What Would John Doe Do? – Sharing Songwriting Duties
John Doe is the founder of the seminal Los Angeles punk group X, a solo artist and actor. John answers questions from the KnowTheMusicBiz.com community members in the WWJDD? blog.
A Question from Lauren Melton
I have a question. One time I read that Lennon and McCartney really fought on who should sing McCartney’s “Helter Skelter”. Lennon thought he would sound better singing the song (I agree totally), but because it was McCartney’s song he won the battle and sang the song.
Hearing this story made me think of you guys. I always wondered how Exene and you shared the singing duties. When you both wrote a song did you ever argue about who should sing it? Did you ever sing her songs? Did she ever sing your songs? What about deciding on harmonies, it seems like such a delicate decision, but you guys nail it.
Anyways, I would appreciate the inside info.
What Would John Doe Do?
Good story about Helter Skelter. There was never any disagreement btwn Exene & I. I wrote “Come Back To Me” for her & she wrote “The Have Nots” for me. We have so much respect for each other & our unique talents, it’s usually obvious who will sing what. Most of the time whoever wrote the lyrics, will be closer to the feelings & ideas expressed & will deliver it best. Also we always apply harmonies in unconventional ways that still serve the song.
hope that helps
and as always thanks for writing,
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