Showing posts with label BEatles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BEatles. Show all posts

Friday, April 03, 2020

The records that made me (some of 'em): Meet the Beatles

Here's No. 5 of my magical mystery tour through the record albums that have influenced me greatly through the years -- "Meet the Beatles." DUH!

If one is of a certain age -- OK, Boomer! -- this one's probably on your list. And on the list of many in the generations that followed, even if indirectly. Why? It's because probably no rock band was more influential than the Fab Four.

My Beatles journey began in 1965, at age 4. My Aunt Sybil and Uncle Jimmy bought me "Meet the Beatles" for Christmas. I was hooked. Got my folks, I am sure against their better beatnik-hating judgment, to subsequently buy me some Beatles 45s from the record rack at the National supermarket in the Broadmoor Shopping Center.

Man, I was well on the way to wearing out those glorious singles by John, Paul, George and Ringo. Until. . . .

Until a British newspaper interview from March 1966 got reprinted in an American teen magazine in July that year. You probably know the one.

“Christianity will go,” John Lennon told journalist Maureen Cleave. “It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I know I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first – rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

Lennon was a notoriously complicated guy. Americans, for the most part, are a notoriously uncomplicated people with notoriously uncomplicated triggers for losing their shit. After what Lennon said hit newsstands in the United States, Americans' lost shit hit the fan. And how.

And then there was the South. Remember the South? I do; I'm from there.

RADIO STATIONS banned Beatles records. Radio stations burned their Beatles music. Kluxers were burning Beatles albums along with their crosses. Preachers were damning Beatles songs to the lake . . . of . . . fiiirrrrrrre.

No one was more outraged than Mama. Now, my parents weren't exactly churchgoers, but you had the principle of the thing. Or something like that.

So my Beatles singles and my copy of "Meet the Beatles" got busted up. Mama carefully explained how them Limey beatniks were sayin' terrible things about Jesus H. Christ -- who we weren't actually acquainted enough with to drop in on, like, ever -- but, you know, there was the principle of the thing.



Double crack!



HEY, IT WAS the Age of Batman. Who never disparaged Christianity or compared his popularity to that of Jesus Christ, who I am sure would have lost badly to the Caped Crusader, too.

But again, it was the South. One of the Southiest parts of the South. And I'm sure it didn't help that Paul McCartney was a "n****r lover." After all, in those same Beatle profiles that made John an Enemy of God, Paul showed himself to be an Enemy of the Southern Way of Life (TM).

“It’s a lousy country where anyone black is a dirty n****r,” McCartney told Cleave, the author of the London Evening Standard's original profiles -- a quote that also made it into the teen mag Datebook, the periodical that sparked the all-American freak-out. In the white, Southern working-class world into which I was born, them was fightin' words.

And Mama was fightin' mad. Or at least browbeating-your-5-year-old-kid-into-letting-you-bust-up-his-prized-Beatles-records mad.

To paraphrase a musical selection from Hee-Haw, that hillbilly artistic endeavor that came to CBS television three years later, "
Thppt! They was gone!"

It wasn't until years later, after I myself had become a certified beatnik, that I started rebuilding my Beatles stash, which decades later is considerable. Yes, I have multiple copies of "Meet the Beatles."

And I still love "I Want to Hold Your Hand," though I think the German version, "
Komm, gib mir deine Hand," on "Something New" is even better. I'm funny that way.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

3 Chords & the Truth: The Producer

This week's edition of the Big Show can be described in two words.

One name.

George Martin.

If you don't know George Martin, or why we mark his passing by playing the music he touched, shaped, molded for decades, you're about to get an education in sound. If you do know the work of this producer's producer, you mourn the unfathomable loss with us at 3 Chords & the Truth as we celebrate the immeasurable musical legacy.

Sir George was the Fifth Beatle . . . and so much more.

Today, the program is his.

Today, the cultural birthright is ours.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

George Martin: Genius behind the geniuses

Back at Abbey Road, Martin gave The Beatles the chance to respond to his dressing down. "I've laid into you for quite a long time," he said. "You haven't responded. Is there anything you don't like?" 
"Well, for a start," replied George Harrison, "I don't like your tie." 

The quip broke the ice and The Beatles relaxed into comedy mode. 

"For the next 15 to 20 minutes they were pure entertainment," recalled Norman Smith. "I had tears running down my face." 

Despite his misgivings, Martin eventually decided The Beatles had "the potential to make a hit record" and gave them a recording deal on 6 June (backdated by two days so as to secure copyright to the recording session). 

He later admitted it was their "tremendous charisma" rather than their music that won him over. "When you are with them, you are all the better for being with them and when they leave you feel a loss," he told Sue Lawley. 

"I fell in love with them. It's as simple as that."

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

All you need is paint

Nothing you can know that isn't known
Nothing you can see that isn't shown
Nowhere you can be that isn't
where you're meant to be
It's easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need
THE FUN of going to estate sales often lies in the surprises you find amid the artifacts of people's lives that are being sold off one item at a time.

Sunday in Omaha, this was what we found in the onetime bedroom of a onetime teenager who now must be around the same age I am.

Speaking as a Baby Boomer . . . wow!

As I recall, the house has been sold, and who knows what the fate of this teenage tribute to the Fab Four might be. You'd hope the new owner would lack the heart -- or the nerve -- to paint over this or, God forbid, to turn this house that once was a home into yet another tear-down on a street that has seen a few older houses razed so that newer, bigger ones might replace them. 

If that's to be the fate of this house, being yet another demolition job or the new owner merely painting over a teenage masterpiece, I just wanted folks to know that Jay Dandy's room had the awesomest wall ever back in 1977.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Posted through my tears

1grace  noun \ˈgrās\

a unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b :  a virtue coming from God
c :  a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace

I know -- having been the recipient of it a time or a thousand -- grace when I see it.

Oftentimes, grace is the strength God sends you when you are at the end of your own. Sometimes, grace is beauty that descends upon you -- beauty that is not of this world. The video above is the first that begets the second.

Imagine that your pregnant wife dies in her sleep. Imagine that this occurs months before her due date. Imagine that your little son is born of your dead wife via an emergency C-section. Where would you find the strength to do what we see here and do it so beautifully?

One place.
THERE have been times when I have summoned the strength, strength that was not my own, to endure what I might find unendurable and react to it in a manner not of my own nature. Still, I cannot imagine serenading my dying infant son after losing my pregnant wife -- or at least I can't imagine doing so without collapsing into sobs.

The singing father is Chris Picco of Loma Linda, Calif. His wife was Ashley Picco. Their son is Lennon James Picco. Lennon James died in his father's arms the day after this video was shot.

People often wonder where God is when things go horribly and unjustly wrong. The answer is that God is standing beside you, holding you up if you'll let Him. It's a beautiful thing, as you can see above.

If you'd like to help God out in holding up Chris Picco as he endures the unendurable, you can do so here.

Here, too.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Noise nazis mind the bollocks

The sun not only has set on the British Empire, but now it's set on what's left of British civilization as well.

Never mind the lads and ladettes, skirmishing with the bobbies in the street . . . or on the street, prostrate in their own vomit.

Never mind last year's mindless riots all across England.

Never mind Hackgate . . . or Rupertgate, if you will.

Never mind austerity, either.

AND NEVER MIND Sarah Ferguson, for God's sake. All that could happen anywhere, and probably will. Hell, even Fergie -- the British one -- is kinda like if Snooki and Britney had gone to finishing school.

No, you know a great nation is finished well and good when it pulls the plug on Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney. Together.

In concert.

For the first time ever.

Why? All because a bunch of Westminster Council noise nazis dared not to, in the name of history, turn back the hands of time in the face of a 10:30 p.m. Hyde Park "noise curfew." How twee . . . in a vaguely fascist kind of way.

When Britain's contributions to music begin to equal its achievements in dentistry, it's just time for 'em to hang it up and let the French run the joint. Again.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Your Daily '80s: You say goodbye, and I say. . . .

It was 30 years ago today, the world stopped to pray . . . and though I don't really want to stop the show, I thought that you might like to know that the singer's going to sing a song, and he wants you all to sing along:

All we are saying is give peace a chance. . . .

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This week's 3C&T playlist

Here's the playlist for this week's episode of
3 Chords & the Truth --
All those years ago.


Song Name




Lavender Road

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger
(Sean Lennon/Charlotte Kemp Muhl)



Give Me Some Truth

John Lennon



Dust in the Wind




Livin' On A Prayer

Bon Jovi



(Just Like) Starting Over

John Lennon



Beyond the Great Divide

Emmylou Harris



The Afternoon: Forever Afternoon

The Moody Blues



Baby the Rain Must Fall

Glenn Yarbrough



Watching the Wheels

John Lennon



Here Comes The Sun




Look at Me

John Lennon



I'm Looking Through You




Looking for My Life

George Harrison



I Looked Away

Derek and the Dominoes



Look What You've Done




Hard Times Are Over

Yoko Ono



Helter Skelter




I Just Shot John Lennon

The Cranberries



Too Late for Goodbyes

Julian Lennon



A Woman Left Lonely

Janis Joplin & Full Tilt Boogie



Whatever Gets You Thru the Night

John Lennon



Mind Games

John Lennon




Sean Lennon



Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)

John Lennon


3 Chords & the Truth: All those years ago

They're funny, aren't they, those "zero" anniversaries?

You know, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. . . .

Thirty years. Those "zero" anniversaries have a way of taking something that happened a long, long time ago and making it seem like it was just yesterday. Just as vivid as yesterday. Just as raw as yesterday.

JUST AS painful as it was yesterday, only in this case, "yesterday" was three decades ago.

That's what 3 Chords & the Truth is all about this week, what happened 30 years ago, and how it hurt us . . . how it changed us. This episode of the Big Show is a look back -- a meditation, actually.

It was 30 years ago Wednesday that a madman murdered John Lennon. I had some thoughts on that here. I have some musical thoughts on that awful day, and what it has meant to my generation, here.

FOR WHAT it's worth, I rather like the way George Harrison put it . . . "All Those Years Ago."
Hear them shouting all about love
While they treated you like a dog
When you were the one who had made it so clear
All those years ago.

Hear them talking all about how to give

They don't act with much honesty
But you point the way to the truth when you say
All you need is love.

Living with good and bad

I always looked up to you
Now we're left cold and sad
By someone the devil's best friend
Someone who offended all.

We're living in a bad dream

They've forgotten all about mankind
And you were the one they backed up to the wall
All those years ago
You were the one who Imagined it all
All those years ago.

Deep in the darkest night

I send out a prayer to you
Now in the world of light
Where the spirit free of the lies
And all else that we despised.

They've forgotten all about God

He's the only reason we exist
Yet you were the one that they said was so weird
All those years ago
You said it all though not many had ears
All those years ago

You had control of our smiles and our tears
All those years ago
IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Your Daily '80s: All the lonely people

The morning after, on Good Morning America.

It's 7 a.m., Dec. 9, 1980. Here's David Hartman.

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee . . . pray for us now, and at the hour of our death. Amen."

Meanwhile, in the U.K. . . .

Hours after John Lennon's murder in New York, a shocked Great Britain sat down to watch this memorial on BBC 1's Nationwide program.

Roll the videotape. . . .

A terrible day in the life

I always heard these things in my bedroom in Baton Rouge -- news of shocking deaths in the dark of the night.

In 1978, I was in high school, up late and listening to the radio when I heard the pope was dead. A month and a half later, I was up late working on homework and listening to the radio --
WFMF -- when I heard a report that the pope was dead. I thought somebody had screwed up and put on an old newscast.

In 1980, I was a sophomore in college. The night of Dec. 8, I was up cramming for finals, listening to the radio. The DJ came on with the shocking bulletin -- John Lennon was dead, shot outside his apartment building in New York.
He read the news today . . . oh boy.

Oh, God, no.

Please, God, no.

The death
of the pope was big (as was the death of the other pope), but I wasn't Catholic then. The murder of John Lennon was shattering.

The pope was an old man in Rome. He was the vicar of Christ, but he was a distant one back then -- a guy you read about in the papers, or perhaps saw on the TV news once in a while.

John Lennon . . .
the Beatles . . . they had been a daily presence in my life -- a pervasive part of the culture in which I had marinated since the age of 3. John, Paul, George and Ringo were the soundtrack of my earthly existence.

IN 1964,
my Aunt Sybil and Uncle Jimmy gave me a copy of Meet the Beatles. I had me some Beatles singles, too.

In 1966, John told an interviewer the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ, which arguably was true. Truth, however, is no defense against public indignation when veracity meets unpopularity -- people like funhouse-mirror images of themselves a lot better when everybody knows the mirror is all screwy and not him.

Then, John Lennon suddenly was a communist or something, and Mama busted up all my Beatles records. That's how we showed our esteem for the second person of the Holy Trinity back then, as opposed to going to church.

WHEN I was old enough to think for myself -- and to buy my own damned record albums -- the Beatles were back. Big time.

John was always the challenging Beatle. The one most likely to piss you off -- and to make you think. I rather like how he'd sometimes mess with your head, and it was funniest when people didn't get how funny it all was.

Like "Imagine." It's funny to see religious Republicans enthusiastically singing along with "Imagine," a song Lennon once described as "virtually the Communist Manifesto." (Well, OK. Not every Republican.)

We didn't always agree with this presence in our lives -- hell, we didn't always understand this musical fixture of ours -- but we always had to give him credit for honesty, just like we always had to give him credit for amazing songs. We couldn't not give him his due for the music of of our lives.

And now, Dec. 8, 1980, at about 10 o'clock at night. . . .

Suddenly, it was like the soundtrack of my life had been left sitting in the rear window of my '76 Vega. It had warped. It didn't sound right.

A constant presence wasn't, not anymore.

I heard the news 30 years ago today. Oh boy, nothing has been the same since. And it hurts.

Still, it hurts.