The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

They Were Collaborators #467


The Beatles

14 comments :

azfad said...

brilliant photo - when i first saw it it thought it was some kind of wire sculpture then i realised it was a bird's eye shot - fantastic.

Ta v much!

e. said...

agreed. definitely one of my favorite photos of the group!

estiv said...

Beautiful. Not megastars, but human beings hard at work.

sebastian said...

awesome

Tom Sutpen said...

Thankya kindly. Something tells me this was taken in connection with A Hard Day's Night, but I'll confess I had never seen this photo until a few days before scheduling it to run here.

One thing that struck me (and I thought I knew lotsabout the Mop Tops): Who played the Piano? I thought, in their live shows back then, The Beatles just ground out the hits before a wall of screaming teenagers for half an hour and didn't worry about the musical finery.

Vanwall said...

I was thinking of the '64 tour.

estiv said...

Who played the Piano?

Paul would be the likely choice, then John. They both played keyboards on stage a little. But another possibility is neither--that the piano is there for another act.

We're so used to thinking of the Beatles as demi-gods that it's hard to remember that not only did they share the stage with other acts now little-known (e.g., Helen Shapiro), but that their era of live performance (ending in 1966) was nothing like today's. There were no crews of roadies completely resetting the stage for each act. Those forty-watt amplifiers didn't come close to filling the hall with sound, and you'll notice that there are no monitor speakers in the photo.

So--my guess, the placement of the piano is in its way just another artifact from a lost era. The piano was for some other act, and if this photo is old enough, the Beatles may not have even been the last act on the bill.

Sebastian said...

It looks like this is at the Palais des Sports, Paris, June 20th 1965. This show was taped for TV and in the video you can clearly see the piano and the amp setup. Indeed, the Beatles weren't using a piano live; it must be for another act. The silver-fronted amplifier near the piano is also not theirs. Later that year they started using a Vox organ live for "I'm Down" but that was about it for keyboards onstage.

SomeNYGuy said...

Lay off Helen Shapiro. She was (is?) a goddess.

swac said...

Hey, Helen is still going strong as a torch singer in the UK. More power to her.

I wonder what Cilla Black is up to these days?

estiv said...

I meant no disrespect to Ms Shapiro. I know that the Fabs loved her and used to hang out at her home after shows. But this side of the pond at least, if you tell someone that the Beatles used to open for Helen Shapiro, you're likely to have to explain who she is.

Tommy O'C said...

You have nothing to apologize for.

Excellent homework, estiv and sebastian.

Nota da Galera said...

Does someone know where can I buy this photo?

Lisa Travis said...

Does anyone know where this can be bought as a print?? i'm desperate to buy it