Love You To (suspiciously similar in title to Love Me Do ) represented the start of George Harrison’s triumphant transformation from the self-important cranky young English lad who sang Don’t Bother Me to, well, the same self-important cranky young English boy meditating with a sitar and nifty Nehru collar.
During the early days of the Lennon-McCartney stranglehold, George – who had written the band’s first recorded studio song (Cry For A Shadow) managed to squeeze out only the dour Don’t Bother Me. As punishment, he was hastily and unceremoniously stripped of songwriting privileges and forced to grin like a loon while singing the John and Paul left over I’m Happy Just To Dance With You.
So, do you really want to know a secret? It must have been frustrating to be George Harrison, aspiring songwriter, during 1964-1965.
Second Album? Nothing.
Hard Day’s Night? Nothing.
Beatles For Sale? More Nothing.
Finally, like the WWII Japanese soldier crawling hesitantly out of the cave in Gilligan’s Island, a traumatized Harrison peered into the sunlight again on the soundtrack Help. By now George knew that his only hope was to pretend to be a “Beatle” type writer, penning I Need You, which almost qualifies as a love song.
The next Harrison composition, the preachy Think For Yourself, shows that George simply could not stay in his happy place. You can’t blame him, for every time he went there, he met Paul, sniffing flowers.
Then we get to Revolver. All of a sudden, not one, not two, but Three Harrisongs. This is no coincidence; at this particular time John was retreating into drugs, so George really could have filled up practically the whole album and Lennon would have missed it. But not Paul. He was on fire. Again.
Just think about it: Love You To was recorded on April 11 and 13, 1966, when the boys also did some tracks for Got To Get You Into My Life and Paperback Writer. "Oh, guys, I have one too. Guys? Guys?" Poor George. But he soldiered on. He decided to take something so left field and new that it was not competing with Paul, or John, or anyone, and was so shocking and different that it would have to be considered cool by the proto hippies starting to gather at the Haight. Love You To was not your father’s Beatles song. It was really unlike anything the kids in America had ever heard before.
Everyone rushed out to buy beads. Joss sticks started rolling under carpets, and it became hip to listen to Indian music. And George was there. Hell, it was about George, all of a sudden he was in front. However briefly, he was the real pioneer. Everything was coming up Harrison.
The song contains a subtle, and long overdue, assertion of self by Harrison. The only other Beatle on this track is Ringo, playing tambourine. Paul apparently recorded a backing vocal, but it was wiped from the final mix. We can only imagine a grinning Harrison gleefully muttering “Oh, I wasn’t supposed to push that button, was I?”
The song itself, on examination, is classic complaining Harrison. But now instead of hanging around with the boys, he is sitting lotus-like with Anil Bhagwat (tabla) and and unnamed sitarist and bemoaning the people who “screw you in the ground” and “fill you in with all their sin.” But it is the same angry George. You don’t even want to know what he thinks about taxes.
There is one lyrical trainwreck – George first observes that each “day just goes so fast,” he “turns around it’s past.” But then he wants to “make love all day long.” Hmmmm. So is the day long or fast?
By now, the George of 1966-67 was emerging as a major cultural force, with songs like “Taxman” and “I Want To Tell You” claiming their rightful place in the Beatles pantheon, and clearing the way for the even better tunes that followed.
But for now, this was serious business and East was finally meeting West — and the kids dug it.
The Ukulele version of Love You To is a raucous affair. Drums explode, guitars dive bomb and floating over it all is Matt Gorny otherwise know as The Specimen.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
The Specimen is the brainchild of songwriter/singer/and multi-instrumentalist Matt Gorny, who spent his childhood in Poland, before being transplanted to his new home town of New York.
He has worked with Grammy Award winning producers GoodandEvil as well as Whatever Whatever; the new darlings of DFA Records. He has collaborated as songwriter and vocalist with the French band Risqué, who released the recordings on Some Bizarre in the UK. He also worked with Ultra Naté and Jill Jones for as yet unreleased projects.
The Specimen has won multiple songwriting awards including The John Lennon Songwriting Competition and Billboard World Song Contest and the group has performed the winning track at the Billboard Song Awards Show. Mark Furnas of Billboard says: “Gorny exudes star power to match any major act.”
The video for Do U Damage has been screened at the SXSW Film Festival and has won the top prize in the New Music Video Awards. Songs have been featured in two films at the Tribeca Film Festival, and in a reality TV show on the Bravo Channel. A remix done with GoodandEvil won 1st place in a competition and released on SLSK Records. Songs have charted on college radio stations all over the country in the summer of 2008.
Currently Matt is working on a full length album. Hoping to combine several different producers’ techniques as well as his own indelible style into a cohesive package. You can look forward to a Summer 2010 album with videos and more extras to come.