Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Instamatic Karma", New May Pang Book

I think I'll pre-order this one from Amazon. It's a bunch of pics from the "Lost Weekend", and supposedly includes some great stuff. I don't buy many Beatle books these days, too many to keep up with, but I always like May and enjoyed her other book, "Loving John".

The review I read (check my "Beatle News" link, the Cynthia story) says it includes one photo that "Beatle fans will cherish as if it was the Holy Grail". It's gotta be a shot of when Paul visited John in LA in March, 1974. They actually jammed and you can hear it on a bootleg called "A Toot and a Snore". Google it, if you want the skinny. I've heard it. Paul plays drums and Lennon is cranky. It's not very interesting, hence the "Snore" in the title.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Heather Mills and my Two-Cents

We all knew, even before he married her, that Heather Mills was bad news. Why our Paul didn't know is for him and his biographers to figure out.

To me, it's another interesting chapter in the Dickensian saga of The Beatles. She's another character in the most interesting story in the history of show biz. A villain, yes, but even the villains in this tale are fascinating.

What bugs me personally about the whole Heather story, is that when he pays her off, at least two-cents or so of that money WAS MINE! I hesitate to guess how much money I've put in Paul's pocket. I've bought every Beatles and solo album (some in all formats), and gone to a couple of his concerts. It's gotta be a few bob at least, eh? And that means she's getting a couple of hard earned pennies directly from me! Damn her.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Why the Grammy's Suck

When someone asked me if I saw Ringo on the Grammys the other night, I replied, "I never watch them." I'd never really discussed it before, I just knew in my guy that the Grammys suck, and pretty much always have.

Then I heard Howard Stern on Sirius discussing the show, and he said, paraphrasing here, that the "show" itself is too much of an ecletic mix that it doesn't really please anyone, and that the "winners" over the years tend to be lousy choices in retrospect. I think he got it right.

And then he pointed to the 1985 Album of Year award as an example: The winner was Lionel Richie for Can't Slow Down, which included the hits "All Night Long" and "Hello". Yawn. The competition was Born in the USA, She's So Unusual, Private Dancer, and Purple Rain. I don't have to name the artists. All of those albums are classics, and even though Richie's LP had a lot of success at the time, and numerous hits, if you said the title Can't Slow Down, I personally, would say "Never heard of it."

But this blog is about the Beatles, and sure, they've won a few, but that's just it. A few. And if memory serves me right, Elvis Presley, arguably the greatest recording star of the 20th century, only won once for a gospel album.

The Beatles only won Album of the Year once, for Sgt. Pepper. They were nominated for Help! (which weird cuz the American version was half instrumental/soundtrack stuff), Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour (also weird cuz it was half a 'Greatest Hits' LP), and Abbey Road, which lost to Blood Sweat and Tears' self-titled album. Remember "Spinning Wheel"? Ugh. I won't go into details of who won the other years. You can look it up on Wikipedia and have a chuckle. Oh, and the fact that "The White Album" didn't even nominated goes to show you....the Grammys suck.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Well, Well, Well"

I had some Lennon CDs on shuffle, and heard "Well, Well, Well" from Plastic Ono Band. Then, lo and behold, heard the live version from the Live in New York City disk.

What a great tune, and a precursor to the punk vocal sound of Johnny Rotten. As a punk rocker myself, I remember how back "in the day", a lot of people pointed to John and Yoko as pioneers of the genre. At the time, being both a Lennnon and punk fan, I didn't really see it.

Like all things Beatles (music, fashion, politics), Lennon's devolution to a raw sound came on slowly, so it didn't seem all that outrageous. With "Revolution", "Yer Blues", "I Want You", "Cold Turkey"...."Well, Well, Well" was a natural next step.

And his experiments with "primal scream" therapy seemed like the catalyst, not a desire to invent a new form of rock. Besides, his albums were so damn personal, and my interest in any ex-Beatles project so intense, that, to me, they lived in their own world. Not influenced or affecting other artists.

But I can see it now. "Well, Well, Well" was indeed one of the first "punk" songs, and John must've liked it, too, since he chose it as one of the songs to perform live.

I won't analyze the song. Just give it a fresh listen and see if don't agree.