Wednesday, 27 April 2011



No doubt the tellydroids would urge us that a timely reappraisal of George Martin, Sir George of Beatlemania, is timely, and that Monday night's hymn of praise to him is a timely reappraisal, the fifth Beatle, he was, you know, and a great human being, aye, tell it to Pete Best.

With Martin's help, The Beatles destroyed rock'n'roll; that some poor numbskulls believe that recording cymbals backwards is a stroke of genius - how the fuck would anyone know, anyway, backwards or forwards, a cymbal is just a cymbal? - just shows the power of what we now call the Industry and its stooges, all across skymadeupnewsandfilth - Rolling Stone, Q Magazine, Radio One, all engaged in mutual masturbation with succeeding kings of the studio.

What the Beatles and their corporate masters did was consumerise disturbed teenage hormones, male and female and coincidentally rob much of my generation of what critical faculties they may have developed. Rowing with them, sad old men, over at The Guardian one can almost smell, through cyberspace, the inhaled heart attack medicine of silly old farts, duped and confused into thinking their silly teenages were part of a movement, aghast and outraged that not everybody thinks Strawberry Fields Forever sublime,

There is no question that much of the early Beatles repertoire is enchanting, magical, timeless music but if we look at the decades of tripe, progrock and concept albums, double and triple - mr mongoose can fill in the gaps, name the guilty - ushered in by the sorry druggy doggerel, the overblown bombast of Sergeant Pepper we see their real, corrosive impact on popular culture; I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in, to stop my mind from wonderin', where it will go, Jesus wept, what a load of old shite. Among many intolerably pretentious gabshites The Electric Light Orchestra, those prancing dummies, are down to Martin.

Guardian commenters misattribute, well, everything, really but specificallyNoel Coward, putting his words in the noisesome mouth of railways enthusiast and KylieMeister, Mr Pete "Pete" Waterman. It was Noel Coward, said that thing, about No one ever lost money underestimating the taste of the British Public, the sayings of StationMaster Waterman are, like his music, rather less acerbic but Noel was right. Millions, including, probably, these sad old gits above, pondered the meaning of Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite, even though there wasn't any and flocked, later, to learn the latest aphorisms of bullyboy, wife-beating, smackhead Lennon, pontificating from inside a bag or a bed, on peace and love, the horrible bastard.

One can imagine, four squabbling Scousers, stoned out of their gourds, one in the corner, thumbs-upping, singing a music hall tune, one chain-smoking himself to HareKrishna death, the dopey one at the back, trying to count his fingers and the vicious, angry peacenik with the stupid glasses - Hey George, you're the maestro, I wanna have a sound like, you know, like penguins, man, eating cornflakes, while riding motor bikes, only, like, they have to be ridin' 'em underwater..... you know, 'cos I'm a genius, Yoko says so, and like, she's an artist, she don't look back. No, problem, boys, what key do you want it in????? Er, like wossakey then, George, you takin' the piss?

Chuck Berry produced the definitive rock'nroll music. And even though he took our childhoods to jail with him, Phil Spector wrote the insane, joyous book on rock'n'roll production - then he asked me to be his bride, always be right by his side, I felt so happy I almost cried, and then he shot me. Holly, Spector, Berry and a host of US black groups, they informed the genius years of the Beatles, Martin helped them wank themselves dry, a novelty record producer, too pleased with himself to say No. Bob Dylan, the miserable, croaking, sourfaced old git, lacking the input of a trickster like Martin, still produces the occasional triumph, the occsional number one album; McCartney, meantime, fronts his own tribute band, Hey-Judeing his life away.

Time, of course, will tell, who has fell but all these people, investing so much of themselves in the frothy, lightweight and meaningless entertainment of their youth, making genius of over-indulgence seem to have the critical faculties of a lamp post; Please, Please Me, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Thank You Girl, Things We Said Today, I'm Looking Through You, Eight Days A Week, these were truly great examples of popular song, if they want to hear harpsichord, they should listen to Handel, If they want to hear string quartets they might try Beethoven, but if they wanna hear some of that rock and roll music they should avoid Martin's dreary Sergeant Pepper like the plague. Thinking outside the box, Aye, right. That Beatlemania still dominates the lives of so many sheds some light on how it is that CallHimDave can so effortlessly march us back, whistling, to the 'thirties.

The rockumentary was as bad as one might have guessed in advance. McCartney and Martin reminiscing on their joint, inspired greatness, the mutant, Starkey, grinning, with Sir George at his percussive triumphs, although never onscreen in the company of Fab Sir Paul

As to the historical/social commentary aspect of this dreadful piece of fanshit, the most significant event of the early 'sixties was not the release of Love Me Do - as so many insist - or anything else but the introduction, in 1961, by Health Minister, Enoch Powell, of the contraceptive pill, that, now, was truly transformational. That was proper Baby You Can Drive My Car stuff.


jgm2 said...

Disagree completely about Bob Dylan. They should have handed out razor blades and washing line with the fucker's records. Although thankfully I was of the generation where kids only brought them in because their dad liked them.

Bob Dylan? I bet there was a spike in suicides every time he released a record.

'Oh man, it's all so depressing ma-aaan.. I mean what's the point... man?'

Okay, I'm para-phrasing but it's not the kind of stuff to inspire hormone-addled teenagers.

The Penguin said...

Bob's a bag of laughs compared to early Leonard Cohen. "Black Diamond Bay" a fucking triumph, for example, and bloody funny.

The Beatles became extremely patchy after all that transcendtal sub-continental mararishi shit.

The Penguin

call me ishmael said...

Bringing it all Back Home, Highway Sixty One revisited and Blonde on Blonde,mr jgm2, all have their share of sideways stoner mirth, Desire,as Mr the Penguin suggests, although co-written with some luvvy, has sardonic, cinematic narratives - Hot chili peppers in the blistering sun, dust on my face and on my cape,me and Magdelaena on the run, this time I think I shall escape...nobody wwrites or wrote stuff like that.

Whilst the lustre is long off the Dylan in Concert experience, his first six or seven albums are a creative watermark in popular entertainment,and occasionally, since the late 'sixties,he has wrought a masterpiece.

An appreciation of the younger Bob Dylan's work is not of course de rigeur but I would argue with you that the canon is, overall, not depressing but hugely uplifting.

Anonymous said...

can anyone help me out, i am trying to get my hands on a clip from the programme/ the whole thing?

mongoose said...

I think Mr Bob's stuff started to turn to shit when he got to his God-bothering phase. Slow Train Coming and all that yawn-inducing stuff.

Poor old bugger released a Christmas album last year and has finally become Val Doonican.

call me ishmael said...

sorry,mr anonymous, can't help with that beyond the BBC i-thing and youtube, But its bot really wiorth the trouble; take my word for it.

Oh Mercy, mr mongoose, has its moody moments but broadly speaking you're right, although there are a few gems in the born again trilogy -Gotta Serve Somebody, Every Grain Of Sand, Pressin' On.

I thought the Christmas album thing was a spoof, did he really do that shit?

Still, at least he's not getting married again, thumbs-upping in cartoon hair, like poor fab Macca.