Hanspostcard’s Singles Draft — Round 7, Pick 12, October 8, 2021, “Wah-Wah,” by George Harrison (and Friends) from, “All Things Must Pass.”

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For me, today’s pick was down to two of my most favorite top 10 George Harrison tunes, this one and “Savoy Truffle.” Both of them are simultaneously silly songs and pivotal turning points for George’s life and musical career. Tossing a coin, “Wah-Wah” won out. I know at least a few people in the song draft are well-versed in the pedigree and history surrounding the song. For those readers who aren’t I would heartily encourage you to check out the plentiful info on it at wikipedia and probably a million other sources on the internet. To me, “Wah-Wah” was George’s declaration of Independence from The Beatles’ Way of doing business. It’s like he’s saying, thanks for what you’ve done for me, but it’s time to move on.

Wah-Wah” is the third cut on side one of the six-sided, “All Things Must Pass,” released by George Harrison in November of 1970.

from wikipedia:

Recorded shortly after the Beatles’ break-up in 1970, “Wah-Wah” was the first track taped for All Things Must Pass. The recording features a dense production treatment from Phil Spector and backing from a large cast of musicians including Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Bobby Keys and the band Badfinger. On release, Rolling Stone magazine described it as “a grand cacophony of sound in which horns sound like guitars and vice versa.” While several reviewers find the heavy production appropriate for the song, Harrison considered the recording overproduced and the sound too cluttered.

“Wah-Wah” was the first song Harrison played live as a solo artist when he performed it as his opener for the Western-music portion of the Concert for Bangladesh, in August 1971. Viewed by some commentators as superior to the studio recording, this version re-created Spector’s Wall of Sound treatment in a live setting, using many of the participants from the 1970 album sessions. At the Concert for George in November 2002, a year after Harrison’s death, “Wah-Wah” was performed by an all-star band that included Clapton, Jeff Lynne, Starr and McCartney.

More recently, George’s son, Dhani, put on, “George Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Music of George Harrison” in 2016, where Nick Valensi of The Strokes and a first-class backup band performed the song in ecstatic supremeness. I’m sure Geo was pleased by how Dhani pulled this group of musicians together to honor his music.

I’m in agreement with the reviewers in that Spector’s lush production was appropriate for the song. It’s as complex and tasty as a stew that’s been simmered all day with seasonings, put in the fridge overnight for the flavors to merry, and heated up the next day and served with still-warm sourdough bread. I could listen to, “Wah-Wah” on repeat and never grow tired of it. Geo may not have intended it as such, but I also like to listen to it as if it were a song between old lovers that have shared unforgettable memories with each other.

I’m including the studio version video with my post, but you can find the Bangladesh, Concert for George, and George Fest versions by clicking on the names in this sentence. I’m also really looking forward to reading thoughts and comments from others on this gem of a song.

“Wah-Wah”

Wah-wah
You’ve given me a wah-wah
And I’m thinking of you
And all the things that we used to do
Wah-wah, wah-wah

Wah-wah
You made me such a big star
Being there at the right time
Cheaper than a dime
Wah-wah, you’ve given me your wah-wah, wah-wah

Oh, you don’t see me crying
Oh, you don’t hear me sighing

Wah-wah
I don’t need no wah-wah
And I know how sweet life can be
If I keep myself free from the wah-wah
I don’t need no wah-wah

Oh, you don’t see me crying
Hey baby, you don’t hear me sighing
Oh, no no-no no

Wah-wah
Now I don’t need no wah-wah’s
And I know how sweet life can be
If I keep myself free – of wah-wah
I don’t need no wah-wah

Wah-wah [repeat and fade]

Songwriter:  George Harrison

Sources:
wikipedia
wikipedia
AZLyrics
image link

First posted at hanspostcard.

37 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve been a big fan of his for as long as I can remember. Everyone has hsi ‘Wah Wah’ moments

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      ❤ Yes, they do. I knew you were a fan of The Beatles and it sounds like a fan of George as well (I know, difficult to separate the two, but there is a difference, as I know you know.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes one at a time is not exactly the same as the whole bunch

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Just last night I read that when George walked out on the group (before returning to finish the last album) he went home and wrote “Wah-Wah” to express his frustration and disgust.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Interesting. Doesn’t surprise me. I think I read that in wiki also. I’m sure that Paul was beginning to sound like “the adults” in a Charlie Brown animation by then. “All’s well that ends well” and The Fab Four breaking up was the best for everyone involved. In retrospect, Paul was hero of the whole mess 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadje says:

    In Urdu, wah- wah means excellent praise!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sadje, THANK YOU for that information. It means so much to me to know that. George was a wise, wise man.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The Hinoeuma says:

    I’ve got to remember that “wah-wah” is a reference to a “bloody headache.” LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Vic, if you look down in the comments, Sadje said that it is a term of high praise in Urdu. George was being clever. I know those guys loved to give smartaleck answers to reporters. Maybe this was George’s way of saying it was about one thing but it was really something totally different. Or….. like the old Saturday Night Live sketch about “Shimmer: It’s a floor wax AND a dessert topping.”

      Like

      1. The Hinoeuma says:

        IDK… I was just reading a reference to his autobiography, I, Me, Mine plus, Mystical One: George Harrison (Huntley).

        On page 194 of I, Me, Mine, he states…”I remember Paul and I were trying to have an argument and the crew carried on filming and recording us. Anyway, after one of those first mornings – I couldn’t stand it; I decided this is it! – it’s not fun, anymore – it’s very unhappy being in this band – it’s a lot of crap – thank you I’m leaving. Wah Wah was a “headache” as well as a foot pedal. It was written during the time in the film where John and Yoko were freaking out screaming – I’d left the band, gone home – and wrote this tune.”

        On page 55 of Mystical One, Elliot J. Huntley writes…”George would say: “I just got fed up with the bad vibes – and that arguments with Paul were getting put in the film. I didn’t care if it was the Beatles, I was getting out. Getting home in that pissed off mood, I wrote that song. “Wah-Wah” was saying, ‘you’re giving me a bloody headache.'”

        It does not sound like he is referring to Urdu but…what do I know.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          With that kind of evidence….

          Like

          1. The Hinoeuma says:

            It reads like they were getting on each others’ nerves…big time. I also ran across references of John not even speaking, letting Yoko do all the talking. The whole thing just got WEIRD. Sadly, Harrison’s book came out in late 1980, not long before John was shot. John was not happy about what he read…awful to die with unresolved issues with former friends/bandmates.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. memadtwo says:

    It’s a great song, and needs no translation for me. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great pick, Hans. Agree it’s one of George’s best solo tunes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Christian, this is my pick. Doesn’t change what you said, just sayin…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sorry I literally just noticed that I had not read this carefully. So let’s try again – great pick, LISA! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Why thank you very much, Christian! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      The center of the galaxy is a supermassive black hole 4 million masses large? Why does this scare the living bejesus out of me?

      Like

      1. The Hinoeuma says:

        Don’t let it bother you. It may appear to be a black hole but, it is actually just…energy. Shortly before Hawking passed, he stated that all the black holes were collapsing. Remember the reports of black holes being “messy eaters?” Spewing out more than they took in…? If our galaxy were connected to a black hole, as commonly described, we wouldn’t be here as the hole’s gravitational pull would destroy everything.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Vic, read your first sentence and your last sentence. I’m bothered!

          Like

  7. The Hinoeuma says:

    I have the center of the galaxy on my phone…wallpaper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks for the links. I can see this poetry challenge is going to take a little work.

      Like

        1. msjadeli says:

          🙂 It will take me some time but you will get your poem.

          Like

          1. The Hinoeuma says:

            No issues, dear. Don’t sweat it.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great pick Lisa. I commented on Hans blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you. Will go read it now.

      Like

  9. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    Awesome pick…never can go wrong with George…ever.

    Liked by 1 person

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