John and his "monkey" showing just how little they had to hide...
"Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey" was the first "Ballad Of John And Yoko"
, being recorded a good couple of months before 'Mother Superior' jumped the "Warm Gun"
. Lennon unleashed it in reaction to the general mood of hostility towards his new relationship — or, more specifically, towards his new partner.
"Monkey" was amongst the kinder nicknames being pinned on Yoko at the time — and John was understandably confused and upset by the situation. 'What's the problem, man? Chill out: we're just in love, that's all...'Take it easy, take it easy:
Ev'rybody's got something to hide
'Cept for me an' my monkey!
Indeed, they demonstrated the fact quite explicitly when their Two Virgins
album was released, shortly after the Beatles' double
His indignation is evident from the outset, with that choppy, off-beat intro: and soon builds to a frenzied fury with his full-on vocal backed by multi-dubbed guitars, crazed drums, and a barrage of percussion and handclaps from one and all. The other three Beatles, though far from being founder members of the Ono Fan Club, were certainly not backwards in coming forward to support the defendant's case here, instrumentally or vocally.
As I was first immersing myself in The White
in the mid-seventies, I was always blown away by the way they'd seemed to pre-empt Punk sound and energy on this track — particularly in that frenetic final break.C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon...
Paul, quite aside from whooping it up on the incessant firebell what 'e'd nicked from "Penny Lane"
, also speculated that the 'monkey' could have also been a reference to John's heroin habit, though in the light of the lyrical content, and given the fact that the soon-to-be Mr Ono was never particularly proud of his waltz with the horse, I stick with the love scenario.
Well and truly smitten: head-over-heels, inside-out, outside-in and upside-down — but with the same eternal and ongoing downside-without-an-up mood still
seeming to rule his life. John's caveman reaction here was to try and confound his critics completely, and show the world just how far over the top the joy a real romance can take you (as well as how long a title you can give to a song):The deeper you go, the higher you fly!
The higher you fly, the deeper you go!