Back in the earliest days of my Beatles obsession, I had relatively limited access to their music. My parents were never big fans, so the only albums I was able to inherit from them were my dad’s vinyl copies of the Red and Blue compilations. During a record shopping excursion in Philadelphia, I was elated to come across Abbey Road on vinyl for the bargain price of $2.98. It turned out that it skipped at the very end of “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window,” resulting in the final line of that song repeating ad nauseum (“Sunday’s on the phone to Monday, Tuesday’s on the phone to *vrrp* Sunday’s on the phone to Monday, Tuesday’s…”)
In order to get a taste of the rest of the catalog in those pre-YouTube, pre-Spotify days, I turned to 30-second samples on Amazon and Yahoo. Digging through the band’s early albums, the song titles were a lot less attention-grabbing than the ones found on the White Album–from the seemingly nonsensical “Glass Onion” to the curiously misspelled “Yer Blues,” there was a sense of intrigue before I’d even heard a single note. But no title piqued my interest quite as much as “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey,” and I turned to its percussion-packed sample frequently. This was before my Stone Temple Pilots and Nirvana fandom, but I was instantly attracted to the song’s grungy guitars and John Lennon’s gritty vocals (with a brief but satisfying switch to falsetto in the chorus for good measure).
When I got a copy of the White Album for Christmas that year, the very first thing I did was pop in the second disc and skip to track 4, which makes me cringe in hindsight, but boy did I want to finally hear “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide…” in its full glory. It did not disappoint. It’s such an addicting song, with manic energy and one of the most bizarre but awesome endings to any Beatles track. Over the years it may have lost some of its luster for me as other songs emerged as favorites, but I still go ape for it anytime I play it.
“You maniac! That pun was awful. Damn you! Damn you all to hell!”