From THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK:
"Here's a quiet one for you all. But mostly, this one's for Stu."
I had notebooks full of songs and hadn't memorized a single lyric, title, or chord. Even though I'd be singing a lie, I leaned into the mic, closed my eyes and drew in all the breath I'd ever need. I whispered the first line to "Strawberry Fields Forever."
A few people clapped.
I ignored them. This song was too beautiful for this crowd, for this room. And as I sang, the true meaning of the song began to unfold like a map of the universe. I used to think Lennon meant that the people with their eyes closed just had to expand their consciousness or whatever, a metaphorical eye-opening. Start seeing with their hearts. But while I stood there, strumming somebody else's chords and thinking that Stu's departure meant the end to my time making music, I realized that my eyes had been closed.
And it wasn't that I couldn't understand the things I saw. The truth was I was only capable of seeing misunderstanding. I'll be doing covers forever.
Stu came out of the bathroom and stopped. I found his face and shut out everybody else's. I knew it was a dream, and he knew that I knew. But the words I sang were words I needed to hear. Maybe more than Stu needed to hear them. But if Stu and everybody else thought I sang to Stu I figured it was okay to go on letting them think that.
Nothing is real I kept telling myself. Because we never built anything real. Like maybe I should've been trying to make something of myself instead of worrying about what Pauly wanted. People clapped though. For the first time tonight somebody did something on this stage worth acknowledging. Stu pointed at me then saluted. If only he knew that I'd have done anything to keep him from putting that uniform back on.
Little Mike Rega told me that one of Sir George Martin's biggest regrets was releasing "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" on a 45 instead of including them on SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND. Mike went on to say if he could ask Martin one question, it would be where he would've put the songs on the track list.
"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see..." I could write a thesis on what I think Lennon meant, or what the song means to me, and in a way I suppose I did. Being afraid of living with eyes closed is the same as living with eyes closed.
Download the Complete History of Strawberry Fields here.
Beatles - It’s Not Too Bad, Peg Boy 1997
Taken from original CD, extracted by NeroMix, converted to flac by Nero Mix
A complete history of Strawberry Fields Forever, from demo to (nearly) final version. Two tracks have been removed as they exist in similar form on commercial release.
Santa Isabel Demos:
2. Take 1
3. Take 2
4. Take 3
5. Take 4
6. Takes 5 and 6
8. Electric Guitar Overdub Rehearsal
9. Electric Guitar Overdubs onto Instrumental Demo
10. Demo Playback with chat
11. Vocal Overdub onto Demo
12. Demo Playback
13. Electric Guitar Demo 1
14. Electric Guitar Composing Sequence
15. Electric Guitar Demo 8
16. Mellotron/Vocal overdubs onto Composing Sequence
17. Take 1 (Removed from torrent – re-mixed version available on “Anthology”)
18. Take 2
19. Takes 3 and 4
20. Takes 5 and 6
21. Take 7 (Tape Reduction Take 6)
22. Take 7 (RM3)
23. Take 25
24. Tale 26
25. RS5 (Removed from torrent – remix of commercial version of song)
Full info can be found at http://www.bootlegzone.com/album.php?name=pb1008§ion=1