50 Years Ago Today: Happiness Is A Warm Gun

posted by Jeff K - 

It was 50 years ago today, September 23rd, 1968 when the Beatles recorded one of the White Album’s best and most controversial songs, “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”. So where did John Lennon come up with the inspiration for the title? Read below. 

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Today, September 23, 1968, in The Beatles History, The Beatles were recording one of the White Album's highlights, Happiness Is A Warm Gun, its first recording session on this evening. According to John, the title came from a magazine cover that producer George Martinshowed him: "I think he showed me a cover of a magazine that said 'Happiness Is a Warm Gun.' It was a gun magazine. I just thought it was a fantastic, insane thing to say. A warm gun means you just shot something." The gun magazine derived the phrase from the bestselling book by Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, Happiness is a Warm Puppy. The session took place from 7pm-3am. The Beatles recorded 45 takes of the song, which had the working title Happiness Is A Warm Gun In Your Hand. John played electric guitar and sang a guide vocal, George was on another electric guitar, Paul played bass, and Ringo was on drums. The song's various changes in tempo and time signature resulting in a number of breakdowns. The following evening they taped another 25 attempts, which eventually resulted in a usable backing track. John said he "put together three sections of different songs ... it seemed to run through all the different kinds of rock music..." and described it as a miniature "history of rock and roll." This results in a three-part through-composed structure. The song begins with surreal imagery allegedly taken from an acid trip that Lennon and Derek Taylor experienced, with Taylor contributing the opening lines. The three sections of the song were described by Lennon as "the dirty old man...the junkie...and the gunman." Stayed tuned Beatle People, tomorrow we go all the back to 1941 in Beatles’ history! #thebeatles #johnlennon #paulmccartney #georgeharrison #ringostarr #otd #beatles #whitealbum #whitealbum50 #todayinbeatlehistory #wecanendgunviolence #marchforourlives #happinessisawarmgun #happinessisawarmpuppy #50 #mothersuperior #peaceandlove

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