Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Things We Said Today

Whenever I hear 'Things We Said Today', I'm surprised how 'advanced' it sounds.

Imagine that it wasn't on A Hard Day's Night. It's more like a Rubber Soul tune. And I'll stick my neck out even further. What if it was on 'The White Album' instead of 'I Will'? I think it would work.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Alias Smith and Jones

Got 'Alias Smith and Jones' Seasons 2 & 3 on DVD the other day. Season 1 came out years ago and I've been wating for the rest of them. I just loved that show.

As I'm watching and perusing the DVD notes, I see there's an episode titled 'Something to Get Hung About', obviously a pun on the 'Strawberry Fields Forever' line: and nothing to get hung about.

Pretty cool reference for a Western TV show. The episode was broadcast in October 1971, so the song was about three years old by then.

The script is by John Thomas James which is a pseudonym for Roy Huggins who wrote/created 'The Rockford Files' and some other shows. Huggins wrote pretty much every episode of 'Smith and Jones'. Not sure if it was his idea to use a Beatles' lyric for a title, but considering the lighthearted tone of many of his shows, I would guess that it was.

'Smith and Jones' was a big hit in England. I bet the British fans really dug the title.

It was a super show. Even if it was a blatant rip-off of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. And it still bums me out that the star, Pete Duel, killed himself during the second season. I remember it was early in the day on New Year's Eve 1971 when I heard the news. That night, I attended a dinner at my church and someone has written on a chalk board 'Pray for Pete Duel'.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Harry Chapin vs. Lennon-McCartney

I always hated that Harry Chapin song 'Cat's in the Cradle'. You know the one about the dad who's too busy to spend time with his kid.

And the reason I hate it is because it's a one-note 'in your face' Hallmark card. Everything is spelled out for you. It's like a damn movie script complete with dialog. No room for interpretation.

Compare it to the Beatles' 'She Leaving Home'. Same parent/child alienation theme. But in the Beatles' song, it's all very obscure and unfolds like a great poem or short story. Taking the lyrics literally, she's leaving home because she didn't have 'fun', but we know it's much deeper than that.

The Beatles' always had that kind of sophistication, even in a song like 'All You Need is Love', which on the surface appears to be nothing more than a flower-power anthem. But dig down into the lyrics in the verses and there's a lot of word-play and complex ideas. And the wacky time signature doesn't hurt either in terms of it being more high-brow than a Harry Chapin-type tune.