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madcorgi
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The Beatles: just a job?

Spent some time this morning listening to the Beatles, especially their live rooftop concert and their live studio version of Hey Jude. The music still sounds incredible today, and it's easy to trace their influences directly through into today's music.

Awhile ago I heard an interview with John where he expressed resentment at the record company's constant pressure to put out new music. Imagine John and Paul working late into the night to figure out the bridge to "Yesterday" (working title: "Scrambled Eggs") before it was due the next day, playing it for the thousandth time, getting thoroughly sick of it. I wonder if it just became a job to the lads, and that was part of the problem (along with Yoko).

I have encountered this before in people who create art. Frustration and anxiety seem to be so bound up in the creative process that it feels more like suffering than joy. Folks like that just seem to miss out on the joy their work creates.

Old 12-07-2019, 09:51 AM
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Many successful people enjoy operating within a constant level of tension and frustration: somewhere between boredom and losing it.
It offers roadblocks which bring alternate paths and ideas.

I think a secret to their long career was their interpersonal relationships and then the music created as a result.
Old 12-07-2019, 10:16 AM
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I have little doubt the lads got sick of it.

As far as the creative process in general goes, everybody expereinces it in their own unique way. Paul once told of waking in the morning with a song in his head. He played some of it and asked people what it was and who wrote it. Nobody recognized it so Paul says, 'Well then, I must have written it'. In other words, he could do it in his sleep.

In some people the creative force is a torment. Van Gogh was obsessed. In others, it comes and goes on its own as in not controlled by the artist.

In still others the knowledge that they have some kind of artistic talent is in itself a burden because unless they are actively creating, they are unfulfilled. If that same person isn't in control of the creative urge, it can be very depressing, as if they know they are wasting precious time.

Writer's block isn't exclusive to writers.

I know that when I get the urge, it's all or nothing. No sleep, no food, no nothing. Time goes by unnoticed. There is joy, elation almost. Then it stops just as suddenly. I've looked at some of my paintings and have not a clue how I did them. Sort of scary, really.

For some the creative process requires isolation, for others collaboration, and still others, immersion with peers is necessary.

And then ther's the imposter. Some people create beautiful or interesting things and deny that they are beautiful or interesting and, to them, are fake.

The process can also change over time.. An established, successful artist may suddenly losse the talent, or it may even grow.

I know that I certainly could ducktape a banana to the wall and it wouldn't sell for 120 large. But somebody could, And did.

Last edited by Crowbob; 12-07-2019 at 10:40 AM..
Old 12-07-2019, 10:23 AM
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Paul is still making music. He is a billionaire, and still out on tour. It must be more than just a job for him.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:38 AM
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madcorgi
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Originally Posted by Crowbob View Post

I know that when I get the urge, it's all or nothing. No sleep, no food, no nothing. Time goes by unnoticed. There is joy, elation almost. Then it stops just as suddenly. I've looked at some of my paintings and have not a clue how I did them. Sort of scary, really.
I get this. I write prose and music, and it always starts with a sentence or a music riff. Sometimes the fragments fester for months (even years), but then it all happens comes out at once.

I can read or hear stuff I wrote/recorded 40 years ago and barely even remember where it came from. Some sounds better with time, but most . . . well, there's always the next time.
Old 12-07-2019, 10:47 AM
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madcorgi
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Paul is still making music. He is a billionaire, and still out on tour. It must be more than just a job for him.
I agree. For the truly great ones, I think it's as required as breathing.
Old 12-07-2019, 10:49 AM
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Thanks for spelling Beatles correctly.

I am still a gigging musician. Yes, performers commonly get sick and tired of the songs. Our keyboardist once chatted with Randy Owen, lead singer for Alabama. He asked Mr. Owen how much fun it is to play Feel So Right. Mr. Owen said "Pat, I just finished a 350-concert tour. I'd be happy to never sing it again."

That said, regardless of how I feel about a song, when the audience floods the dance floor with smiling, bouncing faces, little do they know that I am having WAY more fun than they are.

And finally, I'd like to point out one of the secrets to the explosive popularity of the Beatles. By the time anybody heard a Beatle recording, those guys had toured Germany twice. For 3 years they did three things each day. They played music, they slept and they ate. In that order. Some days they spent considerably more time playing than sleeping. Most days, I suspect. They were one of the tightest, most polished bands you will ever hear. To this day, they probably had the finest vocals of any band, period. There is a reason you hardly ever see a band cover a Beatle song.
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:31 AM
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John once said, "By the time we hit America all the juice was gone." They had been playing on the road for years in both the UK and Germany and it became a job for them.

After 66 they retired from the road to concentrate on recording..where it became more and more of an indivdual process.

Ypu have to change it up to keep it fresh. To reinvent yourself..
Old 12-07-2019, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by GH85Carrera View Post
Paul is still making music. He is a billionaire, and still out on tour. It must be more than just a job for him.
Saw him 2 years ago in Atlanta , what a showman you can tell he really enjoys the shows . He's way past needing money it's all about creating and enjoying . When I hear people say the Beatles still sound good today it shows how good they were .
Old 12-07-2019, 01:49 PM
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What I found interesting after watching one of those shows about the Beatles is that none of them could write a lick of music. They'd come up with the songs/tunes/lyrics etc but couldn't put it on paper. The fifth Beatle did that for them, their manager.
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott Douglas View Post
What I found interesting after watching one of those shows about the Beatles is that none of them could write a lick of music. They'd come up with the songs/tunes/lyrics etc but couldn't put it on paper. The fifth Beatle did that for them, their manager.
I suspect you mean their producer, George Martin. Their manager, Brian Epstein, knew less about music than they did.
Old 12-08-2019, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by madcorgi View Post
I have encountered this before in people who create art. Frustration and anxiety seem to be so bound up in the creative process that it feels more like suffering than joy. Folks like that just seem to miss out on the joy their work creates.
Self identity gets caught up in the process, you are what you do.

And if you stop doing it you no longer know who you are or supposed to be, you lose both your past and future as there is no present time.

You become that man that used to be Paul McCartney, used to be a Beatle.

All that said, all the conditions of being a human being, the joy, the sadness, exhilaration and indifference become interwoven into your works.

So yea I'd imagine that music is like other creative arts but one can channel some of it, some of the time.

And keep in mind that not all art or music is cheery nor intended to be, there is the Blues after all.

Our inner darkness, boredom, and our frustrations are found in artist and their art of all kinds.
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Old 12-08-2019, 03:16 AM
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People who can play music are a dime-a-dozen, even at an advanced level. People who are great song writers are one in ten million, or less. They had 2.5 of them. They also had two musicians who were among the 4 or 5 greatest living on their instrument.

We won't see the likes of them again, soon.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:10 AM
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madcorgi
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People who can play music are a dime-a-dozen, even at an advanced level. People who are great song writers are one in ten million, or less. They had 2.5 of them. They also had two musicians who were among the 4 or 5 greatest living on their instrument.

We won't see the likes of them again, soon.
I'd say they had three great songwriters. Here Comes the Sun is a masterpiece.
Old 12-08-2019, 08:33 AM
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I'd say they had three great songwriters. Here Comes the Sun is a masterpiece.
I am the world's biggest George Harrison fan and I had the pleasure of meeting him and having a conversation, one of the thrills of my life. I love his songwriting but his biggest impact was as a musician, IMO. He was arguably the greatest guitar player of them all. I don't think that Clapton would even argue w that at all.

After I wrote the earlier post, I had second thoughts about it. Lennon and McCartney were the greatest PAIR, neither were quite the same alone although both wrote awesome music solo, IMO. Together, they were *once in a thousand years* lightning in a bottle, though. George was probably just as good as they were alone, (not as prolific, though), so you are right.
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:36 AM
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There is a reason you hardly ever see a band cover a Beatle song.
Yea, massive studio dubbing and production meant even the Beatles did not play their own music live.
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Old 12-08-2019, 03:12 PM
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Yea, massive studio dubbing and production meant even the Beatles did not play their own music live.
I call BS. Sure, ultimately, there came to be plenty of studio 'magic' in their recordings. Everybody does this. It can take literally months to complete a recording. Nearly all of today's music is wildly over-produced. Later in their recording career, Beatles songs were highly produced. However.....

According to legend, Please Please Me (aka, The Second Album), and the written record, The Beatles recorded this album in one long day. Nobody......NOBODY today could do that. Here is a quote from the Wikipedia page for that album:
This performance, caught on the first take, prompted Martin to say: "I don't know how they do it. We've been recording all day but the longer we go on the better they get."[10] Mark Lewisohn later wrote: "There can scarcely have been 585 more productive minutes in the history of recorded music".[
Those guys could strap instruments on, cracking jokes and smoking pot and then, in 2.5 minutes, record a song in the studio. They were THAT good. As I mentioned above, they were one of the most experienced, polished performers of all time. Years of playing and singing 8+ hours per day. Then they became famous.
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:05 PM
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It was 39 years ago today...that John's life was taken from him. So unnecessary.
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:10 PM
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One thing that annoys me about modern artists is that they put out an album every four years or so and the audience has moved on by the time they do a follow-up. Imagine being 17 and your favorite band in high school doesn't put out a follow-up until you are at your first real job.

The Beatles were putting out how many albums a year? 3-6? They were capitalizing on their popularity in a way that modern artists just don't seem to do.
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:49 PM
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There aren't any modern recording artists I know of who could produce even one LP's worth of good material, much less multiple LPs in one year. Like I said, never again.

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Old 12-08-2019, 05:19 PM
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