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

Artists In Action #491


The Beatles meet the press in Japan.

11 comments :

Timmy said...

Judging by their hair, this photo would have to have been taken at almost the same time as the infamous "Butcher cover"

Christopher said...

I think this is 1966

Fred said...

I remember seeing this press conference featured in the Beatles in Japan movie in High School in '79 (damn, I'm getting old!).

estiv said...

Now I want a pink suit.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Fred: The "Beatles in Japan" movie? Was that the actual name of the flick, or ?

swac said...

I have a pretty decent copy of their Live in Budokan concert (one of their last, a few dates before Candlestick Park in S.F.), but my version is just the concert. I haven't seen much other footage from that visit, but obviously cameras were rolling the whole time they were there.

It's interesting to watch that show, because Japanese audiences were quieter and more polite than the screaming masses elsewhere and the Beatles could actually hear themselves playing. Listening to them fail to nail the harmonies in Paperback Writer (frankly, I don't see how they could have pulled it off perfectly on stage) it's no wonder they called it quits for touring.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Thanks for the heads up everyone – I hadn’t even known of this footage at all before reading about it here in the always excellent commentary at Charlie Parker. I cannot begin to imagine how the Beatles or anyone else even tried to hit amplified harmonies without the benefit of stage monitors. But they didn’t ask questions like that back in 1776.

Interestingly, this dude here, writing from Oslo, says the available Budokan footage doesn’t contain their best performance there, to wit:

“…the actual concert on the disc is the inferior opening concert on June 30th (The Beatles wearing black suits), the one that Brian Epstein didn't permit to be broadcast because Paul's microphone was behaving badly, and the band delivered an abysmal performance. Brian took home with him a copy of the good concert, and who knows where it's at now. A few bits of it was shown on The Beatles Anthology.”

swac said...

Funny they haven't tried to release more live stuff from the first half of Beatlemania (and the Hollywood Bowl LP remains M.I.A. on CD). I'm guessing it has to do with a certain level of embarrassment on the part of the surviving Fabs about their performances in those days (aside from the whole issue of available quality recordings).

Even so, some of the screwups are endearing, like that version of If I Fell from Vancouver where Paul and John get a bad case of the giggles.

Robert Fiore said...

I think the reason you don't see more of this or that from the Beatles is either (a) they can't stand each other or (b) they can't stand Yoko. Things that are already in place can continue, but anything that would require a new agreement is doomed.

Tommy O'C said...

It's the bad blood between Paul and Yoko. Neil Aspinall's death will not help matters. Much of the good material that has been released (most notably, the Beatles Anthology, which Aspinall assembled) was due to his stewardship. More would have been forthcoming but for an immovable obstacle at NYC's landmark Dakota.

Aspinall's New York Times Obit noted: "...the interpersonal politics at Apple are such that unanimity is hard to come by...." when it comes to getting the principles (i.e., Paul, Ringo, Olivia Harrison, Yoko) to agree on new releases.

Many maintain, for instance, that a definitive version of "Let It Be" (lots of unreleased archival footage there) is badly in need of release. As for the other footage (however sub-par it may be--but even sub-par Beatles is worth the price of admission), there may be no resolution until the major principles are gone and the estates cash in.

swac said...

It feels like they don't want to touch anything that puts the Fabs into a negative light, and Let It Be certainly has its share of warts (although the outtake footage I've seen on bootleg gets even nastier), making it one of those problematic bits of Beatles history that the parties involved would rather not think about.