Thursday, July 23, 2009
There is a critical incident from John's childhood in which Freddie had returned and was bonding with John and asked John to choose between living with him or his mother. John chose Freddie, and then seeing at how broken hearted his mother was, ran back to his mother. John was torn between his mother and his father. Both parents abandoned John, but he forgave Julia. This is explored more in John's solo song "Mother." John explained this incident in a Rolling Stone interview in 1970.
(Jann Wenner, Lennon Remembers, Rolling Stone 1970).
John and Paul became friends because Paul also lost his mother as a teen. John was raised primarily by Julia's sister, John's Aunt Mimi and his uncle. Paul was raised by his widowed father Jim who was an amateur musician and regular contributor to local productions around Liverpool. Paul later said that Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was partly based upon his father's jazz band that performed for theater productions in and around Liverpool.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
John Lennon was born
(Here, insert story of John choosing between Fred and Julia. Sources Coleman’s Lennon, Rolling Stone’s Lennon Remembers, Beatles In Their Own Words, and Anthology.)
(1) John spent his early years with his mother and father near
The first Beatles song that I was taught to play was "Here Comes the Sun." It is not the easiest Beatles song for me. I was given the Easy Chords for Guitar version and I had the toughest time with the riffs as I am left handed and picking is not my strong point.
I have also done cover versions of A Day in the Life, Tomorrow Never Knows, Don't Bother Me, Things We Said Today, and many others.
It has always been frustrating for me because when I try to play along with Beatles records, the chords never sound right. That is because the Beatles and George Martin did many things to their records to give them a unique sound. One trick was to speed up or slow down the recording and playback speeds of the tape decks. So there I was with the correct chords, but the recording had been flattened or sharpened to a higher or lower key than how it was written. Then John used chords that he learned that are actually banjo chords and he applied them to his guitar playing. Paul used many inverted chords so that his chord progressions and transitions flowed better. And none of this is explained on any of the Beatles songbooks that I purchased over the years. You should see the chord blocks for my sheet music for "Blackbird." It looks like the "Sesame Street" synopsis or the Disney version of "Ulysses."
I learned how to play Beatles songs from my musician friends. Oh, so you play Blackbird this way. Oh, I see.
There is also a wealth of instruction on how to play Beatles songs and numerous musicians with posts on YouTube and other websites demonstrating how to play cover versions of Beatles songs. I am most recently impressed with a young boy from Japan that has not only mastered the original chord structure of how to play Beatles songs, he has added instrumental voicings of the melodies and blended in with the chords.
Check out this instructional video on YouTube how to play Blackbird