The Beatles

My friend Ben Semmens text me to say that he had just watched A Hard Days Night for the first time- and then watched it four more times.

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As we once used to say, it blew his mind. And why not?

Here was a film made something like fifty years ago and show those who are discovering the Beatles for the first time, a band on the run playing on simple stages and not monolithic examples in extravaganza to cover up the pock marks as their songs didn’t need anything more than those melodies, lyrics and voices.

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What Ben and I also talked about were the songs from that movie – simple, catchy songs with no choruses per se as every one of these was one three minute chorus- the instrumental intro, the verse, the bridge, and even the guitar break.

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That guitar break on I Should Have Known Break is a song all its own- and stronger than many choruses around today written by committees where the verses are throwaways.

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I happen to love Roar and Get Lucky, but, try as I might, don’t ask me to remember anything other than the chorus.

When horse racing people lament about the good old days, it bores the shit outta me as it shows a stubborn and dated attitude to not accept change and keep away a new generation of racing fans who want to bring the sport into the 21st century and give it the excitement that even cricket has today.

At least, Hong Kong is succeeding where other racing clubs continue to fail.

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When music fans lament and long for the good old days, it shows that what we have today are bibs and bobs of good stuff with the rest being a sea of mediocrity.

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There is certainly not that feeling that here was something truly life-changing and mind-expanding as when the Beatles exploded onto radio, television, that memorable opening chord that brought A Hard Day’s Night to screens.

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The Beatles were the catalyst for a holistic scene of fashion and sound that in one orgy of change brought us Dylan, Donovan, the Stones, Kinks, Twiggy, Carnaby Street, Small Faces, The Who, the movie “Blow Up”, Terence Stamp, Julie Christie, Cat Stevens, Pink Floyd, Pretty Things, Animals, Top Of The Pops, T.Rex, Marc Bolan, paisley shirts and bell bottoms, mods and rockers, The Who, the Walker Brothers, the Hollies and so many more.

Yes, more music than ever before- but very good before.

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On their heels, came Led Zeppelin, LSD, the Byrds, Lovin’ Spoonful, The Jimi Hendrix Experience (let’s never forget the roles played by Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell), Magical Mystery Tour, Revolver, Flower Power, Woodstock, Monterey, Bill Graham, The Fillmore, The Troubador, Cream, Blind Faith, Traffic, Pet Sounds, Sgt Pepper, The White Album etc etc.

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It was all groovy until that madman Charles Manson and his zomboids struck like Helter Skelter and made many realize that sex, drugs and rock and roll was a nightmare and how The Dream was over and how it was time to go back, rethink, recharge, re-arrange and regroup.

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But, apart from pockets of Change, something was missing: Inspiration? No leaders? The corruption of politics? The beginnings of a Greed Is Good lifestyle? And has all this led to where we are today?

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Where ARE we, anyway?

Lost without knowing we’re lost or finding ourselves without knowing we are and realizing life’s priorities and finally refusing to carry unnecessary baggage that’s only downsizing your thinking?

Or maybe it’s all of the above and realizing what’s important to you, how to make one’s self happy without trying to make others happy, locking those out who are time-wasters and once very often, going back and watching A Hard Days Night, listening to Rubber Soul? Revolver, Sgt Pepper’s, The White Album, and reminding yourself of what made you the person you are.

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Those that don’t understand this or don’t get and feel this magic, well, they never will, so leave them be, move on and just let it be.

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