Wonderful Tunes Provided By Friends. Wild Tangents Provided By Me.

Posts tagged ‘Beatles’

Happy Birthday Frank Conniff!

It’s Frank’s Birthday! I knew I wasn’t going to top last year’s meat cake. But since Frank is a fan of the movie “Singin In The Rain” I thought Gene, Debbie, and Donald would make a sweet treat.  I had this cake made special. Few people know this, but “Julie” was Frank’s stage name back in his Vaudeville days.

Singin In The Rain Cake

Since he is a fan of the show “Man From U.N.C.L.E,” I commissioned this special Beatles powered, Napoleon Solo groove. If you’re wondering why the lady says “Happy birthday Abbey” at the beginning, well only the Sisters at Westminster know for sure and they’re not talking because of that damned vow of silence. By “vow of silence” I mean “court mandated gag order” but you get the idea. The lesson here is, no matter how tempting the invitation, NEVER party with nuns!

Seriously though, Frank, if you’re out there reading (and even if you’re not), thank you for sharing your great taste in music and thank you for the laughter. Happy birthday sir, I hope it’s a great one!

What’s My Line?

Here’s a very neat clip of Beatles manager Brian Epstein from the game show “What’s My Line?” This episode aired on October 18, 1964. It seems like he was there to promote his biography “A Cellarful Of Noise.” Tony Bennet was also on this episode.

There’s no music in this clip so here’s the song “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.” The internet says this was written about Brian and the fact that he had to hide his homosexuality. I wonder what it would be like to have to omit such a large part of who you are from your own memoirs (I haven’t read the book but I’m assuming he did since it was illegal to have gay sex at the time).

I’m currently about a third of the way through a “write a novel in 100 days” challenge on another blog. I write too slow to do it in a month. It’s a nice leisurely pace that lets me write the occasional post on this blog too without feeling overwhelmed with all my self imposed stuff to do. I will put up a link to a chapter or two once I’ve done a bit of editing. I’m sure my unseen writing projects are endlessly fascinating to everyone but it’s actually not what I wanted to talk about today.

I have never written a biography but I have always thought my great grandmother would make an excellent subject. She was a woman of many accomplishments at a time when few women, let alone Black women, were allowed or expected to do much. I have her story on my list of things to write about. I never knew the woman so the account will have to be highly fictionalized. But don’t worry, I will use the films of the time to make sure the story is historically correct. I’m not quite sure we can work in the whole “mammy” thing but since she was a math and science major at school, I will be sure she gets the finest sparkler powered Flash Gordon style space ship I can imagine.

If Being Busy Is Good Then I Want To Write!

Paul McCartney wrote “Paperback Writer” in 1966 and it topped the charts in 6 countries. It was the first Beatles non-love song released in the UK. (“Nowhere Man” was the first in the US.) You Tube poster says this was the very first music promotional video ever made. Apparently the youngster has never seen a soundie.

I WANT TO WRITE!!! A short story that is. Actually a couple of short stories. But I have no time!! I can’t write them at work because the subject matter is inappropriate to a corporate environment, and I haven’t two seconds to rub together when I get home. I know I know, if it’s important you make time. Maybe I should treat it like my whining since, clearly, I find plenty of time to do that!

Happy Tax Day

The first US income tax law was enacted in 1862 in order to help pay for the Civil War. That law was eliminated in 1872 and replaced by a tax on alcohol and tobacco products. Need for revenue rose again so, in 1913, the 16th Amendment made income tax permanent. So you see, if everyone had spent a little less time working and a little more time smoking and drinking we wouldn’t be dreading this day every year!

Here’s a little Beatles Cartoon to ease the pain:

…And Speaking Of Civil Rights Songs Featuring Birds

The video I posted back on 3/12 made me think of the Beatles song “Blackbird.” I have always loved the song’s message of hope but I just learned today that it was actually written about the American Civil Rights movement. Paul McCartney says the idea for it came to him while he was doing a poetry reading in Scotland, the very center of the African-American struggle for equal rights!

I kid Paul of course, one never knows where inspiration will strike. I’m sure we’re all just grateful when it strikes legendary musical geniuses like him. I’m sure we’d all be equally grateful if “inspiration” spent a little less time striking the likes of Charlie Sheen and Snooki!

Let It Be. Please. I Beg You.

This, dear friends, is a promotional video for the third season of the Norwegian television show “Gylne Tider” or “Golden Times” in English. In the show, a presenter, a cameraman, and a sound engineer travel to meet their heroes. The first two seasons they focused on Norwegian stars but in the third season they went international.

The song, of course, is the Beatles’ 1970 hit “Let It Be.” This particular version was recorded in 1987 to benefit victims of the Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster. A ferry called the MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsized on March 6, 1987 killing 193 passengers and crew. It was the worst peacetime maritime disaster in Britain since 1919. Here’s the original video:

Oh, and by the way, this wasn’t the only promo the “Gylne Tider” folks did.

I read a blog post by a guy who was super angry about this “embarrassing spectacle” but honestly, it was good to see some of those folks again and I bet it was kinda fun to do. I wonder if these viral gems will net those guys an American version of “Gylne Tider.”

The Beatles Shout My Glorious Return From The Rooftop

I got back! It was a fantastic trip but I’m too tired for a full report tonight. In the meantime, please enjoy some Beatles from the rooftop concert.


Jeff Beck Honors John Lennon and I Bare My Sad, Sick Soul

John Lennon would have been 70 today. He was 27 in 1967 when he and Paul McCartney wrote “A Day In The Life.” They wrote the verses separately. Paul’s focused on memories of his school days and John’s focused on current news headlines. Rolling Stone Magazine ranks the song at number 26 on its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

This video is from 2009 Madison Square Garden concert celebrating Jeff Beck’s second induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. He closed the show with this fantastic number.

It is said that sharing shameful secrets is good for the soul. It is only by bringing the skeletons in our closets out into the bright light of day that we can see that they are not as horrible and scary as we may think and that we are still loved and lovable in spite of them. As a general rule I completely agree. Dirty little secrets can eat away at us needlessly and make us miserable. But occasionally there are secrets so horrible that we really do need to bury them down deep under dense, rocky mountains of shame and never ever share them under any circumstances. Here’s one of mine:

For several years after I saw the 1978 Bee Gees “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” movie, I loudly proclaimed to anyone who would listen that it was not only one of the finest movies ever made but also that the Frampton/Bee Gee remakes of Beatles songs were far superior to the original Beatles versions.

Okay, okay, but in my early adolescent defense there were serious hormonal forces at work on me at the time. I was 11 so I probably started puberty, the minute the opening credits started to roll. It’s a proven scientific fact that tweenage girls imprint just like newborn baby birds. At the onset of puberty, the adolescent female will develop a hopeless crush on the very first pop idol with tight pants and a great head of hair that crosses her path.

Of course Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees have large bodies of work of which they can be immensely proud. I am still a big fan but I’m sure we can all agree that the Sgt. Pepper movie probably wasn’t one of their best career moves. But, and here’s the really terrible part, even though I no longer think  those songs are the best possible Beatles remakes, I do still like them. Yes I know, I’ll just pop out to the shed to fetch my shovel. I’m sure we’ll all be much more comfortable once I’ve got this secret deeply stowed under Shame Mountain once again!

The Great Minneapolis Adventure

Here’s a handy geography tip for the gentle reader: Minneapolis is NOT the same as Milwaukee. I’m sure you’re all as shocked to hear it as I was. Not only that, neither city was even willing to consider relocating to save me a little cash on the non-refundable hotel reservation I accidentally made in the wrong place! Yeesh, some municipalities! I had to fake cry my way through about seven phone calls to get a refund. But once I got booked into the right city and state, I actually did “make it on my own” to the hotel without incident.


My internet friend gang was already pretty stoked that we were going to get to meet each other and see some of Minneapolis and see w00tstock. Then serendipity smiled on the nerdy and we found out we could also see J Elvis Weinstein at the ACME Comedy Club! Mr J was performing with the very funny Chris Bliss. Only Super Geeky had heard of him in our group but apparently he’s quite famous. The two performed tag team style. They went for 90 minutes and I don’t think I stopped laughing once! Then when the stand up was done Chris did the amazing routine in the video. The crowd went wild of course. They closed the show with Chris juggling to a Fat Boy Slim song sung by Josh. Josh even got into the juggling a bit too. It was awesome! I know I saw some folks with cameras out bootlegging it but unfortunately no one’s uploaded it to You Tube that I could find. After the show Josh found us and chatted for a bit. Unfortunately we had all gotten up at the crack of dawn to get to the show on time so we were all pretty brain dead. I don’t think anyone said anything brilliant but I hope we were at least coherent! I attempted for the fourth time to get a pic with a Titan. I am convinced I’m cursed though so I’m betting that picture will never see the light of day.


Mall of America! Okay, it’s a totally touristy cliche thing to do but half of our group came from far flung corners of the Midwest and we wanted to see it. We had a blast! We got to fondle a cardboard vampire, take photos with a life size Lego Boba Fett and I got a high five from a bright blue land shark! After we finished exploring the mall we went to the very fine aquarium in the basement where the gorgeous, funny and talented Blablover5 (Introvertedwife on Twitter) shot the video for this section. We ended the evening at the Rain Forrest Cafe sharing fresh warm donut holes with chocolate and caramel dipping sauce. Nothing like sharing a mouthgasm with friends.


The tourist portion of our group started the day off at the Science Museum of Minnesota. They were having a Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit which was quite awe inspiring even for a heathen like me. We also had the pleasure of exploring a science museum with actual scientists which is entertaining as well as educational.

Next it was time for our entire group to meet for a pre-show dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. CT forum was represented by Blablover5 and her Mister, Splatnuk, and yours truly. Twitter’s own Spideyo came along with his beautiful wife and their pretty daughter. Facebook was represented by a lovely woman who doesn’t frequent this forum or Twitter so, as far as I know, she doesn’t have a nickname I can use. The food was good and the company was even better. 

I had absolutely no idea what w00tstock was when I bought the ticket to see it. I just knew some cool people I really liked would be in it and some other cool people I really liked would be there watching it and I knew I wanted to be a part of that. It turns out w00tstock is a show which celebrates nerdiness in all its glory. I loved every minute of it. The clip features the show’s entire cast on stage singing a generic national anthem. Hard to hear but very funny!


I drove home. I don’t live in Chicago but hey, close enough. Besides I figure I really oughta get some actual jazz into this post.

I am beginning to formulate some reflections on the power of nerd gatherings. I really must write them out some day. Maybe I will after I go to my first Con.

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