Tag Archives: beatles

Ringo Starr rebukes the Stoics

I’ve been reading Marcus Aurelius and he keeps returning to the theme that one must live “according to one’s nature” in order to live a good life.  He really believes in nature.  In fact, he reasons as follows:  nature wouldn’t cause bad things to happen to the virtuous as well as the wicked, and we see that both the virtuous and the wicked often die young, so early death must not be a bad thing.

Apparently this focus on doing what is according to one’s nature is a standard feature of Stoic philosophy.  It makes me think of this song, one of the few times the Beatles let Ringo sing.  It’s not even a Beatles original; it’s a cover of a Buck Owens hit from a couple of years previously.  Released as a B-side to “Yesterday” and then on the Help! LP.

Ringo has a different view on the virtues of acting according to one’s nature:

They’re gonna put me in the movies
They’re gonna make a big star out of me
We’ll make a film about a man that’s sad and lonely
And all I gotta do is act naturally
Well, I’ll bet you I’m a-gonna be a big star
Might win an Oscar you can’t never tell
The movie’s gonna make me a big star,
‘Cause I can play the part so well
Well, I hope you come and see me in the movie
Then I’ll know that you will plainly see
The biggest fool that’s ever hit the big time
And all I gotta do is act naturally

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Pinoy Twee

I was looking in vain for YouTube footage of Orange Juice playing “Moscow Olympics” and discovered that there’s a band named after the song.  You’d guess such a band would be pretty good, and you’d be right.  But you might not guess they’d be from the Philippines!  I didn’t know before tonight that there’s a healthy scene of Filipino bands making pop records that sound like they were made 15 years ago in Sweden — see and hear, for instance, The Wentletraps.  (I like the instrumental “Vignettes.”)  I’d like to hear their cover of “Just Like Honey,” but I can’t find it online.  OK, maybe you knew there was a Filipino twee pop scene — but did you know there was a Filipino Christian twee pop scene?  These guys can’t be the only Christian pop band in the world called “Grace Period” but I’ll bet they’re the best.  (Listen:  “Can’t Get Away From You.”)

Anyway, if this is all too bright and sweet for you, cleanse that palate with a really disturbing ukulele version of “Helter Skelter” by Karinne Keithley.  OK, I’ll concede this is bright and sweet too.  But in a “Helter Skelter” kind of way.


Update:  Hey, here’s the Wentletraps playing “Just Like Honey”:

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Revolution revisited

Update:  EMI had the song pulled from YouTube — sorry.  Hope you got to hear it!

It’s almost forty years since the Beatles broke up, but they still have the power to surprise.  I never really understood what the straight pop song “Revolution” and the tape-loop breakdown of “Revolution #9” had to do with each other.  This just-leaked demo reveals them as two pieces of one many-jointed eleven-minute song.  (via ilX.)

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A hard day’s man

The two greatest opening chords in rock, explained:

Ben Sisario writes about the “Here Comes Your Man” chord in his 33 1/3 book on Doolittle:

The opening chord, originally just an open D, became a jagged open-string thrum that instantly conjures the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.” (Thompson continued to play a straight D major, but the secret ingredient is Santiago’s beloved “Hendrix chord,” here a D7 sharp-9; a loose open E also rumbles faintly underneath.)

The book is great, by the way — heavy on extensive interviews with Black Francis (aka Frank Black, aka Charles Thompson) and light on the rock-critic bloviating. I learned a lot about a record I thought I already knew a lot about.

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