Deconstructing The Beatles, the movie

Michael Gerber
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Enjoying your magical mystery tour...?

Enjoying your magical mystery tour…?

Against all odds, and perhaps against our better judgment, life seems ever-so-slowly to be returning to normal. This morning I received an email from musicologist Scott Freiman, who lectures regularly on the Fabs, dissecting some of their most interesting albums in front of a live audience.

Now Freiman’s lecture on the White Album has been filmed and is being shown in many cities across the country starting on November 16th (that’s tomorrow!). You can find a list of venues and book your tickets here. Don’t be like me! Don’t have something already planned for tomorrow night!

If any of you see the film — and I hope some do, because I can’t — please post what you thought in the comments. Scott is interested in having an interview, so if there are big questions or bones of contention, we could make that happen. To whet your appetite, here is Scott speaking with comedian Artie Lange:

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  1. Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

    That’s nice. Interesting how Beatles’ music related events come into focus. Last Thursday I visited a concert of the Analogues and heard a full performance of Sgt. Pepper, including the original piano, indian music etc. The cool thing about it is that this band doesn’t pursue their own musical interpretation but try to stick to the original intended sound, emotions and arrangements. Being able to do that well, provides ample opportunity to find your own nuances.
    In this same tradition or focus I see Freiman: to find out how that music was created, where all this little wonderful bits and pieces come from what color they had and how the music came about. And in another moment just listen to the music see how it makes happy and sad. I hope that Freiman wil cross the ocean, sooner rather than later, because with Trump in the High Castle (look at the series based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, the subject is so temporary with the American xenophobia, racism and fascism revealed in the appearance of Trump and his awful team Flynn etc.) I ain’t gonna be there soon.

    By the way there is another little thing. If I am not mistaken, there was an earlier version of your posting in which you claimed some of the information by Freiman was included in the ‘All The Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles’ by Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon. I thought you were off track, but I was hoping you are right. I never wanted to buy the book because these guys just sampled from a set of familiar books without extra discoveries and exploring research.
    Their awful list is:
    1. The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions – Mark Lewisohn; 1988.
    2. Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments from Stage to Studio – Andy Babiuk; 2009.
    3. Recording the Beatles : The Studio Equipment and Techniques Used to Create Their Classic Albums – Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan; 2006.
    4. The Beatles Anthology – The Beatles; 2000.
    5. The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono – David Sheff; 1981.
    6. Many Years From Now – Barry Miles; 1997.
    7. I Me Mine – George Harrison; 1980.
    Just look at it, how boring.
    Their reference list shows incompetence and the false fan-believe that The Beatles provide reliable info. The band allowed themselves bias disguised as artistic liberty, like the insinuations in the song ‘Sexy Sadie’. They cared even less about the truth during interviews; sometimes as funny as during press conferences while on tour, but also insensitive and obtuse e.g. in the 1970 ‘Lennon Remembers’ interviews. With nothing new in ti and the writing not so good, almost as bad as mine, this is not a book I recommend. I never bought it, but your statement made me go to the public library here in Amsterdam and dig thru the book to find any references to Freiman, and that is nice. I didn’t find any references to Freiman though, they are really not in there.
    Going through this five pounds 672 pages monster-collection of information on Beatles output, is still an interesting exercise. For two reasons, one is that I am working on a project ‘The Beatles’ Book Review’, and any reason to go thru a book again with a question or specific perspective helps; the other reason is now I know the book is a good resource for those who compose questions for trivia contests – maybe an idea when Christmas time is ehre again or New Year’s eve? And by the way tonight I will be watching Yellow Submarine with three family members, younger than twenty, they found the blu-ray version of the recently restored animation film, on the shelves in my study, ‘and in the meanwhile,(I’ll try to) stay out of the rain’ that comes pouring down from dark Dutch cloudy skies and let ‘RINGO’ (73) bring on warm feelings and happy music into the house and let the remixed version of the ‘Yellow Submarine’ songtrack fill come out loud and clear.

  2. Avatar Mike Taylor wrote:

    Four minutes into the interview, nd I’ve hardly heard Freiman say a word. If only Artie Lange would shut up for a moment!

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