Beatles Week – Revolution

I met Deke when I published a Georgia Satellites song and fellow blogger Graham told me about Deke after he posted a Satellites song a little earlier. Since then Deke has me listening to all sorts of things I wouldn’t have dreamed of before. Go visit his WordPress site. He also has a youtube channel to visit. I can tell you from experience…it’s worth subscribing to the youtube channel. Ok Deke…take it away…

Thanks to Max for the invite. My name is Derek but all my pals call me deKe and I have been blogging at WordPress for almost 10 years now. As many know I’m a huge fan of hard rock as my blog tends not to deviate from that style lol. I also have a Youtube page titled The Distortion Den that takes up a fair bit of time (but in a good way mind you) where I have had the fortunate pleasure of talking to friends, musicians and book authors.

Recently along with a pal from Moncton named Jex we have started a show called Retro ThrowDown (on Youtube) where we pit two rock albums against each other and rate each one out of a score of 10. We don’t discuss beforehand with each other what we were thinking on each album. That’s the charm and oh we keep these shows around the 30 minute mark so they are action packed!

I will be the first to admit I’m no way the biggest Beatles fan in the world but I like their music as they were innovators and it really wasn’t into the back half of the 80s when the catalog of Beatles music started coming out on CD that I started picking away at getting their music.

My contribution to Max’s Beatles week is the time Nike ran their TV ad with Revolution being the music to it.

Why well for me, it was the power of that Nike ad that made me want to start getting some more Beatles music.

I didn’t care for the running shoe part, I wanted the song which was, of course, the John Lennon powered Revolution!

So along with my good pal T-Bone, I came across one of those mixed Beatles tapes as there were many on the market and I believe it was called Rock N Roll Volume 1 that had Revolution on it along with a few other Beatles standards.

I purchased it on cassette tape for the sole purpose of cranking Revolution in T-Bones car.

Man I still recall at one point as (now remember we’re talking the summer of 87) we were cruising the streets of Thunder Bay windows down cranking Revolution over and over like no one’s business and I’m sure we lost some hearing along the way as that stereo in T-Bones car could crank out the decibels.

One of the moments that is etched in my brain forever is we were sitting at a red light on that warm summer evening the windows down and the warm summertime air blowing our mullets around and as I looked over to my right was an older dude and his female companion (older by that I mean me and T-bone were 21 years old at the time whereas the fellow and his lady friend were probably our ages now).

I will always remember sitting at that red light and the dude looking over at us and giving us the thumbs up! That for me was like winning  Olympic Gold lol. Maybe that guy thought “hey, look at these young punks digging on the Beatles or maybe he thought we were posers because of the commercial)

Whatever way that guy was thinking it was one of those fun moments and the power of a song connected at that red light!

Revolution to this day is still my favourite Lennon song. Love that it’s just the four of them laying it down with basically just drums, bass vocals, and guitar.

At the time when the Nike commercial aired The surviving Beatles sued Nike for 15 million which was crazy considering Michael Jackson owned the Beatles catalog which we all know drove McCartney nuts.

But if anything I have to give Nike credit as they did a really cool commercial for it all in black n white and even had John McEnroe and Micheal Jordan in it as well.

The commercial made me seek out and buy the song, not the running shoe!


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

68 thoughts on “Beatles Week – Revolution”

  1. I liked how Lennon changed the lyric between “Revolution” (the single) and “Revolution 1” (the album cut) by incorporating his ambivalence toward revolutionary property destruction and singing “When you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out (in)”. By changing the key, the tempo, and the instrumentation, it was almost a new song – did we want something that sounded revolutionary, with wildly distorted guitar, or something that sang clearly and calmly about revolution? The backing vocal was a nod to both doo-wop and their time in India (“Om shoo-be doo-wop”).

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I agree…Revolution 1… I like those fifties background vocals by George and Paul.
      Everytime I watch the bottom video…I try to read George’s lips. In one part of the song he either says….”John sounds like sh*t” or “John’s mic sounds like sh*t.” It starts at around 11 seconds.
      The time I’ve wasted trying to figure that out is so stupid.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great story Deke, and a great reminder how really good art (music especially) can bridge generations & appeal to all. Wonder if the ‘old guy’s in the other car was surprised to hear Beatles coming out of your car? Also reminds me, grudgingly, of what I’ve come to accept…selling music to use in commercials does help find new fans for the artist.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yea I hate to say it…but yea it does. Deke has me on this one. I would rather it not be that way…but it is…especially now! It’s almost a requirement.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. No Revolution No. 9, number 9, number 9, number 9?🤣

    I love your little cinematic background story and can totally picture it.👍

    I dig “Revolution” (not number 9, number 9, number 9), but the famous kickass version. I also think the stripped down “Revolution 1” from “The White Album” is cool.

    I guess other than “Helter Skelter”, “Revolution” is as much heavy rock as you get from The Beatles.🎸

    Last but not least, I didn’t know of your YouTube channel and will definitely check it out!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well you have “I Want You” off of Abbeyroad that is pretty dam heavy. I’ve seen metal fans like that song. For me…I think they rock in Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey.

      Christian do you ever watch “reaction” videos of people who never heard The Beatles? When they hear I Want You and Helter Skelter they get all confused because of how heavy they get.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I haven’t seen those reaction videos but can picture them. Both of these tunes are certainly very different from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You”!

        I bet most of the surprised folks primarily know The Beatles from their Beatlemania years and their most famous singles thereafter like “Hey Judy” and “Let It Be”.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep…and the thing they say is…wow…we never knew they were so diverse…it’s like a different band!
        Check some out when you can…they are a lot of fun. Just think back when you heard them for the first time….awesome experience.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I imagine and will check it out. BTW, I’m leaving for Germany for a few days tomorrow for my mom’s 85th birthday celebration on Sunday, so you guys may hear less from me until Wednesday.

        Initially, the birthday celebration was supposed to be the kickoff for a family vacation in Portugal and Spain thereafter. But we were forced to rebook the trip since my wife didn’t obtain her passport – extremely frustrating, given she had applied for expedited renewal some eight weeks ago and paid a fortune!

        I could write a novel to tell you the whole story. It’s unbelievable!

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Be safe man! Bailey is going back over in May and staying until June. He had to postpone his trip last year because of taking so long to get that passport. It took him around 10 weeks or more I believe.

        I know you will have a great time man…

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Thanks, Max. Also glad to hear Bailey is doing back. May/June is a great time to visit Germany.

        Since it’s already pretty hot in Portugal and Spain during these months, we pushed back our trip all the way until November when average temperatures there are comparable to March.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice post about an amazing song, imo. I almost mentioned that Nike commercial a few weeks ago, when talking about how the Beatles went from one of the rock bands ‘from the prior decade’, to historic figures and UK national treasures. In my own mind, I attribute that abrupt shift in stature to the Nike commercial. I think it started conversations and realizations. There were always Beatles fans, who found each other and had good conversations on the side, but this brought them to the forefront again, and made it cool to talk about them.

    I also remember them performing this on the Smothers Brothers TV show, when censorship of the show had begun. And soon the show was gone.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Max did deKE ever tell you about the rock n roll bus trip he took with some guy named George Harrison. It went down in history (deKE history). He was a little foggy on the details but Im guessing some mullet guy named Ringo was the driver. It was heavy metal all the way.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. deKE, I like the origin story of your bonding with Revolution. I laughed at the mullets blowing in the breeze as you cruised around town. What’s the status of The Beatles catalogue ownership now, do you know? Did Jackson’s estate have to sell them back to pay his legal fees?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. WOW… look at this.. Sony/ATV owned them but I just read this: I wonder if this is all of them?
      Citing U.S. copyright laws, McCartney started his bid to retain rights to his songs in 2015. Under the law, the rights to songs published before 1978 can be given back to the songwriter after 56 years. After McCartney filed a lawsuit to regain rights to the Beatles songs, Sony/ATV eventually agreed to a private settlement that gave the music rights back to him.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Ok….more digging and I found an update: Some yes… “McCartney won back the rights to 32 of the Beatles’ earlier songs with later songs potentially becoming available by 2026 according to Billboard.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I really hope some of the other old artists who want their rights back are also able to petition. Isn’t that something that the original writer of the song doesn’t automatically have perpetual rights to their own creation!?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. John and Paul signed them away to Dick James to get signed back then. It was standard…that is why most artists are in this spot right now.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Music- it makes for so many memorable moments that stand alone in the mind as the years go by. And dammit, the ads do get new fans for the classic music. Advertising- talk about a double-edged sword.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know…I was so angry when I saw that commercial…I remember John Fogerty was full of rage over it… but now…it’s the best way to get a song know. I hate it…but what do you do?

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Revolution is such a great song. Commercials can certainly introduce songs to folks who have never heard them before. I know that has been true for me on more than one occasion. Remember when they used that instrumental version of Ray Charles’ One Mint Julip for some coffee brand? I had never heard it before – but had to get my hands on it. Back to the Beatles – as others have said, this song fits your musical tastes for sure. I have subscribed to your YouTube channel and will check it out. Nice pick with a great story, Deke!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey thanks for subscribing to my Youtube channel appreciate that. It’s a slow build but we are gaining a small devoted core of people who tune in (like Max) which is great…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I know….I never liked songs in commercials but I know they work…and now it’s standard. So Deke found out about them more through it…so what do I know? It works so I should keep my mouth shut lol

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this song. Must be cranked
    Funny but I have a different take on the Nike thing. I saw the Beatles’ songs as sacred, never to be used in an ad. I was so incensed when they used it I wrote them a letter. They actually wrote back and said they were “big Beatles fans too” and, I guess, wanted to honor them. Horseshit. Well, I’m glad to know somebody got something out of that commercial.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea…it’s sad Jim that now…bands TRY to get on commercials because that is one of the only ways to get played unless you are a top star. I hate it.

      Liked by 1 person

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