Tag Archive: beatles


georgebenson

At this point, most of you know my rules for covering an already iconic song.

  1. Go into a completely different genre.
  2. Make it so much ‘your song’, people start questioning if they prefer the original.

There’s a reason ‘The Other Side of Abbey Road’ is considered one of the great cover albums ever. Here’s one.

Enjoy!

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Beatles at the BBC

CNN is about to push out ‘The Seventies’; over the weekend I finally saw the British Invasion episode of ‘the Sixties’, and it was everything I wanted and more.

Short version: BeatleMania hit, inspired in part by their covers of Isley Brothers and Barrett Strong’s hit songs; the Rolling Stones followed suit, letting James Brown open for them to show their appreciation for soul music (cool but BIG mistake Mick never forgot), the Beatles started writing their own songs and got bigger, which inspired Brian Wilson among others to try harder and play around with harmonies and the studio to create ‘God Only Knows’, which the Beatles heard and a year later, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ comes out.

(And yes, the creative competition and artistry fired me up as much as it sounds like it did. I picked my guitar the next weekend and started playing my favorite solos again.)

Including this one.  Enjoy!

jimi3000

So let’s start with what a lot of us felt before shooting began: Andre 3000 is a great choice to play Jimi Hendrix.  There’s enough in his style and cadence (and natural persona) to suggest Jimi without feeling like complete mimicry or impersonation.  The story of this particular biopic covers the period of Hendrix leaving America to take on London, and ends with his return to America (for Monterrey).  To me, it had a different rhythm than most Hollywood biopics.  I appreciated this, but it’s far enough away from genre convention that it might not be for everybody.

A few other hot takes:

  • You probably know the Hendrix estate didn’t sign off on any official Jimi recordings (and the film suffers for it).  But, ‘All is By My Side’ makes it clear Jimi Hendrix was very abusive to the women who loved him.  Conversely, ‘Get On Up’ was cosigned by James Brown’s estate.  Fun movie with studio backing and the official music.  There was one, off screen, implied moment where Jill Scott was thrown down a flight of stairs.  And it was never really followed up.  So…coincidence?
  • I’m never surprised but always impressed when an actor gets a chance to prove they can play different notes than the ones we are used to seeing them play.  In this film, that’s Hayley Atwell as Jimi’s main love interest.  I know, Captain America ain’t gonna like all that but…
  • There’s a scene after he’s made a name for himself where Jimi has tea with a native black Londoner.  In short, he tells Jimi that it’s great he’s so comfortable being the crossover sensation, he should also maintain a connection to the kids who actually see part of their own identity when they see Jimi Hendrix.  Have I mentioned yet that John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) wrote and directed this movie?  And yes, of course this was my favorite scene!
  • My second favorite scene (just as a music geek) was staging when Jimi covered ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ TWO DAYS after the record came out, with Paul and George in the audience. Unbelievably cocky, but of course it was fantastic and its own way, original.  That was Jimi Hendrix.

So yeah, maybe not even the best possible Jimi Hendrix movie. But I liked it.  Streaming on Netflix.

the-beatles-sg-pepper

So Rock Band and Guitar Hero are coming back for the new gaming consoles.  Maybe it will work, maybe the fad has gone.  I’ll always have affection for Beatles Rock Band. Yeah I know, impossible standard. I wish them luck though.

(crap, forgot to go grocery shopping…oh I have some mushroom pizza left! How long has this been in here?)

(…)

(…)

TOONCES, YOU CAME BACK!

(…)

I don’t feel so hot Toonces, can you finish my script while I go lay in this poppy field?

adayinthelife

I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph.

He blew his mind out in a car
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They’d seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords.

I saw a film today, oh boy
The English army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
But I just had to look
Having read the book
I’d love to turn you on.

Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late.

Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
Somebody spoke and I went into a dream.

I read the news today oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.
I’d love to turn you on.

 

WILSON_PICKETT50daf7017b56a

Wilson Pickett did a cover of ‘Hey Jude’?  Really?  How do I not have any memory of this?

Well, it sounds like a great idea on paper, let’s taken a listen…

(clicking Play…)

(GASP!!!)

stefon

(Creative Adrenaline Rush!!!)

(acting out and writing the sequence Kerry Washington throws my character and my trumpet out in the middle of the street, and I’m taking the long, terrible Walk of Shame in the rain until I end up on Emma Stone’s porch, where my character (and the audience) have no idea of this thing we’ve been doing is a ‘having fun on the side’ thing or if it’s a ‘real’ thing (cause if it’s NOT a real thing, my character has completely destroyed his life…)

(exhaling…)

(End of Act One…)

(Tarantino, so help me God if you license this version before I do…)

 

 

heyjude

George chilling play his guitar.

Paul cracking up between verses.

Ringo looking high (and that outfit!)

And John chewing gum during a ‘live’ performance.

Yep, this is my favorite version (not counting the song had to be relatively new in this taping).

Enjoy!

 

 

The-Beatles

Enjoying ’24/7 work mode’ to be honest.  Standing in the eye of the hurricane but still…

Help, I need somebody
Help, not just anybody
Help, you know I need someone, help

When I was younger (So much younger than) so much younger than today
(I never needed) I never needed anybody’s help in any way
(Now) But now these days are gone (These days are gone), I’m not so self assured
(I know I’ve found) Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me

(Now) And now my life has changed in oh so many ways
(My independence) My independence seems to vanish in the haze
(But) But every now (Every now and then) and then I feel so insecure
(I know that I) I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me

When I was younger so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
(But) But now these days are gone (These days are gone), I’m not so self assured
(I know I’ve found) Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me, get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me, help me, help me, ooh

 

1049989-eddie-vedder-pearl-jam-617-409

The only song I’ve only done in an audition: only four chords to master, and, as Eddie demonstrates here, well within my limited vocal range.

This is a great cover of my favorite John song that’s not one of his ‘iconic’ records.  Just because Sean Penn commissioned this for ‘I Am Sam’ doesn’t mean I won’t find some place to put this into one of my own films at some point.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kerry-washington_04

The only thing I have to add on this Donald Sterling mess is he’s making some of the shorts I’ve written earlier this year seem damn prophetic.  Stay tuned on that regard.

Moving on, they always tell you to ‘write what you know’.  It’s only now on the back end, as I’m writing shorter summaries of ‘Lady’, that I realize how the two main characters are me, broken in two halves.  The young rage filled man, who got WAY too much, WAY too fast, completely jaded and disgusted by love, but with enough lust and charm to put the notches on his belt. A lot of potential but too much chaos going on inside his head.

And the older man, who’s figured it out.  Who’s been down the young man’s road, but who also knows (because he’s been there) when verbal advice is needed, and when the best lessons are learned through experience.  The relationships at this point are lifetime investments, the joy in life comes from the love of a woman who appreciates what he’s about, the friends who keep him laughing through the stressful days, the community service he does to try to help those who don’t (and probably will never) get any of the breaks he had in life. The ambition is still there, but it has its place within the scope of a completely lived life.

So I’m content at the moment with where things are at and looking forward to diving back into the ‘fun’ craft (acting).

Let’s use that segway to start the week with this.  I’ve been getting emails and alerts about Macca rolling through my city.  At no point have I had a spot on my bucket list that said ‘See a Beatle play Dodger Stadium’, but on the 10 percent chance I can make that happen this summer…

OHHHHHHHHHHH MAN….

Have a good week!

I give her all my love
That’s all I do
And if you saw my love
You’d love her too
I love her

She gives me everything
And tenderly
The kiss my lover brings
She brings to me
And I love her

A love like ours
Could never die
As long as I
Have you near me

Bright are the stars that shine
Dark is the sky
I know this love of mine
Will never die
And I love her

Bright are the stars that shine
Dark is the sky
I know this love of mine
Will never die
And I love her