Wednesday, December 03, 2008

All Those Years Ago...
...This would be a good time to "Imagine"...

This is a real "downer week" for Beatles fans. Coming up in a few days, the 28th anniversary of John Lennon's death, although the only person who might be gleefully celebrating is John Lennon's wacko assassin, who is still tucked away in a New York State Prison. Can it already be 28 years since Mr. Lennon's passing? Well, Yeah. And the reason I'm mentioning that now, is because I missed the death-anniversary date of George Harrison, who passed away November 29th, 2001. The big "C" got Harrison, who had been fighting cancer off and on for the last couple years of his life. It's almost as if George's 'date' just sorta slips by, in much the same way he slipped away. Lennon's 'date' commemorates such an awful event that I don't think I'll ever forget it.

The very last song George Harrison ever recorded was a tune called "Horse To The Water", but it's not on any of his solo albums. Back in 2001, he was still feeling good enough, a mere two months before his passing, to lay down vocals and contribute some sweet guitar leads to the tune. He wrote it with his son, Dhani, and you can find it on a "various artists" compact disc, which was put together by British Musician Jules Holland, who (I believe) was keyboardist for a British band called Squeeze. Holland nowadays hosts a TV variety-show-sort-of program in Merrie Olde England. I've always wished that George's song would have been released on a vinyl single, but so far, that hasn't happened. Pictured below is the CD that contains "Horse To The Water"...
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This is a pretty good disc, in that it features all-new recordings by a whole slew of big and fairly-big musicians. Jules Holland has released several of these discs over the years, which means, I guess, that if you go out and buy 'em all, you'll be hearing a whole lotta different artists. CD's such as this would probably be a great album to put on an Ipod or Mp3, or "random play" in your CD changer. I'm not sure if it's still in print (depends on how much demand for it there is), but it's worth tracking down. I got my copy all those years ago...it was really important for me to have George's Last Track. Below, is a photo of George from the CD Booklet, taken right around the time he recorded that last song...


George Harrison in the last couple months of his life. 'Twas nice knowing you, George...

I read recently that it was actually John Lennon who felt the most paranoia and anxiety before each Beatles Concert way back when. John posed as the "tough guy" in the group, but some have said that John's Vision might have brought that on; he reportedly was almost blind without his glasses. It's not unreasonable to think that during those Beatles' concerts, or on the Ed Sullivan Show, he couldn't SEE the audience. I guess I'd feel paranoid, too. The audience as a Big Blob Somewhere Out There. Below is the last photograph of John Lennon, taken several hours before he was killed...


John Lennon, on his way to his last recording date; signing an album for the guy that later shot him.
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So, this is a gloomy time for all Beatles fans. Not that I'm all that depressed about it, because when you factor in that Lennon would have been 68 this year, who knows if he'd be alive now, had he not met such a horrible fate; age has a way of catching up with us all sooner or later. While I'll always be sad that Mssrs. Harrison and Lennon are gone, the Entire Beatles Era is almost beginning to feel like Ancient History, and I'm feeling quite antiquated as well. But yet, when I hear Beatles' oldies on the radio (indeed, I heard 'Strawberry Fields Forever' over the intercom of a Goodwill store, which freaked me out) the memories come flooding back. What a crazy, out-there song. It's outrageous...and truly one of a kind. Like Lennon Himself.
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My favorite Beatles' song? It's so hard to choose. For sheer power, I love "Day Tripper"; it's still an exciting song, especially about 2/3's of the way through when, coming out of the instrumental break, the song builds and builds and builds before crashing into the last verse. Those who say the Beatles didn't rock need to play it repeatedly and do some serious re-evaluating.

5 Comments:

Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

Ive seen Jules Holland and his Rhythm and Blues band, they come to our Portsmouth Guildhall every crimbo time.... Ive been and seen them twice, he is amazing and I love to see him on his late night telly programme to....

wow 28 years since lennons death, thats unbelievable.... how time flies....

x

6:02 AM  
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