147 – I’ll Follow The Sun – Armada of Roma!
Original version – October 4th 1964
Ukulele version – November 2011
Armada – Vocal
Ashlynn Manning – Backing vocal
David Barratt – Ukulele & everything else
Produced by David Barratt at The Abattoir Of Good Taste, Manhattan.
Photo Nadia Itani
Written by Paul McCartney
Credited to Lennon & McCartney
ABOUT THE SONG
I’ll Follow The Sun was written by a 16 year old Paul McCartney in the front room of 20 Forthlin Rd, Garston, Liverpool way before anyone outside of Allerton had heard of Paul or any of the others.
Forthin Road was where Jim and Mary McCartney moved in 1955 with their 12 year old son Paul and his 11 year old brother Michael. A year later (mother) Mary died of an embolism after a mastectomy operation to stop the spread of her breast cancer.
This was the house that The Beatles made their first music. Jim had bought a piano from NEMS, Brian Epstein music shop, long before Brian became the Beatles manager. It was on that piano and with his dad’s guitar that Paul would write songs with John. About twenty songs were written in the house, including “I Saw Her Standing There” and “When I’m 64”.
Brutally suburban, with a simple design with garden front and back, 20 Forthlin Road lay in the aspirational working class bracket, people looking to build a better life after the war.
Paul had visited Forthlin Road, which had been taken over by The National Trust and turned into a museum a few years ago. He sat outside in his car but never went inside.
When asked about the experience he joked:
“Think how many psychiatric sessions I’d have to go through to prepare for that…and recover from it.”
The version of “I’ll Follow The Sun” that made it to “Beatles For Sale” is a delightful affair. It was not part of The Beatles early repertoire due to the fact that John thought it was too sappy, but when material was getting short it was dug out and polished off. For once there is no clattering tambourine messing up the upper register. Instead Ringo slaps his knees throughout.
The lyric is a cold one and, unusually for Paul, there is little tenderness:
"And now the time has come, and so, my love, I must go. And though I lose a friend, in the end you will know…"
The Ukulele Version is performed by the drummer of New York’s hottest new band ROMA!.
She too lacks tenderness. Nothing means more to Armada than the pushing rhythms of the night. She discards her lover by the side of the campfire, stealing his ukulele to perform at the rave over the hill.
Roma! will be performing their punk rock opera “The Wild Party” at The Cutting Room on December 8th, which happens to be the 31st anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination. As a tribute the band will be re-working a version of “Polythene Pam”.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Raised in the Alaskan wilderness by her father — a circus dwarf-turned-CIA agent-turned international drag sensation-turned IT director-turned canine masseur — Armada was trained to hunt and fashion her own clothes from elk hides at the tender age of five. Shortly after her eighth birthday, the prodigious Armada entered – and won – an interpretive dance contest held by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. Her prize: a full-ride scholarship to the prestigious Apex Technical School in Manhattan.
While en route to the Big Apple, Armada’s Greyhound bus was highjacked by a rogue group of Branch Davidians who felt that David Koresh had been "a messenger, not the messenger." Upon the bus’s arrival in Lubbock, Texas, the fundamentalists disposed of all hostages save Armada – whom they raised as their own.
In the eleventh month of her seventeenth year, Armada was liberated by a government raid on the Branch Davidian compound, which enabled her to pursue her original dream of claiming her first-place prize. Upon arrival in New York, Armada was greeted with the crushing news that her scholarship to the Apex Technical School had long expired. Undaunted, she took to performing her interpretive dances for change in subway stations and public parks throughout the five boroughs.
A particularly riveting number entitled "The Birthing of the Calves" caught the eye of Roma! band leader Stiletto one fateful rush hour deep within the bowels of the West Fourth Street stop. Stiletto recruited Armada on the spot to play drums in Roma!, and the two have remained blissfully on the lam ever since.