Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Blowing your mind — Origin myth — Download this song

I liked Aimee Mann's piece in the Times on Sgt. Pepper—appealingly written:

My ignorance extended to the opening song, which I took at face value as a real live introduction of the singer Billy Shears, who, whoever he was, became my favorite, with his dopey baritone, in humble gratitude for his pals — bless them, it all was so innocent, those marmalade skies and winking meter maids (whatever they were). The darkest moments were with the runaway girl — although a throwaway line in “Getting Better” (“I was cruel to my woman, I beat her...”) gave me pause. He beat her? What the heck? But hey — things were getting better all the time, so ... I shrugged and let it go.
And then things took a weird turn: a nightmare cacophony of strings, someone blowing his mind out in a car — what was that? Did he get shot in the head? What were the holes in Albert Hall? Things had gotten creepy and dark, and it lost me. I started skipping that last song.

(I remember being mystified at that line in "A Day in the Life"...and about Billy Shears!) Last night I read the recent New Yorker piece on Paul McCartney, not thinking I'd be too interested ...but it was pretty good, and I got a little choked up reading about how the Beatles formed, etc., a story I've read dozens of times, maybe a tiny bit of new info (a new quote or something) each time round—it's like an origin myth...it is worthy of our continued attention!

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REALIZED: I've been doing a lot of Beatles posts lately—just wanted to alert readers to this incredible artifact on Dizzies Team Member Hua's blog: Gilberto Gil covering "Sgt. Pepper"!

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Blogger Sam said...

Thinking of Pepper, anyone might enjoy the rich story in Geoff Emmerick's (Beatles EMI Engineer) book about working from Revolver through Abbey Road. The details about Pepper are fascinating -- it kind of built itself over the months -- and they all knew it was very special. "Here There & Everywhere"

1:05 AM  

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