October 1992: They Were So Much Older Then

Our video for the day is the performance of Bob Dylan’s “My Back Pages” at The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration.  The concert — held at on October 16, 1992 at Madison Square Garden — celebrated Dylan’s 30 years of recording.  And this performance featured Dylan, Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Eric Clapton and George Harrison.

It is an amazing collection of legends onstage doing on of Dylan’s great early songs.  “My Back Pages” originally appeared on his 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan.

What is amazing about this performance is how at the time of the concert, the singers were already legends and they seemed old at the time.  But looking at it now, they all seem so young.  Or maybe part of that is because I am so much older now.

Check out the video, which begins with Roger McGuinn singing the song, which he had previous recorded with The Byrds and released in 1967.  Then, the others follow until Dylan takes the lead himself.  In the meantime, one may watch Dylan’s face to make any guesses about what he is thinking as the others sing his song.

There are various interpretations of “My Back Pages,” although most read it as Dylan’s rejection of his younger idealism.  But like many of his songs, listeners may find their own meaning and a little of their own life in the song.  And, more than two decades ago, we found a little more connection to the song through many of the rock legends of our youth.

What is your favorite version of “My Back Pages”? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    The Beatles’ 1969 Rooftop Concert

    On January 30, 1969, the Beatles went to the rooftop of Apple headquarters for their first live performance in more than two years. The impromptu show continued for 42 minutes until the band was shut down by the police.

    The Rooftop Performance

    The performance was in some ways a last gasp of a group that was coming apart. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were trying to get back to their roots with some help from keyboardist Billy Preston.

    Of course, the performance did not save the band.  But it gave the world one more glimpse at the genius that was The Beatles. And they rocked.

    The rooftop concert was part of The Beatles’ work on a project that was entitled Get Back at the time. The album would ultimately be entitled Let It Be, as would the film that included 21 minutes of the performance.

    Currently, the full performance is not available for embedding, but below is the Beatles performing “Don’t Let Me Down” on the roof.

    Release of Let It Be

    The Beatles released the album from the sessions, Let It Be, in May 1970.  The release came soon after the band had broken up.

    Let It Be was the final studio album released by The Beatles. However, they recorded their album Abbey Road after Let It Be.  But they released Let it Be earlier, releasing it in September (U.K.) and October (U.S.) 1969.

    For more on the concert, check out Rolling Stone’s 15 Things You Didn’t Know about the performance.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    The Beatles: “Blackpool Night Out” Live Performance

    On August 3, 1965, the Beatles released the album Help! in the United Kingdom, releasing it ten days later in the United States on August 13.  During this time in their careers, the Fab Four were reducing their promotional appearances. So they only appeared on only one U.K. television show to promote the new album, Blackpool Night Out.

    ABC TV made Blackpool Night Out, filming the show at the ABC Theatre in Blackpool, a summer seaside resort city with other connections to John Lennon.  The live broadcast with the Beatles ran from 9.10 pm to 10.05 pm.

    The Beatles performed several songs on the Sunday, August 1, 1965 show.  They started with “I Feel Fine,” “I’m Down,” “Act Naturally,” and “Ticket To Ride.”

    Next, Paul McCartney sang “Yesterday” by himself in the song’s first performance on British television.  The band returned, with Lennon carrying flowers and joking, “Thank you Ringo, that was wonderful.”  The band closed with “Help!” Below you may hear the audio of part of the 1965 show.

    Although some thought the video of the show was lost, a video of the show popped up on YouTube recently. Unfortunately, they had to take it down for copyright issues.

    The album Anthology 2 (1996) included fours songs from this performance, “I Feel Fine,” “Ticket To Ride,” “Yesterday,” and “Help!”

    What is your favorite Beatles TV appearance? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    New Beatles ‘A Day in the Life’ Video

    The 2000 release of number one songs by the Beatles, The Beatles’ 1, is getting a new updated release in a couple of different forms with music videos and the group’s short films. Among the video content, the new Beatles 1+ package includes the Beatles’ original video for “A Day in the Life” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).

    The video for “A Day in the Life” shows the playful side of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. The video footage of them hanging out with friends like the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards also includes shots of an orchestra during the 1967 recording sessions. Check out the video for “A Day in the Life.”

    The 1+ package hits stores on November 6.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    The Beatles’ “Black Album” from “Boyhood”

    Sometimes I hate the invasiveness of new technology into our lives, but other times I figure we are pretty lucky. One of those times was when after watching Enemy (2013) I realized I could immediately seek help from the Internet in decoding what Jake Gyllenhaal saw. And recently, while watching Boyhood (2014), there was a scene with a mix CD where I thought, “I bet I’ll be able to find the track listings for the pretend CD on the Internet.” And, of course, I did.

    In Boyhood, there is a scene where Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke) gives his son Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) a mix CD he made, called The Beatles’ Black Album. The father explains that it is a compilation of the post-Beatles solo work by George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr. He tells how the music fits perfectly together, illustrating what albums we might have heard had the Beatles never broken up, continuing to work together in their mature years. We get a glimpse of the track list in the movie, and I then spent the next several minutes missing what was happening in the film because I was wondering what is on the CD.

    The CD, however, was not created just for the movie. Ethan Hawke first made The Black Album for his daughter, even writing liner notes explaining his choices and why he made the album. Fortunately for us curious folks, he reworked the notes a little bit more and released them to the world via the Internet, along with the track listings. For the touching liner notes, which are worth reading, head over to Buzzfeed. You can catch the track listings from the three CDs of The Black Album below.

    Disc 1:
    1. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Band on the Run”; 2. George Harrison, “My Sweet Lord”; 3. John Lennon feat. The Flux Fiddlers & the Plastic Ono Band, “Jealous Guy”; 4. Ringo Starr, “Photograph”; 5. John Lennon, “How?”; 6. Paul McCartney, “Every Night”; 7. George Harrison, “Blow Away”; 8. Paul McCartney, “Maybe I’m Amazed”; 9. John Lennon, “Woman”; 10.Paul McCartney & Wings, “Jet”; 11. John Lennon, “Stand by Me”; 12. Ringo Starr, “No No Song”; 13. Paul McCartney, “Junk”; 14. John Lennon, “Love”; 15. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “The Back Seat of My Car”; 16. John Lennon, “Watching the Wheels”; 17. John Lennon, “Mind Games”; 18. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Bluebird”; 19. John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”; 20. George Harrison, “What Is Life”

    Disc 2:
    1. John Lennon, “God”; 2. Wings, “Listen to What the Man Said”; 3. John Lennon, “Crippled Inside”; 4. Ringo Starr, “You’re Sixteen You’re Beautiful (And You’re Mine)”; 5. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Let Me Roll It”; 6. John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band, “Power to the People”; 7. Paul McCartney, “Another Day”; 8. George Harrison, “If Not For You (2001 Digital Remaster)”; 9. John Lennon, “(Just Like) Starting Over”; 10. Wings, “Let ‘Em In”; 11. John Lennon, “Mother”; 12. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Helen Wheels”; 13. John Lennon, “I Found Out”; 14. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey”; 15. John Lennon, Yoko Ono & The Plastic Ono Band, “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)”; 15. George Harrison, “Not Guilty (2004 Digital Remaster)”; 16. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “Heart of the Country”; 17. John Lennon, “Oh Yoko!”; 18. Wings, “Mull of Kintyre”; 19. Ringo Starr, “It Don’t Come Easy”

    Disc 3:
    1. John Lennon, “Grow Old With Me (2010 Remaster)”; 2. Wings, “Silly Love Songs”; 3. The Beatles, “Real Love”; 4. Paul McCartney & Wings, “My Love”; 5. John Lennon, “Oh My Love”; 6. George Harrison, “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”; 7. Paul McCartney, “Pipes of Peace”; 8. John Lennon, “Imagine”; 9. Paul McCartney, “Here Today”; 10. George Harrison, “All Things Must Pass”; 11. Paul McCartney, “And I Love Her (Live on MTV Unplugged)”

    Regarding the movie Boyhood, it is a fun experience seeing how director Richard Linklater filmed the story over twelve years so that the characters, and in particular the young man at the center of the story, age just like the actors. It is worth checking out for that reason alone. Be prepared that the movie is a little long and there is not a lot of plot. But the movie captures real life, which is pretty great for a film. So you should check it out.

    As for the Black Album, the CD is a great idea, and while I might make some different choices, it is pretty cool to sit back and just enjoy the list and think “what if?”

    What songs would you change on your Beatles’ “Black Album”? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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