11:07:00 +07:00 Notes on the Beatles - I recently finished listening to the latest 500 Songs podcast on the Beatles. It's great, if you like music, give it a listen, you will probably like it. I took some notes, a few bits that stood out for whatever reason. Had I listenned to the episode another time perhaps totally different bits would have been focussed. There are so many great bits.
Yoko Ono's background - I had no idea she was from such an elustrious background. I knew she wasn't poor but she's stratospheric in terms of ancestry. Her father was nouveaux upper class, wanted to be a musician, but her mother was from basically a royal family, the end of a long line of samurai. Even though he wasn't too shabby in terms of social status, it doesn't even compare to the mother's status, and the mother's family didn't approve of his musical ambitions. So a compromise was reached where he would become a company man, giving up his music career. That's quite an interesting set of circumstances. Being torn between two very different groups is not easy, I bet it had a big impact on her music and art, which ended up being very experimental in nature.
Recording studio sounds - At university I was involved in the student radio station. The radio station had a couple of different studios. The main one was for radio shows, but there were two another less well known ones that were used for recording band sessions. I got to spend a fair amount of time in all of them. A lot of the clips in the podcast totally reminded me of various equipment we would play around with, turn tables, tape loops, mini disks, samplers etc. Talking into microphones between the mixing desk and the recording room that were separated by glass. Everyone wearing headphones. Very familiar sounds. Omg the scary you-are-live-on-air red light. Lots of fun memories.
I didn't really know about what the UK politics scene was like at the height of their fame. In 1968 there was a very left wing liberal government. They passed several very progressive laws:
- Legalising gay sex
- Abolition of death penalty for murder
- Legalising abortion
This will probably sound strange. It never occurred to me that you don’t get the death penalty for murder. It’s odd isn’t it? I guess there are all sorts of edge cases where it makes sense, but when you hear that it actually had to be enshrined into law, the first thing that occurred to me was what an obvious potential arbitrage, though clearly very dark. It’s wierd that you can kill someone and get a less severe punishment isn’t it?
I guess maybe in practice, it does work because the punishment is nevertheless very severe so practically speaking no one will ever knowingly make that trade off. Maybe it also is somewhat of a deterent to not be a total arsehole all the time, because someone theoretically could murder you. It is a bit weird though.
The Nina Simone tribute / reply track to Lennon's very famous song Revolution is awesome. Not only is the track brilliant, a sort of parody done in the style of Simone, but Lennon's reaction is super cool. It's the sort of thing that goes on in social media every day now, but I wonder if this is one of the first examples of this sort of thing happening in popular culture. Based on Lennon's pleasant suprise, seems like it might have been.
The band breakup story is kind of classic, the low key nature of it makes it even better considering the band's status. It’s like an episode of a popular sitcom or something, but you could see how it could be true. I won't spoil it for you, but it's quite funny, even if I guess for those involved at the time it probably wasn't. I think if they were all alive today, they would likely see the funny side of it.
It’s cool to hear all the complicated background history about what was happening around the world when these songs were written. "Back in the USSR" is a good example, what a phenominal song btw, it really was going very against main stream culture of the time. This isn't at all a commentary on the current situation in the region, but I really love that song.
It’s cool to hear how all the bands of the time intersected, and influenced each other, like an enormous ever changing configuration of planets and stars all sling-shotting around each other.
The Beatles were awesome! :) #