Beatles, “Blackbird,” and Break-Up Rumors

Today I’d mostly like to discuss Dave Grohl’s recent performance of the Beatles’ famed “Blackbird” at the Oscars. I knew about a few of the scheduled Oscar performances before the date of the program, but for some reason I hadn’t heard about this one and it took me completely by surprise. When I heard those iconic opening chords and saw Dave Grohl alone on the stage with a guitar, I knew it would be a good tribute, and I was not disappointed. From spearheading production of the Sound City documentary from a few years ago, to recording “Cut Me Some Slack” with Paul McCartney, to performing on the Beatles 50th Anniversary Special, Dave Grohl has certainly earned my respect and admiration for his Beatles and classic rock-related ventures. He is one cool dude. In case you missed his feature on the Oscars, here it is for you!

One brief un-Beatles related tangent… This performance, along with some ambiguous comments by members of Foo Fighters, recently led to a rumor that Foo Fighters were breaking up, once and for all. Apparently these rumors have surfaced before, but supposedly this time Dave was striking out on his own to “do his own thing musically” and get away from the band.

So how did Foo Fighters respond to this rumor? Not with a concisely-stated tweet or Facebook post, but with this masterful 7 minute-long video. You really have to watch it yourself to get its full effect.

In conclusion, anything Beatles-related that Dave Grohl does is bound to be wonderful, and the members of Foo Fighters are complete bosses. Also in case you’re just not patient enough to watch the entire video and have not heard the news, Foo Fighters is NOT breaking up. Spoiler alert.

Anyway, going back to the original topic, I just love how Beatles music is now used to pay tribute to people that have nothing to do with the 60s or rock music in general. Their songs have become universal anthems for just about any subject or person because they were written with a timeless, relatable appeal. Not just Blackbird, but songs like Hey Jude, Yesterday, Let It Be, In My Life, and many others have been covered so often by other artists that I bet there are some people today who don’t know that those songs are originally by the Beatles. In those cases, I’d rather that they know the song’s origins, but as long as Beatles songs are still relevant in some form in this generation, their music is living on and speaking to people. That’s about all I can ask.

You didn't seriously think I'd forget his birthday, now did you?

You didn’t seriously think I’d forget his birthday, now did you?

Finally, happy belated birthday to George Harrison, who after all this time is still definitely my favorite Beatle and one of my musical and personal inspirations. I’ve devoted many a post to him on this blog, but for now I’ll just say that his music is thoughtful, creative, and truly beautiful, just like him. I wish his solo songs were more well known by the general population, but with recent releases like the “George Fest” DVD and the masterful Scorcese documentary from a few years ago, he seems to be gaining more acclaim, slowly but surely. Let’s continue that upwards trend, to 2020 and beyond!

As is the nature of the Beatles in the 21st century, something new Beatles-related is bound to come up soon, but for now I’m signing off. Enjoy your days, and may they all be Good Days (of) Sunshine. 🙂

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Some things I’ve been meaning to blog about

"On my honor, I will try, to blog once a week"

“On my honor, I will try, to blog once a week”

Hello everyone! I know I’ve been gone for a while, so today I’d like to chat about some things I’ve been wanting to discuss. It’s been a pretty busy month, what with senior year and college applications and such, but it’s also been fun and exciting in the Beatle world and the rest of the world!

First, last month, Conan O’Brian had a special “George Harrison Week” on his show in honor of the release of George’s early Apple solo albums in a box set. The performers included Norah Jones (Ravi Shankar’s daughter, in case you wanted to know the George connection), Paul Simon (George performed with him on SNL in 1976), Dhani Harrison (his son), and Beck (no idea what the George connection is here). I watched all of the performances, and of course, seeing people keeping his music alive made my little George heart very happy. My personal favorite was Dhani Harrison, simply because I love him and he, in addition to sounding a lot like George, is VERY musically talented.

There was also a George tribute concert in LA that same week called “George Fest,” which I really wish I could have seen. As I learned at the Fab Faux concert last year, George’s music sounds amazing live. Still, I’ve been pretty lucky with Beatle-related tribute concerts, so I’m not really THAT mad… 🙂

John Lennon’s birthday was two weeks ago, so clearly that passed already, but I’d like to do a belated-John’s birthday shout out. His music is really just as powerful today as I’m sure it was when it first came out 30-something years ago. If there’s one Beatle who has inspired multiple generations of songwriters to express themselves in their music, it’s probably him.
For some reason, John seems to have retained the image of the “cool” Beatle in this day and age. I wonder where that came from. Maybe it’s from his effortlessly cool look during the Rain and Paperback Writer video shoots…

I wish I looked that cool in sunglasses...

I wish I looked that cool in sunglasses…

John is definitely one cool dude. I hope he had a happy birthday wherever he is now. And depending on your beliefs, THAT, my friends, is up to you to decide… Because as John once said, “It’s up to you, yeah you, cause we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun.” 🙂 Bonus points if you know what John solo song those lyrics are from!

Finally, I think my dad and I are officially Fab Faux groupies, because we were fortunate enough to see them for a third time in NYC last week. The theme was “Lennon vs. McCartney: A Heavyweight Battle” or something like that. It was basically just an excuse to play alternating John and Paul songs for a solid 2.5 hours, which is exactly what I was hoping for! As always, the Fab Faux did a fantastic job. As far as musicianship is concerned, they’re definitely the best band out there at playing Beatles songs. They always add the most special elements to Beatles songs, like a sitar on Norwegian Wood or a piccolo trumpet on Penny Lane, to really make the song perfect.

What I enjoyed about this show in particular is that they played a number of solo Lennon and McCartney songs in addition to their Beatles catalog. Having gone to more than a few Beatle tribute shows by now, I’m used to hearing the Beatle stuff played a lot. It never gets old, of course, but hearing their solo songs played live is a special treat. I think my favorite moment of the show, if it’s even possible to choose, was when they played “Jet,” from the Band On The Run album. I hadn’t heard that song in a while, but as soon as they started playing it I got really excited! It’s a fantastic song! The Fab Faux are the best, plain and simple. (sorry Fab Four, I love you guys too!)

Whew, that was certainly a large explosion of Beatleness. I should never stop blogging for a month, because then I’ll have far too much to say at once to cram into one post. And that wasn’t even all I had wanted to say! My friend and I saw a Foster the People concert last night, which was absolutely unbelievable, but I’ll save that for a separate post. They’re definitely worth an entire post.

I’m sure I’ll still be busy in the coming weeks, but I promise to blog again ASAP! Have a fantastic week!

Here Comes the Son

It’s taken a while for me to come down off of the cloud that was “a record 497 views in one day” last week. I was celebrating. 🙂 That Kinks post I did got a lot of traffic!
Anyway, today I’d like to wish Dhani Harrison a happy birthday! As I’ve said before, his band, thenewno2, is great and I hope they come out with some new music soon! They rock! Also, I’m happy that through Dhani, George’s fantastic facial features were passed on to another generation for us 21st century Beatle fans to admire. 🙂

In honor of Dhani’s birthday, I thought I’d post some pictures of George with Dhani. These two truly embody the saying, “Like father, like son.” Enjoy!

Aww... Baby Dhani!

Aww… Baby Dhani!

They're probably on their way somewhere cool.

They’re probably on their way somewhere cool.

Dhani is clearly channeling George's fab fashion sense here

Dhani is clearly channeling George’s fab fashion sense here

Dhani is rocking the Beatle hair!

Dhani is rocking the Beatle hair!

I think I've posted this before, but the similarity always makes me laugh. :)

I think I’ve posted this before, but the similarity always makes me laugh. 🙂

That’s all for today. It’s August now! Where has the summer gone??? I better enjoy having ample blogging time while I still have it! Have a great weekend!

Happy (belated) birthday Ringo Starr!!!!

Priceless. :)

Priceless. 🙂

Sorry this post is a little late, but I wanted to wish Ringo a very happy birthday! Even among Beatle fans, Ringo often gets a lot of flack for not contributing as much to the Beatles as the other three members, but I genuinely feel that he was just as important to the band’s dynamic as John, Paul, and George. I’m also happy that Ringo was featured prominently in the Beatle movies after being designated “the acting Beatle” by the critics after A Hard Day’s Night. Generally, I feel that with a name like Ringo, how you go wrong???
In honor of Ringo’s birthday, here are some of what I’ve determined are his “best moments” that I’ve come across on Youtube. Enjoy!

This is a pretty well known part of AHDN, and also the scene for which Ringo was most critically lauded. Now, do I think this scene is Oscar-worthy? Not really. But it certainly is charming, and sometimes, that’s all that matters. 🙂

We all know that George was very involved with Monty Python, but when I was watching an episode recently, I had no idea that Ringo would be in it! Needless to say, it was a pleasant surprise.

This video mostly features Elton John (I haven’t done an Elton post in forever… That must change!) and Marc Bolan, but in case you’re wondering, that is in fact Ringo dressed as a clown holding a camera in the beginning. He also drums fantastically in this song. What a great group of musicians all in one room.

I just discovered this. It is by far Ringo’s best moment ever. That is all.

Well, once again, happy birthday Ringo!!!!! I wish I was seeing him on his current All Starr Band tour, but hopefully I will see him one day. Then, I will have seen not one, but TWO Beatles in person! My life would essentially be complete. 🙂

Happy birthday Paul McCartney!!!

Paul's hair... That is all.

Paul’s hair… That is all.

It’s that time of year again where Beatle fans everywhere gather and celebrate Paul’s birthday!!! I’ll try not to make this a repeat of last year’s birthday post, but I will say that in light of Paul’s recent health scare, I’m glad he seems to be doing better. He’s one of those people that has an aura. I experienced that first hand last year when I saw him at the Barclays Center; as soon as he came onstage, the entire atmosphere of the place changed from extreme excitement to a giant outpouring of joy and affection and tears unlike anything I’ve ever seen. As I’ve said before, it was magical, and I hope that everyone is fortunate enough to experience his brilliance in person at least once.

Paul is 72 now, but he doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. I admire his energy and passion for what he does, and I can only hope that I am the same way in my adult years.

Obviously I love Paul a lot. Here are a couple of videos that explain why if I haven’t done a thorough enough job.

Wow, what a voice he still has! I’m so glad he did this!

This, folks, is the best Paul McCartney tribute video on Youtube. It captures his youthful exuberance perfectly.

I love how Paul can still relate to the youth of today. Also, as I’ve said before, he and Jimmy are great together.

Well, I hope Paul has an absolutely fab day!!! And I hope you do too! Listen to his music, watch some videos of Paul, or just think about why he’s the best. Satisfaction guaranteed. 🙂

Happy (belated) Birthday George Harrison!!!

I just found this picture, and it's so adorable!!!

I just found this picture, and it’s so adorable!!!

I know I haven’t blogged in quite a while. Don’t worry, I did not fall off the face of the earth; I was in a show last week that took up most of my time, and so unfortunately I have not had time to do a George birthday post until now. But that’s all about to change!

My love for George has grown exponentially in the last year, but I do feel like he serves a different purpose in my life now than he did a year ago. As I’ve ended sophomore year and dived headfirst into junior year, I’ve realized that there are a lot of important life decisions that have to happen this year, and of course, the nature of high school in the 21st century is that it is supposed to be stressful, competitive, challenging, and hard to get through without some guidance. I don’t have as much time to just be obsessed with the Beatles and George Harrison as I did freshman year, but that does not mean that I love them any less. In fact, during the often stressful and occasionally frustrating days, I find that I need George’s music more now than ever. His lyrics are words of wisdom to me, and I have yet to find a song of his that is not inspiring in some way.

George is more of an imaginary life coach than an imaginary husband at this point in my life, but that’s okay with me. As George frequently said, the point of life is to change, and it would be boring if everything and everyone stayed exactly the same all the time. On his birthday this year, as I proudly wore my George shirt to school and had a 5-hour dress rehearsal, I kept thinking about how much I enjoyed what I was doing and how much George loved everything he did in life. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from George, it’s that if you truly feel love and passion for something, you should stick with it.

Here are some songs that I may or may not have previously posted on this blog, but I feel that they embody George’s spirit and attitude about life. They’re not necessarily my favorite songs of his, although I love them all, but they are the ones that remind me of him the most.

I Need You

I Live For You

Stuck Inside A Cloud

Pisces Fish

Here Comes The Sun

So, on this (approximately) 71st anniversary of George’s birth, I am reminded yet again why he is and will always be my favorite Beatle. He was thoughtful, loving, insightful, patient, and a beautiful human being inside and out. I love him with all of my heart! Happy birthday Georgie!!! 🙂

I promise it will not be another 2 weeks before I blog again. Be on the lookout for a post of my favorite covers of Beatles songs in the near future! Have a great week!

HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY JOHN LENNON!!!!!!!!!

What a cute picture. I love you John!!!

What a cute picture. I love you John!!!

I realized today that I did not do a birthday post for John, since his birthday fell in the middle of the week this year. Still, better late than never, I always say! So today I’m wishing a very happy birthday to a man who would have been 73 this year and still is an inspiration to us all, John Lennon! Happy birthday John!!!

When I think about John, the first thing that comes to mind is how much the world today needs him. I wasn’t around when he was alive, but from what I’ve read and watched, he was a musical and emotional leader for an entire generation of people in the 60s and 70s. So many musicians I love have been inspired by and idolized him, including Elton John, Robyn Hitchcock, David Bowie, and many others. I feel like John is the one songwriter that almost all musicians can relate to and aspire to be like. His music is so honest, beautiful, and straight from the heart, and there is a certain Lennon-esque quality that I feel like is missing from most music today. I subscribe to the theory that music started to go south in quality after John was killed, because such a big musical icon was no longer around to set the example for the next generation of artists.

But this post is about celebrating John’s life, not mourning his death, and celebrate I shall! One thing I really like about John in particular out of the four Beatles is his witty, sharp, clever sense of humor. He was never at a loss for words, had so much to say, and always had a wry comeback or a funny joke to add to every interview. Take this video for example:

Of course, George is absolutely charming at the end of the video, but that’s besides the point. John just looks so uninterested in what this Swedish interviewer is asking that it cracks me up from the very beginning of the video. He is hilarious!

This next video is my absolute favorite clip from the movie “A Hard Day’s Night”. 47 seconds of awesomeness, capped off by what I think is the funniest line in the entire film.

Obviously this was scripted since it’s in a movie, but John’s delivery of that line in such a silly voice makes me laugh every single time!

I often wonder what John would be up to if he were still alive today. Would he still be an active presence in show business and be making new albums regularly, like Paul? Would he be touring the world with a rock supergroup, like Ringo? Would he have retired from the spotlight and decided to focus on other things, like George did for a while? I really don’t know. What would John think of the world today? Would he use social media like Facebook and Twitter? I have no idea. But I am certain that the world would be a better place with John in it.
Still, I have a feeling that people will still have the same reverence for John Lennon in 100 years as they do now. He is such an iconic figure that I don’t think will ever be forgotten. I certainly will never forget him!

To close out this birthday post, here’s John’s plea for peace, love, and happiness. We’re not there yet, John, but we’re working on it!

Once again, happy birthday to the amazing and wonderful John Lennon! You inspire me every day! I LOVE YOU!!!!! 🙂