Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A brief and bizarre history of Rock And Roll – 2 : Beatlemania !

The Beatles !

What can you say about them ?

They were the Fab Four !

There were four of them !

All four of them were from Liverpool !

Liverpool’s in England !

The Beatles were English !

They also did a couple of songs in German !

That’s because they did a stint in Hamburg , Germany !

They played nightclubs in Hamburg , Germany !

We don’t know what they did during the day in Hamburg , Germany !

Probably prepared to be famous !

At the time they recorded a very sissy song called My Bonnie !

I am glad it wasn’t my Bonnie !

John Lennon was photographed wearing a toilet seat around his neck !

Some neck !

Some band !

Then Brian Epstein came along !

The band was turned down by Decca Records !

The band was not turned down by EMI Records !

At first The Beatles wore suits !

Later they stopped wearing suits !

Brian Epstein died !

Of drug overdose !

Not because The Beatles had stopped wearing suits !

The Beatles slapped legal suits on one another !

I once got slapped !

In 1964 , The Beatles toured America for the first time !

In 1964 , The Beatles conquered America !

In 1914 , pizzas conquered America !

In 1964 , The Beatles starred in A Hard Day’s Night !

If you care about scripts and plots , it’s a hard day’s watch !

It was made by Richard Lester !

Poor Richard !

In 1965 , The Beatles starred in Help !

If you care about scripts and plots , you’d cry for help !

Poor you !

In 1965 , The Beatles released Rubber Soul !

In 1966, The Beatles released Revolver !

I like !

In 1966 , John Lennon said they were more popular than Jesus Christ !

The Ku Klux Klan didn’t like !

The Ku Klux Klan burnt their records !

They didn’t care much for Revolver !

Except when it came to shooting colored people !

The Ku Klux Klan really enjoyed shooting colored people !

But Revolver the album meant nothing to them ! They probably preferred Love Me Do !

Ku Klux Klan - ya fucking racist sissies!

With lousy dress sense to boot !

What the heck do you wear – bed sheets !

In 1967 , The Beatles released Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band !

In 1967 , butter was discovered , margarine invented and cheese given rights !

1n 1968 , The Beatles released The White Album !

It had a song called I Tamed The Deviant Platypus !

In 1968 , The Beatles cartooned in Yellow Submarine !

In 1968 , The Beatles ate their dinner !

In 1969 , The Beatles released Let It Be and Abbey Road !

In 1969 , Neil Armstrong landed on the moon !

The Beatles had nothing to do with it !

Neil Armstrong had nothing to do with Louis Armstrong or Lance Armstrong !

In 1970 , The Beatles broke up !

Their fans broke down !

The Beatles had taken the world by storm !

If they were around today , they’d be called Katrina !

Girls swooned and fainted !

Boys shouted !

Yeah ! Shouted !

Yeah ! Yeah ! Yeah !

The Beatles got MBE’s from the Queen !

I know someone who has an MBA !

But not from the Queen !

Then The Beatles stopped touring !

They produced some great music in the studio !

This blog is named after one of those songs !

The Beatles floated a company called Apple !

This blog is not named after it !

The Beatles were too stoned to run Apple !

Apple sank !

Now you know why the Queen didn’t give them MBA’s!

Silly hippies !

John Lennon tragically lost his mother !

He wrote a song called Mother !

(But that was much later !)

Paul McCartney tragically wrote a song called Yesterday !

We’re waiting for a song called Tomorrow !

George Harrison was into India and Hinduism !

He was also into Patti Boyd !

Before Eric Clapton got into Patti Boyd !

(But that was a bit later !)

George Harrison wrote songs like Something and While My Guitar Gently Weeps !

His guitar was probably weeping because it was Clapton that played the solo !

George Harrison wrote a song called My Sweet Lord !

My Sweet Lord hasn’t commented on it !

George Harrison named too many Sweet Lords in that song !

It should have been called My Sweet Lords !

They couldn’t figure out which Sweet Lord he was talking to!

Was it Ringo !

Ringo tragically lost all drum sense before he was born !

He wrote a song called Octopus’s Garden !

I ’d really love to listen to it loud in my garden !

If I had a garden !

I’d water the plants every day !

And talk to them !

Paul McCartney hooked up with Linda Eastman !

She became Linda McCartney !

Poor Linda!

John Lennon had his Kodak moment with Yoko Ono !

He became John Ono Lennon !

They formed The Plastic Ono Band !

With Klaus Voorman on bass !

Klaus was a friend from the Hamburg days !

John Lennon underwent Primal Scream therapy from scratch !

The first POB album underwent primal screams from John Lennon !

Poor first POB album !

Paul McCartney formed The Wings !

Danny Lane , ex-Moody Blues , played lead !

Linda ostensibly played keyboards !

John Lennon said Paul McCartney played muzak!

Poor Paul !

George Harrison did a concert for Bangladesh !

Bangladesh never did a concert for George Harrison !

Poor George !

Ringo Starr acted in a few movies !

He set his time machine to 1965 and sang a song called Act Naturally !

The machine was easy to set as it didn’t involve any drumming !

The song was easy to sing as it didn’t involve much singing !

Poor Ringo !

John Lennon wrote a hit called Imagine !

It said Imagine no possession !

The sacrifice it took to write !

Cramped in his 70 acre mansion in Ascot , England !

Poor John !

And so !

The Beatles !

What can you say about them !

This post would never have been !

But for The Beatles !

Rock and Roll would have never been !

But for The Beatles !

The Great Wall Of China would never have been !

But for The Beatles !

The Not-So-Great Wall from Pink Floyd would never have been !

But for The Beatles !

Ptolemy , Plato , the Disney dog Pluto , the dialect Pushto , the nonsensical and utterly nonexistent word Plarishmoxtain and the character Penny Lane in Almost Famous would never have been !

But for The Beatles !

Ladies and gentlemen !

The Beatles !

Yes !

The Beatles !

I have a special Beatles quiz for you !

Here’s the question !

How do you spell ‘The Beatles’ ?

Beatles your answers to The Beatles !

For a chance to win exciting Beatles-based Beatles !

Ten main Beatles and Fifty consolation Beatles on offer ! (*)

But hurry !

Beatles limited !

(*) Contest not open to Beatles relatives. Winners determined by draw of parking lots. Beatles apply.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A brief and bizarre history of Rock And Roll–1:Progress to Punk

I played an old Immersion Lake & Palm Tree CD the other day and fell asleep about 46 minutes into the fourth keyboard solo. When I awoke a couple of hours later, the fourth keyboard solo was about to end. It was followed by a fifth keyboard solo which in turn led to the following solos:

1. Sax; 2. Keyboard ; 3. Bass; 4. Keyboard ; 5. Drums; 6. Xylophone; 7. Sitar; 8. Keyboard ; 6. Congas / percussion; 7. Organ; 8. Trombone; 9. Mellotrone; 10. Keyboard

In all, the song lasted 16 :23:11

It was great. During that time, I went out for dinner, watched a flick and caught up with my eight hours of beauty sleep.

Multitasking music you might call it. I guess the reason they call it Progressive Rock is it was way ahead of its time. Heck, I mean who the hell cared about Multitasking in the 1970’s!

I bet they didn’t even have Multivitamins those days.

Punk fever incubated in the reaction that was building up against the excesses of Prog Rock .

A 60 minute Achilles’ Last Stand was always going to generate more of a last-straw feeling than a whole lotta love even as increasingly larger numbers of people were saying no to Yes.

Punk exploded into Rock And Roll consciousness like a great big naked woman descend upon a church congregation of gay men in dark tweed suits.

Nothing since has perhaps quite equaled the impact. (By contrast, for example, Grunge exploded into Rock And Roll consciousness like a great big naked woman descend upon a church congregation of great big naked women.)

Punk revolutionised Rock And Roll by reinforcing its very basics. As a form, it was simple, basic, short and angry. Everybody forgot their fourth chord and nobody remembered a guitar solo anymore. The troubadours had failed to reach Bombay and every kid’s sympathy was for the new devil.

Nothing epitomized the Punk movement better than its most celebrated exponents – the Sax Canons fronted by that human tour de force Johnny Forgotten along with his equally compelling band mate Sid Vacuous.

Their seminal 1977 album Never Mind The Call Centres (Here’s The Sax Canons) , voted the second most influential Rock album of all time by Rolling Hypotenuse magazine , was a masterpiece of Rock minimalism. It combined edgy, oath-laden lyrics with stripped down instrumentation in a maelstrom of nihilistic energy.
The like of which hadn’t been seen since my neighbour lost her cat .

A few samples :

Long song (Duration : 00:03:44 ; No. of chords : 3) (*)
“ Hey ! #### ### , #### just #### ##### and #### me ####### ####
#### off , unless ## ##### #### here ### #### my ####### #### !
####### hell ### ####### ### that’s all ### #### to ####### do
And all I’m gonna ### #### ## #### ##### ### !
So hey , #### ### !
#### ###!”
(* Expletives deleted – Ed.)

Average length song (Duration : 00:02:10 ; No. of chords : 1) (*)
“ ####### #### ## ! ####### ### ## # ! #### ! #### !
####### #### ## ! ####### ### ## # ! #### ! #### !”
(* Expletives deleted – Ed.)

Short length song (Duration : 00:00:00 ; No. of chords : 0) (*)

(* No expletive to delete – Ed.)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

This is an Emergency

This is an emergency. Or rather , an Emergency.
I see Shah Rukh Khan.

The strain of modern life has frayed ye olde blogger’s nerves.

I see Shah Rukh Khan.

And somebody called Sara Khan or Fara Khan or Lara Khan…some name like that.

But with Shah Rukh Khan always.

Shah Rukh Khan, you understand, I see every time.

Every time I switch on NDTV 24x7.

He’s on top of the screen, at the bottom of the screen, in the centre of the screen, by the side of the screen and probably behind the screen too. One of these days he’s going to reach out and whack my CD collection.

I see Shah Rukh Khan.

I tried 24x7 last night for a desi perspective of the Pakistan situation. I got Shah Rukh Khan, many commercials and then Shah Rukh Khan again.

I tried 24x7 this evening for a desi perspective of the Pakistan situation.

I got Shah Rukh Khan , this woman called Sara /Lara / Something Khan and a billion overdressed Bollywood types dancing to a song called , believe this , Om Shanti Om. What , have they all gone and bought themselves irony now?

I see Shah Rukh Khan.

It’s not as though you could try the other desi news channels. They are like a Shah Rukh Khan movie – only , with more song , dance and colour.

I see Shah Rukh Khan.

I must be nuts.

Dheela screw.

To expect a news channel to cover the news !

The stress of modern life has smashed ye olde blogger’s lemon to smithereens.

I see Shah Rukh Khan.

Perhaps MSD saw Shah Rukh Khan too. On 24x7. Once too often.

Tore off some hair ?

Don’t turn to 24x7 for a confirmation.

All you’re going to get is Shah Rukh Khan.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Of QWER Y keyboards ( or , minding my T’s)

They say given enough time, a dog and its master begin to resemble each other. They say it’s the same with couples - which of course is not great news for my wife. I must be spending a lot of time with my laptop . The keyboard has started to resemble my teeth. Sunk amidst cigarette ash , dust and uneven terrain are gaping craters where the 2 and T keys used to be.

Ruthlessly yanked out by my two year old without so much as an apology note. Gone are the days when two year olds would send apology notes after inflicting keyboard damage. These are terrible times. Rendered more terrible, I may add, by the strain of having to type the word ‘terrible’. Or any word with a t in it. I have to copy the letter t from an old document and paste the letter t on current document.

Not exciting.

Try constructing sentences substituting (ouch) Ctrl-V for t. You will likely end up doing the following :
A. Rush headlong into Existentialist Angst (stopping occasionally perhaps only to avoid typing the phrase)
B. See what a p. in the a. the letter t really is : hey, anyone have a word without it?

If you also likely end up doing things other than A and B, shan’t go into them here. Can’t have the list running beyond S. This may be the time and place for it but this is certainly not the keyboard.