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Author Topic: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!  (Read 2938 times)

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Tomo

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Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« on: August 16, 2010, 08:22:16 PM »

I'd like to know what people here think about this song?

I think it's incredible, musically and lyrically. Musically it's a great showcase for Beatles' and George Martin's work in the studio. While it doesn't have a very memorable melody, I can get easily lost in its, well, landscape. Lyrically, on the first sight, is another of Lennon's vague psychedelic pieces. But soon as you discover that lyrics were inspired by an old poster, everything becomes very clear. To be able to conjure up an image of a hundred years old show in music and words is an amazing feat, I think.

Also, in the years of listening to Sgt. Pepper, this song has become a sort of centerpiece of the album for me, coming straight from the last 'bye,bye' off previous song and before going into the George's soft singing on Within You Without You. I don't have the LP, but the placement of a song at the end of side one is very fitting - I sometimes listen to the cd that way!
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tkitna

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 01:49:02 AM »

I like it. I think its a perfect song for the album. Martin deserves a nod for it though.

Kevin

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 01:18:46 PM »

Don't think I share your enthusiasm.
The wierd thing about John's Pepper songs is that as he was sat at home, apparently a prisoner of circumstance (not for the last time ), all his songs seem to have been inspired by things he could access from his sofa.

So we have Lucy born from Julians painting (alledgedly), Good Morning from a TV advert, A Day In The Life from a newspaper and Mr Kite from a poster on the wall. Who needs to leave the house eh?

By Johns own admission the lyrics are almost a direct lift from the poster. As Tomo concedes the melody is less than memorable. It seems to have entered Beatle Legend more on the back of the "lets throw these tapes in the air" story than the song itself, and that then is more of a nod to Mr Martin than John.

But like TK says it fits Pepper perfectly. It's part of the experience. But I've always thought Peppers greatness is due more to the overall feel than the particular songs themselves, which in my humble opinion fail to match the standard set by Revolver. But Revolver didn't come with "a concept," arthouse cover or the lyrics on the back.

I don't mind it. But I don't look forward to it. And at least it's better than Good Morning Good Morning.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 01:24:09 PM by Kevin »
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Bobber

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2010, 02:05:47 PM »

I agree with Kevin here. The song never did that much to me, as most of John's songs from Sgt Pepper, with the exception of his part of A Day In The Life.
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Tomo

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2010, 07:20:26 PM »

I've read in Revolution in the head that Lennon saw the poster while filming promo video for SFF. I got Kevin's point, though. Still, I think that sometimes when you're out of it all, you can come up with very precise writing, which I believe Mr.Kite is, especially in the context of Sgt. Pepper. And the music helps greatly...

I find Good Morning, Good Morning in the same vein and also like it very much, because of the feeling of alienation that Lennon captures with his lyrics. And the ugly horns...

It's true, Lennon's writing and melodies on other albums may be sharper, but I think that on Sgt. Pepper he created something  for album's sake, while being great on its own.
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Bobber

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 07:28:55 AM »

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7 of 13

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 09:41:36 PM »

dynamic album, dynamic song. like doors of perception 101.. taste the sawdust or something. just beautiful.
Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_for_the_Benefit_of_Mr._Kite!#Recording
One of the most musically complex songs on Sgt. Pepper, it was recorded on 17 February 1967 with overdubs on 20 February (organ sound effects), 28 March (harmonica, organ, guitar), 29 March (more organ sound effects), and 31 March.[4] Lennon wanted the track to have a "carnival atmosphere", and told producer George Martin that he wanted "to smell the sawdust on the floor." In the middle eight bars, multiple recordings of fairground organs and calliope music were spliced together to attempt to produce this request; after a great deal of unsuccessful experimentation, Martin instructed Geoff Emerick to chop the tape into pieces with scissors, throw them up in the air, and re-assemble them at random.[5]


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real01

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 09:58:33 PM »

Oh, yes, it has a carnival atmosphere... But NOT a happy carnival atmosphere...
Sounds kind of spooky...
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7 of 13

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 10:50:19 PM »

yes.
...in this way mr. K will challenge the world
the celebrated mr. K performs his feats on saturday
at bishopsgate the hendersons will dance and sing
as mr. kite flies through the ring don't be late
Messers K and H assure the public their production will be second to none
And of course henry the horse dances the waltz...
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 11:38:53 PM by 7 of 13 »
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day tripper yeah

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2011, 07:12:14 PM »

Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite
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nyfan(41)

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2011, 02:49:54 AM »

Don't think I share your enthusiasm.
The wierd thing about John's Pepper songs is that as he was sat at home, apparently a prisoner of circumstance (not for the last time ), all his songs seem to have been inspired by things he could access from his sofa.

So we have Lucy born from Julians painting (alledgedly), Good Morning from a TV advert, A Day In The Life from a newspaper and Mr Kite from a poster on the wall. Who needs to leave the house eh?
-
 ha2ha  ha2ha  ha2ha  ha2ha
kind of like the last scene in the movie usual suspects with the kobayashi tea cup
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glass onion

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2011, 12:42:28 PM »

i quite like mr kite.it always amazes me that john could write in that kind of way,especially the time signatures of this kind of song and the likes of good morning,too.the changes in rythm are really strange but they are perfect!!it must have been a strange process when john bought his songs into the studio and played them to the others....'it goes like this'.............."but john,that can't go there-it's a different time signature".............'yeah i know,but that's how it goes,though'.now you see,folks-that is where ringo was so good,but that could be another thread............ :D
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real01

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2012, 06:43:28 PM »

I found this interesting:
One of the instruments used to create a circus-like atmosphere was the harmonium. Engineer Geoff Emerick later said he recalled George Martin pumping the harmonium for four hours until he collapsed.

George Martin also wanted to use calliope, the sound of steam whistles played by a keyboard.

He looked around for an authentic steam organ, but he couldn't get hold of one. Instead he got hold of calliope tapes playing Stars And Stripes Forever and other Sousa marches. He then chopped the tapes into small sections, an Geoff Emerick re-assembled them at random.
John Lennon later dismissed the song, saying it was written under pressure. However, in 1980 he had changed his mind about it. He then told Playboy:
"It's so cosmically beautiful... The song is pure, like a painting, a pure watercolour."

http://www.thebeatlesonline.com/pages/beatles_beingforthebenefitofmrkite.htm

And it has great line: A splendid time is guaranteed for all!
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real01

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2012, 06:59:58 PM »

By Johns own admission the lyrics are almost a direct lift from the poster.


Lennon said that "Everything from the song is from that poster, except the horse wasn't called Henry." (The poster identifies the horse as "Zanthus".)
(Wikipedia)

But there are some changes in lyrics...

Lennon found the circus poster amusing and bought it. He brough it back to London and hung it up on the wall in his home recording studio. Inspired by the words on the poster, he started to put together a song entitled Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite. He changed some of the words though, such as the name of the horse, from Zanthus to Henry, he changed Rochdale to Bishopsgate and he changed the line "one of the most splendid ever produced" to the now infamous line "a splendid time is guaranteed for all."
http://www.thebeatlesonline.com/pages/beatles_beingforthebenefitofmrkite.htm

About Pablo Fanque, who was mentioned in the song:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Fanque

So... Does anybody know if the poster is preserved/displayed somewhere...?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 07:04:52 PM by real01 »
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TomMo

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2012, 12:17:25 AM »

I think John had reason to be proud of the work, both as a song and as a recording. He might have seen it as just a "job", but it was a job well done.

As for John in the studio, there are many great stories. My two favorites are:

1. John walks in while Sir George is preparing to conduct the saxes on "Good Morning". John has his own ideas about the arrangement and begins to tell the musicians what to play. However, John is giving them notes based on a "C" instrument, most likely, guitar. Sir George had to explain that the sax is tuned differently. John stormed out, yelling: "That's bloody stupid!"

2. John brought in a record to show Ringo how he wanted the drums to sound on the track they were recording:

Ringo: "There's just one problem, John. There's two drummers on that record."
John: "Well, don't let THAT stop you."
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Toejam

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2012, 09:34:19 PM »



So... Does anybody know if the poster is preserved/displayed somewhere...?

I think Sean's got it.
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Dcazz

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2012, 01:00:52 PM »

Also another song with a great lead guitar contribution from Paul. I usually don't like it when paul takes over lead from George but this one fit the song perfectly.
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7 of 13

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Re: Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite!
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2012, 05:48:49 PM »

for the benefit of Mr. Kite
and tonight Mr. Kite is topping the bill
...of course henry the horse dances the waltz
 ;yes
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