This Boy (click to listen, right click and “Save As” to download)
Once again, the Tracklog posts will be where I post demos and outtakes for your listening enjoyment. If some of it is a little rough and/or silly, hey, it’s free music, right?
The Beatles are the reason I play music of any kind, and the first place I heard the blues feeling was John Lennon’s voice. Even as I’ve made my career playing blues with (wildly) varying degrees of traditionalism, the Beatles’ music is still my favorite of all time.
The idea of recording this track came from a couple of different sources. I’ve always loved the famous scene of Ringo dejectedly walking along the water in A Hard Day’s Night, which is accompanied by a great, twangy instrumental arrangement of “This Boy.” When the Beatles Anthology documentary came out, the clip of the Beatles singing “This Boy” on Ed Sullivan in Miami completely freaked me out, with Lennon’s passionate delivery of the bridge (sorry – “middle eight”) burned into my brain from that moment on. I’ve always tried desperately to get the guitar to sing, and recording this, I realized just how much Lennon’s voice influenced my guitar playing.
For a couple of years in a row, my wife Jeannette and I made CDs for friends and family as Christmas gifts, with a mix of Christmas songs and other things we wanted to sing and play. I recorded “This Boy” in 2002. The electric guitars are played on a Fender Classic Series 50’s reissue Strat with Barden pickups through a Line 6 POD (although I think the verse harmony guitars may be direct into Pro Tools with lots of compression – I don’t remember), the acoustic guitar is a Gibson J-45, the bass is a Danelectro Longhorn reissue, and the tap-tapping is me playing a snare drum with brushes. “Paul” and “George” on the middle eight are both me, as well; I liked the idea of an instrumental with backing vocals.
(The song is of course by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, published by Northern Songs)