Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Early Lennon Lyrics for "New York City"

As most of you know, there's a John Lennon "New York City" exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame annex in Soho. You can read about the exhibit at Steve Marinucci's Beatles Examiner site. See a slide show here .

The first image on the slide show is early hand written lyrics for the rocker "New York City", eventually released on 1972's "Some Time In New York City", and performed live at Madison Square Garden later that year. If you look closely, you can see how much the lyrics were reworked by Lennon over time. Here's what I think Lennon originally wrote, with much more disturbing, as well as humorous, lyrics :

1. Well i was standing on the corner
just me and doing water
she was wearing love letters in her hand
along came a man, with her bristols in the trash can
shaving off her armpits like a man.
Well she was trying to do her duty
just eating tutti frutti singing long tall sallys (sic) her man
When up came the preacher men, trying to be a preacher
Singing 'Gods a red herring' in drag.

2. Well i was watching johnny carson
just thinking what a farce (?)
and she was waving rent-a-pig in my ear.
along came police stuck a night stick in the TV.
shouting 'hey the revolution's starting here
she held a pistol at my head man
til i thought that i was dead, singing Short Fat Fannies on dope
When down came a swinger, who (?) thought she was a singer
singing 'dog is god backwards' on toast.

Monday, May 18, 2009

When He's 64

Today, May 19, Pete Townshend of The Who turns 64. For a mini-tribute, here's Keith Moon singing "When I'm 64" from the film "All This And World War II" :
click here Clip from the film
and here
The complete audio

and - for more Beatles related WHO :
from the same 1977 rehearsal session that brought you "Barbara Ann" from "The Kids Are Alright" film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYVCKJ05lsw

Happy Birthday, Pete !

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Fab Mother's Day

I just finished listening to Chris Carter's "Breakfast With The Beatles" on Sirius XM. ( http://www.breakfastwiththebeatles.com/ )I love this show - Carter is a very enthusiastic host, and plays a great mix of material. Of particular interest to me are his "themes", where segments - and sometimes entire programs - are linked through some common subject thread. However, this week, besides the opening song (an obvious choice from "Magical Mystery Tour"), there were no real references to any "Mothers" on this holiday. Even Andrew Loog Oldham just started his show with The Stones' version of "Have You Seen Your Mother Baby".

In honor of all you mothers out there, here's a list of songs to help you celebrate (except most of John's songs about his mother, which are kind of depressing.) Of course, all of the Beatles got married, and had children - so their wives became mothers as well. Therefore this list includes songs not only to Beatle mothers, but to Beatle wives . . Actually, some of these tracks are a bit of a stretch, but what the hey . . And there were a couple of songs I left out- even if they were about mothers - since they wouldn't really fit here at all

Sentimental Journey - Sentimental Journey
In My Life - Rubber Soul
Your Mother Should Know- Magical Mystery Tour
Mother - John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
Let It Be - Beatles 1
Julia - White Album
The Lovely Linda - McCartney
Cook Of The House - Wings At The Speed Of Sound
Dark Sweet Lady - George Harrison
Momma Miss America - McCartney
Dear Yoko- Double Fantasy
We Got Married - Flowers In The Dirt
Bungalow Bill - White Album
Teddy Boy - McCartney
Oh Yoko - Imagine
Mother Nature's Son - White Album
Well (Baby Please Don't Go) - Live Jam (with the Mothers (!) Of Invention)
Yesterday - Beatles 1

P.S. Oldham is now playing "Julia" !

Thursday, May 7, 2009

George Harrison's "Let It Roll": I Don't Believe In Beatles

There's finally going to be a (solo) career spanning collection of George Harrison's music. Many people have already commented on how Beatlesque "Let It Roll : The Songs of George Harrison" is. From the "White Album" - era artwork, to the inclusion of three live Beatles covers, it is a disservice to the legacy of Harrison's post-Beatles career to focus so much on the days when he was "Fab". George, possibly more than any of the other Fabs, wanted to escape the shadow of his former band. So why all the references to The Beatles ? It's not as insulting as the Capitol Records 1976 "Best Of" album, which featured only original Beatles versions of George's songs on side one. However, ten of the 19 tracks on the new CD are songs were originally written by 1970 (albeit one was a rare Bob Dylan cover recorded for 1985's "Porky's Revenge" soundtrack, and another was a 1987 cover of a 1962 song), plus two of his later hit songs are about his Beatles days. To add insult to injury, only two songs appear from George's six albums from 1974 to 1982 - and he didn't even release another album until 1987's "Cloud Nine".

The collection concentrates on his early solo triumphs - "All Things Must Pass" and "The Concert For Bangla Desh", then skips over popular hits like "Bangla Desh", "Dark Horse", "Ding Dong", "You", "This Song", "Crackerbox Palace", and "Love Comes To Everyone", only to focus on his last two studio albums "Cloud Nine" and the posthumous "Brainwashed". Just five tracks are not from the four "big" albums. There are so many problems with the choices that I don't know where to begin.

I'm trying to be realistic here. By concentrating on his most popular albums, plus including a few Beatles songs and a couple of pseudo-rarities ("Cheer Down" and "I Don't Want To Do It"), technically it's an appealing collection. But this is very shortsighted. By cannibalizing his four most popular albums, it could very well cut down on sales of George's hit albums (including money that I assume still goes to the people of Bangla Desh), while ignoring some half-forgotten solo material that could increase sales of the rest of his catalogue. The CD is subtitled "The Songs Of George Harrison", yet the first song is George's hit cover of Rudy Clark's "Got My Mind Set On You", one of two songs Harrison did not have a hand in writing. George's rare live Prince's Trust versions of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Here Comes The Sun" from the deleted "Superstars In Concert" CD, while inferior to the "Bangla Desh" versions, would have added value to this collection. The choice of the mid-tempo "Let It Roll" as a new "single" (again, an assumption) gives more focus to "All Things Must Pass", while a better choice could have been the more lively "Don't Let Me Wait Too Long" from 1973's "Living In The Material World", which I believe was considered as a single while that album was new, and would shine a light on a wonderful album that could use some attention.

My first reaction was that the bigwigs at Capitol Records- a label probably hurting more than most of the other majors - wanted to exploit Harrison's Beatles connection. But Harrison's family have the final word. Why would they agree to this ? Are they being bamboozled? Do Olivia and Dhani think this is the best way to sell George to the public ? Maybe they, too, are Beatles fans? Was it another rush job to get an album ready for George's new star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame? You'd think his family, of all people, would be champions of George's complete solo catalogue, not succumbing to the dictates of the material world.

There is a bright side, however. This is one George Harrison album I do not need to purchase.

Official track list:
1. Got My Mind Set On You
2. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)
3. The Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)
4. My Sweet Lord
5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Live-Concert For Bangla Desh)
6. All Things Must Pass
7. Any Road
8. This Is Love
9. All Those Years Ago
10. Marwa Blues
11. What Is Life
12. Rising Sun
13. When We Was Fab
14. Something (Live-Concert For Bangla Desh)
15. Blow Away
16. Cheer Down
17. Here Comes The Sun (Live-Concert For Bangla Desh)
18. I Don't Want To Do It
19. Isn't It A Pity

To see my original idea of a George Harrison collection, please go here: http://fab4yerblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/harrisongs-best-of-ohnothimagain.html