Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Sorry for the long delay between posts. My Blogger account was blocked, but now it seems to be OK. Before I was so rudely interrupted, I was working on an elaborate post about Paul, but since it's John birthday tomorrow, I'm going to write a quick piece about him instead. Unfortunately I do not have the time needed to type everything I wish to say in order to get this posted by October 9th. Life is what happens to you when you're typing other blogs.

Everything about John is tinged with sadness, knowing how his life ended. Yoko is doing what she feels is best for Lennon's legacy. One cannot fault her for most of her decisions. John is now thought of mostly as a peacenik - which is how Lennon was quoted as saying he wished to be remembered. What greater legacy can one have ? John was always advertising "peace", and what message could be more relevant, or timeless?

As I'm typing, I'm listening to the new Dylan box set. Would Lennon have as impressive a collection at this stage of his career if he was still alive? It's a question that unfortunately cannot be answered.

In the early 1980s, RCA went about refurbishing Elvis' image. One such result was an album called Rocker. This collected Presley's rocking songs on one LP, with a cool picture of The King on a motorcycle, and an treasure trove of Elvis at his rocking best. They even re-released "Blue Suede Shoes" - with a picture sleeve - on blue vinyl. It helped redefine Presley as a musical rebel.

So for Lennon's birthday, I have a list of 24 solo tracks to listen to in tribute to what would have been John's 68th birthday. It call it PLAY LOUD! , after the inscription on the inner label of the early Plastic Ono Band Apple 45s. It's not really a bunch of "rockers". It's just the more aggressive side of John's music. It's the material that's not "soft rock" - there are no quiet ballads here. It's Rock'n'Roll, politics, autobiographical material, and anything else that I felt would fit. It's a collection for people who only know John's softer side. This music is angry. It's exhilarating. Most of all, it's real.

1 New York City
2 Instant Karma
3 Rip It Up/Ready Teddy
4 Whatever Gets You Through The Night
5 Gimme Some Truth
6 Meat City
7 What You Got
8 I Don't Want To Be A Soldier Mama
9 Power To The People
10 Well Well Well
11 Rock and Roll People
12 Slippin' and Sliddin'
13 Move Over Ms. L
14 Blue Suede Shoes
15 Ain't That A Shame
16 Well (Baby Please Don't Go) (with Zappa)
17 Hound Dog
18 Attica State
19 Working Class Hero
20 John Sinclair
21 Cold Turkey
22 Tight A$
23 I'm Losing you
24 I Saw Her Standing There (with Elton John)

I don't have time to figure out if this fits on a single CD (probably not), but I always thought the song "New York City" could have been a single - you could even use the One-To-One footage for a video.

Anyway, I need to go - but hopefully this inspires you to dig out some of John's music, and hopefully it won't be tinged with too much sadness.

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