034 – Revolution#9 – Dave
Original versions recorded May-June 1968
Ukulele version recorded January 15 2009
Dave – Vocals, Guitars, Drums and Ukuleles
Mrs. Barratt – Vocals
Harry Feeney Barratt – Bass
Produced by David Barratt at The Abattoir Of Good Taste – Fort Greene Brooklyn.
For best results put Revolution #9 on repeat while reading this essay.
ABOUT THE SONG
Is Revolution #9 a song?
But even in this most experimental of tracks there is a chorus. Who can forget it . “Number 9, Number 9, Number 9”. Try not remembering that voice repeating if you can. It’s an excellent ear-worm that burrows deep in the mind.
R#9 opens with the chorus, just like “Help”.
Several artists had worked in this area before (Stockhausen/Cage/Varese/Nono etc) but Revolution #9’s real power came not from what is was but where it was placed. It was at the end of the most anticipated album of the year by the most important of artists.
Simply by putting something as brutal and uncompromising as R#9 at the end of a pop album changed pop and changed the cultural positioning of experimental music.
Lots of kids were turned onto the avant garde by R#9 including me. You can see influences of the layering technique in his works Karito at the UN and Medicino.
As a piece it is interesting but not brilliant, but as for it’s historical juxtaposition it is a work of vision. Naturally Paul hated it. A few years earlier he experimented with tape loops. It was his idea to use them on “Tomorrow Never Knows”. Paul was also the main instigator of “Caravan Of Light” another experimental piece that has yet to see the light of day.
There has been a lot talked about Charles Manson and The Beatles. It has been said that Manson and several of his followers saw R#9 as a direct reference to Revelations 9, one of the more bloodthirsty sections of the Good Book. Mr Manson has always insisted he was more into Hank Williams than The Beatles. We believe Crazy Charlie as Hank was much more in tune with the Dark Side than John, Paul, George or Ringo.
There are tons of jokes and faux nursery rhymes in Revolution #9. A lot of it reminds me of the British comedian Spike Milligan. “…Then there’s this Welsh Rarebit wearing some brown underpants”, could have come straight from the Goons Radio show.
A lot of people have asked us in a semi mocking, sneery voice “What are you going to do with Revolution 9 then?” Well now you can hear for yourself. I took the chorus and turned it into a heavy metal singalong taking some of the finer lyrics and chanting them in his best Stadium Rock Voice. Mrs. Lennon’s part is performed by Mrs. Barratt, the bass by Barratt The Younger. The whole thing is a family affair starring the ukulele.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
1960 – 1969 Learns to walk, read and chew gum at the same time
1970 – 1979 Plays a lot of cricket, grasps a vague understanding of math, buys a guitar.
1980 – 1989 Enters a recording studio, writes hits for Robert Plant, Jeffery Osbourne and mixes tons of dance music including David Bowie’s Fame.
1990 – 1999 Pimps himself to a series of corporations to write jingles and creates the bass player on this track from his own DNA.
2000 – 2007 – Releases several records under the names Yellow Note and Dubchek, retires to Asia for a bit then un-retires.
2008 – Has his work Karito exhibited at the UN General Assembly New York.
2009 – 2012 The Beatles Complete On Ukulele.