The two greatest opening chords in rock, explained:
- An exhaustive analysis of the opening chord of “A Hard Day’s Night,” from everything2, the site that was Wikipedia before there was Wikipedia.
- A somewhat inconclusive message board fracas about the opening chord of “Here Comes Your Man.”
The opening chord, originally just an open D, became a jagged open-string thrum that instantly conjures the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.” (Thompson continued to play a straight D major, but the secret ingredient is Santiago’s beloved “Hendrix chord,” here a D7 sharp-9; a loose open E also rumbles faintly underneath.)
The book is great, by the way — heavy on extensive interviews with Black Francis (aka Frank Black, aka Charles Thompson) and light on the rock-critic bloviating. I learned a lot about a record I thought I already knew a lot about.