Always loved the way that Martha
's bass outro gets twisted round to provide the start of this one.I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink:
I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink...
Although John states in the song that he's been plagued by insomnia for three weeks, I personally doubt that he'd actually been getting much real rest since he'd been "Only Sleeping"
back on Revolver
. What, between the mess his personal life was in, and the quantity of drugs he was shoving into his system in one form or another, small wonder that he felt likeI'm goin' insane, y'know!
The aforementioned twenty-one days were actually the beginning of the Rishikesh retreat, where the song was written. The specific causes of his lack of shut-eye were two: post-meditational wake-up, and yearning for Yoko — whom he'd been seeing with increasing frequency prior to the great escape, though their relationship had still not been fully consummated:I wonder, should I call you —
But I know what you would do...
Yep, she certainly had him sussed already! Besides, I can't really imagine him being able to find a phone box too easily up there in the Himalayas, either... So: what to do? Another snifter from an illicit hip flask? Another ciggie? Anyone who's ever been hooked on nicotine has to agree with Paul that that damnification of Raleigh is one of Lennon's all-time classic lines.
version of the track was allegedly recorded around three in the morning, with all the overdubs going down in the same session: which — if true — would have certainly aided the ambience. John's vocal is stunning — from fucked-up fatigued, to desperate screams for some kind of let-out.
He himself played two guitar parts, as well as the organ. Another electric was provided by George; with Paul putting in the piano, in addition to his bass and some belting backing vox. 'Dead man miss 'im' actually had a crack at singing the lead himself, though whether it was after a couple of post-take drinkies (et cetera) or on another occasion, I've been unable to ascertain. Elucidation invited... Ringo excels, both in capturing the weary grind, and helping the sufferer to bang his head against the wall in desperation:You know I'd give you ev'rything I've got for a little peace of mind!!!