It’s Been a Long, Long, Long Time

I saw this and it made me chuckle for about five minutes. It's a gem.

I saw this and it made me chuckle for about five minutes. It’s a gem.

Well, hello everyone! As you may be able to tell from the title, I realize that I have not posted in approximately 11 months. That is a travesty. I can’t pretend like there’s a valid excuse for this either, other than the old “life getting in the way” excuse. All I can really say is that I’m in college now and obviously busy doing various things, but a couple of very nice comments left recently on this blog reminded me just how much I really enjoy blogging. So, I’m back in action!

First, a couple of things that have happened recently in the Beatle-verse. I was ecstatic to go onto YouTube a while back and see that the Beatles YouTube channel has actually started uploading some old Beatles music videos, like Revolution and Hello Goodbye, in HD! I honestly forgot they even had a legitimate YouTube channel, but it should really be updated more frequently because there is a lot of quality Beatles footage that deserves the HD treatment. Seeing the Sgt. Pepper suits in all their high definition glory is enough to make this worthwhile.

While re-watching some old Beatles music video-prototypes, I am reminded yet again of how innovative and forward-thinking the Beatles really were. Their early “promotional videos” with songs like Help and I Feel Fine may seem archaic now, but they really were some of the first music videos in popular music. When I watch music videos today, like “Hello” by Adele for example, that get upwards of 500 million views, it makes me wonder how many views the Beatles’ videos would get if they were released on YouTube or Vevo today. With their immense fandom in the 1960s, I’d imagine that they might get a comparable amount of views to modern musicians like Adele. Funny to find connections between the Beatles and musicians today yet again.
Also can I just say that I am so happy Adele is back and better than ever! I’m in love with her new album and she is a breath of fresh air on the radio.

In other news, with all of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut and even the shooting that occurred today in California, I find myself wondering naively why people can’t just channel their anger into avenues other than killing people. There are so many Beatles songs that advocate for peace and understanding, like All You Need Is Love and Good Day Sunshine, and it makes me sad that these songs exist in a world with so much hatred. I suppose all I can do is continue sharing my favorite Beatles songs with others in the hopes that their inspiring messages can convince maybe one person not to do something terrible. Everyone reading this, do the same! It might make a difference.

Also, there’s a new ELO album! Jeff Lynne, famous for not only ELO but also for producing The Beatles Anthology project and a few albums with George Harrison, is back in the public eye! I saw his performance on The Tonight Show recently and I was so happy that he performed both a new song and a classic, Mr Blue Sky. If there’s musician out there today not named Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr whose music truly captures the spirit of the Beatles, it’s him. Someone needs to get him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ASAP, and I usually don’t care much about stuff like that, but it’s seriously about time Jeff Lynne was immortalized for his massive contributions to music.

Before I wrap this up, I’d just like to say that it is extremely weird to be blogging from my dorm room and not the attic in my house. College is certainly a new experience, but I am trying to appreciate every moment, take advantage of opportunities that come my way, and remember the things I love that make me feel better whenever I’m down. Spoiler alert, one of those things is the Beatles.

Random Beatles song I’ve been enjoying recently: You”re Gonna Lose That Girl

I almost forgot about this song until it came up on my phone the other day, but it truly is a gem from the Help! album and movie. Definitely yet another underrated Beatles song in their massive canon of musical creations.

I really believe that I will not wait 11 months to blog again. It won’t happen. I will actually try to blog more regularly for the foreseeable future. Enjoy the holiday season everyone!

More Beatlesque Songs

I saw this online a while ago. It's so true.

I saw this online a while ago. It’s so true.

So, I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve blogged. With SATs, finals, APs, and whatnot, May will certainly be a crazy month. But I promise to keep blogging as often as possible! Today I’ve decided to do a part 2 to the post I did way back last year about Beatlesque songs, because while I love entertaining people about the Beatles, I also love showing just how much the Beatles have influenced music by posting songs by other artists. So, here we go!

Universally Speaking- Red Hot Chili Peppers

I’ve been listening to this band a lot recently, and one thing I love about them is their versatility. Their songs range from being funky and hip-hoppy to more mellow alt rock to… Well, this one, the opening to which could absolutely be part of a Beatles song. This song is really cheery and upbeat and makes me feel happy about life, which is definitely a sign of a Beatlesque song.

10538 Overture- Electric Light Orchestra

If you’ve seen the movie “American Hustle,” then you know this song. I firmly believe that had the Beatles continued making music through the 1970s, they would have morphed into something similar to ELO. This song contains a lot of clear nods to the Beatles, like the psychedelic vocals and the strings throughout, without ripping them off of any direct melodies. ELO is just brilliant. It’s a crime that they’re not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Addicted to You- The Smith Bros

I love this song, mostly because of this video. 🙂
But if you can get past the pictures, the song itself is actually pretty Beatle-like, especially the bridge part in the middle. It’s a great song that very accurately summarizes my love for all things Beatles.

God On My Side- World Party

I think this sounds more like an Oasis song than a Beatles song in actuality, but it has a lot of wonderful Beatley qualities and is just an all-around beautiful song that I had to post it here! This whole album, “Goodbye Jumbo,” is fantastic and has a very diverse collection of songs, but all of them are subtly Beatlesque in their own special ways. Definitely check out the rest of the album if you like this song.

Flesh Number One (Beatle Dennis)- Robyn Hitchcock

If you’ve never heard of Robyn Hitchcock, he’s a British musician whose entire catalog is practically an homage to the Beatles. All of his songs are lovely and relaxing, like this one. Also, this song has the world “Beatle” in the title, so there’s that. 🙂

Hopefully these songs will tide you over until I post again, which I promise will be soon. Until then, enjoy spring, enjoy the nice weather, and enjoy the Beatles!

While My Sitar Gently Weeps…

Ravi Shankar giving George sitar lessons

Ravi Shankar giving George sitar lessons

No, I don’t own a sitar. I don’t own a guitar either. I don’t own a tar of any sort. But today I’ve decided to share some rock sitar songs that I love. Before I became a Beatles fan, I didn’t even know what a sitar was, but now that I’ve listened to lots and lots of Beatles music and watched Ravi Shankar playing sitar in the Concert For Bangladesh movie, I now appreciate it as an instrument that requires complete technical mastery in order to be played well. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s a pretty cool instrument!
The whole “sitar in rock music” thing started with, guess who, George Harrison playing it on Norwegian Wood, and from there the Beatles released a number of other songs based around the sitar. Of course I’ll share some of those, but there are a few songs by other artists I know and love that feature a sitar in some way on them, so I’ll share those as well. I hope you enjoy!

Norwegian Wood- The Beatles

This is where it all started! George wasn’t a very experienced sitar player when he played it on this song, but the point of the sitar is made. Also, this song is just beautiful. John is sometimes labeled as the harsh, cynical Beatle, but he really had a knack for writing beautiful, emotional songs like this.

Love You To- The Beatles

A fantastic song on Revolver, written by George. The intro to this is stunning, and I wonder how on earth George even came up with it. I guess it’s called “being a songwriter in the most creative band in the world.” 🙂

Within You Without You- The Beatles

This song is absolutely amazing!!! The sitar is front and center here, and this is the kind of song that is best listened to in bed at night. No distractions, so you can get the full effect of how brilliant it is. In fact, I think it’s arguably the best song on the Sgt. Pepper album. Yes, I know A Day In The Life is on there as well, but this is just my opinion.

The Inner Light- The Beatles

This is not one of the more well-known Beatles songs, but I think it’s a beautiful song in its own right. Or as John would say, In His Own Write. 🙂
(the title of John’s 1st book, published in 1964, was In His Own Write. Random Beatle factoid of the day!)

I think you get the gist of Beatles sitar songs. On to other artists!

Holiday Inn- Elton John

Honestly, Elton John is about the last artist I’d expect to feature a sitar on one of his songs, so imagine my delight when I first heard this song! I absolutely love this song, and when it gets stuck in my head, it stays there for days. This song also features fantastic mandolin playing by Elton’s guitarist at the time, Davey Johnstone. All in all, a delightful song from one of my favorite Elton albums, Madman Across The Water.

Paint It Black- The Rolling Stones

This was released during the Stones’ psychedelic period, and while it’s clearly inspired by the work of the Beatles not too long before, it’s definitely a great song.

The Devil’s Been Busy- The Traveling Wilburys

Guess what? George is back! 🙂
This song, released on the Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3 album, has a lovely sitar solo, but some of the melody of that solo isn’t actually original. I don’t know if the Wilburys did this on purpose or not, but the beginning of this sitar solo sounds an awful lot like the melody from Paul McCartney and Wings’ song, “Jet”. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but considering that Paul and George were Beatle bandmates for about 13 years, I think otherwise!
Besides the sitar element, I think this is one of the best Wilburys songs. It’s a great song, through and through.

When We Was Fab- George Harrison

This isn’t really a “sitar song”, but it does have a cool little sitar bit right at the end. I mostly included it because I love the really weird, Monty Python-esque video that accompanies it! George apparently has 6 more arms than I thought he did! Jeff Lynne (who produced the album, Cloud Nine), Elton John (who played electric piano on this album), Phil Collins, and Ringo Starr all appear in it. See if you can spot them all in the video! 🙂
Anyway, it’s just a cool, trippy, very Beatlesque song.

I think that’s enough sitar talk for one day. Have a fab weekend!

Life after a Paul McCartney concert: Other artists I’d love to see live

The Beatles at Shea Stadium... Oh, how I wish I could have been there!

The Beatles at Shea Stadium… Oh, how I wish I could have been there!

So before I get to the actual content of this post, I’d like to wish Dhani Harrison a happy belated birthday! His actual birthday was August 1st, but since I didn’t get around to blogging then, I figured “better late than never”! Thinking about Dhani made me think about how awesome it would be to see thenewno2 live, just so I could see George’s son in the flesh! That gorgeous Harrison face must look great close up… 🙂
But anyway, I’ve now decided to make a list of all the artists I’d absolutely love to see in concert someday. I highly doubt that seeing any of them would be quite as amazing and magical as seeing Paul McCartney, but since Paul seems to have set the standard for putting on a fantastic rock show, that’s to be expected. Nonetheless, here we go!

1. thenewno2
I figured I’d start with them, since I already mentioned Dhani in this post. I really love this band and though they definitely fly under the radar in today’s music industry, they are extremely innovative and creative. They also have George’s son in the band, which definitely helps their overall sound, but even if Dhani wasn’t George’s son, I think that he’d still be making a name for himself in the music business. Still, he seems to have inherited quite a bit of talent from his dad, and if George was still around, I’m sure he’d be very proud of what Dhani has done.

2. Foster The People
I’ve been following this band for a while, but they haven’t come out with any new music in over 2 years! What happened??? Although apparently they’ve finished their 2nd album, and as much as I love Torches, hearing some new songs would be nice. From the videos I’ve watched, they seem like a great live band who truly enjoys what they’re doing, and hopefully they’ll come to the New York area in the future!

3. Elton John
This one’s a no-brainer for me. Elton has always been known as a great live performer and a fantastic entertainer, not to mention an extremely talented singer, pianist, and songwriter, and I’d absolutely love the chance to see him do what he does best live! I think seeing him in concert would probably be a similar atmosphere and comparable to seeing Paul live, but the difference for me is that seeing Paul, while he is awesome and amazing, is not exactly the same thing as seeing the Beatles. On the contrary, while there were four Beatles, there is only one Elton John, and seeing him today is essentially the same experience as seeing him 40 years ago. That to me is a really cool thing. Hopefully an Elton concert is in my future!

4. Ringo Starr and the All Starr Band
I mean, come on. It’s Ringo! Of course I want to see him in concert! I’m still mad that I missed him coming to Jones Beach last year, but I’m crossing my fingers that he’ll come back next year!

5. Jeff Lynne/ELO
I don’t know when the last time he toured was, but with all of the ELO reissues that have come out this year, maybe he’ll do some commemorative concerts??? This one seems like a long shot to ever happen, but since I love ELO, I’ll remain hopeful.

6. Eric Clapton
How cool would it be to see the Guitar God live and in person?!?!? I think my jaw would be open the entire time, just in awe of his awesomeness. He did come to Madison Square Garden in April as part of his Crossroads Guitar Festival, but I think it sold out in about 5 seconds. Maybe next time…

7. The Rolling Stones
They have long been hailed as the greatest live rock band, and since my mom has actually seen them live before, I’ve always thought it would be really cool to see them in concert. Sadly, their 50th Anniversary tour didn’t make a stop in NY this year, although they did come to the Barclays Center last December. How Mick Jagger, at 70, is still running around the stage with boundless energy for an entire show is beyond me. Once again, I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

Still, even if I never see another concert, I think I’ll be happy for the rest of my life knowing that I’ve seen Paul McCartney, who I consider to be the greatest living musical artist, live. Seeing him is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I surely won’t ever forget, no matter how many more concerts I attend!

George Harrison Interviews

I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while, and I honestly could list every single interview I’ve ever seen with George, because they’re all so great! In all of them, he’s funny and insightful, and always has something interesting to say. It’s funny how his later interviews sometimes contradict or make fun of his earlier ones, as if he’s admonishing his younger self. I’d also like to point out that no matter when the interview is from, George always looks fabulous. 🙂

This is from the Wilbury days, with Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, from around 1990. I think this is THE most relaxed interview George ever gave. He’s just cracking jokes the whole time, like with the comment about the Wilburys going over Niagara Falls in a barrel on their next tour, and the face he makes while singing She’s My Baby at 0:36 always makes me laugh. Also, the part where they’re all doing the Wilbury Twist is absolutely priceless. He looks so youthful in this interview, and so handsome!!!

I’ll try not to repeat this on every video, but George just looks ridiculously handsome in this interview. It’s almost like his hair is a halo that frames his angelic good looks. But seriously, one of the MANY reasons why I love George is that his voice, even when he’s just talking, is so soothing and calming. I could honestly listen to him talk all day long and I’d feel so at peace with the world. And in this interview, he’s wearing the sweater that I’ve seen him wear in virtually every single picture and video of him from this time. I guess he really liked it!

Even in black and white, he’s Georgeous! And here, he really sounds like he thinks that the idea of Apple is just about the stupidest idea ever; although he doesn’t actually say it, in my opinion, it’s implied. Perhaps John and Paul misfired a bit with that one, but they did put out Hey Jude/Revolution in 1968, the first single released on the Apple label, so it’s not a complete loss!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said quotes from this interview at random moments under my breath in the middle of conversations. I guess I’ve watched this clip WAY too many times! I might have actually memorized it at this point. George is being his cute, Beatley self here, which is wonderful, and he seems very talkative, contrary to the “Quiet Beatle” image that was all the rage at the time. The sheepish face he makes when he says, “Sometimes we see private films,” is really cute. Once again, hearing his voice with that adorable Liverpudlian accent is really all I need to have a good day.

This is the clip of George wearing that fabulous outfit I posted here a while ago. Wow. He looks amazing. His hair, his leather jacket, his ruffly shirt, his green pants… Everything is perfect!!!! And I must admit that when he says, “Cue the clap- NOW!” near the end of the video, I always start clapping. It’s an internal moral obligation.

Even though George seems a bit more serious in this interview than in others, the comment he makes about LSD at 6:00 cracks me up, and I love the way he poses for the camera in the beginning. The photographer that day was really lucky; what a beautiful face to photograph! 🙂 The way he talks about John’s death makes me tear up a bit to know that now, both of them are gone, but I’ll always have these interviews to remember him by!

I didn’t realize when I started this post that it would basically morph into a “George is so amazingly good looking!!!!!” post, but then again, if you’ve been following my blog for a while now, and even if you haven’t, you know that most of my posts about George end up like this. Sorry, I can’t help it! To semi-quote one of my favorite Beatles songs, I’m in love with George and I feel fine! 🙂
Have a lovely weekend!

ELO, John Lennon, and American Idol

George Harrison and Jeff Lynne, buddies and pals.

George Harrison and Jeff Lynne, buddies and pals.

This title may seem rather random, but I had a few random thoughts I wanted to share on the blog today.
First, if you don’t know who ELO is, the letters stand for Electric Light Orchestra. It was a British band with Jeff Lynne at the helm that was popular during the 1970s and 1980s. Jeff Lynne is a well-known Beatlemaniac and a good friend of George Harrison (I feel like every other musician I listen to is either George, a different Beatle, a friend of George, or George’s son), and the music of ELO really reflects the Beatle influence with its many dramatic string arrangements and very catchy melodies. Their songs, at least the ones that I know, generally rock and are fun to listen to.
I was reminded of ELO the other night after not having listened to them in a while. I had just finished a LONG study session for my math midterm, and afterwards, I found myself having an impromptu dance marathon to some of ELO’s more upbeat songs. I’d forgotten jsut how great their songs are! Basically, if you like the Beatles, you’d like ELO, so if you like the Beatles but don’t know ELO, check them out!
Here are a few of my favorite songs by ELO:

Don’t Bring Me Down

This song flat-out rocks. I can’t stop myself from dancing whenever I hear it. A little embarrassing, but it’s true.

Can’t Get It Out Of My Head

This is perhaps the second most beautiful song ever recorded, after The Beatles’ Something. It’s so beautiful that sometimes it makes me tear up a bit. To me, it sounds like a mix of Something, Let It Be, and The Long And Winding Road. Once I hear it, I can’t get it out of my head.

Evil Woman

I used to listen to this song in the car with my family, and not knowing who ELO was, I thought it was part of a Broadway soundtrack or something like that. I was mistaken, but I still love this song! Jeff Lynne sounds a little like John Lennon here, I think. To the rest of the world, maybe not.

Mr. Blue Sky

This is probably the most famous Beatlesque song by ELO. I absolutely love it, and the creative arrangement never fails to surprise me. I feel like this song could have fit right in on Sgt. Pepper as a John/Paul collaboration. Wishful thinking, I suppose, but really, Sgt. Pepper is just fine the way it is.

Do Ya

Amazing song. Great guitar. End of story.

To quote Monty Python, “And now for something completely different!”

Yesterday in the car, I had a random vision of John Lennon trying out for American Idol. I don’t know why this came to mind, but the thought was so funny that I burst out laughing. I can just picture him going in there with his guitar and Liverpudlian accent and singing Across the Universe as his audition. Then, Randy Jackson and the other judges would say stuff like, “We think you’re really special! We love your voice! Welcome to Hollywood!” John would probably say something like “Thank you very much,” run out of the audition room yelling “I MADE IT!” and give whoever was around a big hug.
Then, I pictured Paul auditioning, being his cute and charming self and singing Let It Be or Hey Jude. He and John would both make it for sure if they tried out today. Imagine a John Lennon/Paul McCartney finale of American Idol! That would be amazing!
George probably wouldn’t want the instant fame that comes with auditioning for a reality show like American Idol.
And honestly, I love Ringo, but I’m not sure if his singing skills alone would carry him though the competition. Still, he’d certainly be a fan favorite!

Thus concludes this random post on Beatle Me Do. I hope I passed the audition.