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086 – I’ve Got A Feeling (Live At Smooch) – Jon Worley

 
Original version recorded – May 8 1970
Ukulele version recorded  – April 2010
 
Jon Worley – Vocal, Wurlitzer Piano, Harmonica
David Barratt – Ukulele, Bass and Drum
 
Written by  Lennon/McCartney
 
Produced by David Barratt at the Abattoir Of Good Taste from live recordings at Smooch Cafe Fort Greene Brooklyn
 
ABOUT THE SONG
 
What we have here is another recording from the rooftop sessions so it is not too surprising that it is a bit of a mess. There is energy around the track, but it is a speedy frustrated energy that signifies the oncoming breakup of the band.
 
February is not a great time to be playing outside in London. Not so good for the fingers, but Billy Preston earns his Employee Of The Month award with some solid ivory work. Phil Spector did a pretty good job mixing what he had to work with, but he was fighting against the elements. The vocals, electric piano, and guitars sound ok because they are close miked and therefore able to be treated separately. However Ringo’s sound suffers because he is not recorded in the  studio.
 
I always wince when I hear George playing the micro-tonal riff at the end of the second section of the song, which, in the Twickenham scene from the "Let It Be" film becomes of the focal point of an acutely painful instance of Paul grinding George down. George eventually retaliates in a passive-aggressive manner. It all feels really sad and unnecessary .
 
‘I’ve Got a Feeling’ was a combination of two half finished Beatle songs. The first half was written by Paul as a love song for Linda. The pair met in May 1967. They married two months after ‘I’ve Got a Feeling’ was recorded.
 
The second part of the song, ‘Everybody’s Had a Hard Year’, was John’s composition. The main guitar riff of this track came from a January 14th, 1969 demo entitled “Watching Rainbows”.
 
It could not be denied that everybody had been through a hard year: the Apple Boutique had closed down, Paul broke up with Jane Asher, the Maharishi had been accused of sexual indecency (which was the inspiration behind the song Sexy Sadie), and John was divorcing Cynthia and had been separated from his son, Julian. If that wasn’t enough Yoko had suffered a miscarriage, John and George had been arrested on charges of drug possession, and John had been forced to sell his Weybridge home. Added to that the pressure of the Twickenham sessions and the inspiration behind the song becomes clear.
 
At the end of the song they try a very simple quodlibet. That is playing both songs against one another. This was a big broadway favorite in the late 1950’s. My favorite quodlibet comes at the end of "West Side Story” where, I think, four different songs are combined building up tension before the final fight scene. "Feeling” is not quite in the same class as that and there is a tired, “That’ll do” attitude about the whole affair.
 
The ukulele version takes us below The Manson-Nixon Line to Tennessee. I first saw Jon Worley in American Crossroads, a documentary by first time filmmakers Paul Blackthorne and Basquali. Following the economic collapse of 2008 and the election of Barack Obama, they drove coast to coast interviewing people about their expectations for their new President and the continuing viability of the American Dream. Jon stood out in the movie and was obviously an interesting guy. I tracked him down when he played at Smooch Cafe in Fort Greene and we recorded soon afterwards.
 
Jon is a rhythm and blues Dr Parnassus, traveling around the country in his outrageous mobile home which is held together with duct tape and love.
 
He writes about what he knows and that’s people.
 
Jon Worley would like to make some serious barbecue — without hating the pig.
 
ABOUT THE ARTIST
 
Jon Worley’s music is steeped in a deep rooted southern mysticism, a true southern Appalachian gumbo.
 
Within a 50 mile radius of Worley’s birthplace (Morristown Tn), the first abolitionist papers were written, bluegrass, rockabilly, country and eventually rock and roll were born.
 
Somewhere in the murky past of a 1930’s Snake Oil Medicine Show, a miracle occurred, a black artist looked at a white artist and said, "we’re playin the same 3 chords, and talikin bout the same truth.". We don’t know who those 2 artists were, but we can feel the reverberations throughout the collected music of the last 80 years, and can feel the concentration of its accumulated synthesis in the music of Jon Worley.
 
Born the son of a quarter Black Cherokee air-force staff sergeant and a preachers Daughter, whose family started running from religious prosecution before the silk road was finished across the Eurasian continent, Jon grew up knowing he was "different" and that feeling was constantly reinforced throughout his early educational experiences.
 
When you grow up in a place where having and IQ over 120 means that you are deemed "functionally disabled" and separated from the general population (a little tidbit of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s campaign to "socially engineer" the poor hillbilly population and remove the future managers from the working classes), it doesn’t take long to figure out your not like everybody else. Jon received a G.E.D. when he was only 16, and started the local community collage as a Philosophy Major the following week.
 
The next two years of his life were spent navigating his way through the worlds academia and local and regional grass roots social organizing. That all changed in the spring of 1996 when the late great Timothy Leary did his last speaking tour before his death and he strangely chose Knoxville Tn as one of his stops. After meeting with Leary, Jon sat in front of a baby grand piano and began playing the moonlit sonata by Beethoven and didn’t stop for 9 hours.
 
At those crossroads of rural Hillbilly culture, Philosophy, social justice awareness, Psychedelia, and the pressing need to preserve what little is left of the indigenous southern Appalachian culture, Jon Worley has weathered the storms of the great modern dumbing down of American culture to create a sound that calls back to what is good about the culture and the people that helped spawn it.
 
He is currently in the studio working on several projects including a new project called Black Jesus and the Holy Rollin Road Show, and is working on an album of social justice music with the help of the likes of the  great Guy Carawan (We Shall Overcome), in an attempt to bring the music that got America through the great depression and the civil rights movement back into the modern ear.
 
He currently calls a 24 foot 1977 Apache Rv home and has been known to show up in a city near you with his beautiful fiance Tiffany Cox and a giant melon headed dog named Roxxy.
 
 
 

 

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