Saturday, December 06, 2008

On my turntable: The Beatles - White Album

Since this past week was the 40th anniversary of The White Album (1968) it seemed like a good time to break out this fancy embossed UK copy that I've only played once or twice (it's flawless). I got my first copy of The White Album when I was in grade school, so I barely remember life without this music.

Having records that are such an integrated part of your life is a pretty special thing, but it's even more special when those old records suddenly take on new personal meaning. Example: Tonight as I'm sitting at the kitchen table, listening to side 4 of this album, it struck me how timely the lyrics to Revolution are, 'cause they seem to speak directly to the issue of Prop 8 and other recent constitutional amendments based on hate:
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're all doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead
I read recently that in the mid-70's, when John Lennon was good friends with Elton John, he desperately wanted the gay fans to love him. Elton's friends even had a drag queen name for Lennon: "Catherine". Knowing how much of a staunch ally Yoko has been for the gay community, I don't doubt for a second that if John were alive he would be in the streets with us, fighting the fight for equality.


Tracy said...

Of course he would. Hang in there Jeff.

Stephen Chapman... said...

It's not my favourite Beatles album, but it does have some genius moments.

The recent NPR podcast on the album is really good.