Random Beatles stuff

Back when I did my Beatles series, I believe I mentioned in there somewhere that they would pop up now and again on these pages, randomly. (Most Beatles videos have been pulled from the Internet so my series is now a mishmash of live stuff and missing videos. Pity. I have no intention of going back and replacing everything with Spotify links. The Beatles are just going to somehow survive without the Music Enthusiast’s assistance.)

☛This seemed like a good time to return to stuff about the Fab Four as Sirius radio has a new Beatles channel starting tomorrow, 5/18. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how they’re going to fill up a 24/7 Beatles channel when the band’s entire recorded output (including solo stuff) can’t possibly add up to more than a few weeks’ worth, end to end.

Even if it’s a month’s worth of stuff, then what? Repeat everything? Covers? Interviews? Yoko? Time for tea? Me jamming with Paul and Ringo? They don’t have anywhere near the recorded live output of the Dead or Springsteen to fill up the time. I’m curious to see how they pull this off.

☛Here’s Ringo, George, and Paul jamming in 1994, right around the time when they were putting the Beatles Anthology together. Twenty-five years after their acrimonious breakup. Nothing earth-shattering here, just fun to watch. “Thinking of Linking” is a song Paul wrote when he was 16, pronouncing it “terrible.” “Blue Moon of Kentucky” is a Bill Monroe tune but they are doubtless thinking of Elvis here.

☛Ok, so how’s your Beatles knowledge? I stumbled on a good online 75-question Beatles trivia game. I got 63 out of 75. No Googling, no listening to songs, no nothin’. Go for it!

Beatles Trivia Game

☛These are John’s demos for “Strawberry Fields Forever” that he recorded at home in Kenwood, St. George’s Hill, Surrey in 1966.

I am typically not a fan of hearing the unfinished product but I found this to be somewhat compelling:

Last but not least, here is a great video of The Beatles in Australia. (Last ten minutes or so, audio only.) I found out about this from another blogger but I’ll be damned if I can find the reference to his site.

This show is from Melbourne on July 1, 1964, and was broadcast on Channel 9. It’s the last of three nights at the city’s Festival Hall. They sound terrific here and seem to be really into it. Shades of the Cavern!

10 thoughts on “Random Beatles stuff

  1. Great post! Typically, I think it’s fascinating to compare early Beatles demos with the final masterpiece and realize the oftentimes humble beginnings of their songs!

    I also enjoyed the Melbourne audio clip. It’s yet another illustration what a fantastic live band The Beatles were. Yeah, many of the songs they played during their live period may have been “simple.” But it was great music performed with electrifying energy, and that’s what matters – not how sophisticated it is. Plus, during their later studio phase, The Beatles proved they were also geniuses when it came to more complex stuff.

    As for the SIRIUS channel, I read about this somewhere else as well. While it seems to be a bit puzzling to dedicate an entire channel to one band only, no matter which band it is, I guess it proves yet again how popular The Beatles remain to this day, 40-plus years after their breakup. And, when you listen to classic rock radio stations like Q104.3, you’ll notice they seem to have a core list of 50 songs or so they keep playing over and over again. I suppose you don’t really need to have that many songs to fill up your program. Plus, I wonder whether their characterization as a “Beatles channel” could be broad and they’ll also throw in solo stuff from John, Paul, George and Ringo. Once you do that, you have a pretty formidable list of songs to choose from.

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    1. Definitely agree it’s fun to listen to the demos. But now that I think back, I believe I listened to the Anthology demos maybe once or twice, shelved it.

      Yeah, that video captures their raw energy and appeal better than any early video I’ve seen. And I think, for me anyway, in some ways rock ‘n roll benefits by being simpler. To this day I’d rather listen to ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ than ‘Sgt. Pepper.’ I totally get which one was more impactful. But I also totally get which one is more fun.

      Yeah, I actually did make that point that they’ll toss in the solo stuff. And yes it is formidable. So I’m talking less about quality and more about quantity. My point is how many hours do their collected works take up? Purely a logistical question. If I’m programming this station, how do I fill up the time? Springsteen has 18 studio albums, a couple of official live albums and a million unofficial live shows on his site. So if you listen to that station – which I do – they play the live stuff a great percentage of the time. Given that his shows are four hours long, easy to fill up time. Likewise the Dead.

      But if you played the Beatles output (band, solo, live, outtakes, etc.) back-to-back 24/7, I’m hard-pressed to think it would fill an entire week. Two? Three? Four? And then unless there’s some treasure trove I’m unaware of, repeat. I’m not saying this is bad per se. I guess I’m saying if I were asked to program this station, I’d be wondering how the hell would I fill up the time without repeating myself.

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  2. Lots of repetition undoubtedly with this Sirius channel. But as Top 40 and Classic Rock radio have proven, there will always be an audience. Speaking of Beatles, it will be “(50) years ago today” come June 1. I plan to celebrate with a Sgt. Pepper’s trivia contest of my own, Jim, and I hope you’ll partake (it’s an open book test, but for you, Mr. 63 out of 75, it’s closed book only).

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    1. Yes, you are correct. People will listen to the same songs over and over again. And it’s the Beatles! But putting aside quantity, let’s (ahem) talk quality. All of the Beatles put out really good stuff shortly after the band broke up. But as time went on, quality took a dip IMHO. I’m not even going to sit here and pretend that Lennon’s “Sometime in New York City” is as good an album as, say, “Imagine.” So I now have the Beatles channel already on preset. But if I hear John screaming or Yoko caterwauling, I’m changing the channel.

      Hey, I hadn’t even thought of the Sgt. Pepper anniversary. Wow. Fifty years. How about that? As to my score, is that sick or what? I surprised myself. They actually had a question about which of the following four clubs did the Beatles play first in Hamburg. And I recognized every one. They were all legit venues. I just couldn’t remember which one was first Man, I need to get out of the house more often, get a life. 😀

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      1. I just took it and scored 63, too. My wife and I took a cruise last December, and the Beatles trivia on the ship was hilarious. The slick, young emcee was amazed that so many of us old farts knew the songs. Ahh…it’s not easy growing old!

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        1. Ha! Nice.Well done. I missed a couple of what I later thought were easy-peasey. (Don’t want to give it away but I should have had Paul’s middle name.) My knowledge of these guys at that depth comes from reading several books that cover more or less the same ground. I’m endlessly fascinated by their stay in Hamburg which by itself would make an interesting movie.

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    2. For the record, as promised, the channel started today. The blurb in the channel info provides, I think, some insight as to how they’ll fill the time:

      “All of their hits, album tracks, live recordings, rarities and solo songs, along with the RECORDS THAT INFLUENCED THEM AND MUSIC INSPIRED BY THEM. Plus, hear specials, interviews and exclusive hosted shows.” Caps mine above. So there it is. They’ll fill it up with music of the era. Fine with me. I love all that stuff.

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    1. Nice to see it’s still going. A lot of times when I do posts, the venues have long since gone under. As often as not, they’ve laid asphalt down on a heavenly sphere and introduced some sort of parking structure.

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