Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “The Beatles” Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s and 70’s. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Beatles Blue Jay Way

George Harrison wrote this in a house he rented in Los Angeles on a street named Blue Jay Way. He was waiting for his friend Derek Taylor when he came up with the song.

Brian Kehew, who wrote the book Recording The Beatles: The Studio Equipment and Techniques Used to Create Their Classic Albums, tells us that “Blue Jay Way” is the most impressive Beatles song in terms of engineering. Says Brian: “It has phasing, flanging, it has varied speed recording, it has tape echo. They put things through Leslies, they compressed and EQed things. It’s really fascinating, and it has more stuff going on with it that’s more detached from traditional classical recording or a Miles Davis record. It’s more Beatles-y in that way. All the tricks that The Beatles had developed with compressing instruments and with EQing things in very strange ways are present on “Blue Jay Way.”

My favorite part of it, which is really a fascinating concept, they took the track, specifically with the vocals, and then mixed it. That mix was played backwards and recorded back into the record on the multi-track, but they played it through a Leslie speaker that’s spinning in the room. So occasionally during the song you hear some backwards Leslied tracks, especially vocals, swirling in and out. It’s the actual song playing backwards against itself through a Leslie and then fading up and down, which is a really creative and very strange idea. I’ve never heard of anyone else doing something like that.”

The line “Don’t Be Long” is repeated 29 times.

This was used in the Beatles movie Magical Mystery Tour.

The vocals, organ, and drums were played on two tape machines slightly out of sync to get the phasing effect.

When the ending is reversed, it sounds suspiciously like “Paul is bloody.” This added to the “Paul is Dead” hoax.

Psychedelic Lunch

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Ringo Starr: Ringo

Ringo, by Ringo Starr, was released in 1973. Besides being a big success, tremendous fun, and sporting a fantastic roster of guest musicians, Ringo managed to reunite The Beatles! Well, it contains songs written by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison (along with musical contributions from the drummer’s ex-bandmates).

Four of the 5 members of The Band all played on various songs, as well as Marc Bolan, Harry Nilsson, Billy Preston, Nicky Hopkins, Steve Cropper, and many others.

Ringo himself plays his unmistakable drum style on all tracks and sings lead vocals on all songs.

The songs Photograph, You’re Sixteen, and Oh My My all scored big on the charts.

I remember owning this one on vinyl and being fascinated with the album cover art (and the booklet of lyrics and artwork to accompany each song).

Ringo was obviously overshadowed in writing and singing by the other members of The Beatles, but he was always charming and lovable, and played perfectly for the songs.

Ringo is a testament to how many stars wanted to play with THE Starr. With a little help from my friends indeed!

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

George Harrison: All Things Must Pass

Confession: George Harrison was my favorite Beatle. He released his first proper solo album, All Things Must Pass, in 1970.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it was a Triple album. During the career of The Beatles, Harrison typically got a song or two at most allotted to each of the Fab Four’s releases.

Lennon and McCartney were the focus, but “the quiet Beatle” was stockpiling songs all along the way, and All Things Must Pass was the sound of the floodgates opening.

With Phil Spector producing, the album incorporated his famed “wall of sound” style, and featured an impressive cast of contributing musicians, including Eric Clapton, Gary Wright, Bobby Whitlock, Klaus Voorman, Ringo Starr, Peter Frampton, Ginger Baker, Billy Preston, Carl Radle, Jim Gordon, Jim Price, Bobby Keys, Alan, White, Dave Mason, and some songwriting assistance from Bob Dylan.

Many critics have declared this massive project as the finest of all the solo works from the collective former Beatles.

That says a lot, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is the quietest ones who have the most interesting things to say.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Paul McCartney: Band On The Run

Band On The Run (1973) is the album where Paul McCartney reclaimed his mojo. Credited to Paul McCartney And Wings, Band On The Run was actually just Paul, wife Linda, and guitarist Denny Laine, with Paul playing the lion’s share of the instruments, including drums, bass, keyboards, lead guitar, and of course, lead vocals.

The song Band On The Run was a gigantic hit, and both Jet and Helen Wheels found success on the charts as well.

Other great tunes included Mamunia, Bluebird, Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me), and Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five. McCartney has probably thrown away more memorable melodies than most musicians create in their entire careers, but when he really focuses that gift, he shines like few other songwriters. Band On The Run shines.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

John Lennon: Imagine

Proving there was plenty of songwriting left in the tank after the breakup of The Beatles, John Lennon released the Imagine album in 1971 and left the world with one of his most powerful compositions ever in the title song of the same name.

Imagine has served as Lennon’s signature song ever since, but the Imagine album has lots more to offer.

George Harrison provided some ultra tasty lead guitar work on the politically charged Gimme Some Truth and I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier, and also on the direct attack on ex band mate Paul McCartney on How Do You Sleep?

Jealous Guy is another Lennon classic, and the songs Crippled Inside and It’s So Hard are reminders of Lennon’s early love affair with rock ‘n roll.

Although the four members of The Beatles undoubtedly became something much bigger than the individual parts, those individual parts were pretty magnificent on their own.

https://youtu.be/T2hvkPyiAFE

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

BEATLES: THE WHITE ALBUM

Earlier in this series of my 365 influential albums, I covered the Red & Blue compilation albums by The Beatles, but now it is time to talk about my absolute favorite by the Fab Four, the self titled The Beatles (or The White Album).

This double album contains so much iconic and brilliant work by a band that had begun the process of unraveling, but even in this state of dysfunction, The Beatles were simply supernaturally talented. Being a double album, even George Harrison was allowed more songs than he was usually represented by on their single records, and he was emerging as a songwriter that could hold his own with the mighty Lennon and McCartney.

Harrison brought his best friend, Eric Clapton, to play lead guitar on his song, While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Legend has it that the band were on their best behavior during that session! I have read that basically each member used the other 3 as their sidemen and the group chemistry was pretty much non-existent during the recording sessions, and yet they came out with this genius collection of material.

Favorites of mine would include Blackbird, I’m So Tired, Helter Skelter, Back In The U.S.S.R., Mother Nature’s Son, Dear Prudence, Sexy Sadie, Rocky Raccoon, Yer Blues, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Revolution 9 is pretty interesting, too. Honestly, I don’t think there is much filler at all on this one.

Even though Charles Manson took some pretty radical inspiration from this album, most people just soaked in the beauty and love that were associated with one of the most beloved bands of all time.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

I was maybe 11 or 12 years old when my parents gave me these two comprehensive collections of Beatles music…truly life changing gifts. I immersed myself in their music and began a lifelong love affair with rock music in the process. In the decade that grew with The Beatles, the entire world changed drastically. Having it broken into 2 distinct 4 year periods was an awesome time capsule/history lesson. I love the innocence of the early years, but once the Liverpool lads stopped performing live and concentrated all their efforts on the studio, that is where things got revolutionary. Every song on both these collections is essential listening, but some of my personal favorites are Strawberry Fields Forever, I Am The Walrus, Something, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Eleanor Rigby. The Beatles paved the way for everything I have listened to since being introduced to the magic they created together.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind