Sunday, December 8, 2013
No 9 Dream
"We never got it off on that revolution stuff." David Bowie - all the young dudes
I believe that this is an early Phil Spector work-up. Leslie tells me that it is the anniversary of Lennon's murder today. Still remember where I was when I turned on the radio, heard the news, rainy night in Encinitas, driving on El Camino Real. Not all that far from Borellis, where George liked to eat with Ravi when he was in town. I heard that Ravi loved pastries too.
We were talking about John at coffee a month or so back. I had been doing some thinking and it was my position that he is arguably the most important musical figure since 1960. Someone countered with Dylan and I guess you could safely put your money on that but I still would personally pick Lennon. BTW, Tony offered Prince which I thought was ludicrous but Leslie thought not so far fetched.
Now if we go back to the fifties things get trickier with Elvis and Chuck Berry. So I won't. But it definitely boggles that a band from Liverpool that hones their chops playing eight hours of simple rock and roll a night in Hamburg could evolve into such an elemental force in culture. Revolutionary. With the greatest harmonies of their or any time. I am too inarticulate and woefully unprepared to explain their genius so I won't even try.
It is hard to qualify an artist's greatness, a very subjective proposition. Many talents have made a huge impression in the last fifty years, Elton, Stevie, Hendrix, Michael Jackson, may I offer Jerry? In my mind, no one has had near the impact of John and his band, the Beatles.
My favorite period is With the, Meet the Beatles. The innocent pop songs sung with such perfect beauty and economy. The latin rhythms that Paul and John so artfully entwined. Bossas, things like this boy, my favorite, aka as Ringo's theme.
Forward to Revolver and Rubber Soul, two fingers perfectly placed on the warm emotions of the times.
And then to start getting very high and exploring and having fun on the magical mystery tour, the psychedelic majesty and roadmap of Sgt. Pepper. And to think that there was nary a solo the whole time. Because the band was about music, not individual pyrotechnics. I remember reading a quote once from Paul that George could have pulled off Clapton's legendary Beatles' guitar solos no sweat, it just wasn't their bag.
I am not trying to minimize McCartney's role in all this, in a musical sense his presence over shadowed even John's. Yet John was the cerebral catalyst on the songs that meant the most, at least to me.
I would appreciate your input on the subject, what John meant to you, if anything. Hey, who knows, you may have been more into Mick? In any case, tip a pint to the man first chance you get. Ta.