I’ve been driving up

the NY Throughway listening to the Beatles for most of the journey. Actually, I kept listening beyond Albany, past Troy and up into South Eastern Vermont. The Beatles have a lot of songs. I started with their early stuff and got to the 7th album Revolver, recorded in ’66, before I had arrived at my destination. I haven’t listened to them much for years, but I was pleasantly surprised how so many of those songs have stood the test of time. One thing stands out, and that is the lyric writing. There is nothing jarring there. The words are all carefully crafted, everything rhymes and everything fits the music. There are no unwanted consonants, or extra words. It’s an exercise in restraint and the correct use of the English language. The other thing I realized is that most of these early Beatles songs are really just teenage anthems.

The Beatles leap for the Queen at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1963.

Everything is about love. Lost love, found love, she loves you, I don’t want you, you don’t love me, you don’t want me, I need you, If I fell in love, etc etc. It’s a love festival. They’re almost like love talismans in song. Little spells to bewitch your lover and get her to come to you. It’s teenage voodoo. “I’ll get you in the end, imagine I’m in love with you.” The singing is great. Lennon’s voice is perfect for a lot of these tunes, and when they all sing together, sometimes you can see where Crosby Stills and Nash got their ideas from. The songs I didn’t like much, are the covers. Roll Over Beethoven sucks ass, but then Chuck Berry sucks ass in my opinion. Such an over rated clown, yet the Beatles, Stones and God knows who else worship the ground this tedious pervert walked on. I don’t get it.

It’s hot, hot, hot today, but it’s supposed to rain for the next few days. Maybe I’ll go for a swim this weekend, I don’t know. It’s certainly hot enough, although the water coming down from the mountain and the depth of the dam, ensures that it’s never really warm other than on the surface. All summer long it’s freezing in some places, no matter how hot it gets. But back to the Beatles. It all started to go south at The Ballad of John and Yoko. Lennon has lost the plot. “Christ, they’re gonna crucify me?” You get what you ask for sometimes. Generally a lot of that psychedelic stuff would have been better if not undertaken under the influence of substances. It would have been better off not being recorded I think.

Recording Love Me Do in ’62. It’s collars and ties chaps, or GTFO

Generally, I find McCartney’s stuff insipid and sappy, but some of the songs are genuinely deserving of a place in the pop hall of fame. Lennon too, has his moments. “In My Life” strikes all the right emotional chords I think, and he wrote the entire thing. On my return journey I’ll listen to the second half of the Beatles musical output. I know there’s some good stuff in there among the dross. Ringo’s contributions in the early part of the first part sound like charity pieces. Some of their output is almost country, more than you would think, even. Happy Friday.