Could he touch his nose? Happy birthday to John. I love this cover of "Bring on the Lucie" by the Boston-based and totally excellent band Hallelujah the Hills.
George Harrison, 1968 GEORGE HARRISON: I wrote "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at my mother's house in Warrington. I was thinking about the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Changes...the Eastern concept is that whatever happens is all meant to be, and that there's no such thing as coincidence—every little item that's going down has a purpose. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was a simple study based on that theory. I decided to write a song based on the first thing I saw upon opening any book—as it would be relative to that moment, at that time. I picked up [...]
This month, I wrote two introductory essays—one for Harold Lloyd's 1923 film Safety Last! (see here), the other for Russell Hoban's 1975 novel Turtle Diary. I give a nod to the Beatles in each. In Bookforum, Brian Gittis takes up the book-compared-to-music thread that I put in my Hoban intro. In his introduction to the New York Review's reissue of Russell Hoban's oddball 1975 novel Turtle Diary, Ed Park characterizes the book as a sort of literary cousin to the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby." It's a humble tale of urban loneliness, quotidian in flavor—which makes it an anomaly in Hoban's large, very strange, [...]
Bare feet, ouch! Paul suffers for his art. Rob Sheffield in Rolling Stone: So let's argue: Which album truly counts as the grand finale? The case for Let It Be: It came out in 1970, which was after 1969. The case for Abbey Road: (1) virtually all of Let It Be was in the can before the Abbey Road sessions even began; (2) Abbey Road feels more like a classic Beatles record; (3) "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" was the last time all four played in the studio together; (4) the last song on Abbey Road is called "The End"; (5) except for "Her Majesty"; (6) rebounding from the Let [...]
The film wrings dozens of gags from the chaos that is Harold’s workday behind the fabric counter—as when, attempting to hand off a parcel to a little old lady amid the throng, he shouts, “Who dropped that fifty-dollar bill?” and the mass of matrons subsides like the Red Sea getting the Moses treatment—but it’s in the final half hour, when Lloyd reluctantly assumes the role of the human fly, that Safety Last! delivers something close to pure pleasure. Watching the extended sequence is like listening to the seamless suite of miniatures on side two of Abbey Road: it’s a climax filled with climaxes. Enter [...]
Author Mark Leyner. From an amazing interview with one of my favorite authors, Mark Leyner (conducted by Sam Lipsyte, another terrific fictioneer). This comes at the very end—well worth reading the whole thing (plus Leyner's original piece that follows, which forms a crazy Mobius strip with the interview itself, it seems to me). Here's something funny, though. Last night, I was listening to the Beatles song "You Can't Do That" and it brought tears to my eyes. I mean, big fat tears rolling down my cheeks. Because I have (and have always had) this helpless, completely homoerotic affinity for the [...]
ED PARK • We've discussed in these virtual pages the dire quality of that couplet in "She's a Woman" (you know the one), and the let's-sneak-this-in-and-move-on line in "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" ("I look at my floor and I see it needs...sweeping")... This morning, I was enjoying "Baby's in Black" and was struck by: I think of her but she thinks only of him, and though it's only a whim, she thinks of him. It's only a whim! A whim!!!
ED PARK • Dullblogger Devin and I share a friend in the novelist and singer/songwriter Dylan Hicks. (His 2012 book BOARDED WINDOWS also spawned an excellent album, DYLAN HICKS SINGS BOLLING GREENE—listen here.) I was poking around to find some more DH tunes, and found this charming number, "What I Want," which begins, "I just want to be the Monkee to your Beatle." The video is wantonly out of synch, but this is a toe-tapper with smile-making lyrics I thought HD readers might enjoy. http://youtu.be/mcc9Ccrx_Bg