The Beatles confessions: an anthology

Wayne Alexander

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In January 1964, my 12 year old self was listening to the rock radio station in Boulder Colorado, while I was working on a plastic model car in my bedroom. I was definitely a rock and roll fan at the time - my favorite artists were Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys and Dion and the Belmonts. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" came on the radio. Time stopped. This was DIFFERENT. The complexity of the song, the harmonies, the sound, were just plain better than any other rock and roll I'd heard up to that time. Following that moment, I was a fanatic Beatles fan for the rest of my life. I spent the second half of the 1960s in Los Angeles, where to my junior high school and high school self (and to most teenagers I knew) the Beatles were far and away the best/most important and influential band, though I personally also loved the Yardbirds, the Kinks, the Who, the Rolling Stones, and a bunch of the west coast bands like Buffalo Springfield, the Doors, Love. When a new Beatles record would come out we'd immediately buy it, listen to it, and be amazed. We'd try to understand it philosophically and musically. That was more true of the Beatles than of other bands.

In those years and through college I was in bands myself, playing Yardbirds, Who and other British Invasion stuff mostly, but we couldn't play Beatles songs, they were (at the time) beyond our capability. Though I didn't end up in my adult life as a professional rock musician, I've always been in hobby bands, and I've eventually come to be able to play Beatles songs, in particular the later ones that can be played live, like the stuff from the rooftop concert.
 

tfarny

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I'm at this point kind of flabbergasted at the attention being paid to a way-way overlong 18th documentary about a band that's been broken up for 52 years. I can't name a Beatles song I think is especially profound or amazing and never have really got the whole thing. It feels like I'm missing out, but then I'll hear 8 days a week somewhere and think - yeah, nah, not my style really.
 

drmmrr55

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A member in the doc thread stated that he found a source to watch if for free.
I was going to PM him but would have to look back and see who it was.
I DO want to watch it or at least some of it and my wife does as well.
Also consider the introductory Disney membership offer for a month then cancel.

That's what I did, $7.99 a month, I watched all 3 episodes, then cancelled...it was worth it to me!
 

telemnemonics

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That's what I did, $7.99 a month, I watched all 3 episodes, then cancelled...it was worth it to me!

I can probably do that through my regular cable TV provider (Spectrum) and watch when I have time.
Cheap enough really.
 

telemnemonics

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I mostly agree here - but you could look at it that Paul's 'lack of meaning' was more like a different meaning, aimed at a different audience. And the fact that he was successful with it indicates that the meaning he chose for his solo material resonated with his audience.

And we have to remember that the main driver of the supposedly negative aspect of his solo stuff was rock critics, who got paid to be contrary. Remember that the Beatles themselves were pretty solidly slagged by 'establishment' critics when they burst upon the scene. Here are some examples:

L.A. Times - "With their bizarre shrubbery, the Beatles are obviously a press agent’s dream combo. Not even their mothers would claim that they sing well. But the hirsute thickets they affect make them rememberable, and they project a certain kittenish charm which drives the immature, shall we say, ape."

Boston Globe - "The Beatles are not merely awful; I would consider it sacrilegious to say anything less than that they are god awful. They are so unbelievably horribly, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art that they qualify as crowned heads of anti-music, even as the imposter popes went down in history as “anti-popes.”

Newsweek - "Visually they are a nightmare, tight, dandified Edwardian-Beatnik suits and great pudding bowls of hair. Musically they are a near disaster, guitars and drums slamming out a merciless beat that does away with secondary rhythms, harmony and melody. Their lyrics (punctuated by nutty shouts of “yeah, yeah, yeah”) are a catastrophe, a preposterous farrago of Valentine-card romantic sentiments…."

Chicago Tribune - "The Beatles must be a huge joke, a wacky gag, a gigantic put-on. And if, as the fellow insisted on What’s My Line?, they’re selling 20,000 Beatle wigs a day in New York at $2.98 a shake — then I guess everyone wants to share the joke. And the profits."

Plenty more here. Pretty wild to see just how wrong they all were in retrospect.

- D

Yeah I don't buy your replacing lack of meaning with different meaning.
I did try to at least rent it, ran his tunes through my head all day and combined other comments about how their life changed or whatever when they first head I wanna hold your hand and etc.

I’m coming from the arts, while music is both art and entertainment.
Art has materials AKA media, and music media materials are stuff like melody, harmony, rhythm and dynamics. Those media can create feel, emotion, excitement etc. vocals then if used can tell stories or just add another set of sounds without really telling a story.

Meaning though if stepping back, applies to deeper meaning.
Meaning that’s about the medium or materials, like Fab Four harmony, or a painters mastery of photorealism, that’s not the meaning I’m referring to.
If it is, then all art has meaning by nature of meaning to be art.

Why does any art need the deeper meaning thing?
Why require art/ music to convey anything more than well crafted creative application of the media?
Art/ music, are not required to have meaning beyond the media.
(I’m not talking about soul or feeling, meaning is not that)

But some does have meaning beyond and larger than the skillful creative use of the media.
Very little of McCartneys art has that third component.
Which is fine because it has skill and creativity aplenty.

But that’s still about the skill and the creativity, not about a larger meaning.
The fact that lots of us consume music that is just about the skills and the creativity, or sometimes even only one of those two, doesn’t really matter here.

I like a fair amount of music that’s not what most of us understand as having larger meaning or whatever we call that.
My bringing this up over and over WRT Beatles music is that they followed a growing movement for carrying social messages and deeper meanings in music.
But they chose to not be about that.
Again, that’s fine and probably commercially far superior!

But to suggest McCartney made mastery of his media into the deeper meaning that some art has? Why even bother to say that when already we know many loved his product?
Sometimes decorative art and music entertainment is all you need.
Other times or for other consumers, deeper meaning is desired, so they move down the buffet line.
Similarly many DON’T want to grapple with deeper meaning when consuming entertainment. And hell, tons of meaningless art is sold and displayed.
Raves or industrial music is consumed too, and is as stripped down as possible.
 

superjam144

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I can probably do that through my regular cable TV provider (Spectrum) and watch when I have time.
Cheap enough really.

I'll pm you the link. Make sure the popup blocker is on. I know there's a few popup ads I didn't see them but chrome notified me they were blocked.

Hahaha. I have to hand it to you sir. 20 posts in, and now you are ready to watch it?? That's actually really hilarious in a way.

Look forward to your feedback. It's really kind of neat. :)
 

telemnemonics

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I'll pm you the link. Make sure the popup blocker is on. I know there's a few popup ads I didn't see them but chrome notified me they were blocked.

Hahaha. I have to hand it to you sir. 20 posts in, and now you are ready to watch it?? That's actually really hilarious in a way.

Look forward to your feedback. It's really kind of neat. :)

Oh cool thanks!

Otherwise, I often can’t tell how I come across on the internet?

I’m NOT the sort that only says nice things about things I like.
I did and do like the Beatles but got really tired of them.
In discussion, none of them will be hurt so I say what I think.
The current adoration is, interesting...

If a member posted their music I would not criticize it for lacking deeper meaning!
Truth is, most of my own music lacks deeper meaning.
I consider music for my own purposes to be a collaborative art.
Over the years I’ve worked with a bunch of musicians and enjoyed it but don’t have a lot to show for it.
Deeper meaning was a component I hoped to find in a band mate.
One that had it in spades didn’t fit as a band mate for other creative reasons.

Again, that’s OK!
 
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Old Plank

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A member in the doc thread stated that he found a source to watch if for free.
I was going to PM him but would have to look back and see who it was.
I DO want to watch it or at least some of it and my wife does as well.
Also consider the introductory Disney membership offer for a month then cancel.

Thanks for pointing out the potential link; I will probably do the month Disney+ thing, and I've needed to get a Roku anyway. Might as well see it while it's all the buzz.
 

Old Plank

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My SIL’s dad (my age), growing up in Mexico, told me he learned English from listening and then playing guitar with Beatles albums when he was quite young.

That's pretty cool to hear. I'd bet lots of youngsters around the world did likewise, needing to know what those fab moptops were singing about!
 

trev333

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Magical Mystery Tour musings..

as a kid, I saw a story in the local Go Set newspaper style music paper, the music bible of the time, about a new beatles movie.
It was being shown only once at a theatre in the city on a Saturday morning. I begged my folks to let me go in and see it. They relented on the condition I took my younger brother with me. Cool....

Off we went on our big solo mission into town on the bus to the SGIO theatre, normally used for plays and the more arty performances, it wasn't the regular movie theatres down on the main streets.

The foyer was full of hippies.:lol:. all these older long haired guys in all kinds of clothes smoking cigarettes and stuff... ( the people I ended up becoming, in a way)

I was in gr7/8? I think, my bro 3 yrs younger....the only kids there..

We went in and found some seats and settled in. before the movie, a real rock band "Micheal Turner in Session" played a set.... that was unexpected and frikken awesome to see a live band in that setting....

Then we watched the movie, probably the craziest movie story we had seen, plus all the music, etc.... but we went along for the ride and really enjoyed it...

Of course, I had the EP booklet that was released, still have it here..

I was the only person, apart from my bro, that I knew who had seen the movie.. as it was never shown again for decades until shown on TV...

the Beatles.. you had to be there....:twisted::D
 

Skully

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Magical Mystery Tour musings..

as a kid, I saw a story in the local Go Set newspaper style music paper, the music bible of the time, about a new beatles movie.
It was being shown only once at a theatre in the city on a Saturday morning. I begged my folks to let me go in and see it. They relented on the condition I took my younger brother with me. Cool....

Off we went on our big solo mission into town on the bus to the SGIO theatre, normally used for plays and the more arty performances, it wasn't the regular movie theatres down on the main streets.

The foyer was full of hippies.:lol:. all these older long haired guys in all kinds of clothes smoking cigarettes and stuff... ( the people I ended up becoming, in a way)

I was in gr7/8? I think, my bro 3 yrs younger....the only kids there..

We went in and found some seats and settled in. before the movie, a real rock band "Micheal Turner in Session" played a set.... that was unexpected and frikken awesome to see a live band in that setting....

Then we watched the movie, probably the craziest movie story we had seen, plus all the music, etc.... but we went along for the ride and really enjoyed it...

Of course, I had the EP booklet that was released, still have it here..

I was the only person, apart from my bro, that I knew who had seen the movie.. as it was never shown again for decades until shown on TV...

the Beatles.. you had to be there....:twisted::D

I saw "Magical Mystery Tour" on the bottom of a double bill with something in probably the late '70s. Maybe it was 1978's "FM." I hated it then, and I still don't like it now. The music is great, but it's not anything close to a good movie. It actually world premiered on British TV in black & white on Boxing Day, 1967.
 

drmmrr55

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I saw "Magical Mystery Tour" on the bottom of a double bill with something in probably the late '70s. Maybe it was 1978's "FM." I hated it then, and I still don't like it now. The music is great, but it's not anything close to a good movie. It actually world premiered on British TV in black & white on Boxing Day, 1967.

I agree, it's a terrible movie as a whole, but there are a few good scenes in it. My favorite scene was John Lennon shoveling the spaghetti on the fat woman's plate with a snow shovel...classic!
 

trev333

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more like a series of vignettes strung together somehow....

the world was pretty straight back then... it was good to see artists do crazy stuff they felt like doing and make it up along the way... should be more of it....

I don't think it mattered to them how it was received... maybe they didn't really do it with us in mind....:lol:
 

Obsessed

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Magical Mystery Tour musings..

as a kid, I saw a story in the local Go Set newspaper style music paper, the music bible of the time, about a new beatles movie.
It was being shown only once at a theatre in the city on a Saturday morning. I begged my folks to let me go in and see it. They relented on the condition I took my younger brother with me. Cool....

Off we went on our big solo mission into town on the bus to the SGIO theatre, normally used for plays and the more arty performances, it wasn't the regular movie theatres down on the main streets.

The foyer was full of hippies.:lol:. all these older long haired guys in all kinds of clothes smoking cigarettes and stuff... ( the people I ended up becoming, in a way)

I was in gr7/8? I think, my bro 3 yrs younger....the only kids there..

We went in and found some seats and settled in. before the movie, a real rock band "Micheal Turner in Session" played a set.... that was unexpected and frikken awesome to see a live band in that setting....

Then we watched the movie, probably the craziest movie story we had seen, plus all the music, etc.... but we went along for the ride and really enjoyed it...

Of course, I had the EP booklet that was released, still have it here..

I was the only person, apart from my bro, that I knew who had seen the movie.. as it was never shown again for decades until shown on TV...

the Beatles.. you had to be there....:twisted::D
An epic experience for you. I had no idea how little you guys got to see back then. Thank you so much for adding more value to this thread.

These are such great moments being shared, that it goes way beyond my expectations. I hope others here enjoy these as much as I do. As this anthology becomes a classic in it’s own right. A moment in time where we can all share our experiences about one band … from around the world. Amazing.
 

P Thought

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We had no teevee at the time, so the whole Sullivan Show thing was a strange mystery to me, with my sixth-grade classmates all worked up over it. Our house was pretty isolated, not much traffic with friends coming over and sharing records, and records came by mail through Record Club of America, with my music budget dedicated pretty much to Tijuana Brass albums. My knowledge of Beatles lore came mainly from Newsweek, which I read cover to cover every week.

My dad was principal at Anderson Valley Elementary School, and the woman who taught special-ed there commuted every week from Oakland. We visited her and her husband there once, and were introduced to two things that changed me musically: their dinner guest owned a printing house that did the posters for Bill Graham's concerts in the Bay Area, and he gave me and my sister a tour of the plant, we came away with a stack of posters each; and at the dinner we all listened to the newly-released album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I think that was the first time I actually listened to a Beatles record.

That next year, my sophomore year, we moved to Colfax, a place downright urban by comparison, and while again our house was remote, in suburban Gold Run with placer-ditch water by the miner's inch, music tastes were much more sophisticated at my new high school. I read in Newsweek about the White Album's imminent release, and pre-ordered a copy at Colfax Drug Store. I'm pretty sure I had the first copy of that record in Colfax, and boy did my room look cool when I put all those pictures and posters on the wall!

Summer after my junior year I took a summer-school social studies class, with an idea of graduating early. Mr. Brown assigned us to write a paper about someone who had influenced the course of history. I chose the Beatles. Mr. Brown made me choose someone else, said musicians didn't count as history, and the Beatles were just another band. He was a great guy, but boy. . . .

After college and a year working in Walnut Creek, I (young me) moved here to Plundertown with my young wife, who packed up and moved back to California before very long. One night I was out drinking away my troubles at the Pony Village Lodge, watching Monday Night Football, and Howard Cosell announced that John Lennon had been shot and killed.

I know it was partly the hangover from the night before, but all that next day at work I kept breaking into tears. The senselessness of it.

That's my Beatles story. I liked them then, and I like them now, though I never went all in for them. But I still believe Mr. Brown was wrong, wrong, wrong. Yeah, yeah, yeah. . . .
 
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Old Plank

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Thanks for pointing out the potential link; I will probably do the month Disney+ thing, and I've needed to get a Roku anyway. Might as well see it while it's all the buzz.

Literally minutes after I posted that last night, a buddy who lives down the road texted and said that he and his wife were headed to CO today and to feel free to go over while they're gone to watch Get Back (which he termed 'amazing') Cool! I credit my unexpected good fortune to having just read every post in this thread before he texted.
 

beyer160

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The Beatles broke up the year before I was born.

Growing up in early '80s New England, they were just part of the social fabric- it was simply an accepted fact that the Beatles were the greatest band ever. I remember reading a mystery story in middle school, where the hero tricked the bad guy into a confession with a tape recording he later admitted was "just an old Beatles tape". I remember thinking it was sad that the author of the story was trying to seem "hip" by name dropping the Fab Four.

The Beatles was "safe" music your parents and teachers liked, Zeppelin, the Stones and the Who was music coming out of the cars in the back of the school parking lot where the stoners hung out. I gravitated towards the latter. When I wanted to listen to '60s British pop-rock, I listened to the Kinks and the Who. Then I discovered punk/indie/college "underground" music and the Beatles seemed too tame for my tastes.

A few years later a friend got the entire Beatles catalog on CD for Christmas, and one weekend I borrowed it and listened to it all, top to bottom. It blew me away. I didn't become an obsessive superfan, but I suddenly realized what all the fuss was about. Today I recognize the historical importance of the Beatles, how pioneering they were and how great a band they were. I don't often play their music, and when I do it's usually Revolver or the White Album.

I'm not going to watch Get Back. If it was two hours I probably would, but even as a studio rat and history nut, dedicating six hour to watching TV just doesn't sound like fun.

If it was about Who's Next or Exile On Main Street though, I definitely would.
 

telemnemonics

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more like a series of vignettes strung together somehow....

the world was pretty straight back then... it was good to see artists do crazy stuff they felt like doing and make it up along the way... should be more of it....

I don't think it mattered to them how it was received... maybe they didn't really do it with us in mind....:lol:

Your comment that "the world was pretty straight back then" is useful, in terms of for me at least reminding me of why I missed the claimed even where society all at once decided this one band was the most important.

Literally from infancy I had a drunken Dad I really never saw who was a very successful always working mural painter, and my Mother was an artists model who lugged me in a bucket to artists studios where she modeled for a living.
In '63 she divorced my old man and moved us to an artists community in Maine where she had been a model at the small art school and for local artists.
So as soon as I began to see humanity, it was in the art world.
I saw Hard Days Night in the theater (or I suppose it could have been Help?), and was confused about why we would want to watch those fellows roll around and laugh etc, maybe because my sense of people was the struggle for some higher purpose, which was what art seemed to me to be about. It was a big promoted movie though, so we went.
Yeah a bit young to think that sort of stuff as a four (or five) year old, but four year olds get stimulated by toys and sand boxes and other four year olds, which I was not presented with.

But I wonder if the "pretty straight" general public was who was so excited over this new band when they hit?
Like kids in straight homes who had little connection to "the other people" AKA hippies and social activists or artists, maybe those mostly straight Americans were the group that was just bowled over by these boys who were well dressed and polite but at the same time really cool?
Maybe the community I was in was not as impressed because it was not straight, and not lacking in creative examples/ outlets/ inspiration? For that matter, an artists community was not inclined to watch TV at night to relax after work.
Artists more likely if not making a living on art, had a day job then went into the studio at night.
(and threw wild parties, sometimes with live music)
Just a different culture from much of mainstream America where Dad earned money, Mom cooked and cleaned, then everyone sat down to TV after dinner. Actually IDK if that's what the mainstream American family did? Some seemed to.

So anyhow, while I did NOT see in the Maine artists/ tourism/ youth community, shift into notable singular excitement over the new band in that movie, or see that band dominate local music tastes from '64-68:
When the Beatles were breaking up, I did see a notable portion of the local community responding as if it was a big deal.

The stirring in my local community when the band seemed headed to breaking up, or had broken up and maybe people were in denial hoping they would get back together?
As a ten year old it made perfect sense that a band with three lead singer/ front man/ music writer/ lyric writer members, NEEDED to break up. It was kind of unnatural and unusual to have three front men band leaders in one band?
(I'd guess they didn't plan to have three front men or even know what they were capable of when they first got started?)

I didn't yet know that Ringo was going to become- or get propped up- as a band leader front man singer songwriter too.
But it seemed more odd that they stayed together that long with three bands worth of singer songwriter leaders.

Decades later we got supergroups now and then, when several big names joined forces, but the Beatles were an accidental supergroup.

Plus they were the strongest biggest new vessel for promoters, producers, engineers, and gear tech companies; to bank on as several technologies changing in the mid '60s, including the science of marketing; needed models to promote and show their industry leadership with.
 




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