Yesterday was Christmas. But Christmas is not on my mind today.
I just finished watching The Beatles: Get Back on Disney Plus. It was meant to be a 150-minute film for release last year. But with theaters closed, Disney suggested that Peter Jackson, the director and producer, keep at it. Over the next year, he culled 50 hours of the 1969 film footage and produced a three-part series 468 minutes long.
That’s too damn long! And yet not long enough.
I could have kept watching those lads—John, Paul, George, and Ringo, all under 30—having a jolly good time making music. The world has known many musical geniuses. When do we ever get a chance to watch them work at their craft?
The Beatles was an astounding partnership.
Once upon a time Paul had a dream. And in the dream he heard a tune. He awoke and played it on the piano in his attic bedroom.
The tune was so captivating that Paul assumed he’d heard it elsewhere. He played it for John. John assured him it was original.
Paul had a tune but no lyrics. So until he did, he called it “Scrambled Eggs.” And that would remain its title until lyrics came to him while vacationing in Portugal. “Suddenly” and “funnily” fit the melody as did “all my troubles seemed so far away.” And then “Yesterday” replaced “Scrambled Eggs.”
The song needs no drums, Ringo said. One guitar is enough, said George and John. So Paul played and sang it alone: the first time a Beatle performed a song alone on an album. When their producer, George Martin, first heard it he suggested a backing of a few violins. (John grimaced.) Martin included them, another first for a Beatles song.
“Yesterday” became the most famous Beatles song. It also came to bug John.
In a 1980 interview John said: I go to restaurants and the groups always play “Yesterday.” Yoko and I even signed a guy’s violin in Spain after he played us “Yesterday.” He couldn’t understand that I didn’t write the song. But I guess he couldn’t have gone from table to table playing “I Am the Walrus.”
I miss John.
I remember the day he died. It wasn’t the end of the world, but something magical was lost.
Seems only yesterday we were riding “The Magical Mystery Tour.”
How I long for yesterday.
Lovely remembrance! Have you watched the movie, Yesterday? In the movie, the main actor meets John as an old man living in a house on the beach in England and the Beatles never existed, though the main actor remembers all their songs and sings them as if they were his own. Lovely movie. Definitely needed tissues in the part where he met John.
I have seen the movie “Yesterday.” I didn’t think I’d like it but I loved it and highly recommend it.
IF YESTERDAY WAS GREAT AND YOU HELPED MAKE IT SO THEN THERE IS PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO FIND SOME GREATNESS IN THE FUTURE.
Maybe the new telescope will help us find a long and winding road back in time to the greatest musical team ever. Maybe then we can imagine how different the world could be, where all you need is love. Talk about the beginning of creation!
In 2018, Joyce and I traveled to Iceland. It was there that we learned of the Imagine Peace Tower, a memorial to John Lennon from his widow Yoko. It consists of a tall tower of light, projected from a white stone monument that has the words “Imagine Peace” carved into it in 24 different languages. In the darkness, we saw the light shining through a cloudy night. I’ll always remember that sight and forever recall his heartfelt words, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”
They were a wonderful, special group that freely shared their creativity, with remarkable results. Who inspires us now? Where are our songs? (I trust/hope there is someone who will emerge and help us find our way out of the fog and sludge…)
You sent me to my bookshelf to pull down “In His Own Write.” Forgot it was so early (1964) and with an admiring intro by Paul. Rich and I find many occasions to say “No flies on this Frank boy.” Nice message for a December 26. Thanks!
There’s a myth about solitary artists producing their work while locked away somewhere, away from it all. But the truth is that “creatives,” as they’re sometimes called, are collaborating with others even when no one else is in the room. Artists don’t come about without a long and involved interplay with the world. The list of people to thank when you’re done is always a long list.
Yes, the Beatles we grew up with expressed what they were feeling and experiencing; and those things resonated with us and reflected all the sorrows, joys and hopes we could imagine! Thank you all for the smiles I feel & your sharings… “I remember yesterday”🎶
Thanks for the Memories! When I was a kid, we did not have a TV, so I was allowed to go next door to watch the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show!
It is wonderful how music and culture help us shape ourselves. Rock n roll, blues and soul helped me battle the racism I was raised in. The Beatles made beautiful music accessible to all. Their lyrics whether absurd or sublime came to us on the wings of sweet harmonies and compelling tunes. I gotta watch it.
This is a late entry, but that’s me, a day late and a dollar short. I always had to be The Fool On the Hill. No way to avoid it. Such is the way of life. Onward! Holly Hippo Day!
Ah, the Beatles. Where would we be without them? They were our generational song catalog—whether you can point to other better-selling or better-listening musicians or not! Keep on hummin’ them tunes and everything will be—what was the word? Copasetic? At any rate, we’ll cope better, better, better . . .
Was not a big Beatles fan but am surprised at how their music has grown on me over so many years. So good to get this quick reminder tonight: just as I’ve had all the Christmas music I need for one year, the Beatles arrive to offer a different note . It’s akin to an aural palate-cleanser, if ears have a version of a palate.