it.
    Sounds good to me.
    Before I went to Niger, the White Album was one of the very album I tried not to forget this time… It’s in my files now , with this overdubbed voice. Yours.
    Thank you !

  11. Gery DiMarco Says:

    I understand the unemployment thing. I started my own as a network marketer but sure wish I had the talent to do something like this as well.

    Best of your first three right here IMO.

  12. jennybarbour Says:

    πŸ™‚ love your white album project.


    not unemployed

    time used well

  13. jennybarbour Says:

    i wish i could stop the reflex of those smiling faces. i really mean a sort of a bow, a deference. and then the pop up as a yellow grin generic that i do not mean. how’s about you go into my comments and delete them so i don’t look like such a bone head? xo πŸ™‚

  14. The Beatles were by far my favorite band.White Album I’ve listened too all summer!Real looking forward to the next 252 days.And being a glassman,what is or does a glass onion mean?? Love what your doing Sis! I too love the whistle!!

    • dmiovan Says:

      What I want to know is, What’s a dove tail joint? Jawbone? Anyone?

      • matt Says:

        I’m pretty sure a dovetail joint is a woodworking thing…check it out on wikipedia. I definitely thought John was talking about rolling some kind of joint, but he only sings “make a dovetail joint”, so he might be referring to the woodworking definition. Also, a glass onion is a British slang term for a monocle. Hope this helps. Love the project πŸ™‚

    • Herb Says:

      An onion has many layers.

      A glass onion has many layers but you can see through them all.

  15. Margie Says:

    Glass Onion. Not a favorite as a child, but a favorite now. Love your take. And the whistling. I miss the washing machine though. Ah.

  16. Matt Blick Says:

    Lennon and McCartney did write lots of songs for other groups (mainly early on in their career) though to be more accurate they just gave away their poorest songs! And of course they wrote songs for Ringo & George to sing (until George started writing his own).

    But that may not be what you mean. As a rule of thumb, the lead singer is the main writer.

  17. David McKay Says:

    Another fun track. Ob-la-thing tomorrow?

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