Posts tagged ‘Beatles’

NaNoWriMo 2008: Introduction

Because I am insane, and also I’m insane, plus you’ve no doubt heard of my notorious insanity, I am participating again in National Novel Writing Month.

Simply put, it’s 50,000 words in 30 days. A really short novel. Maybe a novella, but don’t call it that to my face, or I’ll kick your privates.

I managed it in 2005, and even posted part of it online. It was called Blockbuster and it was about the struggle of a bloated, wealthy writer of populist sci-fi flicks to get back his mojo and write a sequel that’s due in 30 days. Someday, maybe I’ll finish editing that and do something with it.

But for now, this is my new baby, born of a phone call from pal Steve many years ago, and cultivated through several drafts of an aborted screenplay…

For The Record
An aging punk hipster DJ must unravel the web of mystery, murder, and lies surrounding a lost Beatles masterpiece. First-person, present-tense rock noir.

Once again, as kind of an incentive to keep kicking ass on it, I plan to post it in chunks as I write them to this blog. I may stop at some point, because I get sidetracked; I may fail completely in finishing this, in which case, let’s never speak of it again.

Right now, I’m excited, I’m about 4000 words in, and I’m ready for more. Let’s boogie. Anything you can do to guide me, goad me, cheer me on or bitch me out, please do. It is very much appreciated, as always.

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November 6, 2008 at 6:08 pm 1 comment

Everybody had a hard year

I know the Beatles’ albums inside and out at this point, pretty much. Maybe not every word–sometimes I’m not so good with lyrics–but enough. The trajectory of their career together, the rises and falls of their story, have fascinated me for years; I’ve internalized it.

But–man. The poignancy of the way their music starts to reflect their fracture, at the end–it still gets to me.

In terms of its production and conceptualization, Let It Be is one of the more fucked-up albums of all time–cobbled together from endless sessions to record a “raw” Beatles record and capture it all on film, what fans know as the “Get Back sessions” played out as the band literally disintegrating on camera and spending days stumbling through half-baked cover versions and a handful of new songs.

Yet somehow, out of the mess, a collection of Beatles originals did emerge, and defying every possible expectation, these songs are the true “goodbye” to the Beatles, as a band and as an idea. Abbey Road came out first, even though it was recorded later, and you can feel the pangs there; but on songs like this one, and “The Long And Winding Road,” and “Let It Be” itself, you hear the music of four men falling apart, looking back, feeling nostalgia for a phenomenon that would never again repeat itself.

It’s something.

September 12, 2008 at 4:01 pm Leave a comment

More Sweaty Hamburg Beatles Coming?

Just the other day on the way into work, I decided to shuffle all my Beatles tracks–nearly 800, including a hefty helping of bootleg material; yes, I know I’m nuts–and realized yet again why these four blokes from Liverpool played together so damn well.

True, they were a studio band for many of their best records, and their “concerts” were never anything more than a single high-pitched scream. But the legend of the Beatles began in the rock clubs of Hamburg, Germany, where the group played for something like eight to ten hours a night straight, night after night, mostly covering rock and pop tunes of the day.

It’s hard for me to imagine any band today reaching success after spending literally thousands of hours performing together, in front of demanding German crowds who want DAS ROCK UND DAS ROLL, SCHNELL, SCHNELL! The level of musical communication, of synchronization, of inherent cohesion they reached…it’s mindblowing.

I had a fantasy in the car on that morning that if I had time travel powers, I would bring state-of-the-art recording equipment to Hamburg circa the early 1960s and record the Beatles live for many, many nights to create the ultimate document of one of history’s greatest bands doing what they did best.

Anyway, supposedly there are recordings extant, released under some strange copyright loophole, that document a night at the Star Club in Hamburg, and now there may be more coming.

Has anyone heard the stuff available now? Is it worth tracking down? I want to hear it but I have zero patience for muddy live recordings; I’d almost rather NOT hear it than listen to a crappy recording.

January 17, 2008 at 10:35 am 1 comment


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Unsolicited opinions, snarky comments, and links aplenty—one man’s endless journey through the wild, wacky worlds of pop culture, fatherhood, and life in Central Florida.

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