Saturday, August 23, 2008

yestreen Erin invited me to join him on the green for I presume the last weekly town concert for the summer. I was tired and said no but thought it s nice to be invited, by a stepson, so I mustered myself and hopped on my bike. which is indeed NOT what I did: no one hops on a bike without some manner of excruciation. there have been concerts all summer, and we have witnessed several. the concerts tend towards generic classic rock, competent work by old farts. I mean, one group consisted of doctors and lawyers. I do not mean to disparage, it is just that you realize that a Richard Thompson, or whoever, simply goes beyond, that the engine can be amazing, and not just fun. when I got close to the green I recognized "Magical Mystery Tour", done in straightforwardly Beatles style. hotcha, I like that song. I hurriedly locked my bike and hustled to the music. the band was a foursome, 2 older guys and 2 younger. I think I understood from the start that they were a Beatles cover band. that they played MMT confirmed that. the bass player was a grey beard and played, like Paul, a Hofner bass. the mix was heavy to the bass, but at least he was good. as was/is Paul, his bass lines were awfully tasteful and pretty. they zipped thru the Beatles catalogue competently. the sound system declined thru the night. vocals were not a patch on the original, but then the Beatles were largely a studio band, there's not a lot of extant examples of Beatles live. I was happy to hear the tunes, altho "The Ballad of John and Yoko", a mailed in song (by John et al.) if ever, just annoyed me. the Beatles hit Ed Sullivan and the American consciousness when I was 11. they flipped my world around. it has occurred to me that I can sing, words and lyrics, a very large percentage of the Beatles' catalogue, without having studied much, and without listening to much of it the past 25 years or more. the Beatles were a mega something. you think of Elvis having a similar cultural completion, and Sinatra. I think Mariah Carey may have more #1s than anyone, or some such stat. granted I am not paying attention but all that comes to mind with MC is those looping high notes. who/what is the Beatles of the 90s or the 00s? or is that a deprecated concept now? could Nirvana be said to be the Beatles of the 90s, that is, unavoidably influential? is Radiohead, for the current 15 minutes? maybe the media divergence has made such a unifying force impossible. The Beatles were a cultural imperative then, when I was 11. that concept may hold little or no water now. I certainly do not intend to present the Beatles as some necessity. Erin noted the song "Ticket to Ride", which has been taken by the homeschool coop as the theme song for graduation. which maybe is akin to taking "Born in the USA" as a paean to Republican virtues, but anyway. Howl was the culminating or coalescing thing for that time but god knows no poem will have such influence now.