Archive for John Lennon

50 Years Out: The Beatles’ “Please Please Me”

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on March 22, 2013 by 30daysout

the-beatles-1963-granger

Fifty years ago today (March 22), EMI/Parlophone released Please Please Me, the debut album release by The Beatles, in the United Kingdom.

The New Music Express said on March 8th 1963: “Things are beginning to move for the Beatles, the r-and-b styled British group. The disc Please Please Me follows closely on the heels of their first hit ‘Love Me Do’ written by group members John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It looks like a bright future for the Beatles, but knowing them I don’t think they’ll let it go to their heads.”

George Martin recalled, “Please Please Me was done in a day – we started at 10 o’clock in the morning finished at 11 at night, and that was the record made.”

In the United States, most of the songs on Please Please Me were first issued on Vee-Jay Records’ Introducing … the Beatles in 1964, and subsequently on Capitol Records’ The Early Beatles in 1965. Please Please Me was not released in the United States until the Beatles’ catalog appeared on CD in 1987.

The Beatles official web site

Video Du Jour: The Beatles

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , on January 30, 2013 by 30daysout
beatles_rooftop

The Beatles, atop Apple Studios in 1969. Those were the days.

On this day in January, 44 years ago, The Beatles climbed to the rooftop of Apple Studios in London to give what would be their last public live performance.

The unannounced live show was a bit of a stunt, and an improvised ending to the documentary movie they were filming at the time, Let It Be. The movie was to be a fly-on-the-wall look at the Fabs working in the studio, cranking out songs for the planned Get Back album. What it turned out to be was a look at the world’s most famous rock band deteriorating in front of our eyes.

The rooftop show was a temporarily happy ending – the short set included “Get Back,” with Billy Preston on keyboards, “Don’t Let Me Down,” letitbee“I’ve Got A Feeling,” “One After 909,” a snippet of “Danny Boy,” “Dig A Pony,” then finally another run-through of “Get Back.”

We all know what happened: the cops came up and shut ’em down for making too much noise in the middle of a busy work day. And John Lennon’s signoff  “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition” neatly capped the era for the Beatles.

That quote appeared at the end of the Let It Be album from 1970, released after the group had already broken up. But in reality, the 1969 rooftop concert wasn’t the Beatles’ last work. They eventually got together in the spring and summer of that year to record what would become Abbey Road, arguably their best album.

YouTube: The 1969 rooftop concert (Part 1)

YouTube: The 1969 rooftop concert (Part 2)

Happy Holidays from 30 Days Out: Peace On Earth

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , on December 23, 2012 by 30daysout

christmas-around-world12

REPOST from 2008 (with slight updating): – I remember when the Apollo 8 astronauts went into space, right before Christmas in 1968. That was a rough year – Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy were shot, Vietnam was a bloody stain on the other side of the world. Violence boiled over into the streets. As Christmas week opened, three men in a little metal capsule hurtled through space toward the moon.

The astronauts of Apollo 8 were the first humans earth-riseto reach the orbit of another planetary body. As they streaked across the dark side of the moon on Christmas Eve, they turned on their TV camera. A live audience of millions heard the astronauts read from the Book of Genesis while we saw our bright blue planet rise gracefully above the lunar surface. We looked so fragile, so small – how can we not find a way to live together?

Today we have family and friends in the military, fighting wars on the other side of the world. In nearly every corner of the world, there are people who dream of making war.  In our own country, mistrust and prejudice are alive and well. We end the year on a note of unspeakable tragedy, burying small children whose lives were cut short.

As we face a new year and new challenges, perhaps we can look at ourselves once again and learn a small lesson from the past.

So on Christmas day, this day of hope and promise, we leave you with Apollo 8 astronaut Frank Borman’s signoff from that night more than 40 years ago:  “Good night, good luck, and a Merry Christmas to all of you – all of you on the good Earth.”

MP3: “Sleigh Ride” by the Ventures

MP3: “(I Saw Santa) Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Natal” by Cesaria Evora

MP3: “I Believe In Father Christmas” by Greg Lake

MP3: “The Chanukkah Song” by Neil Diamond

MP3: “In The Quiet Of Christmas Morning” by the Moody Blues

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by the Crystals

MP3: “2000 Miles” by Scala & Kolacny Brothers

MP3: “Mambo Santa Mambo” by the Enchanters

MP3: “The Rebel Jesus” by the Chieftains with Jackson Browne

MP3: “Fairytale Of New York” by the Pogues with Kirsty MacColl

MP3:  “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by the Weavers

MP3: “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Live: Paul McCartney, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on November 15, 2012 by 30daysout

Paul McCartney’s stage filled the outfield of Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Paul McCartney’s recent set of concerts on his current “On The Run” tour are epic, full of breathtaking singing and instrumental virtuosity on faithful renditions of some of the greatest songs in the rock and roll canon. His show last night (11/14) at Houston’s Minute Maid Park was exactly that.

But there’s also a sense – certainly fleeting – of wistfulness and summing up of a brilliant, unparalleled career belonging to one of the greatest entertainers of all time. At one point of the show in Houston, Paul said “These events are so cool … I just want to take a moment for myself and drink it all in.”

Then he stepped aside from the mic and just stood there, surveying the nearly sold-out crowd (about 39,000) as it cheered him on.

He did that same thing when we saw him in 2011, at the beginning of this tour in New York’s Yankee Stadium. I can’t help but think this may be a victory lap for the 70-year-old ex-Beatle but who knows? He can keep this going for quite a while.

Because it’s obvious McCartney is clearly invigorated by staging these grandiose rock shows. He played for three hours in Houston, staying on stage virtually the entire time and never once sipping a drink of water or wiping sweat with a towel. It helped that the ballpark’s roof was open, and it was a crisp, cool Houston evening.

The voice is still there: on “All My Loving,” hitting the same notes he did in 1963, crooning on the goofy “My Valentine” and rocking out on “Got To Get You Into My Life” and “Paperback Writer.”

And the dude can play: he strapped on an electric guitar eight songs into the set to take the lead on “Let Me Roll It,” which morphed into an impressive instrumental rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxey Lady.” He pounded the piano keys for Band On The Run deep cut “1985” and the Beatles warhorses “Lady Madonna” and “Hey Jude.”

Video screens made the Beatle’s show feel intimate, even from the cheap seats.

McCartney has proudly accepted the mantle of keeper of the Beatles’ flame, and in addition to his own compositions he paid deeply touching tribute to his fallen fellow Fabs George Harrison and John Lennon. Harrison was remembered fondly with a great rendition of “Something,” which started out on ukulele and wound up with a full-on band treatment.

After that highlight, McCartney mentioned that George wrote that one “all by himself.” And he capped it with “Frank Sinatra once said that ‘Something’ was his favorite Lennon/McCartney song,” Paul shrugged.

Lennon’s tribute consisted of the acoustic ballad “Here Today,” written by McCartney after his mate’s murder in 1980. Then, later, Paul wound up with Lennon’s “A Day In The Life” appended to a singalong “Give Peace A Chance.”

Fireworks both figurative and literal peppered the homestretch: “Get Back,” “Helter Skelter,” “Let It Be,” and the James Bond theme “Live and Let Die,” punctuated by an impressive pyrotechnics display.

Say what you want about McCartney’s cute/pop/cloying tendencies over the past 50 years – in 2012 this is the Cadillac of rock shows. To steal from another James Bond song (not written by McCartney), nobody does it better.

Paul McCartney setlist from Houston Minute Maid Park 11/14/2012

Found on YouTube: “Paperback Writer” from Houston (thanks pokabeb)

The pyro goes off for “Live and Let Die.”

Glad It’s Over?

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on November 7, 2012 by 30daysout

There are most likely many happy people in America this morning, and a lot of disgruntled, disappointed ones. By far, most people seem to be simply relieved it’s over.

It’s been a nasty and brutal year leading up to Election Day, so nasty you’d think the Civil War had started up again. Hell, even the band The Civil Wars broke up. That’s how divided everyone is.

So it’s time to move on. Congratulations to President Obama and Mr. Romney for getting their respective messages out to so many people – let’s hope we can find some ground in the middle from which we can work to solve our problems.

MP3: “Come Together” (live) by John Lennon & Elephant’s Memory

MP3: “Let’s Work Together” by Canned Heat

MP3: “One Time One Night” by Los Lobos

MP3: “Chimes of Freedom” by The Byrds

MP3: “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

MP3: “Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream” by Johnny Cash

MP3: “Find The Cost of Freedom” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

MP3: “Blame It On Obama” by Andre Williams

MP3: “Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze” (live at Woodstock) by Jimi Hendrix

Yow! The Best Rock and Roll Screams

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2012 by 30daysout

Roger Daltrey of The Who

Our greatest rockers are people who apparently never used their “indoor voice.” Why should they? They were future rockers! Anyhow, the other day I was thinking that the one ingredient basic to any good rock and roll song – besides a guitar solo, of course – is a blood-curdling scream.

It could be an expression of rage and defiance, like Roger Daltrey’s classic scream at the end of “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” or it can be a cathartic release of pain and frustration, like John Lennon in “Well Well Well.” Screams can be ominous and threatening, like Axl Rose in “Welcome To The Jungle” or it can be just plain weird and inexplicable, like Jim Morrison in “When The Music’s Over.”

Screams can be old and trailblazing: Bo Diddley and Little Richard loved to scream, although Richard’s were more like a shriek and Bo’s were more like a holler. They can be punk (The Stooges), they can be metal (Iron Maiden), they can be funny (Tenacious D) or they can be very soulful (Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett). As Eddie Murphy once said about James Brown’s famous scream, “He wrote that.”

So let’s celebrate the weekend with a dozen cool rockin’ screams. Turn it up!

MP3: “Welcome To The Jungle” (live) by Guns N’ Roses

MP3: “Shout Bamalama” by Eddie Hinton

MP3: “Run Diddley Daddy” by Bo Diddley

MP3: “Get Up Offa That Thing” by James Brown

MP3: “TV Eye” by The Stooges

MP3: “Piece Of My Heart (live) by Big Brother and the Holding Company

MP3: “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard

MP3: “I Can’t Turn You Loose” by Edgar Winter’s White Trash

MP3: “Hold On To Your Hiney” by Wilson Pickett

MP3: “Well Well Well” by John Lennon

MP3: “When The Music’s Over” (live) by The Doors

MP3: “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who

YouTube: Greatest Rock Screams (thanks to GuyFaux2007)

Rock and Roll Remembrance

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by 30daysout

We’ve lost a lot of great rock and rollers lately. It seems we hardly catch our breath after one is laid to rest, then we hear of another that’s about to leave us. That’s the way it is – our heroes are getting older every day.

So today let’s blow it out with some tunes from rockers who’ve passed to the other side. R.I.P., and keep on rockin’.

MP3: “I’m Losing You” (alternate version) by John Lennon (d. 1980)

MP3: “Holy Diver” (live) by Dio (Ronnie James Dio, d. 2010)

MP3: “Smokestack Lightning” by Howlin’ Wolf (d. 1976)

MP3: “Piece Of My Heart” by Big Brother & the Holding Company (Janis Joplin, d. 1970)

MP3: “Texas Tornado” by the Sir Douglas Quintet (Doug Sahm, d. 1999)

MP3: “Ella Guru” by Captain Beefheart (d. 2010)

MP3: “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James (d. 2012)

MP3: “Lonely Lover” by Marvin Gaye (d. 1984)

MP3: “Small Town Talk” by Bobby Charles (d. 2010)

MP3: “Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze” (live at Woodstock) by Jimi Hendrix (d. 1970)

MP3: “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” by Hank Williams (d. 1953)

MP3: “Deep Blue” by George Harrison (d. 2001)

YouTube: “Up On Cripple Creek” (1969 rehearsal), by the Band (Levon Helm, d. 2012; Rick Danko, d. 1999; Richard Manuel, d. 1986)