Empty Garden – From Elton (John) to (John) Lennon

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Of all tribute songs written by a non-Beatle for John Lennon after his senseless killing in December 1980, nothing compares for me to Elton John’s Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny).

The song likens John to a worthy garden caretaker that some inconsequential person took away, “A gardener like that one no one can replace…It’s funny how an insect can damage so much grain…” The lyrics are Bernie Taupin’s, Elton’s lifetime collaborator, while the beautiful melody is, of course, his own.

From what I remember, Elton rarely played it live since the song’s release in his 1982 album Jump Up! because it was painful for him to be reminded of John Lennon’s death. Elton was a close friend to John; their relationship was secured by their musical collaboration in the mid-1970s. Elton and John appeared together in a concert and Elton is Sean’s godfather.

A harrowing live version of this song performed at the turn of the century at the Madison Square Garden is in this link. Elton at the beginning explains why he rarely performed the song live.

The lyrics are here:

What happened here
As the New York sunset disappeared
I found an empty garden among the flagstones there
Who lived here
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
And now it all looks strange
It’s funny how one insect can damage so much grain
And what’s it for
This little empty garden by the brownstone door
And in the cracks along the sidewalk nothing grows no more
Who lived here
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
And we are so amazed we’re crippled and we’re dazed
A gardener like that one no one can replace
And I’ve been knocking but no one answers
And I’ve been knocking most all the day
Oh and I’ve been calling oh hey hey Johnny
Can’t you come out to play
And through their tears
Some say he farmed his best in younger years
But he’d have said that roots grow stronger if only he could hear
Who lived there
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
Now we pray for rain, and with every drop that falls
We hear, we hear your name
Johnny can’t you come out to play in your empty garden

Saddest Beatles Songs

Image result for the beatles images
Source: https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=the+beatles+images&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjP__W4xMLZAhVCtpQKHScAAnAQ7AkIQQ&biw=1242&bih=557#imgrc=DgmFmmKExuMu9M:

http://www.myusyk.com [which cannot be anymore reached] came out five years ago with Top Ten Saddest Beatles Songs, which is quite a good list. Many may agree, but equally many may not. At any rate, the main contention would probably be about the ranking. That is what I also feel. Sad that the six-minuter youtube video is no longer accessible to launch the countdown. Anyway, here is the list with my own description of each song.

10. No Reply from Beatles for Sale is about a partner not being upfront

9. Norwegian Wood from Rubber Soul deals with a one-night affair that would not work

8. I’m A Loser from Beatles for Sale is putting a different face despite a regrettable loss

7. You’ve Got To Hide Your love Away from Help! is purportedly about gays

6. Yes It Is, b-side but compiled in Past Masters is a relationship in transition past a previous one

5. For No One from Revolver is about falling out of love

4. She’s Leaving Home from Sgt. Pepper deals with a daughter who elopes. Verdict “…Fun is something money can’t buy”

3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps from The Beatles aka White Album seems to be the singer silently weeping for everybody for not knowing how to unfold love, perversion, control. (probably!)

2. Eleanor Rigby from Revolver is a very lonely picture cast in a painting. Wow what a great poetry!

1. Yesterday from Help! is longing for a past that is forever gone

My own verdict? I don’t know the basis for the Top Ten whether or not it was the lyrics, song structure, melody, or intent of the writer, or all of the above. But I agree with the Top Two.

Now if you talk about the saddest song of The Beatles, for me it should be Eleanor Rigby. On the other hand, if you talk about the saddest Beatles love song, then it should be Yesterday. There is always something in The Beatles lyrics that hits you hard.

Let’s listen to both again courtesy of youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ntiz-Pmvy4 (Yesterday); (Eleanor Rigby) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wssbIgRh0k

Top 20 Unfinished Beatles Songs That Ended Up on Solo Projects (Part 2)

By Nick Deriso, July 31, 2020

[We continue with our countdown of top 20 unfinished Beatles songs]

No. 10. “Isn’t It a Pity” (Let It Be sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (1970)

Harrison just wouldn’t give up on this one. “Isn’t It a Pity” was notably tried during January 1969 Beatles sessions under the not-very-intriguing title of “George’s Demo.” (Perhaps unsurprisingly, it went nowhere.) At that point, he’d apparently been fooling around with some form of this song since the Revolver period. When Harrison finally got a chance to record it, he included two takes on All Things Must Pass. Harrison then paired version one of “Isn’t It a Pity” with “My Sweet Lord” to create his double A-side debut solo single.

No. 9. “Another Day” (Let It Be sessions, 1969)
Appeared as: McCartney single (1971)

McCartney presented “Another Day” at Twickenham and then at Apple in January 1969, having basically completed the verses. It didn’t stick, perhaps because the song so closely recalled the everyday-people themes of “Eleanor Rigby.” McCartney went back as sessions began for Ram, and “Another Day” became his solo debut single – but only after he changed the songwriting credits to “Paul and Linda McCartney” while in the midst of a royalty dispute.

No. 8. “Not Guilty” (White Album sessions, 1968)
Appeared on: Harrison’s George Harrison (1979)

One of the great lost Beatles tracks, “Not Guilty” should have ranked higher on our list of Top 20 Unfinished Beatles Songs That Ended Up on Solo Projects. Unfortunately, Harrison’s adult contemporary-ish solo version drained all the blood out of it. Things started out much differently, as heard on highly superior Beatles outtakes. The Anthology 3 version, recorded in August 1968, features a shelved edit; 2018’s expanded White Album reissue restored the entire 4:28 running time and also included the original Esher demo.

No. 7. “Back Seat of My Car” (Let It Be sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: McCartney’s Ram (1971)

The multipart Brian Wilson-inspired finale to Ram was also offered to the Beatles, but in much more unfinished form. McCartney’s belief in the song, which finds a pair of love-struck teens taking on the world, was nevertheless unwavering. He even released “Back Seat of My Car” as a single, though it just barely cracked the Top 40 – likely because of its compositional complexity.

No. 6. “Beautiful Girl” (Abbey Road-era writing sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: Harrison’s Thirty Three & 1/3 (1976)

Harrison started “Beautiful Girl” with the Beatles, creating something that the late writer Nicholas Schaffner rightly noted felt like a callback to Rubber Soul. He then tried out the still-unfinished song during May 1970 sessions for All Things Must Pass, but ultimately didn’t find a way to complete it until he found love with Olivia Arias. Billy Preston stopped by to add a remarkable turn at the organ.

No. 5. “Every Night” (Let It Be sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: McCartney’s McCartney (1970)

McCartney’s failed January 1969 attempts at “Every Night” included some unfortunate slide contributions from Lennon. McCartney ended up completing his own version on the same day he cut “Maybe I’m Amazed” at Abbey Road in February 1970. Recording alone, he perhaps unconsciously returned to the melody of “You Never Give Me Your Money” during the song’s wordless bridge. He never released “Every Night” as a single, but it became a modern-era concert staple.

No. 4. “Gimme Some Truth” (White Album writing sessions, 1968)
Appeared on: Lennon’s Imagine (1971)

“Gimme Some Truth” took a winding road to its Side 2-opening slot on Imagine. Lennon’s initial idea for the song grew out of the Beatles’ 1968 trip to study Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India. He later briefly revived it during the Let It Be sessions, before reworking the entire thing with stinging new Nixon-inspired invective in May 1971. Harrison’s slide-guitar solo is just as delightfully churlish.

No. 3. “Let It Down” (Let It Be sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (1970)

Harrison tried to get the others to make this a proper Beatles recording on at least four different days in January 1969, to no avail. It was their loss. Harrison’s episodic tribute to the ageless tension between worldliness and spirituality became a highlight of All Things Must Pass. He personally oversaw a 30th-anniversary reissue that included a gorgeous new version of the song, combining the original demo with additional new instrumentation.

No. 2. “Child of Nature” (White Album demos, 1968)
Appeared on: Lennon’s Imagine (1971) as “Jealous Guy”

Inspired by a talk given by the maharishi in Rishikesh, Lennon demoed “Child of Nature” before the White Album sessions and then tried it again on the first day recording the album that became Let It Be. But the song remained unfinished until Lennon restructured it into “Jealous Guy” a few years later. His original Esher version still includes an idyllic ’60s-style theme (and a reference to the Beatles’ time in India), but the melodic structure is the same.

No. 1. “All Things Must Pass” (Let It Be sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (1970)

Harrison initially gave “All Things Must Pass” to Billy Preston when the Beatles rejected it. By the time Preston’s version arrived in September 1970, Harrison had thankfully decided to take it back. Like “Run of the Mill,” his subsequent update was influenced by the the Band’s recent Music From Big Pink. Two earlier tries have since been officially released: Harrison is unaccompanied on the double-tracked birthday demo found on Anthology 3, while the Early Takes version features an uncredited backing band.

No. 1. “All Things Must Pass” (Let It Be sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (1970)

Harrison initially gave “All Things Must Pass” to Billy Preston when the Beatles rejected it. By the time Preston’s version arrived in September 1970, Harrison had thankfully decided to take it back. Like “Run of the Mill,” his subsequent update was influenced by the the Band’s recent Music From Big Pink. Two earlier tries have since been officially released: Harrison is unaccompanied on the double-tracked birthday demo found on Anthology 3, while the Early Takes version features an uncredited backing band.

Source: https://ultimateclassicrock.com/unfinished-beatles-songs/

Top 20 Unfinished Beatles Songs That Ended Up on Solo Projects (Part 1)

By Nick Deriso, July 32, 2020

George Harrison‘s late-era emergence as a songwriting force is, perhaps unsurprisingly, an underlying theme on the below list of Top 20 Unfinished Beatles Songs That Ended Up on Solo Projects.

He accounts for more than half of the songs on the list. But Harrison also continued returning to this stockpile for a longer period, finishing incomplete ideas on albums released many years later – including 1976’s Thirty Three & 1/3 and 1982’s Gone Troppo.

By contrast, John Lennon and Paul McCartney quickly left those days behind. Lennon recorded “Jealous Guy,” an update of his White Album-period demo “Child of Nature,” just a year after the Beatles’ final album arrived in stores. By then, McCartney had already completed his solo version of “Back Seat of My Car,” which he originally offered to his bandmates in 1969. They never looked back again.

Beyond that Ram deep cut, the drawn-out Let It Be sessions accounted for a list-leading 10 other solo moments; the fertile period leading up to the White Album produced seven others.

In the end, some of the old magic remained: Harrison’s “Isn’t It a Pity” became part of a double-sided No. 1 single with “My Sweet Lord.” “Another Day” was McCartney’s first solo hit, rising to No. 2 in the U.K. and No. 5 in the U.S. Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” emerged as one of his most-covered songs, including a 1980 version by Roxy Music that topped the U.K. chart.

Others tracks can be found tucked away in their solo discography, serving as small reminders of what might have been, as you’ll see in the below list of the Top 20 Unfinished Beatles Songs That Ended Up on Solo Projects.

No. 20. “Circles” (White Album demos, 1968)
Appeared on: George Harrison’s Gone Troppo (1982)

Harrison’s initial take on “Circles” – recorded on a warbling organ as the others apparently continued a conversation – was basically forgotten as the Beatles demoed 27 songs during sweeping May 1968 sessions held at his Esher bungalow. Nearly 20 of them ended up on the White Album, while “Circles” gathered dust until Harrison finally returned to it 14 years later.

George Harrison‘s late-era emergence as a songwriting force is, perhaps unsurprisingly, an underlying theme on the below list of Top 20 Unfinished Beatles Songs That Ended Up on Solo Projects.

He accounts for more than half of the songs on the list. But Harrison also continued returning to this stockpile for a longer period, finishing incomplete ideas on albums released many years later – including 1976’s Thirty Three & 1/3 and 1982’s Gone Troppo.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

By contrast, John Lennon and Paul McCartney quickly left those days behind. Lennon recorded “Jealous Guy,” an update of his White Album-period demo “Child of Nature,” just a year after the Beatles’ final album arrived in stores. By then, McCartney had already completed his solo version of “Back Seat of My Car,” which he originally offered to his bandmates in 1969. They never looked back again.

Beyond that Ram deep cut, the drawn-out Let It Be sessions accounted for a list-leading 10 other solo moments; the fertile period leading up to the White Album produced seven others.

In the end, some of the old magic remained: Harrison’s “Isn’t It a Pity” became part of a double-sided No. 1 single with “My Sweet Lord.” “Another Day” was McCartney’s first solo hit, rising to No. 2 in the U.K. and No. 5 in the U.S. Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” emerged as one of his most-covered songs, including a 1980 version by Roxy Music that topped the U.K. chart.

Others tracks can be found tucked away in their solo discography, serving as small reminders of what might have been, as you’ll see in the below list of the Top 20 Unfinished Beatles Songs That Ended Up on Solo Projects.

No. 20. “Circles” (White Album demos, 1968)
Appeared on: George Harrison’s Gone Troppo (1982)

Harrison’s initial take on “Circles” – recorded on a warbling organ as the others apparently continued a conversation – was basically forgotten as the Beatles demoed 27 songs during sweeping May 1968 sessions held at his Esher bungalow. Nearly 20 of them ended up on the White Album, while “Circles” gathered dust until Harrison finally returned to it 14 years later.

No. 19: “Teddy Boy” (Let It Be sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: Paul McCartney’s McCartney (1970)

The Beatles made several passes at “Teddy Boy” in January 1969, one of which was included on Glyn Johns’ shelved edition of Get Back. John Lennon was simply not interested, as he can be heard openly mocking the tune (“take your partners, and do-si-do”) during an edit from the sessions released on 1996’s Anthology 3. McCartney ended up keeping “Teddy Boy” for himself.

No. 18. “Hear Me Lord” (Let It Be sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (1970)

Harrison thought so much of “Hear Me Lord” that he made it the closing song on the sprawling All Things Must Pass, before tacking on some loose jam recordings. Perhaps because of its overtly religious theme, the Beatles didn’t share his enthusiasm. They ran through the song in January 1969 at Twickenham, but never returned to it during the final Savile Row-based sessions that completed Let It Be.

No. 17. “See Yourself” (Post-Sgt. Pepper writing sessions, 1967)
Appeared on: Harrison’s Thirty Three & 1/3 (1976)

Written in response to public criticism when Paul McCartney admitted to trying LSD, Harrison’s time signature-shifting “See Yourself” is one of the oldest entries on this list of Top 20 Unfinished Beatles Songs That Ended Up on Solo Projects. When it finally emerged almost 10 years later on Thirty Three & 1/3, Harrison had decorated an elliptical lyric about self-realization with some noodly time-specific synthesizers.

No. 16. “Junk” (White Album demos, 1968)
Appeared on: McCartney’s McCartney (1970)

McCartney wrote this delicately conveyed song, along with “Teddy Boy,” during the Beatles’ visit to India in 1968. He demoed both tunes at Esher, and both were passed over until his debut solo album appeared two years later. The Beatles-period version has since been issued twice, first in slightly shorter form on Anthology 3 and then as a longer take on the expanded White Album reissue. Not much had changed when “Junk” finally appeared on McCartney – except (again) its length. He’d trimmed it by about half a minute.

No. 15. “Wah-Wah” (Let It Be sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (1970)

Harrison wrote “Wah-Wah” on the day he briefly walked out of an unhappy Beatles recording date, and it shows: He never rocked harder on All Things Must Pass, a necessity amid so many meditations on higher consciousness and faith. More than another snippy put-down song, “Wah-Wah” emerged as an article of solo faith: “I know how sweet life can be,” Harrison cries out from the din, “so I’ll keep myself free.”

No. 14. “Oh My Love” (White Album demos, 1968)
Appeared on: John Lennon’s Imagine (1971)

Lennon began this song during the White Album sessions, and he retained that era’s feel by inviting Harrison to take over on guitar. But much had changed in the interim, as Yoko Ono became a key – though often overlooked – lyrical collaborator. Her fingerprints are all over “Oh My Love,” with its diaphanous references to clouds and wind. This became the only official Lennon-Ono collaboration on Imagine.

No. 13. “Run of the Mill” (Post-Let It Be sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (1970)

The emotional toll of the Beatles’ troubles is writ large during a song Harrison wrote before they reassembled for Abbey Road. As he wrestled with a rueful kind of love, co-producer Phil Spector allowed for a rootsy, Band-like musical structure. That moment of surprising restraint was later underscored when one of Harrison’s initial run-throughs appeared on 2012’s Early Takes Vol. 1. Spector didn’t add much; he didn’t have to.

No. 12. “Woman Don’t You Cry for Me” (Post-Abbey Road sessions, 1969)
Appeared on: Harrison’s Thirty Three & 1/3 (1976)

Harrison began work on “Woman Don’t You Cry for Me” during his guest turn on a Delaney and Bonnie tour held after Abbey Road arrived but long before the Beatles officially split. It subsequently became a contender for All Things Must Pass, but was instead shelved for years. At that point, this song’s principal innovation – unheard on the acoustic-driven version from Early Takes Vol. 1 – had become old hat: Harrison tried out slide guitar for the first time while writing “Woman Don’t You Cry for Me.”

No. 11. “Look at Me” (Pre-White Album writing sessions, 1968)
Appeared on: Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band (1970)

Another song off the pile written in India in 1968, “Look at Me” unwittingly posed questions of identity and purpose that formed the basis of Plastic Ono Band, so it was a perfect fit. On the finished version, Lennon retained the throwback Merle Travis-style picking that drove other standout moments from the White Album, notably “Julia.” The demo released on 2004’s Acoustic featured a more straightforward approach on the guitar, however, and didn’t double the vocal.

Source: https://ultimateclassicrock.com/unfinished-beatles-songs/

Ten must-see movies about the Vietnam War

“Escape the Covid lockdown with a Vietnam War film binge, courtesy Kubrick, Cimino, Coppola, Stone and others,” urges writer Dave Makichuk.

Robert Duvall in the Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now. Photo: Handout

So, you’re still stuck in Covid lockdown, and you’ve watched everything on Netflix – but you’re in the mood for some good war movies.

Something that will go well with an easy treat, like pizza, chicken wings or maybe a giant plate of nachos and cheese ordered from your local takeout establishment.

Well, look no further than the Vietnam War. Yes, the war that still fascinates and captivates us, and one that has been revisited by several great film directors, each having their take on one of the most complicated wars in modern history.

So, without further ado, Asia Times’ top ten Vietnam War flicks … and don’t forget the Tabasco sauce for the pizza.

  1. The Deer Hunter

Yes, only half of the film actually takes place in fictional Vietnam, but Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter remains one of the most touching takes on the gritty violence and senselessness of the Southeast Asian conflict, and how it affected ordinary Americans back home. The ethnic wedding scene is probably the highlight of the entire film, and following it we are quickly whisked to the heart of ultimate darkness – a vicious game of survival at the hands of Viet Cong, as they force terrified captives in a deadly game of Russian roulette. Actor Robert De Niro later claimed he was nearly killed in the helicopter drop scene, recalling it as a “hairy” experience. Look for amazing performances from De Niro, Chris Walken, John Cazale and Meryl Streep, in a film that holds up well to this day.

2. Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola’s stunning Vietnam epic remains one of the most fascinating looks at the war in Vietnam through the lens of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The making of the film, which was shot in the Philippines, was almost a war in itself, with the project going wildly over budget, a typhoon damaging the set, the firing of leading man Harvey Keitel and an overweight Marlon Brando. When actor Martin Sheen arrived on set, he found chaos. Coppola was writing the movie as he went along and firing personnel, people were coming down with tropical diseases and the helicopters used in the combat sequences were constantly recalled by president Ferdinand Marcos to fight his own war against anti-government rebels. Don’t bother with the Redux version, the original cuts work well.

3. The Quiet American

This Michael Caine film adaptation based on Graham Greene’s novel of the same name offers an interesting filmic take on pre-war Vietnam, when the Central Intelligence Agency was deeply involved in the emerging politics and the US wrestled for control of the struggling Southeast Asian nation. Caine, a dependable pro whose talents are often taken for granted, gives a beautifully vulnerable, Oscar-nominated performance that might also be his best. This so-called anti-imperialist masterpiece is said to be based on CIA agent Colonel Edward Lansdale, who wanted to save democracy with violent “psychological warfare” methods. Some intelligence sources also say the mysterious Lansdale was in Dealey Plaza the day JFK was assassinated.

4. Full Metal Jacket

Directed, co-written, and produced by illustrious director Stanley Kubrick, the story follows a platoon of US marines through boot-camp training, primarily focusing on two privates, Joker and Pyle, who struggle under their abusive drill instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, and the platoon’s experiences in Vietnam. If you’re thinking of joining the US Marine Corps, you might want to see this film first – the portrayal of “Gunny’s” abuse is both realistic and memorable. Not one of Kubrick’s best, but definitely worth seeing.

5. Hamburger Hill

According to film website Rotten Tomatoes, Hamburger Hill is a film about the futility of war expressed in the simplest terms. Although it was underrated at the time of its release, time will eventually reveal that Hamburger Hill is one of the best and most realistic films made about the Vietnam War. Over the course of 10 days in May 1969, an infantry squad led by Lieutenant Frantz (Dylan McDermott) and composed of both seasoned troops and new recruits attempts to take a hill. In between attacks, the squad members deal with the psychological stresses of total war.

6. Platoon

According to film critic Roger Ebert, it was Francois Truffaut who said that it’s not possible to make an anti-war movie, because all war movies, with their energy and sense of adventure, end up making combat look like fun. If Truffaut had lived to see Platoon, the best film of 1986, he might have changed his opinion. Here is a movie that regards combat from ground level, from the infantryman’s point of view, and it does not make war look like fun. Director Oliver Stone, who actually fought in Vietnam, tried to make a movie about the war that is not fantasy, not legend, not metaphor, but simply a memory of what it seemed like at the time to him. Fantastic performances from Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger.

7. Green Berets

Yes, John “Duke” Wayne’s Green Berets was lambasted by critics of the day who opposed the war in Vietnam, and Wayne’s role is similar to his part in The Longest Day (1963), which flew well in World War II but not so great in war-weary 1968. Wayne plays the hard-nosed Colonel Mike Kirby who heads a courageous bunch of Green Berets determined to capture an important enemy general. They are accompanied by a skeptical reporter (David Janssen) who soon becomes a gung-ho red-white-and-blue patriot. The film, which is laden with wartime clichés, is especially notable for the fine battle scenes and also features the hit song “Ballad of the Green Berets,” sung by Sergeant Barry Sadler. It is interesting to note that Janssen was against the war, but did the film as a favor to the Duke.

8. Rambo: First Blood

It’s a bit dated, but Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo: First Blood remains one of the most watchable Vietnam veteran films of the era. In short, John Rambo, a former US soldier traumatized by memories of the Vietnam War, gets into trouble when an incident with a small-town sheriff triggers his violent side. Rambo, of course, just wants to be left alone, but no, they push him too far, and the fun begins. The movie comes down to a face-off between Rambo and his old Green Beret commander (Richard Crenna), and the screenplay gives Stallone a long, impassioned speech to deliver, a speech in which he cries out against the various injustices done to him. Weary old clichés, but by this time, you’ve had a few beers, so it’s all good.

9. Coming Home

Jane Fonda and John Voight in an anti-war film – how could it possibly go wrong? Hanoi Jane, as she was called, after her much-documented and controversial trip to Vietnam during the war, wanted to make a Vietnam War flick, and in that effort, she delivers a memorable performance. Voight is brilliant as the returning vet who falls in love with Fonda, who is drawn away from her troubled husband, Bruce Dern, also dealing with his Vietnam demons. In addition to the intriguing story, the spectacular classic rock soundtrack will soothe the soul of any aging boomer.

10. We Were Soldiers

According to Roger Ebert, We Were Soldiers is the story of the first major land battle in the Vietnam War, late in 1965. Moore (Mel Gibson) is a family man, and a Harvard graduate. Plumley (Sam Elliott) is a US Army lifer, hard, brave, unsentimental. They are both about as good as battle leaders get. But by the end of that first battle, they realize they may be in the wrong war. Gibson is no Olivier, but he and Elliott both give inspiring performances. Interestingly, almost all war movies identify with one side or the other, and it’s remarkable that We Were Soldiers includes a dedication not only to the Americans who fell at Ia Drang, but also to “the members of the People’s Army of North Vietnam who died in that place.”

Source: https://asiatimes.com/2020/08/ten-must-see-movies-about-the-vietnam-war/

Paul Weller – Frightened

From his 2000 album Heliocentric. What a gem! I wonder if this is ever included in his compilations of great songs. Just love it.

1
I shake and fall
Underneath my sheets
The sunlight creeping
From my head down to my feet
Telling me to rise
And face the light again

2
I plead to dawn
“Don’t make me move”
I just want to vanish
And forget all that’s true
Just one more night
And i’ll be alright

Br
Hoping to be everything you want
Wish I was the man that you thought I was
Waiting to fly up on eagles wings
But truth be told – I’m not that bold – at all

Ch
I’m more frightened
White Lightening
So sudden and blinding
Yet no more enlightened
Just a little more frightened

3
I’m gonna get it back
I’m gonna get it soon
I’ve just got to catch up
For my world to resume
To be the light
And to hold you tight while you dream

4
And I stand alone
So does everyone
It brings us closer together
As a strange distant sun
So near so far, like distant stars

Br
Hoping to be everything you want
Wish I was the man that you thought I was
Waiting to fly up on eagles wings
But truth be told – I’m not that bold – at all

Ch
I’m just frightened
Woke up this morning like that
And all the roads that lead back
Lead me nothing that is nowhere
-Lonely

Ch
-And just a little more frightened
White Lightening
So sudden and blinding
Yet no more enlightened
Just a little more frightened

‘And in the End: Last Days of the Beatles’ Book Due

Here’s another one. I don’t think the stream of books being published about The Beatles as a group or solo artists will ever stop in the next 10 years. Well, let’s see. Hope it doesn’t.

But come to think of it, the year 1969 was clearly hazy for me: recording two albums; two weddings; two bed-ins; Allen Klein; Apple losing money; film edits; Get Back album being shelved; Ringo’s into films; John’s Live Peace in Toronto; the list could go on. So many things were happening at the same time, while the band was disintegrating. So this could be a good book from a fan’s perspective.

by Best Classic Bands Staff

An in-depth look at The Beatles’ final year is the subject of a new book from author Ken McNab, a lifelong fan of the band. And In The End: The Last Days of The Beatles, according to an announcement from its publisher, Thomas Dunne Books, is “a detailed account of the breakup featuring the perspectives of all four band members.” The book arrives Aug. 18.

“In a month-by-month chronology,” the announcement continues, McNab “reconstructs the events of 1969 when The Beatles reached new highs of creativity and new lows of their internal strife. In the midst of this rancor, however, emerged the glorious disharmony of Let It Be and the ragged genius of Abbey Road.”

[2020 was expected to be host to another round of 50th anniversary Beatles celebrations. The pandemic, however, has altered many of those plans. Peter Jackson’s documentary, The Beatles: Get Back, compiled from 55 hours of unseen footage and 140 hours of mostly unheard audio recordings taken during the original Let It Be film and album sessions, has been moved to Aug. 27, 2021. It was originally scheduled for Sept. 4 of this year.]

The And In The End author interviewed over thirty people who provided eyewitness accounts from 1969. They include a cameraman who worked on the Let It Be film project, a photographer for one of their last photo sessions as a band, art director John Kosh, and numerous others who had contact with the group in their final year.

And In The End is organized chronologically, beginning with the group’s legendary performance on the roof of their Apple Corps offices in London. As the year continued, the book weaves through such topics as their fractious relationship with their business manager Allen Klein, Paul McCartney’s wedding to Linda Eastman, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s bed-in for peace, the stunning sale of the Lennon-McCartney song catalog, Abbey Road recording sessions and legendary album cover photo shoot, the production of the Let It Be film, and more.

The book is chock full of insider stories. Kosh, then a young designer who was creative director for Abbey Road, recalls his calculated decision to omit The Beatles’ name from the album cover, a truly radical concept for any other band. “The chairman of EMI phoned me at 3 a.m. [and] said I would cost them thousands of sales. I went into Apple the next day scared stiff and the first person I saw was George Harrison and I told him about the phone call. He just said, ‘Fuck it, man, we’re The Beatles’.”

The book’s author, Ken McNab, has worked for a number of national newspapers in Scotland.

Source: https://bestclassicbands.com/author/bcb-staff/

Hamburg Celebrates 60 Years of The Beatles

“The city honors The Fab Four with a live stream from their first performance venue,” writes Dan Booth some four days ago.

Business travelers know that the city of Hamburg is a mecca for meetings, but they may not know that it was also the site of the very first appearance of John, George, Paul and Pete Best as The Beatles. It was 60 years ago in August of 1960 when the Fab Four played their first venue, The Indra Club.

It was also in Hamburg where Ringo Starr first performed with the group as their drummer.

While fans make regular Beatles pilgrimages to Liverpool, Hamburg has also been the site of numerous tours and tributes pre-COVID-19.

Although American Beatles fans or business travelers can’t currently travel to Hamburg to celebrate the 60thanniversary of the Beatles first appearance, Hamburg will be traveling to them via a live streaming event.

On August 17, the anniversary of their first public appearance as The Beatles, Hamburg is celebrating with “Stream and Shout,” a live-stream event at 9 PM CET.  The event can also be streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

Hamburg’s Beatles expert, Stefanie Hempel, will host the event from the Indra in St Pauli. Together with her band, she will be presenting a recreated original Beatles set from August 1960, as well as some of the Beatles’ greatest hits and legendary songs. Performing fellow musicians at the Indra will include the Kaiser Quartett, Cäthe, Bernd Begemann, Jessy Martens, Billy King, Jimmy Cornett, and Michèl von Wussow.

The event will showcase Beatles classics and new interpretations alongside stories and anecdotes from the young Beatles’ years in Hamburg. “We really grew up in Hamburg,” John Lennon has said of the early days in Hamburg.

Presentations include a musical discovery tour through Hamburg’s legendary St Pauli district and a reunion of contemporary witnesses, former companions as well as fans and friends of The Beatles. Among them the Cavern Club in Liverpool, the US band Bambi Kino and Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn.

Hamburg’s landmark, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, will live-stream from the Grand Hall prior to the “Stream & Shout” show. Starting at 8 PM (CET), a premiere performance honoring The Beatles arranged by jazz pianist Julia Hülsmann will be streamed especially for the occasion.

Hamburg’s Convention Bureau has just updated its website with virtual tours of some of the city’s best known and biggest meetings venues here. The site’s city guides include information on some of the dockside areas that would have been familiar to The Beatles when they first arrived there 60 years ago.

Source: https://www.businesstravelerusa.com/business-traveler-usa-story/hamburg-celebrates-60-years-of-the-beatles

Here’s why Liverpool’s music scene will bounce back

Great feeling to hear about this.

Credit: http://www.theguardian.com

July 29, 2020

With the city’s live music circuit, recording studios, practice rooms, and grassroots music organisations coming to a sudden halt in the spring, as lockdown lifts it’s good to see the music scene coming back to life. 

Record shops are back open

Between them, Liverpool’s record shops celebrate the city’s rich musical heritage plus cheerlead releases from local up and coming artists. The annual Record Store Day which flags up independent record shops selling exclusive releases was cancelled in April, but replaced with four different Love Record Stores Day events over the year. The first in June was the world’s biggest online in-store happening, due to all bricks and mortar shops being closed. Liverpool’s 81 Renshaw and Defend Vinyl, both take part in Love Record Stores, the next is on 29 August.

Future Yard presents NEAR NORMAL gigs

Brand new 350 capacity Birkenhead town centre venue Future Yard opens in September by launching a series of socially-distanced and digitally streamed shows. It gives music fans the option of being at the gig itself and allocated a dedicated safe ‘pod’ within the space, or watching from home. 

The first gig, from Wirral’s She Drew The Gun, is on 19th September. 

NEAR NORMAL is a temporary measure ahead of welcoming audiences at full capacity once government guidelines allow, currently planned for early 2021. Next year brings gigs from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Tokky Horror, former member of Queen Zee.  

Bido Lito! is in print late August

After a five month gap between print issues, Merseyside’s music and creative culture magazine returns. Also, this monthly voice for Liverpool’s creatives is working with the University of Liverpool to research the impact of COVID-19 on Merseyside’s music community. Local musicians asked to fill in this survey, closing on 7 August. The results will be given to the Liverpool City Region Music Board to help come up with a recovery plan for the live music sector. 

Jamie Webster

Bands have been unable to do gigs during lockdown but most made good use of their downtime anyway, planning for a post-COVID future, like writing and recording demos at home. For local lad Jamie Webster, that meant preparing for his debut album We Get By to be released on 21 August. Jamie’s rise is due in no small part to Liverpool fan power following his notoriety covering football chants like Allez Allez Allez. His tour in support of the album is to be delayed until March 2021 but selling out Liverpool’s 02 Academy months in advance means he’s now upgraded to play Liverpool Guild. Jamie’s Facebook has interviews, videos and regular updates, follow his journey.

The Beatles

Beatles Week isn’t happening this year and the Cavern and the band members’ childhood homes closed to visitors for now, but it will take more than that to stop Liverpool celebrating the Fab Four this August. The Beatles Story and Strawberry Field is open, the Cavern pub returns at the beginning of the month, and outside sculptures Eleanor Rigby on Stanley Street, Four Lads Who Shook The World and John Lennon on Mathew Street, and all four lads at the Pier Head an ever present reminder of the Beatles’ legacy.

M&S Bank Arena

Here in Liverpool we’ve had an arena for big name live music, comedy and sporting events since 2008 and we’ve missed it over the last months. But the Arena will be back, with Stormzy, Radio City Hits Live, The Who, Dua Lipa, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot to look forward to once safe, and new bookings for 2021 by James Blunt, Rick Astley and Elton John. 

PRS SUSTAINING CREATVIITY FUND

The PRS Foundation have opened up applications for the next round of their Sustaining Creativity fund, a vital lifeline during the COVID crisis with income streams disappearing for many artists.

This funding is specifically for Black music creators, to help fight inequality and a lack of diversity in the music industry.

Applications close 6 pm 10 August.

Sound City 

The city’s annual festival returns in Spring 2021 after the inevitable postponement and brings local names alongside international acts.

Sound City keeps the home fires burning until the live scene is back on its feet again with online performances via live music streaming site Guest House. The service is a way of supporting artists during a time when live revenue is cut. It has featured shows from The Blinders and Jamie Webster, as well as the Stay At Home festival with The Wombats, She Drew The Gun back in May.

Save Our Venues

Campaigns Save Our Venues and Let The Music Play had the desired effect for venues across Merseyside and the UK to receive much needed funding through emergency grants and loans to help them survive and recover from the COVID crisis. Registered charity Music Venue Trust which acts to protect, secure and improve UK grassroots music venues plus music fans and musicians, worked hard to draw the government’s attention to this issue. On top of that, local venues launched crowdfunders, with Phase One recruiting Frank Turner to play a streamed fundraiser gig. All added up, it means we have a much better chance of our local live scene returning and as soon as possible.

New Releases

There have been plenty of new releases throughout summer from the likes of Red Rum Club, Eyesore & The Jynx, and alternative folk artists LYDIAH. Of course as stated above we have seen Jamie Webster ride high in the charts, Circa Waves released a new album in March and a cover of The Las ”There She Goes’, plus the mighty dance duo that is Camelphat continue to take the international dance charts by storm. One notable recent release though was just last week when we seen Timo Tierney of Tea Street Band release his first solo album, City Pets, under the name Akiro (read our interview with Timo here). Liverpool music is still playing loud and we love it!

LIMF Academy

We have missed the Liverpool International Music Festival in Sefton Park this year BUT if you are a budding musician wanting to play the 2021 edition then listen in. The LIMF Academy provides industry training and insight for upcoming artists who wish to further their music career, and applications from the class of 20/21 are open now. You have until 14 August to apply.

Source: https://theguideliverpool.com/heres-why-liverpools-music-scene-will-bounce-back/