Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Beatles (iii)

This was one of the first albums that Dad scored at the Music Exchange, and I was surprised to see that there was more to discover and listen to by these guys, even though we hadn't been listening to them much in the past few months. Understandably, it was still a little hard to listen to. but I put it aside so I could try to enjoy it. I heard the first album from it in one sitting, and I was amazed how it went from baroque psychedelia to stripped-down non-psychedelia, and then closing with a rollicking, bollocking rocker like "Revolution". I got to hear the second record a little later, but I wasn't impressed with most of the material at first. For some reason, it sounded tired and uninspired to me; it wasn't until later on that I would hear about the tensions running through the band at that point, and then I could understand why it sounded like that to me.
Red Fred went to the Exchange and got himself a copy of one of their albums that had just a plain white cover with only their name sort of printed on the front. I got to hear some of it when he gave it a spin; again, the same tiredness was going on through the music to me, and it didn't make for easy or enjoyable listening. I lost interest rather quickly when "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" played; it just didn't sound right hearing something like this, and I left the house without hearing the rest of the album. It wasn't until seven years later that we got a copy of the "White Album", and I thoroughly enjoyed it, spending a whole summer listening to it.
One more little place that Dad discovered was a shop on North I Street called The Collector's Nook, which was a dusty little place filled with old newspapers, books, magazines, and a few boxes of albums in a disused corner. I got to go there with him one sunny summer day in 1981. Among Robin Trower's Bridge Of Sighs and Wings' Wings Over America was a beat-up but playable copy of Abbey Road. We got it home, and this was the first of the albums that he played. I was impressed with this one, maybe because I recognized most of the songs from the Sgt. Pepper movie, only this was the Real Thing. I didn't quite understand the ride-out of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" with all of the hissing and distortion; I thought the previous owner had played the album with a bad needle or something, and then it mercifully cut off. The second side was just as pleasurable, although we were sort of shocked when we heard "Her Majesty", as this was a first pressing of the album that didn't have the title on the cover or the label.
In December of 1981, there was a one-year anniversary vigil for John Lennon at Wright Park. This was something I had completely forgotten about until seeing a mention of it in the Tacoma News Tribune some twenty-five years later. I don't remember anything that went on at the gathering, but I do remember just Dad and myself going there for it. I guess we had really bonded together in the year since then. I knew that John Lennon had a son who was around my same age, and Sean Lennon was sort of a hero to my at that point, as he head really held himself together in the months since the incident, at least from what I would see in the occasional newspaper article on him. I couldn't imagine going through something like that. It would be a little chilling that something similar would happen with me almost 30 years to the day.

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