In March 2015, the youth director of our church is putting on a musical review based on The Gospel According to the Beatles, which will feature The Daughter. This compelled me to buy and read the book. Author Steve Turner, as the book sleeve, informs me, has been writing about pop music for over three decades. This is, and I don’t want it to come off as a pejorative, a scholarly book, well-researched Continue reading Book review: The Gospel According to the Beatles
There was this article in some news feed I was reading a while ago – oh, maybe this is it: 10 things from Grimms’ Fairy Tales you got wrong. I rather hate that title, and, if you’ve read Grimm, and I have, well, I didn’t get them wrong, Mister or Ms. Article Title Writer. A better one in this specific genre is 11 Fairytales You Loved As A Child That Are Actually Really Creepy, which does not assume how well the reader is informed on the topic.
It may be that people are not familiar with the late Tom Wilson (pictured), unless they are liner note readers, like I am, but The Greatest Music Producer You’ve Never Heard of Is… is annoying.
I rather like this article, BEATLE GEORGE HARRISON’S BRIEF JOURNEY INTO EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRONICS. It refers to the album Electronic Sounds and gives not only the information about it, but the actual album from Zapple Records. Yeah, I own it, but haven’t listened to it in a VERY long time. It IS obscure, but the title informs without gloating. BTW, either today (very late) or tomorrow would have been George’s 71st birthday.
I DO like articles that clear up common misconceptions. I suppose there are a lot of people who have misunderstood the context of the quote, “Nice guys finish last” from baseball manager Leo Durocher. Even the Baseball Almanac provides no insight.
Durocher, in this excerpt from his book Nice Guys Finish Last, explains:
The Nice Guys Finish Last line came about because of Eddie Stanky too. And wholly by accident. I’m not going to back away from it though. It has got me into Bartlett’s Quotations— page 1059, between John Betjeman and Wystan Hugh Auden—and will be remembered long after I have been forgotten.
This is the context:
It came about during batting practice at the Polo Grounds, while I was managing the Dodgers. I was sitting in the dugout with Frank Graham of the old Journal-American, and several other newspapermen, having one of those freewheeling bull sessions. Frankie pointed to Eddie Stanky in the batting cage and said, very quietly, “Leo, what makes you like this fellow so much? Why are you so crazy about this fellow?”
I started by quoting the famous Rickey statement: “He can’t hit, he can’t run, he can’t field, he can’t throw. He can’t do a …thing, Frank—but beat you.” He might not have as much ability as some of the other players, I said, but every day you got 100 percent from him and he was trying to give you 125 percent…. The Giants, led by Mel Ott, began to come out of their dugout to take their warm-up. Without missing a beat, I said, “Take a look at that Number Four there. A nicer guy never drew breath than that man there.” I called off his players’ names as they came marching up the steps behind him, “Walker Cooper, Mize, Marshall, Kerr, Gordon, Thomson. Take a look at them. All nice guys. They’ll finish last. Nice guys. Finish last.”
I appreciate when old information is clarified, but not in a way that I feel is condescending to the reader.
When John Lennon died in 1980, I was devastated. When George Harrison died in November 2001, I was melancholy, but I knew he was sick, so I wasn’t surprised. But as time passed, I realized I missed him more and more. Incidentally, All Things Must Pass was my high school prom theme.
I felt sorry for George in the Beatles. He’d write songs and they wouldn’t make the album, because those two other songwriters in the group dominated. That explained why the All Things Must Pass album had three LPs, including an instrumental experiment.
Unique among the Beatles, George’s Continue reading George Harrison would have been 70
Unless I am misremembering, the first TIME magazine cover after September 11, 2001 that was not about 9/11 or the subsequent war in Afghanistan was the one announcing the death of George Harrison. I was sad that George died, of course, but I knew he was sick and not likely to get better. The top cover was the US version; the bottom one, the UK take.
This is obvious, I imagine, but one deals differently when someone dies expectedly or unexpectedly, by disease or by murder. John Lennon’s death a couple decades earlier was a jolt; George’s was just sad.
In fact, George’s passing made me melancholy the more I thought about his contribution to the world Continue reading George Harrison: 10 Years Gone
Ringo is easy, because I have relatively few of his albums, as well as a live triple-CD anthology and a greatest hits collection. This will NOT include any live versions of his old Beatles tunes.
10. It’s All Down To Goodnight Vienna – a most peculiar song by John Lennon, who plays piano, with odd scansion to boot. jl-piano.
9. Liverpool 8 -. A history lesson.
8. Oh My My -featuring background vocals by Martha Reeves and Merry Clayton, those great Billy Preston keyboards, and Tom Scott on the sax.
7. Love Me Do. As obsessive Beatles fans know – guilty as charged – Ringo replaced Pete Best shortly before the Beatles went into the studio for the first time with producer George Martin. Martin, disliking Best’s drums, and unfamiliar with Starr’s, hired session musician Andy White to playing drums, relegating Ringo to playing tambourine. Ringo STILL seemed miffed by this while he, Paul, and George were making the Anthology albums and videos in the mid 1990s. This record is, I suspect, partially closure for the drummer.
6. Step Lightly, mislabeled as Six O’Clock; indeed, most of this YouTube guy’s Ringo videos are given incorrect titles. This is from the Ringo album and features the dancing feet of Richard Starkey, MBE.
5. Early 1970, a piece about the other Beatles at the time of the breakup. It is noteworthy that all of them play and write songs for Ringo, even as acrimony amongst the others festered.
4. No No Song. This always reminded me of a variation on Randy Newman’s Mama Told Me Not To Come. Ringo’s old drinking buddy, Harry Nilsson, does the backing vocals.
Continue reading Ringo Starr is 70