Come together

Come together

The first cassette tapes I ever bought, Abbey Road and Cosmos Factory, at the same time on the same day, the first of innumerable cassette tapes. Prior to that, everything I bought was on vinyl. Come together, was the most powerful song I’d ever heard and “Cosmos Factory” by CCR was a perfect back-up (and antidote) for “Let it Be” by the “Beatles”.

Come together – Origin and meaning

The song’s history began when Lennon was inspired by Timothy Leary’s campaign for governor of California against Ronald Reagan, which promptly ended when Leary was sent to prison for possession of marijuana:

The thing was created in the studio. It’s gobbledygook; Come Together was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t come up with one. But I came up with this, Come Together, which would’ve been no good to him – you couldn’t have a campaign song like that, right?

It has been speculated that each verse refers cryptically to one of the Beatles. It has also been suggested that the song has only a single “pariah-like protagonist” and Lennon was “painting another sardonic self-portrait”.


Lennon played rhythm guitar and sang the vocal, McCartney played bass, Harrison played lead guitar, and Starr played drums. It was produced by George Martin and recorded at the end of July 1969 at Abbey Road Studios. In the intro, Lennon says: “shoot me”, which is accompanied by his handclaps and McCartney’s heavy bass riff. The famous Beatles’ “walrus” from “I Am the Walrus” and “Glass Onion” returns in the line “he got walrus gumboot”, followed by “he got Ono sideboard”. Bluesman Muddy Waters is also mentioned in the song.

Music critic Ian MacDonald reports that McCartney sang a backing vocal, but recording engineer Geoff Emerick said that Lennon did all the vocals himself, and when a frustrated McCartney asked Lennon, “What do you want me to do on this track, John?”, Lennon replied, “Don’t worry, I’ll do the overdubs on this.”

In a 1970 interview in the Evening Standard, McCartney said he was disappointed about not singing live with Lennon; instead, he overdubbed his vocals later:

Even on Abbey Road we don’t do harmonies like we used to. I think it’s sad. On “Come Together” I would have liked to sing harmony with John, and I think he would have liked me to, but I was too embarrassed to ask him, and I don’t work to the best of my abilities in that situation.

Photo credit: Nick Kenrick. via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Wikimedia Commons and Visual Hunt

Woman female beautiful erotic sensual tree nature - wikimedia commons

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Aaron Swartz for the whole “creative commons” movement. I feel that he was somewhat unsung for his part in Wikipedia, so we must strive to always remember him for Wikimedia Commons. Imagine how much music, art, content, media and photography has been licensed and protected for the public to use, all because of Aaron Swartz’s great idea – create a license and make it free!

Often times the media has a license calling for “Attribution” but who would care about that, if someone has created a great image or sound-track (for example) and they license it creative commons, then it’s “fair use” to add value to what your own creative efforts, for free, just attribute the licensor, many of whom are professionals and want to give-away their media and ideas. This platform promotes collaboration in the most subtle and yet obvious way, people working over great distances and yet with instant communication, is creating a new renaissance of sorts. New ground is being broken in every imaginable direction, just like Ray Kurzweil describes in his future trends forecast; we’re expanding exponentially because our minds are connected through devices that enable us tremendous access to ideas and knowledge.

Before Wikimedia Commons private image archives and news media would employ teams of IP (intellectual property) experts and copyright cops yo seek-out web publishers like me, that would often borrow maps, charts, content and images that clearly belonged to someone other than me, someone who had undoubtedly paid some other person to create such media. In others words, it had obvious value and I, in some cases, did not have the express written consent from the owner of said media. One day I learned better….

For years now it’s not been necessary to go anywhere but to huge royalty free archives, none though, came anywhere close to the home page for the Creative Commons, and the doorway into some of the best images and media anywhere. Several months ago I was tipped-off by Robin Good, he’s the guru of good ideas for content collaboration and web marketing, about which is the absolute most exciting thing for me, since Yahoo was launched because it’s a search engine of 354,191,553 Creative Commons Photos. Yep, that’s right… if you can’t find an image to express your vision, from amongst 350 million, then maybe it doesn’t exist and you need to create, so you can upload it and give a “creative commons” license. Let’s all put our best something good there.