Sunday, October 09, 2005

happy 65th birthday John Lennon

On the birthday of one of the most inspirational and influential men in all of music and art. I couldnt help but put on my new Alternate Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band on and reminisce about all the things that this man has done and given to the world. Born on October 9, 1940, John Winston Lennon would have been 65 today had he not been shot to death outside of his home in New York City by an assassin that was reportedly a deranged fan, yet political motives were always close at hand.... nearly three hundred pages, John Lennon's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) file reveals that he was under "constant surveillance." His apartment was watched, he was followed, and his phone was tapped. The FBI did not keep a particularly low profile around the ex-Beatle, apparently attempting to harass him into silence or at least drive him nuts, similar to the tactic they had used on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., just a few short, but eventful years earlier. In late 1972, when the "surveillance" was at its peak, John Lennon told humorist Paul Krassner (and guitarist for Jefferson Airplane) , "Listen, if anything happens to Yoko and me, it was not an accident." . for an article on the assasination go HERE
His later music often had political motives behind it and he could have truly led a country into 'revolution' if he wanted to.

The Oscar/Hammerstein of pop music, Lennon and McCartney paved the way down the long and winding road(s) of music into such vast directions that were not yet realized or fathomed by the casual listener. There is no doubt that the 'early' Beatles songs/albums (pre 65) had a greater impact on the general public and pop music, but for me it was after The Beatles were turned onto Marijuana by Bob Dylan in late 64' and then LSD in 1965 that their music endeavors had changed directions to later create the masterpieces Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Peppers Lonely hearts Club Band, The White Album, and Abbey Road....their creative processes quietly left the conventional realm for the abstract. Songs like Rain, Tomorrow Never Knows, Got To Get You Into My Life,Revolution #9 (rock and roll meets avant garde) and Its All Too Much brought out subliminal and hidden meanings to unsuspecting listeners.
In early 1968, The Beatles rid themselves of drugs (tepporarily) for the meditation trip with the Maharishi in India. Perhaps the most significant part of this shortlived 'trip' was the introduction of Indian music to western pop and George Harrisons and John Lennons spiritual transformations into the world of Krishna. They also helped turn the world on to mantras and motives of Krishna spirituality in a HUGE way. Beatle George Harrison donated a 23-acre property just outside London to the group. (The estate, in the town of Watford, is now known as Bhaktivedanta Manor and has been expanded to 80 acres.) John Lennon hosted the guru for two weeks at his ansion in Tittenhurst, England.

The Beatles constanly pushed boundries in their music and art and even cencorship boundries, first with their album cover 'Yesterday and Today' with the Beatles, dressed in butchers' smocks, adorned with slabs of raw red meat, glass eyeballs, false teeth, and nude, decapitated dolls, posing with sickly, sadistic leers on their faces. and later Lennons first solo album (after the demise of The Beatles in 69') Two Virgins with new wife Yoko Ono standing naked on the front. I believe the album was sold with a paper bag over it. (to rid the public of the shame and humility that comes so often while looking at the naked body?) even today with the internet, it is still censored on many websites. John continued to put out great albums for 10 years after The Beatles and was coming home from the recording studio when he was shot. He also painted alot and his exhibits still show up in cities across the globe. He is dearly missed and will forever be remembered in his music and his art. heres to you John-cheers!
Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream,It is not dying, it is not dying..Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void,It is shining, it is shining.Yet you may see the meaning of within It is being, it is being. Love is all and love is everyone ...It is knowing, it is knowing. And ignorance and hate mourn the dead....It is believing, it is believing But listen to the colour of your dreams It is not leaving, it is not leaving...So play the game "existence" to the end,Of the beginning, of the beginning - Tomorrow Never Knows

Sunday, October 02, 2005

bob dylan no direction home

Bob Dylan, the man, the myth, the writer,
folk singer, the rocker, the poet, the beat,
the prose, the hero...........
this single man has done more for music than
one can fathom. In celebration of the release of
his new documentary No Direction Home,
I must share my recollections and inspirations
from the depths of this fellow
musician/singer/songwriter. First off, the new
documentary, which was produced by Martin Scorsese
is great (he did The Bands Last Waltz, Gangs of New York
and Goodfellas) Many of the video clips of Dylan and
The Band on his 1966 European tour were from the
bootleg video EAT THIS DOCUMENT.
This is the classic tour with all of the Europeans
booing him and The Band, calling him a 'sellout'
and even 'JUDAS!" In which he responds "how could you!?"

Perhaps it was because i grew up in a time where heavy metal music flourished and rock music was almost scoffed and folk music was never even considered....perhaps it was the pathological anti-authoritarian in me that caused me fall into his music like the snake to the snake charmer. Though i deeply respected his earlier solo acoustic albums, (probably because i learned to play music on an acoustic guitar) it was his 65-75 albums that were the most powerful. Highway 61, Bringing It All Back Home, Blonde on Blonde, Nashville Skyline (w/the late Johnny Cash), Blood On The Tracks and Desire to me was his best decade of musical directions and meanderings. The 1975 Rolling Thunder Review tour (represented on The Bootleg Series Vol. 5) was an extremely powerful tour with a kalidascope of acts such as Joan Baez, Rambling Jack Elliot, Mick Ronson (played with Bowie and The Stones) and a wonderful Scarlet Riviera on electric violin....even Beat poet Allen Ginsberg joined the circus (Allen was also in his old black and white video Subteranean Homesick Blues (to me this is the first RAP song, think about it!) No Direction Home is a wonderful piece of work spanning from his early pilgrimage from North Dakota to NYC searching out Woody Guthrie, to his first appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963, to when he plugged in in 1965 to his tour with The Band in 1966 where shortly after his arrival back in the United States, he get into a bad motorcycle accident. It also contains footage from a previous document called Dont Look Back.

Ever since Bob Dylan turned The Beatles on to marijuana, the music world was never the same. Both Dylan and The Beatles were to change the face of music and bring about bold new beginnings to rock and roll. Weather or not you like Dylans love/hate vocals, one cannot deny the power of his songwriting and lyrics and he will still remain one the most covered musicians in society.
Old lady judges watch people in pairs, limited in sex, they dare to push fake morals, insult and stare, while money doesn't talk, it swears obscenity, who really cares propaganda, all is phony. While them that defend what they cannot see with a killer's pride, security It blows their minds most bitterly for them that think death's honesty won't fall upon them naturally life sometimes must get lonely.My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyardsFalse gods, I scuff at pettiness which plays so rough walk upside-down inside handcuffs kick my legs to crash it off say okay, I have had enough what else can you show me?And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine but it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only