“Watching the Wheels” is a single by John Lennon released posthumously in 1981, after his murder. The B-side features Yoko Ono’s “Yes, I’m Your Angel.” It was the third and final single released from Lennon and Ono’s album Double Fantasy, and reached number 10 in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 7 on Cashbox Magazine’s Top 100. It also peaked at number 30 in the UK.
In “Watching the Wheels” Lennon addresses those who were confounded by his “househusband” years, 1975–1980, during which he retired from the music industry to concentrate on raising his son Sean with Ono. The acoustic demo of “Watching the Wheels” is featured in the ending credits to the 2009 film Funny People. The song features a hammered dulcimer accompanying the lead piano.
The photograph on the cover was taken by Paul Goresh, a fan of Lennon who also took the infamous photo of Lennon signing a copy of Double Fantasy for his killer, Mark David Chapman. Both photos were taken at the same place, in front of the Dakota building, which was the site of his 1980 shooting. Later, Chapman was recorded in police custody reciting the line “People say I’m crazy” from the song. This clip was used by the band EMF for the track “Lies” on their 1991 album Schubert Dip, though immediate protests from Ono prompted the sample’s removal on subsequent pressings.
John Lennon – vocals, piano, keyboards
Earl Slick, Hugh McCracken – lead guitar
Tony Levin – bass guitar
George Small – keyboards, piano
Andy Newmark – drums
Matthew Cunningham – hammer dulcimer
Arthur Jenkins – percussion
Michelle Simpson, Cassandra Wooten, Cheryl Mason Jacks, Eric Troyer – backing vocals