BACKSTORY: First Rock Feedback Song and the True Inspiration for “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'”
Thanks for sending questions! Here are two quickies that I hope are of interest:
Q: John Lennon has said in interviews that the Beatle song I FEEL FINE was the first song to use feedback. But didn't The Who song MY GENERATION come before that one?
A: Nope. I FEEL FINE debuted in December 1964 and MY GENERATION in January 1966. I FEEL FINE featured the first intentionally recorded feedback that started as an accident. The Beatles were in the studio discussing work on the song when Lennon leaned his guitar against the amplifier; the A string began feeding back which blew the boys away. They asked producer George Martin if they could somehow use that on the record; after some attempts at re-creating the feedback, the right one was chosen and tacked on to the beginning of their new song, I FEEL FINE. The famous opening guitar was based on the main riff from the 1961 Bobby Parker tune, “Watch Your Step.” I FEEL FINE went to #1 for three weeks in early 1965.
Q: Was Nancy Sinatra's THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKIN' an original song or a remake?
A: THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKIN' was written by Lee Hazlewood, who intended it for himself to record...but he didn't; Nancy talked him into letting her do it instead. Hazlewood had written the song 3 years earlier and it just sat around; according to Hazlewood, "I had written a beautiful song for (Nancy), 'The City Never Sleeps At Night,' and she wondered if it would sell.....I changed my mind and put it on the back of 'Boots' and that sold 6 million." As far as the inspiration for the song, one night Lee was hangin' out in a Texas bar.....he overheard some guys needling an older guy about his younger girlfriend who seemingly had him wrapped around her little finger; the man put his feet up on a barstool and said "I know what you think - that she might be the boss. But I am the boss of my house, and these boots will walk all over her the day that I'm not." THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKIN' went to #1 in early 1966.