I’m Siriusly Excited About The Beatles XM Station

beatles radio

The Beatles, perhaps waiting to hear one of their songs on the radio!

As has become a pattern for me, I tend to blog whenever there is some newsworthy event happening in the Beatleverse, and this happens to be one of those times. These events often revolve around Beatles music entering the public consciousness in a new way, such as through iTunes, Spotify, and now, their own Sirius XM Station, channel 18. I had no idea that this was even happening until a few days before the station went live, and my initial reactions to this announcement ranged from “It’s about time” to “Finally!” Nothing against Pearl Jam, but if they have their own radio station, the Beatles deserve their own station as well. I’m also aware that those in charge of the Beatles brand and catalog (namely Paul, Ringo, Yoko, and Olivia Harrison, among others) are notoriously stringent about licensing the Beatles name. In recent years, I think these restrictions have loosened. Though I hope the Beatles don’t start advertising “sausages and diapers,” as George feared they would, I greatly appreciate that they’re latching on to new technological and musical developments and remaining relevant to modern music listeners.

Upon my first listen, the station reminded me a lot of me putting my iTunes library on shuffle and listening only to Beatles or solo Beatles music, as I did quite frequently early on in my Beatles fandom. Listening to the Beatles station has made me nostalgic for what now seem like simpler times when I was 14 and 15, when I dove headfirst into my obsession with all things Beatles and cared little about embracing the rest of the musical world. I’ve also been on a couple of long car trips in the past few weeks and the Beatles Sirius station has kept me entertained for hours each time. Many times while listening to the station, I’ve been delighted to come across Beatles songs that I’d forgotten about or hadn’t listened to for months. These include the underrated gems “For No One” on Revolver and  “I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party” from Beatles For Sale. I’ve also greatly appreciated the commentary from friends and musicians close to the Beatles such as Peter Asher, as well as the “ear trivia” of playing a second of a Beatles song and revealing the song’s name later.

My one gripe with this development is that, somehow even on a Beatles-centric station that revolves completely around their music, George’s solo catalog is still vastly untapped. The station seems to roughly adhere to a format of “three Beatles songs, followed by one Paul McCartney and Wings song, and maybe a John or Ringo song occasionally,” which is fine. However, having now listened to several cumulative hours of the station over the past couple of weeks, I can count on one hand the number of George solo songs I’ve heard.

This is quite disappointing to someone who is as big a fan of George as I am and who knows the wealth of good material that he produced after the Beatles broke up. Songs like “Faster” from his album George Harrison, “Fish on the Sand” from Cloud Nine, or “Life Itself” from Somewhere in England are all exquisite songs that get zero radio airplay on this station, along with many other fantastic compositions. I hope that perhaps I just haven’t been listening at the right times and that George’s solo career actually has been greatly appreciated on this station in my absence. If not, I sincerely hope that the station begins playing more of his solo songs.

Other than this, I am absolutely thrilled that the Beatles are being celebrated 24/7 (or as the station cheekily notes, 24/8, referring to “Eight Days A Week”) on Sirius XM. They, perhaps more so than any other artist with their own radio station, have a large enough catalog of Beatles, solo Beatles, and Beatles influence songs to support a long stretch of engaging radio programming. What’s more, the whole vibe of the station feels like more than just another radio station. It really celebrates the Beatles’ musical achievements and the massive impact they had on their fans, as evidenced by soundbites from celebrity fans or screaming admirers from their heyday. I hope that it maintains its current charm and continues to celebrate both the sung and the unsung heroes of the Beatles’ success.

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 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. 🙂

The Beatles, still fab after 50 years!

We love them, yeah yeah yeah!

We love them, yeah yeah yeah!

So I wanted to wait until after I watched the televised special commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on Ed Sullivan to do a blog post, but now that it’s over, here I am!

Overall, I thought it was a wonderful tribute. It had a good mix of old and new musicians, and while I didn’t really care for some people (why did Katy Perry oversing Yesterday??? Why did the Imagine Dragons do a boring version of Revolution???), I enjoyed it very much. My favorite performances were probably Jeff Lynne, Dhani Harrison, and Joe Walsh doing “Something” and Dave Grohl and Jeff Lynne doing “Hey Bulldog.” Both were done respectfully and not with too many vocal runs or falsettos or any of the annoying things that modern pop singers love to do. I also thoroughly enjoyed Eric Idle’s frequent Rutles name-drops and commentary on each of the Beatles’ childhoods. I had no idea he would be involved, so this was definitely a pleasant surprise!

But of course, Paul and Ringo (and John and George) were the stars of the show. Throughout the broadcast, the cameras frequently cut to Paul singing along or Ringo doing some air drumming, and I got the impression that they were rather touched by the whole extravaganza. It made me so incredibly happy to see Paul grinning with delight as Stevie Wonder sang “We Can Work It Out” or Ringo sang “Yellow Submarine.” It must be nice to be so loved by the entire world for half a century!

Paul and Ringo’s performances were also wonderful! Ringo sounded great as always, but Paul really sounded AMAZING!!! I mean, he rocked the house! I was singing along as he and Ringo sang With A Little Help From My Friends together and as he played Hey Jude to close the show, and I think I had a tear in my eye at the end. Seeing everyone from the show together onstage showing how much they love the Beatles and seeing all of the audience members dancing and singing along reminded me once again why the Beatles are still so revered today. Their music makes people love life, and that’s something that I don’t think will ever go out of style.

From seeing another fabulous Fab Four concert with my friends last night, to listening to a celebratory Breakfast With The Beatles this morning, to watching the TV special tonight, my weekend was filled to the brim with Beatleness. And I wouldn’t want it any other way!
In case you missed the special, here are some brief interview clips with David Letterman, Paul, and Ringo that were shown during the program.

Wow, what a great weekend to be a Beatles fan! I feel so fortunate to have even lived at the same time as two of the Beatles, and I know that while they were never together while I was alive, their music will live in my heart and the hearts of millions of others for 50 more years and beyond. Long live the Beatles!