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The Beatles “Nowhere Man” on Rubber Soul

Nowhere Man by The Beatles
"Nowhere Man" by The Beatles on Rubber Soul
“Nowhere Man” by The Beatles on Rubber Soul

“Nowhere Man”

What was the story behind “Nowhere Man” by The Beatles?

John Lennon wrote “Nowhere Man” when he was struggling, as was Paul McCartney, to write new material for the album that eventually became Rubber Soul.

Lennon was working at home in Weybridge, feeling isolated and unproductive. In his biography All We are Saying, David Sheff quoted Lennon’s recollection of that time:

I’d spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good and I finally gave up and lay down. Then “Nowhere Man” came, words and music, the whole damn thing, as I lay down.

So, at least at that moment, it was Lennon himself who was going nowhere, doing nothing. But something beautiful came of it, indeed. In the studio in October 1965, John, Paul, and George began with the harmonious a cappella introduction, John double-tracked his lead vocal, and the group pestered the recording engineers to make the guitar sound as trebly as they could. Add to that George and John’s tandem guitar solo, followed by the one perfect little note that sounded like a bell, and you have the makings of a beautiful song. It remained in the Beatles’ on-stage repertoire, too, all the way to their last concert performance in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in late August of 1966.

There must be moments while enduring the uncertainties of the hard times in our lives that we all feel like we, too, have been stopped in our tracks. It’s up to us to persevere, though, until we ourselves or someone else lends us a hand.

Get Tim’s Book

Discover more insights into the Beatles songs from Tim Hatfield in his excellent book:

Listen Now to “Nowhere Man” by The Beatles

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