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- All is well! - February 28, 2023
Last night, I had the most amazing dream, one of my favorites ever.
I was flying on a jumbo jet from New York to Los Angeles, with my brother and father. That’s not important. What is important is that the jet was an amazing flying museum of all these wonderful Beatle artifacts, like a flying exhibition. In addition to all sorts of personal items and memorabilia, there were amazing photos I’d never seen before, and even life-size mockups of the stages at the Kaiserkeller and The Cavern.
Then, we landed in Dodger Stadium, smacking into some things. I thought, “Oh well, this plane isn’t going to fly for a while.” But the terminal continued the exhibit, and there was even more stuff. I looked at everything, having a wonderful time.
I turned a corner, and John and George were sitting at a small cafe table having tea and talking. They were dressed in full psychedelic regalia, like in this poster I had in my room growing up. John had his leg crossed and I could see he was wearing these wonderful trippy red socks. I took out my phone and snapped a picture of them. When they looked over I said, “Sorry guys. Didn’t mean to interrupt you. I just loved John’s socks.”
Then I woke up. This dream came from my longtime hope that there will be a vast Beatles museum someday, and that Yoko’s quirk of collecting all sorts of items and photographs, along with Paul, George and Ringo’s memorabilia, will be turned into a collection available to scholars and the public.
Do any of you have Beatle dreams? I have them regularly, perhaps more than any other type of dream, and they are always really deeply enjoyable. Share any favorites of yours in the comments.
I occasionally have Beatle dreams. Okay, I occasionally have Paul dreams, that counts, right?
For me, though, as a songwriter, the dreams that connect me with them (Paul) the most are when I dream songs and melodies. I know a lot of songwriters do this and from what I understand, most of the time, they can’t remember or capture them on waking. For whatever reason, I can and they frequently turn into finished songs. In fact, the album I’m working on now is almost entirely made up of dream music. Whenever I wake with a melody, I always think of Yesterday and hope…. that someday, maybe…
Does it count if the dream wasn’t yours, but it involved you? 😛
When I was in fifth grade and just discovering The Beatles, I floated the naive dream of starting a tribute band with my friends and went around imitating the accents, the whole nine. Well, the neighbor kid I cast in my mind as “Paul” (because he was left-handed… got to be accurate, after all) came over to my house one afternoon bursting to tell me about the dream he’d had. He didn’t remember the context or if there was any set-up, but he encountered John, then my favorite Beatle, wearing glasses that resembled mine rather than the classic NHS wire-rims, who said, “Tell [my name] I said hi.”
When I tell you I floated on air for the next week and a half…
Such a dream, at least the flight part, reminds me of what many of us in the industry wish would happen.
In 1998 All Nippon Airways (ANA) painted a few of their widebodies in Pokémon livery (paint scheme). Although they operated primarily within Japan and to New York’s JFK Airport, they occasionally scheduled them around the world where children of all ages could see them. Needless to say it was staggeringly popular. Pikachu was right there toward the front.
Other airlines around the world have since experimented with this concept and while the passengers inside are obviously unaware of the paint outside, plane spotters around the world delight in them.
So how does this relate to the Beatles and dreaming of being on a flight full of Beatles memorabilia? Well, for years there has been a fervent wish for either British Airways or Virgin Atlantic to paint one of their aircraft in a Beatles theme.
One thinks immediately of Yellow Submarine, but both those airlines have had some absolutely brilliant marketing campaigns over the years and so they certainly come up with something that would be a stunner. I remember seeing the Apple iTunes (I believe it was?) ad for the first time on Oxford Street and it had people stopping at staring.
I am not sure how The Estate works these kinds of things as it/ they are no doubt deluged with requests from all four points of the compass, but if I were the CEO of either of those airlines I would doggedly pursue it. At the very least it would be an immediate sensation among traveling Beatles fans.
Many suggestions have been of two them on each side, in their Abbey Road garb, walking the length of the plane.
Perhaps a silly idea to some, but it has been out there for quite some time. I know Ringo and Paul don’t like being used as for commercial purposes but who knows? Virgin had a 747 christined Tubular Bells so there is always hope.
Okay, I offer last night’s dream for the official record:
In a black void, the idea of John and Paul appears, not the people, just the gestalt concept of each of them. The two gestalts get closer and closer and then tumble over and over one another like puppies wrestling or a flywheel, getting more and more enmeshed until it’s johnandpaulandjohnandpaul, no separation at all.
Then the John part vanishes abruptly and now it’s just Paul standing in a field at night next to a barn with a thatched roof. We make eye contact and he starts to glow with a golden light and the words, “I’m Paul McCartney” come to me even though he’s not speaking. He walks into the barn and then the barn starts to glow and gets brighter and brighter until it’s a supernova. I hear “I Saw Her Standing There,” and on the rising last note of “I held her hand in mine,” the energy focuses down into a gold laser beam and I feel a direct connection into my consciousness (chakra people would say a connection with the third eye chakra).
I get dizzy and the scene changes. Now I’m an Apple Scruff at the entrance to Cavendish. Paul walks down the driveway and I get on my knees. It’s very much an instinctive gesture of supplication, not something that even requires a decision or thought.
He’s 1964-5 Paul wearing his tailored dark suit and tie, but as he gets closer it changes to Magical Mystery Tour Paul in his red wizard’s costume (complete with the hat). He’s carrying what looks like a wand or a sword. I’m still on my knees and I get the sense he’s going to knight me. We look at each other for what seems like a very long time before I wake up.
NOTE: I see a lot in here in terms of symbolism, but Michael’s post didn’t include requests for dream interpretation, so I’ll just leave it alone.
@Faith, don’t suppress yourself on my account! 🙂
My fault for adding that little aside, eh? Okay, why not?
Johnandpaulandjohnandpaul is obvious, I trust. It’s the partnership, which is my far and away main interest in the Beatles (I love George and Ringo, but for me, my obsession is 90% Lennon-McCartney). The way that their strengths and personalities complimented one another, yin and yang, two equal halves that together made something greater than the sum of its parts. (Also I just read a fanfic in which they were described as “two puppies fighting for dominance” and apparently that imagery kind of stuck with me…)
John disappearing, that’s an obvious reference to his murder and Paul having to go on alone, but it’s also that of the two of them solo, Paul draws me far more than John does. The barn with the straw roof reminds me of the manger in the Jesus story and also of the barn in the last book of the CS Lewis Narnia series, which serves as a portal to either Heaven or Hell depending on who walks through it. In this case, Paul is the one who walks through it, after turning into a Buddha figure, the gold light being a fairly universal symbol of enlightenment or Nirvana, and who leaves our physical plane like a star going super nova.
I think that all probably comes from my personal experiences as a songwriter being quite frankly in a kind of religious awe over his (and Lennon-McCartney’s) talent and despairing that it’s out of my reach — that he’s reached creative Nirvana and I’m still just standing there in the dark in a field in the middle of nowhere .
After that, the dream gets more personally symbolic and relates to my (obviously indirect) emotional relationship to Paul, especially 1964-5 Paul. (I’m surprised 1968 rooftop Paul didn’t make an appearance, but it’s probably because I woke up to write down the dream and didn’t get to finish it… that’s always a hard call to make — consider it a Dullblog sacrifice…) If I’d been in London at the time, I probably — no, for sure would have been a Scruff. No question. There is precedent in my past for that sort of thing, as I was once a Billy Joel groupie.
My falling to my knees when 1964 Paul in his suit comes down the driveway is really just that I’m a sub in the world of BDSM and that’s my hard-wired impulse when engaging with a powerful attractive man and since it was a semi-lucid dream and I knew I was dreaming, I went with it. On a symbolic level, one could argue that 1964-5 immaculately tailored Paul close to the pinnacle of his sexual powers, so not a surprise that he’d be the one to manifest.
He turns into a magician. That’s also obvious in the same way that him being represented as a buddha figure is. Also Billy Joel once likened what he did as a songwriter and onstage to being a magician — affecting people with his words and music as if they were spells, which of course, songs are in the most literal sense. Songs change people’s behavior, emotions, attitudes and, in my case on multiple occasions, my life. Powerful spells indeed and in our culture, no songspells are more potent and long-lived than Beatles songspells are.
Paul carries a sword or a wand, not clear which. (If it’s a sword, I blame that on another fanfic that included sword-wielding Paul). Either way, a clear reference to Sir Paul being knighted, but now passing a little of that power, that magic on to me as a songwriter. Wishful thinking — wish fulfillment. Maybe/hopefully a little bit of extra inspiration.
Someone should write a dreams of the Beatles book. I have one about Bill Clinton and one about Princess Diana already, so there’s precedent.
Very interesting, Faith. I used to have a few books on dream interpretation. I think it’s a fascinating topic.
I loved this: “If I’d been in London at the time, I probably — no, for sure would have been a Scruff. No question. There is precedent in my past for that sort of thing, as I was once a Billy Joel groupie.”
You are a kindred spirit! I would have been right there with you on the steps of Apple, waiting for the Fabs. (Especially Paul). I’m also a Billy Joel fan.
I am enjoying your writing.
Thank you, Tasmin! And oh, yeah, I’ve got good Billy stories, including my favorite in which I got to be Mrs. Billy Joel for about five glorious minutes…
I was listening to Paul and Billy’s “I Saw Her Standing There” yesterday from Paul’s Good Evening NY Concert album, and I realized that Billy is a really credible stand-in for John, vocally, with Paul. Billy and John have similar strengths and limitations in their vocal range, and their phrasing is very similar (It helps that like Paul, Billy is a great mimic), and I think that’s why they sound so great together. I wish he and Paul would have done an actual collaboration together. That would have been something. I doubt it will ever happen, though.
I agree with Billy being a credible stand in for John. I think he would be great!
As for them collaborating, I listened to an interview with Billy on the Beatles Channel about a year ago.
They are friends, (as I’m sure you know), and Billy said they have helped each other on different things; mostly suggestions. He says it has never come up in their conversations about collaborating.
For Joel, he said he would feel somewhat intimidated to ask, and presumptuous. Also, that they both have their own things going, so it just never happened.
I wish they would have too, because I think it would have been well received, as well as fantastic!
I have to drop this story here…
Billy Joel on Howard Stern:
“So Paul McCartney is going to come to my house in the Hamptons to hear these piano pieces.” Joel began. “His attorney is my attorney so he kind of got it together for him to come to my house. ‘Paul McCartney’s coming to my house – wow!’ Just me and him hanging out.
“So, I want to know I have drinks in case he wants a nice, cold drink. I’ll have something in the fridge, I open the fridge and I look in the fridge and there are some cold cuts.
Stern interjected, “And that’s not good enough?”
“Well, it’s not that,” Joel explained. “I mean, he’s not a meat guy, he’s anti-meat. I’m looking at my fridge and I’m seeing turkey breast and you know, cold beef or something. It’s starting to look like Jeffery Dahmer’s refrigerator. I’m thinking if Paul opens the fridge he is going to freak out, run out of my house and never talk to me again.
“So I decide I’m gonna take all the meat out of the refrigerator and put it somewhere else. Literally I was gonna hide the salami. So I go through the fridge and I’m pulling out this and that and I’m hiding it in drawers.
“I didn’t want to bother him with my meat. I had to put it somewhere because he was coming. I’m looking at my watch, he’s gonna be here any minute. Where do I put the meat? Okay, I put it in the pantry and I put it in the drawer.”
“We had a nice day hanging out. He’s a regular guy, good family man. We just played each other music that we were working on. And that was it, then he left. He never asked for anything to drink, he never looked in my fridge.
“He leaves and I’m just calling everybody to tell them, ‘hey, Paul McCartney was here.’” And a few days go by and I smell dead chicken sitting in a drawer for five days. It was all so well hidden, I couldn’t find it.”
Last fall I had a vivid dream where Paul (1980s Paul) dropped by my house to hang out, as if we were old friends. He said he had a couple of hours to kill while waiting for a friend to leave the theater. We hung out in downtown Denver, waiting for his friend, while people came by asking him for an autograph. I really wanted to ask him about “what really happened in India with him and John”, but was afraid it would shut down the conversation. Then I woke up, very surprised I remembered it, but also disappointed the dream didn’t last longer.
(Interview with George Harrison)
I liked this interview very much! Thank you, @Sam.
The George interview is from a book of interviews I had in my library way back in the 1980s. Rock stars, session musicians, record producers, agents, etc. all speaking about their careers. I remember Geffen being one of the interviewees, and he admits he faked his way into the mailroom and into his first show biz job. And I remember Richard Branson talking about starting Virgin Records… he admits he didn’t know the difference between “net” and “gross” profits.
Rereading the Harrison interview online after all these years, he sounds to me like a DullBlog commenter or frontpager. He had such a deep understanding of the Beatlemagic we’ve been discussing, as well as an appreciation of what he didn’t know. His interview almost reads like someone here asked him to contribute a guest post.
Oh, if only, @Sam. I think he of all four of them might’ve done it. We had mutuals in comedy.
I had the Beatles dream of all Beatles dreams (at least for a songwriter) last night. Some of it I’ll hold back for myself, but here’s the gist.
This was a lucid dream, meaning that I was aware I was dreaming and experienced in with all of my senses, and it therefore felt indistinguishable from reality in every way.
I was at a record release party and found myself talking to Paul and John (1965-ish). I was earnestly explaining something about songwriting to them, and after listening politely for a bit, Paul finally turned to me and said — very gently like a teacher scolding a favorite but impertinent student — “Faith, stop talking.” (It was a Yoko moment — “Did something SAY something?”)
I flushed and realized immediately that I had NO business telling Paul McCartney and John Lennon ANYTHING about songwriting. More than a little embarrassed, I shut up right away.
Having then made it clear what my position in the hierarchy was, John and Paul invited me to a backroom to join them for a writing session. John Denver was also there (I still dream about him occasionally even though my obsession has faded) and JD had a scribbled page of lyrics (with so MANY cross-outs it was hard to read). John picked up an acoustic guitar. Paul was producing the session.
JD was stuck as to how to finish the song, and John (Lennon) nodded to me, like, okay, hot shot, you wanna show us your stuff, now’s the time. So JD and I worked on the song, with Lennon and McCartney coaching us through it. I was still lucid, so I was fully aware of what I was doing and experiencing the whole thing as if awake. Touch, smell, sight, hearing, and full awareness.
I woke up at around 3 am with the song (which is still incomplete, but the bones were there) still in my head and recorded a rough demo of it. I’m working on finishing it, and in my mind, it will always be credited to (not sure of the order here…) Current/Lennon/McCartney/Denver.
I think every songwriter alive dreams of having some version of THAT dream, and I finally had it. It was a lifetime peak experience.
I regularly have dreams involving George Harrison. Here’s one I had a few months ago.
I’m at a theater and I sit next to George (1969-era George). He turns his full attention to me. I feel so seen, so known, so accepted. This level of acceptance is very powerful and healing.
In a special issue of Rolling Stone that celebrated the 20th anniversary of Beatlemania, which I’ve kept to this day, Cyndi Lauper said when she was 10 years old in ’64 she had a dream in which she and John were brushing their teeth next to each other and spitting into the same sink. Classic dream. The incredible meets the mundane.