Flattop is Timothy Leary. The song was inspired by Leary's slogan in his campaign for governor of California. "Come Together, Join the Party", inspired by the I Ching. Lennon gave Leary a demo tape, which Leary had played on alternative radio stations.
Leary first heard the studio version while in prison on marijuana charges.

Information paraphrased from Steve Turner's book A Hard Day's Write, not to be confused with Lennon's surreal book In His Own Write.

Come Together

The Beatles

Here come old flattop he come grooving up slowly
He got joo-joo eyeball he one holy roller
He got hair down to his knee
Got to be a joker he just do what he please

He wear no shoeshine he got toe-jam football
He got monkey finger he shoot coca-cola
He say "I know you, you know me"
One thing I can tell you is you got to be free
Come together, right now, over me

He bag production he got walrus gumboot
He got Ono sideboard he one spinal cracker
He got feet down below his knee
Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease
Come together, right now, over me

He roller-coaster he got early warning
He got muddy water he one mojo filter
He say "One and one and one is three"
Got to be good-looking 'cause he's so hard to see
Come together, right now, over me

A wonderful song later covered by Aerosmith and some other artists. The best bit of the song is the jarring guitar riff between each verse, and the slightly wild singing that reminds me of Sympathy for the Devil (by the Rolling Stones).

Although I'm not an expert on The Beatles, I think the song was different than anything else they had done. The lyrics are, as far as I know, nonsense but sound really good - I mean what in God's name is a "mojo filter" or a "walrus gumboot" ? The song is about the sound rather than the content.

I think the song was a No.1 in the US, and came back to the charts twice since then. In 1970 Tina Turner (yes, I was as surprised as you!) got the song to No. 57 with her awful cover. Aerosmith did a far better job when their version reached No. 23, 8 years later, in 1978. Aerosmith's version is excellent, and arguably better than the original - the singing is sharper and the guitar just sounds cooler.

Here's an excerpt from "The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia" by Bill Harry - I found this passage on a newsgroup somewhere, and it's quite interesting.

"The song had its origins when Timothy Leary was planning a life in politics, intending to stand for the Govenorship of California, and his wife asked John Lennon if he could write a campaign song. John began writing the number, but Leary's visions of a political career crumbled when he was imprisoned for his advocacy of drugs.

When John was initially composing the tune he said he was writing obscurely round an old Chuck Berry tune called "You Can't Catch Me". He added, "I left the line in, 'Here come old flat-top'. It is nothing like the Chuck Berry song, but they took me to court because I admitted the influence once years ago."

A settlement was made in which John agreed to include two Chuck Berry songs on an album, which resulted in "You Can't Catch Me" and "Sweet Little Sixteen", being featured on his 1975 album, "Rock 'n' Roll."

The court action wasn't the only problem associated with the song. John had mentioned the words "Coca-Cola" and the BBC banned the number because it broke their code regarding advertising on TV."

The history of the song and its controversy is pretty interesting. You can find interpretations of the lyrics on Google Groups, for example, but I don't want to cut and paste huge chunks of text.

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