You Once Belonged

50 Years Ago Today, 
Beatles Called it Quits

It was the last time they played together but no one knew it then. Their first public performance in over three years. And yes, it’s now been half a century ago. If they used to make us feel forever young, now they date us. But so does life.
It’s likely that great part of the living today wasn’t around then yet. And countless who were, have already ended their journey. For those in between, though, what a feeling having had The Beatles around to soundtrack our early dreams.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, were concluding one of the most recounted musical trajectories of all times. And way before their century was over too, they’d inscribed their names at the heart of an entire generation.
They were as important for their times as any band will ever be, possibly without peers. Art was as vital as ever but popular music had ascended to heights of relevance no other artistic manifestation could have in such a short span.
What felt like a long and defining trajectory feels now like happenstance, when musicianship and popular expression reached critical mass. And changed the times. Or so it felt. More than the memory, what remains now, and still counts, is their music.
It was great while it lasted, and you know, it felt really good indeed. Now it’s a half proud feeling of having paid attention to, and
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experienced, something we still gladly enjoy and find meaningful ways to relate to, after all those years.
The Rooftop Concert, an impromptu 42-minute session of just a few songs, became their sign-off to the role of ‘Beatles,’ to the obligation of being on top forever, and to the era. It was also their entry into what could have been, had it not happened.
In the end, it may appear that those businessmen who complained about ‘the noise,’ won over the moment. The world is as grey and cold as it was at 3 Savile Row, London, on Jan. 30, 1969. But only if you can’t listen to their music. They tell another, much better, story.

Buzz Off

Who the F*@# Is
Paul McCartney?

It must be no coincidence that Sunday’s Grammy Awards show will probably be remembered for the absence of a big star and a major lapse about another. And it may be ironic that in those two mishaps may reside all the relevance this year’s edition will ever get.
When multi-winner Whitney Houston died the night before, it gave a suddenly rewritten show the ratings boost it wouldn’t otherwise have. But when the Web went abuzz about who was that Paul McCartney dude, those ratings weren’t worth a slow-speed car chase on TV.
Houston’s cliché-ridden, tabloid-fodder ready rise and fall has already managed to all but erase the memory of who won what, along with the embarrassing attempts, on stage and behind the scenes, to cash in on her death.
In this context, the suddenly second fake death of Paul McCartney (if you have to ask, it’s not worth knowing it) may be as beneficial as a cleansing herbal bath would be to a former 1960s hippie. That is Continue reading