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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

Catcher In The Rye

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Catcher In The Rye Empty Catcher In The Rye

Post by Soulmonster Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:30 am

Catcher In The Rye Newbor11
CATCHER IN THE RYE
Albums:

Chinese Democracy, track no. 7, November 2008.


Written by:
Axl Rose and Paul Tobias.

Musicians:
Axl Rose – lead vocals, backing vocals, keyboards, piano, guitar
Robin Finck – lead guitars, keyboards
Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal – lead guitar
Buckethead – lead guitar
Paul Tobias – rhythm guitar, piano
Richard Fortus – rhythm guitar
Tommy Stinson – bass, backing vocals
Dizzy Reed – keyboards, piano, synthesizer, backing vocals
Chris Pitman – keyboards, programming, sub bass, backing vocals, bass, 12 string guitar, mellotron
Bryan "Brain" Mantia – drums, percussion
Frank Ferrer – drums, percussion

Live performances:
'Catcher In The Rye' was played live for the first time on December 16, 2009, Osaka, Japan. In total it has, as of {UPDATEDATE}, been played {CATCHERSONGS} times.




Catcher In The Rye
From the alternative Red Hand album artwork
Credit to troccoli



Catcher In The Rye
From the alternative Grenade album artwork
Credit to troccoli



Lyrics:

When all is said and done
We're not the only ones
Who look at life this way
That's what the old folks say
But every time I see them
Makes me wish I had a gun
If I thought that I was crazy
Well I guess I'd have more fun
(Guess I'd have more fun)

Oooh, the Catcher In The Rye Again
Won't let ya get away from him
(Tomorrow never comes)
It's just another day...
Like today

You decide
Cause I don't have to
And then they'll find
And I won't ask you
At anytime
Or long hereafter
If the cold outside's
As I'm imagining
It to be
Oh, no

Lana nana na na na
Lana nana na nana

Ooh, the Catcher In The Rye Again
Won't let ya get away from him
(Tomorrow never comes)
It's just another day...
Like today

When all is said and done
We're not the only ones
Who look at life this way
That's what the young folks say
And if they'd ever change
As that reminds to say
But every time I see them
Makes me wish I had a gun
If I thought that I was crazy
Well I guess I'd have more fun
Cause what used to be's
Not there for me
And ought to for someone
That belongs...
Insane...
Like I do

Oh, no
Not at all

On an ordinary day
Not in an ordinary way
All at once the song I heard
No longer would it play
For anybody
Or anyone
That needed comfort from somebody
Needed comfort from someone
Who cared
To be
Not like you
And unlike me

And then the voices went away from me
Somehow you set the wheels in motion
That haunt our memories
You were the instrument
You were the one
How a body
Took the body
You gave that boy a gun

You took our innocence
Beyond our stares
Sometimes the only thing
We counted on
When no one else was there


Quotes regarding the song

After the release of Chinese Democracy, Axl would talk about the meaning behind the lyrics:

For me the song is inspired by what's referred to sometimes as Holden Caulfield syndrome. I feel there's a possibility that how the writing is structured with the thinking of the main character could somehow reprogram for lack of a better word some who may be a bit more vulnerable, with a skewed way of thinking and tried to allow myself to go what may be there or somewhat close during the verses. I'd think for most those lines are enjoyed as just venting, blowing off steam, humor or some type of entertainment where it may be how others seriously live in their minds. The bridge b4 the solo is an artistic interpretation of a institutionalized mind. The outro is a tribute to Lennon and an indictment of the author for writing what i feel is utter garbage and I agree whole heartedly that it should be discontinued as required reading in schools. That's my take, I could be completely wrong, I do realize that the song and title could have the next poor soul reading the book and feeling inspired to make an unfortunate statement. So there's the catch I guess. When I came up with the focus, I got a call from the director of Imagine wanting a bunch of money to make a documentary, had a guy sending me strange packages about Lennon and serial killers etc and the web started calling me Salinger w/no one knowing what I was writing. I figured I was on the right track at least for a song.
chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008

Ok, I've never actually tried to put this into words this way before and this'll probably get me in trouble with someone but here goes... The piano started while watching a documentary or A&E type show on Chapman and wanting to write something for Lennon and his family. W/the book it started as fascination and curiosity with Holden Caufield Syndrome and what was or could possibly be in the book that obviously certain vulnerable people have seemed to become so passionate about and resort to outrageous public attempts or acts of violence. That and the question most have in regard to Lennon's death...why? Can't say I have those answers but I feel our song pays the emotional tribute to John Lennon in the end that I'd wanted to write since the night he was killed and also since first listening to Elton and Bernie's Empty Garden. I read the book. I fell into a deep dark sleep. Went to the studio and sang as a joke what I refer to as the Holden parts off the top of my head and felt at the time at least imo I had stumbled on a way of thinking that had a pattern and a flow but was broken up like a television station going out and coming back slightly off course intermittently and not making sense with it's earlier portion. Where this unease helped to justify or even demand taking action and feeling the power of taking that action against whoever your mind felt was somehow involved or the root of this unease and alienation. Accompanied by a calming surreal almost religious (but totally insane) vibe I think that if some were to experience having limited capabilities, insecurities or are mentally and emotionally challenged in some way could find a false sense of solace and take comfort in like being on some type of drugs or meds but with an added completely false sense of an imagined calling or purpose. It certainly could and very well often would feel better than some individuals real world or having to experience or live with a clearer perspective of their true reality... All of which of course could be imagined and hooked together by events like Lennon's murder, reading the book, wanting to write a song about someone being insane, John Lennon, Chapman, people shooting people and watching Mel Gibson's Conspiracy! And when I got home not in any dramatic way but more like cleaning off the dinner table I threw my book away. Don't know if any of that's really what any of that's about but that's how it hit me and just like an instant cake we got the basis for a song.
chinesedemocracy.com, December 13, 2008


Replacing Brian May's parts:

In November 2008, just before the release of Chinese Democracy, it was rumoured that May's contributions to the song 'Cather in the Rye' has been removed, to which May responded:

Well, it is a shame, perhaps ... I did put quite a lot of work in, and was proud of it. But I could understand if Axl [w]ants to have an album which reflects the work of the members of the band as it is right now.
Blabbermouth, November 4, 2008


After the release of the album, Axl would explain the decision to exclude May's contributions and partly explain the reason on fans not showing enough appreciation for it:

There's a few reasons and none of them all that big and definitely not in spite or to slight anyone. 1st off obviously I knew people liked the song but the Brian appreciation really only showed up in force publicly after we had moved on in Guns. In fact Not many seemed to care and most comments were aimed at why Slash in their opinions should be here. Brians solo itself is a personal fave of mine and I really couldn't understand as he's such a rock legend why it wasn't openly appreciated more at the time. In actuality all that feel and emotion referred to now had a lot to do with Sean and I and the parts I chose out of Brian's different runs, versions, practice runs etc to make sure we had those elements in one version. It's entirely constructed from edits based around one specific note Brian hit in a throw away take. And though Brian seems to have warmed a bit to it at least publicly he was unfortunately none to pleased at the time with our handiwork. I remember looking at Brian standing to my left and him staring at the big studio speakers a bit aghast saying "But that's not what I played." Sean Beavan and I were not in any way tring to mess with Brian we just did what we do and then try and do our best to stand up for our decisions.
htgth.com, December 12, 2008


A fan at HTGTH would reach out to May through email for comments on what Axl said:

I have been reluctant to say anything about the sessions, ever since it happened, out of respect to Axl, and, well, its the decent way to behave.  But there is so much talk about it now, and so many questions ... I have been putting together a small piece about it for my 'Soapbox".

The important thing from my point of view is that it happened at all, and was an enjoyable experience.  I was honoured.   I really didn't do it with the expectation that I would get any long-term rewards !!!  Axl is pretty exceptional, and unpredictable ...

I am reminded of something my Mum told me once, many years ago.  She said it's OK to lend money to people, but you must lend it with the full knowledge that it will probably never come back.  This is the only way to live in peace with yourself !!

So its the same with time, or deeds, or anything that you can give.  If you do it expecting thankyou's, or rewards, you're going to be disappointed !

I'm really not disappointed in the least.   I'm very happy that people like yourself have been writing to me saying good things ... that's a real bonus.  I sleep well in my bed !!  And I will always have great love for Axl.
htgth.com, December 16, 2008


This is the "soapbox comment" May wrote and published on his website:

Well, a lot of people have been asking about me and Axl.

It's very simple really ... Axl is making his record, and he can do whatever he wants ! After all these years I'm still a huge fan.

It was such a long time ago, it tends to recede into the mists of time, for me ... I certainly don't remember anything about disapproving of any 'comping' Sean Beavan had done - I remember it, I had actually comped it up with him myself. Of course, soon afterwards, Sean was taken off the project, although I have to say I thought the tracks were overall sounding bloody good at that time! I'm not sure if we know where the version that was 'leaked' to the public came from. I have my own rough mixes, which I took away at the time for the purposes of working on the stuff further if necessary, but nobody but me has ever heard those. I kept them totally private, because that's the professional way to be. I actually played on three tracks.

The scenario was very different from what folk-lore seems to be embroidering it into. So maybe I ought to say something ...

What happened, the way I remember it, was this. I had been on tour with GN'R, and had a very good relationship with them ... they were much kinder to me than they needed to be, as a support artist to them as they toured the USA and Europe. We had some great times. People will recall that GN'R also guested at our Freddie tribute concert, at the good old Wembley Stadium, as it was then. They did an amazing job on Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door", and they donated all the proceeds of their live recording to the newly-founded Mercury Phoenix Trust - that's a nice answer to anyone who accuses GN'R of being anti-gay.

Well, some time later, once I was back home, Axl phoned me up, out of the blue, and told me he felt he was losing his way over guitars on the tracks on the album, and asked me if I would come over for a couple of days to LA and have look. The idea was not that I become part of the band! It was more about me coming in as a friend, giving what I could to the project, as an objective outside opinion, and doing a bit of guitar playing as well. I said I'd be very happy to do that. His people booked me on plane, and I arrived a couple of days later. It was fun. Axl came down to the studio from his house, where he was also working in parallel on other stuff in his home studio, and, with Sean, played about 20 tracks to me ... pretty much almost the whole album as it stood at that time. That's a lot of listening time! But it was all fascinating. My comments were mainly appreciations, and reassurances, and I liked most of the guitar that was already on there, but I remember having strong 'producorial' feelings about making sure Axl's great vocals didn't get swamped in too much guitar ornamentation.

Then I played some guitar ... working with Sean. Over the next couple of days I went in and spent most of day there, trying things out on various tracks. Axl actually stayed away from that time on, getting Sean to take up rough mixes of what we'd been doing each night, and sending back appreciative comments. Then I went home!

Oh .. we also had a nice evening having dinner up at Axl's home, with a few friends and record company guys, during which Axl played everybody a whole bunch of tracks that were NOT already on the album ... which he had been working on separately. It was evidently already a mammoth project.

In my mind, I gave it a small piece of my life, without any thought of getting anything back, except the feeling that I'd contributed a little to the journey of the album project. I didn't ask to be paid, or even credited, and I certainly didn't put any constraints on whether the guys had to use my work or not.

I'm totally relaxed about the outcome, as I always was, and I hope that Axl will now feel liberated, by the final emergence of his magnum opus, to move on, and get back out there where we all want him to be, rockin' around the world ...

It's interesting that, at the time of all this, I was completely sure that for us, as Queen, the days of playing packed stadium gigs were over. I never thought that in 2008, we would be playing, in Buenos Aires, for instance, in the same football stadium (Velez Sarsfield) as we played with Freddie all those years ago, to a reaction every bit as frenetic as in the Old Days. The reviews of Queen and Paul Rodgers in Brazil were ecstatic, to the point where one article said our show out-did the first Rock in Rio. So I'm very grateful that the wheel keeps turning, and even happier still to be in the Great River of Rock.

Cheers

Bri
Brian May website, December 14, 2008


In 2009, Bumblefoot would discuss the fact that May's solo on Catcher in the Rye was replaced with his solo:

Brian May had done a whole lot of tracking for the album that unfortunately wasn’t used. Brian had recorded a solo for the Catcher In The Rye years ago, and I had done some takes later on. And I guess they chose to go with the stuff I put down, which actually I feel a little guilty about: you know Brian May is definitely someone who is of ‘we are not worthy!’ status. Brian, if you read this, you’re welcome to play anything you want on one of my records. In fact, I won’t play any guitar at all and you can play all the guitars – that would be fine with me.
Guitarist, March 2009


Talking about playing the song live:

I see them singing along to all the new songs. And that's good. I like that certain ones stand out for people. Like Catcher In The Rye, for instance. There's so much going on, and it's a beautiful song with so many nice melodies in there. And speaking of Yes, one of my favorite Yes albums is Going For The One, and the things going on at the end of Catcher In The Rye remind a lot of me of the title track on that album. It just keeps going and coming around again and building and saying more. There's improvising on it, and the guitars and vocals sort of dance around with each other. And that's fucking cool!.
HTGTH, September 2010


Catcher In The Rye Newbor11


Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 08, 2022 5:47 pm; edited 10 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:25 am

A really cool remix done by jrconceicao:

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Post by Soulmonster Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:49 am

I vastly prefer the '99 version over the album version. I never was a fan of the outro solo.
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