Beatles Love

Don’t ask for my fucking E-MAIL ADDRESS!

I read online (well,, they have a ban on mentioning me, but I don’t have  one on them!) that they were streaming four tracks from the Beatles "Love" album on The Beatles.  So I went to the site to listen to the tracks and…I HAD TO GIVE THEM PERMISSION TO SPAM ME IN PERPETUITY!

The only organization more stupid than the major labels is Apple Corps.  These money-hungry denizens of the sixties are so out of touch I don’t expect the Beatle albums to be available online until the year 2525, when they embed a chip with every record ever recorded right into your brain.

Money-hungry?  YOU explain the iTunes suit to me.  Is there ANYBODY in the world who confuses Apple Computer with Apple Corps, the Beatles’ company?  The only nexus is in their heyday they both released cutting edge products.  Unfortunately, the Beatles’ heyday is over.  Except for tripe like the Cirque du Soleil extravaganza in Vegas.

I mean if you’re REALLY that interested in bread, don’t you want to offer your wares for sale?  Let’s see…  It’s been fully seven years since online music/MP3s have taken hold.  This eclipses even the five years the Beatles took to release their music on CD.  But the MP3 isn’t even gonna have a two decade lifespan like the CD, and to give up almost HALF of your revenue because you can’t get it together or you think that you’ll make a big splash when you finally do make the material available is just plain stupid.  God, what’s that record business axiom?  If the album isn’t in the store the sale is lost FOREVER??  Why buy when you can easily steal, or certainly rip.

But it gets worse.  It’s like the Beatles are functioning in the Net ’90s.  Before everybody read Seth Godin and realized it was an era of PERMISSION MARKETING!  You don’t FORCE people, you let them OPT IN!  You make them your friends, you don’t treat them like untrustworthy scum who’re gonna rip you off.

They say they want my e-mail address to keep me informed of Beatle news.  What, is the band getting back together?  Going on tour?  Is there going to be a seance bringing John and George back?  WHAT news?  You’re gonna take my fucking e-mail address and sell it, THAT’S what you’re gonna do.  And even if you DON’T do this, that’s what I think you’re gonna do, that’s what EVERYBODY thinks you’re gonna do.

But it gets even worse…

They don’t only want my e-mail address, they want my PHYSICAL address and date of birth.  What, is Paul McCartney gonna show up at my door on April 22nd and serenade me with "Happy Birthday"?

And the fucking idiots ask for "Town" and "County".  I bet half the people tempted to fill out this ridiculous form aren’t even sure what county they live in.  Or is this an ENGLISH reference?  Or is it just a typo and they mean COUNTRY??

But what pissed me off the most, is they asked for my fucking telephone number.  The NERVE!  WHAT the fuck do you plan to do with my telephone number?  In this era of eroding privacy, when EVERYBODY is fearful of having his identity ripped off, WHY do you need this information?  Is Sean Lennon gonna call?  Maybe Julian?  And what makes you think I want to get a canned message from ANYBODY??  That’s why I signed up for the Do Not Call list, so I don’t have to endure these inane interruptions, seemingly always during the dinner hour.

But I didn’t give ’em the real info.  Nobody with a brain does.  And probably the Beatle dudes were too stupid to realize this.  If a company REALLY wants to capture e-mail addresses (and why do you need more?) they send an E-MAIL that with a key to unlock the code.  So, unless you’ve given a VALID e-mail address, you have no access to the material.

What kind of ignorant, scheming assholes CREATED this site?

And I’ll go further.  Whose ridiculous idea was it to do a Cirque du Soleil show ANYWAY?  Am I the only fucking soul who doesn’t get it?  Who sits through Cirque du Soleil and can’t wait for the show to END?  Shit, if I want to see acrobatics, I’ll turn on ESPN.  If it’s a real circus I’ve got a hankering for, I’ll drop a dime on Ringling.  Cirque du Soleil is bullshit.  The emperor’s new clothes.  All fake arty and highbrow so lowbrows will think it’s good.  Really, Cirque du Soleil is a scam.  And I have no desire to see this show.

But since they’re the Beatles, I did have a desire to hear the music.

Actually, I think it’s sacrilegious.  Leave well enough, leave SUPERIOR, alone.  What’s next, recutting "On The Waterfront"?  "Gone With The Wind"?  Do we really need classic tracks remixed?

"Strawberry Fields Forever" has got none of the bizarre magic of the original.  "Octopus’ Garden"?  The shittiest track on "Abbey Road".  Couldn’t they have used "Act Naturally" if they needed a Ringo cut?  Well, no, then they’d have to pay royalties to someone ELSE, since it’s a cover and the writer isn’t in the band.

I’m thinking nothing’s sacred.  It’s only about dough.  And didn’t George Martin go on record he retired because he couldn’t hear anymore?

Eventually you get to the legendary piano part in "Lady Madonna", but the intro…sounds like the babe lost her essence, it doesn’t work.  And the MIX!  Trash.

But then I listened to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"…

One of the great features of the Beatles was all the TONALITIES!  They could be both bombastic AND intimate.  John Lennon could record the raucous single version of "Revolution", yet cut "Julia".

The original "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is an epic.  A big screen movie.  The version from "Love" is a DVD watched on a portable player alone in the dark.  It has an intimacy, a creepiness that immediately resonates.  With the magic of the Beatles.  Oh, it loses some magic when the strings come in.  But the forgotten Beatle’s vocal…it’s haunting.  And the lyrics are different.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, you weren’t either a Beatles or a Stones person, many of us liked both.  But as great as the Stones were (the band touring now is not the Stones, don’t be confused), they were mortal.  The Beatles were not mortal.  Every album was perfect.  There are no bum cuts.  The band was always TWO steps ahead of everybody else.  Changing the world with every release.

This was not Madonna.  This was not a marketing exercise.  This was not about fashion.  This was about MUSIC!

That music might be the only tuneage that survives a hundred or two years from now.  The songs were that good.  As were the renditions.  Thank god all the rip-off schemes perpetrated on the material and us, like this execrable Beatles Cirque du Soleil show, can’t eviscerate, can’t FUCK WITH, that original greatness.  Thank god those original records still exist.

Don’t remix the classics.  Don’t even rerecord them.  We know every nuance, we can hear the difference.  You can’t improve on perfection.  You might want to hear the "Love" version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" once or twice, but really, you’d prefer to hear not only the original, but "If I Needed Someone".  Or "For You Blue".  Or "I Need You".

Don’t Yoko and Paul have enough money?  Even if they authorize usage of their tunes do they have to employ a scorched earth marketing policy?  Making their fans victims?  Can’t THEY respect the music?  We do.

For future reference, for sites that require real e-mail addresses, go to BugMeNot and use one of those provided.  We must stand up to the corporations.  Telling them they’re not entitled to know our life histories.  Or maybe when they release their employees’ identical data, and their CEO’s expense reports, and how many times they used the private jet, and how much it cost and…

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.