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
John Lennon met Yoko Ono at an art gallery in November 1966. Very soon, the thing that would really bug Paul, George, and Ringo was that SHE was in the studio with John and them; this had been the Beatles’ nexus, but now he’s bringing in his girlfriend?
Her vocals would eventually show up on Beatles songs, notably Revolution 9 from the white album, and the very strange song What’s The New Mary Jane [LISTEN, if you want] which actually never made it onto a legitimate record until the third Beatles Anthology album, released in the 1990s.
They did a number of albums together, including a couple avant garde albums called Unfinished Music. Two Virgins had the infamous nude cover; the CD release added the Yoko song Remember Love [LISTEN], the B-side to the Plastic Ono Band single Continue reading L is for Lennon: John and Yoko
“Imagine all the people living life in peace,” some guy who died in 1980 said. And this is supposed to be this period where we talk about “peace on earth.” Of course, I’m also reminded of Jeremiah 6, which reads: “For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely. They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush.”
I think we humans will always disagree, but must we, as the saying goes, be disagreeable? This post by Dustbury reminded me of this; a simple a fast food encounter where the patron’s job, it seems, was to be be a schmuck.
Continue reading I IMAGINE we've gotten it wrong, John, so far
For reasons I mostly don’t understand, for the last couple weeks, I have been going to sleep, waking up anywhere between three and four and a half hours later, and then am unable to go back to sleep. I stay in bed for as long as an hour, then finally get up and check my e-mail, or, rarely, watch TV for a hour, then go back to bed, pretty much in time for the alarm clock. I usually DO fall asleep in that brief time between when my wife wakes up and when she returns from the shower; I know this because I am likely to have quite vivid dreams.
The annoying thing is that I’m often too unfocused to write a comprehensible blog post, to even start one. Yet the IDEAS are still there, which is actually worse.
I’ve experienced this condition before, for a day or two, and I can operate OK in the short term. But in this extended bout, not so much. Continue reading I'm SO Tired
More questions from western New York’s finest blogger, Jaquandor:
If Lennon hadn’t been shot in 1980, do you think there would eventually have been a Beatles reunion? If so, what form? A one-shot performance at something like Live-Aid? A new album?
John and Yoko’s album Double Fantasy comes out in the fall of 1980. It does all right [not as well as it did in response to Lennon’s death]. They put out Milk and Honey a year later; ditto. They tour for a few months.
Around 1982, George, whose career was in a bit of a downturn – no All Those Years Ago hit single – plays on a John and Yoko album. John and George play on Ringo’s comeback album.
Continue reading The Beatles reunion, and our Christmas tree
(Dateline: Albany, NY) Roger Green, founder and president the organization Christmas Or Other Labels (COOL), has declared the war on Christmas in the United States to be officially over. People celebrating the holiday religiously, those celebrating it socially, and those not celebrating it at all were all declared victors in emotional celebrations across the country.
The Christian folks have decided that, while it IS approaching Christmas in December, there ARE people who practice other religions, or no religions at all, and they are determined to be COOL about it. Continue reading "War Against Christmas" Is OVER (If You Want It)
One of those signs that you are getting older is when you start saying things such as “I remember [him or her] when [he or she] was X years old [some age the person hasn’t been for a VERY long time].” And that’s how it was with Sean Lennon. I didn’t know him personally, but, to me, he was frozen in time at five years old, his age when his father was killed. Continue reading Sean Lennon's birthday; and it would have been his father's
Looking at all the Beatles and John Lennon songs, I’m reminded of the fact that Lennon mentioned the topic of sleep a few times. I’m Only Sleeping was on the Beatles’ Revolver album, though I first heard it on the US LP called Yesterday and Today. It starts off:
When I wake up early in the morning,
Lift my head, I’m still yawning
When I’m in the middle of a dream
Stay in bed, float up stream
Then, for the Beatles white album, Lennon writes:
I’m so tired, I haven’t slept a wink
I’m so tired, my mind is on the blink
Continue reading How Do You Sleep QUESTIONS
You’ve probably heard about someone wanting to take the works of Mark Twain and republish them, replacing the word N@$$%! with the word “slave”. I think this is pretty lame as I have previously indicated.
Yet, while I’m not crazy about the word, I’m less bothered by it when it’s 1) used in historic context or 2) to make a particular point. Film critic Roger Ebert got into some hot water using the word recently. He didn’t bother me, but some of the comments I’ve seen in response to his use Continue reading Editing literature and the N-word Questions
Unfairly or not, I always associate John Lennon’s death with the breakup of my girlfriend the week before. It was Monday, December 1, 1980 and, unlike all of those “grownup” breakups in the movies of that time, this was painful and acrimonious. About the only cinematic aspect of it was the line from near the end of the Woody Allen movie Annie Hall, delivered by Alvy Singer (Allen): “A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.”
So when the FOLLOWING Monday night came around, it was incumbent upon me to do whatever I could Continue reading If it was 30 years ago, why do I remember it so well?