Wednesday, May 21, 2008

School Of Rock:Ringo And The Other Three

Okay, I need to step away from the sheer embarrassment(fear not, there will be more-in fact, I'm fairly certain that parts of this post will be embarrassing-not "Seasons In the Sun" embarrassing, but embarrassing just the same.), and take a detour into some of the better music that I like.By the way, I only misspelled embarrassing ONCE in that run-on sentence! Whoo-hoo!!
Music like the stuff made by that band that Ringo Starr was in- the Beatles.

Aaaah, the Beatles. I have had a bit of an on and off relationship with the Beatles, but I suppose I will start at the beginning.

I must admit, I first really started getting into the Beatles...When John Lennon died. I know..I suck, I'm a morbid fuck, whatever, but it is the truth.
I was 10. I remember I was laying(lying ? I never get that one right) in bed. Listening to the New England Patriots, I believe, play someone (I cannot remember) on the radio on Monday Night Football, and they interrupted the game to announce that John Lennon had been shot. I went to my sister's room and told her, and I remember her having a look of shock on her face.
Obviously, John Lennon and the Beatles were everywhere for the next few weeks, and it piqued my curiosity. Nobody in my family really listened to the Beatles, so I remember talking to my friends about them.

I think the first album I bought was 1962-1966(the Red Album)
I'm pretty sure I still have it....I'm not sure if I have it on red vinyl or not, but I do know that shortly after buying the Red Album I bought this:

1967-1970 aka The Blue Album, which I KNOW I still have, and which I know looks like THIS:

And I loved those two(technically 4) records. They had all the best tunes( at least i thought they did at the time, and the DO have a lot of the best ones, with some omissions).
i don't honestly remember the order of the rest I bought. i know I had The Beatles(White Album) on cassette, and I had the Magical Mystery Tour. I will admit that I did not have Rubber Soul or Revolver until much later, and that will probably always be a stain on my Beatles cred.
I did, however, amass a collection of buttons of all of the album covers. Some of which I believe are still in my Mom's house somewhere.

Funny side story on the purchase of those buttons. They were sold in a record store in nearby Bergenfield, New Jersey. The place always "smelled funny" if you know what I mean. And I remember fearing that those folks might make me "try the drugs". Of course, they never did. But the fact that I was convinced that these people(perfectly nice, friendly folks) would force drugs upon me, surely proved that the propaganda worked(for awhile,anyway)...And it's probably good that it did. I don't think I needed pot(or anything else) at 10 years old.

I also threw myself wholesale into the "Paul is Dead" rumour/cover up. I even did a report about it for my 5th grade class. there was SO MUCH EVIDENCE!!!!
Paul was barefoot on the cover of Abbey Road-They bury people barefoot in England.(I remember the other Beatles clothing on that cover played into it as well-Someone was dressed as undertakers dressed, someone was dressed like a grave digger. AND on the license plate of one of the cars parked on the street is 28If, as in Paul would have been 28 IF he had lived, when Abbey Road was released.
Paul is BACKWARDS in the group photo on the back cover of Sgt. Pepper's.
the lyrics to "A Day in the Life"- 'he blew his mind out in a car"- Paul died in car crash!!
John CLEARLY says "Paul is dead" at the end of "Strawberry Fields Forever".
The list goes on and on.

A few years later, I grew weary of the Beatles. I think I was in a bit of a rebellious, contrarian phase. I grew tired of Sgt. Pepper's(which I STILL think is overrated, and not even their best record) always being named the Best album ever. Screw the Beatles !! It was fun to see the looks on people's faces when I said I didn't like the Beatles. BLASPHEME !!!I think it may have coincided with the release of the Albert Goldman book about John Lennon, and every one's assertions that there was no way John could ever have hit Yoko, or had a heroin problem, or basically done anything else negative, and I found that kind of hard to swallow.

I'm not saying that the book was factual or anything( I don't know whether it was or not), but I think this thought that it was "not possible" kind of irked me. John Lennon always seemed like a bit of a negative, potentially nasty person, so none of that stuff seemed out of the realm of possibility. I didn't know him personally...I just knew that he wrote some great music. he never struck me as being particularly saintly or anything.

I won't dwell too much on the negative, but it was worth mentioning. I have obviously since come back around on the old Beatles. there is some pretty good music there, some truly great, revolutionary music. And, as silly as it was, I think the whole "Paul is Dead" thing really changed the way I look at, and listen to music. It made me realize that t here are layers there, at least to the really interesting shit. It's worth some poking and prodding.

Thus endeth the lesson.
I'll leave you with a couple of my Beatles favorites:

By the way, in the Revolution video, Paul is singing, but there is no sound !! Another clue !!

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