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"!