MUSIC NERD MOMENT OF THE DAY: “WORKING CLASS HERO” – John Lennon

I recently finished up a book called “You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles after the Break Up”. The author details the many struggles, slip ups and failures that Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr had after they decided to part ways. From divisive litigation, futile attempts to bring the group back together under public pressure and the egos that would not allow the four men to be in the same room together at many points, it’s a pretty pointing and interesting, yet pretty sad story in the end. And John Lennon may have struggled the most with post-Beatles life out of all four men, as proof of the song “Working Class Hero”. Considered by many music historians to be one of his best yet also divisive and alienating recordings, “Working Class Hero” was the result of several months of Primal Scream therapy that John and Yoko Ono went through in the early 1970s. It allowed for him to confront several demons that had been lying dormant for a long time, but also did a good job of alienating his fans. Personally, it reminds me of two Bob Dylan recordings: “Masters of War” and “The Ballad of Hollis Brown”. Lennon’s voice is extremely vulnerable and desperate when matched with the melancholy strum of the acoustic guitar. This song really puts into perspective the powerful highs and extreme lows that Lennon experienced, sometimes of his own making.

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