Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Life in the key of fab
I am not exactly sure what predicated the conversation but my wife let me know that the blog might be getting a little too personal the other day. "What are you going, Howard Stern on us" she asked? As I said, I'm not sure what she was referring too specifically but perhaps I have been oversharing a tad.
Will try to keep things as superficial as possible for the foreseeable future.
We went out to Sake House Yumiya in Encinitas with some friends from out of town last night. Excellent and unusual meal as usual. Who knew that deep friend octopus balls (takoyaki) could be so large?
On the way home for some reason every station we turned on was playing Beatles music. I started feeling scared for Paul and Ringo, hoping they were okay and I wasn't listening to a tribute of some kind. They were.
Anyhow we were listening to Crackerbox Palace by George Harrison and I confided to Leslie that as a kid who was there for the British invasion, George was always my Beatle. I think everyone had a favorite Beatle. And I asked her who hers was? Somewhat sheepishly she admitted it was Paul. editors note: The cute one. She confided that some of John's stuff was hard to relate too when she was young. The John and Yoko stuff.
We started talking about some of the great songs Paul wrote, including Baby I'm amazed and the stuff on the early albums. I think Paul was definitely the musical genius of the band and maybe of our time. Just incredible when you think about it. Yes he did give us the sappy stuff too but he authored so many classics that the when I'm sixty four's can be forgiven.
Ringo was consistently the most popular Beatle during the early Tiger Beat polls. George was always my guy but I think John was the resident visionary and lyrically the most interesting. I believe that the fab four's imprint dwarfs everything else in the last 100 years, including Presley, Sinatra and anybody else you care to mention.
I miss John and George. One of the sucky things about getting older is seeing your heroes die.
We have a routine in our marriage. I am not really allowed to cook, have no culinary proficiency in any case so I set the table and do dishes. Leslie cooks. In the morning she re does the pots and pans which she says I left greasy. One of us puts suitable music on prior to our meal. Tonight it was me.
I put Marvin Gaye's greatest hits on and asked her a question that I also ask you. Not to go all Robert Hilburn on you but rank the following soul singers; Al Green, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding. Maybe it was unfair that we were listening to Marvin but she ranked him first, then Al, then Otis. I turned the tables on her and I put Marvin first, Bill Withers second, Otis third, then Al, throwing in a new contender.
I think that Marvin had the best voice, although all of these guys are just incredible, Otis had the best band, Al had the most funk. Al was rude to my friend Vlad Smythe once when he was filming his concert and maybe I let that color my views on the subject. I saw Ray Charles be such a prick to his guitar player once that I had a real hard time listening to him for years. Same with some of the nasty stories I have heard about Van Morrison. Artists, not saints I guess.
Some days I still put Otis at the top. People who saw him say his power on stage was unequalled. Bill Withers was the normal, humble guy, the dulcet voiced crooner who never left his straight job and stopped performing when he wanted to and had had enough. All of these singers were so brilliant. We were lucky, those of us who grew up in the sixties and seventies to hear such fine music.