181 – You Like Me Too Much – Celia Chavez
Original version recorded February 17th, 1965
Ukulele Version recorded April 28th 2012
Celia Chavez: Vocal
Gary Schreiner: Bass Harmonica
David Barratt – Ukulele and everything else
Produced by David Barratt at The Abattoir Of Good Taste
Written and credited to George Harrison
ABOUT THE SONG
You Like Me Too Much was George’s third song to be recorded by The Beatles, after Don’t Bother Me and I Need You.
There is a lot of sullen teenage arrogance and angst about this recording. Written after The Beatles had been on several exhausting tours I picture George having misbehaved with several tour wives coming home to Patti Boyd.
He’s been cheating on her ("treat you right" = "stop sleeping with other girls"), and she’s kept trying to leave, but can’t stop giving him second chances ("you never had the nerve" = "you really believe that with one more chance, I’ll change").
This is a man/boy who cheats on his wife/girlfriend and taunts her, saying,
"You could leave me, but you like me too much. You don’t have the nerve."
And because he’s figured out that he really does want to be with her, he’ll do whatever he can to convince her that he’ll treat her right. So he thinks about the situation and realizes that he’s been an arse for cheating, and begs her for one more chance – because they both really do like each other too much.
The lyrics to this song seem to send a mixed message. I mean, if you were on the receiving end of them, would you be convinced in your core that George really "likes" you as unshakably as he professes, or would those reiterated accusations and the recounting of your past misdeeds tend to undermine his claim in your eyes?
It’s all a bit juvenile.
The original stereo mix of the song was not even done by producer George Martin. He left it to engineer Norman Smith. When all of the British Beatles albums were being issued on compact disc in the 80’s, it was decided that the album "Help!" would be available in stereo, unlike the first four albums that appeared on CD only in mono. Possibly because George Martin wasn’t even present when some of the original stereo mixes were made in the 60’s, he insisted on creating new ones. Therefore, sometime in 1986, George Martin went back to the original master tapes to re-create stereo mixes for the entire "Help!" album, including "You Like Me Too Much." These new mixes were also utilized when the album was re-mastered for the 2009 compact disc release.
The ukulele version is re-interpreted ingeniously by the charismatic and talented Celia Chavez.
By changing a couple of notes in the melody she wipes away the teenage angst and arrogance and recreates the song as an ode to obsessive love.
Neither lover can stand to be with the other nor can they bear to be apart. They are both the moth and the flame, they are their own pleasure and pain, and it is exquisite.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Celia Chavez’s songs evoke a fusion of the moody, earthy beauty of her native Seattle with the cool, modern rhythm of New York and Los Angeles, where she splits her time. Her adventures as a singer-for-hire include touring with P!nk, Melody Gardot and Julia Fordham; recording with Burning Spear; appearing on the Tonight Show with Lili Haydn and on MTV’s Video Music Awards with P!nk. Celia’s own debut album, Sailor’s Daughter, is an eclectic, intriguing, and engaging mix of Latin, pop, Americana and vintage soul. The musical styles are united by her warm and inviting vocals. Look for her in NYC this December as she reprises her role as Funk Angel in Everett Bradley’s "HOLIDELIC: Nativi-tay!" spectacular.