Julian Lennon: a right and fitting keeper of Beatles treasures

14 11 2011

At the risk of making this yet another “Yoko Ono is the manipulating dragon lady that broke up the Beatles” kind of statement, I will say that she should be ashamed of herself for the way in which she dealt with Julian and his rights to a portion of his own father’s Estate.  Sadly, John probably loved his second wife miles more than his own flesh and blood, and it shows in what little provisions were made for him growing up.  To Julian’s credit, he’s used his own money (earned and with the “settlement” he got from Mrs. Ono-Lennon) to buy back a bunch of his dad’s stuff.  Some of the great pieces he’s gathered over the years are now on loan from Julian for display.  Good on him.



Gaga on the Imagine Steinway

18 07 2010

I’m a few days late in picking up on this story, but better late than never, I s’pose.

Lady Gaga, while a guest of Yoko Ono, hammered away on the white Steinway piano made famous in the “Imagine” promo film.  Beatles fans, apparently, are crying foul.

What’s the fuss?  Does it shock you that Yoko Ono would enjoy an “artist” like Lady Gaga?  It’s just a piano anyway.  It’s not as if she’s defecating on it.  She’s playing it dressed as she normally is.

29 years ago today

8 12 2009

John Lennon was murdered.

“John Lennon: the New York Years” exhibit

11 05 2009

On Tuesday May 12, 2009 (tomorrow) an exhibit of rare John Lennon personal effects entitled “John Lennon: the New York Years,” opens in Soho, at the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame Annex.

The exhibit is full of personal (and controversial) itemsBesides Lennon’s guitars, letters and other personal effects, it also includes a paper bag containing the bloody clothes from the night he was shot to death.


The Lennon items are part of a new exhibit. . . includes Lennon’s famous New York City T-shirt, his upright piano from his Dakota apartment, and a posthumous 1981 Grammy Award for the couple’s album “Double Fantasy.”

John Lennon Exhibit

Looks like a pretty nice exhibit.  I’ve been quite critical of John lately, the bed-ins, the lyrics to Imagine, which I find childish and, in spots, horrifying.  But I think he was an amazing person and musician, despite his flaws. (We’re all flawed, right?)  I wish I could see these items while they are on display, even the bloody clothes.

I’ve had it up to here with…

17 04 2009

I try to stay positive on this blog, but tonight I feel like ranting.  This is a list of things in/around popular music that I can no longer tolerate.  I’d like these things or people to vanish from sight for just awhile.

John & Yoko’s wedding and bed-ins — I’m about as big of a Beatles fan as you’ll meet, but I’m sick to death of all this stuff celebrating the 40th anniversary of John & Yoko’s marriage and their bed-ins for peace.  The bed-ins were a funny idea, but the fact that we’re talking about them 40 years later baffles me.  These weren’t marches like civil rights supporters held in the south in the 50’s and 60’s.  The marches actually changed things.  The bed-ins were a gimmick that attracted a lot of media attention for a positive subject (world peace is a good goal, I agree) but, in the end, accomplished nothing.  I’m frankly sick to death of seeing those old photos of John and Yoko laying in bed together.  I saw Imagine: John Lennon when it came out in theaters 20 years ago.  It had all one would ever need to know about their wedding in Gibraltar and the bed-ins.  Let’s move on, ok?

Phil Spector’s reputation as a genius — I can’t say all about this subject that I would like to, at least not in this post.  Suffice it to say that I think his “wall of sound” sucked on albums like George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass.  Spector ruined that brilliant album.  McCartney was wise to “de-Spectorize” Let it Be a few years back.  He sees (hears) what many others are unwilling to recognize: that Spector could be a hack and he overproduced stuff.  More about this some other time perhaps.

Beatles Rock Band video game — I’m not going to blast Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia for allowing this video game to come out.  It will introduce younger kids to the Beatles just as I was introduced to them the better part of a decade after they split.  That said, I’m sick to death of reading and hearing about it.  Instead of playing video games, kiddies, get a damned bass or guitar and learn to play music yourselves!  Parents can get starter guitars, with amps, cords, the whole bit, for $200.  XBox or wii or whatever systems kids play on these days (I sound old, don’t I?) cost as much or more than that.  Make your own music.  Stop living in the fantasy world of playing someone else’s music on a computer.   Either that or stop telling me that Rock Band comes out in September.  Stop posting ab0ut it.  I’ve read it at least 100 times already.  I get it.

Disney actors cutting albums — I fully support a lot of what Disney does.  But I’m disgusted that they keep pumping out CDs by child actors that can’t sing a lick.  That Emily Osment has her own album is proof positive that the music business these days is just plain awful.  It’s a joke.  I like Disney’s TV shows for kids, but how about we get kids listening to good music instead of garbage like the Jonas Brothers.  To balance out the sonic assault on my daughter’s ears that she gets from Disney channel and Radio Disney, I play the Beatles, Oasis, Marvin Gaye, Hank Williams, Sr., Paul McCartney, Sinead O’Connor, and other artists that actually have (or had) lots of talent.  She knows what a good singer should sound like and she knows that the crap Disney is trying to sell her isn’t good.

Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — I was recently happy to learn that George Harrison was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Besides being a Beatle and a pretty darned good solo artist, George was into film and his company, Handmade Films, put out some pretty cool stuff in the 80’s.  My happiness for one of my favorites being honored was diminished when I learned that guys like John Stamos also have stars on the walk.  John Stamos?  Really?  C’mon.   It seems anyone that’s ever been on a bad sitcom gets a star on the walk.  It’s the equivalent of every kid in little league soccer getting a trophy.  Ugh.

Coldplay — I’m not going to attack them.  They seem to be a pretty decent band.  They’re not my cup of tea but, hey, I think I have an idea why others like them.  My beef, though, is that it has been put ’round that Coldplay are the “Beatles of their generation.”  I hate declarations like that!  Coldplay might be one of the most popular bands around these days, and for the last several years, but this generation has no Beatles.  Since the height of Beatlemania, there has been nothing even close to the Beatles.  Michael Jackson in 1983-85, U2 in the late 80’s and again in the early 90’s, and Oasis (mostly in Britain) in 1994-97 came about as close as anyone ever will, but were still light years behind the overall popularity and madness surrounding the Beatles from 1964-66.  The world will never see a band as popular and influential as the Beatles.  Never!  So the comparison is ludicrous.  Can’t we call Coldplay the “U2 of their generation” or the “Michael Jackson of their generation”? Those labels work better.

I think I have more rants in me, but I’ve run out of steam.

The video is gone, but you can listen to “Revolution 1” Take 20 here

25 02 2009

Ahh, the internet.  Try as they might, the mighty corporate giants of the world can’t keep stuff off the internet once it finds its way onto it.

EMI had youtube pull the “Revolution 1” leak, but other websites have very good quality audio versions.  Here’s one.  Listen and enjoy.



Beatles “Revolution 1” take 20 a hoax?

24 02 2009

It’s all over the ‘net.  Previously unreleased “Revolution 1” Take 20 is creating quite a stir.  I’ve read numerous blogs and articles about it and am surprised at how few people recognize what it is.

This first part is nothing more than the version of “Revolution 1” that found its way onto the White Album sans the electric guitar licks.  There’s additional studio chatter in the beginning of the song.

What is unique about is how “Revolution 1” bleeds into “Revolution 9.”  Surprisingly, a lot of fans (casual observers, perhaps) don’t recognize that the loops are lifted straight from “Revolution 9.”  There’s nothing new in the loops as far as I can tell.

The world awaits confirmation as to the authenticity of this take.  My belief, and I could be wrong, is that this is nothing more than a mash-up done by an audio-savvy fan.  There are a lot of great song mash-ups out there, and this sounds like one of them.

One of the reasons I believe this is not the take in the form in which it was recorded or mixed by the band is that Beatles fans have dig up damn near everything the Beatles done in the studio.  So many bootlegs of their session work exist and have existed for decades.  How is it that this missing take 20 mix stayed hidden for 41 years?  I think this would have found its way onto the Anthology series had it been an authentic Beatles mix.

We’ll see what the surviving Beatles have to say about it, hopefully in the next few days.