Tag Archives: the Beatles

How The Jam Aligned Themselves with Classic Rock Royalty in One Song

Since the beginning of the band’s existence, in both songwriting and appearance, it was clear that the Jam owed an incredible amount of debt to the My Generation era of the Who. From their impeccable covers of “Disguises” and  to their preference for to appear in stylish Mod dress at all times, the Jam could very much have been considered the most authentic representation of true British punk in the late 1970’s, especially when considering their relative lack of success in the States. Where the Sex Pistols and the Clash (among others) became well-known ambassadors of the UK’s version of the genre, it was the Jam’s well-honed mixture of stylistic complexity and Weller’s witty, satirical lyrics a la Ray Davies, that the Jam were perhaps too smart to be the kind of punk that people expected.

But where they didn’t quite fit in with the rest, they excelled as a class of their own. But in one song in particular, the band shows that they’re perfectly fine being aligned with the older guard of British rockers, by being able to build upon their concepts and techniques and create something for the young gobbers to ponder to while they pogo.

After the Jump: Addressing an tired old theme for a new generation of mods and rockers alike.

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Come Together?: Why the Beatles 2.0 Should Not Happen.

Fig. 1: The Beatles as 30+-Year Old Hipsters


For the first time in decades, the thought of the Beatles’ respective children uniting and forming a group to honor the work their fathers have laid before them had become a very real possibility. James McCartney, son of Sir Paul, has emerged, only fairly recently on the music scene with his own efforts — predominantly EPs — since 2010 (he also contributed to three of Paul’s solo records in the 1990’s) that were well received. Still, much like his father and his ability to co-lead, he’s made the first statement that a Beatles Junior band is potentially in the works.

On one hand, this ensures the world that as long as the Beatles’ and their children (and, extrapolating here, solely on the basis of the current popularity of sex) are fruitful and multiplying, we will always have the world’s greatest rock band, both in their original essence and in their progeny’s ability to look like their dads and play instruments. But the question is, is this really something to be excited about? Is this something that can be held to the original band’s standards, or the expectations of their output — both then AND now?! It would seem to me that just because you grow up born with some rose-tinted glasses before your eyes doesn’t mean you can just come along and assume a mantle that was earned a very long ago, and one that has since been embellished in tribute by everyone who takes the Beatles as seriously as, oh, I don’t know, the rest of the planet.

After the Jump: The Beatles 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold.

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Paul McCartney, Live at Yankee Stadium, July 16, 2011

Dead Man Walkin', Talkin', and Performin' Hits of His Long and Distinguished Career.

At this point, what needs to be said about seeing Paul McCartney live nowadays? That, at the age of 69, he still has energy and passion to perform songs and entertain an audience that consists mostly of older women who want to make sure he’s still got it? Or that the Beatles and Wings tunes still sound incredible, even with just a small backing band? There’s nothing anymore than needs to be said about Paul McCartney, other than that other critics should recognize just how special his music really is. Yes, it’s commercially viable stuff, and more light hearted than the angry John, spiritually enlightened George, or ‘gee-he’s-just-trying-his-best Ringo,’ who often gets better reviews than Paul. The fact is that the man still has a passion for all of his music, and appreciates putting it on for his fans, and even without going into a full recap, I will tell you that my mind was blown at how amazing he truly is.

But yes, a more thorough review is after the jump.

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New Doc Claims Lennon a Secret Republican

In what may be the most devastating news to left-leaning Americans since John F. Kennedy rose from the dead to vote Republican (remember that?), an upcoming documentary claims that John Lennon was not always steadfast in his radical views as fans perceived him to be. In fact, he was embarrassed of his former self by the time he entered the 1980’s, and secretly supported Ronald Reagan.

A True Working Class Hero is Non-Union.

According to Fred Seaman, an assistant to the former Beatle, Lennon was more likely to get a rise out of provoking liberals into debate and playing devil’s advocate. “John . . . made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on Jimmy Carter,” the assistant said. He goes on to say, “He was a very different person back in 1979 and 80 than he’d been when he wrote Imagine. By 1979 he looked back on that guy and was embarrassed by that guy’s naivete.”

All this and more can be seen in the new documentary, Beatles Stories, from director Seth Swirsky.

Not to take the wind out of anybody’s sails, or affirm John Lennon as being a closeted conservative, I will say that this seems more likely to be a part of John’s well-known habit of being so provocative, and, well, a jerk. Remember, this is the Beatle who said that Ringo wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles, and that none of his own work with the band was any good. So everything that John did should be taken with a grain of salt, and a reminder was that he was a stickler for being a stickler.

On the other hand, this is also just one man’s account of remembering a guy who died 30 years ago. So, y’know. . . Salt.

Anywho, there’s a preview of the movie below.

Beatles Stories promo from Seth Swirsky on Vimeo.

Ringo Starr Interviewed in Daily Mail: “. . . ” You Know, I’m Not Going to Let them Get the Best of Me.

Where that “. . .” is, should be a (mis)quote about the current relationship between Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. In the original article, it went something like this:

‘We are as close as we want to be,’ he says, laughing. ‘We’re the only two remaining Beatles, although he likes to think he’s the only one.

And it goes on to say that, of course, this is just Ringo being Ringo, the kind-hearted goof that he really is. But to make it the damn headline and try to concoct a feud where there isn’t one!? It angries up the blood!

Anyway, it still remains to be a fascinating interview, regardless of their own sleazy incompetence. Check it out here.

Zemeckis’ “Yellow Submarine” Sinks; Disney Halts Production

A hallmark of 60’s animated brilliance by embracing everything that psychedelia was about (i.e.: colors, innocence, cosmic submersibles), Yellow Submarine captured the imaginations of the children, adults, childish adults, and man-children all over the world. Even though they initially had no input on the film whatsoever, it even won over the Beatles, who (despite their recent disappointment with the reception of the Magical Mystery Tour movie) took a moment to bookend the film with this classic cinematic moment:

Well, Mr. Robert Zemeckis, director of classic flicks Back to the Future and Forest Gump, decided to take it upon himself to re-do the whole thing with motion-capture animation, as he has with his recent flicks, Beowolf, A Christmas Carol, and The Polar Express, all of which were criticized for being ‘creepy’ in terms of the ineffectiveness of animating the human face to perfection.

The studio who initially signed on for the project, Disney, has decided to stop these shenanigans, and pull out of support for the movie. While some are citing Zemeckis’ most recent flop, Mars Needs Moms as the cause of Disney losing interest, it is reported that the project was already in danger long before the Mars opening, when Disney first shut down Zemeckis’ studio, ImageMovers Digital, and when a meeting with the surviving Beatles (and representatives from the Harrison and Lennon estates) never came to fruition.

Richard Lester’s Black Comedies at the 92 Y Tribeca.

Richard Lester, the man who directed the Beatles in Help! and A Hard Day’s Night, as well as the two Superman sequels in the 80’s, celebrates his 79th birthday tomorrow, January 15th. Over at the 92Y Tribeca here in NYC, they’re celebrating by having a mini-festival of his films tonight, Friday January 14th, focusing on black comedies in the late 1960’s. The program kicks off with 1969’s The Bed-Sitting Room, about a war that lasts two minutes, twenty-eight seconds (don’t worry, the film is a bit longer than that), then follows up with John Lennon’s only non-Beatles film role in How I Won the War, credited as an “anti-anti-war film.” The program ends with the 1965 Palme d’Or winner, The Knack. . . And How to Get It, a sex comedy made between his two Beatles flicks.

Guaranteed to be a night of pop art film mastery and highly awkward British dry wit!

The program starts at 7:30pm tonight, over at the 92Y Tribeca, located at 200 Hudson Street, between Desbrosses and Vestry.