Saturday, June 20, 2009

She Came in through the Bathroom Window

My time is sadly limited on this final day, Day 6, of the Week of Paul-- but that's just as well anyway, because we may as well leave a few more of the true masterpieces for the last months remaining to us, kiddies. Anyway, today let's listen to a piece from the Abbey Road B-side medley. The medley was, of course, one of Paul's high concepts for the band, and the entire album pretty much exists because Paul pushed it. I've heard Abbey Road called "Paul McCartney's first solo album," and although I don't think that's fair (it wouldn't be Abbey Road without "Here Comes the Sun"), it's tracks like "She Came in through the Bathroom Window" that helped put that cliche out there.

This was recorded in a single take with "Polythene Pam," and it's neat how they link them together, isn't it? There's that sweet guitar solo played at the end of "Polythene Pam," along with some robust tambourine and drums, and then that stepwise guitarwork downward somehow seamlessly gets you into "She Came in through the Bathroom Window," which is suddenly in half-time. I love that kind of, you know, musical trickery. Then "She Came in through the Bathroom Window" maintains that same echo-ish guitar sound. Apparently both George and Paul are playing lead guitar on this track, but I don't know who's playing what when-- I've even heard that George takes some of the bass line here, but I'm not sure if that's true, mostly because it would be deeply weird if it were.

But no matter who's playing, Ringo's schooling them all. Absolutely one of my favorite Ringo songs, this one-- from that opening cymbal crash to the thunderous fills he plays into the start of each verse, it's beyond amazing. It's drumming so good it like finding religion or something, you know? I don't have the knowledge to talk intelligently enough about drumming to get much beyond the ARRRRGH IT'S SOOO GOOOOOD writing, so I'll stop there, but, gees. Hey, here's another fun thing to do while you're playing this one: listen for the handclaps. They snap like firecrackers, and although they seem like they're going to come in at predictable times, they frequently come in at really surprising times. It's super clever.

Paul wrote this song about girls actually coming in through his bathroom window. A crew of Apple scruffs used to hang out around Paul's house in London, and some of them, bizarrely, got to know him pretty well. One of them frequently walked his dog. (Though I'm envious as hell, I've always wondered-- did these women have jobs? Classes? Anything else to do? One of them wrote a book, I know, and one of these days I need to read it, because this lifestyle intrigues me. Although I'm totally enough of a fan to have done this, they were there every day, and, I mean, I for one would eventually need to eat. Is all.) Anyway, one day the girls found a ladder in the backyard, and one of them used it to climb up into Paul's apartment through a bathroom window left cracked open. Then she let all the others in, and they stole a few things. One girl stole a photo of Paul's father that was actually fairly meaningful to him, and Paul had to resort to all kinds of tricks to get the thing back. The whole story is kind of weird and stupid, but it did inspire this fun little song that fits so well into the Abbey Road medley, so it's good that something came of it.

Anyway, thanks for hanging out here during the Week of Paul! More Paul is definitely coming down the line as the year plods onward, of course, though tomorrow we're back to a HarriSunday as per usual. Happy belated birthday, Paul-- and everyone, if you like me, please pray to the god of your choice that Paul comes to Fenway. Word is we'll find out for sure in an official announcement on Monday. Squeeeeeeee!

"She Came in through the Bathroom Window," released in the U.K. side B track 7 of Abbey Road, September 26, 1969; in the U.S. October 1, 1969.


  1. You're gettin' Paul, and I imagine this excellent week sealed the deal.

  2. The story behind the song is unreal. I'll forever hear the song with images of girls run amok in Paul's pad.