Catcher In The Rye & The Holden Caulfield syndrome.
How much does the book 'Catcher in the Rye' inform the song, or is is soley referring to Chapman?
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.
Fan:"How a body took a body and gave that boy a gun". Sorry for my english, but if you could explain to me what this means, I would be gratefull...
Axl:It's a line from the book used to infer it may have helped to inspire a senseless killing.
I have always been intrigued by the Cather in The Rye book and The Song.
With recent insight into the ideas that helped form the lirycs to the song, I cam upon this article with talks about the Holden Caulfield syndrome and Catcher In The Rye book.
"It's exactly the kind of novel that appeals to confused loners, to shooters at schools, to suicidal youths, and an America looking nervously around for the next Columbine to happen," Mark Mordue writes in the review 12gauge. Today's popular youth culture is what he calls 'The Holden Caulfield Syndrome', or 'the 9/11 teenage blues', which is not effectively different from the malaise of the McCarthy years or the Cold War Period.
Mark Chapman had a copy of The Catcher in the Rye with him when he killed John Lennon, right? They say the rogue youth who goes berserk and guns down fellow students, teachers, family members, colleagues, or a celebrity must have misread, that is, he must have misunderstood The Catcher in the Rye. That is what we want to believe. That is what the Devil and the CIA want us to believe, and it is probably true that reading a book about youthful alienation and confusion, watching a film like The Matrix, or playing a video game like Thrill Kill will make you want to put on a black trench coat and mow'em down. Films such as Conspiracy Theory in which the crackpot Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) impulsively buys dozens of copies of The Catcher only strengthens the connection between the book and insane violence, when, however, the truth of the matter is that conspiracies really do get carried out, and 'they' sometimes present elaborate ruses to make people think that lone gunmen are on their own.
According to The Catcher we have to put up with everybody else, and not give in to despair. For everyone, living is absurd, painful, and sorrowful, ending in death. But living's not life. Life is health, happiness, beauty, and joy. In addition to our pain, life is what we have in common, and so it is one thing we must cherish and preserve in all its forms. We have to sieze the day, and have fun while we can, lest we wind up in the nuthouse.
Holden has heard a little boy misquoting Burns' poem 'Comin' Thro' the Rye', substituting "When a body catch a body, comin' thro' the rye" for "When a body meet a body, comin' thro' the rye", and he pictures himself running around in a rye field at the edge of a cliff saving kids from falling over it. He says, "What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them." He means he must save children from losing their innocence, perhaps. That does not sound like a vicious daydream to me. You too must be as a little child to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
"Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them - if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.”
Holden feels "sorry as hell" for everybody, unlike a few characters in other widely-read books.
Article copyright 2008 Joe Palmer