Beatles – Within You Without You

As Van Morrison would say…Into The Mystic… this song off of Sgt Pepper was a George Harrison song…and he was the only Beatle on it… This is about as sixties as you can get with the sitar and philosophical lyrics.

This was a brilliant addition to Sgt Pepper to show yet another side to the Beatles.

It’s hard to overestimate how profound of an effect that the introduction to Eastern religion had on George Harrison. Under the name of Sam Wells, George, along with his wife Pattie, vacationed in Bombay, India for six weeks, beginning on September 20th, 1966. At the suggestion of Ravi Shankar, from whom he was going to take sitar lessons while there, he grew a mustache as a subtle disguise so as to ward off any Indian “Beatlemaniacs” that may have been around in the area.

The book Autobiography Of A Yogi really changed his life and mind. It influenced his writing of songs like Within You Without You’ and many others. George started to write this song on a pedal harmonium at friend Klaus Voormann’s home.

During the recording, George was there with Indian musicians and they had a carpet on the floor and there was incense burning.

At George Harrison’s request, they added a small bit of laughter at the end of the song as it faded out to lighten the mood a bit.

John Lennon: “I think that is one of George’s best songs, one of my favorites of his. I like the arrangement, the sound and the words. He is clear on that song. You can hear his mind is clear and his music is clear. It’s his innate talent that comes through on that song, that brought that song together. George is responsible for Indian music getting over here. That song is a good example.”

 

From Songfacts

Although this song is billed as being recorded by the Beatles, George Harrison was the only Beatle to play on the track. There is no guitar or bass, but there are some hand-drums.

Harrison spent weeks looking for musicians to play the Indian instruments used on this. It was especially difficult because Indian musicians could not read Western music.

This is based on a piece by Indian musician Ravi Shankar, who helped teach Harrison the sitar. Harrison wrote his own lyrics and shortened it considerably.

Harrison wrote this as a 30-minute piece. He trimmed it down into a mini-version for the album.

This was the only song Harrison wrote that made it onto the album. He also contributed “Only A Northern Song” (recorded in February of 1967 as verified by the Anthology 2 album), but it was left off the album at the last minute. It was initially intended to go on the first side of Sgt. Pepper between “She’s Leaving Home” and “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.” >>

This was one of Harrison’s first songs to explore Eastern religion, which would become a lifelong quest. He believed in reincarnation, which helped him accept death in 2001, when he lost his life to cancer.

Oasis covered this for the BBC to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

This is the second Indian classical-influenced song that George Harrison wrote for the Beatles, the first being “Love You To.”

“Now “Within You/Without You” was not a commercial song by any means. But it was very interesting. [George Harrison] had a way of communicating music by the Indian system of kind of a separate language… the rhythms decided by the tabla player.” –Sir George Martin, from the documentary The Material World.

Within You Without You

We were talking
About the space between us all
And the people
Who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth
Then it’s far too late when they pass away

We were talking
About the love we all could share
When we find it
To try our best to hold it there, with our love, with our love
We could save the world, if they only knew

Try to realize it’s all within yourself, no-one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you

We were talking
About the love that’s gone so cold
And the people
Who gain the world and lose their soul
They don’t know, they can’t see
Are you one of them?

When you’ve seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you

 

 

Tilt-A-Whirl History

You know that tilt-a-whirl down on the south beach drag
I got on it last night and my shirt got caught
And they kept me spinnin’
Didn’t think I’d ever get off

Bruce Springsteen – 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) 1973

My favorite carnival ride ever is the Tilt-A-Whirl. When the carnival came to town I would use all of my tickets to ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl.

After a few years, you would pay one price and get stamped. I would get off the Tilt a Whirl and get right back on again. If I were rich I would get one for the back yard. I am terrified of heights but I love spinning.

Herbert W. Sellner, a woodworker, and maker of water slides invented the Tilt-A-Whirl in 1926 at his Faribault, Minnesota, home.

Sellner got his inspiration in his kitchen. He would put his young son, Art, on a chair on the table and move the table around. If he could make his son giggle with glee, Herb wondered, why not spread the joy?

The spinning ride debuted the next year at the 1927 Minnesota state fair, the same year Sellner Manufacturing opened a factory in Faribault and began a production run that would eventually churn out more than 1,000 Tilt-a-Whirls.

Nearly 700 of the rides are still in use. The oldest known working example is a 1927 model. In 2011, Sellner Manufacturing was sold to a company in Texas, where Tilt-a-Whirls are still being made.

Paul McCartney in Nashville 1974

Back in the early seventies, there was a line between rock and country. Now that line is blurred quite a bit but when Paul came to Nashville…it was a huge deal here. Some country artists wondered why a Beatle was coming here.

I’ve written some here but I don’t do it justice… His month stay involved an emergency room visit, a visit to Johnny Cash, Loveless Motel (great place to eat), and many other places. Please read this.. https://www.nashvillescene.com/news/article/13007056/when-we-was-fab

People here still talk about this visit to the city. I was only 7 and it was one year before I got into the Beatles. I faintly remember the newscasts. On June 6, 1974, Paul arrived and said he chose Nashville for his month’s stay as a rehearsal base for an upcoming tour. He also planned to enjoy himself while here, socializing with the community and horseback riding.

Paul said: “I rather fancy the place,”  “It’s a musical center. I’ve just heard so much about it that I wanted to see for myself.”

He recorded songs, went to the Grand Ole Opry, met Porter Waggner and Dolly Parton, ate some Kentucky Fried Chicken, and visited Printers Alley. Paul and Linda lived on a farm in Lebanon that  Curly Putman Jr rented…that is where the title Juniors Farm came from. Putman was a songwriter who wrote some huge songs like The Green Green Grass of Home, He Stopped Loving Her Today, D-I-V-O-R-C-E, and many more.

I have a cousin that lives down the road from the farm Paul and Linda stayed at…he got this shot but it’s a little dark. They added some columns since 1974.IMG_2102.PNG

Former Beatle Paul McCartney takes his wife, Linda, for a spin around the lawn of the home of songwriter Curly Putman July 17, 1974, where the McCartneys have been living during their visit to Nashville.

As his time in Tennessee came to a close, McCartney told a group of local reporters that he hoped to mount a U.S. tour the following year and that if it happened, Music City would definitely be on the itinerary.

McCartney didn’t come back until 36 years later in 2010 and I finally got to see him.

Paul McCartney's Nashville past

 

 

 

 

 

Where is…Steve McQueen’s Mustang from Bullitt?

After Bullitt finished filming, the car was sold to a studio executive in Los Angeles, who kept it briefly before selling it, coincidentally, to a police detective. The officer shipped the car to New York and kept it for about three and a half years before placing a for-sale ad in the back of Road & Track magazine in 1974. His $6,000 asking price was somewhat steep, but Robert Kiernan, a New Jersey insurance executive, and Mustang fan went out to look at it. He bought it for his wife, Robbie to use as a daily driver.

The Kiernans kept the car a secret, mainly to ward off thieves and gawkers. Steve McQueen found out that the Kiernans owned the car and he tried to buy it but insisted that the price had to be right. Apparently, it never was right. McQueen never did buy the car.

Robert and Robbie’s son, Sean Kiernan decided to sell the car in 2020.

It stayed in the garage for decades after it was driven by his mother, Robbie, back in the day to St. Vincent’s parish, where she taught third grade. Her husband took a train to work in New York City. This month, Robbie Kiernan went to the auction with her 7-week-old grandchild.

The car will be inducted into the Historic Vehicle Association roster this year—kind of like the National Register of Historic Places, but for cars. It’s only the 21st car to be so honored.

“I am OK with any price. But I would like it to be the most valuable Mustang ever,” he said… he succeeded.

Before he sold the Mustang, he brought it home in October for his mother’s birthday and put it in the garage where the car had been hidden for four decades.

“I had never prepped the car to sell, so I changed all the fluids and did all the car stuff to it,” Kiernan said. “My sister, my mom, my wife, Sam’s dad came down from Dearborn and sat in the car. That car had been in the garage forever. It was her spot. I think everybody cried at some point or another.”

They all said goodbye to the car….But… hello to 3.74 million dollars to an unknown buyer on January 10, 2020.

Thanks to everyone who has read my “Where Is” posts…here are the rest:

 

 

Beatles – Getting Better

One thing that strikes me about this song is the constant guitar. The song was on perhaps the most famous rock album…or album ever released. Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band was released on May 26, 1967. No singles were pull off of this album when it was released.

Paul McCartney: “It’s an optimistic song,” “I often try and get on to optimistic subjects in an effort to cheer myself up and also, realizing that other people are going to hear this, to cheer them up too. And this was one of those. The ‘angry young man’ and all that was John and I filling in the verses about schoolteachers. We shared a lot of feelings against teachers who had punished you too much or who hadn’t understood you or who had just been bastards generally. So there are references to them.”

John Lennon had a bad acid trip during the recording. While doing the overdubs, John began to get very sick. He said, “I suddenly got so scared on the mike. I thought I felt ill and I thought I was going to crack. I said I must get some air.” George Martin took him up on the roof of the studios for air and John started walking towards the edge. Martin panicked, thinking that John would fall or leap off and that would be it. On the roof, when John saw Martin looking at him “funny,” he realized he was on acid. John decided he couldn’t do anymore that night, so he sat in the booth and watched the others record. Paul eventually took him home and stayed to keep him company, and he decided to drop some acid with John. It was Paul’s first LSD experience.

John Lennon: “I thought I was taking some uppers and I was not in the state of handling it. I took it and I suddenly got so scared on the mike. I said, ‘What is it? I feel ill.’ I thought I felt ill and I thought I was going cracked. I said I must go and get some air. They all took me upstairs on the roof, and George Martin was looking at me funny, and then it dawned on me that I must have taken some acid. I said, ‘Well, I can’t go on. You’ll have to do it and I’ll just stay and watch.’ I got very nervous just watching them all, and I kept saying, ‘Is this all right?’ They had all been very kind and they said, ‘Yes, it’s all right.’ I said, ‘Are you sure it’s all right?’ They carried on making the record.”

A special thanks to Roger of Musical Musings of a Mangled Mind for suggesting the last three selections!

 

 

 

From Songfacts

The idea of “Getting Better” came to Paul McCartney while he was walking his dog, Martha. The sun started to rise on the walk and he thought “it’s getting better.” It also reminded him of something that Jimmy Nichol used to say quite often during the short period when he was The Beatles drummer. This song was a true collaborative effort for Lennon and McCartney, with Lennon adding that legendary part about being bad to his woman. He later admitted to being a “hitter” when it came to women. He said “I was a hitter. I couldn’t express myself, and I hit.”

George Harrison played the tamboura, a large Indian string instrument. It is the droning noise about 2/3rds of the way through.

The string sound at the end was Beatles producer George Martin hitting the strings inside a piano.

Lennon contributed the pessimistic viewpoint, coming up with the line, “It can’t get no worse.” McCartney usually wrote much happier lyrics than Lennon.
Lennon revisited this song when he used the lyrics, “Every day, in every way, it’s getting better and better” for his 1980 track “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy).” This time, instead of taking the cynical side, he was affirming that life does just get keep getting better and better. 

This was used in commercials for Phillips television sets in 1999. The living Beatles resent the use of their songs in advertisements, but cannot prevent it because they do not own the publishing rights; Michael Jackson does.

The Beatles had stopped touring by the time this was released. The first time McCartney played it live was on his 2002 “Back In The US” tour. That tour was made into a CD and a 2-hour concert film that aired on ABC and was released on DVD.

This was used in the 2003 movie The Cat in the Hat starring Mike Myers. 

Getting Better

It’s getting better all the time
I used to get mad at my school
The teacher’s that taught me weren’t cool
You’re holding me down
Filling me up with your rules

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better
A little better all the time
I have to admit it’s getting better
It’s getting better since you’ve been mine

Me used to be angry young man
Me hiding me head in the sand
You gave me the word
I finally heard
I’m doing the best that I can
I’ve got to admit it’s getting better

I used to be cruel to my woman
I beat her and kept apart from the things that she loved
Man I was mean but I’m changing my scene
And I’m doing the best that I can

I admit it’s getting better
A little better all the time
Yes I admit it’s getting better
It’s getting better since you’ve been mine…

Where is…The Kennedy Car Now?

I would have thought this car would have been preserved and never touched after the Kennedy assassination on November 22, 1963…I was completely wrong.

The car started out as a standard 1961 Lincoln that had some upgrades of course. The changes and upgrades made to the car cost nearly $200,000 in 1961. After the changes, the car was known as the X-100.

The car’s special features included the removable steel and transparent plastic roof panels; a hydraulic rear seat that could be raised 10-1/2 inches to elevate the president; a massive heating and air conditioning system with auxiliary blowers and dual control panels; dark blue broadcloth lap robes with gray plush linings and hand-embroidered presidential seals housed in special door pockets; four retractable steps for Secret Service agents; two steps on the rear bumper for additional agents; flashing red lights; a siren; a blue mouton rug in the rear compartment; lamps that indicated when the door was ajar or the steps were out; dual flagstaffs and spotlights; auxiliary jump seats for extra passengers; two radio telephones; and interior floodlights.

I thought the car was retired after the assassination. But no… the X-100 was given a $500,000 redesign, complete with bullet-resistant glass, a roof and 1,600 pounds of armor.

The car got additional modifications in 1967 and was used by Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter before it was retired in 1977.

It’s now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan

By 1963, the SS-100-X was fitted with a variety of roof options.

Where is…Bob Dylan’s Guitar He Played at The 1965 Newport Folk Festival?

Bob Dylan released his first album in 1962. He was primarily known as a folk artist. Dylan would play with his acoustic guitar and harmonica.

On Saturday, July 24, 1965, Bob Dylan played the Newport Folk Festival and he played an acoustic set that all of his fans wanted. He received great applause… After that, he walked back on stage with a rock band and plugged in his 1964 Fender Stratocaster and all hell broke loose. His folk fans did NOT want him playing an electric guitar with a rock band. He did receive some cheers but they were mixed with a lot of boos. Dylan’s appearance is one of the most iconic performances of rock and roll.

Even after the boos, he was determined to continue down his electric path. It has been known as the time when “Dylan went electric.”

He toured in 1965 and 1966 with “The Hawks” as a backing band. The Hawks changed their name after the 66 tour and became The Band. During those tours, the boos continued throughout but Dylan pressed on. On the British leg of the tour the boos intensified and in one concert a fan of the old Dylan yelled out “Judas!”

Now back to the electric guitar that Bob played at Newport.

Dawn Peterson thought she owned the guitar, her father was a pilot who flew music acts in the 1960s. He said Dylan left this guitar on his plane. Dawn didn’t believe it until she saw a documentary picturing Bob Dylan on that Newport stage playing a guitar that looked just like her dad’s.

Bob Dylan thought he still had this Stratocaster…but in 2012 on the PBS series History Detectives… The experts matched the wood grain on the guitar owned by Dawn from the pictures of the historical event in 1965. The guitar was a match and it was no doubt that Dawn’s guitar was the one. Also in the guitar case were some of Dylan’s lyrics that he was working on in 65.

Lawyers got involved but it was soon settled that Dawn could sell the guitar.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay purchased Dylan’s Newport guitar in 2013 for $965,000 in an auction,  making it the most expensive guitar to ever hit the auction block.

Within the case itself was another hidden gem: early-draft lyrics to three Dylan tunes (“Absolutely Sweet Marie,” “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and two others). Those pieces were estimated between $3,000 and $30,000 by the auction house.

The guitar was on display from November 2018 through November 2019 at the American Writers Museum in Chicago as part of Bob Dylan: Electric – an interactive exhibit curated by music journalist Alan Light chronicling Dylan’s impact on American writing and pop culture following the Newport performance.

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