Sunday, November 26, 2006

Henley and the Beatles

impossible songs

impossible songs

Get your Bentley down to Henley.

I spent most of last week at the Henley Business College being wined and dined by a rather large UK contractor and “reflecting” on a number of issues and challenges (so the usual kind of training course things prevailed!). Once I’d recovered from my luggage getting lost in Heathrow (Mo had it somewhere under Carousel 5 for about 45 minutes apparently) and a fevered and frantic drive along the M4 to Henley, everything settled down nicely and I had quite a good time. The highlight of the week (apart from the Celtic game viewed on the college cinema screen) was a booze cruise up the Thames, in the dark and at times in differing sizes of circles - followed by despatching a crate of wine in the college bar. They also have the best ever coffee machines there and a riverside location to die for. Education? Well just ask me about the adventures of Trafalgar House, BP or Budweiser.

The Beatles are back on my stereo.

Yesterday we (the kids and I) headed up to McDuff for my grandson’s birthday party – something I never dreamt could be so much fun or so rewarding. On the way up we stopped at Tesco in Dundee and I bought a copy of the “new” Beatles CD “Love”. Only once I’d popped it into the car stereo did I realise that in all my 52 years I’d never bought a single Beatles record, tape or CD. Now I’ve always loved the Beatle’s music, God knows I grew up with them and like most of my generation was shocked, embarrassed, confused, in love and blown away by so many of their activities that not having bought any of their material seems like a huge sin and omission. Looking back I must have been the one buying Cream or Jimi Hendrix records and then swopping them on for furtive and prolonged listens to Abbey Road or Sergeant Pepper. Anyway “Love” is an interesting mix of familiar tracks, a soundscape based on a Las Vegas circus show, remixed and at times bled together with samples from their best songs. Strangely it’s Ringo’s drums that in my opinion come out best as they pound through every track. Of course the songs are far beyond criticism or comment other than to say that the George Harrison material stands up pretty well against those other two song writing powerhouses. Funny how time slips way... and a pity they didn’t remix in a little more of the second side of Abbey Road.

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