Singled Out: Colin Armstrong
"Hey Yoko" started out as a melodic finger picked instrumental one day out on the back patio of the studio. Sitting there with our laptops open to garageband, Mikal Reid and I played it out and what we ended up with had this Beatlesque McCartney quality to it. So we labeled it "Scrambled eggs instrumental" and moved on to something else.
Several weeks later, I happen to be watching a John Lennon documentary that really got into his life as an activist and war protester. I couldn't help but see the parallels between his anti-war stance on Vietnam and the stances that some musicians were beginning to take on the present war in Iraq. The melody for the verse basically was taken from the melody of the original guitar line and the chorus came from one of my daily trips up the 405 freeway in traffic to the studio. In bumper to bumper traffic I found myself behind one of those people who has managed to collect every cheesy bumper sticker that has ever been made and that's when I came up with the idea of "Hey Yoko where's our John?"
A good bumper sticker idea for sure but I knew it was the tag to the chorus. By the time I got to the studio in the valley I had the rest of it just by singing it in to my cell phone. Once I had the chorus the verse seemed to just write itself and the song was born. Funny how a McCartney sounding guitar line ends up being paired with a lyric about John Lennon. These are the definitely the songs you wait for as a songwriter and most of the time you have no idea when they are going to present themselves to you.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album
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