Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fifty Years of the Beatles

"We were honest with each other and we were honest about the music. The music was positive. It was positive in love. They did write - we all wrote - about other things, but the basic Beatles message was Love....The Beatles were just four guys that loved each other. That's all they'll ever be.”

Ringo Starr
from The Beatles Anthology

September the eleventh need not be an unhappy anniversary in every respect. Here's living proof: It was fifty years ago today....

John Lennon
Paul McCartney
George Harrison
Ringo Starr

A half century ago today, the Beatles were an obscure band of pop musicians known only to the clientele of a handful of grimy establishments in Liverpool, England, and a few seedy strip clubs along the notorious Reeperbahn in Hamburg, Germany. On the morning of September 11, 1962 they would find themselves in London, two-hundred miles south of their home turf. Arriving at the EMI recording facility on Abbey Road, they set up their gear inside of Studio Number Two. This was the opportunity they had been dreaming of. They were actually going to make a record! Not only that, but it was going to be released by Parlophone - a major British label known primarily for the records of Peter Sellers, the comedian they loved the best.

At 10 AM the session commenced. By one o'clock it was in the can; a modest but catchy little tune called "Love Me Do".
Also recorded at that session was the B-side, "P.S. I Love You".

The passage of a half-century should give us pause. We are as removed in time from that day as the Beatle
s themselves were removed from September 11, 1912. Think about that! Although they would not enter America's consciousness for another year-and-a-half, I was one of the very few lucky ones to get a taste of the Beatles, months before the rest of the United States.

In the late spri
ng/early summer of 1963 my brothers and I were first introduced to the Beatles through our English nanny, a nineteen-year-old Londoner named Margaret. She loved music and among her collection of 45 RPM's was something on the Vee-Jay label called, Do You Want to know a Secret. I clearly remember that I liked it. The child-like simplicity of John Lennon's lyric ("Do you promise not to tell?/Let me whisper in your ear") was the sort of thing that would appeal to a little boy not quite having reached his fifth birthday. There was no picture sleeve for the record, so the Beatles would remain faceless - and nameless - to us for another year.

I read the new
s today, oh boy....

Their timing was perfect. When they finally touched down on these shores in February of 1964, Americans were still emotionally bent over from the psychological blow rendered to them less than three months earlier when a young and beloved president was shot and killed in Texas. Everyone who was alive in 1963 say they remember where they were and what they were doing when they received the news that Jack Kennedy was dead. Seventeen years and sixteen days later, people would say the same thing about the moment they heard the news that one of the Beatles had died. Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, you know?

Other than that joyous music, what appealed to so many of us about these guys was the fact John, Paul, George and Ringo were a frustrated comedy team. Let's face it: they were a riot of laughter. In that dark, late winter of 1964, a ray of sunshine - however fleeting - appeared on a clouded horizon. At that moment, America needed the Beatles like a tonic.

Although our conscious memory of the living, breathing Fab Four recedes into the mists of history with each passing year, it cannot be argued that their music is still timely. Fifty years after Glenn Miller made his first recording, his output would be seen as a quaint chestnut of a lost and bygone era
. That is not the case in this instance - far from it. The Beatles still matter. They're the soundtrack in the lives of people who were not even alive when they thrived.

Six months ago I wrote about Brian Sager, who attended Beatlefest 2012 with me. When he was born in 1994, the lads from Liverpool had not released a new LP in almost a quarter of a century, And yet the convention we attended on March 24 in Secaucus, New Jersey was packed with kids his age - and even younger - for whom the music of the Beatles defi
es the decades. They are the gentle and silly ghosts that refuse to fade away into that eternal, unknowable void.

Those of us who are lucky enough to have been alive during the years they ruled the world have our own personal memories of the phenomenon that was Beatlemania. I remember the Ed Sullivan Show. I can recall so clearly trying to drift off to sleep that night with their harmonies still ringing in my ears. I remember seeing A Hard Day's Night at the movie theater around the corner from where I grew up. I remember being at my cousin Mike Cullen's home when I first saw the Sgt. Pepper cover ("Mike! They're wearing mustaches! What's that all about???") I remember exactly where I was standing in the summer of 1968 when I happened upon a girl from the neighborhood who was listening to the new Beatles record, Hey Jude, on a small transistor radio.

I remember my reaction to the news that they had disbanded. It won't last, I remember thinking. Someday they'll Get Back to where they once belonged. I really believed it - for an entire decade I believed it. You may say I'm a dreamer. The dream is over. It ended forever on that horrible night almost thirty-two years ago when John Lennon was forever taken from us because of an insane act of cold-blooded murder.

They wou
ld join forces once again - sort of. In 1995 the three surviving Beatles (and then there were two) would get together to overdub their instruments and their voices onto an unfinished Lennon composition called Free as a Bird. When I first read that it was going to happen I was miffed. John had spent many months in the studio prior to his death. Certainly there were hours of studio-quality recordings they could have worked with, and yet all Yoko Ono provided them with was an old and faded homemade cassette tape. What the hell is wrong with her, I thought.

My opinion changed on the night I finally heard the finished product. The voices of George and Paul sound very clear, while John, by this time long dead, and due to the technical limitations of the tape, sounds as if he is singing from another dimension, far, far away. Hearing them all together now, those incredible harmonies, I'm afraid I became a bit emotional. On that night I was with a young woman named Connie who was born in 1970, the year they ceased to be. When she saw my reaction she giggled and said, "Oh, Tom! What's the big deal?" I told her that no one who did not live through that era could possibly understand what the Beatles meant to their troubled generation.

Forty-four yea
rs of biographical hindsight informs us that these were four, humanly flawed, imperfect - and in many respects - troubled men. Oh, but that music. That timeless, perfect and beautiful music. I'm willing to forgive these guys just about anything. I was only four months shy of my twelfth birthday when the Beatles broke up forever in the spring of 1970. When I was a little boy they were the undisputed princes of the Planet Earth. To me they seemed to be invincible. The deaths of John Lennon and George Harrison proved for all time that they were not. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are today elderly men for whom eternity now beckons. They were - and are - as vulnerable in their grip on this slender thread as any of us. Imagine.

I think I'll be spending a good deal of my time today reflecting on their legacy and listening to their music. Fifty five years ago, in the summer of 1957, two teenagers named Lennon and McCartney were casually introduced to one another at a church picnic in Liverpool, England. Can you even imagine how boring this world would be if either one of them had made different plans that day? A world without the Beatles....I can't picture it. You've got to hand it to fate. Seriously.

Love, love me do
You know I love you
I'll always be true
So please, love me do....

 
All you need is love. I'll go to my grave believing it.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED LISTENING:


Love Me Do by the Beatles - Recorded fifty years ago today!

SUGGESTED READING:

SHOUT!!!
by Phillip Norman

There have been quite a few good biographies of the Beatles written since 1968. This is one of the best.


Here is a link to a piece I wrote two years ago about the tour I made with Brother Pete and our pal, Kevin Swanwick, of the Abbey Road Studios in merrie olde England:


http://tomdegan.blogspot.com/2010/05/excellent-adventure-at-abbey-road.html

We followed her down from a bridge by a fountain, and she led us to the door of Studio Two. Life is funny that way, you know?

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

All You Need Is Love


Those northern songs will last forever.

51 Comments:

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Steve Gravano said...

Well done Tom!

 
At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Sgt. Pepper said...

Tom, the fact is even the Beatles got sick of big government. I bet John Lennon put in the lines "Don’t ask me what I want it for, (Ah Ah! Mister Wilson!)" in Taxman for the Utopian dreamer Prime Minister Harold Wilson who loved spending the beatles money. Tom, The Beatles did not build their band -).

Maybe my socialist friends Jefferson's Guardian or Dave "the GOP is against roads and bridges" Dubya can tell us what would have been a "fair" tax for the Beatles to pay lol.

That's right, one of the greatest cultural tragedies of the 20th century may have been caused by big government. In the Times of London, Daniel Finkelstein writes how "penal tax rates that helped to destroy the group’s cohesion":

First told to give away vast amounts to avoid tax bills — which they did in a series of madcap ventures, offering money to any old person who dropped by with a demo tape — then told they had to make £120,000 in order to keep just £10,000. Soon their finances were in chaos and their energy sapped, as nutters beseiged Apple HQ pressing tapes on them. They also ran a clothes shop as a tax dodge.

Apple employee Tony Bramwell blames Harold Wilson, the Prime Minister, directly. “There were enough new regulations and red tape to tie up free enterprise for years ... One minute Swinging London was like a giant theme park, the envy of the world, then they — Wilson and his gang — closed it down. It was as if they went out and stamped on it.”

So there you have it on the negative effects of big government socialism. The Beatles appear to be part of that evil group the Koch Brothers belong to: capitalists seeking profit. In memory of the great band and their struggle against big government, what could be more appropriate than all of us singing the lyrics to their 1966 song, The Taxman:


Let me tell you how it will be,
There’s one for you, nineteen for me,
‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
Yeah, I’m the Taxman.
Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don’t take it all.
‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
Yeah yeah, I’m the Taxman.

(If you drive a car car), I’ll tax the street,
(If you try to take a shit), I’ll tax your toilet seat,
(If you get too cold cold), I’ll tax the heat,
(If you take a walk walk), I’ll tax your feet.
Taxman.

‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
Yeah, I’m the Taxman.
Don’t ask me what I want it for
(Ah Ah! Mister Wilson!)
If you don’t want to pay some more
(Ah Ah! Mister Heath!),
‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
Yeeeah, I’m the Taxman.

Now my advice for those who die, (Taxman!)
Declare the pennies on your eyes, (Taxman!)
‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
Yeah, I’m the Taxman.
And you’re working for no-one but me,
(Taxman)

 
At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn, Sgt Pepper, I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Talking to yourself again? Have another sip, pal.

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, I've had another sip of kool aid from the utopian village fountain.

here is a funny going viral:
Dr. Barbara Bellar Candidate for Illinois State Senate, District 18 sums up Obamacare in one sentence.

p.s. Tom you didn't build your blog lol!

 
At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Degan is the biggest jackass on the planet earth for not understanding that different people can post as anonymous!

 
At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FOUR MORE YEARS!!

(CNSNews.com) - According to the most recent official estimate by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Gross Domestic Product for 2012 will be $15.6061 trillion--or about $440.5 billion less than the $16.0466 in debt that the federal government had accumulated as of the close of business on Monday.

In other words, the debt is now approximately 103 percent of GDP.

The BEA, which is part of the Department of Commerce and which officially calculates GDP, based its current estimate of this year's GDP, published on Aug. 29, on economic data available through the end of the second quarter of this calender year.

 
At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FROM www.cpusa.org/why-vote/


Affordable Health Care Act extends coverage to 35 million uninsured people, outlaws denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions and extends until age 26 coverage of children under their parents plans.
Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for equal pay for women.
Stabilized the economy with $789 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that saved or created 3 million jobs. Invested billions in clean energy jobs, saved the auto industry.
Unemployment benefits for millions of workers despite Republican threats to shut down the government. Obama was forced to yield on Bush-era tax cuts for the rich that he wanted to terminate.
Appointed two women to the U.S. Supreme Court, including the first Latina woman, who support the rights of working people.
Established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and used a recess-appointment to name the director over Republican opposition.
Created a new food safety agency to protect people from food-borne illness.
Ended profit-grab by private banks on students loans, reestablishing Federal control on these loans and used the savings to extend loans to more students.
Doubled the funding for Pell Grants to $32 billion, increasing size of the grant $819 to a maximum of $5,500.
Ended the war in Iraq and moved toward ending the war in Afghanistan.

If you are not registered to vote, do it NOW!

If you are registered, VOTE!

Remember, your life may depend on it.

 
At 4:10 AM, Blogger Lydia said...

Such a great post. Just linked this week's Old Postcard Wednesday at my blog to your post, Tom.

 
At 5:26 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thank you, Lydia! I just checked it out - and thank you so much for the plug:

http://writerquake.blogspot.com/

Love and Peace,

Tom Degan

 
At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got it, lets talk about the Beatles on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Maybe that will keep our minds off the failed foreign policy's of our President.
Oops, guess the followers of the religion of love and peace didn't get the message.

U.S. Ambassador Killed in Libya


(Reuters) - The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff were killed in a rocket attack on their car, a Libyan official said, as they were rushed from a consular building stormed by militants denouncing a U.S.-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammad.


State Department officer killed in attack on US Consulate in Libya, following Egyptian protest at US embassy

On the last night of the Democratic National Convention, a retired Navy four-star took the stage to pay tribute to veterans. Behind him, on a giant screen, the image of four hulking warships reinforced his patriotic message.

But there was a big mistake in the stirring backdrop: those are Russian warships.

For the second time in as many weeks, the State Department has contradicted President Barack Obama, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton re-affirmed the apologetic stance disavowed earlier this evening by the White House in reacting to the storming of the U.S. embassy in Cairo by a mob of radical Egyptian Al Qaeda sympathizers on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Nice try Tom, but most of us will never forget, nor in NOV will we forget this failure in the White House when it comes time to vote.

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

What an asshole. You really do have a lot of time on your hands, don't you.

My intention was not to deflect attention away from anything or anyone. It was merely to reflect upon the influence and legacy of a great artistic force.

Get a fucking life will you? It's no wonder you post anonymously. You really are an idiot....and a coward.

Very sincerely,

Tom Degan

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Hey Tom, while I NEVER would dis your Beatles, I don't think they are responsible for getting as many people to trip on acid as The Grateful Dead. Being that the effect of acid consciousness is what ended the Vietnam war and instigated most of the social changes that occurred in the 1960s, I think the Dead's influence on society was greater and longer lasting than your Beatles. The Beatles might have preached love, but the Dead showed folks what is needed to get that love to come out of their hearts :-) ( Which is why it doesn't work on conservatives....they have NO hearts !! )

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Michael Stivic said...

Tom,

I am deeply upset that it looks like the Beatles who, lets face the facts, were 1 percenters who did not want to pay their fair share of taxes. Tax Man, would be a song for todays Tea Baggers. I'm just surprised there were no OWS type demonstrations back then in front of Abbey Studios against these Capitalist Pigs.

 
At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A coward sir, you who supports the empty chair in our whitehouse, have no room to call someone a
coward

Are you tying to get us to believe that you didn't know yesterday was 9/11? Or are you saying you don't care or want to remember yesterday was 9/11 so you talk about the Beatles?

It seems that you feel the Beatles of 50 years go have had more of impact on our lives today than 9/11 from 11 years ago did.

Gee, how many times have you posted something about the Beatles or one of their members in the last year and you JUST happened to do it AGAIN on 9/11?
Bet your next post will be one blaming Bush or Romney or the GOP or the Tea Party for the murder of our ambassador.

 
At 3:05 PM, Anonymous James said...

Tax rates were 90 percent in the 60s and 70 percent in the 70s so there were no one percenters back then. Corporations use to pay 50% of the federal tax receipts and now it is in the single digits. One percenters are the creation of the GOP.
I hope you Conservative appreciate all the tutoring you get on this site and for free to boot!

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger Avram Mirsky said...

Best damn essay I've ever read about the Beatles.

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

For everyone who is so upset about Tom's posting a 9/11 tribute to the Beatles, did you miss the fact that it was on 9/11 that they went into a recording studio for the first time?

If that bothers you and you would prefer to remember the 9/11 of 11 years ago, perhaps you would be kind enough to share with the rest of us just how that affected and influenced your life.

 
At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's because he is a Nobel Peace Prize winner and the world loves the USA since he was elected.

According to the White House calendar, there is no public record of President Barack Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing--known as the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB)--in the week leading up to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the murder of U.S. Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American members of his staff:

9/6/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-06

9/7/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-07

9/8/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-08

9/9/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-09

9/10/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-10

9/11/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-11

The last time prior to the slayings that the White House calendar publicly confirms Mr. Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing was September 5th. (The White House did not provide an official public calendar for September 8-10.) Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at 5:00 p.m. yesterday.

According to a recent study by the Government Accountability Institute, Mr. Obama has only attended 43.8 percent of his Presidential Daily Briefs in the first 1,225 days of his Administration.

 
At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We knew the name of Romney's dog on his car roof but we didn't find this out until now! No liberal bias in the media, no, none at all.

A longtime professor and one-time interim dean of the University of Chicago Law School told The Daily Caller that Barack Obama was never offered tenure, despite the assertions of a New York Times reporter who covers the president and the first family.

“Other faculty members dreamed of tenured positions; [Obama] turned them down,” wrote Times White House Correspondent Jodi Kantor, author of “The Obamas,” in a July 30, 2008 profile of the president’s twelve years as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.

And yet, according to longtime University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein, Obama was never actually offered a tenured faculty position.

“I have no idea where Jodi got her story” about the tenure offer, said Epstein, adding that he immediately wrote Kantor to tell her she was wrong.

Yup it was 50 years go yesterday, that the band began to play.



 
At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Fun Begins"

This ego centric president is just a laugh a minute.

Goes to bed not knowing where one of our Ambassador's is. Needed his rest for his next round of golf. After all when your the "one", there is only so much work you can do in an eight hour work day.
Never mind the lack of job creation during his four years, never mind more Americans on food stamps in our history, never mind his unreforming of welfare reform, got to get a good nights rest in order to be ready to do the peoples work.
He surely is the smartest man in any room.

 
At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watched Rachel on MSNBC tonight. She covered the murder of 4 Americans including our Ambassador in Libya on 9/11. She said the problem wasn't the failed foreign policy's of our President but what Romney said about the murders. Figures.

"In 2004, John Kerry routinely attacked President Bush's handling of Iraq when things weren't going well in the country. And the media dutifully reported on Bush's foreign policy blunders in Iraq. But now, instead of scrutinizing Obama's handling of a foreign policy crisis, the media has decided that the real story in Egypt and Libya is a Mitt Romney gaffe."

My guess is that by weekend DD, JG and the rest of that bunch will have gotten their story lines straight. They will be posting here and on their own blogs how this is all fault of Bush, Romney, Tea Party, GOP, conservatives, whites, Christians, and or the rich. Maybe they will act like it never happened, or American had it coming, kind of how they treat 9/11 already.

 
At 12:24 AM, Anonymous James said...

Hey Anonymouse, I am not a big Obama supporter but there is no way you can spin this Libya incident to compare to Bush letting 9/11 happen on his watch.

 
At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Picard said...

I have every intention to vote for mitt but I think he shouldve kept quiet about the attacks for a little bit.

 
At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am not a big Obama supporter but there is no way you can spin this Libya incident to compare to Bush letting 9/11 happen on his watch."

Never said I was, where did you get that idea? Just pointing out how much of a failure Obama is and to what lengths his supporters will go to deflect his failures. Like your post is trying to do.

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barack Obama Used Troop Deaths To Ding Bush, McCain Support For Iraq In 2008

The Obama campaign hit Mitt Romney for using the “tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya” to “launch a political attack.” On a July 2008 appearance on CNN, then-Senator used the death of U.S. troops in Afghanistan as talking point to ding John McCain and President Bush for their support of the Iraq War.

In case you forgot.

 
At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Left, many of whom are Atheists, never tire of attacking Christians and Jews, and also never tire of defending and supporting muslims.

Since Islam calls for the killing of homosexuals, the oppression of women, and the murder of any Muslim that leaves Islam, all positions that are opposed by the Left, why has the Left joined with Islam to attack their common enemy, AmeriKa?

Anyone?

or will there just be the sound of crickets from the Utopians Tom, JG, and Dave Dubya?

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Most Muslims do not advocate those things. You really are an idiot. This is a post about the Beatles. Stick to the topic, you bigoted nitwit.

Sincerely,

Tom Degan

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "Barack Obama Used Troop Deaths To Ding Bush, McCain Support For Iraq In 2008"
Lambasting Obama for "sympathizing with the attackers" (for a US embassy releasing the standard "we shouldn't offend religious sympathies" post before that same embassy is attacked) while that embassy is still being attacked is the same as saying on July 20, 2008, after nine are killed in Afghanistan on July 13th, that the administration took it's eye off of Afghanistan to commit, incompetently, to the invasion and subsequent occupation, of Iraq are the same how, exactly?
Also, kudos as usual for letting others tell you what to think.

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger Helena Halme said...

I was a little girl in Finland when my father, during a trip abroad to the big city of Stockholm, brought the first Beatles 7 inch record. I think it was in the mid 60's (we were lagging a little behind with releases in those days) and he played it to my sister and me over and over while we sang along to the strange sounding words and vocals.

Great post, although I'm feeling a little old now...

 
At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bigoted? Now posting the truth is bigoted?
Go Beatles, go. Love is all we need. I want to hold your hand.
There, feel better?

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

The Beatles inspired the Grateful Dead and countless other bands to form.

Wow, amazing how some here need to spew so much hate on a post about a band that sang "All You Need Is Love".

Blue Meanies.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Tom, first of all this is an article about the Beatles. As a long term reader and follower of the Rant I would suggest that you begin a policy of deleting any of the off topic postings that seem to pop up so frequently. The majority of these myopic nitwits simply use your bog as a forum for their idiotic, uninformed blabberings.

 
At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave,
What hate?
Just sharing what took place, historical provable as noted.
What about the hate those who murdered our citizens, Is that the hate you are talking about?

Good day sunshine, a great Beatle song

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Charles, about a year ago another reader suggested the same thing. I told him that I am a First Amendment purist, and that I let everything stand. I'm starting to rethink that strategy.

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Yes Dave, just as the 50s rockers like Chuck Berry inspired the Beatles to form. My point is what happened after the respective bands formation. I guess the Dead had an advantage having its own very able chemist !! Maybe if the Beatles had been more of a touring band things might have turned out differently but as things stand the Dead brought more folks on the bus than the Beatles. I will admit however that the Beatles albums from its psychedelic era are quite good and very clever. But as the saying goes..." There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert. " Of course now that must be in the past tense.

 
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At 3:52 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Ellis, to your point about touring, one of the Beatles greatest contributions was in the advancement of studio recordings. They did things in the studio that would have been difficult if not close to impossible to do in a live setting.

And I guess we have to be thankful for what we have as in the last few years as the group began to fall apart, they would go into the studio and work separately rather than together and then leave the editing and mixing of the tapes to someone else.

 
At 5:03 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Ellis,
Still true. There's nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.

Furthur is a fairly good approximation, and Red Rocks is the place to be next week.

Overall I think the Beatles' journey of consciousness and spiritual transformation may have had a wider influence, if not more ahem, koolade, than the Good ol' Grateful Dead. Up to the '70's at least.

The Beatles "Revolver" really got things rolling. BTW, the last time George recorded Taxman on his "Live in Japan" album he sang, "Taxman, Mr. Bush".

Not to mention the cross cultural exchange when the Pranksters' bus was reinterpreted as the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour.

My last GD show had "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds" as the encore.

Now thanks to Furthur and other bands, the bus is still boarding new generations.

They played the entire "Abbey Road" album last year.

All Together Now.

 
At 5:42 PM, Anonymous John said...

Ahh... music, it soothes the soul. I agree with 'dead fans - there is nothing like a dead show. That said, there were many great bands in the '60s. It was an innovative time for music recording and rock concerting. On the recording front, many innovations were pioneered at EMI while the Beatles were recording - not just with the 4 in the band but also among the studio staff.

Going back to the band, there were three guys who were capable of writing excellent songs - and of course Ringo who was a good enough sport to sing some of the ones that didn't turn out so well - and somehow, they would still get a hit.

Those guys were not 1%ers, they were commoners and artists who happened to get rich. They complained about taxes because they hadn't learned to navigate the loopholes that are available to the ultra-wealthy. Apple failed because they did not know how to run a business. The fact is that making music was more important to those guys.

 
At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm surprised Tom it took you this long to figure it out.

your mom told my mom she is sick and tired of you living in her basement waiting for her to kick the bucket so that you will get the house.

- mitch

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Well what the....I thought your mom died back in the fifties, Mitch! Doing the seance thing, are we?

 
At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the wake of the embassy attacks in Cairo and Benghazi that left four people dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, you would think the White House would be on crisis alert. After all, when members of the American Foreign Service come under threat, with one being assassinated– it is comforting to have a commander-in-chief executing his leadership to make sure the situation is under control. Apparently, that isn’t the case in the Obama White House and the national news media don’t seem to mind.

As reported today by Marc A. Thiessen of The Washington Post, “the president was scheduled to hold the intelligence meeting at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, the day after the attacks, but it was canceled so that he could comfort grieving employees at the State Department — as well he should.” However, the president decided to forgo on rescheduling his planned briefing because he needed to “attend a Las Vegas fundraiser for his re-election campaign. One day after a terrorist attack.”

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger D. said...

In 1962 we were still living in Germany, and in the fall of that year I made the acquaintance of Radio Luxembourg (not the BBC, and therefore played pop music. Also not Radio Caroline and therefore probably still broadcasting). Radio Luxembourg at the time did not always identify the music being played or the group making it, so I got to hear something called "Poof!" which to this day (hmmmm. I could Google it) remains a mystery, a minor Carole King hit (8 years before Tapestry) called "It Might As Well Rain Until September," and a song using 4th-interval harmonies and a harmonica. When we moved back Stateside, I never expected to hear "Love Me Do" again.

(I just a few weeks ago mentioned that 50th Beatleversaries were coming up. Thanks for the confirmation!)

 
At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Wavey Gravey said...

"There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert."

I sure miss those days. Our koolaid was so strong we would have been jumping up and down with joy even if Trace Adkins was on stage!

 
At 1:39 PM, Anonymous John said...

Unfortunately for Phish, they have no Robert_Hunters in the band. Without great songwriting, the Dead wouldn't be so great. While I think of Dead jams as a quest for order within chaos (or is it the other way around), most of those explorations spring from the songs...

Few bands have had the songwriting strength of the Beatles. It propelled the band and raised the bar for that time period - those guys influenced everything.

There are still great songs written - but you have to seek them out because quality of art no longer seems to be the competitive approach for the music and radio industry. Maybe it never was, but there was a time when labels invested in developing bands as artists. I think the existence of the Beatles played a roll in this. On the other hand, they were part of the problem - because what the industry seems to like is the 'multimedia sensation' and unfortunately nowadays music is just another element to be reflected in their smoke and mirrors.

 
At 7:10 AM, Blogger Tom Sutpen said...

Uhhhh . . . George Harrison wrote 'Taxman'

 
At 3:28 PM, Blogger kootcoot said...

" Anonymous @11:26AM said...
Tom Degan is the biggest jackass on the planet earth for not understanding that different people can post as anonymous!"


And you are even dumber because Tom probably knows your IP address, where you are coming from in cyberspace and meatspace, what version of what browser you are using, how you've set up your screen resolution and much more, if he is interested.

Then if he is a super geek programming type, he may even be able to determine if you are wearing tighty-whiteys (likely in your case) or boxer shorts!

Taxes in the UK at that time were prohibitive on the rich, but today since Thatcher, RonE Raygunz, two Bu$hes and our very own Stevie Harper, not so much.....an over correction, to say the least. When the rich pay so much less in a percentage of their income, mainly cause they've bought the government to serve them - it is time for the pendulum to reverse to same sane mid-point.

Barbequed Grover Norquist anyone? Will we have to choose between cake or eating the rich?

Tom - I was a freshman in the dorms at UCSB in 63-64, when the Beatles invaded the radiosphere and some guys would run up and down the hall when a Beatle tune came on the radio yelling "Beatle Alert!" It was a magical time and place to be seventeen, especially if you liked surfing and girls.

By the way, UCSB was heavily involved in developing the internet, and no, Al Gore wasn't a classmate. I personally didn't invent the internet either.

 
At 4:48 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Yesterday (October 5) marked the fiftieth anniversary of the day that "Love Me Do" was finally released for public consumption.

Fifty years of the Fabulous Fabs. It doesn't seem remotely possible.

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger Lionel Braithwaite said...

@Sgt. Pepper: You are indeed full of shit.

The Beatles didn't suffer the loss of group cohesion because of money problems caused by the Wilson Administration's tax laws; they suffered the loss of group cohesion because of the stupidity of their supposedly smart manager, Brian Epstein. The Beatles could have paid tax and still be millionaires but Epstein fucked up their royalties by letting EMI pay them a paltry amount as stipulated by their contract-which Epstein NEVER tried to raise despite the Beatles making millions for the company with each hit record. Also, Epstein let Dick James fuck up the handling of Lennon & McCartney's songs so that he owned their portfolio instead of them. Add to this crappy business deals made by Epstein and a whole host of other things, and you can see why the Beatles eventually needed the help of Allen Klein to get the big payouts that they actually deserved but didn't get before. It was all the same old shoddy record company accounting that's bankrupted artists before, and that almost bankrupted the Beatles-NOTHING ELSE THAN THAT.

And, even if the Beatles had to pay a lot of tax, so what? They didn't only make music for money's sake, and they sure as hell didn't like kings that much (at least John Lennon didn't for the last few years of his life living in an apartment in New York.) You just want to bash Tom because like most neocons, you can't deal with the truths of what's being said by Tom, so you have to call him names and blast Obama based on what he's supposedly doing to the wealthy.. Please turn off Faux Noise and get a real perspective on life.

 
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