Posts Tagged ‘Beatles’

There are certain things, such as fireworks and kaleidoscopes, that are never as impressive in graphic representation than they are in real life.

If you read the definition, you get no idea just how wonderful kaleidoscopes can be: “An optical instrument with two or more reflecting surfaces inclined to each other in an angle, so that one or more (parts of) objects on one end of the mirrors are seen as a regular symmetrical pattern when viewed from the other end, due to repeated reflection.

“The reflectors (or mirrors) are usually enclosed in a tube, often containing on one end a cell with loose, colored pieces of glass or other transparent (and/or opaque) materials to be reflected into the viewed pattern. Rotation of the cell causes motion of the materials, resulting in an ever changing viewed pattern.”

I was reminded of this when I was helping The Daughter clean out her room recently. I came across one of my old kaleidoscopes which I either lent her or she “borrowed.” It was so much fun looking through it that I borrowed it back.

NASA has provided instructions on making a kaleidoscope, appropriate, since its Hubble looked into a cosmic kaleidoscope last year.

I’ve just discovered that the Guinness-certified World’s Largest Kaleidoscope is not all that far from where I live, on Route 28 in Mount Tremper, Ulster County, New York. It stands 56 feet tall and is 38 feet in diameter. The family NEEDS to go this year!

Of course, my first thought involving the word is to the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by some Liverpudlian band on their Sgt. Pepper album, featuring the line “The girl with kaleidoscope eyes.” Apparently the reference is to one Yoko Ono.

Listen to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds:
The Beatles, from the movie Yellow Submarine
Elton John, #1 in the US for 2 weeks in 1975, with the Reggae guitars of Dr. Winston O’Boogie.

beatles-revolverThe musically influential Beatles had their own sources of inspiration, both predecessors and peers. In reading Steve Turner’s “The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Write,” subtitled “the stories behind every song,” this becomes clear.

The members of the group were quite open about how a piece was transformed into their own creations. Sometimes when you know, you relisten to the Fab Four’s take, you say, “Oh, I hear that NOW,” almost never before that, which was their brilliance; they stole very well.

Sometimes they ripped off themselves. Read the rest of this entry »


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Music

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What are the songs that best capture our moment?

K-Chuck Radio: A dose of Northern Soul

Don’t Let Me Down – The Beatles

10 Beatles Covers You Really Need to Hear

Songs about the moon

Random music recollections based on the book Never A Dull Moment.

The Beatles had broken up but there was a Fab on the top of the charts. All Things Must Pass spent the first seven weeks of 1971 at #1 in the US, though, as a double album, or triple, if you insist on counting the jam, it was twice the price of a standard LP. The title song was the theme of my high school senior prom. I loved the All Things Must Pass album, but was sad that the box the albums came in was too flimsy, and fairly quickly.

Whereas John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band album was more difficult for me to grasp at first, with the primal screaming, though I did make it a part of my limited playlist at college that fall.

I was disheartened by the Read the rest of this entry »

johnyoko-merryxmasAs Christmas approached in 1980, the year John Lennon died, the song of his that made me most melancholy, other than the suddenly ironic (Just Like) Starting Over, was Merry Xmas (War Is Over). When someone has been advocating for peace, and is shot down by a fan, it just boggled the mind.

And so this is Xmas (war is over)
For weak and for strong (if you want it)
For rich and the poor ones (war is over)
The world is so wrong (if you want it)
And so happy Xmas (war is over)
For black and for white (if you want it)
For yellow and red ones (war is over)
Let’s stop all the fight (now)

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

I was going to post some of those Beatles Christmas 45s, which I have collected on an LP, but, thankfully, someone had already uploaded The Beatles – Complete Christmas Records, which came out every year from 1963 to 1969. Collectively, the cuts reflect the increasingly greater sophistication of the band’s music, as well as the eventually fractured nature of the group.

Even better, I discovered that someone else has made available The History of the Beatles’ Christmas, including everything from Merry Xmas to Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney to Ding Dong by George Harrison to some obscure Ringo song, plus those Beatles Christmas cuts, even the edited version of Christmastime is Here Again that came out at the time of the Beatles Anthology albums.

I’ve also come across a cover band called The Fab Four, which performs Christmas carols in the style of Beatles songs. The whole double CD you can find HERE. My favorite song on the album is the final one, Jingle Bells, performed in the style of the Beatles’ Tomorrow Never Knows. It shows the versatility of that last song on Revolver.

And for reasons that will become obvious, Come Together, a Christmas video for Swedish multinational clothing retailer, H&M. It was directed by Wes Anderson, and stars Adrien Brody.

Oh, yeah – All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle – Dora Bryan (1963)

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