Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Learning to Listen and Listening to Learn: The Beatles, Nostalgia, George and Disc Five

I was, of course, a Beatle fan...we ALL were, and according to the recent success of the perpetual reissue program, everyone is still. Fine with me. In retrospect (and 45 years down the line) they were and are all good guys. Simple as that. To this day, there is little better than a surprise from Sir Paul like the recent rooftop appearance, and he and Ringo continue to be modest, pleasant fellows at every turn. When John died, I spent two days listening to the radio and painted my house. 6 months later I moved to the city he was shot in and lived there for the next twenty-five years. I was too young to be obsessed with them, and spent more time listening to the Stones when I was older. I am not nostalgic in the least. There is always something new to find and feel. They'll be tinkering with that sound as long as there is anyone around to buy it, and I'd rather listen in mono anyway.

Just as everyone is either canine or feline, in my generation you were either Beatles or Stones. When I got a bit older, I realized both groups had taken their inspiration from others, and I've spent my time since learning more about their influences than the mop tops. Rather than buying the reissues, or humming along to one of the gorgeous Lennon-McCartney studio melodies, I'll keep digging for more obscure things I can learn from rather than just enjoy. When a billion people watch the same thing at the same time on TV it just scares me too.

As I write, I'm working my way through a five disc bootleg of George Harrison out takes. That's right, more than 5 hours of studio experiments with Eric Clapton, Billy Preston and other collaborators he worked with most of his entire recording life. It prompted my post. They weren't meant to be heard and they weren't meant to be released, but someone glommed onto them like the children outside the Ed Sullivan studio grabbed at the Beatle's hair. I don't condone bootlegs, but they are part of the world and my world. At this moment I am hearing the fifth version of an embryonic "Wah-Wah" in a row. It's a good riff and once in a while I lean back and listen closer...George seems to be getting it worked out fine, but for the most part I am just glad to be around to hear it for the first time.

1 comment:

  1. I waited on John at 3 different jobs, have his cigarette butt from capping his ashtray, and he was always aware of how stunned people were to see him and went out of his way to make them comfortable. Recently I worked at a gallery that represented Ringo's art and when I met him he put his hand out and said "Hi, I'm Ringo" like he was any old body. Fab, the both of them. I've also met Ron Wood a bunch of times, got a big kiss a couple times, but that's a whole other story.