LegendaryMonkey: Alllllbert! Alberto! Stop practicing your goose-stepping or whatever it is you’re doing and pay attention. I’ve got a brand new spin on the revolution and you’re going to love it.
Generalissimo Alberto: Hush up, womanchild. The people need to see us stepping tall and looking proud.
LM: No! They need — well, maybe it’s more we need… anyway, vox populi, my friend! We’ve not been paying attention. If we really want to elevate Jack and Meg as the one… er, two True Saviors of Music — and perhaps the world — then we must turn to the people. And we need to sing. And what White Stripes song do the people love to sing?
White Blood Cells, 2002
LM: “Hotel Yorba” is a staple at live shows because it’s one of the most beloved of all the White Stripes catalogue. It’s a happy-fun song with country rhythms that, along with “Now Mary,” a later track from the same album, helped to pave the way for later White Stripes songs like “Little Ghost.” If “Hotel Yorba” wasn’t as popular as it is, I doubt we’d have seen that song… but I’m getting off track. We’re going to join hands and strum guitars–
GA: At the same time?
LM: Uh, no. I guess that does present something of a difficulty. Well, some will strum guitars and some will join hands, but we’re all going to sing “Hotel Yorba.”
GA: Have you been in my medicine cabinet again? Best be careful which bag of dope you pull out of my jacket, little Monkey Mia.
LM: Your meds have nothing to do with this. It’s strategery, y’know? It worked in the sixties! Flower power and Dylan… “Blowin’ in the Wind” and rolling stones and free love as a cleansing tonic for the mind and soul. The music moved the people and the people cried for change. Throughout our movement, we’ve been talking about music, and we’ve been talking about change, but we forgot to use the music to bring about the change. And “Hotel Yorba” is a very Dylan-esque song, and it’s popular, so why not start there?
GA: Well, it beats your plan to travel the Confederacy teaching the rural Moors Negro spirituals you picked up from Alan Lomax recordings- though I suspect they’d be more interested in an R Kelly singalong. I’m just saying, The Revolution has a lot of work to do to bring Jack’s truth to all of The People.
LM: I think you may be confusing me with that other girl you like so much.
GA: You think I’m confusing you with Macy Gray?
LM: Maybe not. But that’s not the point. You’re distracting me! You won’t turn me from this course, Albert. Pay attention!
I was watching
with one eye on the other side
I had fifteen people telling me to move
I got moving on my mind
I found shelter
In some thoughts turning wheels around
LM: This is a statement that can be applied to the current administration… puppet masters pulling the strings and how real thought–
GA: Oh, I think you DID get my Choco.
LM: Maybe a little. But you can’t argue with this:
I been thinking
of a little place down by the lake
they got a dirty little road leading up to the house
I wonder how long it will take till we’re alone
sitting on the front porch of that home
stomping our feet on the wooden boards
never gonna worry about locking the door
LM: See? It’s about wishing for a simpler time, a simpler place… where we don’t have to lock our doors against the outside world. It’s an anthem for change.
GA: Now look, you’re carrying on like some kind of damned dirty degenerate hippy Meathead. I’m just saying, the bright acoustic rhythms of “Hotel Yorba” land closer to bluegrass than Baez.
LM: (singing) How many hotels must a man stay in before he… um… I’m not good at this, let me think… what would be suitably peace-loving and inoffensive….
GA: Here’s the thing. Besides the deviated preversions of hippiness, you’re going to have folks thinking that “Hotel Yorba” is some horrible, unlistenable dour Joan Baez foolishness.
LM: I’m not listening to you. (singing) The answer, my friend, is at the Hotel Yorba…
GA: Stop that. In the names of Jack and Meg and all else that is holy, you stop that right now! If it’s going to be compared to Dylan, it would NOT be that earnest preachy political crap. It’d be bouncy fun Dylan, like the classic 115th dream or “Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35.”
LM: You’re not any fun at all.
GA: Au contraire, little Miss Monkey. “Hotel Yorba” is a lot more fun than overly earnest political crap.
Plus, it’s more productive. The song climaxes with a marriage proposal
Let’s get married
in a big cathedral by a priest
coz if i’m the man you love the most
you can say i do at least
Thus, you can take this song and “Expecting” from the same record as a more personal rather than a political prophecy. Our Dear Leader is a man of the people, but he is also a man- if you know what I mean.
He took Karen Elson as his bride in the summer. Mrs Jack’s publicist announced last week that she’s pregnant.
LM: The revolution will live on!
Al Barger plots the overthrow of the government and his continuing crusade for Moorish dignity at More Things.