Dwight Yoakam, ’3 Pears’ — Exclusive Song Premiere
At first glance, “3 Pears,” the title track of Dwight Yoakam‘s much-anticipated new album, might appear to be the result of a winning turn at a slot machine, or (like the album’s cover) a still-life of fruit. In actuality, the title and the song itself are far more playful, sprung from Dwight’s imagination with the help of a couple of ex-Beatles. While watching the Martin Scorsese-directed documentary, “George Harrison: Living in the Material World,” Dwight took note of the “quiet” Beatle’s recollection of one of the group’s dalliances with acid.
“They were slipped LSD one night at a nightclub and didn’t remember where they were for a day-and-a-half,” Dwight tells The Boot. “They kind of came to and they were all over London. When [George] was talking about that, Scorsese cut to footage of John [Lennon] sitting with three pair of big, wraparound movie star sunglasses all stacked on his face. So he was looking through different lenses at somebody and laughing. I thought, ‘What a sad loss for everybody still that he didn’t get to journey with us further in terms of his wit and his expression of a need for the collective love of other people.’ That’s what caused me to go, ‘Yep, three pairs of glasses, huh, John?” It just wrote itself immediately.’”
Listen to “3 Pears”
Dwight explains that the song’s structure was also a bit more experimental than usual, another subtle nod, perhaps, to the Fab Four’s influence. “It has an ‘A’ section, a ‘B’ section, then there’s a ‘C’ section, what some people might call a bridge. But it’s actually not the bridge in the classic sense because it comes later in the song. But to me … that’s the heart of the song: ‘All I wish for you is happiness and all I have to give is nothing less.’ That embodied what the song was about, the thesis was those two lines.’”
To complete the tongue-in-cheek nature of the song’s creation, Dwight (in subconscious tribute to the Beatles’ Apple Records?) tinkered with the spelling.
“Out of the gate, it was tongue in cheek,” he notes, “because there were three ‘twos’ of everything. So I thought, let’s just give him the further wink of ‘p-e-a-r-s,’ just for the sake of confusion. It turns into ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.’ It’s fruit; it’s nothing to do with pairs of anything.”
Dwight Yoakam’s 3 Pears will be released Tuesday (Sept. 18). Check back next week for more from our exclusive interview with the country icon.