Now that they're all either dead or marginalized, the Beatles have released a new album. Tackily titled Let It Be...Naked, it's a remake of the original stripped of all the lush production values provided by Phil Spector. Maybe Paul McCartney sought to distance the band from Spector due to to those murder allegations, I don't know. But I do own the new version and I'm listening to it now. It rocks.
I remember when they released the original in 1970. Although never a big fan, it had a tremendous impact on me. The year was 1970. I was 11 and coming into adolescence. All that hippy-dippy idealism of the 60s had given way to bitterness, acrimony and mistrust. We of that generation inherited our older siblings' affinity for drug abuse and promiscuity (no desirable virgin graduated from my high school and everybody got high.) But we had no use for all that peace, love and understanding business. We didn't stage sit-ins or march for civil rights. We just nodded out like Chinamen in an opium den. We grew more jaded with each passing year.
Against this mordant backdrop the Fab Four released their contemplative classic. It had two centerpiece tunes, McCartney's title track and John Lennon's Across the Universe, with its oft-repeated refrain, "Nothing's gonna change my world." They both resonated with cautious hopefulness.
Yet both songs spoke volumes about the prevailing mood, which wasn't good. Both foreshadowed the coming retreat into isolation and coccooning. The lads appeared to be saying, hey, there's nothing anyone can do about all this upheaval so why not kick back and enjoy the ride? Why not dwell in your own private Idaho, where nothing's gonna change your world? That's what we did, for longer than I'd care to recall.
My sister had a boyfriend back then. Mark had a yellow Chevy Impala. They'd tear down narrow country roads at breakneck speeds with me in the back amid 600 empty beer cans. The only song he'd ever play was Across the Universe. He'd sing along so loud that it drowned out Lennon's musings. But he'd sing, "Nothing's gonna change my mind" and it pissed me off. It irked me more than the fact that he harmonized worse than Yoko Ono or Linda McCartney.
25 years later he barged back into our lives and married my sister. That was the first thing that popped into my head. It's funny the things you remember, like the time he Marv Alberted my wife on her ass.
Now there's a new song that speaks to me just as forcefully about these times, crawling as they are with terrorists, stalkers and serial killers. It's called The Remedy and it attempts to make some sense of our culture of fear and loathing post-Sept 11. Three lines jump out at me: "The real tragedy is that you're going to spend the rest of your life with the light on." "I won't worry my life away." And: "When it all amounts to nothing in the end."
To me that hits the nail on the head. Screw the Threat Matrix, what can we do about any of that? While you're at it, screw The Matrix, Matrix: Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions too. For it all amounts to nothing in the end, and nothing's gonna change my mind about that.
Jason Mraz is my hero.
by andrew at November 18, 2003 8:31 PM
That's cool but who is he?
by anna at November 18, 2003 9:01 PM
It's weird but there's way more users on line but in the case of my recent posts, a dearth of comments. I think maybe I'll just sit back and lurk for a while. In the meantime I'd be interested to hear any suggested subject matter from y'all. I will write about anything you'd like to hear about.
by anna at November 19, 2003 7:47 PM
well i just got an email about bad sam being at 80% of its bandwidth limit which = a whopping 24 gigs this month so daaaaaaaamn, people, y'all are like famous & shit.
i'm gonna go bump that limit up, keep on keepin' on & i'll be posting something as soon as i can um, like, think or someshit. been kinda um ... you know. entropy.
by lizard at November 20, 2003 4:58 AM
Cool to see you Lizard. But would you please explain to us newbies why it is you would be getting this email? Are you like some behind-the-scenes blog guru?
by anna at November 20, 2003 7:44 AM
glynn Johns did the original mix, but wanted production credts. John got pissed and canned his ass. Nothing beats the video though. What an unbeatable rock and roll band.
by john gregory at January 16, 2006 10:47 PM