What "Helter Skelter" means, or how the Beatles wrote their most curios hit

Since long ago, the song has had a notoriety that McCartney - no matter how hard he tried - has never been able to erase...

The Beatles - Helter Skelter: song history, meaning, notoriety

The Beatles were famous for their light, melodic pop-rock songs.So no one expected something "heavy" from them. However, just one song turned the public's idea of these guys upside down! It's about "Helter Skelter" - the roughest, growling and atypical of the Liverpool foursome's experiment, which later gained notoriety... According to McCartney, the song was partly inspired by the noisy musicality of the The Whoand partly his own childhood memories. And the last statement sounds rather strange, considering the furious power of the track....

In fact, underneath "Helter Skelter it's not some cult or something - that's the name that was used old attractionpopular in the UK. It involved people climbing up the inside of a wooden tower and spiraling down the outside. However, the song ended up being the most controversial song of The Beatles' career - and no, not because of its heavy sound....

The Beatles in an attempt to "out-do" their more snarling counterparts

One day while talking to a journalist John Lennon said the following about Helter Skelter:

"As far as I was concerned, it was just noise..."

Adult John Lennon
Adult John Lennon

His words are not without truth: for the most part, Helter Skelter does represent a "noise".. In that case, you might wonder quite logically why the melodic Paul wrote this obscene track, which has been described by critics as . the prototype of 1970s heavy metal. years? Well: the "blame" for the fact that this track came into existence at all, became... The Who. From McCartney's memoirs:

"I was in Scotland and I read an interview in Melody Maker with Pete Townsend in which he said: "We've just made the most obscene, loudest and most ridiculous rock 'n' roll record you've ever heard." I actually had no idea that they had recorded The Who, but those words of his drove me on... I decided we owed it to ourselves to do something like that!"

George Martin, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
George Martin, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Being vividly impressed by Townsend's equally vivid epithets, Paul informed the rest of the boys that he intended to record something "truly wild.". The result was "Helter Skelter", a song that squeezed the Beatles to the max. As Paul himself recalled not without mockery:

"You can hear my voice breaking! We played it so long, so loud and so often that by the end Ringo said: "I've got blisters on my fingers!"

Many people to this day wonder why exactly Paul took over vocal duties on this wild experimental track? We think it's because he has more high rangeand he could do the "soul screams" very well. John's screams were more raw, perhaps more "honest", but less melodic and less tonal. Paul screams more like a gospel singer in bursts of emotion and spirit, while John screams more like a Celtic warrior rushing into battle. What do you think about it? Share your own opinion in the comments, and we'll move on to the most interesting part - the meaning and lyrical content of the composition...

Life is a carnival: the lyrical meaning of Helter Skelter

The Who, as their main source of inspiration, breathed ragged guitars and rumbling drums into this track, but the what "Helter Skelter" is - an expression that has long remained a mystery even to most Americans?

"A lot of people in the U.S. still don't know what a helter-skelter is. They think it's a roller coaster. It's actually another fairground feature in the UK - it's a conical tower, with a slide on the outside. We went on it many times as kids," McCartney recounted.

Helter Skelter.

In his crazy-sounding song, Paul used the carnival as the "symbol of life".

"One minute you're up, the next minute you're knocked down. You experience euphoria, then you feel miserable. That's the nature of life."

The lyrics of the song say:

"Reaching the bottom, I return to the top of the slide,
Where I stop, turn around and go on a new descent,
Until I go down to the bottom and see you again,
Yes, yes, yes, yes!"

Remarkably, the third source of inspiration (in addition to the brash sound of The Who and Paul's childhood memories) was... Quazy the turtle's song from Alice in Wonderland.:

"John and I both adored Lewis Carroll..."

A further dismal reputation

Alas, the Beatles made their creation so loud and wild that, unfortunately, other people like the Charles Manson, heard it in their own way - despite the childlike inspiration and even the turtle song. In 1969, the title of the song (misspelled: Healter Skelter) was discovered in the mansion of director Roman Polanski and his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, who died that fateful night at the hands of the of Manson's gang... Charles later claimed that it was the song that inspired him to sin, and that the Beatles' "White Album" was full of prophetic messages for him... Needless to say, the band members themselves were shocked by the incident?

Charles Manson
Charles Manson

Ever since then, the song has been entrenched notorietythat McCartney, no matter how hard he tried, could never erase.


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