Monday, August 11, 2008

Cranberry Sauce

There have been rumors that Yer Blogger is dead. People have noted that if you read my blogs backwards, there are clues that I died in a freak blogging incident. I'm here to deny this rumor. Believe me, if I were dead, I'd be the first to blog about it.

The truth is that there was a death in the family - my printer passed away about a month ago (in a freak blogging incident). However, I have gone through the grieving process (after a period of denial), I have moved on and replaced my printer with a brand new (well, old, and refurbished) printer. And now, dear readers, Yer Blogger is back!

Instead of my usual long-winded, insanely detailed musings of all things Fab, I will cover a few subjects briefly in this special edition of Yer Blog. But don't worry, Beaddle Peedles, expect my usual mad ramblings to return in future blogs.

First of all, as I started to write this blog, I had the Howard Stern Sirius satellite radio show on in the background. In case you are not a fan of Howard, one thing is obvious while listening to the show : Howard is a huge fan of the Fabs. Sometime last year there was even a special called "Howard Meets The Beatles" which featured vintage Cynthia, Julian, and Sean Lennon appearances; guests playing Beatles covers; and interviews with Ringo and Paul (The 2001 Macca interview is legendary- Among other things, Howard says Paul is crazy not to sign a pre-nup with Heather Mills). His movie, "Private Parts", even had three Fab references in it. There seems to be a passing Beatles reference in almost every show, and today was no exception. Howard, back from vacation, started commenting on the cretin who shot John Lennon, and how he gets to spent 44 uninterrupted hours with his wife every year in a private setting. Stern expressed his outrage that the jerk who took John away from us gets to have this privilege. Robin Quivers chirped in saying that Sean Lennon would like to spend 44 uninterrupted hours with his father. Nice to hear someone honoring John regularly.

Speaking of Sirius, while Howard was on vacation, I got to spend time listening to my other favorite channel - Little Steven's Underground Garage. It's like listening to the world's coolest iPod-a mix of the hippest music from the last 50-plus years. The music ranges from Howling Wolf and The Coasters to The Yardbirds and The Ramones to newer bands like The Ravonettes and The Oholics. Not to mention long-forgotten singles by Barbara Feldon and Twiggy (!)

You can tell that the shows are programmed by music fanatics. You are just as likely to hear deeper Kinks tracks like Milk Cow Blues and Come On Now as You Really Got Me. Obscure Who tracks like The Good's Gone and Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde get airtime, while I've yet to hear any "CSI" themes. It's interesting to note that a station started by E Streeter Steven Van Zant features tracks focusing on contributions by economy-classed band members like Dave Davies and John Entwistle.

What has this got to do with a Beatles blog ? Well, for starters, here's a partial list of Fab songs I've heard on The Underground Garage lately: Devil In Her Heart, All I've Got To Do, Help!, Matchbox, Baby You're A Rich Man, Misery, You Won't See Me, Act Naturally, I Need You, Helter Skelter, Oh Darling, and She Said She Said, as well as the video mix of Revolution, the film version of It's All Too Much, and the recent "Love" medley of Drive My Car/The Word/What You're Doing.

Not only that, but Ringo's Liverpool 8 was in heavy rotation when it was released (and a live Ringo interview and mini-concert was broadcast on another cool station, Sirius Disorder), plus I've heard solo tracks like Paul's cover of All Shook Up, and George's Wah Wah.

Plus, where else are you going to hear Fats Domino's cover of Me and My Monkey, or Nancy Sinatra's Run For You Life ? Not to mention that The Rutles are played often, including lesser known tracks like Goosestep Mama and It's Looking Good. If you are like me , and love to learn about the music's history, they've recently played Chan Romero's original version of Hippy Hippy Shake, as well as Billy Fury's Nothin' Shakin', obscure tunes The Fabs covered early in their career.

My favorite DJ, by far, is former Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. When he talks, it's fascinating because he was THERE. It's great when he talks about the "old days' and intimately referring to members of The Stones and The Beatles by their first names . Loog also takes great pains to give credit producers and record labels. He plays the Fabs almost as often as The Stones (one particularly great segue way was The Wilbury's She's My Baby into The Fabs version of Some Other Guy), and has recently been commenting on George Martin's recent L.A. celebration, both praising and (lovingly) criticizing George's speech. As Loog said, "I'm not being bitchy, I'm being Andrew".

The last thing I want to comment on today is about something I received in the mail. A friend sent me a recording of a recent Ringo show from July 26. I have been fortunate to see Ringo live on three different All-Starr tours. Besides being the fun type of show you'd expect from Ringo, I had two observations. First of all, I love the story that Gary Wright told about how he first met Ringo while recording All Things Must Pass, and how a book that George gave Gary inspired his hit single Dream Weaver. One of the things lacking on some of Ringo's tours is fellow musicians with any connection to either The Fabs or Ringo's solo career, so that was a nice touch. The other thing I noticed is that, unlike some touring acts that have been around since the 1960s or 70s, Ringo's set list has been sprinkled with recent material that actually adds to the show! While we no longer get Honey Don't, I'm The Greatest, The No-No Song, or You're Sixteen, we DO get some excellent vintage material like What Goes On and Oh My My, as well as his catchier newer material like Liverpool 8, Memphis In Your Mind, Choose Love, and Never Without You. Now if we can just convince him to rehearse Octopus's Garden, or a closing medley of Good Night into Goodnight Vienna . . .

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