The Cutest Beatle

Who is the cutest Beatle? Who is the most talented? Did Yoko break up the best band in the world? None of these questions will be answered here 🙂 All I can say for sure is that John Lennon was the uncut Beatle. Yes, that’s right I’m looking at my John Lennon music collection – not the shirts.

A few years ago I downloaded a bit set of what purports to be all his solo work (though Yoko appears frequently enough.) So I have, as mp3, on 2 cds: Unfinished Music: Two Virgins; Wedding Album; Live Peace in Toronto 1969; Plastic Ono Band; Imagine; Some Time in NYC; Live in NYC; Mind Games; Walls & Bridges; Shaved Fish; Rock’n’Roll; Double Fantasy; Milk & Honey. Of these the only one I had as lp was Walls & Bridges. 

Of the Beatles I would say John was the most adventurous (yes I know McCartney did some electronica) & at one point was avant-garde thanks to Yoko & their early sound collage work. Though I suspect Virgins/Wedding work more of a fuck you to the pop music industry – similar to Lou Reed’s Metal Music. These aren’t lps I feel drawn back to more than every ten years.

I enjoy much of his studio work once he got over his collage mood. The albums all have tracks I enjoy, tracks that have become classics. He was the most directly political of the Beatles & never really followed pop trends. The only one of his lps that I actually bought, when it was first released, was Walls & Bridges. Probably his most Beatlesque work.

To round out the mp3 cds I added The Beatles: Live at the Hollywood Bowl 1965 – the Beatles sing against a backdrop of ceaseless screaming. George Harrison w Bob Dylan: New Morning Sessions; self-titled. The Dylan sessions are sweet but probably more interesting to real fans. The ‘self-titled’ flows with his mystic explorations & love songs. Julian Lennon: Valotte – solid pop from the son of John who looks & sounds like his dad. Finally Paul McCartney’s Band On The Run – I love this album. Paul has real pop smarts & this of all his recordings is the best. I’ve listened to much of his other work & well, who cares.

Magazine Machismo 

I am walking down the street across from the park. Fall. Leaves swirling around me. I spot a few colourful magazine pages caught in a wrought iron fence. As I get closer I discern faces, bodies on the pages. I pull them off. They are pictures of naked men. Full color but not fully naked. These men have on panties, stockings, their dicks can be seen through the sheer fabric. Faces pouting. 

I look around alarmed, afraid someone might see me looking at this that I just happened to pick up. There is no one around. 

I turn the pages over and more of the same photos only  in black & white. There were no other pages swirling in the wind. Where had they come from? I had never seen anything like this before. I guess I was 14 15 at time time. I’d had my own dreams about naked men but never ones that included this sort of fantasy.

I was astounded, alarmed and puzzled all at the same time. I didn’t have any sort of role model to follow and these pictures seemed almost logical – gay men wanted to be women in some way. But I didn’t want to be a woman in anyway, so maybe I wasn’t a really queer after all.

I looked at the pictures a few more times in a street light. Again making sure there was no one around to see me looking. Had someone planted them to be found and where they watching from some window to see who would take them, linger over them.  Where had they flown from to be caught in the wind, tossed around with the leaves like this.

I shoved them in the first garbage bin I came across. I felt free without them, without those faces, cocks, garters, daring me to consider things I didn’t how to consider.

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales

Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

George Harrison

I have to confess I was never a huge George Harrison fan. One of my least favourite big hits of the Beatles is  Something & if I never hear it again I’ll be happy. But I admired & respected his outlook on life & his willingness to trade on his fame to help. He also opened the door to music that I may never have discovered.

I had the Wonderwall soundtrack on lp, replaced eventually by mp3. I have never seen the movie though, has anyone? 🙂 It certainly wasn’t pop music. I also had All Things Must Pass on lp. Eventually replaced by mp3. His spiritual leanings weren’t as interesting to me as his reflections of life eon the road as a Beatle – Apple Scruffs. 

But after Pass I took a pass. I heard bits of other things, Bangladesh but never felt drawn to having anything else by him. His guitar work, to me, was good but unexceptional, same for his voice & his lyrics. 

In the past few years I added the New Morning Sessions: his work with Bob Dylan which is of interest as a curiosity; George: another solo lp that I can’t recall a track of. In fact most of his writing, except for Pass, hasn’t drawn me into it. I searched out other stuff via YouTube & found it unexceptional.

I have the 30th Anniversary edition of All Things Must Pass – the bonus material is endless but worth hearing. It is on an mp3 collection along with Shankar & Friends – a nice set of instrumentals & song with Ravi Shanker that sparkles. On this particular is also Paul & Paula: Best of  – Hey! what can I say Harrison needed a historic context 🙂 Here too is the Electric Prunes: Release of an Oath: a rock group infusing music with spiritual searching. The Best of the Troggs: Beatles compatriots. Harrison did collaborations so I found Pay Pack & Follow John Phillips collaboration with Keith Richards! It’s a bit of a mess mind you but fun.

Wait there’s more on this cd: Paul Butterfield Band’s Sometimes I Just Feel Like Smilin’ – great fun blues work Finally Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert – where Harrison appears uncredited due to some weird contract, record label conflict. An interesting concert that also features Steve Winwood, Pete Townsend & others. Sound quality is good.

Land of the Lost

‘I must say this room has never looked neater.’

‘Thanks.’ Stef wasn’t sure whether this was a compliment or a dig. ‘Every now and then strange things do happen here.’

‘So what brought it on?’

‘Brought what on?” Stef wished her mother would come right out and say things. If she thought Stef was a bad house keeper why not just say it.

‘You know what I mean, dear.’ Her mother smiled and sat at the dining room table. Stef’s ‘office’ was under the window in that room and the dining room table was often an extension of it. It spent much of its time buried under piles of papers, magazines, books and, as much as she hated to admit it, the occasional pizza box.

‘It was time for some tidying up. After all, you’ve told me many many times cluttered house cluttered mind.’

‘Did you find it?’

‘Huh?’

‘I remember the one time your room at home was spotless was the time you had lost … what was it now … some political button a boy had given you.’

‘I did not lose anything.’

‘Just misplaced.’

‘Misfiled. Mother I’d rather say, I misfiled it.’

‘And you never found it.’

‘Not yet, I mean I stopped looking. But …’

‘There there dear. I know you creative types aren’t the best of maids.’

‘You are right there.’ She didn’t want to tell her mother how she had spent the last three days going through nearly every corner of the bungalow looking for the dust cover of the book she was reviewing. Bad enough it even had one but she had put it in a safe place while she lugged the book around on buses, read it in coffee shops. Now she was done.

‘You have no idea how much like you father you are. The same furrow of the brow.’

‘Thanks. I guess.’

‘So how are things. You know when I see the place this neat I worry you aren’t working as much as you should.’

‘Things are good. Better that they were last year.’

‘Getting any work done on your novel?’

‘As much as needs to be done.’ Stef knew she was avoiding that project with all these others. But it was these others that paid the rent, paid the bills, for now.

‘You need to concentrate on one thing at a time. That’s how things get misfiled. Thinking of too much at one time.’

‘Thank you mother. I’ll keep that in mind the next time I’m homeless.’

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

October 5/6/7 – Gratitude Round-Up

https://www.facebook.com/TorontoGratitudeRoundup/

September or October but to be confirmed – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe

June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

 

Please Please Me

For my 200th blog post of the year it seems fitting that I finally get to The Beatles. This may take three or four posts to get through. Like many kids of the 60’s The Beatles were my first real music crush. On one mp3 collection I have: Please Please Me; With The Beatles; Yellow Submarine; The White Album along with George Harrison’s Wonder Wall and Danger Mouse: The Grey Album. Which covers the start, late & finish of their career. I’m get to the other lps in a few weeks.

tree03 can you see the forest

What struck me about their first couple of lps was the amount of US music covers they did. R’n’b, soul & some rock. There is a crisp fresh quality to the sound itself, sweet almost innocent. The early hits here are so simple, direct and tender. I remember being allowed to see them on Ed Sullivan & the audience screamed so much you couldn’t hear them singing “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

When we jump to the White Album the sound is more complex, the emotional content more adult & worldly. Fine moments but it sounds as if it was harder for them to even be there (which in fact it was.)

tree02 little tree I once knew

Yellow is the original lp with the George Martin suite on side two. Just hearing it brings back lots of Peter Max memories. Is there a pop group today who would dare do something on the scale of Yellow Submarine? Wonder Wall – Harrison’s sound track for a movie I’ve never seen has lots of sitar, raga-esque mixed with honky tonk and scraps of other genres. If it weren’t Harrison it would be totally forgotten.

tree01

stumped again

Danger Mouse’s Grey Album (quickly suppressed for copyright reasons) is dense with samples music from White Album with Mouse rapping over them. I love the samples & the notion of it but for me recognizing those snippets drowns his lyrics.

sample

Christmas Hamper

The gun kept slipping out of her hand. Blood! So much she didn’t know if it was his or hers. Jill pulled herself closer to the wall behind the laundry hamper. For once she was glad of its size. Extra large for her extra dirty family. She breathed a prayer that she’d get to wash those clothes again.

This was her first chance to take a breath since the attack had began. It started innocently enough. A group of five nondescript kids outside singing Christmas Carols. They were fund raising throughout the housing complex. Something for the new day care centre.

Jill had already bought the chocolate almonds, the raffle for a trip to Las Vegas. The carol singing was the latest in that series of wallet squeezing.

When they had started singing she was sorry her husband was still out with their three kids. Off to see Grandma Val, the mother-in-law, whose drunken tirades Jill no longer she felt she had to endure even in the name of festive forgiveness.

When the group had finished their first off-kilter Frosty one of them, a girl it turned out, came to the door to see if Jill wanted to hear another. Jill had fished out a ten dollar bill and was about to hand it across when she saw the small luger in the belt of girl’s nylon jogging pants.

“Don’t feel safe?” Jill had asked.

“That’s right ma’am.” A boy stepped up to join the girl only he had his larger gun in in hand. “Now if you don’t mind we’ll come into the safety of your house.”

“What …”

The boy shoved Jill hard back into the house. “Shut the fuck up bitch and you won’t get hurt. We’re making some pre-Christmas pick-ups of our own.”

That’s when Jill closed her hand around the handgun in her purse. She fired without taking it out. The bullet tore through the bag and slammed into the boy’s shoulder. Blood spurted over her, over the wall. The girl yanked out her pistol and fired.

Jill felt a sting in her calf.

“Bad aim sister.” Jill dropped the purse off her gun. She saw that the other carollers had lunged in behind the first two. One had a sawed-off shot-gun.

“Lady,” he growled as he cocked the gun, “if you don’t want to join the decorations on your tree just back off.”

“Ho! Ho! Ho!” Jill laughed, “Back off this you little asshole.’

Her one shot hit him directly between the eyes. She turned and dashed up the stairs to the bathroom. Jack kept the automatic behind the hamper. This would certainly be a Christmas to remember.

 tree03 pile’em high

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet