Sunday, August 28, 2005

Concert for Bangla Desh DVD

The Concert for Bangla Desh will be released on DVD in late October. The DVD will include a making-of documentary, some rehearsal footage and a Dylan song from the show not in the original film.

Although it was a big deal at the time, and I do enjoy it, I was never crazy about the movie. Like Let It Be and Magical Mystery Tour, the photography is lousy. Almost like a home movie. And I don't like the way George looks at the time with his billy-goat beard. There's also too much Ravi Shankar stuff and it's really a shame that he couldn't get John or Paul to join in. Having Ringo there was super, but George and Ringo are the two weakest links in the Beatles and Paul and/or John would've made the concert a major milestone instead of an interesting get-together.

Dylan's performance is nice but Leon Russell really steals the show.

Like the film, I was never crazy about the album. It was a huge success and (I think) won the Grammy for Best Album. But there's too much Ravi Shankar and Dylan on it. They really dominate the record. I'm a fan of both of them, but George should've had a few more numbers and Ringo only did "It Don't Come Easy" which is too bad. He should've done "Honey Don't" or some other old Beatles tune.

I'll review the DVD when it comes out. Stay tuned.

Close encounter with Dhani

My friend "Cowboy" ran into Dhani Harrison at a Dick Dale concert in Portland a few days ago. He approached him and they had a chat. He said Dhani was very friendly and looks exactly like George did back in 1964. He was even wearing a black turtleneck, tight pants and pointy shoes.

Cowboy found out this during their brief chat:

Dhani's fav George song is "Crackerbox Palace" because he recalls when George was writing it and would hum it in the garden. A pleasant time for him apparently.

Dhani is involved in releasing elephants into the wild and was at a protest at the Portland Zoo (Portland is known for it's elephants. When I was a kid "Packy" the elephant was the first baby elephant born in an American zoo and caused some Packy-mania for a while).

Dhani has family on the West Coast (from his mum's side, I assume) and was in Seattle before visiting Portland. He complained about the traffic in Seattle. "As bad as London."

Dhani liked Portland and the way the town is "..laid out." I think he's right there. Portland is broken into four easy to navigate pieces with downdown in the middle.

Dhani agreed with Cowboy's opinion that George was the sexiest Beatle ("The women always fancied my dad.")

Sunday, August 07, 2005

She's Leaving Home

One of the best songs from "Pepper". I especially like the triple use of the word "bye/buy/by". Very clever, a throw back to the double meaning of "please" in "Please, Please Me".

The arrangement holds up, and the vocals with Lennon answering McCartney is a super example of the strength of the partnership. The lyrics conjure up images more like a short-story than a song: the note, clutching her handkerchief, backdoor key, man from the motor trade....I could go on. The words are amazing, maybe the best lyrics of any Beatles song and proves that two lads with a basic education could write with the best of 'em.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Summer means "Revolver". Sure, "Pepper" ushered in the Summer of Love, but "Revolver" was the transition album, and the boys still looked like the Beatles, while the sound was becoming psychedelic. It must have been a hot summer in Portland that year, because I always associate the lp with a hot day. It was also the summer I saw the Beatles live in Seattle ("Revolver" had just come out, but they played their usual set of older songs. They did do "Rain", which I recall being the only new song that day). Recently it was voted the best album of all time by some poll, and although I don't agree, it is one of my fav Beatle albums.

The American version (which I had for years before I discovered the British imports) is interesting in that the songs they dropped for filler on "Yesterday...and Today" were all John songs. Which left him with only two tunes on the US version (Tomorrow Never Knows and She Said She Said). George has three songs on Revolver, all left on the Capitol lp. I don't recall it being a big deal at the time. The Beatles were still a group, and it wasn't until later (probably the White Album) that it became apparent that we were hearing a John song, or a Paul song, etc.

It's too bad George lost his momentum with "Pepper", getting only one tune. "It's All Too Much" was recorded for "Pepper", but didn't make it on vinyl until the throw-away Yellow Submarine album. In the "Anthology" book, I think George talks about "Pepper" as not being a great experience for him.

Speaking of Yellow Submarine, it's probably the main reason I don't consider "Revolver" as good as White Album, Abbey Road, or Hard Day's Night. I never liked the song and consider it one of the worst Beatle tunes ever.

I haven't researched it, but Yellow Submarine has got to be on more Beatle albums than any other song: Revolver, A Collection of Beatle Oldies, 1962-1966, Yellow Submarine, Real Love CD Single, 1, Yellow Submarine Songtrack...not to mention that one of their movies is based on it.

For such a lame song, it's everywhere!