May 28, 2008

One thing we don't have in common

Several you who (I think) read this pretty regularly have something in common with each other that you don't have in common with me, and that is a once or present obsession--not the right word I grant you--with the Beatles.

Intellectually I recognize that the Beatles are worthy of such admiration in a way that, say, Black Oak Arkansas is not (to amuse myself I'm going to pretend for the next few minutes that Tom of Romantoes is the world's biggest Black Oak Arkansas fan ... I wasn't baiting him with the Heaneywulf reference ... THIS is baiting!).

So do you want to know why I'm glad I didn't play the Beatles to death on my little phonograph as a young man? Quite simply, it's because now I can listen to Revolver in a way that I can't a lot of the music I grew up with. It's not that I'm tired of Tangled Up in Blue ... but I can't listen to it. Not casually.

(That reminds me of when I was morose at a party many years ago, reeling from back to back divorce and breakup (!), and the hostess decided to put on some music she knew I liked to cheer me up: her only Dylan album, Tangled Up in Blue. To cheer me up! It cracked me up. What a sweet, nice person. I could never be that nice. I'm pretty sure I was the only person who left that party happier than when he arrived.)

So, Revolver. If I'd been listening to it all my life, would I be sitting here shaking my head, not quite believing how good it is? I don't know ... maybe. But I'm afraid I wouldn't quite hear it when I was hearing it; rather I'd be hearing my halfassed memory of it.

Here's a cover of "Tomorrow Never Knows" (be patient, it's in there at about 3:55) from my first Dead show (yeah, I was a Johnny Come Lately ... but late's better than never, and it might be better than early).

Grateful Dead - Baba O'Riley > Tomorrow Never Knows
Found at bee mp3 search engine


Tom said...

Gauntlet throwdown received, Jim. When I got Rose's help with the video on Romantoes (which everyone should be able to link to from Wordshed, right?), she said (while it was playing) "That's more information about your adolescence than I ever needed."

Thanks for the memories.

Michael said...

I assume I'm one of those obsessive Beatles fans you reference early in your post, and I'm proud of being such. However, I also came to Revolver later in life. As a kid in the 60's, I had the early Beatles albums and the Sgt. Pepper and later albums, but missed out on the middle era. I discovered the pleasures of Revolver in grad school when the Beatles albums came out on CD for the first time. Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.