The Band essays – Track 4 Side 2 – Jawbone
Temptation stands just behind that door
So what you wanna go and open it for?
Richard Manuel had a crazy sense of time. He was wildly inventive, and got bored easily. So his songs tended to jump around and start and stop and glide and stomp. It's hard to listen to something as structurally unique as Jawbone and not smile. At the start it sounds like a rubber band bending....as both he and Levon set the table with a drawn out harmony they sing like they are sounding out the words. Then it switches up, and switches up again in a syncopated mid-section that can only be pulled off by guys who were practically living in each other's pockets in 1969. The timing is crazy. It doesn't sound like anything else on the record. It doesn't really sound like anything else ANYWHERE.
“Richard wasn’t happy until he made me change rhythm patterns at least twice", Levon remembered fondly. "I could always depend on a good workout when Richard was helping to write the songs. He might want to go from a shuffle to a march, and vice versa. It was stuff that kept you on your toes all the time. That sort of thing was easy for Richard, so he didn’t give a damn. He could play drums left-handed or right-handed. It didn’t matter.”