Friday, 19 October 2018

The White Album

the beatles lost their minds!
they did not listen to reason
they were the kings of the world
hit after hit
the money was rolling in
then they recorded the white album
a double album of electro shock therapy
it changed people
it scared people
the mop tops were dead
long live the free thinkers!

imagine the white album getting released in this day and age
taking ‘piggies’ or ‘revolution #9’ into a record label
i think the conversation would go something like this:

JOHN: Well, Mr. Record Company Executive, when are you releasing our album?
RECORD COMPANY EXECUTIVE: This album is unreleasable! You’ve got too many songs and not enough singles. For goodness sake, you’ve got an eight and half minute song of nothing but sound FX!
PAUL: “Mother Natures Son” is a lovely track.
RECORD COMPANY EXECUTIVE: And what’s all this about hiding a monkey?
RINGO: I like me drums on that one!
RECORD COMPANY EXECUTIVE: Can’t we get back to the happy, snappy songs like ‘She Loves You’ or ‘Can’t Buy Me Love?’ This Bungalow Bill fellow! He’s a murderer!
GEORGE: I don’t like your tie

the white album is a trip
a journey
it’s a war of acoustic vs. electric
arrangement vs. improv
john vs. the world
this is massive music
a full continent of music
detached from the rest of the world 
and viewed through a kaleidoscope

i’m 57
when this album came out in 68
the people who were 10 years older than me
made it an event to listen to this record
it became an energy
a movement
so much so that it was the biggest selling album of the 60s

we know how to perform this album
we care about this album
we - dare i say - understand this album
and dammit - we love the beatles
unraveling this album on the roy thomson hall stage is going to be a journey
all aboard

craig martin
october 19, 2018
toast and tea